Monday, April 28, 2014

Atheist Lies - Horus Meme Refuted

From time to time professed atheists post this meme that has supposed "facts" implying that Jesus is an invented myth copied from other religions. Here's the meme...



However, the above meme is total nonsense. Whoever made it is either a deliberate liar, or a total fool who doesn't care about checking out the facts. Below is a rebuttal of the above meme. (See here for a link to the original version which is easier to read.)



One other point that was missed in the above chart is the fact that Jesus probably wasn't born on December the 25th. We don't know when he was born, so to try and draw links there is just foolish.

Atheists - "why you no research?" I guess the facts aren't really important to professed atheists. Why not propagate lies if you have no absolute moral standards or God to be accountable? Once again professed atheists are showing that truth is not high on their list of priorities.

CMI also has a number of good articles on this topic such as Pagan copycat thesis refuted.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let's get Facebook page 'Virgin Mary Should've Aborted' banned!

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POST EDIT UPDATE: Since I wrote this blog quite some time ago I've seen this page and other similar ones taken down by Facebook at times, only for them to be reinstated a few days later or for the pages to rebuild quickly under slightly different names. While some of these pages step over the line, in the long term our main goal needs to be to pray for and share the gospel and God's truth with these people who are hopelessly lost.
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Let's get this page banned! Facebook allows this page to stay in spite of the fact that it's violating its own rules, but then they ban people who call Abortion murder. What's going on? Let's hold Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg responsible. While the page is directed at Catholics in particular, and I'm not Catholic, and nor am I endorsing Catholicism in any way, a quick look at the page and you'll see that it's an atheist group that hates God and is directed at mocking anything Christian. (Warning - the page is one of the spiritually darkest and most blasphemous hovels on the internet that contains pictures of a bloody crucified baby Jesus, and a pregnant Mary swearing among other things.) While mocking is one thing, this page goes way beyond just mocking and is intended to be extremely offensive towards Christians.


You can see the Facebook page in question here https://www.facebook.com/VirginMaryShouldveAborted.

If any Christians doubted that we are in a spiritual battle against the forces of wickedness and that Atheists hate God, a quick reality check is in order... What's up when Facebook allows pages like this but then bans Christians who call abortion murder? (http://gospelspam.com/persecution-porn/)

I'm pretty sure that if someone made a Facebook page called 'Mark Zuckerberg Should've Been Aborted' it would get banned very quickly. Likewise if someone made a Facebook page along those lines about Mohammed I'm sure that it would get banned in no time at all. We are living in dark times.

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20)

"
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:21-22)

"Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
(Romans 1:28-32)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Are Atheists Intellectually Dishonest?

I've been involved in online discussions / debates with atheists for some time now, and one thing that I've found is that many atheists can be intellectually dishonest in their debate tactics. Not all atheists are like that, but a significant proportion of them.

It could be said that all professed unbelievers are being intellectually dishonest in a sense because of their suppression of the truth as it says in Romans chapter 1. But what I'm wanting to look at here is those atheists who are unwilling or unable to engage in an honest discussion with Christians.

I think that the dishonest tactics become much more obvious when atheists are faced with a presuppositional apologetic approach because they know that they don't have good answers to defend their atheistic beliefs at a foundational level.

Again and again I find atheists resort to insults and evasive tactics.
One of my "admirers" using a whole bunch of logical fallacies, insults, and dishonest tactics crammed into one short post.

As for evasive tactics - avoiding questions and stonewalling is a common resort of those who have no good answers but don't want to admit that this is the case or look at the fact that their worldview is fundamentally flawed. Wikipedia has a good page on the art of evasion under the title of Question Dodging http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_dodging. Many atheists will be very familiar with this art (taken from Wikipedia):

The form of a dodged question, this example being "Why are you here?", could be:
  • Refusing to answer ("No comment.")
  • Changing the subject ("Your shoelace is undone.")
  • Explaining redundant things to distract one's focus ("Well I arrived here 10 minutes ago and I decided that...")
  • Creating an excuse not to answer ("I'm feeling sick, I can't answer now.")
  • Repeating the question ("Why are you here?")
  • Answering the question with another question ("Why do you think I'm here?")
  • Answering things that weren't asked ("I'm in the corridor.")
  • Questioning the question ("Are you sure that's relevant?")
  • Challenging the question ("You assume I am here for a reason.")
  • Giving an answer in the wrong context ("Because I was born.")

I also found this interesting web page which includes a list of 54 intellectually dishonest debate tactics. http://www.johntreed.com/debate.html. I think I've seen pretty much all of the 54 used by atheists, but some of the more common ones would be:

1. Name-calling (e.g calling creationists "cretards")
2. Changing the subject (evasively avoiding difficult questions)
24. Theatrical fake laughter or sighs (e.g. You believe that? Lol)
40. Mockery (e.g. Christians are idiots)
45. Claiming well-defined words are ill-defined (E.g. God)

One example I've encountered recently of someone who uses evasive and dishonest tactics would be Atheist Lee (See my blog here and one of our Google plus discussions here). I tried again and again to get straight answers from her on Google plus, but was met continually with a barrage of insults and evasion of the issues. I asked her repeatedly if she could be wrong about everything she claims to know - and she gave an answer that was a non-answer talking about how she could be wrong about many things and how science is supposedly constantly refining her beliefs. I never did get an answer as to whether she knows ANYTHING at all for certain.

The other thing to point out too is that when atheists do this they are being consistent with their worldview which has no moral absolutes. Why not lie if there is no God holding you accountable? If truth is not a priority for you, but merely keeping your ego intact, then why not use dishonest tactics? This is a fundamental difference between Christians and professed atheists - for the Christian one of the highest priorities in any discussion is truth - but for the atheist their highest priority is usually winning the debate and protecting their ego.

In relation to this, a good book I read years ago was 'People of the Lie' by M Scott Peck. While I don't endorse everything he says or believes, the book was an eye opener for me in helping me to more clearly realise how some people actually prefer living a life founded on lies and self-deception - those kind of people have no interest in finding truth or growing as a person.

The Bible warns that in the last days we will see an increase in those who hate God and hate truth in 2 Timothy 3:1-9

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."

An example of some intellectually dishonest atheists
(Note - Another dishonest atheist tactic is twisting Bible verses and taking them out of context in order to make a strawman argument - so here is some further explanation about the above Bible passage. When this passage above says, "Have nothing to do with such people" it does not follow that it is wrong to interact with any atheists in order to try to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. (Christians are commanded to preach the gospel to the lost - e.g. Mark 16:15). Most atheists are not abusive, slanderous, brutal etc as described in the passage from 2 Timothy. But if through interactions it becomes clear that a professed atheist is being abusive and has no interest in an honest discussion, that is when I ban them. For more on the issue of Christians' reasons for banning see this blog by Dr Purdom here.)

At the end of the day professed atheists who use evasive and dishonest tactics to avoid engaging presuppositionalists (or any Christian) in open and honest discussions are just exposing the bankruptcy of their worldview. Avoiding questions and then mocking presuppositionalists does not equal winning a debate - no matter how much you claim that that is the case.

Professed atheists will argue that Christians use dishonest tactics too. I don't believe this to be the case, but if it were the case we would be acting inconsistently to what the Bible teaches. In contrast when atheists behave dishonestly they are being consistent with their worldview that has no moral absolutes - no God to guide them or motivate them to be respectful or honest in their behaviour.

I'd also like to point out that this particular blog post is not attempting to prove that God exists. The proof that God exists is not that Christians are morally superior to atheists. From a human perspective many professed atheists may even be much better people than many Christians - but that's not the issue. The proof that God exists is that without him you could not prove anything. (See my website here for proof that God exists).

(For further examples of intellectually dishonest atheists in action see my blog post The Realistic Nihilist.)

Further Reading:


Sunday, April 20, 2014

NT Wright believes in Evolution

While N.T. Wright is a New Testament scholar who is highly respected by many, he gets some things fundamentally wrong. God did not use evolution, and to say that he could have used evolution and millions/billions of years is to compromise the authority of the Bible. Note too that in the video Wright is speaking for Biologos - a liberal theistic evolutionary group (See this critique for more on Biologos: http://creation.com/biologos-evolutionary-syncretism.) Wright does not get it right! He should stick to talking and writing about the New Testament and not talk about the Old Testament and other things that he has no authority or real understanding on. If Wright really did know the New Testament well he'd know that it teaches a young earth and global flood - it certainly doesn't teach evolution but warns us against being deceived by secular philosophies and heretical teachings that go against God's Word. (http://creation.com/new-testament-creation)


Here is an article that further discusses the problems with theistic evolution:
http://creation.com/theistic-evolution-what-difference-does-it-make.

Bahnsen vs Sproul Debate

In this blog I look at the Greg Bahnsen vs RC Sproul debate. The full audio is here and the full debate transcript is here. (Both links open in a new window).

After hearing a number of presuppositionalists mention this debate I finally got around to listening to it. (The debate is from 1977 so it's been around a long time). Bahnsen and Sproul are both Reformed Christians and agreed on many things, but where they differed is their views on apologetic methodology. Bahnsen advocated Presuppositional Apologetics (PA), whereas Sproul advocated a classical approach which fits more into the category of Evidential Apologetics.

I thought that Bahnsen thoroughly won this debate, and that Sproul didn't even seem to fully understand PA in relation to the nature of ultimate standards. The things that Sproul said about the nature of certainty didn't make sense to me. He seemed to be saying that we need to build up the case for Christ using evidence and that this can bring us to high degree of probability about the truth of Scripture, but that certainty in a philosophical sense is not possible.

To quote Sproul, "I am not a skeptic with respect to meaningful knowledge and meaningful discourse.
I am a skeptic with respect to the technical concept of absolute philosophical certainty.
" (1:53:04 ~)

The second sentence above undermines the first sentence and effectively digs a hole for his position. How can he know for certain that he can have meaningful knowledge if he rejects the concept of certain knowledge?

To me it also struck me that Sproul only referred to Scripture on several occasions and even then he was only making general references rather than actually quoting passages. (He referred to Romans 1 twice and once alluded to Genesis 3 in relation to Eve and Satan).


In comparison Bahnsen quoted directly from at least 20 different Bible verses. Of course, this in itself doesn't prove anything - but to me it does reflect that Bahnsen and PA are rooted and grounded thoroughly in Scripture.

Bahnsen - The Certainty of Biblical Faith

Bahnsen spent a significant amount of time discussing the certainty of biblical faith.
(24 min ~ 26 min)

1. Apologetics is not merely persuasion
2. Apologetics is not merely dealing with probabilities
  • 1 Peter 3:15 We are to have a reasoned defense of the conviction / the hope that is within us.
  • We can know assuredly (know without any doubt whatsoever) that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. - Acts 2:36 "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (ESV)
  • The gospel comes to us that we may "know the certainty" of our Christian teaching -
    Luke 1:4 "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:5 "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." (KJV) - Much / Full assurance (πληροφορίᾳ (plērophoria) = full conviction - assurance - certainty - perfect faith not marred by any doubts whatsoever.
  • Colossians 2:2 full assurance of understanding - "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ," (ESV)
  • Hebrews 6:11 "And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,"
  • Romans 4:19 "He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb." (ESV)
  • Romans 4:21 "fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised." (ESV)
  • Hebrews 10:22-23 "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." (ESV)
  • We can have bold access and confident faith - Ephesians 3:12 "in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him." (ESV)
  • The confidence of the godless is like a spider's web - Job 8:14 "His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider’s web." (ESV)
  • Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge." (ESV)
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge - Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
  • Proverbs 22:20-21 “Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?” (NKJV)
  • 1 John - written that readers might have confident knowledge of their salvation
Bahnsen - Bible Verses - What is Apologetics?
  • “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20)
  • "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceits." (Proverbs 26:4-5)
  • "in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2) (All knowledge - not just knowledge related to spiritual things)
  • “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
  • "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3)
  • "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," (1 Peter 3:15)

Review / The Impossibility of the Contrary

This video is an interesting review of the debate, although I don't agree with everything that this person says. He points out that when Bahnsen was asked how he knows the Bible is true he said "from the impossibility of the contrary." Bahnsen then goes on to explain this by using the analogy of logic - if you try to prove logic exists you get into circularity where you must use logic to prove that logic exists. The only way to prove that logic exists is by arguing from the impossibility of the contrary - if you abandon it you can't make sense of anything. Likewise PA proves God exists by arguing from the impossibility of the contrary. (See my blog Circular Reasoning?).

Critique of Sproul's Book "Classical Apologetics"

Here's an interesting article by Bahnsen that is also relevant. In the article Bahnsen responds to the book Classical Apologetics, by R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley. Bahnsen basically says the book is poorly written and attacking a strawman. Here's a quote from the article that sums things up well:

"We rejoice that Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley stand with us in worshiping the Triune God. Their effort to defend our common faith means well. But apologetics cannot be evaluated simply like an awkward Christmas gift received from a child. It is not simply "the thought that counts" here. The stakes are simply too high. College students cannot expect to respond to skeptical challenges with the kind of thinking found in this book and not suffer intellectual embarrassment. The argumentation is too easy to discredit, totally apart from personal antipathy to Christianity."

For Further Reading / Research:
  

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Socrates or Christ" by Greg L. Bahnsen

I recently finished reading the e-book "Socrates or Christ" by Dr Greg Bahnsen. (Available here).

 (Includes "Prejudice, Pragmatism, and Presuppositionalism" also by Bahnsen).

 Anything by Bahnsen is worth the read and this book is no exception. Bahnsen clearly shows the two antithetical worldviews:

1. Socrates - the secular worldview that rejects God and puts man as the ultimate authority. In this view sin does not exist - it is merely due to a lack of knowledge. Man's mind is elevated to the level of divinity and knowledge can be gained by a neutral examination of the evidence.

2. Christ - the biblical worldview that puts the authority of God's word as the ultimate authority. Sin has influenced the whole of humanity, and so neutrality is impossible. Knowledge is grounded in God and revelation from Him.

All worldviews ultimately come under one of these two categories. Socrates or Christ, or as Sye Ten Bruggencate puts it - God or "notGod".

The fact that the book has about 200 biblical references in the footnotes is testimony to the fact that Bahnsen's worldview is thoroughly grounded in scripture.

Bahnsen explains what biblical presuppositional apologetics is, and shows why the Socratic method fails to be an adequate foundation for knowledge.

In the modern world this secular Socratic approach to knowledge has had a huge influence, not just on the thinking of non-Christians, but even on the thinking of many Christians who down-play sin, and think that people just need more evidence and knowledge in order to believe in God. This kind of apologetic approach has its roots in Socrates, and not in Christ. 

Prejudice, Pragmatism, and Presuppositionalism

"Prejudice, Pragmatism, and Presuppositionalism" is included with, and follows on from the first book, and it fits well with it. In this second book Bahnsen closely examines 3 examples of some of the best men of modern secular philosophy, and shows how they all fail miserably to account for knowledge. Those three men are John Dewey, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and John L. Austin.

Below is a quote from Wittgenstein that I thought was a gem worth sharing, as it highlights the foolishness of grounding ones knowledge within oneself.


Of course the mistake Wittgenstein made in what he said (as quoted above) was an easy mistake to make at the time he lived, but it is a great example of the danger of speculating on things that one cannot really know for certain, and then saying you you "know" it, even if the vast majority of people also agree with you. (And without God, one cannot know anything for certain.)

Both Bahnsen books show the foolishness of philosophy that is grounded in human traditions rather than Christ.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Noah And The Last Days Movie


I highly recommend this movie - much better than the Hollywood Noah movie! One thing that I'm not so sure about is the blood red moon sign and the timing of it. There is a lot on the internet about the 4 blood red moons - 2 in 2014 and 2 in 2015. This could be significant, but according to an Answers in Genesis article it might not be as unusual as it is being made out to be: Will Lunar Eclipses Cause Four Blood Moons in 2014 and 2015.







The 10 Signs of the Last Days

1.    The Scriptures tell us that there will be money-hungry Bible teachers who will slur the Christian faith and deceive many:
“. . . there will be false teachers among you . . . And many will follow their destructive ways,
because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you
with deceptive words . . .” (2 Peter 2:1–3).

2.     There will be wars, earthquakes, famines, and widespread disease:

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be
famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).

3.     The moon will become blood red:

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the
great and awesome day of the LORD” (Acts 2:20).

4.     Blasphemy will become commonplace:

“. . . in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of
money, boasters, proud, blasphemers . . .” (2 Timothy 3:1,2).

5.     There will be an increase in the acceptance of homosexuality as there was in the days of Sodom:
“Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot . . . but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it
rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day
when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28–30).

6.     Religious hypocrisy will be prevalent:
“For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are
strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]”
(2 Timothy 3:5, Amplified).

7.     People will deny that God created the heavens and that He judged the world through Noah’s flood:
“There shall come in the last days scoffers . . . for this they willingly are ignorant of, that by
the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the
water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter
3:3,5,6).

8.     The future will become frightening:
“. . . men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming
on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

9.     Scoffers will mock the Second Coming by claiming these signs have always been around:
“. . . scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying,
‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as
they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3,4).

10.     People will ignore the warning of the gospel:
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the
days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until
the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all
away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37–39).