Tag Archives: william lane craig

To the atheists who judge God

If you can’t unilaterally set all the terms and conditions with your human authority figures — parents, teachers, employers and law enforcement — what makes you think that you will be able to sit in judgment of God? Yes, I know you say He doesn’t exist. But even in your hypothetical scenarios you assume that you’ll get to judge the creator of the universe, thus making yourself the “real” God.

And consider how you can’t even force this blogger to post your comments unless you abide by his terms. Yet you think you’ll tell the creator of the universe how things will be? Indeed.

Isaiah 29:16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

It is illuminating that atheists are in such deep rebellion and denial that they often can’t or won’t even acknowledge a hypothetical situation where God will judge them. (Of course, based on Romans 1 we know they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, but for discussion purposes let’s momentarily take their claims at face value.)

The Wendy Wright schools Richard Dawkins post keeps getting picked up on Reddit and search engines so it generates a lot of atheist traffic.* One of the commenters on the post provided a typical response to our loving warnings about Hell and how to avoid it:

And then the threats. Nice. I embrace the idea of Hell, if the alternative is an eternity of slack-jawed subservience to a petulant and insecure deity. As has been said, if all of the engineers go to hell, we’ll have it HVAC-ed in no time.

As I told him, threats are entirely legitimate and loving if the consequences are real. And make no mistake, Hell is real. If he really believed his worldview he’d never sit in judgment of anything. After all, whatever we say and do is just a product of his beloved Darwinian evolution, so what is there to judge? Why be angry at what Darwinian evolution caused? But that’s a separate topic. The issue here is that he can’t even pretend that there is an ultimate authority figure holding him accountable for his thoughts and actions.

And like many atheists, he thinks that silly jokes about air conditioning in Hell will bring him comfort. Even in his hypothetical scenario he thinks he’ll have friendly companionship and his desires fulfilled, as if he would have any influence over the conditions of Hell.

Despite their rebellion, I want them to know that if they will repent and believe in Jesus then God will forgive them just like He forgave me. They should do some serious apologetics and Bible study. I know they are afraid to, because it will mean risking that they’ll find out that they are wrong about matters of life and eternity. But I assure them that the truth is far better than the lie they are living.

It is foolish to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like if He did exist. You have no such control over your flawed human authority figures, so why would you be lord over the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Repent and believe while you still have time. Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your foolish pride.

God’s terms are unbelievably generous — but He sets them, not you. He was not obligated to offer any paths to forgiveness and adoption, but out of his grace and love He offered one: Jesus.

*Sometimes over 1,000 hits per day. I’m glad for that, and updated the post with links to the “minimal facts” approach to apologetics and the story of a highly intelligent woman and her conversion from atheism to Christianity. The good news is that those links get lots of hits, too.

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Why all the fuss about that predestination thing?

The negative characterizations that Arminians and Molinists make about the “Calvinist God” are virtually indistinguishable from the nature of their version of God.  They just don’t realize it.

The purpose of this post isn’t to debate Arminian vs. Reformed vs. Middle Knowledge (or whatever hybrid / other version of orthodox Christianity you adhere to).  It is merely to point out that some of the rancor against Reformed theology* in the debate seems misplaced.

The Bible uses the word predestined many times (e.g., Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will), so the only question is what the word really means, in context.  But regardless of your definition, unless you subscribe to the false theology of Open Theism then it seems that you would agree that these two events happened in this order:

  1. God knew who would repent and trust in Jesus and thus spend eternity in Heaven, and who would not and therefore spend eternity in Hell.
  2. God created everyone.

My point is simply that the other views aren’t as far from Reformed theology as their adherents like to think they are (“That old meanie Calvinist God who knew which people would go to Hell but created them anyway is nothing like our loving Arminian/Middle Knowledge God who knew which people would go to Hell and created them anyway!!!”).

For example, on the Molinism/Middle Knowledge view, God considered the infinite number of possibilities of “free will” choices and created the version of the universe that maximized the number of people who would be saved.  But that means one of the following must be true, neither of which is far from Reformed theology.

1. God created someone who wouldn’t convert in any one of an infinite number of universes — even if they read nothing but the Wintery Knight blog, watched nothing but William Lane Craig debates and experienced nothing but Bible-based, loving Christians.  That seems indistinguishable from Reformed theology on that point. They would have been created such that it would be impossible for them to believe under any circumstances.

2. God created people who would have believed in some other universes, but not this one.  God just didn’t give them the right circumstances.  That should strike the same chord of alleged unfairness that people hold against Reformed theology.  They would have believed if only God would have done things differently!

And under the Arminian view, using all their preferred definitions of key terms, God knew which people would not use their “free will” to choose him but created them anyway.  Which means one of the following:

1. No matter what God did, they wouldn’t choose him.  God created them knowing that no matter how events were ordered, they would not use their “free will” to believe, sort of like the previous possibility #1.  This seems barely distinguishable from the Reformed view.

2. They would have chosen God had He made their circumstances different.  God could have ordered events differently so that they would have been more compelled to choose.  But He chose not to . . .

Again, I’m not after the merits of the views in this post.  I know which one is correct ;-).  I’m just pointing out that they aren’t as far apart as people make them out to be on the emotional issues.  Even if you are correct on this in-house debate and Reformed theology is in error, the emotional reactions to Reformed theology on this point are not warranted.  In Reformed, Arminian and Molinist theologies God knew what people would do, including that many would spend eternity in Hell, then He created them anyway.

P.S. I had to shut down comments on the last post with a similar topic because otherwise-well behaved people were getting petty.  Don’t make me do that again! 

* Sometimes referred to as Calvinism.  I realize that some don’t care for the term “Reformed,” but I need to choose some descriptor.

Roundup

As if there weren’t enough reasons to dislike Michigan: University of Michigan Kicks Christian Club off Campus. So . . . I’m sure the Muslim groups will let a bunch of Jewish people join, elect themselves to leadership and then adopt all sorts of pro-Israel messaging. And the gay groups will let Christians come in, take over and issue proclamations noting their opposition to “same-sex marriage” and their support for God’s view of sexuality.

One of the nice things about the near-exclusive targeting of Christians by the PC-police and others is their tacit admission that we have the one true faith. They don’t get offended by false religions, because deep down they know they aren’t the enemy. But they oppose Jesus all day, every day.

Some good news: Planned Parenthood Closes Tulsa, Oklahoma Clinic After De-Funding

ABC Ignores Tim Scott’s [Republican] Senate Appointment in Dec., By Jan. Hails Mo Cowan’s [Democrat] as ‘History’ — a reminder that media bias and the racism industry work in many ways.

To recap, the first African American wasn’t news worthy enough to mention, but the second African American is history making.

Feminist politicians and media go nuts over Sen. Bob Menendez’ use of underage prostitutes. Oh, wait, they are doing nothing. He’s a Democrat.

Mother’s world falls apart after Planned Parenthood hides humanity of her child – These cases are so sad, and they happen constantly at the nation’s largest abortion provider – and with your tax dollars! Oddly, it turns out that people who kill babies for a living aren’t bothered by telling lies.

“I never saw my ultrasound,” she says. “I was told nothing was visible, and I was told that it wouldn’t matter—you couldn’t see a heartbeat, you couldn’t see anything. . . . I wouldn’t know what I was looking at.”

Armed guard stops school shooting in Atlanta – This was posted on February 1. Did the MSM ever cover it in depth? Did they talk about it for weeks and rejoice over the many saved lives? Of course not, because it doesn’t fit in with their gun-grabbing agenda. The pro-abortion Left does not care about kids.

Why GOP Doesn’t Contest Massive Democrat Voter Fraud – this is sad. Some poor-thinking Republicans set us up for this 30 years ago. This needs to change, because the Democrats are getting more and more bold with their voter fraud.

Sandy Hook Not The Worst School Massacre – and there is no reason to think the killer wouldn’t have murdered people even if he couldn’t access guns.

William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of JesusThe resurrection is central to the Christian faith. Without it, we admit we’re wrong (1 Cor. 15). With it, Jesus is the only way to salvation and forgiveness of your countless sins against God. Everyone should be familiar with the arguments for the resurrection.

Baker Investigated For Refusing To Make Cake For Same Sex Couple – There have been many cases like this. They don’t happen accidentally. The baker wasn’t refusing to service lesbians, he was refused to make a cake celebrating a lesbian “wedding.” Why are we letting 2% of the people run our country?

The Potter’s Freedom

I rarely post things like this because they can become needlessly divisive.  As someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I saw way more Reformed-bashing and just plain misunderstandings of the Reformed position than I saw in the reverse. I consider it an in-house debate among Christians — albeit an important one — and don’t see any reason for either side to be nasty.  Comments will be closely moderated.

I highly recommend The Potter’s Freedom by James White, which thoroughly addresses Chosen But Free by Norm Geisler (or read both — Geisler has an appendix addressing White and White added an appendix addressing Geisler’s response (or those of his students’ class project of responding)).

If I wasn’t Reformed before reading it I would have been afterwards. I always respected Geisler, other than the Ergun Caner debacle, and still appreciate most of what he has done, but White rips him to shreds in the most polite sort of way.

(For the record, I have been in Arminian churches my entire life and am saturated in the Christian culture of Arminianism. My recent switch doesn’t mean I’m right, but the fact is that I made the switch against significant odds and a desire to see Arminianism proved right. But the Bible verses just don’t support it.)

After noting that I’d love to hear a debate between James White and William Lane Craig, someone responded with this:

Craig doesn’t debate other Christians on secondary issues. He views it as a harmful witness. Plus, White isn’t really qualified to debate Craig. He’s got a suspect degree from a suspect university and always says suspect stuff. You just don’t debate every goof on the internet who wants to debate you.

My response:

Comments like that make me even more Reformed 🙂 . As an Arminian I’d listen to lots of Reformed / Arminian debates and always wonder why they lined up well versed Reformed professionals against Arminian light-weights who mainly trafficked in ad homs and bad exegesis. It just didn’t seem fair. Then I started to think that maybe it was the arguments that were at fault and that that was the best the Arminians could do.

Have you read The Potter’s Freedom? If not, please do, and see if you can do any better than Geisler’s students did in refuting it. (I was embarrassed for Geisler, and I’d been a fan of his for over 15 years). It should be easy, since you insist that he’s just an Internet goof that always says suspect stuff.

P.S. Dawkins will thank you for the excuses Craig gives — he can modify those to use against Craig.

Additional thoughts

“Reformed” and “Arminian” may be overly broad terms.  There are also Molinists, who think that through God’s middle knowledge he selected a world where the most possible people would choose him, and there are many who don’t hold to all 5 points of “Calvinism.”

Having said that, it seems that the logical law of excluded middle would hold that election is either conditional or not conditional, grace is irresistible or not, etc.

Perhaps it is the finance guy / CPA in me, but I don’t get bothered by limited atonement.  There are many arguments to use (really, read the book!), and of course we center on the Bible, but the concept of propitiation (satisfying God’s wrath) alone makes me willing to strongly consider it.  If Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied God’s wrath for everyone’s sins, then there is no wrath left.  Illustrations about them not picking up their gift wouldn’t apply.  The wrath would have already been pored out.

This DVD gives a good overview of the tenets and history of Reformed theology.

Finally, I’ll note that I don’t consider those with opposing views to be non-Christians.

Roundup

John Calvin’s admirers agree that he wasn’t the most charming fellow at times (Calvin appears to have conceded that as well). But was he a heretic-burning maniac as he is often portrayed?  Not quite.

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How do prostitutes stay in business in an era of hook-up sex? — Good points by the Wintery Knight.

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Ayn Rand says “I told you so.”  I found Atlas Shrugged tedious at times but amazingly accurate.  It is funny to watch her haters try to dismiss anyone who agrees with her premise, but they ignore that she was pro-abortion.  So do they think they are wrong on that topic?  It is important to note that the government-creep goes on with Republicans, too.

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The NY Times has been covering for Communism for a long time.

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Professional atheist Richard Dawkins was in his usual form lately, explaining why adultery is OK but investigating suspected adultery is really bad (Darwinism gives him an oddly precise moral compass!).  Then he opined on the Bible as if he had actually read it and understood it.  He tried to say that the New Testament writers didn’t seem to care if Jesus was real.  He should start with 1 Corinthians 15 then read the rest of the passages mentioned in the post.  No wonder he runs away from William Lane Craig!

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Kevin DuJan from Hillbuzz has keen insights into the gay community and how aggressively hateful they are against Christians.

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Yet another “hate hoax.”  You don’t see the media reporting on these once the hoaxes are discovered.  It is the same silence and cover-ups as with the pro-gay FRC shooter.

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Via UCC Condemns Boy Scouts — shocking!  By which I mean, not shocking at all.

This is one of those “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation” topics.  Even if you are part of the apostate UCC or some random fake Christian who spouts pro-gay theology, you should see the wisdom of not having males who are attracted to males camping with boys.

Gee, what could possibly go wrong?  Lawyers would have field days suing the Boy Scouts when abuses would occur (“They knowingly let gay men spend time alone on camping trips with boys — what were they thinking?!  Please make that multi-million dollar, Boy Scout-bankrupting check out to ______”).  It is about as logical as letting men camp with girls.

The one good thing about this topic is that those like the UCC are basically screaming out that they could care less about God’s word and common sense.  They just want to advance the gay agenda and try to destroy the Scouts.

Then there is this shining example of love, tolerance and common sense: The Atlantic Wants to Kill Boy Scouts Like Rabid Dogs.  But that definitely isn’t hate speech.

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Pregnancies from rapes are difficult to address, but one solution that shouldn’t be considered is killing the innocent child.  I’d entertain capital punishment for the rapist if Liberals want to advance that, but I don’t follow their knee-jerk reaction to kill the innocent.  Post-abortion trauma is similar to post-rape trauma, so it isn’t like an abortion makes the rape go away.

And remember, your taxes help Planned Parenthood hide statutory rape.  Abortions often hide the crimes of rape and incest.

Roundup

UK midwives protest ruling forcing them to perform abortions — this is getting more and more common.  Religious freedom: You’re doin’ it wrong.  The Obama administration is forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control, some of which are abortifacients.  This is unconscionable.  At least the Supreme Court got one thing right as far as the hiring practices of religious groups.

A summary of Dr. Laura’s Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands — this is just the intro — be sure to read the entire post.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger has written another book that deserves a place on the best seller list with six of her other books, such as Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives and Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, from this unmarried man’s perspective, is an excellent manual for women on how to get want they want from men and marriage and, generally, how to be happy. Dr. Laura makes a number of important, practical points, based on her experience in private practice, from advising her radio callers, and from literally hundreds of letters and emails she received from men and women while she was writing the book.

Barack Obama fought the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which protected infants who survived abortions from being murdered, but the media calls Rick Santorum the extremist?!

Peer-reviewed paper in medical journal challenges Darwinian evolution — Wait, that can’t be right!  Everyone knows that there is no such thing as that.

A new article by Dr. Joseph Kuhn of the Department of Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center, appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, poses a number of challenges to both chemical and biological evolution. Titled “Dissecting Darwinism,” the paper begins by recounting some of the arguments raised during the Texas State Board of Education debate that challenged chemical and biological evolution. Those challenges include:

1. Limitations of the chemical origin of life data to explain the origin of DNA
2. Limitations of mutation and natural selection theories to address the irreducible complexity of the cell
3. Limitations of transitional species data to account for the multitude of changes involved in the transition.

Why do people hate Tim Tebow? Why do people want Tim Tebow to fail? — It is interesting watching the haters get so riled up about Tim Tebow.  Why wouldn’t feminists want a guy like Tebow, who would be faithful to them, have their long-term best interests at heart, not want to take away their purity, not risk them having to get a disease, an abortion or to be a single parent?  One pro-abortion group tried to raise funds by asking people to donate money for each touchdown pass Tebow makes, so they could somehow profit from his success.  He is similar to Sarah Palin in that his life and story mock the pro-abortion theme that we need to kill the unborn if they aren’t perfect or wanted.

Your tax dollars at work: The administration of the most pro-abortion President ever thought that taxpayer-funded abortions in the U.S. weren’t enough.  They needed to increase abortions in Kenya as well and hired surrogates to spread their message.  It stills sickens me to hear alleged pro-lifers rationalize their vote for Obama.

Stan does his usual excellent work in examining this comment by William Lane Craig:

The counterfactuals of creaturely freedom which confront Him are outside His control. [God] has to play with the hand He has been dealt. — William Lane Craig

Craig is really good but isn’t perfect.  That was a truly odd comment of him to make, but when you peel back the layers it is actually consistent with his worldview.  Whether it is Arminianism or Molinism, they leave the final say to humans on many issues.

MLK, Jr believed homosexuals could –and should– change — Oh noes — what will the fake Christians do with that fact? Oh, they’ll just say he would have changed his mind, just like Jesse went from pro-life to pro-abortion.

I almost feel sorry for Richard Dawkins

Almost.  He is being rightly criticized by atheists and believers for dodging a debate with William Lane Craig.  His latest excuse is the Craig is pro-genocide, and he just can’t bring himself to debate someone of such low character (ignoring the fact that Dawkins’ worldview can’t explain why genocide would be wrong — you know, survival of the fittest and all that).

See Uncommon Descent | Dawkins for Prime Minister!

Richard Dawkins tells us that we should allow our thinking to be based solely on rational facts.

I’m all for rational thinking, but Dawkins should be reminded that his worldview says we are selected for survival, not truth.  He has no reason to trust his rationality.

If, on the other hand, you let a little emotion in, then this link might lead you to feel a bit of pity for the famed misotheist: http://thinkingmatters.org.nz/2011/10/richard-dawkins-for-prime-minister/

It’s a model demolition job, on the ex-prof’s latest excuses.

Dawkins apparently still has a loyal fan-base who believe that their master is  a serious philosopher. Seeing a live conversation with an actual philosopher would be a bit of a shattering experience for many of those fans. So Dawkins has to keep coming up with the excuses to maintain their loyalty.

It’s a bit pathetic really – all the public efforts to explain why he won’t publicly debate Lane Craig are in themselves a public debate. They are the handing of publicity to the one that Dawkins claims he refuses to hand publicity to. The pretence is hypocritical. If Lane Craig isn’t worth spending time on, then why is Dawkins spending so much time on him? If he’s unworthy to notice, why spend time writing for the Guardian’s readership about him?

I almost feel sorry for his fans, too.  That must be a huge letdown for them.