Tag Archives: atheist

A simpler way to defend biblical inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration

Inerrancy and the Death by a Thousand Qualifications brought up some interesting points about how to defend the truth that the original writings of scripture were without error. If you offer too many qualifications then it seems to neuter your statement, but you do need to offer some sort of support.

I prefer to say that the original writings turned out exactly as God and the human writers desired, and that we can easily demonstrate that they have been faithfully transmitted to us in our language.

That appeals to the simple truth that the real God could — and would — easily ensure such a thing.

To the latter point I have found it persuasive to share a brief reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls and/or to the way even atheist Bart Ehrman will strenuously argue about what he thinks the originals really said on some finer point (meaning that even he thinks it can be known).  I have seen skeptics, Mormons, etc. immediately change their views on the transmission process (if not the inspiration) once they hear that.

Even though I believe that the original writings of the Bible were without error, God-breathed and incapable of error, those views aren’t required for belief in God or the resurrection.  You can take a minimal facts approach and see that even if there were slight discrepancies in the accounts about Jesus that the resurrection could still be true.

Just look at key facts that virtually all historians agree on, such as the following, and realize that his resurrection is the best explanation for those facts.

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He rose from the dead and appeared to them.
  • Paul believed that Jesus appeared to him.  Even skeptics concede that Paul wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, Galatians, I & II Corinthians and others.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, was a skeptic who converted after Jesus died.

There are skeptics who endorse alternatives to the resurrection (e.g., Jesus’ body was stolen, it was ripped up by dogs, the swoon theory, etc.).  These folks unwittingly  give a lot of support for the resurrection: They show that the historical facts are so strong that one must concede that a real person named Jesus lived and died on a Roman cross and the body did not stay in the tomb. 

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bible5.gifClaims of Biblical inerrancy, inspiration and infallibility apply to the original writings.  I have researched countless difficulties and found answers that satisfied me.  Some are tougher than others.  Some things are in the Job category (as in, I’m not capable of understanding them or God doesn’t need me to understand them).

I learned enough about the book to be comfortable that God “wrote” it, and I trust that if there is something in the 1% that appears to be a contradiction then either there was a translation error or – much more likely – there is something I’m just not understanding properly.

In short, after working through enough difficulties with satisfactory answers I tend to give God and his Word the benefit of the doubt.  I’m sure this thrills him to no end.  I say that tongue-in-cheek, because on the one hand He certainly doesn’t need the Neil-seal-of-approval but on the other hand He does love it when we exercise faith.  Not blind faith, not faith despite the evidence, but faith grounded in the truths He has revealed to us.

Are there passages in the currently published Bibles that don’t belong?  Perhaps.  The ending of Mark and the story of Jesus and the woman accused of adultery are not in the earliest and best manuscripts.

Also, some verses sometimes lose a little meaning in certain translations.  For example, when Exodus 21:22-25 is properly understood it is a pro-life passage, yet pro-choice people will use a poorer translation (for that passage) such as the RSV because it supports their position.

These issues don’t bother me that much because they show that the system works: We have so many copies of ancient manuscripts and different translations that it possible to figure out what the originals said.  The exceptions are limited and we can show why they are exceptions.

But on most of what really matters there is no debate.  Every version I’ve seen says, “Love your enemies.”  There are 100 clear passages saying that Jesus is the only way.  That is plenty for me.

I know enough of the Bible and the difficulties to have great faith (trust in evidence) that God inspired the originals.  And I have faith in the copying and translation process so that I can read the Bible with confidence.  For difficult or controversial passages there are plenty of ways to resolve issues on the essentials.  But on the non-essentials I don’t lose sleep.

If people want to have church meetings to debate how often to serve communion, whether to use wine or grape juice, etc., I say go ahead and have a swell time.  Just don’t make me participate.

We can read the Bible with confidence that God has transmitted his Word to us accurately.  Sometimes the words inerrant, infallible and inspired are too loaded with various meanings to be helpful, so I like to emphasize that the original writings of the Bible turned out just the way God and the human writers wanted them to.

The universe is unbelievably large, but still not big enough to find a legitimate justification for atheism

The Multiverse Theory is the atheists’ concession speech. It means they have literally run out of explanations in this universe, so they have to pretend there is another one to explain their flawed worldview.

The Multiverse Theory is the unscientific and anti-scientific idea that the exquisite design in our universe isn’t caused by an intelligent designer (i.e., God), but it exists merely because there are an infinite number of universes and we just happen to be in one that appears to be designed. Yes, it is laughable, but the continually growing evidence for design has forced people to come up with a non-God explanation.

Their theory is a self-contradictory attempt to move the goalposts. Even if more than one universe existed, let alone an infinite number, that would just give greater evidence to the design theory. More complex things means more evidence for a creator.

I think that those who know that support for Darwinism is crumbling use the Multiverse Theory as a placeholder until they can think of something which is at least a little more plausible.

See The Multiverse is the Poker Player’s Best Friend for a good illustration. Here’s a sample:

A couple of years ago I trotted out the “highly improbable things happen all the time” meme our Darwinist friends use to such advantage at my home poker game. For those who don’t recall, this is what happened. I dealt myself a royal flush in spades for the first 13 hands. When my friends objected I said, “Lookit, your intuition has led you astray. You are inferring design — that is to say that I’m cheating — simply on the basis of the low probability of this sequence of events. But don’t you understand that the odds of me receiving 13 royal flushes in spades in a row are exactly the same as me receiving any other 13 hands. In the game we are playing there are 2,598,960 possible hands. The odds of receiving a straight flush in spades are therefore 1 in 2,598,960. But the odds of receiving ANY hand are exactly the same, 1 in 2,598,960. The odds of a series of events are the product of the odds of all of the events. Therefore the odds of receiving 13 royal flushes in spades in a row are about 2.74^-71. But the odds of receiving ANY series of 13 hands is exactly the same, 2.74^-71.”

Please read these words carefully:

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

It is foolish and rebellious to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like. Repent and believe while you still have time. Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your foolish pride. One day you will die and will be judged by your creator. The standard won’t be your neighbor whom you think you are a little better than. The standard will be the righteousness of Christ, and all of your secret (and not-so-secret), shameful sins will be compared to that standard.

The Good News: By God’s grace He adopts, completely forgives and eternally blesses everyone who repents and trusts in Jesus.

A simpler way to defend biblical inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration

Inerrancy and the Death by a Thousand Qualifications brought up some interesting points about how to defend the truth that the original writings of scripture were without error. If you offer too many qualifications then it seems to neuter your statement, but you do need to offer some sort of support.

I prefer to say that the original writings turned out exactly as God and the human writers desired, and that we can easily demonstrate that they have been faithfully transmitted to us in our language.

That appeals to the simple truth that the real God could — and would — easily ensure such a thing.

To the latter point I have found it persuasive to share a brief reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls and/or to the way even atheist Bart Ehrman will strenuously argue about what he thinks the originals really said on some finer point (meaning that even he thinks it can be known).  I have seen skeptics, Mormons, etc. immediately change their views on the transmission process (if not the inspiration) once they hear that.

From an earlier post of mine

Even though I believe that the original writings of the Bible were without error, God-breathed and incapable of error, those views aren’t required for belief in God or the resurrection.  You can take a minimal facts approach and see that even if there were slight discrepancies in the accounts about Jesus that the resurrection could still be true.

Just look at key facts that virtually all historians agree on, such as the following, and realize that his resurrection is the best explanation for those facts.

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He rose from the dead and appeared to them.
  • Paul believed that Jesus appeared to him.  Even skeptics concede that Paul wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, Galatians, I & II Corinthians and others.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, was a skeptic who converted after Jesus died.

There are skeptics who endorse alternatives to the resurrection (e.g., Jesus’ body was stolen, it was ripped up by dogs, the swoon theory, etc.).  These folks unwittingly  give a lot of support for the resurrection: They show that the historical facts are so strong that one must concede that a real person named Jesus lived and died on a Roman cross and the body did not stay in the tomb. 

—–

bible5.gifClaims of Biblical inerrancy, inspiration and infallibility apply to the original writings.  I have researched countless difficulties and found answers that satisfied me.  Some are tougher than others.  Some things are in the Job category (as in, I’m not capable of understanding them or God doesn’t need me to understand them).

I learned enough about the book to be comfortable that God “wrote” it, and I trust that if there is something in the 1% that appears to be a contradiction then either there was a translation error or – much more likely – there is something I’m just not understanding properly.

In short, after working through enough difficulties with satisfactory answers I tend to give God and his Word the benefit of the doubt.  I’m sure this thrills him to no end.  I say that tongue-in-cheek, because on the one hand He certainly doesn’t need the Neil-seal-of-approval but on the other hand He does love it when we exercise faith.  Not blind faith, not faith despite the evidence, but faith grounded in the truths He has revealed to us.

Are there passages in the currently published Bibles that don’t belong?  Perhaps.  The ending of Mark and the story of Jesus and the woman accused of adultery are not in the earliest and best manuscripts.

Also, some verses sometimes lose a little meaning in certain translations.  For example, when Exodus 21:22-25 is properly understood it is a pro-life passage, yet pro-choice people will use a poorer translation (for that passage) such as the RSV because it supports their position.

These issues don’t bother me that much because they show that the system works: We have so many copies of ancient manuscripts and different translations that it possible to figure out what the originals said.  The exceptions are limited and we can show why they are exceptions.

But on most of what really matters there is no debate.  Every version I’ve seen says, “Love your enemies.”  There are 100 clear passages saying that Jesus is the only way.  That is plenty for me.

I know enough of the Bible and the difficulties to have great faith (trust in evidence) that God inspired the originals.  And I have faith in the copying and translation process so that I can read the Bible with confidence.  For difficult or controversial passages there are plenty of ways to resolve issues on the essentials.  But on the non-essentials I don’t lose sleep.

If people want to have church meetings to debate how often to serve communion, whether to use wine or grape juice, etc., I say go ahead and have a swell time.  Just don’t make me participate.

We can read the Bible with confidence that God has transmitted his Word to us accurately.  Sometimes the words inerrant, infallible and inspired are too loaded with various meanings to be helpful, so I like to emphasize that the original writings of the Bible turned out just the way God and the human writers wanted them to.

The 97% climate change lie

Consider it the inverse of Planned Parenthood’s “child-killing is only 3% of our business” lie: The widely cited “97% of scientists agree on man-caused / man-fixable climate change” is a lie.  It always has been, but the low-information people listening to the malicious hypocrites keep spreading it.

Via New Study: Majority of Climate Scientists Don’t Agree with ‘Consensus’ – Breitbart.

Nearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found. The results contradict the oft-cited claim that there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate scientists that humans are responsible for global warming.

The study, by the PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, a government body, invited 6550 scientists working in climate related fields, including climate physics, climate impact, and mitigation, to take part in a survey on their views of climate science.

Of the 1868 who responded, just 43 percent agreed with the IPCC that “It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of [global warming] from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [human activity]”. Even with the “don’t knows” removed that figure increases only to 47 percent, still leaving a majority of climate scientists who do not subscribe to the IPCC’s statement.

The findings directly contradict the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists endorse the view that humans are responsible for global warming, as first made by Cook et al in a paper published in Environment Research Letters.

Cook’s paper has since been extremely widely debunked, yet so ingrained has the 97 percent consensus claim become that The Guardian has an entire section named after it, and President Obama has cited it on Twitter.

 

We should celebrate Louis Pasteur, not Charles Darwin

Darwinism is atheistic philosophy masquerading as science.  Not so with Louis Pasteur.  Is it any wonder that the allegedly pro-science “Christian” Left celebrates Darwin Day?  Via Louis Pasteur on life vs matter | Uncommon Descent.

Few people have saved more lives than Louis Pasteur. The vaccines he developed have protected millions. His insight that germs cause disease revolutionised healthcare. He found new ways to make our food safe to eat.

Pasteur was the chemist who fundamentally changed our understanding of biology. By looking closely at the building blocks of life, he was at the forefront of a new branch of science: microbiology.

Here, from a letter to an atheist:

Science brings men nearer to God.

Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.

I encourage you to read it all!

Thanks to “evangelical atheists” for agreeing with the “Christian” Left!

The extreme atheists were active on this blog praising false teacher Tony Campolo for finally admitting he was a pro-LGBTQX extremist.  I responded to a few individually (usually just one comment then I ignored the rest) then gave a blanket thank-you to them:

A few thoughts for the “evangelical atheists” commenting here.

1. I offer my sincere and hearty thanks for your partnership in outing the “Christian” Left for the false teachers that they are. It isn’t that hard for me to do it, but when people like you come along with your aggressive anti-Christianity yet with virtually identical worldviews to the “Christian” Left, it is golden. Seriously, your pro-LGBTQX extremism, pro-abortion extremism, mockery of the Bible, denial of the divinity of Jesus, etc. show how similar you are. You folks are a big help. More here: https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/atheists-the-christian-left-birds-of-a-feather/

2. Having said that, to be kind I must point out how ridiculous it is for you to criticize religious beliefs. After all, if your worldview is true (we both know it isn’t, but work with me here!) then the root cause of all religion, including Christianity, is just the purposeless, unguided movement of molecules against each other over and over. You “know” that my change from being an atheist to trusting in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus wasn’t because of a true change of heart but just because of chemical reactions. I had no choice but to change!

Now I know you all aren’t the ignorant and/or malicious kind of atheists who smuggle a universal, transcendent morality into your worldview. That would be silly, right? Chemical reactions can never create such a thing! Of course we observe “morality,” but that is just a random set of somewhat-similar beliefs held by various people groups. You “know” there is nothing truly universal there.

Yet you continue to make one moral claim after another, as if we should care about your opinions! Why are you wasting your precious time like that? Oh, wait . . . that is just your unguided chemical reactions doing it, right?

More here about how atheists steal “rights” from God https://stream.org/atheists-steal-rights-god/

3. Stop pretending to like science when you support abortion (ignoring all the secular embryology texts that clearly teach that the unborn are human beings from conception — http://www.abort73.com/abortion/medical_testimony/), “climate change” (just a pathetically evil government power grab based on falsified data –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRQS5RhrwLA), transgenderism (Yeah, Bruce Jenner, with his XY chromosomes, is a girl — and I’m a cow. Moo.), etc.

4. Please don’t be wounded when I don’t respond to your comments. I typically take a “one and done” approach to “evangelical atheists.” Life is too short. But I do appreciate you responding to me and elevating our thread to the top of the recent comments section.

5. Eternity is a mighty long time to cling to your false worldview. You can’t dictate the terms and conditions to parents, bosses, teachers, police, or even a McDonald’s cashier, so don’t be foolish and think you can do that with God. The rich young ruler walked away sadly when he didn’t like God’s terms and conditions but Jesus didn’t chase after him to negotiate.

https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/if-you-cant-dictate-the-terms-with-a-mcdonalds-cashier-what-makes-you-think-you-can-do-so-with-god/

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

For those interested in why we find the Gospels and the of the Bible so reliable, here is an interesting book by a former atheist and cold-case homicide detective – “Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels.” http://smile.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696/ref=sr_1_1

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Again, thanks for the support in helping fight the “Christian” Left! I really do appreciate it.

Phil Robertson gets the best of the Left. Again.

Leftist & atheists have no response to his simple argument, so they pretended that his hyperbole was a fantasy.  Via ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson under fire for graphic anti-atheist speech:

Robertson described a graphic scenario while sharing his thoughts on those who do not believe in God.

“Two guys break into an atheist’s home,” Robertson began. “He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot ’em and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’

“Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.

“If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right.’

Why is he “under fire?” All he did was point out how the atheist worldview can’t accurately ground any acts as truly evil. Oh, the irony that they think it was objectively wrong of him to say that!

Please note the following then ask yourself why the Left is so upset.

  • He didn’t emphasize that the bad guy was a non-Christian. The victims were atheists.
  • Yes, it was a colorful illustration, but keep in mind that his critics are largely pro-abortion extremists. Which is worse, his word picture or the actual crushing and dismembering of innocent human beings that they support?  Or even your typical horror movie?
  • He gave the atheists the benefit of the doubt by assuming they would know those acts were wrong.

He used a vivid illustration to draw attention to his point. And it certainly seems to have worked.  They have lashed out in the only way they can, deliberately misinterpreting his clear points.

Turns out that Phil outsmarted the cultural elite.  Again.