Friday, October 27, 2006

Santa and Rational reasons to believe in the claims of Christianity

This was the Original Post (OP) in a thread on the Internet Infidels Atheist discussion forum - I thought this was worth capturing.

Rational reasons to believe in Christianity by BadBadBad

I was hoping that in this thread we could capture any rational reasons for believing in the Christian religion. Angela2 prompted this thread. She criticized athiests for "espousing atheism" for emotional reasons. I corrected her that for me anyway it's not promoting atheism, but criticizing religion. I do that for emotional and rational reasons. Yet I have yet to hear a single rational reason for believing in Christianity. So, hopefully we'll be able to sort through the best ones here and sort out emotion from rationality.


Let's have the rational reasons for believing the Christian story as presented in the Bible.


I replied that experience was one reason.

The poster replied that this rationale could be used to support belief in Santa.

I replied that experience was one factor of several - including observation, reason and historicity.

Which led to another poster's reply to me:

Just by repeating "experience, observation, reason and historicity"? It makes for a good mantra, I suppose. I especially liked how you managed to rule out santa. You simply asserted the truth is revealed & santa isn't. You must find it easy to defend assertions by making more assertions.

my response -

hm - perhaps you did not understand how these factors would apply:

As a child I experienced both God and Santa.

God promised through Scripture the gifts of eternal life with Him through faith in Christ and the fruit
of the Holy Spirit in this life.

Santa promised toys if I was a good boy.

As I matured, I began to realize through reason and observation that Santa was a myth developed over time - based on the works of the historical real person, St. Nicholas - and that the toys I was receiving were given by my parents - and my behavior did not really impact the receipt of toys - so my experience with Santa was shown as a childish fantasy.

On the other hand - as I matured, I began to realize that through reason and observation the Universe was not a product of chance and that Scripture was a consistent and reliable guide to faith and practice - that Christ was indeed a historical figure and that the witnesses and accounts of Christ were too near the time of his appearance on earth to be myth - and I more and more began to exhibit the characteristics of the fruits of the Spirit, despite the drive of my nature to the contrary.

All these things helped me understand the nature of my salvation, served as validation of my experience and my rationale supporting my belief in God.

I hope that is a little clearer.

-pax-

-JD



Friday, October 20, 2006

Back to the Atheists - on my terms

"There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." 2 Peter 3:16

"Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’ - Dr William B. Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University

I have recently decided to pop back into the Internet Infidels discussion forum, but have decided to set a couple of ground rules for myself (subject to change):

1. Not to engage in more than 2 or 3 threads at one time


2. To discriminate between responding to genuine attempts to dialogue and attempts to begin a "flame war" - this includes the folk I have put on my "ignore" list as just too irrational or unreasonable to try and dialogue with - such as:

- sharon45
- Crucifiction

3. To try and honor Christ with my attitude and tone - which includes not debating fellow Christians there on matters of faith, practice and doctrine.

4. To answer whatever portions of a discussion I have a mind to - with the understanding that silence does not mean capitulation - there are only so many hours in the day and I serve the Lord in "real time", too.


5. I will not respond to profanity-laced posts - the ignorant use profanity when their vocabulary is insufficient to reasonably reply

Please pray that I hold fast, because I truly believe: "all things work together for good, for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose." Rom 8:28

-pax-

-JD



BTW - One of my posts:












Very interesting thread - Tim, I can see that you have certainly learned not to fall for the the "bait and switch" methodology of some of our friends here. kudos. I hope to follow your lead…

Classical - I am glad you are critically examining your experience - and am encouraged as to the potential outcome - my experience has led me to remain even more completely aligned to my doctrinal position - described as a term of art - or theological shorthand - as Calvinism. We should discuss sometimes.

What confuses me is that folk continually mischaracterize the Calvinist position - particularly on Election...neither Tim, I or anyone else can determine whom the Elect are - one can [b]surmise[/b] based on the qualifications described in Scripture, but I have always held (as consistent Calvinists must), that the judgment of salvation belongs solely to the sovereign God.

Now - Classical - I have spoken (in PM) of how your experience with music resonates with my experience as a musician, too. There is certainly a spiritual element to music - look at the importance God Himself placed on it - "Sing to the Lord a new song", etc...just as there is a spiritual element to thought...God Himself said, "Come let us reason together..."

Thought, feeling, transcendence - mind, heart, soul - reason, emotion, spirit - the triad of human existence - the chord of Purpose - the uniqueness of Man and - ultimately - the image of God.

Now - I hesitated to post this at all, knowing the propensity of some to disparage what they cannot understand or perhaps even truly experience themselves, or would take peripheral observable temporal phenomenon and attempt to constrain and component-ize the infinite to a manageable purposeless fluke.

…but what the hey! :D

-pax-

-JD




Tuesday, October 10, 2006

John Piper - A modern spiritual hero

"God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him. This is the motor that drives my ministry as a pastor. It affects everything I do."

I have had great difficulty finding modern men to which I would align myself with - doctrinally and spiritually.

I have found this man to be a true sojourner in the Way.

His website:





Site link

Audio Sermons

Ergun Caner vs James White - Debate canceled

But somebody did a cool video of what it might have been like...shout out to Unlocking the Truth!!!

Monday, October 9, 2006

Hateful Calvinism

" ...Phelps-Roper is a case study in this error....Obviously, this is a very extreme case of doctrinal abuse, but I wonder if the rest of us Calvinists ever sound this way, at least to some ears. After all, these are our doctrines she is perverting.

Do we teach that everyone deserves to suffer God's wrath? Yes, we do -- and must. But do we teach that in a context that presents God truly? Not if we extract it from other of God's attributes, such as mercy, love, long-suffering, and goodness.

Despite the shards of "truth" in Phelps-Roper's words, the God she presented looked essentially like the twisted killer who murdered those precious girls -- indeed, worse.

And do we teach that man is a totally depraved sinners, a "child of wrath" who deserves to suffer eternal torment? Yes, but that truth is not true without the context of man's dignity and glory as created in the image of God and without the incarnation of God the Son.

The Christian message is not "you are a worthless scum." Rather, it is "you are precious image-bearer of God, so valued by God and so tragically captured by sin that God sent his own Son to enter your race and provide for your redemption."

From here

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Gift of God - Potential Sermon

John 4:10

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 25:46

46"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Romans 5:21

21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 8:38

38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,


Romans 8:39

39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 2:38And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


Acts 10:45And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.


Romans 3:23-25 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.


Romans 11:29For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable


Ephesians 2:8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Friday, October 6, 2006

Ergun Caner is a Coward.

Just want to make sure I get my 2 cents in here. No honorable man would twist and turn a debate into such a tangle guaranteed to cause the opposing team to justifiably pull out of a debate.

See:
http://aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1566

and

http://aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1568

and finally

http://aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1569

for more details of the cowardice.

-JD

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Scripture on the Sovereignty of God

Recently, I was reading some posts and comments over on the Founder's Directors blog and the post on "Calvinism as I see it" and the problems that it causes - some very interesting discussion there - some not so interesting - but someone posted some Scripture that support the doctrine that God is sovereign over all things (I know, an amazing concept!) and I wanted to capture them here:

Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Exodus 9:16 "But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.

Exodus 14:4 "Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." And they did so.

1 Samuel 2:6-7 The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.

1 Samuel 2:25 "If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a an sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.

1 Samuel 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.

1 Kings 22: 23 "Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you."

Psalm 33:10-11 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.

Psalm 33:15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way.

Psalm 47:8 God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 16:9The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

Proverbs 19:21Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand.

Proverbs 21:1The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes

Lamentations 3:37-38 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?

Daniel 4:35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, `What have You done?'

Isaiah 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'

Isaiah 63:17 Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways and harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.

Acts 17:26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

Acts 2:23-24 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Acts 4:27-28 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."

Ephesians 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him.

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,


These are not NEARLY comprehensive supporting God's sovereignty, but I liked that they ranged over many portions of Scripture.

Don't want to leave out my personal favorite!

Romans 8:28 All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose...

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