Hard Questions about God/Christianity (part 3)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a pair of posts entitled Hard Questions about God (part 1part 2). When I was a Christian, I would have avoided reading something that casts doubt about the Bible. And whenever I was presented with difficult questions, I would have usually either looked away out of fear, or simply dismissed the questions with a wave of my hand. I was good at rationalizing answers. Confirmation bias is, after-all, a powerful thing. We humans are profoundly motivated by fear and by the need to protect ourselves. Sometimes, cognitive dissonance can compel us to pursue truth even though fear pushes us to run. I’m truly glad I eventually swallowed the red pill.

While the theme of questions below are not fully original to me, they follow up nicely to my previous posts.

Questions Christians Can’t Answer:

  • Do you believe hell is an appropriate and/or justifiable punishment for a simple lack of belief? If that punishment is never-ending (per Jesus in Matt 25:46), do you still believe it justifiable?
  • Using only the Bible, can you make a moral case against rape? Or against slavery? And can you do so without disregarding substantial passages found in the Old Testament that discuss property rights of fathers over their daughters and the rights of slave owners over slaves?
  • If today, a devote group of Christian men were to enter a neighboring town and slaughter all who lived there because it was reported that the residents were largely populated by those who didn’t worship the Christian God, would that be justified? What if those Christians believed God had commanded them to do so? And what if God’s command included that women, children and infants be slaughtered by the sword? Since such events are recorded in the Old Testament, is it accurate to describe the God of the Old Testament as loving, merciful and good? Is it possible that such written accounts were man-made justifications to overtake another tribe?
  • Would you kill babies or children for God if you believed Yahweh asked you to do so? Since such instances are written in the Bible, is it possible that others have murdered their children because “God told them to do so”, and in fact, God actually did tell them to? If you don’t believe God would do that today, why not?
  • Would you sacrifice your beloved child if god asked you to?
  • Can God tell a lie if he wanted to?
  • Is it acceptable to disregard commandments or doctrines in the Bible that you don’t like? If you disregard commands that you disagree with, how do you justify doing so?
  • The Bible declares in Genesis that all animals were plant eaters (herbivores) before the flood. Why do we find that dinosaur fossils show an abundance of carnivorous animals which contradicts the Bible?
  • If Noah’s flood really took place as described, and if the boat came to rest somewhere in the middle east (as described), how did animals like kangaroos and pandas get from there to other continents which have a huge expanse of ocean between?
  • If a dear friend believed that the earth was flat (a “flat-earther“) by claiming that all pictures and videos which show a sphere shaped planet are man-made lies, would you be able to convince them that the earth is a globe?
  • Similarly, is there any amount of evidence that would change your view about the validity of the Bible?

 

 

 

 

 

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207 thoughts on “Hard Questions about God/Christianity (part 3)

    • Thanks. I’m curious if you could elaborate? I can recall that when the thought of “could god lie?” has been raised in my past, the pat Christian answer was “no, God can’t lie” and that “we are confusing God’s inability to lie with a deficiency that equals a flaw” (or some such double-talk).

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      • Sure. biblegateway.com is my go to for getting bible verses and it has them in many different version of the bible.

        There’s a handful of place where God or the prophets are quite happy to say God lies in the OT, 1 kings 22 or 2 Chronicles 18(much the same as what is in 1 kings but for some weird discrepancies) or in Ezekiel 14. My favorite, though, is in the NT 2 thessalonians 2: “11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

        This, with the claims of Romans 9, paint this god in a less than favorable light. Add to this Revelation 21 where this god is working hand in hand with his archenemy, and one has to wonder just where the idea that this god is good comes from.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Clay, you are mistaken about many things concerning God. By the manner you address beliefs in God or in a god, you seem to set yourself above this very God. It appears to me that if this god does not fit your template, then it does not exist. Well… this is where you have gone wrong; because, if there is indeed a God, then all standards are set according to Him. And here is what that would mean in your world: if God say that something is a lie, then it is a lie. If however, God would say that very lie, then it would become true by virtue that He is God and He sets the standards for truth. However, if that God were perfect, then He would be consistent so that lies remain lies and the truth is immutable. I believe that is what we are dealing with because there is a God. His name is YAHWEH, and His word is True. The burden is on you to prove that He can lie. BTW, I could answer every one of your so-called tough questions very reasonably and cognitively if you could keep up a logical argument.

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        • ” … if you could keep up a logical argument.”

          Your logic, IRonMan, is no more sound that what Clay has put forth. The ONLY reason you feel you are being more “logical” is because you happen to believe in a supernatural entity referred to as God or YAHWEH and thus, you are guided by reasoning based on that belief.

          Clay is guided by reason, logic, and reality.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Hey Ironman, long time no chat. Hope you and the kids are well.

          In response to your comment, the same logic would apply to any assessment you’ve made of Zeus, Hermes, Vishnu, Shiva, Allah, etc. If you don’t believe they are true or real gods, you have set yourself above them. And if those gods fail to fit your Biblical template, then they don’t exist. But billions of people would disagree with you.

          You mentioned that it’s incumbent on me to prove Yahweh can lie. While I think that’s rather illogical for me to prove that a fictional deity can lie, we have examples in the Bible of God fully endorsing deception. In 1 Kings 22, we have the Lord sending a deceiving spirit to accomplish his desires. And in 2 Thes. 2, we have God sending a “powerful delusion” so that unbelievers will continue to believe a lie. In Genesis, we have God declaring that the punishment for eating the forbidden fruit is death (“surely you will die”). Did they? The Christian answer is always, “oh, it’s a symbolic thing — spiritual death occurred”.

          Is God outright lying in the above examples? It is debatable but either way it’s embarrassing that the character named Yahweh would resort to vagueness and/or deception.

          And I’m happy to hear your logical arguments to any of the other post’s bullet points, if you’d care to offer them.

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  1. Great post, Clay. As a pastor, I taught church members to “faith” it when confronting hard theological questions. We had a certain set of beliefs which we believed were absolute truth. When confronted with things that didn’t fit into the approved box, faith was always the solution. In time, I would say, God will make all things clear to us. Until then, we just need to trust him.

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    • Thanks Bruce. That’s an interesting expression too (“faith it”). That reminds me of the story of Billy Graham vs Charles Templeton (or at least the version of the story as told by Strobel). Apparently, when Templeton left the faith and didn’t want to continue preaching with Graham anymore, Templeton attempted to share why he could no longer believe the Bible which put Graham in great distress. But eventually, he decided that although Templeton made a lot of logical sense, he would “faith it” and remain an evangelist. I understood that in Billy’s later years, he perhaps relaxed on some of his previous fundamentalist points? I’m not sure of that, but that all came rushing back to mind.

      Love your blog, BTW. I don’t have time to comment often but I read nearly every post).

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  2. How does a virgin give birth nearly 2000 years before IVF?
    How does a man live inside a whale?
    How does Jacob ascend a ladder to heaven?

    And actually, how does someone who is dead come back a few days later?

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    • Yes, and how do a bunch of zombies come back to life the same weekend as Jesus and yet it only gets a modest mention in a single gospel (Matthew 27:52-53), with no other historical record for such an incredible event?

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  3. Most of these question seem hard to answer because they are based on absurdities.

    For example, the question, “Can God lie?” is like asking, “Can pigs fly?”

    The first question about hell is absurd because it demands a judgement only God can make.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas addressed this sort of sophistry back during the Middle Ages in his tour de force, “The Summa Theologica.”

    A person versed in simple, basic philosophy can cut through these questions like a hot knife through butter.

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      • Rough,

        You are asking a question based on faith yet demand something else.

        That is an example of the very absurdity I pointed out in my previous comment.

        Again, you are demanding an answer from me that only God can answer.

        According to the Bible, the Immaculate Conception was powered by the Holy Spirit, who is God.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So basically, what you are telling us is this:

          ”I, SOM am a ginormous indoctrinated arse-hat who has no farking clue, but if it says in the bible that Yahweh knocked up a fourteen year old Jewess, then he did, because it’s in the bible, and the bible is Truth. Now stop asking silly questions.”

          Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting that you briefly respond to bullet points 1 and 6 but skip bullet points 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s easy to be dismissive and claim the questions are based on absurdities without tackling them.

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      • I could respond to them all, but I only picked two for brevity.

        In order to be credible, you need to respond to my comments which answer questions you claim Christians can’t answer.

        Otherwise, what good would it do for me to go through the whole list when they all possess the same type of error?

        Liked by 1 person

      • However, I really like the question, “Would I kill my child if God asked me too?”

        Because to answer that question we have to know who God is and we have to know that it is God who is really asking the question.

        Consequently the question is absurd.

        That is because, of all the creatures on Earth, man is the only one who has no idea of his human nature.

        If man does not know himself, how can he know God?

        Also, the question is the result of a supremely flawed understanding the story of Abraham and his son Isaac.

        Again, that means the question is based on an absurdity, which is the same type of error found in the other questions I addressed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rata,

          Simple reasoning and basic philosophy are not tap dancing.

          You seem to have fallen for your own propaganda.

          All the questions in this post are examples of simple sophistry, which is authentic tap dancing.

          Liked by 1 person

        • We have to “know who God is”??

          Yes, the character of the old testament is a very distasteful sort. Dawkins puts it right when he says, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

          So would that sort of deity ask a man to kill babies and children? Certainly. The fictional accounts show us that.

          You dodge the question though as to whether you would kill your own child if God asked you to.

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        • That depends on your perspective. If I favored the routine termination of pregnancies, then sure, I’d see your point. I favor giving life a chance when possible and feasible. The greater conundrum is the worship of a baby-killing god. Yahweh is the all time champ here. For those who believe the stories from the OT and NT, you have a god who kills millions of children (and babies) in Genesis 6 by choking out their breath with water. He doesn’t even make it a quick painless kill. It’s an elongated and terrifying event. Yahweh also: kills the first born of Egypt; orders the slaughter of entire tribes or towns; sends two bear to maul 42 young boys; and does nothing when Herod orders the death of all first born. And for those who believe that God is in control, we know that somewhere between 10% – 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage — a termination that the woman is not in control over. Who is? If God is in control (as most fundamentalists believe), He’s terminating potentially billions of fetuses over the course of time. Yahweh: the ultimate baby killer. But even that aside, God’s 150 occurrences of killing his creation in the Bible is grotesque. And thankfully, mostly fiction.

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        • I certainly can’t speak to Madoff’s affairs, nor would I want to. But the stories and accounts in the Bible are clear and easy to review. If you wish to refute the stories of God killing his created beings in the Bible, please do share. Otherwise, I’ll take your response as one of ‘dodge and dismiss’. I used to do it too, several years ago.

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        • CCT, Nan doesn’t live in a box. She and I escaped the closed minded willful ignorance that alas, you appear to still be stuck in.

          Come to the light. We have cookies.

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        • But we do.
          Go to the store and buy food in a box, get in our mobile box, drive home to a box, put our food in a box to prepare it, put the leftovers in a box, day after day, and finally make our exit in a box. But a box does not need to be our final destination , think outside the box, we’re God is, where life is.

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        • Sorry to hear your life is so boxed in. I buy food in reusable groceries bags. I routinely ride a 2-wheeled motorcycle. I prefer to cook my food in a round skillet. And I’ll be cremated with my ashes scattered to the wind (no box). I chose several years ago to stop having my thoughts trapped in a box of bible-based limited thinking. Give it a try sometime.

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        • You are even more trapped than you suppose, for you are also duped by Dawkins, Hitched by Hitchens, and Russelled by Russell.
          It’s not even your own box. You climbed in their box with them.
          Unaware that inside you, wherever you go, God’s signature is in you cells.

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        • CCT, I know we’re obviously on opposite sides on all of this. I sincerely don’t hold any bad feelings toward you. You perhaps feel I’m lost. As a former devoted Christian, I actually feel set free from the cognitive dissonance and from the chains of a book that I later realized was a purely man-made and deeply flawed book (the Bible).

          My honest question to you is, do you ever feel the anguish of the cognitive dissonance? Does it ever drive you a little crazy that the Bible says so many things that make you go, “huh?”?

          When you consider some of the other significant religious faiths in the world, do you quickly dismiss them as being silly? Deluded? For example, do you believe that angels delivered revelation on gold plates written in reformed Egyptian, which Joseph Smith transcribed via a seer stone placed in the bottom of a hat? Millions of Mormons do. I assume like me, you view that as ridiculous and deluded.

          Or take Islam… their revered prophet Muhammad supposedly flew on a winged horse that had the face of a woman which took Muhammad up to the heavens. Muslims of course, believe theirs is the final uncorrupted revelation from the same God that Christians and Jews worship. They point at the Old and New Testaments as having pieces of truth but with too much error and corruption. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. They would point to that as proof they are correct and that Christians have it all wrong. Like me, do you view their religious teaching as one of profound error?

          When we consider the odd and crazy things written in other competing religious faiths, does it not give you pause that the Bible we both grew up with, tells of ancient stories about a talking snake; a man living inside a whale; a ladder to heaven; the sun standing still for a day; zombies coming back to life after the death of Christ; dragons; and stars falling from the sky and landing on the earth?? Does it not give you just a little pause?

          In my earlier days, I was supremely confident about my faith and the gospel. I preached from a pulpit on many occasions. But I never seriously wrestled with the doubts or seriously pursued the legitimate criticisms of Christianity until several years ago. I can honestly say, I’m now even more confident of truth. And truly, far happier.

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        • Clay,
          If I deduce your “lostness” from a purely Biblical standard, the answer quite honestly would be yes, I consider it very likely your soul would be eternally lost if you died in your unbelief. But “hopeless”? Absolutely not!

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        • Clay,
          I took the liberty of doing a cut-and-paste from Wikipedia about cognitive dissonance so I could point out I don’t fit the application of it.
          Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency (dissonance) tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance—as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.[1]
          You see, I’m definitely not avoiding a situation that might make me uncomfortable.

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        • For your sake, I’m glad you don’t feel the cognitive dissonance. I recall a time that I did not, but it was also a time when I simply dismissed things with a “faith it” attitude as Bruce put it in an earlier comment. I used to do a lot of compartmentalizing and rationalizing. I refused to think deeply about many things.

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        • No to anguish.
          No to huh?
          Yes to silly and deluded.
          No to Joe Smith.
          No to Muhammad and angelic revelation.
          Islam is the fastest growing FORCED tyrrany religion in the world.
          Islam is emboldened by concession and anything that appears to validate their beliefs.
          Yes, like you I find Islamic teachings full of profound error.
          I didn’t grow up with the Bible.
          Pause? Rather AWE. Nothing is too hard for God my friend. He does what is impossible, that’s why He’s God !
          Clay,
          Let me ask you something.
          If Christianity were true, and what you grew up with was a misrepresented version of it, would you now want to know the truth?

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        • I suppose I could admire your tenacity but can’t say that I do. As for growing up with a misrepresented version of Christianity, I explored quite an abundance of Christian interpretations and denominations (just like you did per your blog).

          I think you’re probably a smart intelligent fellow, and wish you well. I am reminded though of a post by Neil Carter. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2015/10/09/why-do-intelligent-well-educated-people-still-believe-nonsense/

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        • Clay,
          In order for you to know the difference, you would have to be willing to be open to the possibility that you are wrong. The pastor of the Church I often go to was an atheist and became a Christian while in law school. C.S. Lewis was an atheist and became a Christian while attempting to logically disprove Christianity while teaching at Oxford. Lee Strobel became a Christian while working as a court journalist for the Chicago Sun Times and applied his investigate skills to disproving Christ’s claims.
          I personally have found most churches preach religion, but the Bible is Christ, the living, breathing, real Word made flesh who dwelt among us. He is real to me and that is the difference.

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        • Do you think there are any Christians who don’t think that what they believe is “God’s way, truth, and life, Jesus Christ”? Do you think the Westboro Baptist Church members aren’t convinced they are following Gods bidding? Do you think there are any religious people who aren’t convinced their beliefs about their particular god/s are absolutely true?

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        • You know, for all the press they get, the Westboro people are very few in number. It’s actually about as nutty as them calling themselves Christian. “He who loves not knows not God, for God is love.” Jesus Christ died for all sinners because God loves us all.

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        • Who says they don’t love? Just because they are protesting something that they think God is against doesn’t mean they don’t love the people they think are following the wrong path. The reason they are trying to get the message out is to save people. That’s an intent that comes from a place of love.

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        • CCT, that’s contradictory. You claimed earlier that I needed to embrace a version of Christianity that hadn’t been misrepresented. You imply that you have that version.

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        • Clay,
          You seem to be assuming you have already been there and tried that. I’m saying it’s extremely rare, personal, and your case is indeed more common. That is why I’ve spent most of my life as a Christian outside of organized religion. I typically am a visitor if I attended regularly. If I get involved, it isn’t long before I’m having a theological discussion with the pastor who almost always denies he is a theologian. I’m baffled by it.

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        • You are thus claiming either special revelation or special knowledge that a majority of “Christians” don’t have. So in your opinion, is there only a small percentage of True Christians out there? (Of which, you are among them?)

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        • “17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

          18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

          19For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

          20and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
          (Colossians 1:17-20,The Bible)

          Jesus is God’s revelation of Himself to us and His personal intervention to make a way for us back to Him forever.
          It is pretty special and it is revelation, but not special to me , by me, or in any way because of me. I’m not special.
          But Jesus is.

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        • I never met a Christian who didn’t feel that way. I in fact, used to feel that way whole hardheartedly. Atheists who I have met who were also former Christians also felt that way.

          Liked by 1 person

        • If it was whole, genuine, and entirely true that Jesus was in you, then He still is in you. He said He would never leave you or forsake you. And I believe that the scriptures show that is true even if we attempt to leave Him. Once a new creation, always a new creation.

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        • It seems we have three options here, CCT.

          1. Any true Christian who becomes an atheist, is still saved upon his death, because Jesus has never left him and that atheist remains a new creation in Christ.
          2. All the Christians who lose their faith (surely must be in the millions) were never true Christians, no matter what they say or believe.
          3. That line in the bible is incorrect.

          2 seems unlikely due to the theory of large numbers. Do you think 1 or 3 is true? Is there another option that has not occurred to me?

          Sincerely
          Shane

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        • Nearly all of the churches I attended preached Christ, not rules. They preached the preeminence of Jesus, not religion. That’s the Christianity I’m quite familiar with.

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        • I’m happy to take your hard question but I haven’t seen you tackle one posted here yet. For example, bullet points #2 – #5 in the post. Instead, you obfuscate.

          Obfuscate: to render obscure, unclear or unintelligible.

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        • Okay.
          #2 Refute Slavery using Just the Bible.
          Note the inclusiveness use of ALL.

          Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

          21But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

          22even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on allfn who believe. For there is no difference;

          23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

          24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

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        • 9Or is He the God of the Jews only?Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,

          30since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
          Romans 3
          Inclusive context

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        • #2 Old Testament
          Jeremiah 34

          God did not want continuation of slavery.

          8This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them:

          9that every man should set free his male and female slave—a Hebrew man or woman—that no one should keep a Jewish brother in bondage.

          10Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that everyone should set free his male and female slaves, that no one should keep them in bondage anymore, they obeyed and letthem go.

          11But afterward they changed their minds and made the male and female slaves return, whom they had set free, and brought them into subjection as male and female slaves.

          12Therefore the word of the LORDcame to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

          13“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying,

          14“At the end of seven years let every man set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to him; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you.” But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear

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        • Note it refers to only “Jewish brothers in bondage”. Most cases of slavery have always been the subjugation of other tribes and races. This passage wanted to command against fellow Hebrew slavery.

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        • I’m U.S. based, but familiar with Wilberforce. I am grateful for the many Christians who helped lead the abolishment of slavery. Disheartening though, is the larger group of southern preachers and church leaders who led the fight to keep slavery in place, all while using passages from the Bible to make their case.

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        • #2
          Speaks for itself. (Self evident )

          26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

          27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

          28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

          29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

          (Galatians 3:28 ,the Bible )

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        • The central theme of Galatians is justification by faith, and your verses above should be read in that light, i.e., Paul is saying it didn’t matter if someone was a Jew or Greek, slave or free, etc. — all that matters is faith in Christ. It’s definitely not a statement about slavery, nor did Paul even take it as an opportunity to discourage slavery.

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        • You’re wanting to see something that’s not there. Put another way, the verse could be written: “As long as you have faith in Christ, you will receive the promise given by God, and it doesn’t matter if you are man, woman, slave, or free, jew or greek”.

          Again, please note that Paul didn’t say, “And hey, stop enslaving your fellow man!”. Nope. Not there. In fact, Paul tells slaves to “be obedient to those who are your masters” in Ephesians.

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        • Clay ,
          It took a Christian, William Wilberforce, to abolish slave trading by Great Britain, and then to set them free. And only a predominatly Christian worldview would craft the phrase,”that all men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights “.
          No other religions would give you that. Only Christianity. Islam wouldn’t because you don’t have autonomy in Islam. Hinduism wouldn’t because they have a cast system, Buddhism wouldn’t because you are pursuing nirvana and should not be wrapped up in the affairs of the world. (Think Burmah ).

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        • Christians and non-believers worked together to end slavery. And you’re making a great case against religion (in general). Wilberforce, while a Christian, was more likely just a kind man compelled by his own human goodness. A person can far more easily build a case **for** slavery using the Bible, than they can use the Bible to build a case against slavery. In fact, it was the Christian church that oversaw the Atlantic slave trade and defended slavery as a Christian obligation; and it was primarily Christians who lynched African Americans.

          After slavery, came the woman’s suffrage movement. Were Christian women involved with that? Certainly there was some, but once again Christian church leaders (men in particular) were beating and thumping their Bibles to keep women under foot and under submission. Just like with slavery, the Bible builds a far better case that women should remain silent, submissive and treated like property, than otherwise. The misogyny in the Bible is rank.

          Look back over Christian church history. While taking theology in college, it was there I learned that my fellow believers in Jesus Christ in the past were the ones who created the Inquisition — to investigate and punish those guilty of heresy. Heresies that included early scientists who tried to tell others that the earth was a globe (rather than a flat surface), or that the earth revolved around the sun (not the other way around). There was also the Inquisition which famously oversaw the execution of tens of thousands of women who were merely suspected of witchcraft. Pretty pathetic.

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        • First study the scholarly articles about the archeological proof that the ancient manuscripts are reliable, (the Dead Sea Scrolls for the old Testament and the Codex Sinai-ticius for the new testament).
          Then read the Gospel of John and seek the relationship God wants you to have with Him that only comes through a relationship with Christ. Focus on God’s love emanating to you through John’s Gospel. Then settle any doubts that Christ’s sacrifice alone settled your debt by reading Galatians.
          Then read Corinthians. Read a little first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Only read until you get something out of it, then let it sink in, meditate on its deeper meaning for you personally. And talk to God. He already knows what you think and feel. He loves you. Talk to Him.
          And seek teaching that puts Christ in preeminence. This is the most important thing. Love Jesus more than life.

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        • I’ve heard what I can only describe as a loud thought but only twice. Lately, I have tried to be sensitive to God’s Spirit prompting me. He does not push, force, and compel us against our will. God wants our heart. He wants our whole heart. God will even let us go the wrong way if we persist. God wants us to choose to love Him, and only then are we free to love Him with our whole hearts.

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        • How do you know that loud thought wasn’t the devil? (Assuming you believe in Satan). After all, the Bible indicates he’s quite the deceiver who often masquerades. Many people claim to have heard God’s voice in their head, which told them to do some very scary stuff. And if you’ve only heard this loud thought twice in your life (even though you seek it morning and night), why haven’t you heard it routinely? Why hasn’t God spoken to you in a clear audible way?

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        • Clay and Nan,
          The first time was early on in my seeking for peace. I had none. I didn’t know what was missing.
          I was in prayer and this “loud thought” came out of no where, “I am not WITH you, I am IN you!”
          I was shocked by the event.
          And then I searched it in the scriptures in founded “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and that in Ephesians, Paul writes that the Holy Spirit is “the downpayment guaranteeing” the purchase possession reserved in heaven for you eternal life. Paul says the Holy Spirit is a seal of our salvation . And in John where Jesus says that He will be in us and how He says that He and the Father will come and reside in those who believe in Him and that His Spirit will be like a spring welling up from within.
          This truth brought home the very personal reality of what it means to be a Christian relationship with Jesus that’s in you, an eternal Seal and guarantee what Christ bought for us on the cross because He loves us.

          Like

        • Nan,
          I read a little scripture every morning and every night. I ask God to speak to me through His word. I open my heart to His prompting. I consider the reality that what I need to hear may not be what I want to hear. In fact, it probably is not what I want to hear. But I remind myself how He loved me, and because of that I love Him, and purposely meditate on what I’ve read.

          Like

        • What do you mean by “the ancient manuscripts are reliable”?

          And just so you know, I am a recent atheist after nearly 4 decades of being a Christian. Your advice seems to be “read this book until you believe it”. Having lived that way all my life, I am looking for actual evidence now.

          Cheers
          Shane

          Liked by 2 people

        • Shane,
          I was reading 1 John chp. 5 this morning for instance. At the end of the chapters are footnotes that are also referenced at the verse location were they apply. These tell which manuscripts show a different word or omit a phrase or whatever. I have read a ton of them. Only a couple have a substantial amount of effect on what is written, but none change the literal message or interpretation. This is what translation is. Preserved meaning based on original manuscripts.
          My point is, we know all the fine points. And the Codex-Sianiticias is one of four of the oldest new testaments. They also show what we have today is highly accurate. It was discovered by Constantine Tichendorf in the 1800s.

          Like

        • So even if I grant that The Bible of today is a pretty close translation of the original Greek writing nearly 2000 years ago, why should I believe that it’s the inerrant word of God? Why should I believe that the compiled canon are true and accurate, and that the writings they left out are not?

          Liked by 1 person

        • They left out one or two pretty good ones. But it needed to be done.
          Case in point. Islam, the Quran, and the Hadith.
          All Muslims know there are 3 levels of what they consider accurate writings in the Hadith. They consider the Quran to be the complete and whole council of Allah to mankind, yet they need the Hadith to clarify it, and they acknowledge that some Hadith is considered accurate and some should be ignored.
          The Bible was canonized to omit heresy. Both Muhammad who founded of Islsm and Joseph Smith of Mormonism

          Like

        • This doesn’t deal with my question. How do you know the included books are true and the excluded books are false? I understand the idea behind keeping all the stories that are consistent. Publishing them together in a tome and ignoring all the contradictory ones doesn’t make the published stories true.

          Liked by 1 person

        • What will that show me?

          What do you think of the vast majority of Christians believing the Bible without doing said homework? Are they foolish for taking the story as true sans evidence?

          Like

        • To add to tsentientpuddle, how do we know that The Gospel According to Peter and the Gospel According to Thomas are not inspired? They claim apostle authorship while Matthew, Mark and Luke have no claim. They are anonymously written. John is too but church tradition just assumes it was John.

          Like

        • We know that Matthew Mark Luke and John were all written during the time that those who followed Jesus we’re still alive and that Matthew Mark and John were personal witnesses of Jesus’s life.
          Contrary to that criticism, most scholars believe Luke to be the most historically accurate of all. Luke would have researchd things like a doctor that he would have talked to those who personally walked with Jesus and witnessed these things.

          Like

        • CCT … We know??? Who knows? Unless you were there, there is absolutely NO evidence that indicates/proves “Matthew Mark and John were personal witnesses of Jesus’s life.” This is a church teaching. Period. And it has been shown by numerous bible scholars (on both sides of the fence) that it is NOT true. And even if it were, the gospels were written SEVERAL years after the death of Jesus. Do you truly believe the writers’ memories were so good/accurate they could quote Jesus word for word? Puleeeze.

          Speaking of church teachings … have you ever actually looked into the history of Christianity? And I don’t mean the church’s version. There are numerous resources that delve into this topic without prejudice. I’m sure you would prefer to use the bible as your best and only source, but so long as you do, you are limiting the extent of your knowledge about the faith you claim to live by.

          You, along with most Christians, seem to think all you have to do is write/say some of the things you have on this blog about your faith and it will magically convert non-believers. Wrong. Especially those who have spent years as believers but left based on knowledge they gained related to the real facts about Christianity

          Liked by 1 person

        • In re to the codex sinaiticus, yes, it’s understood to be a 4th century manuscript and it included the Epistle of Barnabas and part of The Shepherd of Hermas. It’s interesting then that this codex is a celebrated historical treasure but those last two letters/books were not included in the canon. My point here is, flawed and opinionated humans made decisions on what books to include or exclude from the canon. All of the NT books and letters are flawed to varying degrees. The NT has numerous contradictions within the gospels — some are minor but many are quite troubling. The Bible was canonized to stop all of the fractured points of view. And who decided? The most politically powerful group chose.

          So I ask you — if Jesus was bringing the most important message to humanity it would ever receive, why didn’t he write that message down himself? Why trust it to flawed humans to write down things several DECADES after the fact? I’ll re-emphasize Nan’s point — the things written down were first passed around in an oral tradition for years and years (and we know how horribly unreliable that sort of thing is).

          If the message of the NT was so important, why didn’t God make sure the original manuscripts survived? Why send us this supposedly vital message in a book that’s so frequently misinterpreted that we end up with some 40,000+ different christian sects?

          If the message of the Bible was truly important and divine, an omnipotent god would have provided it timely, without error, clearly written and without dispute on authorship and free of contradiction. That of course didn’t happen. Why? Because it’s not a divine collection of letters. It’s the exaggerated and distorted collection of stories, originally passed around in oral tradition, from some 2000 years ago.

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        • CCT, are you nor starting with the assumption that God is real, manifested in human form as Jesus, who died on the cross to save us from our sins and was resurrected 3 days later? If this is not an assumption on your part, then why do you believe the Gospels?

          Cheers
          Shane

          Like

        • On soon so when I read my devotions this morning I looked out of the footnotes on each verse that had footnotes and I could reference the manuscript and the changes that were made. We can talk in detail about those small insignificant changes between manuscript. I brought this up before maybe it’s time for me to move on. We seem to be repeating ourselves here.

          Like

        • Clay,
          I’ve been reading “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus ” by a former devout Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi. He never heard of certain passages , facts, and ideas before reading Josh McDowell’s, “More than a Carpenter “. He said he had only been acquainted one side’s arguments. Isn’t that what you call cognitive dissonance?
          So my point is that it all depends on what we call scholarly.

          Like

        • I agree — it’s quite helpful to be acquainted with both sides (or the many sides) of an argument. I read McDowell’s More than a Carpenter many years ago. I also had his Evidence that Demands a Verdict. I spent 3 decades wanting to learn all I could. Have you ever read Bart Ehrman? Sam Harris? Daniel Dennet? Those are other perspectives to be aware of.

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        • Yes, Harris is an expert in neuroscience and he’s thus qualified to talk about what makes us human and how we think, etc. It’s quite interesting to learn how we as humans have various types of confirmation bias, which includes: Biased search for information; Biased interpretation; and Biased memory. Related to that, we have attitude polarization which includes persistence of discredited beliefs; preference for early information; and our tendency to see non-existent correlations in a set of data. Note that while the above can clearly apply to religious faith, it applies equally to a wide range of things.

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        • Clay,

          “19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were: of us.” (1 John 1:19 , The Bible )

          Only God really knows our heart.
          Even better than us. God can’t lie to Himself.
          If you were, you still are.

          Peace

          Like

        • Funny you mention that verse. I referred to it in part 3 of my series (My journey), with the note that many Christians have strong and differing opinions about the permanence of salvation. The huge number of Christian denominations with different interpretations of scripture is an embarrassing indictment of the Bible and its lack of clarity combined with its abundance of contradictions.

          Like

        • Sorry, I don’t quite follow you. All Christians point to passages in the Bible to support major doctrines. For example:
          * Matthew 10:22: “…he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” The implication is that someone who does not stand firm to the end will not be saved.

          * John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but may have eternal life.” (NAB) The NIV translation uses the words “shall have” implying that everyone who believes “shall” have eternal life. Other translations use alternative words: “should,” “may,” or “might.” Depending on translations, a person can interpret the definitiveness of salvation in different ways. This is great example of how Bible translators can select words which match their own theological belief system.

          * John 15:6: “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up , thrown into the fire and burned.” (NIV) A person who “does not remain” in Jesus is apparently a saved person whose behavior or thoughts have become unacceptable. God’s next move? Throw the formerly saved person into the fire and burn them — an obvious reference to Hell.

          * 1 Corinthians 15-2: “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Paul implies that a person is only saved if they continue to believe in the gospel.

          * 2 Timothy 2:12: “If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us.”

          ** The above are several, but not all of the verses that many Christians reference to say that salvation can be lost. Those who disagree with that position will re-interpret these passages (and others) to fit their preferred belief system. My point? This is a man-made book that fails miserably at being clear.

          Like

        • Clay,
          You have a great grasp of scripture. More than most.
          The eternal security position assumes the verses I gave you all make sense if they are taken as causal, and the conditional security verses you have given become effects of genuine salvation. This is the only position that includes all others, a person endures to the end because they are changed.

          Like

        • CCT, many of your replies are convoluted. For example, “all make sense if they are taken as casual” — it’s nonsense. Gobbledygook.
          And like Bruce said, your replies make it clear that only your interpretation is right and all others are wrong.

          Like

        • And how did “God’s will” and “His good pleasure” work out for Esau? (Someone that God declared he hated before he was even born).

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        • You don’t know me, CCT. Nor do I know you. But you presume. I wasn’t oblivious to Christianity. I was a devout and sincere believer for over 30 years. I preached on many occasions. But I reached a point where I was willing to cease my willful ignorance about science and reason, and I was willing to give honest consideration to the criticisms against Christianity. I was open minded. Give it a try.

          Like

        • I came from the other direction Clay.
          We already covered that too though.
          Check out John Lennox. His debate with Dawkins is great. Both of them. Hitchens conceded defeat to Lennox. Its on video!
          Dawkins admitted he believes in intelligent designers in the video “Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed”.
          Peace

          Like

        • BTW, I understood what you meant. My original reply was to say that I’ve listened to Lennox debate various opponents and I’ve also listened to WLC (Craig) debates.

          Liked by 1 person

        • 250 minimum.
          Thats how many proteins are estimated to have to exist in careful sequence in order for life to exist.
          But that says nothing of the enzymes that are needed to make the proteins.
          The proteins make the cells, but the cell is irreducible in complexity. Everything it does is needed for it to exist and reproduce.
          And the level of odds is against even one enzyme forming by chance, let alone the proteins and cell with the DNA already complete.

          Like

        • The overwhelming majority of scientists rejected Louis Pasteur’s findings even after he saved the French wine industry.
          The overwhelming majority of scientists currently reject Daniel Amen’s work combining psychology and Spect imaging.
          The overwhelming majority of religious experts rejected Christ when He came to His own and crucified Him.
          The point you are trying to make with the overwhelming majority can just as easily prove mine.

          Like

        • Your last example is story-based and religious in nature, not scientific. Your second example will be concluded when more psychiatrists and brain specialists can replicate or disprove Amen’s conclusions, which is one of the strengths of the scientific process (peer review and scrutiny). Your first example is from 150 years ago, when many sciences were still in their infancy. The science of Evolution has been under the microscope for 150 years, and it’s now even stronger.
          CCT, you remind me of those from long ago who refused to believe that the earth revolved around the sun (vs the other way around), and like your reference to Pasteur, you are similar to those who rejected germ theory even though it’s incredibly well supported. Because you don’t like the implications of evolution, you look for fringe arguments to fuel your confirmation bias. Time to move on, CCT.

          Like

        • Chritianity is Christ, Clay. Its not a place, but a person. He promised to never leave you nor forsake you.

          31“Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”fn

          32Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

          33“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

          34Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

          35And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

          36“But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.

          37“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

          38“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

          39“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

          40“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

          John 6:31-40
          God bless

          Like

        • CCT, while you are unwilling to allow any of my comments to appear on your blog, I continue to allow your comments to appear on mine. But my patience is wearing thin. I’ll add that copy/pasting Bible verses is quite useless. It’s a waste. Many of us here know the Bible quite well (better than most Christians). I actually encourage fence-sitters to read the Bible — the whole Bible — but with their brain “on” while doing so.

          You can spout all you want that Christianity is a person (“it’s a relationship!”), blah, blah, blah. It’s unfortunately an imaginary relationship with a fictituous character who never actually speaks or actually intervenes. Real relationships are much more interesting and fulfilling. In a real relationship, you have two people who audibly speak to each other; they will often physically touch (even if it’s just a hug or hand shake); they will see each other, and potentially even smell each other or engage with each other in very real ways. With Christianity, you have conversations in your head that include imagined responses from God or Jesus; there’s never any real audible reply. You never see, touch, smell or taste the imaginary God of the Bible. And while some people will say that they do all of that in a symbolic way, it’s not real. So the relationship part of Christianity is no more real than those who say they have a relationship with Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Allah, Muhammad, Mother Mary, or Harvey the 6-foot rabbit.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It’s a real relationship and more than touch is involved. Indwelling you see.

          13In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

          14whofn is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
          (Ephesians 1:13,14,The Bible)

          Clay,
          I only let people who are genuinely in search of truth into the Christ Centered Sanctum.
          You’re welcome if you ever have a change of heart.

          Like

        • Ah, so you are scared of dissenting views there. The Christian faith is too fragile to withstand a difference of opinion.

          Like

        • Clay,
          John 15:16
          “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
          It isn’t about you. God ultimately does it.

          Like

        • Millions have prayed in “the father’s name” for their starving child to not die. They had faith and believed. But there was no god to answer their prayers. https://lifeafter40dotnet1.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/kevin-carter-vulture.jpg

          Nine million children die every year before they reach the age of five. That’s 24,000 children a day, a thousand an hour, 17 or so a minute. Before you get to the end of this reply, some children will have died in terror and agony. Most of these children have parents with faith in God, and they are praying “to the father” at this moment for their children to be spared. And their prayers will not be answered. But per your perspective, it’s all part of God’s plan. Any God who would allow children by the millions to suffer and die in this way, and their parents to grieve in this way, either can do nothing to help them, or doesn’t care to. He is therefore either impotent or evil. But the true reality is, the God of the Bible doesn’t exist.

          Like

        • So, the God of the Bible is powerless to stop abortions even though it’s against his will? Oh right… you’ll tell us that he gives people free will to choose right or wrong. Except in heaven. And except when he chooses to harden hearts and hate people before they are even born.

          Like

        • I’m hung up on hate? I’m just quoting the Bible. Romans 9:11-13, Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

          Liked by 1 person

        • Glad you agree with my earlier points then. The god of the Bible hates when he chooses (including those not even born yet) and hardens hearts when he chooses, even against free will.

          Like

        • Yes, someone could rationalize away Esau if they chose to. The scriptures are clear on that story but since it makes people uncomfortable, they create justifications to assuage the discomfort of god hating someone not even born yet. In much the same way folks can rationalize away Yahweh killing everyone on the planet except Noah’s family with a global flood. (Another case of god “hating” people). And lastly, if you assume god is really in control and knows the future, how is it not hate that god allows billions to come into existence who he will ultimately send to hell?

          Like

        • When Bruce says that he no longer has the patience to argue with rocks… I know what he means. When there’s no good rebuttal to difficult points that I make or that others here make, what we hear from you are trite religious phrases regurgitated.

          Like

        • Clay,

          It will always boil down to the need for faith.
          Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

          2For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them,fnnot being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:1,2,The Bible )

          Like

        • One billion Hindus would disagree with you. They believe in Vishnu. There’s been a parade of man-made deities for thousands of years. The question is valid, and if we lived in another country where Christianity wasn’t the predominant religion, you’d be arguing for the most popular god in the culture you grew up in.

          Like

        • My point is that people have strongly believed in a plethora of gods over the centuries. You don’t believe in those past gods because you’ve embraced the Bible and the god that it declares.

          Like

        • Saying that “god is causal” is not really an answer. Scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear that our universe is billions of years old, and our planet is too. It’s not 6000-8000 years old. And separate independent lines of science show that life on planet earth has evolved over millions of years. We did not descend from a single pair of humans (Adam & Eve).

          Like

        • You’re making a statement of fact about the genesis of life. Were you there? No, none of us were. The science of abiogenesis is fascinating and promising. Just because there are no scientific answers yet doesn’t mean mankind should resort to bronze age writings of the uneducated about Adam and Eve and a talking snake.

          Like

        • Clay,

          Your assessment of God is simply an opinion.

          And Dawkins doesn’t know any more about God than any other human being.

          And to express your opinion you blithely disregard the fact that you don’t even know what it is to be human, so how can you lecture anyone about the nature of God?

          Liked by 1 person

        • We all have our opinions. Presumably, your opinions are based on a deeply flawed ancient text. I prefer an evidence based reality.

          You choose to try and chide me by accusing me of not even knowing what it is to be human (a silly claim) rather than answer the questions with any substance.

          Others said it well… tap, tap, tap, dance.

          Like

        • Nan,

          Actually, I have no opinion of God.

          There are attributes of God that can be reasoned out based on the definition of God as Creator.

          Conclusions based on reason are factual and so, are not mere opinion.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Clay,

          Actually, very few of my posts concern the Bible because most of my posts are aimed at atheists.

          Since the atheist rejects the Bible, it doesn’t make any sense to use the Bible as a basis for constructing arguments.

          Most of my thinking comes from Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Clay,

          Please read the first sentence of the post you cited.

          Citing a title without reading the post is negligent.

          You should know better.

          But you are an atheist so you don’t.

          Like

        • I’ll cite from the second post found in the search. Per a sample blog post of yours: “The Bible is so clear in its meaning.”
          In that same post, you refer to the Bible as “the most valuable collection of literature in the history of mankind.” And then you share from Leviticus.

          But perhaps you’ve changed your mind since then?

          Like

        • Strobel and Lewis, that’s the best you can offer?

          Why do you assume Clay has not sufficiently examined the claims for Christianity? To quote the Bible, Clay has weighed Christianity in the balances and found it wanting. I suspect what troubles you is that he has looked at the same evidence you have and found it wanting. Perhaps you are the one who needs to take a careful look at your beliefs, not Clay. You have an air of arrogance about you that says, poor Clay, if he had only been exposed to the “right” flavor of Christianity things would be different. Clay has actually tasted a variety of Christian ice cream flavors. I did too, and I came to the conclusion that regardless of the flavor they were all ice cream.

          You fail to see that the fundamental problem is the ingredients that make up the ice cream: an inspired, inerrant Bible,Jesus’ virgin birth, resurrection from the dead, miracles, etc. it’s the beliefs that are the problem, starting with the polytheism found in Genesis1-3 right through to God’s psychopathic slaughter of the human race in Revelation. If I was ever to choose a religion again, it sure as hell wouldn’t be Christianity.

          Liked by 1 person

        • In other words, CCT is right. His interpretation is right and all others are wrong. *shock*

          Dozens and dozens of comments later, CCT continues to hold on to his fundamentalist beliefs. Who could have seen that coming? 😀

          You are a better man than me, Clay. After years of discussions like this, I no longer have the patience necessary to argue with rocks.

          Liked by 1 person

        • So, you are not going to answer my substantive questions. Either you can’t, or you know that doing so will expose your arguments to rational investigation. I’m quite willing and ready to discuss with your notion of God. Or are you some sort of Gnostic who believes that you have some sort of special knowledge that mere atheists do not have?

          Liked by 1 person

    • You said, it’s like asking if “pigs can fly?”??

      So you’re comparing the physical ability of a farm animal with the question of whether a deity (albeit mythical) could deceive?? The two are quiet different. The first we know hasn’t ever occurred (pigs flying). For the second, clubschadenfreude (above) did well at documenting that the god of the Bible has demonstrated deception. More than once.

      As far as saying that only god can make judgments about hell (or anything else), that is flawed. The bible asks that man ‘reason together’ and make judgments regarding many things, including whether to accept the gospel message and/or whether false teachers are preaching lies. If man had not the ability to make judgments, we would be mere robots not capable of even giving worship to the baby-killing character that is Yahweh.

      Like

      • Clay,

        Asking if pigs can fly is an absurdity based on the nature of a pig.

        We know the nature of a pig with regard to its ability to fly because its obvious.

        But you do not know the nature of God, and you reject the authority of the Bible as a source to cite concerning the nature of God.

        As a result, you have no idea whether God can lie or not.

        The answer could be yes or no and you wouldn’t know the difference.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The fundamental dogma of atheism is that everything just happened all by itself.

          It takes more faith to believe that kind of nonsense then anything written about in the Bible.

          Like

        • SoM the “fundamental dogma of atheism” is that there is no evidence to suggest a supernatural explanation to anything we see. The “fundament dogma of naturalism” is that all effects in the universe have a natural cause. The only people that believe something happens by itself are the religious, when they are referring to their God.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Bruce,

          You cited a definition of faith that must apply to you also.

          If your arguments apply to your opposition but not to you, you are being intellectually dishonest.

          Effective, rational argumentation between opposing parties must take place on common ground.

          Therefore, if you cite a definition from whatever source, it must also apply to you.

          If not, than your citation is bogus.

          And that is the argument that I have been making here:

          the arguments presented in this post are bogus.

          Like

        • So, let me see if I understand your irrational rational argument. I can’t argue against something unless I first accept what I am arguing against to be true? What if my objective is to use your religious text against you, to show that beliefs rooted in the Bible can be irrational, contradictory, and immoral?

          Liked by 1 person

        • And yet, suggesting the Virgin Birth is Kosher is rational?
          You truly are a, hypocritical, ignorant Dickhead, SoM.
          Furthermore, you are a Catholic and a Trinitarian, thus an idolater.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ark,

          The doctrine of the Virgin Mary is 100% consistent with Christian, Biblical doctrine.

          Doctrine is what makes a religion a religion.

          Now please explain the fundamental doctrine of atheism, that everything just happened all by itself.

          Like

        • And yet again…. avoiding the argument.
          You are a poster boy for obfuscation. I am surprised you and Colorstorm aren’t having an illicit sexual relationship over the internet already. But then again he is not a Catholic and this might prove tricky as you are a member of the tribe that is headed by the anti-Christ, according to certain tradition.
          But , please enlighten us, just how did Miriam fall pregnant if not raped by the ‘Almighty?’

          Like

        • SoM, atheism doesn’t reside in a belief, so does not have a doctrine. It’s basis is that there is no evidence for a supernatural explanation for anything that we witness. If you have any evidence please supply it.

          Like

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