August 5, 2015

Apologetic Method Deux


From Scott Oliphint’s Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith (end of chapter 1):

  1. The faith that we are defending must begin with, and necessarily include, the triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who, as God, condescends to create and to redeem. 
  2. God’s covenantal revelation is authoritative by virtue of what is, and any covenantal, Christian apologetic will necessarily stand on and utilize that authority in order to defend Christianity. 
  3. It is the truth of God’s revelation, together with the work of the Holy Spirit, that brings about a covenantal change from one who is in Adam to one who is in Christ. 
  4. Man (male and female) as image of God is in covenant with the triune God for eternity. 
  5. All people know the true God, and that knowledge entails covenantal obligations. Those who are and remain in Adam suppress the truth that they know. Those who are in Christ see truth for what it is. 
  6. There is an absolute, covenantal antithesis between Christian theism and any other, opposing position. Thus, Christianity is true and anything opposing it is false. 
  7. Suppression of the truth, like the depravity of sin, is total but not absolute. 
  8. Thus every unbelieving position will necessarily have within it ideas, concepts, notions, and the like that it has taken and wrenched from their true, Christian context. 
  9. The true, covenantal knowledge of God in man, together with God’s universal mercy, allows for persuasion in apologetics. 
  10. Every fact and experience is what it is by virtue of the covenantal, all-controlling plan and purpose of God. 


bit.ly/Apologetic2

60 comments:

  1. Dan- I must take issue with number 7. My depravity is absolute. I drink beer with my salsa and chips.

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  2. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
    II Corinthians 11:13-14

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    1. Hey Daniel. How are things with you?

      I'm not sure I get the point of your Scripture here. Are you saying that Dan or perhaps I am a false apostle?

      In any case, take care of yourself. Both of you. Cheers from hot Vienna, Scott

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    2. Christ is true, therefore I am false. John 3:30, 1 Corinthians 2:2

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    3. You're not entirely false, though, Dan. You too recognize that 2+2=4.

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    4. Btw- how are things going for you and your family?

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    5. We are always well. Even after scary moments like that, I realized how sinful it was to worry and to be impatient, because God is certainly in charge. In that, all things are for His glory. No matter what, God loves me, and that we're in good hands. I'm in awe really.


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    6. Good to hear.

      cheers from rainy Vienna, Scott

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    7. How about you? Any spiritual moments that might be happening? Are you still discussing things over at wesmt? I'm actually getting burnt out on social media, and internet, reducing into the family bubble. It's like a seesaw, some days I want to share and do more, get back to a time before..., start a podcast, vlog, etc. But most days I just want to keep reducing , and Christ increasing. Sad witnessing all of the egos, to be most forthright. You?

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    8. The closest thing to a spiritual moment that's happened recently was on our week-long hike through the Alps. We had a great time and spectacular views. There is still a great deal of beauty in this sad old world.

      And yeah, I understand about getting social media burnout. I too go up and down, but I'm also reducing in general- no facebook, only a few blog visits. It's sad trying to witness to the 9/11 troothers and Moon Landing deniers, they are such children. Perhaps maybe of them really are children- that's the thing online, you can't tell.

      Besides, we're really busy with a new show we're premiering on Sept 19. I'm singing three Christian songs by Hildegard of Bingen, but I bet you wouldn't approve of them because they are too mystical. Very beautiful though.

      I'm still hoping to meet you someday. I'll be in California next year at the latest, our daughter is getting married there. Take care, Scott

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  3. Nothing new from either Dan for a while. How are you guys doing?

    I'm busy cleaning up my workshop, getting into corners that haven't been visible in years. It's a big job but someone has to do it.

    I hope you and yours are doing well, cheers from cloudy Vienna, Scott

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  4. Just dropping by to offer you and your family some well-wishes, Dan. Stay healthy and strong, and keep those spirits up.

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    1. Hey whateverman, long time no see. How are things out your way?

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    2. Oof! Months late; sorry Zilch my old friend.

      Things are ok. Family's healthy. I'm now a year into a new job I found last October; great company, decent pay, less than 5 minutes from where I'm living, and the people are exceptionally nice. I've been playing more music lately, and that makes me very happy.

      How's YOUR family, Zilch? Kids must be in college by now....

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    3. Hey wem, thanks for the reply. I'm glad things are going well for you. What kind of music are you into? I'm still messing around with polymetric stuff on my double harp. It's probably too nerdy to call music, but it's fun.

      Family is fine. My daughter is picking up her Bacherlor's in Film today. My son still doesn't know what he wants to do, but he works with me a lot.

      That's life. Cheers from unseasonably warm Vienna, zilch

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  5. "In that, all things are for His glory."

    Does that include the abortions you believe are so evil?

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    1. Yes, absolutely. I'll hold an optimistic position that God is still working with you. That you still may be one of us, the saved. If you have decided to deny God in unrighteousness, in spite of all the natural and special revelations, then you will glorify God in Hell. That is your choice. I honor that decision, but cannot relate. Some wish to serial murder and sell baby parts. I love God's plan, and admit that some will glorify Him in Hell. Hell's gates will be locked from the inside, as CS Lewis pointed out. I will pray and be grateful for your rebellion against the God I adore. Though, I will remain hopeful that you get the gift of repentance you begged God to grant you. Psalms 51:17

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    2. Some hold that serial murderers and cannibals who testify to Jesus in their last days deserve Heaven more than those who work for justice and mercy their whole lives, but who do not believe in Jesus. That doesn't seem fair to me. But who ever said Jehovah (or Allah, or Mithra, or Zeus) was fair?

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    3. Standing inside your worldview, how do you get an "ought" from an "is"? You're appealing to a moral LAW (standard), after all.

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    4. Oh come on, Dan, we've been through this before, years ago. I get an "ought" from an "is" from the same way you do: a combination of our genetic heritage as social animals with our cultural heritage as products of Judeo-Christianity and the Enlightenment, and our rational heritage as thinking people. I don't think you would gun down innocent people any more than I would, even if we weren't caught at it. No gods necessary.

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    5. Dan, I've been an atheist for over twenty years now. But at this point it wouldn't matter if I'm wrong and Jesus is real. A little over five years ago my 8 year old great nephew, along with his mother, was hacked to death with a machete by his step father. If that actually is part of some being's plan, or is supposed to be for some being's glory, I want nothing to do with that being. In fact the only thing I would want is revenge. Luckily, I'm more rational than not or I might take it out on those who believe such vile and cowardly shit.

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    6. That's horrific Rufus, I remember. I don't know how to respond. I will only add what I've already said, that God is justice. That the your chosen worldview doesn't have justice. People get away with things. So your confliction must be difficult. Jesus Christ gives hope IN justice. No wicked person will escape. There is no such a thing as evil in an atheistic worldview though. So, your conflicting thoughts is good news, and it speaks volumes of what you know to be true. I have no place saying anything here, of course, but an atheistic worldview cannot offer any hope and comfort. Christ certainly does. We've known each other for some time now, and I believe we're all going to meet God soon. I just want it to be on better terms, other than pain. Psalms 51:17 is for you. I ache with you though, and will have comfort God will right that evil placed on your precious family.

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    7. Dan, it makes me sad when Christians resort to presup.

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    8. Certain styles of apologetics, I would agree. Some are arrogant, and leads down wrong paths away from Scripture. But Covenantal apologetics is sound. Is that why it makes you sad, because it's Biblical? Or do you believe that certain individuals, not from America, have large egos that glorify self, rather than God? :)

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    9. Dan- as I'm sure you're aware, having a large ego is an equal-opportunity vice. There are Americans and non-Americans, Christians and non-Christians, presups and non-presups, who have big egos. It's a temptation for everyone.

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    10. Rufus, you endorse the savage murder of millions of unborn children by similar means. How are you any better than the wicked step father with a machete?
      You're disqualified as a judge of anyone, much less God.

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    11. Shots fired? Not at anyone we know I hope.

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    12. Poke. Hey, Dan, gimme a sign. God knows why, but I care about you.

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    13. That goes for you too, Dan.

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    14. Rufus wrote - . "Luckily, I'm more rational than not or I might take it out on those who believe such vile and cowardly shit."

      Proof that Rufus, and several other dummies, are one tic away from shooting up a church.

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    15. In Matthew 5:22 "Raca" is a pejorative. Scripture states that we are not to use pejoratives against people.

      Matthew 5:22 (KJV)

      22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

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    16. That's pejoratives against a "brother"

      Dummie = fool.

      The fool has said in his heart, “ There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
      Psalms 14:1

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    17. You're right, I see that. Proverbs 14:2-3 applies too.

      Thanks.

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  6. Blessed be, Paul, yes, this is still going.

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  7. Yo, Dan, how are things on the home front?

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  8. Hey youz. What's going on? Status report please.

    love from rainy Vienna, Scott

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  9. C'mon, Dan, even though you're a Darwindamned fundie, I still want to hear how you and yours are doing. You can email me if you like.

    cheers from cool Vienna, Scott

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    1. Sorry, I'm not posting that much these days, and keeping private. We're fine, wife is great, and cancer free. Hair is growing in fast, and energy levels increasing. We're actually more focused on raising teenagers now. How are you all doing?

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    2. Wow, that's great to hear, Dan. You needn't apologize for not posting- real life of course takes precedence.

      We're doing fine. Got a new marionette show with polymetric music: keeps me practising.

      cheers from cool Vienna, Scott

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  10. Okay, Dan, time to report again. How are things going? How's Patty doing? Keep in touch, man.

    cheers, Scott (zilch)

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  11. The faith that we are defending must begin with, and necessarily include, the triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who, as God, condescends to create and to redeem.
    God’s covenantal revelation is authoritative by virtue of what is, and any covenantal, Christian apologetic will necessarily stand on and utilize that authority in order to defend Christianity.

    1. You are defending a position from presupposing Gods existence: if this is the case then it must be a) it is is an observable fact or b) there must be overwhelming evidence to attest that it is more than likely that such a being exists...

    First question - where is your evidence that God exists in this universe or interacts with it if he is not a part of it?.

    2nd Question - where is the evidence Jesus exists as a real historical man?.

    3rd Question: What evidence is there of a spiritual realm that could plausibly include the idea of the Holy Spirit?.

    It is the truth of God’s revelation, together with the work of the Holy Spirit, that brings about a covenantal change from one who is in Adam to one who is in Christ.
    Man (male and female) as image of God is in covenant with the triune God for eternity.
    All people know the true God, and that knowledge entails covenantal obligations. Those who are and remain in Adam suppress the truth that they know. Those who are in Christ see truth for what it is.

    This presupposes Gods existence and makes the claim (valid/invalid) that in order to have any revelation of God he must have relationship with him...the bible says that if anyone comes to God he must believe that he is and a rewarded of them who diligently seek him..

    This author claims all people know God- untrue and not a valid claim - see break down of world religions if you need proof not all people know of or believe in said God.

    If you need further evidence look up all the gods of human history.

    There is an absolute, covenantal antithesis between Christian theism and any other, opposing position. Thus, Christianity is true and anything opposing it is false.

    Claim unsupported - what is the evidence that Christianity is true? What factors are considered in evaluating truth?.

    Suppression of the truth, like the depravity of sin, is total but not absolute.

    I agree suppression of truth is not good - are you able to admit that the bible contains factual errors as well as logical errors?.

    Are you willing to admit that the bible God condoned genocide of the amalekites the same way Isis condones genocide of moderate Muslims and Christians?.

    Are you willing to admit that God sending 6-8 billion people to hell for eternal torment is worse than hitler authoring the killing of 6 million Jews?.

    Thus every unbelieving position will necessarily have within it ideas, concepts, notions, and the like that it has taken and wrenched from their true, Christian context.

    This says that some sort of Christian framework is the only way to understand the world.
    Which subjects are you going to claim this is true for?.
    Science, history, politics, human relationships, agriculture, math, etc etc.

    The true, covenantal knowledge of God in man, together with God’s universal mercy, allows for persuasion in apologetics.
    Every fact and experience is what it is by virtue of the covenantal, all-controlling plan and purpose of God.

    How is this purpose established? Who determines this purpose; how is it defined: how is this purpose made relevant or known?.

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    1. >>1. You are defending a position from presupposing Gods existence

      Yes, we all know with certainty He exists, as He revealed Himself to all mankind. Romans 1:18-23

      >>First question - where is your evidence that God exists in this universe or interacts with it if he is not a part of it?.

      Your own ability to reason rationality is evidence of God. How do you, with an atheistic worldview, account for : truth, knowledge, logic, objective morality, science, language, mathematics, human dignity, etc., etc ? You cannot without God. Care to try?

      >>2nd Question - where is the evidence Jesus exists as a real historical man?

      God revealed it. Are you calling God a liar?

      >>3rd Question: What evidence is there of a spiritual realm that could plausibly include the idea of the Holy Spirit?.

      Again, the same thing, God revealed it. Knowledge is revealed, otherwise temporary opinion and belief. In order to know something it has to be true. Knowledge is defined as justified true belief. Is truth objective and knowable? Are there things that are true for all places, all things, and all times? If not, you will have to define what you believe truth is.

      >>see break down of world religions if you need proof not all people know of or believe in said God.

      Everyone knows God exist, it's just some deny Him in their unrighteousness.

      >>If you need further evidence look up all the gods of human history.

      All created in unrighteousness. This is nothing new, even people that met God built idols to worship. Golden calf was a fine example of that.

      >> what is the evidence that Christianity is true?

      God's revelation. Do you even concede that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

      >>What factors are considered in evaluating truth?

      It's impossible for God to lie. If truth is what conforms to reality, then what is reality without begging that very question? Reality is what God reveals to us.

      >>I agree suppression of truth is not good

      You cannot say this, as an Atheist. You're borrowing from my worldview to make such a stance. Like Wilson pointed out, from your perspective we are just meat suites of matter, your brain fizzes Coke, and mine Dr Pepper...just atoms banging around bro. You lose the argument because you have no general epistemological theory to prove your views true and mine false.


      [To be cont'd]

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    2. [Cont'd]

      >> are you able to admit that the bible contains factual errors as well as logical errors?.

      Sure, I am able to admit IF that was the case, but that is absolutely false. I would be lying if I did. There are mere typing errors made by man, and that is under 2%. Not at all interfering with God's message in the least.

      >>Are you willing to admit that the bible God condoned genocide of the amalekites the same way Isis condones genocide of moderate Muslims and Christians?.

      Absolutely not. You would have to defend the assertion that it was genocide and not capital punishment. Genocide or Capital Punishment?

      >>Are you willing to admit that God sending 6-8 billion people to hell for eternal torment is worse than hitler authoring the killing of 6 million Jews?

      Hardly. It is YOUR CHOICE to go there! God does not send people to Hell for denying what they do not know, but for sin against the God that they do know. Hell's gates will be locked from the inside, as CS Lewis pointed out.

      Because you have railed against God, and not have God's will be done, i.e. repent and placing your entire trust in Jesus Christ for your Salvation with your heart, mind, and soul, then God will have your will be done and that is separation from Him. We call it despair.

      >>This says that some sort of Christian framework is the only way to understand the world.

      Wrong again. You cannot ACCOUNT for the world without the Christian worldview. Huge difference.

      Meister states, "By arguing for a belief in or knowledge of morality without providing a justification for morality, atheists confuse moral epistemology (moral knowledge) with moral ontology (foundation existence of morality)." bit.ly/assmorals

      "What scientific inquiry have you engaged in that has affirmed, empirically, that there is no one guiding the processes of the universe? Can you show me the evidential foundation for random, unguided evolution? You cannot, of course. And the reason you cannot is because your commitment your commitment to an unguided process of evolution is every bit as religious as my commitment to Christ" ~K. Scott Oliphint

      >>How is this purpose established? Who determines this purpose; how is it defined: how is this purpose made relevant or known?.

      Again, God revealed certain things such we are certain about it. Since we cannot finalize an argument engaged in infinite regress, we must stop at some self-validating, self-attesting authority. You have none.

      Bahnsen says that the Christian system has a self-attesting authority. My epistemology is grounded in the all-interpreting presupposition of the personal, infinite, eternal, self-contained, self-revealing Creator of all facts and laws.

      God is my ultimate reference point, and He alone is self-validating.

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  12. If you cannot prove he exists empirical ly apart from belief there is no validation

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    1. Proof presupposes the absoluteness of truth. Proof has to be true in order for it to counts as proof. True things are 100% true and absolutely true. How do you account for ANY absolutes in your worldview? How can you know ANYTHING to be absolutely true?

      The proof of God is that without Him you couldn't prove anything. God revealed that everyone knows He exists, He created the world. He revealed that His existence is necessary for knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, etc.

      Also, one cannot prove a falsehood. It also must be known, because one cannot prove what one does not know. It also must be logical because without logic, no proof could make sense.

      So what does a belief in truth, knowledge, and logic assume? They assume God.

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  13. You're assuming morality has to have a foundation and you're assuming that the Christian view is the only acceptable one and I will not concede the idea that God can subliminally transmit information to believers that cannot empirically verified...and objectively judged..why do you need a foundation of un guided evolution..it's what is observed in nature

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    1. Wrong, yet again. Morality is NOT assumed, it is evidenced by ontologically independent of the human mind. You're borrowing from my worldview to account for morality. Tell me, naturalist or Atheist, how can you get an OUGHT from an IS? How can you get morality from molecules in motion, the atheistic worldview you hold? You addressed NONE of my points or questions. Why is that? Are you stuck? Are you just rude? Address the points or lose the discussion.

      Do you even concede that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

      And objectively judged?

      You cannot even claim objectivity in an atheistic worldview, so you're demanding something that you cannot demand in your own worldview. You already lost there. You're appealing to a STANDARD that your worldview DENIES exists!

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  14. I don't think we using the same verbage...I was implying that morality needs no foundation by which I mean no external entity to make it objective...I would imply that morality is subjective to the participants...while there is a reason we might all call murder bad we may not hold the same view in regards to capital punishment...there is a strong plausible explanation that morality is evolutionary in nature much as anything else...just as the view of gods has evolved over time...to respond to your question about morality from molecules they are learned by cognitive social creatures who in the process of evolution designed laws as cultures evolved from hunter gatherer cultures to agricutural to city states to democracies...I hope I'm not being rude but I'm definitely challenging your world view...you said I'm borrowing from your world view but I would say that could only be implied/stated if your world view was true and accurate...I would say without empirical objective facts making your case that God exists is extremely hard if not impossible...if you make the case that the Bible is which you base your case for morality I would say there multiple points of contradictions which I already have a hard time accepting...in response to proof I would say testable repeatable suffices in which case a high probability suffices over 100% absolute..in response to brahen I would be very wary of something that is self attesting...such as jesus says I am...jesus could have been delusional...the whole process of science and empirical data is testable and being able to compare? Are you able to describe something that is not related to religion that is self attesting? I disagree about your comment about hell because if people truly had the freedom to send themselves there they should have the freedom to leave..if God gives true freedom of choice it should not be love me or burn in hell as the only two options otherwise I would say your God is not great...let me ask you do you personally have issues with the thought of hell?

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    1. You also said god is needed for knowledge as the tics etc...except people learn all this with out god..it's only in religion that God is considered the framework for life..in the current known universe we learn by observation...how can you say knowledge and logic assume god...knowledge requires observation and memory...knowledge is not innate it's learned...logic is a basis of rules of comparing one thing to another....in the known world there's no reason to assume god...as to the origin of the universe,life, or the issue of eternity it's unknown because we have no way of observing it and testing it presently

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    2. To reply to you yes it's plausible that an omniscient being could transmit information to a Christian based on a set of beliefs and precepts however given the broad dispersement of beliefs just among christians alone ie there are approximately 41000 denominations and sub sects of Christianity that from the outside appears very implausible that there is a holy spirit unifying and setting one direction for gods will in the earth...given also the broad disagreement of how to interpret most of the Bible from christians and non christians alike and the fact the bible does contain a broad range of errors everything from number transcriptions to major theological issues such as the discrepancy on the issue of faith and works between paul jesus and James. ..side note I've read apologists try to reconcile these issues and found their logic to be poor using hyperbole and rhetoric or circular reasoning to make a case

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    3. You said you cannot claim objectivity in atheistic world? How can't I? I'm an accountant and an artist. I can be very objective about the numbers I use and it does not require belief in god as a starting or ending point...in fact god is irrelevant to the conversatian about most of life. I can objectively get in my car drive to work use my computer...as to the functionality of my biological organs all of them formed by the process of dna...no need to imply designer god or otherwise...do I know I the origiN of dna or how ever molecule works together...no...but how dna works is being studied and we will know more in a hundred years than we do now...how does a Christian claim objectivity? About the world? About God?

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    4. You asked me where we get knowledge, mathematics, the idea of human dignity,science language without god...easy human brains...evolution....we have 100 million neurons that can assimilate knowledge and make comparisons...we are inquisitive creatures..we discovered all of those disciplines over time...language too has evolved over time...the English we use today is far different than the English used 500 years ago..

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    5. As to the issue of why mathematics exists is the same conundrum of why quantam mechanics exists it's the the laws that are applicable and work in this universe..it's much like the rules of drawing perspective...they work they exist because the universe exists as observed

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    6. So, how do you reconcile the validity of your senses, memory, and reasoning with your fallibility?

      Anyway, I just posted about all of this that further addresses your plight: bit.ly/StarHope

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  15. Hey, Dan, Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope that's not too pagan for you....

    cheers from snowy Vienna, Scott

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  16. Hey, Dan, it's me, your Darwingiven conscience reminder again. How are things out your way? We're doing well- new show very popular. Not much money, but who cares?

    cheers from cool Vienna, Scott

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    1. Sorry buddy, Hi, we are all doing fine and healthy. Hoping the same for you and your family. This world on the other hand is not fine at all...

      If I have nothing nice to say...et al. Most of what I have to say is critical to the foreigners that are "For profit for God" that cruise this nation, looking for their next honorarium, as a wolf looks for a sheep to devour. So I bite my lip, addressing things directly to the individuals if at all, as commanded. I am torn, and the main reason for no newer posts. I am in prayer.

      With all my love, from a needed rainy Cali.

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    2. There are lots of wolves in our society, and always have been. But you probably know that already.

      I wish you rain. Unfortunately, atheists don't have any more power over the weather than you theists do.

      With all my love to you and yours, from chilly Vienna, Scott

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