Liberal Christians: In the world and of the world

Social scientists have taken up the task of surveying nearly 16,000 Americans about their views on certain social issues.   I can’t say I’m too surprised at the results shown in the chart below.

 

Regnerus-Graph

Via The Whitherspoon Institute:

What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages? Some questions naturally arise. Does adultery mean the same thing for both same-sex and opposite-sex unions? Does it make sense to speak of premarital sex in such a context?

[…]

Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage look very much like the country as a whole—the population average (visible in the third column). That answers my original question. What would a pro-SSM Christian sexual morality look like? The national average—the norm—that’s what.

Via Eternity Matters:

This is just more confirmation of one of the theological Left’s biggest lies, namely that we are just misreading the Bible on the verses about homosexuality.  But if that was the case, these “Christians” who support SSM should at least be more aligned with us than with the world when it comes to porn, abortion, divorce, etc.  And keep in mind that two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) agree with Bible-believers that homosexual behavior is a sin.

Let me ask the liberal minded professing Christians: do you see these issues as moral issues?  If not, are they morally benign?  What are the reasons you approve of these?

Comments

  1. In all honesty, I fail to see the point of this post, other than trying to have another churlish dig at Dan – as he appears to be the only ”liberal minded professing Christian(s)” currently commenting on your blog.
    Although the percentages in the first column are very funny.
    1.2 percent of Christians in this column are up for a menage a trois. and 1.3 think infidelity is okay.
    That is hilarious!

    Even I would flat out refuse to get involved in this or infidelity and I am a damned to hell, no morals atheist, apparently

  2. paynehollow says:

    Easy enough to answer, I guess.

    First and foremost, I believe in giving people the grace and religious liberty to live their own lives and seek God/the Good/the Right the best they can (short of hurting someone else).

    How many here can agree with that Value?

    Beyond that caveat, I’m pretty traditional:

    I think pornography tends to be degrading to women, and thus harmful, and thus a bad idea (although it is never condemned in the Bible);

    Personally opposed to co-habitation before marriage;

    I believe “no strings sex” is generally not healthy or wholesome or advisable;

    I believe in families/couples staying together/not getting divorced without some decent reason (abuse and infidelity would be the main ones that jumps to mind), although, see my caveat above; (I’ve been faithfully married to one woman for 30 years next June… a trend that is true for most of my married liberal friends)

    infidelity is not okay;

    I believe polygamous relationships tend to come up in oppressive patriarchal societies (think muslim extremists or ancient biblical Israel) and thus, tend to be unhealthy, therefore, I’m generally opposed to them – although the Bible never once suggested there was anything wrong with them, so I’m not sure why biblical literalists would have a problem with it… just sayin’…

    I am personally opposed to abortion and would never have one, myself; see the first caveat again

    Done and done.

    Crazy conservative Dan!

  3. paynehollow says:

    I’ve spent way too much time here these last couple of days. I’ve got a life to lead, don’t be surprised or concerned if I make myself scarce.

    Just a note so’s you guys don’t worry about little ol’ me.

    ~Dan

  4. Thanks for the link and can’t believe I didn’t think of that title! One would expect a few inconsistencies in any column given the nature of surveys and people, but the overall message is impossible to ignore. People supporting SSM = very unlikely to be Christians. The abortion issue is worse than the SSM issue, but sadly we’re used to “Christians” supporting legalized baby killing.

    • Just as Yahweh did, hey?

      • You seem to have an issue with God’s right to do with his creation whatever he wants. Why is that a problem?

        • Smile … ah, yes, I forgot, you do not believe in evolution.
          Imagine what a heinous person you would be without your god-bestowed morality. You just wouldn’t know how to behave decently, right?
          Probably be out raping and pillaging as we speak, I shouldn’t wonder?
          Knocking off your local 7/11 store. Listening to Black Sabbath records backwards with 666 on your forehead and doing weird things to animals in your basement.

          Oh … and which god are we talking about today, John?

          BTW. Watch any decent Finkelstein videos last night, did you? :)

          • Whether I behave like that or not, it wouldn’t be a moral issue if I did. Your evolutionary explanation can only describe what is, not what should be.

            Just like we don’t animal prisons for when they behave as animals.

            • Ah..here we go, again. Semantics.

              You think I am going to sit and debate morality with a Christian? LOL…think again.

              What is eating you today? Your god not answering prayers on Fridays?

              And what should be, John? Please, do tell.

        • First of all, without God, it would be difficult to determine accurately that which can be described as “heinous”. I suspect that most atheists regard as heinous that which is also heinous to God-fearing people everywhere because of the influence of Judeo-Christian teaching over the centuries. Atheists can’t help but adopt morality from people of faith and then pretend they would reach those same concepts on their own and without the influence that formed the culture from which they arose.

          Secondly, it figures that Ark would assume the worst of any of us were we to be guided by our own instincts as opposed to the righteous and logical teachings of Scripture. He can’t stop himself from assuming the worst about people of faith, because, after all, he doesn’t need God to tell him how to act.

          I’m going to stick my neck way out there and presume to respond for John. He only speaks of the One True God. Someone about Whom you know so very little based on your droll commentary here.

        • Oh yeah. And as to what should be Ark? Try actually studying and understanding Scripture and then you’ll know. Even if you insist on remaining the fool you’re so determined to be, you’ll at least know something about the faith you’re trying to trash.

  5. paynehollow says:

    Ah, the Berate and Insult School of Evangelism that has proven so effective throughout all of history…

    But, being a Christian, I guess you need to follow the example of your Lord, Jesus who chose to insult and berate the godless… let’s see, how many times was that?

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    ~Jesus (or, “attributed to Jesus,” if you prefer)

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.

    ~Paul (or, “attributed to Paul,” if you prefer)

    Peace, y’all,

    ~Dan

    • Once again, Dan, you show no understanding.

      First of all, you presume to lecture about the love of Christ and grace, and just a day or so ago, Craig re-posted a few of your own less than gracious comments regarding “spewing excrement” and such. And just a day or so previous to that, you condescended to those who believe in the occurrence of the Great Flood by using the less than gracious and oh, so condescending term “magic waters”. You’re a hypocrite and have that freakin’ plank in your eye.

      At the same time, I do recall Christ violently chasing out money changers and calling certain false priests a “brood of vipers”.

      Thirdly, you so feel the need to demonize those who have little patience for foolish people that you can’t wrap your mind around the concept of righteous anger (not that I’m actually angry at all) or that one can be firm, to the point and not mince words and still be acting in something akin to a loving spirit. That’s YOUR problem and you need to find a way to deal with it.

    • It just occurred to me at this late hour, that your passages seem to be put forth by you as some sort of rules you think I should be following. So good to know there are no rules in Scripture by which I need live my life.

  6. I’m going to stick my neck way out there and presume to respond for John. He only speaks of the One True God. Someone about Whom you know so very little based on your droll commentary here.

    And how, may I ask do you know ‘Him’? ( by which method are you now on ‘familiar ‘terms with this ‘personal’ god, Marshal?

    • I “know” Him in the same way any Christian does. I will know Him better at some point in the future. So will you. I will be among those grieving the outcome of your education.

      • Now you are just sounding like a typical whinging indoctrinated apologist. Please don’t, you just weaken your argument and make yourself come across as really silly.
        Give a straight answer or have the balls to just say ‘faith’ and be done with it, but don’t give me this end of the world meet-you-maker crap.

        • There you go frothing again. In what ways can we know Him? Or perhaps it would be better for you to explain what you mean by “know Him”. My study of Scripture (such as it is) and much that surrounds it has brought me to a point where I have confidence that I know Him as well as I need to to understand what is expected of me by Him, as well as His nature (to the extent that any mortal man can know it), etc.

          As to straight answers and the balls to give one, you’ve come up short throughout this entire endeavor. John has asked you to support your positions, to cite something specific, to explain the relevance of anything and anyone whose names you’ve dropped as if they mean something, and the sum total of your comments have been snark, condescension and very unChristian insults, posted under the weak excuse that you are responding in kind. You’re a coward and a fraud who has no room to expect anything from me or anyone else here until you put up.

          • Or perhaps it would be better for you to explain what you mean by “know Him”.

            1. How do know you are addressing a deity and not merely having a conversation with yourself/ in your own head?
            2.What evidence do you have to judge the difference?
            3.And how would you react to a believer of another religion/faith who claimed they knew their god in a similar fashion.

            John has asked you to support your positions …

            You fail to recognise how ridiculous it would be for me to repeat the arguments of people like Finkelstein and Herzog, who’s work is so readily available either in book form or simply by going to Youtube.
            It is a childish and ridiculous request to ask me to defend the evidence when it has already been done
            by top of the line experts in these disciplines.

            If you have not the inclination to even investigate scientific evidence then I am not here to hold your hand and walk you through it, as you will simply dismiss it and all I would have done is waste my time. Am I correct?
            And I offered to post links, but to date no one has asked for them.
            If you are genuinely interested then the evidence is there . All you have to do is read , listen, and exercise a little critical thought. That’s all.
            No great shakes, Marshal.
            And your unsubstantiated Ad homs just make you look like a whiney spoilt brat. Grow up, Marshal.
            As they say, Put up or push off.
            So far you have done neither.

  7. Questions 1 & 2 are incredibly stupid for one who pretends to understand religions and people of faith enough to take a contrary attitude. These questions are evidence of how little you know or understand.

    Question 3 is inconsequential as I don’t worry myself about such issues. If that person of another religion wishes to engage regarding the deity to which each of us appeal, we can. If I react at all, it is with sadness that they are mistaken. The same reaction I have regarding you.

    “You fail to recognise how ridiculous it would be for me to repeat the arguments of people like Finkelstein and Herzog…”

    Nice dodge. You don’t seem to have the same concerns for your opponents, and your evasions suggest you know little about the sources you believe are the game-breakers in the discussion. If you won’t pick a salient and relevant point made by any of your sources, then expound on why their positions are worth a damn. What makes them the last word on the existence of God or the historicity of Christ? Name dropping doesn’t impress.

    “It is a childish and ridiculous request to ask me to defend the evidence when it has already been done…”

    And that’s not what you’re doing toward us? How typically hypocritical!

    “If you have not the inclination to even investigate scientific evidence…”

    You assume I haven’t. All science can do is measure data it can measure (if that isn’t too direct for you to understand). I don’t begrudge anyone from coming to their conclusions based on what science seems to suggest, but you desperate atheists take each grain of it as absolute gospel proof of what you need to be true in order to hold on to your positions. In many ways, far more superstitious like faith is required to be an atheist.

    “And your unsubstantiated Ad homs just make you look like a whiney spoilt brat.”

    Ah. The “ad hom” defense. Are you sure you’re not Dan playing devil’s advocate? I’ve no need to make ad hom attacks when you have actually engaged in the behaviors I’ve highlighted. And when you finally “put up”, then we can actually have an adult conversation. Name dropping isn’t “putting up”. Defend your position. We’re already well aware that atheists disagree with us. We don’t need you coming here to do no more than say we’re wrong. We get that. Tell us why. Doing so involves more than name dropping and pretending the scholars YOU prefer are correct in their interpretations. I’ll wait here not holding my breath.

    • .Questions 1 & 2 are incredibly stupid for one who pretends to understand religions and people of faith enough to take a contrary attitude. These questions are evidence of how little you know or understand

      No, Marshal, no stupid, genuine questions. What is sad is you are unable/not prepared to give an honest answer simply because you have none other than faith. And you have not the integrity to admit this or try to explain it.
      As for question 3, your reply is merely arrogance. Another defense based on the ignorance of your position, I’m afraid.

      We don’t need you coming here to do no more than say we’re wrong. We get that. Tell us why. Doing so involves more than name dropping and pretending the scholars YOU prefer are correct in their interpretations.

      ”We” ? Er … Excuse me, is this your site?

      Sorry, whether I prefer ”my experts” or not is immaterial. They are correct otherwise I would not reference them.
      There is no evidence to support the Pentateuch.
      There is no evidence to support an Egyptian slavery or an Exodus.None. Not a scrap.
      Period.
      And this is based on science. Not wishful thinking, not a thumb-suck but science.
      You don’t want to read scientists, fine. Stay ignorant. This is choice. So be it.

      • What is sad is that you think those questions merit better than I gave. The true arrogance is in your asking them. You know full well, if you’re the least bit honest, that believers do not believe blindly. The answer you think you want is really the answer to the question of what evidence one has for believing in a deity at all. I’m not about to get into that totally off topic discussion here. But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone. If you aren’t capable of praying without merely talking to yourself, that’s your problem. I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.

        As for question 3, there’s no arrogance in knowing that there is evidence for the God of the Bible than there is for any other god of any other religion. It’s just the way it is regardless of what you’d prefer to believe. The real ignorance is pretending otherwise. Actually, it isn’t ignorance as much as outright deceitfulness.

        “Sorry, whether I prefer ”my experts” or not is immaterial. They are correct otherwise I would not reference them.”

        You may believe them to be correct, but you haven’t stones enough to make the case so far. The limitations of science does not prove your “experts” are correct. All it proves is that science, whatever you mean by the term, is thus far unable to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the Pentateuch either way. Science is not capable of dealing with the miraculous. It is, therefore, not surprising that science cannot determine the truth of OT stories. But far less surprising is how quickly and with religious fervor an atheist will insist the inability of science to do so means the case is settled. What god-like power you believe men of science has!! How superstitious you are to imagine that any human being is so perfect in their abilities!! Feel free to continue your worship of other people. I don’t feel bad at all to have one such as you condescend that I’M the ignorant one!

        • I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.

          And this perfectly illustrates the power of indoctrination. Would you like to read about the neurological causes/effects from a christian deconvertee who is studying this professionally? I can give you link, if you like?
          It’s science though.

          There’s no arrogance in knowing that there is evidence for the God of the Bible

          That is a point of view, certainly. Not one that I share, of course, but if you have any evidence whatsoever for this claim then please, I am more than willing to consider what you have, okay?

          You may believe them to be correct, but you haven’t stones enough to make the case so far. The limitations of science does not prove your “experts” are correct.

          The alternative, of course, is to accept the biblical account, which means accepting the supernatural, something you would not do for any other supernatural occurrence outside of your religion/faith.

          What you fail to grasp is this: it is not only that there is not a shred of evidence for the biblical claims of the Exodus, nor the Egyptian slavery or the characters featured in this story, but what the bible claims to be true, does not fit with the archaeology.
          Jericho is not the least of the problems. Read Kenyon.
          A cursory glance through a Wiki page – I am not even suggesting you do any in depth research – will reveal how Albright failed at every turn in his quest to match the bible with the science.
          He was forced to come to terms with this.

          As did Devers, a once devout Christian. Science taught him the truth and revealed the biblical claims are simply based on stories.

          …is thus far unable to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the Pentateuch either way.

          Wrong! It already has been proved false.
          Science has demonstrated this.
          You are clinging to stories because of your evangelist Christianity. A belief that was indoctrinated into you.
          Furthermore the falsehood is taught as such in every state school in Israel and probably every state school in the Western World.

          Is there a state school that teaches that the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark,the Exodus etc are anything but stories?
          No!

        • I’ve limited time here, so I will come back at a later date to get more in depth. But I had to respond to this:

          “Wrong! It already has been proved false.
          Science has demonstrated this.”

          Wrong! Science has demonstrated that science could not determine the truth of the OT stories. This is a far cry from proving the stories are false. It is like lefties who say that because no WMDs were found in Iraq, that no WMDs ever were in Iraq. This is untrue and an unreasonable conclusion. The ONLY conclusion is that WMDs were not found. Period. The same here. No evidence to prove the OT stories means only that no evidence was found. The irony here is that when science is unable to prove what secular people WANT to be true, they insist science has simply not yet found the proof. But when it is up against that which the secularist DOES NOT WANT to be true, it simply stops looking.

          “Is there a state school that teaches that the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark,the Exodus etc are anything but stories?”

          I don’t expect state schools to teach ANYTHING as true that can’t be so proven. But state schools teach much about the origin of all things as if true without proof. State schools often teach things in terms of “it is believed by experts to be true”, but they won’t for things that are religious in nature. I’ve no problem with them not dealing with the religious, except for the purposes of insisting it is NOT true without proving the position.

  8. paynehollow says:

    Marshall, these are reasonable questions…

    1. How do know you are addressing a deity and not merely having a conversation with yourself/ in your own head?

    2.What evidence do you have to judge the difference?

    You responded only…

    The true arrogance is in your asking them.

    What is arrogant about asking a reasonable question.

    If the crazy-sounding Muslim comes up to you and says, “I’ve been talking to Allah and he revealed many glorious things to me, including about how I should kidnap your children and raise them as Muslims…” is it not an entirely reasonable question to ask, “How do you KNOW you were conversing with a god? How do you KNOW that the conversation was only in your head…? What objective data are you using to evaluate this conversation’s content?”

    What is wrong with a reasonable answer to a reasonable question?

    If you can’t answer those questions, can you answer this one:

    Is the evidence that lets you “know” you are truly having an actual conversation with the One True God a special feeling you get in your heart? Is it God’s Spirit revealing God’s Self in a very real way that lets you “know” the conversation is real?

    If so, then can you at least see that for an outsider, this will be viewed as subjective answers, not definitive proof?

    These are reasonable questions. The Bible teaches that we should be prepared to give answers, and to do so respectfully and gently. I hope you accept that teaching.

    (“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” ~1 Peter 3)

    If you are not prepared to give an answer, then at least admit it and be forthright, rather than going on the attack for your inability to provide an answer when asked.

    ~Dan

  9. paynehollow says:

    John, Bubba, Craig, Marshall, Glenn, et al… if you can’t/won’t/refuse to answer the sorts of questions in this post and the next, can you give a straightforward and rational explanation why you all don’t even entertain the idea of addressing the questions?

    If someone asks me, “Do you still beat your wife?” I can easily give a direct answer that is not “yes” or “no,” and easily, rationally explain why I can’t answer with a yes or no.

    “The question is formed with an invalid implication, which is why I can’t answer Yes or No, but I can clearly say No, I do not beat my wife and never have…”

    Like that? If you simply CAN’T answer the question because in your mind it’s worded in an invalid manner, then explain why you aren’t answering the questions.

    Simply saying, “It’s a dumdum question…” and ignoring it is childish and irrational.

    ~Dan

    • My point entirely. Thank you, Dan, for explaining it. I hope they will respond to you , even though they consider youy are not a proper Christian, you are at least in the same ballpark as them.
      I shall keep my fingers crossed we can arrive at some honest answers.

    • I didn’t simply ignore the question. I explained why it is stupid. Try to be honest.

      • Stupid to you, obviously. But that is not saying an awful lot, I’m afraid and not a benchmark reasonable people would believe worthy of consideration.

        BTW. Who was it you called a ‘slut’ on another thread somewhere? I laughed out loud at that!

        • Once again, I am dealing with severe limitations on my time, and despite my eagerness to respond in full, I am unable. Here, I will simply say that it is not saying an awful lot that you are unable to recognize your own intellectual limitations if you believe your questions were the least bit intelligent. But I’m not surprised that you, and Dan, would seek to project your own shortcomings onto me simply because I do indeed recognize the questions as “stupid”. I will indeed elaborate at, unfortunately, a much later date. Circumstances beyond my control and, frankly, willingness to alter just to blog. You’ll just have to stay tuned.

          As to who I referred to as a “slut”, I cannot recall. I don’t use the term loosely, and too many don’t use it accurately these days. If I referred to someone in that manner, they likely are by definition a slut or I would not have used the term. Feel free to dig it out and supply a link. I’ll not hold my breath waiting for you to do so, but it will allow you, should you man up and do it, the chance to explain why it made you laugh out loud.

  10. This is completely off topic re: the post but you ALL need to read this post.

    http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/a-readymade-toolkit-for-institutionalised-oppression/

    Once you have read it – if you have the stomach ( it is not pleasant, I warn you.) – please come back and tell me your thoughts about god and religion.

  11. Dan writes, “The Bible teaches that we should be prepared to give answers, and to do so respectfully and gently. I hope you accept that teaching.”

    1) That almost seems like a rule; Marshall’s already pointed out a previous post where Dan points to passages as if they contain rules. It is funny, if we point to passages that teach doctrine — such as Paul’s claim that, if Christ was not raised, we are dead in our sins and our faith is in vain — we are guilty of treating the Bible as rule book, but Dan isn’t guilty of the very same thing when he points to passages that teach ethical instructions, also known as rules.

    2) It almost seems like he believes that the Bible does provide at least some clear teachings about which good-faith disagreement is impossible. He doesn’t say that HE BELIEVES the Bible teaches such-and-such, he just presents his interpretation of what the Bible teaches as if the Bible actually does teach it, without making room for the possibility that other people affirm I Peter 3 but disagrees with him about his subjective and unprovable interpretation of the passage.

    3) He cites 1 Peter 3:15, but in the same chapter, the Apostle teaches that wives are subject to their husbands (3:1), that Christ suffered for our sins (3:18), and that we appeal to God’s mercy through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (3:21). Peter is a sexist who teaches bloodthirsty doctrines like the atonement and makes unscientific claims about Jesus being raised from the dead, so why Dan thinks we should heed this instruction, surrounded as it is by such primitive and wrong-headed thinking, is something of a mystery.

  12. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    That almost seems like a rule; Marshall’s already pointed out a previous post where Dan points to passages as if they contain rules.

    I post things like that for the benefit of those who treat the Bible as a rule book, not because I’m demanding you hew to a biblical rule. IF you are going to treat it like a rule book, then obey the rules, even when it’s inconvenient for you or strikes against your reasoning.

    I don’t say, “Give an answer when asked: GOD COMMANDS IT (see this passage…)”

    I say, “It is reasonable when having adult conversations to be prepared to answer reasonable questions raised by your positions, or to admit that you don’t have a good answer. Look, we can even find this Truth alluded to in the Bible.”

    The Bible is NOT a rule book and it is deadly wrong, hellishly wrong, pharisaically wrong to treat it that way. I certainly strive not to, not any more. This is one of the things that you fellas have taught me, and for that, I am thankful to you.

    So, Bubba, having destroyed your failed ad hom attempt, any chance you’ll want to address these reasonable questions?

    ~Dan

  13. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    I hope they will respond to you , even though they consider youy are not a proper Christian, you are at least in the same ballpark as them.

    Actually, I think I rate lower on the Scum Pole than you do, because I am a traitor, in their minds, to “the Cause…”

    While waiting for them to address these rational questions, perhaps you will serve as a good example and answer what might be a difficult question for your “side” of things (as if the word were bipolar)…

    My problem with a purely material/scientific explanation of Stuff is the whole problem of ex nihilo nihil fit. Out of nothing, NOTHING comes. Science (I’m no scientist AT ALL, so correct me if I’m mistaken – if you know, that is) tells us that All Stuff began with the Big Bang. Before the Big Bang, Nothing was. After the BB, everything – all the Stuff of the Universe – Was. But, out of nothing, nothing can come. Isn’t this a problem that science does not yet have an answer for?

    I know there are guesses out there, but there is no objective data demonstrating that, “Yes, out of nothing, something can come…” correct?

    I think it’s just a simple yes/no question that should be easy enough to answer. I’m not demanding “Therefore, God…”, I’m just asking is this not the Truth of it, that science has no objective, demonstrable answer to this question?

    Thanks.

    ~Dan

    • Isn’t this a problem that science does not yet have an answer for?

      A problem? No. Why would you think so?
      It might be frustrating for a lot of cosmologists but I doubt it’s a problem.
      Certainly isn’t for me. ( not that I’m scientist, though.)

  14. Dan, if you think our approach to Scripture is “deadly wrong, hellishly wrong, pharisaically wrong,” then perhaps you shouldn’t muddy the waters by pretending to adhere to that approach when it’s convenient.

    As it is, none of us here treat the Bible as a “rulebook,” and I’ll reiterate that it’s a stupid accusation that bears no resemblance to reality.

    Believing that a book’s important teachings include both eternal truths (or Truths) AND historical claims does NOT entail treating the book as rule book, nor does even the inerrantists’ position that the Bible contains truth without error.

    The emphasis on doctrine that ought to be affirmed isn’t an emphasis on rules that must be obeyed, and if anything your focus on Christ’s ethical teachings is FAR closer to an overemphasis on rules.

    For us, it’s not about rules, it’s about the relationship — not primarily our relationships with our neighbors, but our relationship with God. The Christian God isn’t a deity that has just revealed truth from on high, He is the Creator and Redeemer who has decisively entered history, and to have a right relationship with Him, it’s important to know what He has done.

    …and, Dan, if anyone here is guilty of the Pharisees’ mistake, it’s you. From Matthew 5, we see that their error was trying to loosen the law’s exacting standards: adulterous hatred and murderous lust were okay, so long as they didn’t result in the acts themselves; it was okay to break your oath, so long as you didn’t swear to God Himself, etc.

  15. So, Bubba, having destroyed your failed ad hom attempt, any chance you’ll want to address these reasonable questions?

    About as much as your answering mine, questions I raised long before yours, including more than a dozen from our earlier conversation, most of which you didn’t even acknowledge much less answer.

    It doesn’t matter to you how many questions I’ve already answered, and it doesn’t matter how many questions of mine you’ve simply ignored.

  16. paynehollow says:

    So, check Bubba off the list as being interested in honest conversation. Glenn, John, Marshall, Craig… ANYONE interested in answering these questions directly?

    ~Dan

  17. Right, Dan: I’m calling you out on your hypocrisy, evading my questions while insisting that I answer yours, and my doing so is proof that I’m the one with no real interest in an honest conversation?

    That’s psychotic.

  18. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    A problem? No. Why would you think so?

    Let me rephrase: Is that not a question for which science has no objective answer?

    ~Dan

    • @Dan.
      No, as far as I am aware there is no objective answer. Speculation – but nothing definitive.

      • paynehollow says:

        See guys? That’s how it’s done. I asked a simple question that some might consider to be a “problem” for their position and Ark gave a simple, factual response. If reasonable questions arise because of someone’s stated position, there is no harm in asking those questions and reasonable people will answer them.

        ~Dan

        • “See guys? That’s how it’s done.”

          As if that question was typical of the loaded and often other-worldly questions you ask of us. How Eddie Haskel-like! You may recall I did a post showing YOU how to answer a simple question and you blathered on about clarifying (a weak defense of your equivocating and obfuscation).

        • paynehollow says:

          ?

          So CLARIFYING and being exact and precise is equal to “equivocating” to you, but dodging a question outright by just blasting it as “stupid,” (with no defense AT ALL for the claim) is rational?

          I’d love to see some rational and consistent defense of that silly argument.

          The question I asked Ark is a question that COULD be taken as potentially problematic by some in the more materialistic realm IF they treated questions the way fundamentalists (as defined by me in previous posts) do. Most people recognize that there are no such things as stupid questions.

          ~Dan

  19. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Dan, if anyone here is guilty of the Pharisees’ mistake, it’s you. From Matthew 5, we see that their error was trying to loosen the law’s exacting standards: adulterous hatred and murderous lust were okay, so long as they didn’t result in the acts themselves

    I would suggest you have a poor understanding of the sins of the Pharisees as found in the Bible and their many conflicts with Jesus, but that’s just one man’s opinion, for what it’s worth.

    ~Dan

  20. Dan, that suggestion would bring us right back to the substance of John Stott’s argument (and my own) regarding the antitheses in Matthew 5. When you’ve claimed to address that argument, you’ve never actually linked to where you have so you wouldn’t have to do so “again,” and it’s been 52 months since I’ve first posted two lengthy excerpts of Stott’s arguments.

    You’ve had ample time to show us how much you grasp Christ’s criticism of the Pharisees, and you’ve balked at the opportunity.

    I guess you’ve been too busy accusing others of not being interested in an honest discussion.

  21. My problem isn’t with your claim that the Bible is a book of Truth, but of “Truth and not facts,” when it’s obvious that the writers did affirm the importance of at least some claims of historical fact, chief being the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

    From which part of the bible is there evidence for this event?

    In the first gospel, Mark, the Resurrection is only mentioned. The verses where the risen Yeshua is mentioned were tagged on later. Interpolation, in other words.
    The oldest existing manuscripts do not feature these verses.
    All the other gospels that feature the Resurrection are based on Mark, and Matthew, for instance features over 600 verses contained in Mark. Hardly an independent source.
    Belief in the Resurrection is based solely on faith. Nothing more.
    That is what Christians like those on this blog should deal with and have the integrity and honesty to admit.

    • Ark,

      Even accounting for the fact that some of the earliest manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20, Mark’s gospel still includes both Jesus’ promise that He would be killed and raised three days later (8:31) and the proclamation of the resurrection by the apparent angel at the empty tomb (16:6).

      Though I’ve seen some arguments that Matthew is the first gospel chronologically, it does seem pretty clear that the three synoptic gospels are interrelated, and even if Matthew and Luke based the structure of their works on Mark’s account, they clearly weren’t just regurgitations, as they include their own material and Luke introduces his work by claiming to have conducted careful research on his own.

      And it’s not quite true that “all the other gospels that feature the Resurrection” are even related to Mark, as John’s gospel is an entirely independent account that may have been written as a complement to the synoptic gospels, and John contains both Jesus’ claim to be the resurrection and the life AND the longest account of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances.

      And the gospels aren’t the only NT books to claim the resurrection: see Acts 2:32, I Peter 1:3, Revelation 1:18, and Paul’s creedal recitation and theological argument for the Resurrection in I Corinthians 15.

      It’s simply not true that the New Testament claim of the Resurrection is limited to a suspect passage in Mark and a couple copycat passages in the synoptic gospels: deny the credibility of the NT claims all you want, but you don’t commend yourself as an unbeliever in good faith when you get the basic facts wrong but still presume to lecture us as an expert on scripture.

      • It’s simply not true that the New Testament claim of the Resurrection is limited to a suspect passage in Mark and a couple copycat passages in the synoptic gospels

        Of course it is!

        It is all there for the world to see. One doesn’t even have to be an expert for crying out loud!
        From stupid claims of eye-witness accounts to dead saints climbing out the ground going walkabout in Jerusalem.
        Habermaas and his minimal fact argument are nuts and intellectually dishonest.
        You either accept it all or nothing. And if you accept it all then say you do based on faith.

        To cherry pick your way through the entire text means you are no better that Dan. No, that’s unfair and probably impugning Dan. You are much worse in fact as you still attach divine meaning and interpretation to the words you are prepared to accept.

        Bottom line? Matthew ripped off Mark and added a few bit and bobs of his own,also likely made up or simple hearsay. Period.
        If the synoptics were presented as exam papers by a group of students at university they would be drummed out for collusion and cheating.
        And please don’t come back with that crap of Mark being John Mark,the bloke in the bedsheet/garment and Matthew being the tax collector and Luke being a historian.
        It is all balderdash.

        As for Acts. It’s hogwash. have you ever read it yourself. Properly? Have you read the findings of the Acts Seminar?
        Would you like a link?

        • Ark, inerrantists believe that divine inspiration, strictly speaking, “applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy.” (Article X, The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978.) It is therefore not cherry-picking to note that a small handful of passages are not present in the oldest available manuscripts, and that they should not be used as the primary foundation for any doctrine. It’s right and proper that the ESV’s formal footnotes bracket Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 as not present in all of the oldest manuscripts.

          For myself, I still think these passages are worth studying as consistent with the New Testament accounts and possibly authentic, but my point was that, even if you exclude the questionable portion of Mark 16, Mark still clearly teaches the Resurrection, as does the other synoptic gospels, John’s gospel and revelation, and the letters of Peter and Paul.

          As I say, you can (and obviously do) dismiss the entire New Testament as ripped off, hearsay, balderdash, and hogwash, but you do your case for skepticism no favors by demonstrating an ignorance about the NT’s basic claims.

      • Ark, inerrantists believe that divine inspiration, strictly speaking, “applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy.” (Article X, The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978.) It is therefore not cherry-picking to note that a small handful of passages are not present in the oldest available manuscripts, and that they should not be used as the primary foundation for any doctrine. It’s right and proper that the ESV’s formal footnotes bracket Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 as not present in all of the oldest manuscripts.

        Rubbish! You cannot start with a presupposition and then make that belief fit.
        Bearing in mind Matthew ripped off Mark, and Paul never alludes to a physical resurrection then the likelihood is that these verses were simply made up to fit doctrine.

        For myself, I still think these passages are worth studying as consistent with the New Testament accounts and possibly authentic, but my point was that, even if you exclude the questionable portion of Mark 16, Mark still clearly teaches the Resurrection, as does the other synoptic gospels, John’s gospel and revelation, and the letters of Peter and Paul.

        The synoptics are the only gospels of relevance here.
        Mark does not ‘teach’ a physical resurrection. The distinction is important. And there is no mention of such in any pre-Markan literature.

        As I say, you can (and obviously do) dismiss the entire New Testament as ripped off, hearsay, balderdash, and hogwash, but you do your case for skepticism no favors by demonstrating an ignorance about the NT’s basic claims.
        Ignorance? Ah… the passing shot. All you have done is to demonstrate how effective indoctrination is.

        Tell me, Bubba, have you ever studied the bible outside of an evangelical Christian-perspective or do you simply start with a presupposition and then ensure everything fits?

        • Ark, I find it ironic that you tell me not to start with a presupposition when you immediately do just that, insisting that “Matthew ripped off Mark, and Paul never alludes to a physical resurrection.” About the latter, there is at least room to disagree.

          About what is relevant, I thought your position was that the New Testament didn’t actually teach the resurrection of Jesus, aside from the uncertain passage at the end of Mark and the parallel passages in Matthew and Luke. That claim is obviously mistaken.

          And it’s my experience that the secular approach to Bible study isn’t at all free from presuppositions: the approach results in a late date for the gospels because it presumes that prophecy and prediction is impossible, so the gospels must have been written after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

          • As Matthew copied more than 600 verses what do you call that if not ripped-off? Plagiarized then.

            Room to disagree? Well, naturally, there is room to disagree on anything.
            Evidence is another matter.

            No, I did not say the NT does not teach the Resurrection.
            I said the unadulterated version of Mark does not teach a physical Resurrection.

            Every biblical prophecy is demonstrably false and has been shown to be, and especially where it relates to Jesus of Nazareth.
            Would you like a link?
            There is no evidence for early gospel dating.

  22. paynehollow says:

    Here’s a Craig-Ehrmann debate on this point, for what it’s worth…

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-there-historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-the-craig-ehrman

    ~Dan

    • I’ve seen this debate, Dan.
      Listening to Craig makes my teeth hurt.
      He believes in Divine Command Theory and for that alone he is an insufferable ignoramus and a first rate prat.
      I wouldn’t let the man walk my dogs.
      Have you ever read the contract of employment he is/was obliged to sign regarding biblical innerency?
      It is similar to what Licona was tied to and what eventually got him fired because he wrote in his 2010 book that the Zombie Apocalypse should not be taken literally.
      Naturally, all those ding bat innerantists objected and as he refused to issue a retraction he was canned!
      I shake my head at evangelical Christians – all such religious people in fact.
      They are off the common sense scale by quite some margin.
      I am surprised that some of these folk are allowed in the gene pool – even in the shallow end.

  23. paynehollow says:

    Marshall claimed to have explained why reasonable questions asked of him are “stupid,” and why, therefore, he doesn’t even attempt to answer them. I don’t see where you explained why they are “stupid.” I see where you said…

    Questions 1 & 2 are incredibly stupid for one who pretends to understand religions and people of faith enough to take a contrary attitude. These questions are evidence of how little you know or understand.

    That’s an ad hom attack, but not even an attempt to explain why the questions themselves are stupid.

    Later on, you appear to return to it when you said…

    The true arrogance is in your asking them. You know full well, if you’re the least bit honest, that believers do not believe blindly.

    How does he know this, Marshall? Further, how do you know he knows this? On what data do you base this conclusion, that all non-believers somehow “know” that believers do not believe blindly? In fact, given the repeated dodging of these sorts of questions, I would think that believers and non-believers alike might reach the conclusion that at least some believers believe blindly.

    You continue…

    The answer you think you want is really the answer to the question of what evidence one has for believing in a deity at all. I’m not about to get into that totally off topic discussion here.

    Still not an answer to Questions 1 & 2.

    Continuing…

    But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone. If you aren’t capable of praying without merely talking to yourself, that’s your problem. I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.

    Ad homs and empty, unsupported claims.

    These are NOT an explanation of why the questions are “stupid,” nor are they an answer to the question.

    Where is it, Marshall, that you think you explained why the questions are “stupid…”? Because I’m just not seeing anything like that. At all.

    ~Dan

  24. paynehollow says:

    Marshall, given your comment here…

    But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone. If you aren’t capable of praying without merely talking to yourself, that’s your problem. I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.

    Is it safe to say that your “evidence” for your “certainty” in “knowing” God is there when you pray is that you are “confident” of it, in your deepest heart of hearts? It it because you are “certain” you are not talking to yourself and that feeling of certainty is somehow “proof…”? If that is the entirety of your proof, that is fine, but can you at least agree that this feeling of certainty you have is, by definition, subjective and anecdotal, not objective and demonstrable?

    ~Dan

  25. @Marshalart.

    Wrong! Science has demonstrated that science could not determine the truth of the OT stories.

    So what you are actually saying is that it cannot be proved either way, yes?
    That is could just as easily be false or true?

    Okay, let’s see, shall we and consider which bits might be true:

    Egyptian bondage – no evidence.
    Archaeological evidence of Israelites in Egypt – no evidence ( pleeeese come back with the Merneptah Stele.)
    Logical economic collapse of Egypt had around 2 million people upped and left – no evidence
    Miraculous plagues – no evidence.
    Red Sea Crossing – no evidence. ( Unless you are a follower of the late Ron Wyatt? of course)
    Chariots, horses, armour etc – no evidence
    Exodus – no evidence
    Moses – no evidence
    Other patriarchs – no evidence
    Large scale conquest of Canaan – no evidence
    Destruction of Jericho as per Bible specs. – no evidence.

    An excellent overview
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_Exodus

    How we doing so far?

  26. paynehollow says:

    Marshall wrote…

    Once again, I am dealing with severe limitations on my time, and despite my eagerness to respond in full, I am unable.

    And then proceeded to write two paragraphs, then respond to another post, all words he had time to write, but apparently whatever his defense of “it’s stoopid” is going to be longer than that.

    Given that questions are ways of determining answers that people are curious about, I don’t know how in the world you will determine that ANY question is “stupid.” But given that it’s apparently going to take you longer than several minutes and paragraphs to explain, this should be interesting.

    Take your time, I’ll wait.

    But when you can’t actually answer the question, will you at least admit it? And admit that you HAVEN’T already answered why these are “stupid” questions, and when you said you did, you were mistaken?

    Just looking for a little forthrightness.

    ~Dan

    • “Just looking for a little forthrightness.”

      Give it a rest, Dan. YOU are not “forthright” in your responses, and that “opinion” is held by John, Craig, Bubba, Glenn, myself and others who will no longer waste their time with you.

      And yeah, if I feel a good answer requires more time than I currently have to give, that doesn’t mean I can’t spend a moment to see what’s transpired since and to even respond to “stooopid” comments like yours above. And obviously now I can see that I’ll need more time to even explain how I explained why the question were stupid.

  27. @Marshal
    <blockquote.As to who I referred to as a “slut”, I cannot recall. I don’t use the term loosely, and too many don’t use it accurately these days. If I referred to someone in that manner, they likely are by definition a slut or I would not have used the term. Feel free to dig it out and supply a link. I’ll not hold my breath waiting for you to do so, but it will allow you, should you man up and do it, the chance to explain why it made you laugh out loud.

    Lol…Ah so you DO use it then. Good grief! Are you implying I am a liar….? For shame, Marshal.
    The Ark ponders whether it’s worth trawling his history folder for someone like Marshal? Hmmm?
    Nope… don’t push it though, okay?

    • Ark, You also need to keep it in your pants. I merely said I do not recall the situation in which I used the term. How typical of your kind to think the worst. I don’t even understand why you felt the need to bring it up in the first place, unless you’re trolling for some means by which to demonize. Again. That would be typical.

      • Trolling? lol…
        No, just flipping through a few posts. Most of what you right is not my cup of tea, to be honest.
        No big deal. I just wanted to read a bit how the ”other half ” thinks, that;s all. I chanced upon it while skip-scanning and thought it funny.
        I think you need to keep it in your pants, Marshal. No need to get so tetchy.
        How typical of your kind to immediately become so defensive. Are you looking for a way to demonize?

  28. paynehollow says:

    Wow. A complete shut down. No Craig, John, Bubba or Glenn, and Marshall has asked for an extension to come up with some answer (try to come up with some answer) to these unanswered questions – or alternatively, a rational explanation as to why they “can’t” answer these sorts of questions.

    It’s like a ghost town here today!

    Hopefully, this was just a busy day and answers will soon be forthcoming.

    That, or simple acknowledgements that, yes, these ARE our opinions, unprovable and taken on faith amongst those who agree with those opinions.

    Which is, after all, only reality, so there’s no harm in admitting as much.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,
      Why would any of us seriously consider indulging your foolishness, when you have left so very many questions unanswered. I guess it’s easier to post taunting snarky comments than to answer questions you’ve already been asked.

      To be fair, I’ve already suggested a number of resources that will provide you with a broad cross section of the arguments. Again, why should any of us waste time when your previous behavior suggests that you will either ignore or dismiss anything offered.

      I know it’s hard for you to believe, but some of us do have lives that don’t revolve around jumping to answer one more demanding question of yours immediately. I know this is just one more example of how you extend the benefit of the doubt, and grace to those who disagree with you, great example.

      I know you will try to spin this as if I’m afraid of your massive intellect, or some such crap. Before you do, just read my comment again.

  29. Dan.

    More than four years ago, I excerpted — at great length — from John Stott’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, providing his ENTIRE argument for his position (and mine) that indeed Jesus did NOT abolish any of the OT law. You have never once responded to the substance of that argument, and when you have claimed that you have and didn’t want to do so “again,” you have never produced a link to that mythical response.

    I reminded you of all this very recently, and you accused Stott of proof-texting and cherry-picking, but you didn’t put forth even the vague outlines of an argument to back up that accusation, even at my repeated insistence that you do so.

    Two months ago, you abruptly left that conversation at Marshall’s having failed to answer — and in many cases having failed even to acknowledge — more than a dozen very pertinent questions that I raised.

    In the previous thread here, on the fallacy of No True Scotsman, you insinuated that my take on Paul’s teaching is at odds with the clear teachings of Christ, but you didn’t acknowledge, much less did you actually answer, my request that you elaborate on how we should instead interpret Paul’s claims that Christ’s death and resurrection are “of first importance” and that without the latter we are dead in our sins and our faith is in vain.

    Instead, you asked me about my assertion regarding the Christian mission both to accept and to communicate God’s revelation to man.

    – I answered that question by pointing to the Great Commission, where we have the duty to teach ALL that Christ commanded, and to Jesus’ explicit and implicit endorsement of the rest of Scripture.

    – You then sneered: “So, that’s a ‘NO,’ you won’t be answering this very reasonable, extremely pertinent questions?”

    – I explained that I *HAD* answered your question, reiterating my explanation regarding Matthew’s record of Christ’s teachings.

    – You then asked which question I thought I was answering, sneering, “It seems that you are quite content to answer questions I have not asked, but how about one I have asked?”

    – I explained which question I was answering — one that happened to be the most recent one you had asked.

    – You then apologize and ask for patience for your old and failing memory, claiming inaccurately, “So many questions had been asked and ignored since then.”

    How much time had passed between that question and your apologizing for not grasping that I was answering that question?

    August 15, 2014 at 11:58 PM, late last Friday – you asked for the sources regarding my claim about the Christian mission.

    August 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM, yesterday (Monday) – you apologized for your confusion on the conversation, as (again) “So many questions had been asked and ignored since then.”

    That’s 2 days, 18 hours, and 6 minutes.

    If your memory really is that bad, then simple Christian humility and charity should prevent you from the passive-aggressive insinuation that the problem is that other people have been ignoring your questions.

    Either way, you’re in no position to bitch about your questions not being answered, and you really have no right to expect anybody to continue acting as if you’re truly interested in a good-faith argument or disagreement.

    Never mind the other, numerous reasons I have to hold you in contempt: your almost unending obfuscating on your beliefs regarding the historicity of the Passover and the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation; your hypocrisy in standing up against demagoguery EXCEPT when you’re accusing your political opponents of a “digital lynching;” your platitudes about not shedding innocent blood while you obscure the barbarism of abortion behind the euphemism of medical procedures; and your steadfast refusal to show how your arguments meet your own ridiculous standards of proof.

    These last few months and even the last few days have provided more than enough evidence that you are simply not interested in good-faith disagreement.

    And even on this one question of yours, you haven’t provided the demonstrable and objective evidence that would prove that your position is an objective fact and not just a subjective opinion. You state that all we have is subjective opinions, but you state it as an objective fact without making ANY effort to show that your statement meets your stated standard for objective facts.

    If that standard was so important to you, you would have shown how your own supposedly objective facts meet that standard. Clearly, it’s not important as a rational and disinterested standard against which EVERYONE’S claims should be evaluated — YOURS as well as ours. It’s only important to you as a cudgel to attack your opponents, using whatever you find close at hand, no matter how hypocritical you are in its selective application.

    You present the fallacy of the false dilemma, either we’ve been too busy to respond to your question or we simply cannot respond, devastating as you think your question is to our position.

    There is another option, that we OUGHT not to respond as if you’re willing and able to argue in good faith. You’re not, and you should be called out on it, repeatedly — NOT under the delusion that you’re capable of correction, but in the realization that it is still healthy to shame the shameless and to reject their pretenses at decency.

  30. paynehollow says:

    I posted this earlier, or thought I did, but it didn’t go through. Here it is again, just for what it’s worth…

    Bubba…

    It’s sheer question begging to assume that our positions are merely subjective opinions in order to prove that they’re merely subjective opinions.

    ? So, why not simply answer the question being asked directly? IS your opinion NOT an unprovable opinion? Is your opinion NOT subjective?

    If not, then demonstrate, prove, provide objective data.

    I’m stating a simple observable reality and no one has provided any hard data to suggest that my understanding of reality is not reality-based. Marshall simply dismisses it by saying, “dumb question…” and refuses to deal with it. The rest of you all appear to have gone entirely silent.

    IF you have data that is objective and provable, then amaze us all and prove it. That’s the advantage of having hard data: it can be demonstrated to be a fact.

    In the meantime, reality as we all understand it is your unprovable, subjective opinions ARE unprovable and subjective. As are mine. That’s okay, that’s just the nature of subjective opinions.

    This does not mean that “God mumbles…” It’s just stating reality. IF you don’t like reality and think – in YOUR OPINION – that the reality of things means TO YOU that God mumbles, well, you are welcome to THAT unprovable and subjective opinion, as well.

    And yes, I DO take option #2: the reality that humans are flawed and not perfect receptors of all knowledge, but again, that is just observable reality and a fact. Does it mean I don’t think we can understand God or God’s ways? NO, not in my opinion… but it IS my opinion and clearly, to some degree or another, IF there is a God, none of us have any hard data to support the opinion that we perfectly understand God or that all people perfectly understand God. Again, the facts undermine that opinion.

    IF I’m stating a mistaken opinion and you have hard data to demonstrate it, then by all means, present it and you’ll be doing all of us a favor. But if NONE of you are able to do so (and thus far, that is reality), then why not join reality and just admit it?

    It’s like you’re afraid that if you admit you don’t hold some sort of limited perfect knowledge, that you’re betraying God or just fearful that your beliefs mean nothing.

    But that’s why it’s called faith, dear friends, and why Grace is such wonderful Good News.

    Also, Bubba, you keep bringing up Stott, where you’ve referenced lengthy expositions by the fella. I’ve read some of it but not all of it. He made some points I agree with and other points I disagree with. But I have addressed the points raised in those Stott-ish conversations. You may not like my answers and I sure didn’t delve into the dozens of points/issues Stott makes in the lengthy excerpts you’ve referenced, but I have dealt with the arguments being discussed.

    So, no need to keep saying I’ve dodged or ignored Stott’s POINTS, that is simply, factually, verifiably false.

    ~Dan

  31. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I know you will try to spin this as if I’m afraid of your massive intellect, or some such crap.

    No, I’ll just note reality: There are some reasonable questions on the table and you are choosing not to answer it, even though it really should be quite easy to do: All you have to do is admit Reality.

    So, strike Craig out, I suppose.

    ~Dan

    • “No, I’ll just note reality: There are some reasonable questions on the table and you are choosing not to answer it, even though it really should be quite easy to do: All you have to do is admit Reality.”

      Reality is, that we have a significant pot/kettle situation here. As long as you can’t acknowledge the reality of multiple unanswered questions on your part, while being snarky and bitchy, I see problems.

      I suggested that your read my entire comment before you tried this passive agressive crap. It seems you didn’t.

    • Keep those “reasonable” questions handy and at the ready. I will likely be incommunicado until this time next week at the earliest and I damned well will want to see those questions without digging them out of over 300 comments, if you’d be so kind.

  32. paynehollow says:

    I will note that you all have collectively had plenty of time to post dozens of comments (often ad hom attacks of this sort you just offered) each day for the past week, but when confronted repeatedly with reasonable questions, suddenly, you all have nothing to say.

    I DO entirely understand not having time to deal with multiple questions. As a point of fact, when you all load up with many, many questions, I simply don’t have time to get to them all, especially when I’ve answered similar questions multiple times.

    But that’s not what you’re doing here, it does not appear. You’re just ignoring questions that you collectively either can’t answer or the answer will, you perceive, undermine your position. Perhaps. I don’t know really because you all aren’t saying anything.

    Again, I can’t conceive that any possible answer you might give to these types of questions need be more than one sentence long. The questions are not that hard, they’re just asking How do you know? On what basis? Or is it simply a matter of unprovable opinion (reality says, “yes,” and you have not rebutted reality yet, so it should be a simple matter of saying, “Yes, it is my opinion and NO, I can not prove it… but I do think it’s reasonable nonetheless…”

    What could be easier?

    ~Dan

  33. paynehollow says:

    …or, conversely, you could say, “I truly DO have an answer to that question – I CAN know X for a fact, but proving/demonstrating it is rather complicated and I don’t have time to do that right now. Later perhaps, I’ll find a link to someone doing the job for me…” Or something like that, IF in fact, I am mistaken. And that would be fine, too. And when you “prove” the point, I will be the first to admit my mistake, apologize and praise you for teaching me something. But first, you’d have to actually prove it with hard data.

    ~Dan

    • ” Later perhaps, I’ll find a link to someone doing the job for me…””

      I’ve given you plenty of resources, how much of it have you read and refuted.

      What possible upside is there to giving you more sources to ignore.

    • “But first, you’d have to actually prove it with hard data.”

      Just like the hard data you’ve provided to prove your “the OT is myth” contention?

  34. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Why would any of us seriously consider indulging your foolishness, when you have left so very many questions unanswered.

    This IS a good question, Craig (the first part, that last part is crap, but setting that aside…): Why SHOULD you all answer this line of questions?

    You should because these questions (which boil down to: on what basis do you “know” what you claim to know or is it clearly a subjective, unprovable opinion?) are at the heart of what separates fundamentalists from the rest of the world. You all can’t be bothered answering “stupid” questions because you all (in your mind) clearly have THE Answers, and THE Answer, straight from God, to you. So, you can “know” your answers are right because they come from “god,” and thus, your opinions equate with God’s Word. So, clearly, people should listen and heed what you say. Or else (and you know what “or else” means, too, and it ain’t good for those of us who aren’t You…)

    Of course, you all recognize at some level that you are mere mortals and that your opinions are fallible, prone to be mistaken – especially the ones that can’t be proven, measured, tested. So, at some level, you don’t equate your opinions with God’s Word… and yet, really, ya sorta do. Glenn certainly does, am I right?

    You’ll affirm, “NO, not my opinion, MY opinion can be wrong, I am but a man… BUT, God’s Word (as I have bothered to explain it to you) can NOT be mistaken…” and round it goes.

    So, you should answer this line of questions because it gets to the heart of why people disagree with you and the heart of the problem with your reasoning. IF you can “prove” your opinions are not merely subjective opinions but are, in fact, demonstrably, provably “right,” well, then you will have helped the whole world out.

    On the other hand, if you can admit to the reality that really, these are your opinions, subjective and unprovable, well, then you will have helped the whole world out by helping to tone down the extremism of the religious extremists. We will have all come to a more rational place where we can truly, come, reason together as brothers and sisters, equal and devoid of the arrogance that places some opinions over others by weight of “god’s word…”

    Yes, I do not always have time to answer your myriad of questions when they pile up, although most of the time, I do. But those questions do not get to the heart of these disagreements the way this simple line of questioning does.

    That’s why.

    If you truly have The Answer and can prove it, help us out.

    If not, admit you hold your opinions and we can talk it over, man to man, on equal footing.

    Peace,

    ~Dan

    • “…that last part is crap, but setting that aside…):”

      Actually it’s that reality thing you yammer on about. The reality is, you won’t answer questions. At this very moment there are unanswered questions waiting at your very own blog. The reality that you ignore that which is inconvenient for you is the reality.

      “Why SHOULD you all answer this line of questions?”

      Actually, the question should read “Why SHOULD you all answer this line of questions AGAIN?”.

      The reason is that we have invested hours of time researching, typing posting and sourcing an answer, and you will (If past behavior is any indication), ignore or dismiss exactly what you asked for.

      Feel free to continue with the snarky crap. It’s pretty much what we expect.

  35. Dan, your position is ridiculous.

    Marshall believes his position is an objective fact and not merely a subjective opinion, and you demand that he provide “hard data” in support. You believe YOUR position — that his position is a subjective opinion — is an objective fact, but you demand that we prove otherwise.

    I’m stating a simple observable reality and no one has provided any hard data to suggest that my understanding of reality is not reality-based.

    The burden of proof is not on any of us, it’s on you to prove that your position is based on “hard data” and “observable reality.”

    THIS is the absurdity and the hypocrisy, that the burden of proof always falls on your opponents, both to prove their own positions AND to disprove yours. You never have to show how your position EVER stands up to your own standards.

    And about having to prove things, you now write that, while you haven’t addressed Stott’s argument at length, you have “addressed the points raised in those Stott-ish conversations.”

    You may not like my answers and I sure didn’t delve into the dozens of points/issues Stott makes in the lengthy excerpts you’ve referenced, but I have dealt with the arguments being discussed.

    “So, no need to keep saying I’ve dodged or ignored Stott’s POINTS, that is simply, factually, verifiably false.

    Oh? If it’s :”verifiably” false that you’ve ignored Stott’s points, you ought to be able to verify it — to demonstrate what’s demonstrable, to prove what’s provable. I not only excerpted Stott at great length, I immediately summarized those two excerpts with four arguments why Christ opposed lenient misinterpretations of the Law and not the OT Law itself, along with a fifth argument for why Jesus didn’t set aside the particular principle of retribution.

    YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO LINK DIRECTLY TO WHERE YOU ADDRESSED THE ACTUAL SUBSTANCE OF ANY OF THESE FIVE ARGUMENTS.

    You bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that you’re not full of shit.

  36. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Dan, your position is ridiculous.

    Marshall believes his position is an objective fact and not merely a subjective opinion, and you demand that he provide “hard data” in support. You believe YOUR position — that his position is a subjective opinion — is an objective fact, but you demand that we prove otherwise.

    Almost, not quite. Nice try, though.

    Marshall’s opinions as expressed thus far ARE subjective opinions. That is, there is no hard data to support his claims and, short of any hard data to support it, I have no reason to guess that he might have data to support it.

    If someone says, “My purple unicorn can fly loopdeloops,” but does not prove it, I have NO reason to believe it is an objective fact. His claim, at that point, IS simply a subjective, unproven claim. As a matter of reality.

    My position, then, is that I have no data on which to base a guess that Marshall’s opinion is anything but subjective opinion. If Marshall wants to demonstrate that his opinions are objective facts, then he really needs to provide the data. If he wants to demonstrate that his unicorn can do loopdeloops, provide the data. Until such time as the proof comes, I have no reason to think it is anything but subjective opinion. In fact, in that case, since he has made an outlandish claim, I have reason to think it’s BS unless he provides data.

    Bubba…

    The burden of proof is not on any of us, it’s on you to prove that your position is based on “hard data” and “observable reality.”

    No. The onus in on the one making the hard-to-believe claim to fact.

    I am not at all burdened to provide “hard data” that the purple unicorn guy is making things up, the burden is on the claimant of the dubious “fact.”

    Bubba…

    YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO LINK DIRECTLY TO WHERE YOU ADDRESSED THE ACTUAL SUBSTANCE OF ANY OF THESE FIVE ARGUMENTS.

    Gladly, I’ll chase that silly rabbit and prove the easily proven (well, I’ll have to search, I’m sure, but still…) point – even though it is a very far afield from anything of note, as soon as you address this question:

    Are your opinions about God YOUR opinions, subjective and unprovable?

    Obviously to all but the fundamentalist, the answer is Yes. But, if you say No, then please provide the hard data that your opinion about, say, Jesus’ resurrection, is a demonstrable fact is a provable fact.

    ~Dan

  37. Dan, you’re still not even attempting to live up to your own standards. You believe your position regarding Marshall’s claim is objective fact, but since you have produced no hard data to substantiate YOUR position, we have (to use your own words) “NO reason to believe it is an objective fact.”

    Anyway, you’ve accused me of making a claim that is “simply, factually, verifiably false.” It is your responsibility to prove that accusation, and you have no right to condition that proof on answering any more of your questions.

    I both excerpted and summarized Stott’s argument MORE THAN FOUR YEARS AGO, and I reminded you of this (not for the first time) MORE THAN TWO MONTHS AGO. To demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in an honest conversation, you ought to address this argument without any preconditions regarding questions you’ve raised in the last couple days.

  38. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    The reality is, you won’t answer questions.

    Of course, this is not reality. I have answered thousands of questions in the past. That I have started slowing down and demanding the conversation be two way, with you all answering questions asked of you, instead of just demanding answers from me, is not to say that “reality” is I don’t answer questions. In this very thread, I’ve answered multiple questions, so reality is not on your side.

    But, I will give you the opportunity to demonstrate good faith communication. I’ll answer a question and you’ll answer a question. How about that? One for one, keep it reasonable and consistent and fair.

    You complained that I didn’t answer questions over at my blog. Again, that was simply because I was waiting on you to take your turn, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and a bit of grace and show you how I do answer questions. Your questions are easy enough to answer…

    You asked…

    How much damage is being done to these countries if we let their future come to the US?

    I don’t know. You almost certainly don’t know. I’m unaware of any hard definitive, comparative data that tells us what the consequences are of our current policies. There are almost certainly both harmful and positive consequences existing – our drug war is almost certainly contributing to negative affects in our neighboring nations, our NAFTA policies are having a mixed affect, certainly, and our immigration policies are bound to be having an affect, as well.

    But putting a price tag on “how much damage is being done…”? I can’t answer that authoritatively. Nor can you, I rather doubt. It is an interesting question, though.

    If one believes in free market solutions, then it would seem that free market rules would dictate that if an entity is not delivering adequately and if people have the freedom to move to another source, then the market will ultimately help improve things. But I don’t know that this is true of markets or of nations.

    Ultimately I simply don’t know.

    Here, Craig, is another question you asked:

    Is adding thousands of children to an already overburdened family services system really a great solution for the children?

    No. Thus, I would never advocate it. I would advocate funding systems that need funding sufficient to meet the need. I would advocate churches and NGOs and the private sector stepping up to make a difference and meet the needs.

    Do you really think that a reasonable person would advocate burdening a system without paying for it? I mean, I know that is a modern conservative MO, but I’m not a modern conservative.

    There. TWO questions answered (with the direct Yes/No answer and explanation, to boot!).

    Or ask one other question of your own choosing, I’m feeling generous.

    BUT, then be decent and respond to MY question. Let’s keep this as a fair, rational adult conversation.

    I say that – even while I believe it based on circumstantial evidence and on faith – Jesus’ death and resurrection are not demonstrably provable facts. It is a matter of subjective and unprovable opinion that Jesus rose from the dead. Do you agree?

    If so, fine, that’s all I was asking. If not, then please provide the hard data to demonstrate that our shared opinion is based on objective fact, not subjective and unprovable opinion.

    The ball is truly in your court. Sadly, I doubt a direct, clear answer is forthcoming, but I’m hoping you will prove me wrong.

    Thanks.

    ~Dan

    • “I’ll answer a question and you’ll answer a question. How about that? One for one, keep it reasonable and consistent and fair.”

      What would be more reasonable consistent and fair would be for you to catch up on all of the unanswered questions you’ve left in your wake, before hectoring the rest of us to live up to standards you won’t live up to. Let’s start there. The reality is, that there are at least three recent threads with multitudes of unanswered questions, and I see no reason, to give you a do over here, as I haven’t asked you any questions in this thread.

      “Again, that was simply because I was waiting on you to take your turn, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and a bit of grace and show you how I do answer questions. Your questions are easy enough to answer…”

      This is quite simply utter and complete bullshit. You whined at your thread that I wouldn’t answer your questions, so I answered EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, and you pretend as if that didn’t happen. I’m sorry, but you appear to be deluded somehow if you think that you can pretend that this “nobody answers my questions” fantasy is real.

      Again, you get caught up in the multiple threads you’ve bailed on an then we’ll talk. Until then lies and snark will not get you the responses you want.

      “The ball is truly in your court. Sadly, I doubt a direct, clear answer is forthcoming, but I’m hoping you will prove me wrong.”

      Of course, in the world of reality, one can provide objective proof that this statement is at best misleading, at worst a flat out lie. We can do this because it is possible to look at my comments where I copy/paste your questions and follow them with answers. This is clearly and objectively true up to the point where you stop answering questions and just riff on “no one will answer my questions”, at that point I called you on your BS and told you that once you caught up I’d start answering again. Which is exactly where we are now you cherry pick a couple of week old questions, ignoring a multitude of others and pretend that this new found attitude is business as usual.

      So, until you get caught up, the ball remains in your court. What I will do as a sign of good faith is to answer your questions elsewhere so that when you get caught up I can respond quickly to your new questions.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    And yeah, if I feel a good answer requires more time than I currently have to give, that doesn’t mean I can’t spend a moment to see what’s transpired

    That is fine. Answer at your leisure. But, how long does it take to say, “Whoops, you’re right, I DIDN’T already answer why the question is stupid. My fault. I’ll get to it as soon as I can…”?

    ~Dan

    • Takes no time at all to say anything you want, regardless of whether or not it is true. What’s true here is that you didn’t like my answer, not that I didn’t give one. If you can’t see how I answered, you’ll have to wait until I have time enough to explain it to you. OR, you can go back and read all my comments since the question was first posed and find my answer yourself.

      • paynehollow says:

        I’ve read and re-read. It ain’t there, McGee.

        I’ve pointed out that Craig had a problem in one of his questions, in that the answer was obvious (did you REALLY think I was going to say, “yes, we should overload case managers with more work than they can handle…”?), but still, I answered it. I wouldn’t call it a stupid question – not if he seriously wanted to know the answer – but it was a question with an obvious response. You have offered nothing like that.

        So, when you get a chance, you can explain what you thought was an answer. And, ideally, you’ll answer the question, because it IS reasonable.

        ~Dan

  40. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Reality is, that we have a significant pot/kettle situation here. As long as you can’t acknowledge the reality of multiple unanswered questions on your part, while being snarky and bitchy, I see problems.

    The difference is, I have no problem in theory with answering your questions. The reasons I have not always answered them have to do with

    1. Time limitations vs many questions from many of you all.

    2. The lack of respectful conversation, in giving answers as well as asking questions.

    Reality shows that I HAVE acknowledged I haven’t answered all your questions, so that claim is simply mistaken.

    And, as we see, I don’t have a problem answering your questions, I do it all the time. I’m just looking for some reciprocity (and yes, yes, I DO know that you all answer some questions… which leads to my next point…)

    The difference is that the questions you all leave unanswered (and most often, simply ignore them) are critical questions that point to serious problems in your reasoning.

    It is, by all data available, a point of fact that our unproven, unprovable subjective opinions ARE unprovable and subjective. At the core of most of these disagreements and unanswered questions is this: DO you recognize the reality that your opinions on the matters at hand are subjective and unprovable? If you don’t recognize that, you all have a serious cognitive problem that would explain the problems we experience in communication. IF you don’t address the questions at all, then it gives the appearance that you are dodging the hard questions. This in turn gives the appearance that you HAVE no reasonable answers… or rather, the one reasonable answer you have (yes, my opinions are subjective and unprovable) undermines your position so you opt to say nothing rather than deal with the reasonable question.

    OR, on the other hand, if you DO have data to demonstrate that your position on these questions is NOT subjective, but that it is objective and provable, then prove it! That you all collectively, repeatedly choose not to do so also undermines your positions.

    Fellas, I AGREE with you on the question of a risen Jesus. I would GLADLY accept data that demonstrates objectively a risen Jesus. I’m just being honest in saying we have no data that demonstrates this objectively, but I would be very open to data that does demonstrate it. That you all don’t even try to offer that to a person who WANTS to agree with you (much less, to one who seriously doubts it)… what does that say about the strength of your position?

    In short, I don’t answer your questions (the rare times I don’t answer them) due to time limits and holding you accountable for answering questions yourself.

    On the other hand, while I have no doubt that you all also face time limitations, you all appear to me (and others) to be opting out of answering the questions NOT because of time limitations, but because you have no good answers and, it appears, you fear that acknowledging that hurts your opinions.

    And that’s the difference tween you and I, it would appear.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      See my response above. Or you could just go back and actually look at all of the instances where I’ve given you answers to this question as well as plenty of material to look at. In the absence of any anything specific and concrete that you’ve found problems with with in my previous answers and your refutation of the resources I’ve already provided you with I see no reason to repeat the experience of answering your questions, taking time, going into detail, as well as providing you with other material which you ignore or dismiss.

      Sorry, I see no reason to play this game again.

      Feel free to make whatever snotty.snarky comments you want, it’s very mature and becoming.

      • paynehollow says:

        You have, factually speaking, never answered this question, not directly. Not that I recall. None of you have. Ever. If you had, you could simply point to the place where you answered it and I would owe you an apology.

        But you can’t. It is a lie you appear to have made up to hide the fact that you are unable to answer this. Just like this “When you answer some vague number of questions of mine, THEN I will answer” dodge.

        The closest that I recall to you addressing this (and I could be mistaken, it may have been someone else, but I think it was you…) was when you said you could “know” because you believe God’s Spirit had “affirmed” it in your heart. But that is, by definition, subjective, not objective, not provable.

        No, Craig, you have not answered this question. As a point of fact.

        Again, this CAN’T be that difficult to answer. Why not simply say, “Not that it would do any good but my answer is….” and write the sentence or two that provides “proof” of your feelings.

        Or maybe your answer is that you agree with me that it is subjective and unprovable. I don’t know because you won’t even say as much as a simple “yes” or “no.”

        Why not a simple Yes or No? Even without an explanation? As it is, I have NO idea what you believe because you can’t even bring yourself to say Yes or No.

        Lord have mercy, how difficult you make this.

        ~Dan

        • It would seem that you regard your fallible flawed human memory is the arbiter of reality. No wonder we have so many problems.

        • “Lord have mercy, how difficult you make this.”

          Not at all, just get caught up answering questions, play by the rules you expect others to play by, and you’ll be amazed at how forthcoming people get.

    • “Reality shows that I HAVE acknowledged I haven’t answered all your questions, so that claim is simply mistaken. ”

      More BS.

      Honestly, I’d completely stop asking you questions for as long as it took you to do one of two things.

      1. Provide a full and complete response/refutation of the John Stott piece you’ve dodged for several years.

      2. I’ll provide you with one resource that will provide you with a comprehensive case that would answer your question. You take the time to read and respond in detail with your analysis of the “flaws” you find.

      I doubt you’ll do it, but you could prove me wrong.

      Sorry, my laptop battery is dying and I can’t plug it in and still be available to my volunteers. Not a dodge, just reality.

      • paynehollow says:

        John Stott has written many, many things, some of which I agree with and some not as much. Bubba has quoted many, many words from Stott. I’m not debating Stott. I’m speaking with Bubba, and now, you.

        If you have a point you want to ask me about, ask me about that point, don’t point me to a book and say, “When you read that, respond to it in full” cause that ain’t going to happen, any more than you will take the time to read the works of John Yoder and respond to his points on Peacemaking and Jesus.

        The reality is easily seen: I HAVE answered your questions – hundreds of them, no doubt – over the years. Now, if you have asked me 325 questions and I opted on not addressing 25 of them, that is NOT evidence that I’m dodging questions, not in the real world.

        Do you SERIOUSLY deny that I have refused to answer your questions over the years? Do you seriously think I have opted to not answer even 75% of your questions?

        Anyone can read our words and see that I generally DO answer your questions and the questions of others and at a pretty high rate – 90% +, EASILY, I would guess.

        Again, the point is you ask relatively trifling questions that I have rarely but occasionally not got to (and SERIOUSLY, did you think the answer to the question about “do you want us to overload child case workers?” was seriously going to be “Yes, that is what I want to do…”? If you ask a question that is rhethorical-sounding in nature or whose answer is obvious, you will find that people will sometimes opt not to answer…) whereas the question I’m asking you is pointing to a fundamental flaw in your collective reasoning.

        The ball is in your court.

        BS, indeed.

        ~Dan

        • Dan,
          We’re talking about numerous unanswered questions in the last 2 weeks. The fact that you try to mask your recent behavior, again says volumes.

          Keep dodging the Stott thing, it’s fine with me.

          “If you ask a question that is rhethorical-sounding in nature or whose answer is obvious, you will find that people will sometimes opt not to answer…) whereas the question I’m asking you is pointing to a fundamental flaw in your collective reasoning.”

          Of course, as long as you get to decide what questions are worth pretending don’t exist and which ones are “fundamental”, everything will be good.

          However, I did say that I will work on an answer to your question to be posted when you get caught up, but I need some clarification before I get to far in.

          1. Can you define with reasonable precision what type of proof or evidence you will require in order to actually consider the question appropriately answered?
          2. Will you promise to actually read, and respond in some level of detail, to any evidence offered.
          3. Will you actually provide something substantive in refutation of anything you disagree with?
          4. What level of certainty will you require? Because, they way you’ve set up your question, absolutely nothing that happened in history can be proven with the level of certainty you seem to be requiring.

          Ultimately the reason I am unwilling (not unable, but unwilling) to invest a lot of time and effort into this is that you’ve stacked the deck so that no matter what is offered, you can dismiss it. You hide behind “it’s my opinion” even though you function as if your opinion is reality, then use the “opinion” dodge to avoid actually taking a stand or so you don’t have to actually defend your position, or even provide any support for your position. I’m willing to make the case, again, that I believe that there is sufficient evidence to, but if your going to establish some ridiculously unrealistic standard, i see no reason to try.

          So, If you want to get caught up, cut the bitchy/snarky comments, and stop lying, I’ll start working on a response, although you continue to demonstrate a disturbing lack of patience.

          PS nice job dodging the Stott thing.

  41. @Dan.
    They just want to lump faith with fact.
    They cannot seem to grasp that the bible stories are not verifiable, but they want to believe that they are/contain fact all the same and seem to expect you to accept this as well.

    • Ark,
      I beg to differ slightly. It’s not that we want, or quite frankly care, what Dan believes. It’s that he claims to believe X, but then doesn’t actually seem to believe it when pressed. Or more accurately, he believes X, as long as it is defined in a way that suits him. In this he is much like the JW’s, in that they use certain terms in common with other groups, but insist that they be able to define the terms their way.

      Also, in reality, it seems like everyone goes through every day lumping faith with fact, it’s just part of life.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong.
        Dan claims he is Christian, and ( in this last comment) says he agrees with the Resurrection but that there is no verifiable evidence to confirm this event.
        Therefore while your claim seems to be that there is objective evidence for this and
        ( maybe) other biblical claims none of you have yet to produce a single scrap of evidence.

        To this end, Dan is saying that everything relating to your beliefs ( faith) is purely subjective.

        • Ark

          The problem is that when we say we believe in the resurrection, we mean that we believe it is a historical fact that Jesus was physically raised from the dead in a glorified physical body. And this historical fact is absolutely crucial to Christianity.

          What Dan seems to mean when he says he believes in the resurrection is that maybe Jesus was physically raised, maybe he was spiritually raised, it doesn’t really matter if he was or not because what’s really important is not that Jesus was raised, but that we emulate his teachings of peace, love, and good will toward eachother.

          But Dan insists we both believe in the resurrection and we’re not that different because we both believe it.

          He redefines doctrines and then insists we believe the same things. Then when we attempt to clarify, we’re the ones muddying things.

          • Ah…so you are insisting he must adhere to doctrine. Doctrine defined by the church.

            He does not actually say that you must believe what he believes at all.

            What he is saying is you have yet to prove what you claim, anymore than he can prove what he claims.

            Thus it is a question of interpretation.

            But you insist he is wrong – according to doctrine, Doctrine established by the church.
            as a result of what was originally taught because of claims of divine inspiration.

            So, all Dan is asking is that you to provide objective evidence of your claims.

            Can you do this?

        • paynehollow says:

          John…

          Not doctrine according to the church, just explicit text from the pages itself.

          “Explicit from the text” according to WHOM?

          Jesus explicitly said gouge out your eye if it offends you, there is no lack of clarity there. Does that mean you should gouge out your eye?

          Jesus said to the rich man that in order to be saved, he had to sell his stuff, give it to the poor and follow him. Explicitly. Are you doing this? Or have you interpreted it to mean something else?

          ALL of the Bible’s text requires interpretation, there is NO “explicit from the text,” unless you go with an entirely woodenly literal reading, which you don’t.

          So, it comes down to “explicit to whom”? Who gets to make the call? I say we have no objective One Person or One Group that gets to make that call, that we all are responsible for ourselves to understand the Good, the Right, the Bible the best we can and it objectively remains our subjective opinions on any given text.

          If you agree, say so. If you disagree, provide the objective source for making such a claim.

          Do you all not understand how this is a serious gap in your arguments?

          ~Dan

        • Not exactly. You are falling into Dan’s trap of presuming that unwillingness to do something equals inability to do something. I think that reasons for unwillingness are manifold. Evidence of inability is lacking.

        • I’ve been fairly clear that I am unwilling, not unable to go back down this road with Dan. I’m not saying I won’t do this again, just that I’m not willing to without some limits and clarity from Dan.

          At this point, I’m getting ready for my two whole vacation days this summer, and I really have no desire to do this now.

  42. paynehollow says:

    I get that, but they are reasonable, well-intentioned adults. They should be able to see that their inability to answer the question is a sign that they can not answer it.

    One problem I’ve heard in the past is the problem understanding Objective and wrapping one’s mind around proper usage. The problem goes like this:

    1. If a purple unicorn or God, DOES in fact, exist, then it is objectively true that it/He/She exists.

    Perfectly rational so far.

    2. So, if a person makes a claim, “God (or PU) exists…” and, as point of fact, they do exist, then that person is objectively factually correct.

    Perfectly rational so far.

    3. However, if Bob claims “I can know the PU exists because I truly believe it and know it in my heart and the PU has confirmed its existence in my heart…” that claim is a subjective and unproven claim. EVEN IF the PU factually exists, the claim itself is built upon subjective – not objective – measures.

    I think some people have difficulty making the connection between the subjective claim and the potential for an objective reality.

    Or maybe not. I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. Every time we get down to this level of the basics of our disagreements, they bail and generally simply refuse to talk about it, so I don’t know for sure what they are thinking.

    I can say that the Problem described above was something that took me a while to wrap my mind around, so maybe it’s just me.

    ~Dan

  43. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    What would be more reasonable consistent and fair would be for you to catch up on all of the unanswered questions you’ve left in your wake

    As to that, I don’t know what you’re speaking of. I just looked back at the most recent exchange at my blog (on immigration) and now that I answered two questions here, I HAVE answered any questions you had open over there. There is nothing left TO answer (on my side – YOU have a big gaping hold to plug, still).

    Truly, anyone can see that IF you had an answer, “proof” that Jesus raised from the dead, you would provide it. Or, short of that, I could google “objective evidence of Jesus’ resurrection” and I would find answers all over the place. If it existed.

    It doesn’t exist, not objective, provable data. That is reality. What we’re trying to affirm here is if any of you fellas recognize reality or not.

    The ball remains in your court.

    ~Dan

    • Of course, you have absolutely no idea how you could have possibly not answered questions, what a huge load of self serving crap.

      Again, your insistence that unwillingness to provide an answer is the same as the inability to provide an answer, doesn’t help your credibility much. The fact that every one of us has addressed various reasons why we are unwilling to answer your question, you continue to falsely suggest otherwise. It is beginning to appear as if your strategy is to badger and goad people until they either agree with you or leave.

      Very adult, that.

      • Have you in fact, asked a direct question?
        If so, I would be interested if you repeat a couple here, in this comment.

        • I assume this is aimed at Dan, which raises another clarification.

          Dan, could you sapless clearly and accurately state what the specific question you want answered is? You seem to be interchanging a couple of different questions, and it would be nice to have one specific target.

        • paynehollow says:

          They’re all the same question, just coming from different topics. And I HAVE stated quite clearly, one simple version of it:

          Do you have objective provable data to support the claim that Jesus rose from the dead, or is it merely a subjective and unprovable opinion? If so, provide it.

          But the same point works for ANY of these questions and this is always the point where you all bail out.

          Do you have objective provable data to support the claim that one must affirm Jesus’ resurrection as essential to Christianity, or is it merely a subjective and unprovable opinion? If so, provide it.

          Do you have objective provable data to support the claim that there is no god(s), or is it merely a subjective and unprovable opinion? If so, provide it.

          Do you have objective provable data to support the claim that God doesn’t like it when gay folk marry, or is it merely a subjective and unprovable opinion? If so, provide it.

          Do you have objective provable data to support the claim that Jesus opposes Christians going to war, or is it merely a subjective and unprovable opinion? If so, provide it.

          These are ALL clearly subjective opinions, none of which we can prove objectively. As a point of fact. Or at least, we have no data to support a claim that they are objective and provable.

          Is that clear enough?

          ~Dan

        • Again, could you narrow it down to one specific answerable question.

        • Ark,

          I don’t know that I’ve asked Dan any specific questions about the resurrection recently. There are plenty of unanswered questions in the recent threads.

        • “how about sharing what exactly it is that you would affirm with a high degree of certainty

          There’s one. But that’s all the research I’ll do for you.

    • paynehollow says:

      They’re all the same question, just coming from different topics. And I HAVE stated quite clearly, one simple version of it:

      DO YOU HAVE OBJECTIVE, PROVABLE DATA TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM THAT JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, OR IS IT MERELY A SUBJECTIVE AND UNPROVABLE OPINION? IF SO, PLEASE PROVIDE SUPPORT.

      • OK, so this is the official final question, are you sure?

        “I will gladly read many hundreds of words worth. If I think it’s compelling, I’d read a book. If it’s warmed over subjective opinions claiming “objective fact,” I’ll be much less inclined.”

        You appear to be indicating that you are unwilling to consider any thing that has been previously put forth as evidence. Is this the case? If it is the case, have you refuted all of the most common evidence?

        At this point I am considering whether or not to pursue this. I certainly will not be in any hurry if there is not at least some minimal attempt to catch up on the unanswered questions, and if the bitchy snark keeps up.

        I also will not do it here as it would make more sense to keep it separate from this.

        It also won’t be soon, I’ve got a bunch of more important stuff (at least to me), that trumps this little exercise.

      • paynehollow says:

        Craig…

        so this is the official final question, are you sure?

        Listen, be an ass all you want while you complain about people being snarky. YOU are the one with the credibility problem, with your repeated dodges of basic questions, your refusal to even commit to a simple Yes or No, or even a “it depends…” You are the one who APPEARS to want to say “Yes, I know objectively” something that is obviously subjective. You are the one who seems to be suggesting that there is objective proof out there that Jesus rose from the dead, but you can’t link to a single website that supports that claim.

        You are the one dodging a very basic question (or series of questions, ALL of which point to the likelihood that you all are delusional in that you can’t recognize out loud that your opinions are subjective and unprovable), so I don’t really CARE if you understand the basic question or that you want to be an ass about it all.

        Answer it if you want. Leave the mile wide hole in your argument if you want. I don’t care. I’ve explained and re-explained the problem you all have and there is not a one of you who will step up and answer what should be a simple question.

        This is why I really need to just wipe my feet of this place.

        Lord have mercy, men. If you want to offer public opinions, be prepared to defend them like adults. Or just back down from your self-appointed “mouthpiece of God” roles. You’re just embarrassing yourselves and leaving an asswipe mark on your version of christianity.

        At this point, I’ve about decided you’re an atheist yourself, out to embarrass Christianity with your blather.

        Good luck.

        ~Dan

        • I’m sorry, you’re confusing me. I thought asking clarifying questions was a good thing, and making disparaging remarks and bearing false witness was a bad thing. But, now you’ve turned around and engaged in the behavior you decry.

          “You are the one who APPEARS to want to say “Yes, I know objectively” something that is obviously subjective.”

          Thanks for confirming my concern. You ask for objective proof, but have demonstrated that you are unwilling to assess anything offered objectively.

          “You are the one who seems to be suggesting that there is objective proof out there that Jesus rose from the dead, but you can’t link to a single website that supports that claim.”

          I could easily link to dozens of web site, but you’ve already dismissed them ( as my previous quote seems to suggest) as warmed over subjective opinions.

          Interesting that although you are the one in this conversations who’s actual written positions are strikingly similar to the positions of actual atheists, yet you choose to labek me one. Well played.

          I guess civility and clarification are just too much for you.

          Just a few more clarifying questions, if I may please.

          You say that you BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION, one what evidence do YOU base your belief? Or is it simply faith?

          When you say that you BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION, what exactly does the resurrection mean in your opinion?

          Is it still your position that the resurrection is not something that must be believed? That you can take it or leave it?

  44. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Ultimately the reason I am unwilling (not unable, but unwilling) to invest a lot of time and effort into this is that you’ve stacked the deck so that no matter what is offered, you can dismiss it.

    No need to go to any trouble beyond a simple link. If there is “proof” that Jesus objectively, demonstrably rose from the dead, I’m sure there’s a link out there telling us all about it.

    Does this not exist and you’re going to be the first one to put out this proof on the internets? That’s hard to believe…

    Craig…

    1. Can you define with reasonable precision what type of proof or evidence you will require in order to actually consider the question appropriately answered?

    I’m speaking of precise English language answers. If someone SAYS they have “objective proof,” I want to see objective proof. Do you need me to provide the definition of objective? Here, this definition from MW I think is the main thing people are talking about when they say “objective.” I’m open to other legitimate definitions, as long as it is provided.

    Objective: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers

    If someone says they have objective evidence, it should be evidence that is in the real world, observable to all, regardless of philosophy or biases.

    IF they want to say, “NO, I have no objective proof… but I DO have compelling evidence to consider…” well then, that’s fine, we agree on the compelling.

    ALL of this is about the difference between subjective opinion and provable, objective data. So, with reasonable precision, the evidence should be evident TO ALL, per the definition. That IS objective.

    Craig…

    2. Will you promise to actually read, and respond in some level of detail, to any evidence offered.

    I will gladly read many hundreds of words worth. If I think it’s compelling, I’d read a book. If it’s warmed over subjective opinions claiming “objective fact,” I’ll be much less inclined.

    Look, Craig, I BELIEVE Jesus rose from the dead. If you can offer me serious support for that faith-based belief, of course I’d read it, why wouldn’t I?

    Craig…

    3. Will you actually provide something substantive in refutation of anything you disagree with?

    I’ll gladly match depth of response (to the best of my ability) to whatever depth you provide. If someone is merely saying, “It IS a fact because Jesus spoke to me and told me so…” my snort of indifference WILL BE substantive, because there is nothing there.

    Craig…

    4. What level of certainty will you require? Because, they way you’ve set up your question, absolutely nothing that happened in history can be proven with the level of certainty you seem to be requiring.

    Again, if someone is claiming “objective proof,” the level of certainty will be data that is clearly observable to all.

    Is that clear enough?

    If you’re talking about something LESS than objective data, well, that is what my question has been about all this time. Are you speaking NOT of objective data, but of subjective, but compelling data?

    ~Dan

    • “If you can offer me serious support for that faith-based belief, of course I’d read it, why wouldn’t I?”

      Because you past history suggests otherwise.

      “Is that clear enough?”

      Actually, I believe I asked for specifics. I know it’s hard, but If I’m going to take a whack at that I want to have a clear unambiguous target to aim for, so we don’t have you moving the goal posts as you have done in the past.

      • More clarification. Can you name one historical figure that existed during the period of say 10 BC and 75AD for whom you can provide the sort of objective proof you are asking for? Again, I want to get a feel for what you consider objective.

      • paynehollow says:

        ??

        Okay, specifically then, if one is claiming that he can objectively demonstrate that Jesus rose from the dead, then specifically, evidence that EVERY reasoning person in the world can look at and see and verify.

        If I claim that my car is objectively blue, then I can show it to every reasoning and sighted person in the world and everyone can SEE that it is blue. There may be debate on the specific type of blue, or if it is leaning greenish blue, but it will nonetheless be clear to ALL that it is objectively blue, by definition.

        I don’t know what you mean “specifics” beyond evidence that is clear to all. Do you want a list of names as to who is “all…”?

        Craig…

        Can you name one historical figure that existed during the period of say 10 BC and 75AD for whom you can provide the sort of objective proof you are asking for?

        Julius Caesar existed, that is relatively objectively clear. There are multiple sources speaking of him, pictures, statues, busts, other historical records from different sources.

        If “ALL PEOPLE” look at the record for Julius Caesar, anyone would be hard-pressed to say that it is only a subjective opinion that he existed.

        BUT, as to specifics of his life, it would quickly become more difficult to say objectively which ones definitively happened.

        The problem with confirming objectively that events happened in the past and their exact details is that it IS past. There is no way to re-test it or play back the distant past. And the further back in the past you go, the more difficult it is to state objectively that something happened.

        As to what a specific number of sources/what type of sources that are needed to confirm an event’s reality objectively, I don’t know that such a number objectively exists.

        Do you have a number/type of sources that are needed to affirm something in the distant past happened objectively? What is that number/type?

        If 10,000 random rational people look at the evidence for Julius Caesar, it would be apparent to all that he existed, I’m sure. Do you doubt that?

        If 10,000 random rational people look at the evidence for Jesus’ bodily resurrection, it would NOT be apparent to all that the event happened, I’m sure. Do you doubt that?

        If we can agree that it would not be apparent to all, then, BY DEFINITION, we should be able to agree that the evidence is not objective proof, demonstrating conclusively that it happened.

        Agreed?

        ~Dan

        • So, you can’t establish what you would consider a standard for objective proof. Yet, you expect someone to reach a standard you can’t define.

          OK, Josephus and Julius Caesar, objective proof please.

          Actually, you would need 10,000 objective people, not random. Again, if you can’t give an example, what would satisfy you?

        • paynehollow says:

          Are you able to answer your own question?

          And I CAN define it:

          Objective: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers.

          The evidence for Julius Caesar’s existence WOULD be objectively clear to all rational observers.

          There is not one definition that I know of that says of a supposed historic event: “THIS data from THESE sources in THESE numbers are considered objective.”

          Do you understand that? The “standard” you speak of does not exist that I know of.
          But then, I’m not an ancient history scholar. Maybe they do have a standard, but i don’t know of it (and couldn’t find it in a quick search… I would have to doubt that history scholars speak of data from ancient history in terms of “objectively factual…” most of the time, but that, too, is a guess).

          But I’m willing to accept a good faith honest guess as to whether or not 10,000 random, objective people would agree.

          Do you think that 10,000 random, objective people would agree with the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection?

          Craig…

          Actually, you would need 10,000 objective people, not random.

          Good point. Fundamentalists need not apply! (it’s a joke, son).

          ~Dan

        • Dan

          Are you under the impression that IF a bit of evidence is objective, then everyone will affirm it and no one will reject it? That’s what you seem to be implying, thus dishonestly requiring something you k ow is impossible about ANYTHING.

  45. paynehollow says:

    John…

    The problem is that when we say we believe in the resurrection, we mean that we believe it is a historical fact that Jesus was physically raised from the dead in a glorified physical body.

    I believe it is a historical fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. I just note the reality that it’s not provable.

    John…

    And this historical fact is absolutely crucial to Christianity.

    So, in addition to believing that one must be saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, in addition to repentance and “making Jesus Lord of one’s life…” and in addition to believing in Jesus’ resurrection, you would add that one must affirm that this historical resurrection is “crucial to Christianity…” Is that right?

    If so, could you provide a source? Not a source saying a belief in a risen Christ, but a belief in the notion that a resurrection is “crucial to Christianity…” It’s not in the bible, it’s not in the Nicene Creed that I can think of, so what is your source for this belief of yours?

    Or, is another way of stating your opinion, John, that you believe that one must affirm the Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement in order to be saved? A 11th Century doctrine? (The Ransom Theory of Atonement, along with a bit of Moral Influence Theory, appear to have been the early church’s Atonement theories of choice). If that is your opinion, are you saying then that those Christians who did not affirm this theory (which did not exist for the first millenia of Christianity) were not saved?

    ~Dan

  46. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    your insistence that unwillingness to provide an answer is the same as the inability to provide an answer, doesn’t help your credibility much.

    The question is critical to your belief system and if you have proof, why wouldn’t you offer it? Just point to the link, it HAS to exist, if such proof is out there. How hard can this be?

    As I clearly stated, I DON’T know objectively what your collective reasons are for not answering this very critical, very straightforward question. You all won’t even affirm a basic Yes or No – aside of any support – to this basic question (basic line of questions).

    If you believe that one must believe in the PS Theory of Atonement to be saved and that is objectively demonstrably true, the objectively demonstrably prove it.

    If you believe that one must oppose gay marriage in order to be saved and that is objectively demonstrably true, the objectively demonstrably prove it.

    If you believe that when you pray, God hears you and that belief is objectively demonstrably true, the objectively demonstrably prove it.

    If you believe that God does not exist and that belief is objectively demonstrably true, then objectively demonstrably prove it.

    If you believe that one must believe Jesus rose from the dead and that is objectively demonstrably true, the objectively demonstrably prove it.

    It always comes down to this and these are critical make-or-break questions for your collective opinions. When you state (or hint) that you hold the One Truth on any topic and that your opinion is objectively demonstrably true, then

    1. Why wouldn’t you prove it?
    2. the burden of proof is on you.

    Conversely, when I state clearly that my opinions are MY opinions and that I think they are reasonable, moral, Godly and biblical, but they remain MY opinions, it is NOT a dodge, it is a statement of reality.

    I’m more than glad to go into my reasons for any of my beliefs and have done so for years with you fellas. But I’m not willing to claim what is not true: I am not willing to claim that my opinions are objectively demonstrably true. Because why would I?

    Reality is what it is.

    ~Dan

  47. You just wrote a bunch of words that don’t address my point. They also significantly lower my desire to play your silly semantic game.

  48. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Are you under the impression that IF a bit of evidence is objective, then everyone will affirm it and no one will reject it?

    Objective: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers

    That seems to be the definition of Objective, John. That’s sort of the point. Craig may doubt my car is actually blue, but once I show it to him, it is clearly perceptibly blue to all sighted observers, independent of their individual political agendas or other thought.

    And I’ve been using two terms, so as to be clear: Is your opinions about a given topic objective and provable?

    That is, it can be seen by ALL PEOPLE (all observers) regardless of their opinions/thoughts.

    Are you using some other definition of Objective?

    And given THAT standard English definition of objective and provable, are your opinions about Jesus’ death objective and provable, or are they your subjective and unprovable opinion?

    ~Dan

  49. paynehollow says:

    John…

    That’s what you seem to be implying, thus dishonestly requiring something you k ow is impossible about ANYTHING.

    Dishonest? Get serious. There is nothing dishonest about using words accurately and precisely. OF COURSE all observers can see that my car is blue, that gravity brings things down, that 1 + 1 = 2, and all manner of facts.

    It IS impossible to “prove” any of our opinions about what God wants us to do objectively and provably though. Which is what I’ve been quite upfront about all along. And given that normal definition of Objective, that is just reality.

    Where specifically am I mistaken? Or can we agree that, given that definition, I’m not mistaken?

    ~Dan

  50. paynehollow says:

    John…

    That’s what you seem to be implying, thus dishonestly requiring something you k ow is impossible about ANYTHING.

    Just flip it around, John: If objective includes those opinions which are NOT perceptible to all observers, but only some subset of observers, then EVERYTHING is objective potentially, and objective becomes meaningless.

    Do you think that ALL opinions are objective? What has been your operating definition of “objective” in all these conversations (where I’ve consistently cited the standard Merriam Webster English definition of the word, so as to be clear how I’m using the word)?

    ~Dan

  51. Dan, you tell John, “I believe it is a historical fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. I just note the reality that it’s not provable.”

    But that’s NOT reality. The reality is, BY THE STANDARDS BY WHICH WE JUDGE CLAIMS ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is provable. The event is not only well attested, it’s arguably the most well attested single event in all of ancient history. See Strobel’s The Case for Faith and McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict.

    The claim isn’t provable by the standards used to evaluate a mathematical theorem, a hypothesis in chemistry or physics, or an indictment in a criminal trial against a living defendant, but since the historical claim isn’t any of these things, it’s a category error of the worst kind to try to evaluate the claim with criteria from entirely different fields of knowledge.

    And it’s just nonsense to act as if a claim is a “subjective opinion” unless it can be proven beyond any whisper of a hint of a penumbra emanating from a shadow of a reasonable doubt.

    You also ask John about his claim that the Resurrection is crucial to Christianity, and you go from that claim — “the Resurrection is crucial” — to questions about ever more complicated claims, that “one must believe in the Resurrection to be saved” and even “one must believe that the Resurrection is crucial to be saved,” and I’m not sure what John has written justifies both of those additional layers of complication.

    About the simplest claim that the Resurrection is crucial, I would point you to I Cor 15:14-18.

    About the claim that belief in the Resurrection is necessary for salvation, Romans 10:9 teaches, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” One certainly doesn’t want to be guilty of denying the antecedent, but at a minimum the teaching implies that salvation isn’t assured if you disbelieve in the Resurrection.

    About the most complex claim — that “belief that the Resurrection is essential” is itself essential for salvation — I’m not sure anyone here is arguing for that claim, so I don’t know why you would argue against or demand evidence for it, except to obfuscate about your own beliefs regarding the Resurrection or to undermine that simplest claim taught in I Cor 15.

    I’m not sure you’ve ever affirmed what Paul teaches in I Cor 15, and in our previous discussion, you implied that I was somehow misinterpreting Paul and setting my mistaken interpretation in opposition to the clear teachings of Christ, but you never even attempted to elaborate.

    And that wasn’t the first time I’ve mentioned I Cor 15 to you, but John was right about you in something he wrote last year: “My biggest complaint is that no matter how many times he’s been told something, he acts as though it’s the first time he’s hearing about it.”

  52. OK, Josephus and Julius Caesar, objective proof please.

    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=12051835

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20183782?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104610108373

    http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiquities_of_the_Jews

    http://www.chambers.com.au/glossary/objective_evidence.php
    Objective evidence is any documented statement of fact, other information or record, either quantitative or qualitative, pertaining to the quality of an item or activity, based on observations, measurements or tests which can be verified.

    Of which none can be applied to the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth

    Your’re a blithering idiot if you do not not how history and evidence works and why non-believers and proper historians do not view the bible and its miraculous nature in the same light
    as they would Josephus or Caesar.
    But they do discard each and every miraculous elements attributed to Caesar.
    And , of course, only fundamentalists christians would consider the TF anything but a spurious interpolation.

    • Ark,
      I don’t think we actually disagree, we accept many historical events as factual without objective proof as Dan seems to be asking for.. The problem is that what you have offered simply suggests a high probability that Caesar and Josephus existed, not objective proof. The problem is that Dan, seems to be asking for a standard of proof that is higher than he would accept for anything else, as well as dismissing anything previously offered in support of the claims without actually addressing the faults in said offerings.

      • Well, unless I bring up my breakfast what objective proof would you like that I had a bowl of bran and a coffee?

        Standard of evidence, not proof. Science is not in the business of absolutes as these shift.

        1.So is here enough evidence to support the belief/claim that an Itinerant preacher named Yeshua may have lived at the turn of the first century?
        Just about. But again..only just. And as science progresses this belief may well diminish further.

        2.Is there enough evidence to support the belief that a character named Jesus of Nazareth, as portrayed in the New Testament, lived at the turn of the century.
        No. Nothing but hearsay, based upon the fallacious religious texts.

  53. The reality is, BY THE STANDARDS BY WHICH WE JUDGE CLAIMS ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is provable.

    What an absolute steaming pile of donkey turds.
    If this were the case then every miraculous claim of resurrection would be considered provable.

    .

    • The point, Ark, is that the only reason to discount the New Testament and fiction is if you add an extra standard and hold it to a different level than any other historical record.

      It’s not that it’s actually unreliable, it’s that you’ve rigged the standard to intentionally make it fail.

      • Not at all. The bible includes miraculous accounts, unverifiable archaeology, fictitious characters, talking animals, false geography to name but a few things.
        All of the above are rejected as true history by genuine historians and confined to the realms of myth.

        It is you that wish t rig the deck by utilizing presuppositional apologetic, citing divine inspiration for one thing.

        On a truly level historical playing field the bible , as it stands, would be laughed all the back to the change room – and you know it.

    • Ark, every ancient historical claim of a resurrection is certainly subject to evaluation, just like any other historical claim. The only reason to rule out such claims as preposterous without even evaluating the historical evidence is an a priori bias against miracles.

      I’ll remind you that you’ve decried the practice of making one’s conclusions fit one’s presuppositions, and that’s exactly what you and other skeptics do when you immediately dismiss any and all claims of the miraculous.

      • Smile…the true two step apologist response.

        What evidence you got ,Bubba?
        Going to throw Gary Habermaas at me? Lee Strobel, Licona? William Lane Craig.

        Point to a single non christian that acknowledges the veracity of your resurrection claim.
        Ship, there are even Christians who reject this nonsense.
        And ALL you have is the bible.
        And we KNOW that has been tampered with.

        Evidence, Bubba. Not hearsay and wonky, interpolated texts.
        If we cant trust some of the bible why must we trust any of it?

        • Ark, Jesus’ resurrection forces a person to confront Jesus’ claims of deity and lordship, and so there cannot be an honest, DISINTERESTED affirmation of the Resurrection. There probably are people who have come to believe that the Resurrection is historical but who do not accept Jesus as Lord, but it’s probably easier for them to lie and say that they deny the Resurrection, than it is for them to admit that they believe Jesus rose but refuse to trust Him.

          Indeed there are people who claim to be Christians who deny the miraculous — there are even people who claim to be Christians who deny the existence of God — but the point of John’s original post is that there are doctrinal boundaries beyond which one cannot plausibly claim Christian membership.

          The Bible has not been tampered with, but I’m not sure there’s any point in us discussing the evidence for Christianity, when we’d probably both agree that at least one of us is unlikely to argue rationally; we just disagree on who’s acting irrationally.

          • Ark, Jesus’ resurrection forces a person to confront Jesus’ claims of deity and lordship, and so there cannot be an honest, DISINTERESTED affirmation of the Resurrection.

            Jesus did not claim he was a god. I have told you this before. This title was bestowed upon him by the church.

            There probably are people who have come to believe that the Resurrection is historical but who do not accept Jesus as Lord, but it’s probably easier for them to lie and say that they deny the Resurrection, than it is for them to admit that they believe Jesus rose but refuse to trust Him.

            Now you are just waffling. This is a ridiculous assertion.

            Indeed there are people who claim to be Christians who deny the miraculous — there are even people who claim to be Christians who deny the existence of God — but the point of John’s original post is that there are doctrinal boundaries beyond which one cannot plausibly claim Christian membership.

            Based upon doctrine laid out by the church and/or interpretation of the New Testament.

            The Bible has not been tampered with, but I’m not sure there’s any point in us discussing the evidence for Christianity, when we’d probably both agree that at least one of us is unlikely to argue rationally; we just disagree on who’s acting irrationally.

            Of course it has been tampered with, not least the long ending of gMark.
            If you wish to retain any integrity then at least acknowledge that what you believe is based upon faith the interpretation of the bible. There is no verifiable evidence for any Christian claim. None. Period

        • Shorter Ark comment: cite someone who believes Christianity is true but isn’t a Christian.

  54. Everyone,

    Dan recently wrote, “I have started slowing down and demanding the conversation be two way, with you all answering questions asked of you, instead of just [you] demanding answers from me.”

    He’s doing more than that, prioritizing his own questions regardless of the order in which the questions were asked. With me, he is demanding that I answer a VERY recent question even though there are more than a dozen questions I raised two months ago and keep reiterating, questions that he never answered and has largely never even acknowledged.

    More than four years ago, in a discussion about whether Christ abolished the OT law in whole or in part, I transcribed John Stott’s lengthy argument that Christ did no such thing, excerpting from Stott’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount and even summarizing that argument into a five-point outline. I do not believe Dan has ever addressed the substance of his argument, but now Dan claims that he has.

    You may not like my answers and I sure didn’t delve into the dozens of points/issues Stott makes in the lengthy excerpts you’ve referenced, but I have dealt with the arguments being discussed.

    “So, no need to keep saying I’ve dodged or ignored Stott’s POINTS, that is simply, factually, verifiably false.

    Dan has accused me of perpetuating a falsehood — of lying, if he thinks I’m deliberately making false claims — and so I challenged him to prove what he says is “verifiably false,” but he refuses until I answer this recent question of his about objective facts and subjective opinions. Dan has made my answering this question a precondition EVEN to his substantiating an accusation he has made against me.

    And none of this is anything new. It’s simply not true that Dan has “started slowing down” to make the conversation more closely resemble his bizarre parody of a two-way street.

    That comment I just linked to from John, was in reply to a comment of mine where I discussed an earlier time where Dan avoided answering a question by bringing up an unrelated issue: he required my answering his newer question BEFORE he would answer mine, and as I noted, Dan “didn’t actually answer my questions even after I jumped through [his] ex-post-facto hoops.”

    That earlier exchange took place in JUNE, 2009,, more than five years ago.

    What was the core question I had asked?

    “Yes or no, do you believe that the bodily and historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential doctrine of Christianity?”

    This isn’t some recent innovation, Dan’s prioritizing his questions as a precondition to answering ours, which he may not do even if we oblige him: it’s his m.o., he’s been doing this for more than half a decade, and it’s frequently been to obscure his beliefs regarding the central historical and theological claims of Christianity.

  55. paynehollow says:

    Craig, I’m done jumping through your hoops.

    Bubba, accusing me of dodging questions, that’s funny.

    The fact comes down to this: EVERY TIME (in my memory) it comes down to asking you all to provide hard data that ANY of your opinion-based claims are objective, provable facts, EVERY TIME, you dodge, ignore or attack the question.

    The question: Is this merely your subjective and unprovable opinion or is it an objective, provable fact? is core to the hole in your all’s collective logic. You all appear to WANT to say (along with Glenn, who outright says it) that “I can NOT be mistaken on these points. They ARE objective facts…” about your unprovable opinions, which has the effect of elevating your opinions not only to the level of “fact” (in your minds) but to the level of God’s Word, so that disagreeing with YOUR OPINIONS is tantamount to disagreeing with God.

    Here’s the thing: IF you’re going to make these sort of “fact/I’m God” claims about what is apparent to all impartial observers ideas that are clearly your own subjective opinions, you have to be prepared to back them up.

    So for me or anyone else to go on to answer your questions (do you think THIS about Text 1 or THAT about Text 1?) is pointless until we resolve the question: Are these people delusional/unable to distinguish reality from opinion on these matters?

    If you can’t distinguish your OPINION about Text 1 from a fact, then what point is my answering the question?

    You all have a serious credibility problem that you really need to clarify before anyone can consider taking you seriously. And all it takes is a simple answer to a simple question.

    The ball is ever in your collective court.

    In the meantime, Game, Set, Match goes to Reality. Every time.

    ~Dan

  56. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I don’t think we actually disagree, we accept many historical events as factual without objective proof as Dan seems to be asking for.

    You misunderstand, Craig. YOU are the ones claiming you have “objective proof.” The burden is on you to provide it OR admit that it is subjective, unprovable opinion.

  57. paynehollow says:

    And just to be clear: Anyone who makes a claim that Julius Caesar performed miracles as a matter of objective, provable fact, they would face the same burden to prove it objectively before proceeding to be taken seriously.

    There are claims of J Caesar’s miraculous events that appear in historical documents. Do you all think that their mere appearance in historical documents merit the designation of those miracles as objective, provable facts?

    What consistent, rational standard do you all use to determine which lines in ancient documents are objectively provably factual?

    It appears that by your suggested criteria, ALL ancient miracles – not just biblical ones – must be affirmed as objectively factual. Is that the point you’re making?

    Another set of questions crucial to this conversation that will go unanswered.

    ~Dan

  58. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    The problem is that Dan, seems to be asking for a standard of proof that is higher than he would accept for anything else, as well as dismissing anything previously offered in support of the claims without actually addressing the faults in said offerings.

    No, ALL claims of “Here’s an event or an opinion about God’s opinion that I CLAIM is objective and provable…” must be objective and provable.

    Again, the definition of objective that I’m operating off of is “apparent to all observers…” It an opinion is not apparent/clear/demonstrable to all observers, then it is NOT, by definition, objective.

    How are opinion claims about ANY opinions about morality, for instance, objective and provable, apparent to ALL observers? They aren’t.

    Your conflict is with the dictionary, not with me.

    Are you using the same definition of “objective” that I am? If so, in what way are your opinions apparent to ALL?

    That is the hole and it is a critical one that undermines your collective arguments.

    IF you want to back away from “objective” and make clear, “This is an opinion that I BELIEVE to be reasonable…” that is fine, that is within the scope of reality. But if it’s not apparent to ALL then it is not apparent to ALL. Subjective by definition, NOT objective, by definition.

    ~Dan

  59. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    If we cant trust some of the bible why must we trust any of it?

    I say that we CAN trust Truths, regardless of where they come from. I say that it is a True and Good teaching to live simply, to not shed innocent blood, to live lives of forgiveness, love and grace… ie, the actual gist of what the Bible actually teaches.

    That truths can be found in parables, fables and wise sayings is not to say those truths are not trustworthy.

    It is only when you try to take a myth or a fable as literal science that you run into problems of trustworthiness, but in that case, the problem is with the INTERPRETER, not the text.

    ~Dan

  60. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    There is no verifiable evidence for any Christian claim. None. Period

    Factually speaking, yes, we can not verify any specifically Christian claims of the Bible objectively. Certainly not most of the facts spoken of, not objectively (evident to ALL observers).

    But Jesus made many truth claims that I think are TRUSTWORTHY if not verifiable objectively.

    Those who live by the sword, DO tend to die by the sword. And people of good faith can generally rationally see why this is and the implications being taught, I think.

    What you do for and with the least of these IS an important marker of who you are, your character, your basic morality. This is a trustworthy Christian teaching.

    The teachings of Jesus DO present a story of good news to the poor, help for the needy, release for the captive… and these are trustworthy, wise claims of how to live.

    We can not objectively verify ANY subjective human moral opinions (which has been the main point I’ve tried to make with these gentlemen for years), but we can look at whether or not they are trustworthy, wise, helpful and good. I think the teachings of Jesus hold up to this measure of trustworthiness and wisdom.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

    • The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is claimed to have said many things, yet nothing he ‘said’ was original.
      Some of it might be considered common sense,
      If he had wanted to be really useful he should have made everyone wash their hands after going to the bathroom.
      Furthermore, he was an eschatological preacher: the end was nigh, etc etc.

      But the whole point of Christianity is the acknowledgement that one is born ‘into sin’ ( I always gag at that) and then acknowledge that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the god, God, and the only ‘person’ able to ‘save you’. ( what one is supposed to be saved form is still a mystery.)
      Just writing it out is the most ridiculous thing anyone could ever adhere to, hence the need to indoctrinate children.
      Truly, it is just too silly for words.

  61. Of course you’re dodging questions, Dan. If you could have pointed to where you already addressed Stott’s five-point argument from four years ago, you would have; if you could have pointed to where already answered any of those 12+ questions from two months ago, you would have.

    My. Questions. Came. First. In a genuine two-way conversation, you would acknowledge that priority by sequence. You would treat your opponents as equals.

    You cannot argue that your questions are older, so you must argue that they’re somehow more important.

    So for me or anyone else to go on to answer your questions (do you think THIS about Text 1 or THAT about Text 1?) is pointless until we resolve the question: Are these people delusional/unable to distinguish reality from opinion on these matters?

    Ah: it’s not just explaining what we believe, it’s proving that we’re not delusional.

    This is just a riff on what you did five years ago: you refused to answer my prior question, demanding that I denounce Mark for a comment I did not read and could not read because it had since been deleted, and you argued that that denunciation was important for proving my ability at moral reasoning. What was your explanation for why it was so important that I didn’t denounce a comment, sight-unseen?

    It makes me doubt your ability to make morally sound judgments. IF you are unable to make even basic moral reasoning on an obvious offense, what makes me think that you are able to make sound moral judgments in other regards?

    When it was obvious I wasn’t going to condemn something I wasn’t a witness to, you attempted to check out…

    I’m done here. Your apathy is disgusting. You all are moral illiterates and what’s the point of discussing things on a rational basis with such?

    …and even when you stuck around, and even though I did address your issue with Mark thoroughly, you never did answer my question.

    Both then and now, you follow the same pattern.

    1) You don’t answer my questions.

    2) You raise your own SUBSEQUENT questions, demanding I answer your new questions as a precondition to your answering my older questions.

    3) You explain why your newer questions are more important because you claim that they are necessary to determine whether I’m worthy to ask questions of you: last time, I had to prove my moral reasoning — that I’m not a moral illiterate — and here I must prove my rationality — that I’m not delusional.

    4) Obviously, the only way to pass your test and to prove my worth is not merely to explain what I believe, but to agree with what YOU believe.

    No matter how insincere and perfunctory it is, agreement just to keep the conversation going allows you to score a rhetorical point, while my my mere disagreement with you provides a pretext for leaving the conversation with my questions unanswered; I’m sure that’s just a convenient coincidence.

    This does highlight a big difference between you and me.

    Dan, I would love for us to find common ground on some of these crucial issues, not least because I believe some of your beliefs are spiritually perilous, but I’ve never expected you to agree with me, and I’ve certainly never demanded that you agree with me. I’ve just wanted to know what it is you actually believe, and ideally to know how you think the totality of your belief system is internally coherent.

    Evidently, you’re not interested in knowing what I really believe: you just want to cajole and coerce agreement however you can. It’s obviously a favorite formula of yours, even beyond these occasional show-stopping Tests of Worthiness, as you’ll ask, “Can we not agree?” over some banal tautology such as “God blesses marriage,” as if that brings us one fractional step closer to discerning how God defines or limits marriage.

    That’s a huge difference beyond the great gulf between us on the substance of our beliefs regarding inerrancy, soteriology, and a host of other subjects.

    You’re dissatisfied with our conversations because I’m honest enough about my beliefs that I won’t pretend to agree with you when I don’t.

    I’m dissatisfied with our conversations because you’re so dishonest that you cannot even be forthright about what it is you actually believe.

  62. Question to each of you:

    1 Please cite three foundational tenets of Christianity.

    2 Cite the origin of each tenet.

  63. paynehollow says:

    I would begin by noting that Jesus never said he came to found a religion, to found “christianity…” He came teaching The Way. So, since I don’t think Jesus came to found a religion, I don’t know that I’d call these foundational tenets of a sect of religions called “christianity…” but I would say that these are core teachings of Jesus. Is that fair enough?

    1. God loves everyone and it is God’s desire that no one be “lost” (outside of/beyond love, forgiveness, grace, lost into bitterness, oppression, hatred… “hell…”) and that everyone should be “saved” (part of the Realm of God, loved and loving, forgiven and forgiving, within the realm of Grace… “Heaven…”)

    2. This salvation is offered to all – ALL are included, with a particular emphasis on “good news to the poor” – the poor, foreigner, oppressed and otherwise marginalized are specifically and literally invited to the Party, and working with and for the least of these is part and parcel of God’s salvation by Grace.

    3. We ought NOT embrace the way of religious arrogance and hypocrisy – pharisaism, a belief in following just the right rules in just the right way to be saved… this salvation is not one of rule following or harsh judgmentalism, but a way of Grace. If we make it about rule following, we have missed the point.

    The Sabbath was made for humanity, not humanity for the Sabbath.

    In each of these summary of teachings, I’m going off of my understanding of words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. I can cite the sources if need be.

    ~Dan

    • Number 3 looks an awful lot like a rule. Is that necessary dan?

      • paynehollow says:

        “Be wary of rule-following” (summing up my third point) sounds like a rule to you?

        Really?

      • @John

        Are you going to have a shot at the three main tenets of Christianity?
        Do you know what they are, John?
        If so, please quote the source as well.

        • paynehollow says:

          John, Bubba, et al are above answering mere questions, it appears. They are here to do the asking, not answering!

          “The Inquistion, let’s begin
          The Inquistion, look out sin…

          Confess (confess, confess)
          Don’t be boring
          Say yes (say yes, say yes)
          Don’t be dull…”

          ~Mel Brooks

          • Well, it is John’s blog so I wouldn’t want to preempt and suggest he and the others would not have a go at answering the questions.

            I can seen no reason why they wouldn’t want to, in fact.
            It would certainly clear up a few misunderstandings

            • I only check in from time to time when comments run so frequently like on these last couple posts.

              However, how can I have a productive discussion with you Ark when you are under the impression that the bible has been heavily edited and that no christian doctrine was formed in the first century? You’ve decided that it’s all a big hoax zeitgeist style and don’t seem to really know church history outside what Internet atheist blogs report. I’m not even trying to be a smart ass here, but your knowledge of history and science of textual criticism is really way off.

              So what’s the goal of the question? I take a few minutes mining out of the new testament some passages where either Jesus or an apostle lays out an essential definitional tenet, only to have you respond that it was all corrupted?

              What exactly are you willing to accept?

  64. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    But the whole point of Christianity is the acknowledgement that one is born ‘into sin’ ( I always gag at that) and then acknowledge that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the god, God, and the only ‘person’ able to ‘save you’.

    Says who? On whose authority?

    Jesus taught very little about being born “into sin,” that’s more of a Pauline teaching. I don’t think that Jesus taught that “Jesus is the only person who can save you…” I don’t believe that’s found in the gospel passages, anyway.

    Which isn’t to say that I disagree with Paul’s take on things, just a reminder that it is not a core teaching of Jesus. The whole “born into sin” and only confessing Jesus will save you is a more CHRISTIAN CHURCH/CATHOLICISM/PROTESTANTISM understanding/take on Jesus and Paul’s teaching and has its place, rightly understood.

    “One man named Adam get tricked by his wife into eating an apple that God told him not to eat when the snake with legs tricked Eve into eating it and thus, children, that is how sin entered the world….” is a fine parable or mythic explanation of How Sin Came to Be, as long as its taken metaphorically, but don’t try to stretch that teaching too literally or any wisdom found in it comes undone.

    The thing is, the institutional church has codified many tenets of what it means to be a follower of Jesus that are not necessarily a teaching of Jesus and sometimes seem to be quite a stretch from any of Jesus’ teachings, but the Institutional Church (in any of the sects/denominations of Christianity) does not get to speak for Jesus or for all his followers and tell us how we must interpret Jesus. So, “the whole point of Christianity…” MUST be followed by “…according to many modern protestants,” or some words such as that to be clear who is saying “the whole point of Christianity…”

    Just to be clear.

    I would add somewhere in my Core Teachings of Jesus (under point 1, I think) that this salvation is lived out in Community, for the Kingdom of God IS at hand, Jesus taught (which is not necessarily the same thing as modern eschatology, at least in the opinion of some…)

    ~Dan

  65. I would begin by noting that Jesus never said he came to found a religion,

    Ah … semantics once again.
    While I get your point, I did ask for the three main tenets of Christianity, not three things the character, Jesus of Nazareth may or may not have said. After all, this is what Christianity is based upon, correct? Not what Jesus may or may have said?

  66. paynehollow says:

    Not semantics, I’m being precise.

    The “tenets of Christianity” would depend on what flavor of Christianity you ask, and from what era of church history you’re asking. Some southern baptists would put it this way…

    1. Scriptures (by which they mean the 66 books of the protestant Bible) are ultimately authored by God and are without error and, “will remain to the end of the world the true center of Christian union”

    2. God: There is one and only one living and true God, revealed in God the specifically Father, Jesus, the Son (who gave a specifically “substitionary death” on the cross to “pay off” a “sin debt), and the Holy Spirit.

    3. “Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer…”

    …among others.

    http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/basicbeliefs.asp

    If you ask an Eastern Orthodox or a Catholic believer the same question you might get some slightly different interpretations. A mennonite, for instance, would often affirm the Bible as an inspired source of knowledge, but would not tend to say it is authored by God, nor that it “will remain to the end of the world the true center of Christian union…” (wtf?, they might say, fearing someone is coming too close to bible worship)

    So, to some degree, it depends on who you ask and when you asked them. To be semantically precise.

    Ark…

    After all, this is what Christianity is based upon, correct?

    Christianity, in its various sects, is based upon a wide range of human interpretations of Jesus’ and Paul’s and other biblical teachings. I would say that most evangelicals (and maybe most others, too) would sound more Paul-ish in their Sunday sermons than Jesusy. But they tend (many of them) to believe that ultimately, Paul’s writings (writings attributed to Paul) were written by Jesus/God, so they’re all the same, in their opinion.

    ~Dan

  67. paynehollow says:

    While many Christian traditions may honor Constantine and the Nicene Creed, you may be aware that many of us in the baptist and especially anabaptist tradition view that to be a key problem of Christianity, or the End of the Early Jesusian Church and the Beginning of the Christian Empire. The End of Christian Community and faithful nonviolence and the Beginning of Church State “evangelism” by fiat.

    So, clearly, the Nicene Creed is not in my tradition and has much less to do with Jesus’ teachings and much more to do with Christian Empire, but you surely know that the answers to tenets as established by the Nicene Creed would include…

    1. God is Creator
    2. Jesus is the Son of the God Creator
    3. Jesus came incarnate, lived, preached died and raised on the third day.

    …according to the First Council of Nicea.

    Again, it’s all in whom you ask for an opinion.

    ~Dan

  68. paynehollow says:

    John asked…

    how can I have a productive discussion with you Ark when you are under the impression that the bible has been heavily edited and that no christian doctrine was formed in the first century?

    How can you have a productive discussion? By making your case. And when questions come up, answer them. That IS a productive conversation, at least for me. I don’t need the other fella to agree, like, admire or be blown away with my opinion in order to have a productive conversation, I just need to communicate my point.

    Why not try that? You know, why wouldn’t we “always be prepared to give an explanation for your faith…” or for any of our positions, really?

    ~Dan

  69. And here we have. it …. at last!

    The claim that the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth is the creator god, God.
    And this is why your entire religion is BS.
    There is not a single word within the entire biblical corpus where the character, Jesus of Nazareth states he is the god, God. Not one. In fact he expressly denies the claim.

    As I have mentioned on several occasions, this title was bestowed upon him by the church. Period.
    And if you don’t know your history then it is about time you did instead of accepting the hogwash you have been fed…..by the church.
    The church that laid out the initial doctrine. The church that was largely responsible for the compilation of the bible by men who belonged to the Church – where you get all the baloney you like to say is the inspired word of Yahweh.

    And thus we come to the crux of the whole issue.

    Interpretation.

    And this was why there was all the internecine fighting from the word go.Fighting with the Arians and every other sect along the way.

    Fighting with Marcion which is often seen as a crucial reason why the church needed to get its arse into gear in the first place and compile a proper bible. before Marcion and his followers ran riot.

    Interpretation is what ( eventually) led to the first major schism.
    Interpretation is what you lot are fighting about.

    The same interpretation that a group of men who decided which books were IN and which books were OUT is the reason you are having this ridiculous debate in the first place.

    It is all crap in the first place, a religion based on unverifiable claims that simply requires the adherent to believe without question. In other words. Faith.
    Faith based upon a system/theme of Reward and Punishment.
    Therefore , if Dan – of anyone else for that matter – wishes to call themself a Christian, they can. As can Marshall, Craig, Bubba and John.

    And once you start to question, this is the initial scenario you end up with – myriad different opinions, which has led to upwards of 30,000 different Christian sects
    .
    Now the absolute very best thing you could all do is keep going down this path – really, just question , question and question more, and the only logical outcome is non- belief , or atheism.

    I could really care less what anyone believes to be honest, providing this nonsense is not indoctrinated into children.
    Once we have a generation or two where this garbage is not foisted on children it will begin to fade away.

    Enlightenment and true understanding begins with … WHY?

    .

    • Ark

      You seem to interpret the words of Jesus through 21st Century English filter. Perhaps some time you’ll have another look but instead familiarize yourself with 1st century Jewish idiomatic phrases. Calling himself I Am. Claiming he and God are one. And the title Son of Man are all claims to deity. But that’s in addition to his claims to forgive sin, which only God can do. Dude, you’re not as well schooled in this as you think you are.

      • Wrong. These are what the Church interpreted them to be.
        The title Son of Man for example. was used quite often.
        Over 100 times in the Old Testament if memory serves.

        ”Dude” … you continually demonstrate how ignorant you truly are.

        • Why did the Jews want Jesus crucified? Do you remember what they said?

          • Oh, yes …

            But as I have repeatedly pointed out. The character Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct and belief in such is solely based on what the church laid out and faith.

            Is there a light bulb beginning to glow yet?

            • You have repeatedly ASSERTED that, you’ve never demonstrated it.

              • And you are unable to refute this assertion.
                And as far as evidence goes, the pendulum swings in the favour of Narrative Construct as it does with almost everything in the bible. Furthermore, there is not a scrap of evidence to demonstrate otherwise regarding you Jesus of Nazareth claims. Not one.

                So we reach a “Mexican Standoff if you will.

                And it all comes back to interpretation of biblical text based on faith.
                And this I am perfectly okay with. Just don’t preach it to kids as fact.

              • I don’t have to refute your assertions. It’s your job to provide evidence for your claims. You don’t just get to throw ideas out there and then assume them to be true unless others refute them.

              • Ah … but the responsibility lies with those making the claim first. You lot!

                Your religion has asserted the deity of your man-god since the days of Nicaea and later Theodosius made it Law
                Why would you need a Law for something so obvious?
                Hmmm…why indeed! lol.
                . And this belief was exported – very often from behind the point of a sword, or later, via the Inquisition.
                Isn’t it ironic how so many of your predecessors were so often put through hell before they could get to heaven.

                But of course you cannot demonstrate this deity claim, now can you, John?
                This is what your religion is all about: Faith … not fact.
                And in you heart, you know this to be true.

                At some point you all have to put your grubby paw print on some aspect of god belief and announce. “I believe in this version.”
                Funnily enough though, so many of you change horses mid race, do you not? One sect to the next.
                A bunch of scts maniacs, the lot of you.

                And some even change religions.

                No doubt you discover a new ” truth ” that is more appealing.
                Which begs the question, of course, ”What was wrong with the previous “Immutable Truth of God”
                Smile.

                Yes, John. Interpretation.
                Do you recognise it yet?

                But truly, I have no problem what you believe( providing it hurts nobody) … as an adult … just leave the kids alone.

  70. paynehollow says:

    Irony.

  71. paynehollow says:

    My “irony” comment was addressed to this, by the way…

    It’s your job to provide evidence for your claims. You don’t just get to throw ideas out there and then assume them to be true unless others refute them.

    Ark’s comment wasn’t visible when I posted.

    And Bubba-Craig, aside from you all choosing to not answer my reasonable questions because (you say) I have not answered a sufficient number of your questions (apparently 95% is not sufficient, if it’s coming from my direction), you are also ignoring Ark’s question(s), and he hasn’t “stood you up” (in your minds).

    You all are making a positive claim about something which you APPEAR to say you have “objective” support for. The burden is on you to demonstrate your various opinions on unprovable positions ARE objectively provable, or to admit you don’t have objective, provable data to support it.

    Given the clarification of what Objective means (“apparent to ALL observers” meaning, in my mind, “apparent to ALL observers…”), can you now clarify that, no, your opinions are not objectively demonstrable provable to ALL, merely that you think you have a compelling case?

    I just don’t think you can reasonably claim it is observable to ALL unless it is truly observable to all. Ark is asking you a reasonable question.

    ~Dan

  72. paynehollow says:

    A useful definition, taken from Law…

    “In summarising Gray’s judgement, in an article published in the Yale Law Journal, Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian:[5]

    1. The historian must treat sources with appropriate reservations;
    2. The historian must not dismiss counter-evidence without scholarly consideration;
    3. The historian must be even-handed in treatment of evidence and eschew “cherry-picking”;
    4. The historian must clearly indicate any speculation;
    5. The historian must not mistranslate documents or mislead by omitting parts of documents;
    6. The historian must weigh the authenticity of all accounts, not merely those that contradict a favored view; and
    7. The historian must take the motives of historical actors into consideration.”

    http://knowledge-is-power.zzl.org/history-and-events/history/historian/#Objective_Historian

    Good points, worth considering.

  73. paynehollow says:

    More reading on the philosophy of history. Historians, I think it is safe to say, do not speak of “objective facts” when dealing with historical records. And that’s ONLY dealing with the historic facts of actual (or possible) events.

    Move from events to people’s ancient opinions – not merely “Did Julius Caesar factually cross the Rubicon?” but, “What were J Caesar’s opinions about abortion or homosexuality?” not merely “Was ancient Israel ever enslaved in Israel?” but, “Did God mean that it was a literal rule for all people and all history on how men should cut their hair?” – and you will ALWAYS have room for interpretation and guess. We might read Caesar’s writings on Topic A and infer that he made it clear that he approved of homosexuality, but is that interpretation of an ancient text objective proof of his opinion? No, of course not. It is an interpretation.

    Consider the history written by Procopius, who was the official historian for Emperor Justinian.

    “Several of the books he wrote which are preserved among the historical records of the Byzantine Empire recount the glories and triumphs of Justinian’s wars and his noble efforts to help his people socially, economically and architecturally. To judge from these alone, Procopius was a fawning sycophant, a propagandist who was paid to praise and justify Justinian’s rule and, by all appearances, earned his salary in fulsome full.”

    But centuries after his death, an unpublished history written by Procopius was discovered which described Justinian as a literal demon. It appears that Procopius wrote TWO histories, contradictory ones.

    So, just because we find a text that says “Bob believe X, Y and Z…” is not objective proof that Bob actually believes X, Y and Z. Historias just don’t speak in terms of objective facts, but of what we know of the historical record.

    The source of that story and more on history…

    http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320hist&Civ/chapters/01HIST.htm

    “The answer to all these questions is that history, both as the unfolding and as the recording of the past, must proceed—and it will whether or not anyone wishes it to!—and if it cannot proceed under ideal circumstances, then too bad for those who insist on perfection! Given the natural human inclination toward bias, egotism, sloth and sensationalism, we can and must make something of the so-called “facts of history” and the data we’re left with, whatever their condition, something that at least approaches the truth even if it does not accomplish our aim of discovering the whole of what-really-happened.”

    ~Dan

  74. Well, I’m back, if anyone is still checking in. Here are the three questions for which Dan believes I have some great obligation to answer:

    1. How do know you are addressing a deity and not merely having a conversation with yourself/ in your own head?
    2.What evidence do you have to judge the difference?
    3.And how would you react to a believer of another religion/faith who claimed they knew their god in a similar fashion.

    As neither Ark, nor Dan believes I answered the questions, I now have to take time to show where I did. The following is my second response after my first stated the fact that the questions (#1 & 2) are stupid questions:

    “The answer you think you want is really the answer to the question of what evidence one has for believing in a deity at all. I’m not about to get into that totally off topic discussion here. But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone. If you aren’t capable of praying without merely talking to yourself, that’s your problem. I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.”

    Note here that I indicated what Ark’s true question really is. Questions1 must begin with my belief that I am actually addressing an actual being, in this case, God. Since God IS a deity, I am quite sure I am indeed addressing a deity and not some figment of my imagination. Indeed, whether or not God exists is irrelevant here since the question is posed as one regarding what I know, not whether or not what I know is true or factual. As such, I know I am addressing God in the same way that I know that I am addressing, say, Ark or Dan when I post a comment in blog discussion such as this. I know I am addressing God because He is Who I am addressing. How much more complex need my answer be? What proof do I have regarding the existence of Ark? Is there a separate entity who uses that moniker, or is it really Dan playing devil’s advocate?

    So I did indeed answer the question. That the question is stupid is not my fault and is not some Dan-like dodge to a question with some true and honest inquiry behind it.

    The “outrage” of Dan that I respond to a stupid question by referring to it accurately as stupid is incredibly ironic (and stupidly so) given Dan’s constant whining about anyone daring to think Dan doesn’t know best what he thinks and believes.

    Going further, I do not respond to my prayers as if God is doing the responding. A prayer is a communication between the person praying and the entity to whom that person is praying. A plea, to praise, an offering of thanks…all these things are one way, in that the person praying makes that plea, praises or thanks the entity in the very same way one would to another person standing before him. It is done and a response is expected or anticipated. That’s it.

    As for questions 2, what evidence would I need that I am not having a conversation with myself, if I am speaking to God or to some schmuck atheist on a blog? The lack of a tangible response, indeed, no response of any kind that I can detect would not alter my certainty that I was addressing someone or something other than myself. A far better question would be for someone like Ark to prove that I am indeed talking only to myself. Even one who is crazy does not talk to himself when he addresses his imaginary friends or demons. He is crazy perhaps, but he is still addressing someone other than himself, at least in his mind. Is a response necessary in order to not be talking to one’s self? I don’t think so, as whether or not a response is forthcoming is not something one can control, even if one is speaking to another standing before him. One merely addresses the other party and waits, for however long it might take or until one decides an answer or response will not come or is not understood to be given.

    But still, in the end, the questions are incredibly stupid unless Ark wishes to get to some point he believes the questions alone were to present.

    In question 3, my answer was even more straightforward. I said:

    Question 3 is inconsequential as I don’t worry myself about such issues.

    A truly intellectual person like Ark, as well as someone like Dan, should have easily seen this as a direct answer. If I don’t worry myself about such things, then I would have no reaction, unless my regard for the person appealing to a non-existent god counts as a reaction. So, perhaps another answer would be “sadness” that the person is mistaken, as I am sad that Ark is so horribly mistaken.

    So there. All three questions have been answered and twice at least.

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    I do want to highlight another example of Dan’s inability to use analogy:

    “If the crazy-sounding Muslim comes up to you and says, “I’ve been talking to Allah and he revealed many glorious things to me, including about how I should kidnap your children and raise them as Muslims…” is it not an entirely reasonable question to ask, “How do you KNOW you were conversing with a god? How do you KNOW that the conversation was only in your head…? What objective data are you using to evaluate this conversation’s content?””

    This weak-sauce attempt to draw an illustration clearly goes beyond the scope of Ark’s question. Dan’s example includes the “crazy-sounding muslim” claiming to have received a direct response from whomever it was he claimed was the recipient of his prayers. It’s an entirely different question than what Ark had asked.

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    In the meantime, Dan brings up two examples of his own self-serving antics:

    “Objective means (“apparent to ALL observers” meaning, in my mind, “apparent to ALL observers…”)”

    This is damned convenient. We must take for granted that if Dan claims our arguments are NOT apparent to him as an observer, ours are not “objective”. We must trust him that he is being honest when he says our proofs and evidence and whatever aren’t apparent to him. With this “rule”, he can dismiss absolutely anything regardless of the merit and validity and truth and logic of whatever it was we put forth.

    His list of rules for historians provides the same loopholes. Between the two, there is nothing that can be taken as fact as long as there is someone to dispute one or all of the seven points listed. Nothing in history can be believed or taken as fact based on his position. One could provide support for having satisfied every one of those seven points and another could suggest otherwise about any of them in order to put that which was presented as fact in doubt. How freaking convenient.

    But then, he does it with Scripture all the time.

  75. paynehollow says:

    ?

    I’m sorry, did you explain why the question was stupid? Because I’m still not seeing it.

    How about this: Say “The question is stupid because…” and clearly state why.

    The best I can figure is you think it is a stupid question because you REALLY believe in God, is that it? If so, how does that make it a stupid question?

    • It is a stupid question because it assumes I don’t know to whom I’m addressing my prayers. Do you have any such problem, Dan? Are you uncertain when you pray who it is you are addressing? Really? And you call yourself a believer? In what do you believe? That you believe you are devoted to a possibility? Yeah. You’re a true Christian, all right.

      • paynehollow says:

        ??

        You are addressing your prayers to your God. Both Ark and I understand EXACTLY who you are addressing your prayers to.

        So, THAT is your reason for thinking it’s a stupid question? If so, then do you see now that your reason is based on a false understanding (since we clearly know who it is you are intending to address)?

        Given that we both understand EXACTLY who you think you’re addressing, NOW do you see that it is a reasonable question?

        And beyond that, EVEN IF we didn’t know who you were addressing, how does that make it a stupid question?

        Here’s question 1 again:

        1. How do know you are addressing a deity and not merely having a conversation with yourself/ in your own head?

        So, say that Ark does not know you are addressing the entity known as the Christian God, what is stupid about the question? If he KNEW that you were addressing the Christian God, then STILL the question is a valid one: How DO YOU know you are addressing the Christian God and not just having a conversation in your mind?

        It’s a reasonable question. You should be prepared to answer it.

        ~Dan

  76. A far better question would be for someone like Ark to prove that I am indeed talking only to myself.

    Oh, this can be done. All you need to do is submit to a brain scan.
    And I believe you will have your answer.

    I am on good terms with someone who studies neurology. Would you like me to ask her to address this question for you, to demonstrate exactly why you are effectively, talking to yourself, Marshal?

    • I have no doubt that for some, like Dan, belief might be shaky. So certainly, in such people, a brain scan might indicate a distinct difference between talking to the person in front of you versus talking to someone you don’t truly believe exists. This would be true for any person who is unsure that the person in front of them exists as well, wouldn’t it? Ask your friend.

      • The point is, you are not talking to ‘someone’, are you?
        Such a situation usually implies a two-way channel of communication, not necessarily verbal but at least confirmation that both parties are aware of each other.
        On this score you have got absolute Jak -S*** to offer to even demonstrate that what you are chatting with is aware that you, and upward of a billion people, are ”chatting” to.
        Your belief is based solely on indoctrination.
        This is why your Middle Eastern god did not manifest to every human on the planet. Belief in it had to be exported, often from behind the point of a sword or via the Inquisition or other similar methods.

        This is the reality, and whether you truly believe you are talking to something there is no evidence to suggest this is in fact happening.

        I wouldn’t call what you claim to experience insanity,for who hasn’t talked to themselves during times of stress to bolster one’s resolve during a difficult time – like the last 10km on a marathon for instance – lol – but your unshakable belief that there is someone on the other end of these prayers/pep talks definitely suggests a severe case of brain-washing.

        And yes, I will mention your case to her and see if she wants to pop, over and tell you what’s going on inside your head.
        Whether you will acknowledge her expertise in this regard is another matter all together, of course.

  77. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    “Objective means (“apparent to ALL observers” meaning, in my mind, “apparent to ALL observers…”)”

    This is damned convenient. We must take for granted that if Dan claims our arguments are NOT apparent to him as an observer, ours are not “objective”. We must trust him that he is being honest when he says our proofs and evidence and whatever aren’t apparent to him. With this “rule”, he can dismiss absolutely anything regardless of the merit and validity and truth and logic of whatever it was we put forth.

    It’s not a “rule,” it is the meaning of the word. IF it is a Thing in the real world that is apparent to ALL observers (not just me, but ALL observers) then it is objective, by definition. It it isn’t apparent to everyone, then it is not objective, by definition.

    Are you using some other definition for objective, Marshall? What does “convenient” have to do with anything. Either something IS apparent to all, or it’s not. The skeptic and the atheist do NOT perceive the God that you are speaking to, they see no valid objective evidence for your claim. On what basis would you say you are objectively speaking to a god if you can not present data that is apparent to all observers?

    Thus far, as far as I can see, you all have not even attempted to present objective evidence, so those who might disagree with you can not even begin to evaluate your claim because you lack ANY data to support it (at least in this conversation).

    What definition of “objective” are you using, Marshall, can you at least clarify that?

    I think it comes down to this: You all think you have sufficient cause to hold the opinions you hold (as do I), but you simply, factually do not have evidence that is apparent to all observers. And that’s fine. Just make the claim that you think you have good reason to hold your opinions, even if they are subjective and unprovable, THAT would be a claim that makes sense and keeps you honest in the real world.

    What people object to is being told by people like you that you KNOW what you KNOW because you hold objective evidence… and then refuse to provide that evidence or acknowledge that it is evidence, just not objective… but rather, it is open to interpretation. That is rational, believable and a more humbly honest starting point.

    How about it? Can you either provide objective data or admit your evidence is compelling to you, but not objective?

    ~Dan

  78. paynehollow says:

    Marshall tried to explain that he DID answer questions 1 & 2 here…

    “The answer you think you want is really the answer to the question of what evidence one has for believing in a deity at all. I’m not about to get into that totally off topic discussion here. But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone. If you aren’t capable of praying without merely talking to yourself, that’s your problem. I quite certain I’m not having a conversation with myself when I pray.”

    That is, you specifically did NOT answer the questions asked because, you say, “the answer you think you want is really the answer to… what evidence is there for believing in a deity…”

    You then specifically said you would not answer THAT question, either (“I’m not about to get into that totally off topic discussion here…”)

    So, you not only have not shown the original questions to be “stupid,” you have not, by your own admission, answered the questions asked. How is that an “answer” to the questions?

    Do you mean to say that your direct and clear “answer” is, “I ain’t gonna answer…”?

    Does anyone of our more conservative friends NOT see how bizarre all this is?

    ??

    So, Marshall, it sounds like your “answer” comes down to this…

    But as I believe God exists, I am as confident that I am talking to Him when I pray as I am when I’m talking to anyone.

    And when you say you’re “confident,” you mean, what? That you have a really sincere feeling that God exists? On what do you base your confidence? Is that source an objective bit of data that you all can show to all observers, or is it a subjective feeling you have in your heart of hearts?

    ~Dan

    • It is impossible for Marshall to reply to this honestly now without compromising his current rather truculent position, so I doubt you will get a straight answer, but likely another asinine theological two-step; probably also involving a side swipe.

  79. Dan has been pining for me to respond to questions I’ve already answered, so I will begin to do so now. Ark is his usual arrogant self while lacking the courage and intellectual honesty of putting forth an actual argument to support his positions. Below, I will respond to both of these guys regarding comments and questions of the last several comment postings. How far I get remains to be seen. I may have to do it in multiple sittings since there is so much to unpack, what with Dan’s muddying ways. I doubt either can wait until I have concluded totally, so I will ignore any subsequent comments either makes until I have finished. You will know when I type “I am finished” at the end.

    Picking up from Dan’s comment of August 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM:

    “You are addressing your prayers to your God. Both Ark and I understand EXACTLY who you are addressing your prayers to.”

    Then the question is even more stupid than I first imagined. What is stupid then, is the asking of the question itself. The question again, was:

    “1. How do know you are addressing a deity and not merely having a conversation with yourself/ in your own head?”

    I am unaware of anyone not a deity who is referred to as “God”. Is there anyone else but the God of Scripture that comes to your mind, such as it is? If you understand “EXACTLY” that I am addressing God, a deity, then how can you ask the question? You are essentially asking me, “How do you know you are addressing a deity when you address a deity?” How do YOU know its a deity I’m addressing when I say I’m addressing a deity? I wonder what a brain scan would show when you ask. So…

    “Given that we both understand EXACTLY who you think you’re addressing, NOW do you see that it is a reasonable question?”

    …cements my original assessment. The question is clearly NOT reasonable at all. Here’s another unreasonable and less than intelligent question:

    “So, say that Ark does not know you are addressing the entity known as the Christian God, what is stupid about the question?”

    First, why the speculative question? What purpose does it serve toward getting what you believe is a reasonable question answered? What’s more, it wouldn’t matter WHAT religion I follow. What matters is that he asked about my addressing a deity and how I know it is one. What possible difference does it matter if I’m an Roman Catholic, an Evangelical, a Jew, a muslim or a goofy anabaptist? Thus…

    “How DO YOU know you are addressing the Christian God and not just having a conversation in your mind?”

    There is no better answer than, I know because it is God to whom I pray. I’m not going to pray to the Virgin Mary, or St. Christopher or either of my dead parents. I’m directing my praise and petitions to God, just as I’m directing my responses to two goofy leftists who ask goofy questions. See how easy this is? What makes you think a more complex response is even needed for a question like that? A reasonable question? Not to all objective observers.

    Maybe it’s that “just having a conversation in your mind” possibility you two find compelling. I deal with that next. To do so, I refer to Ark’s comments of August 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM:

    “The point is, you are not talking to ‘someone’, are you?”

    That you have a desperate need to believe that does not make it so. Not even a little bit. I am indeed talking to someone. God.

    “Such a situation usually implies a two-way channel of communication.”

    “Usually” perhaps, but not the least bit required, except to satisfy your need to believe what you prefer to believe.

    “On this score you have got absolute Jak -S*** to offer to even demonstrate that what you are chatting with is aware that you, and upward of a billion people, are ”chatting” to.”

    Oh! You’ve done a poll?

    “Your belief is based solely on indoctrination.”

    No. That would be your belief that is based on indoctrination. Mine is based on education. Wait. Which is which? Mine must be based on indoctrination because you don’t like the thought of being accountable to God, while yours is education because you like the way it sounds. We each have reviewed an amount of what the other believes and have found the other’s wanting. So, the other guy has been indoctrinated.

    “Belief in it had to be exported, often from behind the point of a sword or via the Inquisition or other similar methods.”

    Like education and reason. Only an atheist is so dishonest as to pretend Christianity spread by only nefarious means. That explosion following the first years immediately following the Crucifixion was in spite of the point of the sword at the backs of believers.

    “This is the reality, and whether you truly believe you are talking to something there is no evidence to suggest this is in fact happening.”

    Only the evidence of, you know, me talking to God. Heck, even if He didn’t exist I am still clearly talking to Him. Good thing for me that He does.

    “I wouldn’t call what you claim to experience insanity,for who hasn’t talked to themselves during times of stress to bolster one’s resolve during a difficult time…”

    You mean, like, besides me? Lots of people who remain calm during difficult times. We tend to simply focus on the task at hand. Even still, that’s not the same as praying to God. Not even close.

    “…your unshakable belief that there is someone on the other end of these prayers/pep talks definitely suggests a severe case of brain-washing.”

    No. It only suggests a severe belief in God who hears my prayers. But I must say, I don’t get that “pep talk” crack at all. I’ve never heard of anyone praying for a “pep talk” from God, or any Scriptural support or reference to God giving them on request or any Biblical character seeking one. Or do you mean I’m possibly giving God a pep talk? Why would He need one?

    “And yes, I will mention your case to her and see if she wants to pop, over and tell you what’s going on inside your head.
    Whether you will acknowledge her expertise in this regard is another matter all together, of course.”

    First of all, you don’t even know “my case”, though you might want to see what she has to say about atheists projecting.
    Second, she would need to at least meet with me for a hour to even suppose she could hope to understand what is going on inside my head.
    Third, she would have to provide some indication that her “expertise” is not simply the result of atheist preconceptions that skewed her research toward conclusions atheists hope to find. I certainly have no confidence in YOUR word on that score.

    That’s all for now, kids. I’ll have to get to Dan’s final two comments tomorrow (barring the unforeseen). Try not to interrupt.

  80. I almost forgot questions 2 & 3 that Dan finds so compelling, so I’ll hit them quickly now. They are:

    2.What evidence do you have to judge the difference?
    3.And how would you react to a believer of another religion/faith who claimed they knew their god in a similar fashion.”

    #2 is stupid because #1 was, but more so because if I am holding a conversation in my own head, I’m providing both sides of it. When I pray, it is only me talking to God. It’s one way. It is also stupid to pretend that there could be any hard and solid evidence, like film, tape or paper work (maybe a receipt ?) to prove I know the difference. It’s idiotic to label the question reasonable. But then, it was Dan.

    #3 I answered just fine at the first. My reaction to, say, a Druid, would be the same sadness I feel for anyone who prays to a false god, like the sadness I feel regarding Dan and the sadness I feel for atheists, even those like Ark. What kind of reaction were you expecting?

  81. paynehollow says:

    I’m glad to wait for you to get around to answering the question: Why are these questions stupid? (I still see no answer to that, so when you come around to finish it up, be sure to write, “SO, the answer to why the question is stupid is…” and fill in the blank so I don’t miss it).

    In the meantime, I would just refer you to the story of Harvey? You familiar with the Jimmy Stewart movie? Wonderful movie, I highly recommend it, touching gloriously on issues of faith and reality.

    In the movie/story, Jimmy Stewart plays the most likable fella in the world who is, nonetheless, a bit of an oddball (or perhaps because he is so likable/affable). His main quirk is that his best friend is a 6 foot tall invisible rabbit (pookah, actually) named Harvey that only Jimmy Stewart can see or hear.

    Delightful, delightful movie and story.

    But, given that situation: Can you not agree that in the real world, “Jimmy, how do you KNOW there is an invisible rabbit right next to you? Is there any evidence of it?” … that these are reasonable – NOT “stupid” – questions to ask? HOW could the questions themselves be stupid?

    Now, sure, Jimmy might respond by saying, “Well, I know it’s Harvey because I’m talking to him, right there, isn’t that right, Harvey?” but it doesn’t make the questions stupid, does it? Aren’t the incredibly reasonable questions to ask? If not, why not?

    Awaiting a direct and clear answer to these questions. Take your time.

    ~Dan

    • Your dishonesty knows no limits, does it, Dan? I’ve answered the question directly and without caveat. But try this: the question is stupid because there is no way to adequately respond to it. Any answer depends upon YOUR willingness to accept the answer as having been truthfully provided. Obviously you are NOT willing to accept my answer, so dishonestly, you pretend it hasn’t been answered. How is it possible to respond to your satisfaction? I’ve already stated that I do not see how “evidence” can be provided to prove that I am confident in whom I address with my prayers. From one who wets himself anytime he believes another is insisting widdow Dan doesn’t know what he means, your petulance on this question is quite telling…and it ain’t telling something favorable about your character (or anything we didn’t already know about your honesty or intelligence). I know I’m addressing a deity because it is a deity to whom I am addressing my prayers. If you have reservations about whom YOU address with your prayers, than you once again demonstrate the weakness of your conviction in that deity’s existence, if you are convicted at all. That’s on you. Don’t suppose anyone else suffers from doubt as badly as do you.

      I think that “doubt” is what Ark is depending upon (and so are you) in order to make whatever passes for a case in his fevered imaginings. Should a believer suffer from any doubt at all, it, in his mind, exists as some proof of God being fantasy. Again, I don’t believe the question he asks is the question of importance, but merely a means to elicit a response to which he can point with derision. So that makes the question stupid for its dishonesty. So how do I know I’m addressing a deity? The same way I know I’m addressing anyone. By the perceptions I have based on a myriad of proofs and evidences, as well as what I’ve been taught and have learned over the years of my life. When I address you, I believe I’m talking to a false Christian, a dishonest person, or at least one who is greatly mistaken and too proud or lacking intelligence to honestly consider the words of opponents. When I address Ark, I’m quite certain I’m addressing an arrogant fool who lacks the courage to truly put forth an argument to back up his arrogant condescension toward our beliefs. You each can attempt to alter my perceptions about both God and yourselves, but you are both equally tasked with providing evidence that I don’t know who I’m addressing as you demand of me.

      So now your last comment resulted in wasted time I had hoped to use to respond from where I last left off. Thanks for that.

      • The mistake you make is because of presupposition:
        You believe that your god exists and therefore you talk to him. Ergo, he must exist.

        Because if he did not, this would mean you were quite likely nuts, or indoctrinated.
        As you are convinced you are not nuts, as this would make several billion other people also nuts and as you are emphatic that you have not been indoctrinated, therefore you must be perfectly normal and thus talking to your god is also perfectly normal and must mean that your god exists.
        As there is no requirement for this god to actually reply, in any shape of form, you are free to prattle to your god for as often and as long as you wish, content in the knowledge, that along with all the other billion or so not-nuts-at-all-people who are also talking ( praying?) to this god that S/h/It is listening.

        Now, anyone who was NOT indoctrinated would surely ask this: In the absence of any evidence whatsoever how on earth did I come to believe this?

        The answer that a non-indoctrinated person would arrive at – or an indoctrinated person who reached a point where they were now able to exercise Critical Thinking would be the realisation they had been duped since childhood or/and because of social/peer/cultural pressure.

        Once this hard fact has been faced head-on the individual is now on their way to a full recovery.
        And if you doubt any of the above simply substitute Harvey the Rabbit wherever you see the word god and you will immediately realise that you are utterly and without reserve nuts, as noone in their right mind would ever succumb to lasting indoctrination over a giant rabbit.

        • Obviously, you are still in the process of indoctrinating yourself that there is no God. You prefer to believe there exists no evidence whatsoever, when the truth is that you aren’t convinced by the evidence that exists or, more likely, prefer to reject it as not actual evidence. I can’t do anything about that. Stupid is as stupid does.

          But your desperate struggles to convince yourself are not valid arguments against the fact that I am certain that I’m speaking to God when I pray as opposed to having a conversation in my head. Feel free to go on believing your ludicrous proposition. It is your Harvey.

          • Obviously, you are still in the process of indoctrinating yourself that there is no God.

            Feel free to provide evidence of such a deity anytime you like.

            You prefer to believe there exists no evidence whatsoever, when the truth is that you aren’t convinced by the evidence that exists or, more likely, prefer to reject it as not actual evidence. I can’t do anything about that. Stupid is as stupid.

            Again, feel free to at least point to this evidence.
            Anytime you’re ready, Marshal …

            But your desperate struggles to convince yourself are not valid arguments against the fact that I am certain that I’m speaking to God when I pray as opposed to having a conversation in my head. Feel free to go on believing your ludicrous proposition. It is your Harvey.

            I am an atheist, for the gods’ sake. I have never been desperate about religion in my entire life. lol …
            How’s the praying going by the way? Has your god seen fit to regrow an amputees limbs yet?

            As for your rabbit … ”Er … what’s up, Doc?”

            • Actually, Ark, back when you were throwing claims out about how the NT was all made up and that everyone knew it, you said it was my job to refute it.

              Since the vast majority of the human population believes God exists, you need to refute that claim, according to your rudimentary understanding of the burden of proof.

              • Since the vast majority of the human population believes God exists,

                Really , John? And which god would this be?

                Please supply details and numbers.
                The burden of proof always lies with the one making the initial claim.
                Furthermore, there are a great many people who do not believe in your god, John, not least a billion or so Muslims, so please, don’t get cute.

              • You made the I I tial claim about the fictional nature of the NT words of Jesus. You made that claim. By all means, live up to your own standard.

              • But you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is your god, don’t you, John?
                Therefore, that claim has to be justified first.
                Now, I already explained to you that godhood was bestowed upon the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth by the church.
                So are we talking about your god, Jesus of Nazareth or
                another, John?
                Please be specific when you reply.

              • There you go again.

                “I already explained…”

                NO you didnt. You asserted. There’s a difference. You need to defend that claim with evidence.

              • I asserted based on the explanation from those who made the decision: those present when the Nicene Creed was being sorted out.
                Including Eusebius and Constantine.
                Don’t you know the history of your religion,John? Seriously?

              • There you go yet again just spouting off names with no argument.

                Why not offer an actual argument?

                Are you that vacuous?

              • Why must I espouse an argument when this is already established?
                Do you not understand the nature of the Trinity, John?
                Are you not aware of Arius, or Marcion?
                Do you not realise that everything you believe in regarding the deity of the character Jesus of Nazareth is based solely on faith?

                There is no evidence, John. If there were then what would be the necessity of faith?

                If you wish to claim you hold the high ground in this regard, then let’s see some evidence.

                Anything to support your claims.

              • Well, I think it’s established that the Christian God exists. Now I don’t have to espouse an argument.

                You’re a rather juvenile “debater”. I don’t even mean it as an insult. But you have a belief that you can just throw out claims and never offer reasons. That you can just say it’s established and everyone knows and that’s good enough. That’s juvenile.

              • Well, I think it’s established that the Christian God exists. Now I don’t have to espouse an argument.

                What a wholly immature and ignorant response.
                What you ‘think’, I could care less and in this regard several billion others, including more christians than you would feel comfortable with, not least of all your blog nemesis, Dan the Man, would wholeheartedly agree with me and simply laugh off such a ridiculous assertion.
                You are just embarrassing yourself , John.

                You’re a rather juvenile “debater”. I don’t even mean it as an insult. But you have a belief that you can just throw out claims and never offer reasons. That you can just say it’s established and everyone knows and that’s good enough. That’s juvenile.

                Debating? What in earth is there to debate?
                I consider the relevant experts in this field far more worthy to educate you than I could ever hope to, which is why I have continually offered to provide links to these eminent individuals whose credentials I fully respect and who make your pissy little whines about me not arguing simply laughable.

                That you have not even offered a single reasonable argument yourself or provided any links to back a single claim simply shows that you are either blatantly ignorant and don’t even know where to look for information pertaining to your religion or your are poop scared to face the reality and simply resort to
                behaving like so many evangelicals by hiding behind ‘faith’ and such vacuous phrases as ”goddidit”.
                Perhaps it’s time to strap on a pair, John and step up to the plate?

              • I also find it ironic that in the same comment where you say you don’t need to give any arguments you demand I provide one.

              • I have addressed this issue before.
                If you, personally, are unable to defend what you believe, then provide links to evidence that will demonstrate the veracity of your claims.
                You can start with verifiable evidence for your claim that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe.

    • “Now, sure, Jimmy might respond by saying, “Well, I know it’s Harvey because I’m talking to him, right there, isn’t that right, Harvey?” but it doesn’t make the questions stupid, does it?”

      Absolutely it does. What’s more, it is insulting as it implies dishonesty or insanity on the part of the person being questioned. What evidence do you have that the person would lie about what he is clearly seeing? You might be able to determine sanity, but not merely based on the person’s insistence that he is confident that he knows who he is addressing. The Stewart character knows he is addressing a 6 ft rabbit because he clearly sees it.

      And obviously, the point of asking the stupid question is to lead to the conclusion that a person of faith is delusional. Why YOU would insist on an answer is likely dishonesty, as so many of your questions are loaded to legitimize a self-serving interpretation or preferred position, regardless of logic or rationality.

      “Delusion” is desperate hopefulness and wishful thinking on Ark’s part belied by the fact that so many intelligent men of science are firm believers in the God of the Bible or some form of intelligent designer. The same is true for many intelligent men of government and every other field of endeavor not dedicated to trying to dispel the notion.

      More later.

      • @Marshalart
        .

        “Delusion” is desperate hopefulness and wishful thinking on Ark’s part belied by the fact that so many intelligent men of science are firm believers in the God of the Bible or some form of intelligent designer.The same is true for many intelligent men of government and every other field of endeavor not dedicated to trying to dispel the notion.

        This is called compartmentalization. It is a way to avoid cognitive dissonance.

        The same is true for many intelligent men of government

        Firstly, I consider this a likely oxymoron and it demonstrates a certain amount of indoctrination on your part; namely that you assume that because a person is in government this automatically makes them intelligent.
        Former president Bush clearly shows that one can be a complete buffoon and still be elected to office providing one has enough money.

        Your comment also demonstrates a level of sexism that you would say men and not include women in your sentence – though no doubt you will rush to defend this with some half-baked platitude.

        • “Firstly, I consider this a likely oxymoron and it demonstrates a certain amount of indoctrination on your part; namely that you assume that because a person is in government this automatically makes them intelligent.”

          If ever a comment that uses the word “oxymoron” provokes a joke about the commenter being a moron, this is it. My comment does NOT assume a person is intelligent because they are in government, because to say “many men of government” in no way implies they are ALL intelligent. Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi…not half a brain between them. And I haven’t seen anything from you that demonstrates you have room to criticize Bush’s intelligence.

          What more, only someone looking for an excuse to demonize would suggest that the common use of the term “men of goodwill”, for example, would exclusively refer to only the male of the species. “Mankind” is another term for “human beings”. So your attempt, ironically, is half-baked. Not surprising.

          • And I haven’t seen anything from you that demonstrates you have room to criticize Bush’s intelligence.

            Well, I suppose you would be behind such a man, as his god talks to him, right?
            You should email him, Marshall, maybe he can give you a few tips?
            Really, the more you comment the more you come across as an absolute ignorant jackass.

  82. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    the question is stupid because there is no way to adequately respond to it. Any answer depends upon YOUR willingness to accept the answer as having been truthfully provided.

    Of course there is a way to adequately respond to it. The question is what evidence do you have that you are speaking to your god? ALL you have to do is provide evidence.

    That would be a way of adequately responding to the question. You know, like the Bible says, “Always be prepared to give an explanation for your faith…”

    So, that rules out the “it’s stupid” dodge, since it is a reasonable question. I’m not sure if you’re being intentionally evasive (saying it’s a “stupid question” to ask a fella for evidence for his giant invisible rabbit? WHY is asking for evidence for a rather hard to believe claim, “stupid”? One might say it is an insensitive question, because it confront an apparently delusional person with reality, but then, that would mean you’re admitting to delusion on your own part and I don’t think you are.

    So, no, clearly, it is not a stupid question, you have provided no solid support for that claim. and clearly, you have no evidence – at least no hard objective data – to support the claim, to provide evidence.

    So, it appears that you are getting all huffy and emotional and calling the question “stupid” merely because you are confronted with a reality that you don’t want to admit to.

    And, as a God believer, why do I point this out? Because I am striving to be an HONEST believer in God. I believe in God and the teachings of Jesus for what I consider compelling reasons, but I also admit to believing in the literally unprovable opinion parts in faith, not because there is hard data to objectively demonstrate it. Honesty compels me to admit to reality and I have no fear of doing so.

    ~Dan

    • I’m neither huffy nor emotional. I’m quite calmly stating the truth of it. It’s a stupid question. You suppose that evidence can be brought forth to prove I’m speaking to God. What would that look like, do you suppose? I would ask you to do the same for when YOU pray, but you’ve proven yourself to have no true faith you believe in God and are totally lacking in conviction.

      So yes, clearly it is indeed a stupid question, and again, it is entirely hypocritical that someone like you, who bristles at the thought that anyone might presume to know what you are thinking or believing better than you, would even continue to pursue an answer to the stupid question.

      What’s more, your standards of “hard data” are suspect, and as such your belief is therefore as demonstrably delusional as that of the Jimmy Stewart character regarding the 6ft rabbit. I accept the data that exists as at least “hard enough” to satisfy to me that God exists, and that the probability of that being so is not in any way outweighed by the desperate arguments of an Arkenaten and other God-haters.

      • It’s a stupid question. You suppose that evidence can be brought forth to prove I’m speaking to God.

        You claim your god is interactive; gets involved in the affairs of mankind watches over humans and animals alike so it is not a stupid question, but a very reasonable one.
        All we are asking is how do you know you are talking to a god?

  83. paynehollow says:

    After these hundreds of comments and thousands of words and repeated requests for just someone to support ANYTHING they’re saying with something more than “nuh uh, I SAID so, so that’s how we know…” I’m wiping the dust from my feet.

    Guys, you’re embarrassing yourselves and the faith which you supposedly are trying to defend (“trying” by refusing to answer reasonable questions and attacking people asking them… seriously?)

    May God (or Life – for your sake, Ark) grant us wisdom.

    ~Dan

  84. paynehollow says:

    No, Ark, I don’t think so. I have been “enlightened” for years, now. I still find the reasons to believe in God compelling, even if unprovable. I am quite certain in my faith in Jesus and his teachings that this is the Way for me.

    Just because I do not treat the Bible like a magic book or as my little paper god does not mean that I would abandon the faith. For me, to do so would be irrational.

    Peace,

    Dan

    • @Dan
      a) Which god are you referring to?
      b) what compelling reasons, evidence?
      c) Which teachings of the character Jesus of Nazareth are original or even unique?

      • paynehollow says:

        a. A Creator God, a God of love and justice, as found in the teachings of Jesus
        b. The Nothing comes from nothing argument: I believe that out of Something, Everything was created. I don’t think Everything (a whole UNIVERSE – possibly Multiverses! – worth of Everything was created from Nothing. As far as I know and as makes sense to this non-scientist, that sounds crazily impossible. Among others. Here’s a link to Aquinas’ and Kant’s arguments in summation, both of which make rational sense to me.

        http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/argument.htm

        Beyond that, the practical evidence of how Jesus’ Way simply makes good, rational, moral sense in real world interactions is compelling to me, when we bring it down to Jesus’ teachings.

        c. I have made no claims that Jesus’ arguments en toto are unique. I think his combined teachings are compelling, nonetheless. Where the Zoroastrian or Muslim or atheist agrees with Jesus’ teachings (or Jesus’ teachings agree with their views), I think we are talking the same Way.

        I believe there is One Truth. One Good. One Right. There is not that which is True if Christians say it but NOT true if Muslims say it. To the degree that anyone speaks of living a life of love, grace, compassion and action on behalf of the least of these, we are talking the Way of Jesus, or simply, the Way of God, or even more simply, the Right Way.

        • a. A Creator God, a God of love and justice, as found in the teachings of Jesus

          Name , and source of reference of this god?

          b. The Nothing comes from nothing argument: I believe that out of Something, Everything was created. I don’t think Everything (a whole UNIVERSE – possibly Multiverses! – worth of Everything was created from Nothing. As far as I know and as makes sense to this non-scientist, that sounds crazily impossible. Among others. Here’s a link to Aquinas’ and Kant’s arguments in summation, both of which make rational sense to me.
          http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/argument.htm
          Beyond that, the practical evidence of how Jesus’ Way simply makes good, rational, moral sense in real world interactions is compelling to me, when we bring it down to Jesus’ teachings.

          The Goddidit argument has no basis in fact. I don’t care an iota who argues it, whether Aquinas , Kant or William Lane Craig. The phrase, I don’t know is a perfectly acceptable , and honest answer.
          Much of ‘Jesus’ Way’ was patently ridiculous, as evidenced by much of what he didn’t teach as much as the absurdity of much of what he did. You surely do not need a list?
          Furthermore, biblical scholars have deduced that a large amount of what is claimed to have been spoken by the character Jesus of Nazareth is spurious.
          If you are ambivalent regarding the god-claims heaped upon the character Jesus of Nazareth then why not simply follow Buddhism?

          c. I have made no claims that Jesus’ arguments en toto are unique. I think his combined teachings are compelling, nonetheless. Where the Zoroastrian or Muslim or atheist agrees with Jesus’ teachings (or Jesus’ teachings agree with their views), I think we are talking the same Way.
          I believe there is One Truth. One Good. One Right. There is not that which is True if Christians say it but NOT true if Muslims say it. To the degree that anyone speaks of living a life of love, grace, compassion and action on behalf of the least of these, we are talking the Way of Jesus, or simply, the Way of God, or even more simply, the Right Way.

          I have no idea what One Truth (etc) means. I find it unnecessary to couch one’s terms in pseudo philosophical terms with unnecessary capital letters ( as if this adds to the authority of such banality) when simply being straightforward will gain you far more respect and understanding.
          If you used such terms to a five year old child they would look at you as if you were nuts. Why use such terminology toward adults? I understand English, so write plain English.
          As one can find all and more of the ‘Jesus Way’ qualities within humanism why the need to refer to a 2000 year old narrative construct?

        • paynehollow says:

          Ark…

          Much of ‘Jesus’ Way’ was patently ridiculous, as evidenced by much of what he didn’t teach as much as the absurdity of much of what he did. You surely do not need a list?

          You are certainly welcome to your opinion. I, for one, don’t find any of the Way Jesus taught to be ridiculous, at least not in a bad way. (One can certainly argue, “It’s ridiculous to turn the other cheek when an enemy is intent on causing harm…” but I would argue that, given the realm of options, “turning the other cheek” – rightly understood and practiced – is indeed the wisest of approaches to dealing with the problem of violence and that wise people like Gandhi and MLK and others have been successfully using this “ridiculous” teaching of Jesus to great affect for centuries).

          You may well have a list of ideas that, to your way of thinking, are ridiculous. You are welcome to show them to me, but I am in no way compelled to find that your opinions are The One Right Truth any more than I am compelled to think that Bubba’s opinions are The One Right Truth, when it comes to Jesus’ teachings.

          Ark…

          The phrase, I don’t know is a perfectly acceptable , and honest answer.

          Indeed, it is. As is, “I have no proof, but this explanation seems compelling to me, nonetheless…” If you have another opinion, you are welcome to it.

          Ark…

          If you used such terms to a five year old child they would look at you as if you were nuts. Why use such terminology toward adults?

          I use the term by way of trying to be explicit and exact in what I’m saying. It is a Truth, I would argue, that we should love one another. That Truth (or “truth” if you prefer) is true regardless of who says it. It is a great and powerful Truth/truth that we really SHOULD look out for the needs of the least of these, the poor and marginalized. Regardless of who says it or how they say it, the truth is there.

          I capitalize Truth for the simple reason that I believe these ideals are important and vital to humanity. No offense is intended. Lower case truth is fine with me, as well.

          I don’t see what is “nuts” in advocating these universal truths, or what is insulting about it. If you find it insulting that I advocate ideals that Jesus taught, or if you find Jesus’ teachings (his actual teachings, not what the religious have made into the Denominations of Christianity) ridiculous, you are welcome to ignore them. I dig them and think this way he taught is a way that brings life, health, forgiveness and, ultimately, salvation.

          Feel free to disagree.

          ~Dan

  85. paynehollow says:

    I will point out that it is ironic that in this post perhaps written to defame/demonize progressive sorts, the more fundamentalist/extremist types have done an amazing job of defaming themselves in their abusive and intellectually cowardly way of avoiding simply making the case for which they supposedly have such confidence.

    If you can’t answer simple, reasonable questions, maybe you shouldn’t be so certain in your position or arrogant in your responses. People see these sorts of answers for what they are.

    ~Dan

    • Written to defame? It’s a survey where progressive christians answer for themselves to show that on moral issues they’re no different than ‘the world’.

      • @John
        And can we assume that you are not a progressive Christian, John?
        Oh, btw, how you coming along with that evidence, or those links?

        • I’ll just list a bunch of names…like you did. You see, I understand that you think you’re right. You think your sources are right. But that doesn’t therefore follow that you ARE right. You’ve never made a case for your assertions. You’ve merely stated that you’re correct.

          When you provide a case for YOUR assertions, I will argue against them.

          Here’s my list:

          James
          Davis
          Stephenson
          Bellamy

          Surely you’re familiar with them and so I don’t need to restate their arguments.

  86. I think it’s abusive and intellectually cowardly to insinuate that inerrantists treat the Bible like a magic book or a little paper god, and to do so on the way out of a conversation.

    It’s also a smear I would expect from a God-hating atheist, not a grace-filled and faithful follower of Christ, but people can see those sort of attacks for what they are.

    • It’s also a smear I would expect from a God-hating atheist..

      Atheists do not hate gods; yours or anybody else’s.
      One cannot hate something that has never been shown to exist or hate anything one does not believe in. The notion is ridiculous.
      What is it with certain theists and this notion of ‘hate’? Are you lot retarded or something?

      • Indeed, Ark, one cannot hate that which he disbelieves, but one can CERTAINLY claim to deny the existence of that which he hates.

        We see this frequently enough in our earthly social relationships, implicit in the schoolyard behavior of the “silent treatment” of those who are held in contempt, and explicit in an angry father’s declaration of “I have no son” when he believe his child has betrayed him.

        • paynehollow says:

          So, you are able to rightly divine what God’s mind is AND what Ark’s mind is, even better than Ark? How long have you been a practicing mind-reader and what are your credentials?

          ha.

          ~Dan

        • Spoken like a true indoctrinated fundamentalist.
          Firstly, Bubba, I will remind you that you have yet to profer a single scrap of evidence for the existence of your god.
          Until then I can no more hate or accept or deny that I would the tooth fairy.

          So instead of coming across like someone who has been hit around the head with a bible one time too many, simply offer some verifiable evidence that I can consider and we can move the discussion along like mature adults.
          Okay?
          Excellent!
          Over to you.

  87. About answering simple, reasonable questions, Dan, I noticed how quickly our conversation at your blog devolved from your stated goal of a two-way street of one-for-one questions, to your hectoring me for daring to dispute you misunderstanding about the difference between objective and subjective.

    I’m still waiting for an answer to my second question.

  88. paynehollow says:

    And I’m still waiting for an answer – a rational answer – to my first question. One at a time. If my first answer to your first question needs any clarification, please let me know and I will answer/clarify. In the meantime, I’m still waiting on your first answer to be clarified.

    ~Dan

  89. Dan, I’m picking up that claim in that conversation, where it belongs.

  90. Dan:

    “So, you are able to rightly divine what God’s mind is AND what Ark’s mind is, even better than Ark? How long have you been a practicing mind-reader and what are your credentials?”

    I didn’t actually accuse Ark of being a God-hating atheist, and had his complaint been that I did, I would have explained that I wasn’t making that accusation.

    What I wrote is that your smear sounded like it came from a God-hating atheist — it does, and you do frequently use their rhetoric, inappropriate as that may be.

    Ark’s objection wasn’t that I accused him of being a God-hating atheist, but that I proposed that God-hating atheists exist.

    I stand by that belief, and it requires no special psychic abilities to recognize that SOME people who claim to deny the existence of God do so because they’re angry at God, sometimes for very understandable reasons.

    • I stand by that belief, and it requires no special psychic abilities to recognize that SOME people who claim to deny the existence of God do so because they’re angry at God, sometimes for very understandable reasons.

      I would agree to a point here, and those that do deny the existence of a ‘God’ (sic) are usually those who believe in them in the first place. In this instance, Christians, and often they have suffered something quire traumatic and found all their praying and emotional appeals come to naught.
      It is at such times that reality kicks in and it is quite sad that people have to pass through this baptism of fire ( sic) to realise there is no evidence for the garbage they have been indoctrinated with.

      • “I would agree to a point here, and those that do deny the existence of a ‘God’ (sic) are usually those who believe in them in the first place. In this instance, Christians, and often they have suffered something quire traumatic and found all their praying and emotional appeals come to naught.”

        But this is merely blaming God for that which is unpleasant. That is, since suffering was experienced, and no relief from it delivered that perfectly satisfies their terms for it, they then choose to reject God. If that’s not being “of the world”, little else is evidence of it.

        As to what some may have believed in the first place, it is rather silly to expect that anyone brought up in a God-centered culture, which to some extent we still are in the western world, would NOT have originally held some belief in the existence of God (or A god). So what? How is that a salient point with any real meaning regarding those who deny? I cannot see trying to make bones on the notion that some are raised in households where no belief is taught. Our blog host, John, if I am not mistaken, state that he is such a person, not raised in a particularly religious household, and has come to believe on his own based on his own study of the claims and evidence. And he is not the first or only example of someone who came to believe from a position of not having believed. Lee Stroebel, for what his story is worth, was adamantly opposed to the notion that God exists. His research and investigation has led him to belief. You, of course, would crap on his story no doubt. But nonetheless, he is but one more example of those who looked for and found evidence from which he could not conclude otherwise, despite his best and honest efforts.

        • But this is merely blaming God for that which is unpleasant. That is, since suffering was experienced, and no relief from it delivered that perfectly satisfies their terms for it, they then choose to reject God. If that’s not being “of the world”, little else is evidence of it.

          Listen, Hotshot, you cannot use presuppositional apologetics to make your case. You have to first demonstrate the veracity of this claim of your god.
          Besides, only believers will apportion blame in any case.
          How on earth could a non-believer possibly blame something that has no basis in evidence?

          As to what some may have believed in the first place, it is rather silly to expect that anyone brought up in a God-centered culture, which to some extent we still are in the western world, would NOT have originally held some belief in the existence of God (or A god).

          AT LAST! A clear example of cultural indoctrination. The man (?) begins to see the light! Thank the gods!
          And this is what happens all over the world, be it Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu etc etc. Are you truly beginning to get it, Marshall?

          Lee Stroebel,

          Oh … puleeeze, the poster boy for all ”God-hating atheists” across the globe. the gods save us! Who next, Anthony Flew?
          And why didn’t these two god botherers discover the Muslim god or the Jewish god ? Oh…wait a moment, the did! Because Yahweh is the god of all three Abrahamic religions, isn’t he , Marshall?
          How about a list of at least twenty deconvertees? From all religions.

          …who looked for and found evidence from which he could not conclude otherwise, despite his best and honest efforts.

          WHAT FRIGGING EVIDENCE!!! Are you deaf or unable to read?

          Produce this evidence.

  91. Ark, I’m honestly not sure what good it would do to review what I believe is good evidence for theism, especially considering that you deny that the New Testament records that Jesus claimed to be God, AND you even claim that Jesus clearly denied being God.

    Where do you think Jesus denied being God?

    • Where do you think Jesus denied being God?

      Er … is this a serious question.
      He denied it in the bible, of course. You know, that book with King James or somesuch written in the cover.
      My copy is blue with gold lettering.

      But this aside, please, I implore you, let me read this evidence you have.
      But nothing said or written by William Lane Craig. The man is a pillock.

      • Where in the Bible? Book, chapter, and verse, if you please.

      • Ark. You can’t on the one hand dismiss the words of Jesus in the bible as words of fiction that he never said, then say he never claimed to be God because it’s in the bible. SMH

        • Oh, I don’t offer any credence whatsoever to the character, Jesus of Nazareth. I would have thought that was obvious by now?
          Such conversations are no different than discussing the meaning of what Harry Potter said, or rather what JK Rowling meant when she wrote the dialogue.

          While there may very well have been an itinerant, smelly eschatological prophet called Yeshua present in 1st century Palestine, the biblical character you claim is a god is a narrative construct for which there is no evidence at all.
          I hope this has clarified the position for you?

      • paynehollow says:

        Ark, for the most part, since these fellas have been making the positive claims about that which is questionable, the onus has been on them to support their claims, not on you to provide evidence against the claims which they have not supported.

        But here, YOU have made a positive claim: that Jesus denies being God in the Bible. In this case, the onus is on you to support the claim.

        Just to be fair. You can’t expect them to support their positive claims if you are not willing to support yours.

        I would say that it is a rather spurious claim to say that Jesus “denied being God” in the Bible. We could debate whether or not he ever positively affirmed being God – with the contention being open to interpretation, seems to me – but I can think of nowhere where Jesus made a claim that he was not God.

        At a guess, I would say you are referencing Mark 10…

        “As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.’”

        But this is not explicitly Jesus denying being God, although one could certainly interpret it that way. Another way of interpreting it would be to say, “Jesus is checking to see what this man says in response…”

        It would all come down to interpretation and our interpretations about this passage (and all the passages Team Bubba/John cite) are subjective. You can rightly say, “It seems to me that Jesus is claiming here to NOT be God…” but not state authoritatively “Jesus says he’s not God…” When you do that, you fall into the same mistake that Bubba, et al, are making.

        One man’s opinion.

        ~Dan

        • Ah…well isn’t it all about interpretation with you lot?
          And let’s not forget John, eh?
          Where JC announces he’s nothing without his dad, and that he was returning to his dad’s place?

          And of course, when he calls out to his dad while on the cross.
          Unless he was talking to himself?

          There is not a single verse that has the character Jesus of Nazareth saying I am god in any shape of form.
          Oh …wait for it…I AM lol…go on, be a devil. Throw that one into the mix.

          What next, Isiah and the Virgin Birth?

      • “But nothing said or written by William Lane Craig. The man is a pillock.”

        As if you could actually explain how that is so. As always, you just throw shit out there as if you know what you’re talking about. Some substance would be nice for a change.

        • Because he supports Divine Command Theory, for one very good reason.
          Are you ever going to stop being a fucking idiot, Marshall?

          • DCT is a completely logical view.

            If God is a perfectly morally good being, then anything proceeding from him is also morally good.

            God issues directives and commands.

            Therefore those directives and commands are morally good.

            Whether you agree with the DCT enterprise or not is irrelevant to whether it’s a valid idea philosophically.

        • “Are you ever going to stop being a fucking idiot, Marshall?”

          I never started. Seems it’s routine with you. And you make it look so easy.

          “Then produce evidence of this god.”

          Produce evidence of an alternative theory.

  92. Indeed, Dan demonstrates that his pleas for grace, compassion and Christian demeanor are for rhetorical purposes only. I have answered Ark’s questions several times in several ways and am still accused of having avoided answering them. I’m still trying to understand why insisting I know to whom I am directing my prayers is a deity, as if anyone would pray to someone or something that isn’t. I still insist the question isn’t what he’s after and crafted only as an attempt to defame (as defamation has not been coming from our side—certainly not exclusively or so directly) me and my beliefs.

    Now, Ark somewhat demonstrates his intentions are aimed toward forcing a list of evidences and proofs for God’s existence, as if he couldn’t find such evidences mentioned by any of us by searching our archives. No. He believes he can commandeer the thread in order to simply dismiss without counter evidence of his own. As I said much earlier, I feel no obligation to go down that road.

    Now, Dan once again whines about mind-reading while still supposing either he or Ark can question the intention of my mind regarding to whom I direct my prayers. As the “Harvey” gambit clearly proves, the existence of an entity has no bearing on the intended recipient of one’s communication. One still knows to whom one is praying and the demand that one proves one knows to whom one is praying is idiotic. Stating that fact is not dodging or lacking in grace. It is merely a statement of fact. Particularly when the person requesting is unable or refuses to explain what sort of proof would satisfy.

    “The Goddidit argument has no basis in fact. I don’t care an iota who argues it,”

    Spoken like a truly open minded atheist. In the meantime, there is no alternative that has basis in fact of any more strength or validity. It is only that the atheist puts more stock in what has more personal appeal and is quick to dismiss and reject anything that suggests the God possibility. This is because the atheist does indeed worship science and men of science (those scientists who support his preferred viewpoint) as omnipotent and infallible. Ark’s denials of this truth do not impress or convince, especially given his refusal or inability to provide evidence and proofs of his own.

    • Spoken like a truly open minded atheist. In the meantime, there is no alternative that has basis in fact of any more strength or validity. It is only that the atheist puts more stock in what has more personal appeal and is quick to dismiss and reject anything that suggests the God possibility. This is because the atheist does indeed worship science and men of science (those scientists who support his preferred viewpoint) as omnipotent and infallible. Ark’s denials of this truth do not impress or convince, especially given his refusal or inability to provide evidence and proofs of his own.

      I have had more intelligent discussions with four year-olds, than with you, Marshall.

      An atheist does not believe in gods simply because there has never been a scrap of evidence for them that warrants serious consideration and most certainly not a single scrap of verifiable evidence. And not one iota of verifiable evidence for the man-god you worship.
      But you have my word that the moment you do produce such evidence I will most definitely reconsider my position.

      • “I have had more intelligent discussions with four year-olds, than with you, Marshall.”

        You haven’t been offering intelligent discussion here at all. You simply reject what opponents say, dismiss anything offered as evidence and generally mock and deride. I’ll bet those four year-old kids had you easily stumped and babbling.

        In the meantime, you’ve offered not one scrap of verifiable evidence for any alternative theory. Fraud.

        • Alternative theory to what?
          Lol..
          Moses….fiction.
          Abraham…Fiction.
          Egyptian Slavery … Fiction
          Exodus … Fiction
          Pentateurch … Fiction

          As demonstrated by the consensus of every reputable archaeologists across the globe, and acknowledged by all but ultra orthodox Jews.
          Alternatives based on archaeological evidence:
          See: Israel Finkelstein, Ze’ev Herzog, Rabbi Wolpe,
          Kenyon, William Devers.

          Jesus of Nazareth as portrayed in the New Testament.
          Fiction. No evidence whatsoever.
          A character possibly based on an eschatological Preacher of the first century, crucified by the Romans fr inciting Resurrection

          Now, smart Alec, lets; see you produce a single piece of verifiable evidence to refute a single thing \i have written,.

        • Again…you’ve offered only assertion. Your reputable archaeologists have NOT confirmed those people and events are fiction. They’ve been unable to prove the people existed or the events happened. Have you ever heard of honesty? If any of those experts have claimed those people and events are total fiction, as if it has been proven, they’re lying. But I suspect it is just your desperate hope that those people and events ARE fiction.

          in the meantime, citing “experts” and books is not supporting your assertions. It is passing the buck. Put up or piss off.

  93. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I didn’t actually accuse Ark of being a God-hating atheist, and had his complaint been that I did, I would have explained that I wasn’t making that accusation.

    Thank you for the clarification. My apologies for misunderstanding. Perhaps you can see how, given what you wrote, I mistook your intention. Regardless, it would appear I misunderstood your intention and for that, I’m sorry.

    ~Dan

  94. Dan, since — as recently as yesterday — you accused me of putting myself in God’s place, I’m certainly not surprised by your accusation of mind-reading.

    I appreciate your apology, but I wish you had attributed your error less to my writing that didn’t even mention Ark much less psychoanalyze him, and more to your quest to portray theological conservatives as irrational, immoral, and megalomaniacal.

  95. paynehollow says:

    Well that portrayal, I think, stands for itself because of your (collective) behavior, not because of anything I have said.

    And for the record, I’m not speaking of all theological conservatives, just the ones that fit into the more “extremist/fundamentalist” camp (as described in previous posts). I LOVE conservatives, I come from strong, sound, loving conservative stock and owe a great deal to them all, thanks be to God. Without them teaching me well about Jesus and the Bible, without them teaching me to take the Bible seriously, I would not be where I am today.

    ~Dan

  96. Arkenaten:

    Sorry for the delay; long evening away from the Internet.

    You jeer, but I’m quite familiar with the account of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, not least because Dan here routinely points to that story as proof that the New Testament is ambiguous about salvation apart from works, even though the disciples despaired at the possibility of trying to earn salvation by meeting Jesus’ exacting standards, and Jesus taught them that such salvation is impossible with man but possible with God.

    There are three canonical accounts of the encounter, in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18, and while there are differences, none of them present any real difficulty for the position that Jesus claimed to be God.

    In Mark and Luke, the man referred to Jesus as “good teacher,” and Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

    Jesus DID NOT actually deny being God, nor did He deny being good. .

    In Matthew, the man asks about good deeds, and Jesus replied, “Why do you ask me what is good? There is only one who is good.”

    Here, Jesus DID NOT actually deny being good.

    And in all three accounts, Jesus did answer the question with authority.

    On the question of Jesus’ self-understanding, the reply is, by itself, inconclusive. If Jesus didn’t consider himself God, the reply indicates something like, “What are you thinking? I’m not God.” But, on the other hand, if Jesus DID consider himself God, the reply indicates something like, “Do you not realize what you’re saying? I deserve the appellation of ‘good’ and have the authority to teach about what is good because I really am God.”

    It Jesus’ other comments that point to a self-understanding of being God, with many of these comments found in the same synoptic gospels that record the encounter with the rich young ruler.

    – While the prophets’ favorite formula is, “Thus says the Lord,” Jesus routinely appealed to his own authority, with “I say to you..” (Mt 5:18, Mk 3:28, Lk 12:37 and MANY other passages)

    – Jesus claimed the authority to forgive sins, not just sins committed against him but all sins, as if he were the divine Judge against whom we all sin. (Mt 9:6, Mk 2:10, Lk 5:24, the religious teachers balked because they believed only God can forgive, and Jesus didn’t act as if they were wrong in their belief)

    Look beyond the synoptics to John’s gospel and you’ll find, most conclusively, that Jesus claimed for himself the divine name revealed in the Old Testament, “I AM;” his doing so provoked people into believing he had blasphemed, and he didn’t follow up with anything like, “no, you misunderstand, I’m just a mere human.” “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (Jn 8:58, in addition to the other “I am” statements, where Jesus claims to be, for instance, the good shepherd where Psalm 23 claims that Yahweh is the psalmist’s shepherd)

    Ark, in the face of all this strong evidence that Jesus personally claimed to be God, you say that Jesus never did so.

    But with Jesus’ reply to the rich young ruler, where there is no conclusive indication that Jesus denied being God, you think Jesus did so decisively, and you think it’s so obvious that you mock me for asking where you think Jesus denied being God.

    You have such a skewed perspective, I simply don’t see the use in reviewing the evidence for the existence of the Creator God and His identity as YHWH of Jewish Scripture and Jesus of the New Testament.

    If you’re genuinely curious about the Christian case for theism, there are plenty of resources out there.

    • When the Pharisees had Jesus on trial, ready to kill him for making himself equal with God, wouldn’t that be a great time to say “woah, you got it all wrong”.

      When it’s mentioned that only God can forgive sins, and Jesus goes around claiming to forgive sins, that action is a claim.

    • This is what apologetics is all about Bubba.
      The fact remains, the character, Jesus of Nazareth did not claim to be ‘God’ and this was what all the internecine fighting was about and why Nicea, and Constantine eventually put a stop to it and declared him God(sic) and later Theodosius made Christianity the State Religion and began to purge the empire of heretics.
      Surely you are aware of the history of your religion?
      Do you know the history of the’ iota’,and the part it played in the Trinity, for instance?

      • After sneering in your presumption that I don’t know Scripture — “Maybe it’s time you read your bible again, Bubba, hmm?” — and being shown that you’re dealing with someone who knows the Bible at least as well as you do, you don’t apologize for your attitude or even simply drop the act of presumed superiority.

        No, you just move right along, from the presumption that I don’t know my religion’s holy text to the presumption that I don’t know my religion’s history.

        You’re the sort of person one would want to buy for what he’s worth and sell for what he thinks he’s worth.

        • After sneering in your presumption that I don’t know Scripture

          Sneer? Are you feeling hard done by, Bubba?
          Want some candy? Here’s a tissue ….come, on dry those tears, big boy.
          Oh, I am sure you ‘know’ it, for any given value of know, but your interpretation is classic apologist. Meaning, you cherry-pick your way through it until you arrive at the conclusion based on presupposition and indoctrination.

          The Virgin Birth is the classic example.
          Just for once,why don’t you be a brave apologist and give us a truly honest take on this?
          Dare you, Bubba!

          you don’t apologize for your attitude or even simply drop the act of presumed superiority.

          No, not ‘presumed superiority at all. I make no apologies if you feel inferior in this regard. I simply try to read a lot and widely. When you open your eyes and do the same … then open them again you will eventually become a non-believer. It is a given. Speak to a deconvertee – from ANY religion.

          You’re the sort of person one would want to buy for what he’s worth and sell for what he thinks he’s worth.

          Oh, I KNOW I am worth a helluva lot more than Christianity gives credit for, that you can count on!

          So, your whingey, whiney comments notwithstanding, if you have evidence that the character Jesus of Nazareth said he was the god, God, let’s see it?

  97. @Marshall
    “Then produce evidence of this god.”

    Produce evidence of an alternative theory.

    Ah … At last! So in actual fact you do not have any evidence. Which is what I have been saying all along. Thank you. It took a while.

    • An idiotic conclusion to draw from my comment. I simply reverse the challenge, and I do so because you I do not feel compelled to provide a lower case letter worth of evidence to one who has yet to provide even that much to support any assertion he’s put forth. I have supported at least one claim I’ve made, you’ve simply dismissed it as if I’ve submitted some commonly known error without the slightest bit of proof to support the notion. You drop names and such, but have provided no reason to suspect you’ve actually read the materials, much less understand them and suppose by doing so that will know whatever game breaker it contains to which you might be referring. You’re a fraud and an empty suit. You aren’t worth the effort until you demonstrate a willingness to actually make a case.

      So I’m NOT saying I have no evidence. I’m saying put up or piss off. You’re at the dead end of your one-way street.

      • Idiotic conclusion? Mmm … actually it is quite astute when you think about it.

        Really, Marshall, you are behaving like child with it’s hands across its eyes telling it’s parents, “You can’t see me!”
        Ín fact, it sounds as if are getting your panties in a real knot over this, Marshall.

        I am surprised, truly. As a devout believer, I would have thought you would have evidence dripping from all over the place, considering yours is a proselytizing religion.
        And yet all you do is say I must “Put up or piss off” because I don’t supply you with evidence.

        Methinks maybe you are just a tad worried that your the tide is coming in and your Castle Made of Sand is about to
        crumble,Marshall.
        Come ON, don’t be such a spoilsport.
        You have all this evidence of your miracle working water-pedestrian, resurrecting Man-God and yet you won’t share it.
        (And no, so far you have not produced diddly squat)

        Really, what sort of damn evangelical Crispyun are you for your god’s sake?

        What a meany you are!

        • “Idiotic conclusion? Mmm … actually it is quite astute when you think about it.”

          And even in this you give no argument whatever as to how it might be, which is to your favor since it truly is an idiotic conclusion. You assume I don’t have evidence for my position, but I insist I do. Your own panties are bunching because I refuse to play games in a one sided event. You’ve seen me back up an assertion of mine already, followed by an assertion of your own that my source is not credible but without an argument or evidence to prove your point. That doesn’t work for me. You made a demand, I came through, then you did nothing but your usual cowardly routine of nothingness.

          “Methinks maybe you are just a tad worried that your the tide is coming in and your Castle Made of Sand is about to
          crumble,Marshall.”

          I’ve no doubt you desperately hope so. The alternative to this wishful thinking doesn’t bode well for you. The fact is that I’m not worried in the least. What’s more, I’m not worried in the least that you’ll ever come through with an actual argument of substance to back up your assertions. Thus, obviously, the fear is yours.

          “(And no, so far you have not produced diddly squat)”

          This is a lie, or you’re too busy being that “f-ing idiot” to which it seems you make look so easy to remember (as if it was so long ago). It was my citing of Tacitus to support my assertion that Christianity spread quickly following crucifixion of Christ. You arrogantly demanded, I complied, you did the idiot thing you do so well.

          • Marshall, Ark is all talk. He’s obviously some young easily influenced atheist who thinks he’s the smartest person in the room. He scouts atheist blogs, never double checks claims, and runs with them as if they’re gospel — pun intended.

            I already basically caught him in this when he dropped a few names but literally refused to even outline THEIR arguments let alone formulate one of his own. It’s quite obvious he hasn’t done any actual reading on any of these issues more than skimming blogs.

            Because he hangs out with so many atheists, he feels really smart among them because of all the back-slapping. I’ve read his site and they all congratulate each other when they get a good insult in, which passes for arguments where they come from.

            He’ll go away soon enough on his own when he feels like we’re all so dumb that he can’t even talk to us, all while never, even once, making a cogent argument ever, all while asserting that we can’t just make assertions.

            Bubba actually said it best. Buy him for what he’s worth, sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  98. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    not least because Dan here routinely points to that story as proof that the New Testament is ambiguous about salvation apart from works

    Not that it matters much in this big mess o’ conversation, but to be clear: I have not said/do not maintain that the NT is ambiguous on Grace. I just noted the reality that some people could form the opinion that salvation could be by works and do so based on the bible’s words.

    That’s the point here (repeatedly). I’m just acknowledging the simple factual reality that people of good faith can and do read the Bible and interpret it in all manner of ways. We have no “objective knowledge” of what God’s opinions are. When we claim “I know” God thinks this or that, we are liars. Say “I believe…” this or that all you want, or “It’s my opinion – one I can absolutely not prove…” and that’s fine, but those who claim objective knowledge of God are liars and are demonstrating an inability to read God’s Word any better than they can read and understand my words.

    And if you can’t read and understand my words, written last week in your own language, perhaps you should not be so boastful in your confidence of understanding the ancient Bible.

    ~Dan

    • I do remember you, Dan, being ambiguous on salvation. I asked you if atheists and non christians can be save by grace in those states of non christianity, and I think you were dodgy. Can they be?

  99. paynehollow says:

    Are you asking God or me? For me, MY answer is clearly: I do not know, not objectively.

    God has not told me the answer to that question.

    Do you know objectively? Has God told you the answer to that question?

    My guess is that I believe it is rational to believe that we are saved and are being saved by grace, unless we choose to reject grace. But that’s just a guess, since, as I have stated, I do not know.

    Answering “I do not know” to a question where you do not know the answer is not being dodgy, it is being honest.

    That is a different topic, though, than the question of whether I think that the Bible promotes a view of a salvation by works, which clearly I don’t, since I’ve never advocated it with my actual words.

    Anybody wanna bet a million dollars that John is not going to answer questions – even the VERY questions he puts to someone else?

    ~Dan

  100. paynehollow says:

    Nope, not answering your questions, John, til you answer mine.

    Or actually, your OWN question: Do you “know” that atheists will be damned to hell if they’re not christians? If so, please provide your evidence.

    The fact, of course, is that you have zero evidence. This is something you believe based on your cultural traditions, not something you know.

    But by all means, feel free to answer your own question.

    ~Dan

    • “Do you “know” that atheists will be damned to hell if they’re not christians?”

      That wasn’t his question, Dan. It was…

      “I asked you if atheists and non christians can be save by grace in those states of non christianity, and I think you were dodgy. Can they be?”

      What should we infer from this

      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    • Then beat it, Dan

  101. paynehollow says:

    So, no, you will demand answers from others that you are unwilling to answer yourself, much less others’ questions to you, is that it?

    Yes, it is time to beat it. You all demand answers from others but are not open to reasonable questions about your positions, you all are not willing or able to provide support for your rather silly-sounding claims that are easily disputed by reality. This isn’t a conversation on your side, it is an Inquisition. What a gas.

    Peace to you, nonetheless.

    Marshall, one can infer all sorts of things from that quote. It’s called interpretation and, well, just reading. Not everyone accepts your Holy Rule Book or your Holy Magic 8 Ball view of biblical interpretation as being rational.

    Do you objectively know what God’s opinion is on that question, Marshall? I’m not asking if there is a line in your Holy Rule Book that gives you a suggestion as to what you may THINK God’s opinion is. I am asking do you objectively KNOW God’s answer to that question. If so, provide the hard data so we can objectively evaluate your evidence.

    Just don’t offer me, “Well, in my heart of hearts, I REEEEAALLLLLY believe that this text means this reality. My feelings on this are VERRY strong, so therefore, I ‘know’ objectively…” because you are more mature than that.

    Barring, you know, actual answers and actual evidence, I’m done with this thread, it’s getting no one nowhere.

    ~Dan

    • “Marshall, one can infer all sorts of things from that quote.”

      Sure Dan. One can say all kinds of crap and say it’s an honest inference. Doesn’t make it so. I wonder what credible inference you believe is honestly possible that doesn’t include the conclusion that atheists and non-christians are excluded from saving grace? I can’t see any. Help me out here.

  102. Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer stated in A Christian Manifesto (page 21) that liberal theology is nothing more than secular humanism in religious terms. The liberal theologian will inevitably come down on the same side as the secular humanist on any issue, whether it be same-sex “marriage,” abortion, homosexual behavior, environmentalism, social welfare, support of tyranny, nature of truth, etc. They serve another master instead of God. They reject that truth is knowable, demanding evidence beyond a shadow of doubt. (“Do you objectively KNOW God’s opinion on this matter.” As if “knowing” anything does not require any amount of trust (faith).”) Their position is self-refuting, and therefore, false. How can they know the truth that truth is unknowable?

    What liberal “Christians,” atheists, and skeptics do is to diminish the authority of God’s Word and then say to Christians “Now prove your point without using God’s Word.” God’s Word is evidence. And there is evidence that the Bible we have is the authoritative, inspired word of God. As Christians, we need to know what that evidence is.

    • DT, wow, that’s eerily accurate

    • In other words, you have diddly squat besides the fallacious biblical texts and the decrees of the early church.
      Nothing more than faith.
      And only an idiot or an indoctrinated person would acknowledge this.
      And it seems you do …

      • Not having diddly squat and not offering diddly squat are two very distinctly different things, Ark. You’re covered both ways by not having squat to offer. Insults don’t cut it. The “Nuh uh” argument doesn’t either.

        And you might want to re-read your “diddly squat” comment in full. It seems you’ve indicted yourself as the indoctrinated idiot (the first honest comment you’ve made, though I’m guessing it was accidental, no matte how true). You’re saying only an indoctrinated idiot would acknowledge that John has diddly squat and nothing more than faith. That would be you. You confirm the idiot part by saying it’s John, when clearly John would NOT acknowledge that he has only diddly squat and only faith.

        I love when you condescend.

        • Ah …you wish to spend your time on semantics rather than address the real issues at hand.
          What an anal retentive you are, Marshall.
          Truly.
          Stop mucking about about and for once, let’s see the evidence you claim you’ve got.
          Give me one single piece for ANYTHING.

        • Ah…you wish to spend your time pretending you’ve made no unsubstantiated claims rather than address the real issues at hand.
          What a cowardly fraud you truly are, Ark.
          Absolutely.
          Stop mucking about about(sic) and for once, let’s see the argument you claim you’ve got for ANYTHING you’ve put forth regarding religion.
          Give us one single argument that YOU think is irrefutable in making your case, since you seem to think that it is so freakin’ obvious. Don’t refer me to some tome by some equally desperate atheist or “liberal” theologian with no more conviction of his beliefs than Dan has. Don’t drop another name as if that’s somehow enough to shame the unrepentant believer. Do something more than suggest John is correct in that you simply skin a few atheist websites and take whatever they put forth as gospel, rather than have a truly firm understanding of their cases (assuming they have a case).

          You don’t get to dictate, particularly when I’m at least one up on you in actually citing an actual source and reprinting the source’s words.

          Or, simply continue to pretend you’re a serious proponent of anything while you do nothing to indicate you have a clue.

  103. Because he hangs out with so many atheists, he feels really smart among them because of all the back-slapping. I’ve read his site and they all congratulate each other when they get a good insult in, which passes for arguments where they come from.

    Smile…unlike the four Christian Horseman of the Apocalypse who hang out here, John, who love to indulge in so much back slapping if it weren’t against your religion(sic) I’m surprised you don’t all get a room.
    Oh, and bless for you this …

    He’s obviously some young easily influenced atheist …

    I especially liked the ”young” part. That warmed the cockles of my heart, I tell you.

    You’re the man, with the evidence John. All the facts. All the truth and the ear to his god, no doubt.
    :)
    You go get those nasty baby-eating atheists.

  104. Something to start you all off with….
    Enjoy!

    http://hjrabbi.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/schamas-story-of-the-jews-part-1/

    • That’s not a source of anything. After reading it, it’s thick with speculation built on what a couple named people accept to be the case.

      I thought you were going to post, you know, actual arguments with solid data.

      • I already told you John, that I will not argue the experts case, and you damn well have not had chance to research all the links on this post, that’s a fact.
        Go back and try the link to David Wolpe.
        When you can be honest then we can have a grown up discussion.
        While you run a blog that asserts your position is right from the outset based on presupposition and then simply sets out to trash objections you will always come across as merely childish in your refutations, something you clearly demonstrated in your responses to Anthony.

        There has been no genuine dispute regarding the Patriarchs, Moses the Egyptian Captivity, the Exodus or the conquest of Canaan for at least two generations.

        If you wish to claim otherwise, then provide a link to a recognised archaeologist who has provided evidence for the biblical claims that are the basis for your faith.

        Until you, or anyone else, is able to do this, then science wins the day hands down.

        You disagree. Fine. Provided evidence.

        Until then, you are merely whistling in the wind.

        • I’ve already looked into Wolpe, thank you.

          Grown up discussions don’t usually include refusals to make a case for their view, as you have resisted from the beginning. When you get yourself a pair of big boy pants and want to have an actual back and forth containing for realsies arguments, let me know.

          • You base you entire world view on presupposition.
            I have looked into that. It has no basis in reality.
            You also base your worldview in the doctrine of salvation.
            I have looked into that.
            It has no basis in verifiable evidence or reality, as it applies only to those who follow the christian doctrine.
            Therefore, I reject this as well – unless you can provided evidence to counter my deep misgivings?

            The scientists invilved in uncovering the truth of the Old Testament have been doing do for decades and have turned up nothing.
            Once given the go ahead to dig in the Sinai,these Israeli archaeologist, had everything to gain, politically and religiously, and would have liked nothing more than to have uncovered biblical evidence thus establishing once and for all their rightful claims to the”Promised Land”

            There is no evidence.

            And this has been accepted by all other than fundamentalists, such as yourself, John.
            If those whose very history is claimed to have been built upon reject out of hand the historicity of these biblical tales, who the HELL are you to wave away the findings of innumerable scientists and relevant experts in their fields?

            • Seeing as how I wasn’t brought up with religion or a church, you can’t blame it on indoctrination.
              Second, there have been zero archeological discoveries that have overturned any claim in the old or new testament. Sure, there’s speculation on passages where confirmations have not come forth yet, but that’s speculation.

              Are you looking for some official record from the Pharoah documenting that him and his army was bested by a group of down trodden slaves?

              • Seeing as how I wasn’t brought up with religion or a church, you can’t blame it on indoctrination.>?blockquote>
                Interesting. So, what’s your story, then, John?

                There is no evidence for the biblical claims.
                The first claimant is the bible.
                There is NO EVIDENCE to back its claims regarding the Exodus. None.
                Are you not understanding or being dense on purpose?

                Find one Rabbi who will put in writing the Exodus is historical.
                Find one Egyptologist that has evidence for the Captivity.
                Find one archaeologist who can provide a single scrap of evidence that will confirm the Exodus.

                This argument has been dead in the water for nearly two generations.
                I repeat, only fundamentalists like you John, believe the biblical tale.

              • I thought you said you read the “about” page. In fact you said it was the first thing you said you looked at. Reread it again.

              • I have read it.
                I got confused the first time after initially reading how you claimed to be agnostic then leaped from there to your ”conversion” to Christianity without explaining why. ( unless I missed something? – which is quite possible.)
                I’ll be honest, after I read that ”conversion” line, I switched off.

                So, if you would like to fill in the small details I am interested to read….

                And don’t forget about your archaeologists and scholars with evidence for the Exodus etc.
                Let’s not let this one slide, okay?
                I want to see what you have to back your biblical claim for Moses etc….

        • John,

          He won’t argue the experts’ cases because he doesn’t know them, understand them or really hasn’t read them himself. If he did, he could put forth what he considers the most salient and unassailable point, the game-breaker he believes we could never hope to overcome. He’s a fraud.

          • Ah, Marshal!

            Let’s clear this up once and for all, shall we?

            The only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to concepts of the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. They were dismissed as myth well over two generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced:
            “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, NOR ANY ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE to make them think otherwise.”

            Now, if you wish to continue to behave like a prat, then be my guest.
            What is expressed above is the scientific reality.
            It is what the archaeologists accept, based on scientific inquiry.

            If you disagree, which you are perfectly entitled to do, then produce evidence to refute every relevant expert in the field.
            Otherwise, do yourself a favour and simply shut-up as you are merely making yourself look like a complete. pillock.

        • Ah, Ark.

          Let’s clear this up once and for all, shall we?

          Your own quote from Hareetz, a left-leaning publication, says only that there is no “evidence to make them thing otherwise.” This presumes that because they’ve found nothing to convince them, that the case is settled once and for all. This is typical of the close minded. Are you paid up in your membership dues to that club?

          You presume that because some archeologists support your desperate desire to reject God, that these archeologists are the only credible archeologists in existence. That they have yet to find Moses’ driver’s license, or any other absolute proof, means only that they’ve found nothing to absolutely prove without question the existence of Moses or anyone else. That is to say, they have nothing by which an honest person (so that eliminates you) can say with certainty that the stories of the Bible are indeed fictitious.

          What you have expressed is not scientific reality, unless by that you mean that the reality is that some archeologists believe that which gives you a tingle. But such does not make them “relevant”. It makes them proponents of a single school of thought.

          In the meantime, insisting that your favored “experts” agree with you is not producing evidence for your position. It is asserting that “experts” agree with you. Nothing more.

          • ….some archeologists (sic)

            Where does it say ‘some’

            As you obviously disagree with this expert opinion, then produce one of your experts – Kitchen for instance – and let’s see how his opinion matches up.

            If you can’t, then I reiterate, please, simply shut up – you are behaving like an ignorant pillock, Marshall.
            The Jews already acknowledge that this is a fiction.
            So does former Christian evangelist, archaeologist, William Devers.
            What makes you, a bone-headed thick as two short planks, ignorant christian apologist so special?
            The experts aren’t agreeing with me, you clod, I agree with them.

            What next, are we going to have an argument about Noah’s Ark for crissake?

            • A newspaper is not representative of “the Jews” expecially an editorial…unless you want me to find some news clipping to speak for all of some other group.

              Also, who does Devers speak for except Devers?

              • He’s a professional archaeologist. What do you mean who does he speak for?
                He does his job and follows the evidence.
                What sort of half baked question is that?
                All you do is follow unsubstantiated doctrine, simply because you have not the capacity to exercise critical thought.

                There is no evidence. Accept it or produce some or someone who is able to.

              • you referenced a newspaper in Israel making a comment and said ‘see even the Jews dont believe it.’

              • I have stressed often enough that only ultra Orthodox Jews consider there is more to Moses than fiction.
                The entire biblical story is taught as such in Israeli schools these days, as is evolution.

                You are not an idiot so for goodness’ sake, stop behaving like one.

                Simply Google any info. you regard suspect and it is there for you to see.
                Why not watch a YouTube video from William Devers?
                The man was a former Christian so he is at least a little sympathetic to the Christian perspective.

                You come across as someone desperately trying to plug holes in a damn, John. Why on earth for?

                Consider the alternative if what recognised scientists have concluded is incorrect.
                We are to accept the biblical tale, miracles, warts and all!
                So let’s do that shall we?

                Let’s read the bible as literal to begin with and then apply a little common sense.

                We are talking of around 2 million people simply upping and leaving, after a series of outrageous divine occurrences that have devastated Egypt.

                What would the result have likely been?

                Firstly, economic collapse. Around half the total estimated population – likely the entire workforce have just marched out of the country.
                Then, after getting his sense back, the king sends his army after them. It is destroyed by another divine intervention.

                ( and charlateans such a the late Ron Wyatt claimed he has photographs f chariot wheels on the bed of the Red Sea to Prove the biblical tale was true!

                Can you believe I once had a Fundamentalist Christian tell me this was archaeological proof of God! And even after I pointed out that Wyatt had been proved to be a fraud he still insisted this was genuine evidence of the Exodus and God’s power!!.
                And the worst part. He is an ordained minister and he PREACHES this shit as real!

                Of this, there is not a single shred of evidence and not one Egyptologist worth their salt has every suggested there is.

                Let’s skip over much of what happens next. Nothing much happened until they made camp for a few years, where of course you would expect to find evidence. However …
                …. before entering Canaan and enacting genocide under the generalship of Joshua on his God’s command.
                Right. We’ll stop here to consider.

                When science says this is a fabrication it is because of all the events described above there is not one scrap of evidence.
                Furthermore, there is no evidence of the genocidal campaign and havoc wrought by Joshua’s rampaging army. NOTHING.
                Shifting dates, to try to match up with a particular Pharaoh ( to include the building of the treasure cities of Ramses etc) then means the archaeological evidence in Palestine ( Canaan) does not match up – the fall of Jericho etc.
                And there is no evidence that the places listed were fortified cities. None.
                Read Kenyon if you want more detail.

                Now, if you believe there is merit in the biblical tale, including the divine stuff, then please, offer up plausible evidence for this claim: a claim that the scientists and genuine scholars of all stripes ( other than fundamentalist) regard as fiction and have done for generations.
                One cannot produce evidence for something that did not happen! Try to really think abut that for a moment, John.

                And what archaeological remains there are do not in any way shape or form match the biblical tale.

                That is the truth. Those are the facts.
                It is not so much running always from the truth any longer as much as it is about what you are going to do now that it has caught up with you?

                Dismiss it if you wish. This is choice but it won’t alter the facts.
                One way or another you have to deal with them.
                On this issue, I think we are done, don’t you?

              • Ark. All I’m looking for is you to formulate an argument using data. Then we can actually have a discussion back and forth. I don’t understand for the life of me why all you’ll do is name drop and claim “everyone knows”.

              • But why should I formulate an argument that has already been made?
                I am not an archaeologist; but I trust those that are.
                I have read what they have written, watched videos, and conclude that what they have spent generations pursuing.
                The evidence is available. The date is there for all to peruse.
                All YOU have to do is read it.
                Then , if you disagree you can present a refutation based on alternative evidence – IF YOU HAVE ANY.

                Scientist are emphatic that the events described in the bible regarding Moses etc are fiction. Period.
                Now, for once, stop trying to do a snide switch and bait and step up to the plate and put your faith where your mouth is. Either go and read/watch what the experts have said or state they are wrong and say why.
                Your call.

              • Well, why should I formulate an argument when it’s already been made?

              • Excuse me? I don’t follow.

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