Monday, November 20, 2006

When Religion Looses its Credibility (An examination of "Christian" arguments in favor of Homosexuality)

Where news is fun Yesterday I ran into an article entitled "When Religion Looses Its credibility" by a pastor in the Baptist church named Oliver "Buzz" Thomas. The article was in the online version of USA Today for Monday November 19th. In it Buzz argues that Christianity really may have been wrong all along about its stance against Homosexuality, now I am not going to post the article word for word but just answer the key highlights throughout the article. I encourage anyone reading to read his article in its entirety first by clicking here. I will deal with Thomas' arguments from here on out by responding to key passages, his words will be in blue.

Thomas begins the article with this statement/comparison:

"Galileo was persecuted for revealing what we now know to be the truth regarding Earth's place in our solar system. Today, the issue is homosexuality, and the persecution is not of one man but of millions. Will Christian leaders once again be on the wrong side of history?"

First of all these issues are totally different categories, the earth being the center of the solar system is a scientific matter, whether homosexuality is immoral is well a moral matter. Both relate to the Christian world view but my point is that the analogy is sloppy from the start. Second, whether or not the earth was the center of the universe was not debated based upon scripture, The Roman Catholic church held this view because that is what Aristotle taught...NOT the Bible. Now Homosexuality on the other hand is certainly mentioned in the Bible and certainly described as an immoral practice. Am I entitled to say this is a faulty comparison fallacy on Thomas' behalf?

"Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers."

Hold the phone here. Thomas assumes that if some behavior is genetically linked to individuals by birth that then that behavior is not to be frowned upon. Where did he get that conclusion from? The Bible? No, this is the touted line of the secular culture. Is Homosexuality a behavior that is linked to genes? I don't know. But you know what it doesn't matter one lick whether the behavior is linked to the genes when we are determining whether a behavior is moral or not. From what I understand similar gene links are found in serial killers, do we then make the conclusion that serial killers are not doing immoral acts because their genes predispose them to commit these acts? No, therefore the assumption Thomas makes here is faulty, we don't base morality on genetics...you would think Thomas would know that being a pastor.

Now this next statement is what I really found to be the most disappointing:

"All this brings me back to the question: What if we're wrong?
Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop."


"Religions ONLY REAL commodity"?! All that religion has to offer is a moral outlook on the world and if we get that wrong we're done says Thomas. I am sorry but those aren't the words of somebody who believes that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world...I don't think you can be a Christian and say that all religion has to offer the world is a moral outlook. As a Christian yes my religion gives me a moral foundation/outlook but much more I have the gospel of God, the message that though man is fallen and rebellious through faith in Jesus Christ people can be made right before this holy God and have life everlasting and joy ever increasing. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthian believers:

"For I decided to know (teach) nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Cor 2:2)

According to Paul his commodity that he gave to the Corinthians was not a nice moral outlook but Christ crucified. Why? Because Christ crucified is the gospel, Christ crucified is the good news, this is the message that saves souls from hell and the wrath of God almighty. If we as CHRISTIANS are asked: "What is the one thing you have to offer the world?" the answer will be some form of CHRIST and HIM CRUCIFIED. Because there is No other Name Under Heaven By Which Men May Be Saved Except the Name of Christ Jesus. (Acts 4:12)

"This time, [He just gave another Galileo analogy] Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. To the contrary, whether sexual orientation arises as a result of the mother's hormones or the child's brain structure or DNA, it is almost certainly an accident of birth. The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability."

I will come back to the discrimination rhetoric later, but here he makes his point which he stated earlier again "Without choice, there can be no moral culpability." Sure, from the throne of the pontiff. Unfortunately, for Thomas that's not how God sees it. In Romans chapter 9 we see the sovereignty of God in His election of people to Himself and His sovereignty of man's free will. Oh, yes people make choices but God governs those choices without mitigating their moral responsibility to Him, it is funny the apostle Paul deals with this sort of a notion as it reads:

"You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?"
(Rom 9:20-22)

Now this is in reference to the sovereignty of God I cite it because it is a form of determinism that God governs our wills yet Paul rejects the argument that goes:

1) if God is sovereign over men's actions then He can not hold them accountable for their actions
2) God is sovereign
.:3) Therefore men are not accountable. (MP 1,2)

This sort of thinking leads to all sorts of rash doctrinal denials for instance:

1) if God is sovereign over men's actions then He can not hold them accountable for their actions
2) Men are accountable before God
.:3) God is not sovereign (MT 1,2)

Anyway, the point is that Paul dealt with this issue of moral responsibility and God's sovereignty, which, according to Paul governed man's action in a way that did NOT mitigate his moral accountability to God for those actions. Likewise with Thomas' example, just because a behavior is linked to genes does not absolve man of accountability for that behavior. (Just substitute genes for God in the above proofs to see this in logical form) Thomas assumes that determined behavior=absolution of accountability for that behavior which simply is an unwarranted assertion.

Ultimately, as a Christian who believes in the sovereignty of God genetic links to homosexuality don't bother me at all, because morality is not dependent on free choices. Men in their fallen state are "slaves of sin" ,"dead in sin" and "hate the light" says the New Testament so how free are our choices? Morality is objective outside of our ability to fulfill it or not...God doesn't grade on the curve because we are fallen (That would be to compromise His holiness). AND God is sovereign over our genetics. If Thomas had not struck out earlier as to what Christianity has to offer the world he would have a message that breaks the power of a fallen corrupt nature and sets free slaves of sin.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
(1 Cor 6:9-11)

Next Thomas "turns" to scripture:

"So, why are so many church leaders (not to mention Orthodox Jewish and Muslim leaders) persisting in their view that homosexuality is wrong despite a growing stream of scientific evidence that is likely to become a torrent in the coming years? The answer is found in Leviticus 18. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

I just wonder how naturalistic science can give us rulings on whether actions are moral or not. How can science test morality?

"As a former "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here's the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all."

Has this man been to Seminary? I mean good night this is a basic concept of transition from Old to New Covenant. What he said above sounds more like unbelief in the authority of the Bible than an honest scholarly investigation into the meaning and how to apply it today. Well in a nutshell there are different types of law in the OT moral and ceremonial, homosexuality being sin is moral like don't steal, ceremonial for example would be regulations on the garments, what foods were to be eaten etc. In Christ both are fulfilled. Yes sassing your parents DOES deserve death but Christ took our death. These are basic concepts which somebody who is a pastor should know.

"For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred."
Tearing books out of the Bible sure gets tiring
Again we see his inability to transition from Old Covenant to the New, liberal theologians have done this silly rhetoric so much I really don't bother to respond anymore...Frankly because Christians don't say things like this. All he is trying to do is say Leviticus needs to be thrown out/it doesn't apply anymore which is a gross over simplification of the matter.

"The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody's standard of ethics. We lawyers call it "selective enforcement," and in civil affairs it's illegal."

Um not at all, this is not a selective hanging on. These passages DO apply today, ALL of them. The difference is that we are in a New Covenant and Christ became our sacrifice Thomas coincidentally can't make that link which I think every evangelical can in basic terms. Christ is our sacrifice, Christ is our substitute for the punishment required in breaking these Levitical laws, and Christ is our ceremonial cleanness (kosher laws).

"A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. "And, the Lord saw that it was good." If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?"

I can't read things like this from a PASTOR and not reach the conclusion that this man is either purposely trying to mislead people or willfully ignorant. Thomas' question: "How when God created everything and said it was good can we say homosexuality is wrong?"

Basic sunday school answer to the question is that there was a fall Thomas, you know Genesis chapter 3 the book you just referenced. This is BASIC Christian doctrine and I don't know how Thomas can HONESTLY act ignorant of the fall of man theologically when he is a pastor. I think this is simply disingenuous.

"Turning to the New Testament, the writings of the Apostle Paul at first lend credence to the notion that homosexuality is a sin, until you consider that Paul most likely is referring to the Roman practice of pederasty, a form of pedophilia common in the ancient world. Successful older men often took boys into their homes as concubines, lovers or sexual slaves."

Um, really?

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. " (Rom 1)

Thomas is simply going on the liberal theology line in which their "research" found that when Paul speaks against men sleeping with men he REALLY means men with boy sex slaves....oh ok.

So far Thomas has tried to discredit the passages/books of the Bible that condemn homosexuality as sin with frankly pretty sloppy "research" and disingenuous exegesis of Genesis and Leviticus. Now he uses the worn out Jesus never said anything about homosexuality line:

"For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won't find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?"

Let's apply this reasoning, Jesus never mentioned homosexuality so homosexuality must have been a ok in Christ's mind. Well lets substitute some things in for homosexuality to show how ridiculous this reasoning is.

Jesus never said anything about child molestation therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about smoking methamphetamine therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about black slavery therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about smoking pot therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about abortion therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about NASCAR therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.

Well I think the point is clear that the standard Jesus never said...is a poor one. And anyone who studies the Bible will know that Christ the Spirit and the Father constitute One God eternally existent, thus it was Christ who inspired the book of Leviticus so Jesus DID say stuff about homosexuality.

Also Jesus' purpose much to the chagrin of the liberal theologians was NOT to give us a nice moral code or example to live by that was NOT the mission of Christ. Christ came "to seek and to save the lost" and by His finished work on the cross we are made right with at holy God. I also think the statement of Christ on marriage is pretty explicit as to what He thought it should look like:

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh."
(Mar 10:7-8)

"On the other hand, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about how we should treat others. First, he made clear it is not our role to judge. It is God's. ("Judge not lest you be judged." Matthew 7:1) And, second, he commanded us to love other people as we love ourselves. "

This is ridiculous, I refer you to my "Hey it says judge Not!" article if you don't know what is wrong with the way this guy is interpreting Matt 7:1.

"So, I ask you. Would you want to be discriminated against? Would you want to lose your job, housing or benefits because of something over which you had no control? Better yet, would you like it if society told you that you couldn't visit your lifelong partner in the hospital or file a claim on his behalf if he were murdered?
The suffering that gay and lesbian people have endured at the hands of religion is incalculable, but they can look expectantly to the future for vindication."


Jesus never said anything about discrimination, must not have bee a big deal to Him.
As for gays not being able to visit their partner or risk loosing houses because they can't get married is ridiculous, it's called a living will get one if you want to give your possessions to specific people when you die. And I don't think any hospital will turn someone's partner away because they don't have a marriage license. These arguments are just smokescreen.

"Scientific facts, after all, are a stubborn thing. Even our religious beliefs must finally yield to them as the church in its battle with Galileo ultimately realized. But for religion, the future might be ominous. Watching the growing conflict between medical science and religion over homosexuality is like watching a train wreck from a distance. You can see it coming for miles and sense the inevitable conclusion, but you're powerless to stop it. The more church leaders dig in their heels, the worse it's likely to be."

How is whether or not homosexuality a moral practice a scientific issue? Also for the numerous times Thomas has referenced this "growing pile" of facts he doesn't reference any studies at all. Not that it would matter to me because I don't think that has any bearing on whether or not an action is wrong.

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas is a Baptist minister and author of an upcoming book, 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

Well I think the whole article was ridiculous and full of disingenuous exegesis at best and purposely deceptive at worse. I go back to Thomas' quote which reads:

"Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop."

I think that if all you think Christianity has to offer is a moral vision you need to close up shop. Stop calling your liberal church a church and deceiving your members into thinking they are Christians when they never heard the gospel, never repented of their sins, and never submitted themselves to Christ as Lord . This is when religion looses is credibility, when we have disingenuous "pastors" telling people who are going to hell that they are ok because hey it says "Judge not."

11 comments:

Christinewjc said...

Your analysis here is excellent Bob! You meticulously countered every one of his false claims. You made his silly arguments look totally ignorant, unbiblical and unworthy of any Christian pastor that I know of or would want to take seriously. You showed how utterly ridiculous his "scientific" claims are if applied towards other aberrant behaviors.

Well done!!

The whole "gay" Christian movement totally irks me! I have run across three arguments that, when read and evaluated carefully, just completely shut down the nonsense that they are trying to spread and infiltrate the Christian churches with. Yours makes the fourth one!

I will post the links below.

I can't believe that this "pastor" got his silly article in USA Today! I think that you should send in your rebuttal to his claims! However, knowing how liberal (and how many gay activists are probably on staff) newspaper editors are, they probably will find some excuse not to print it. We just need to continue to spread the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ via our blogs!

God bless!
Christine

Queer Theology Exposed

Responding to Pro-gay Theology

The Spiritual Significance of this Battle

natamllc said...

Bobby and ladies,

Here's one,

consider the ten commandments as a TEN-faceted DIAMOND.

One facet is the commandment: THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.


hmmmmmmm.

Adultery is DEFINED and expressed in many hues of clarity of "COLOR" in our Bible; unfaithful men to their wives, unfaithful women to their husbands, fornicators, immoral sexual activity between two men, man/boy, between two women, woman/girl and so on! And even still there is multiple partner acts and singular acts, men with men, women with women, orgies. And even more so there are acts between humans and other creatures, need I go further?

All these ACTS are summed up in one commandment: THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.

It is not until further on in the MORALIZATION CODES OF ACTS OF HUMANITY that things are narrowly defined in application, i.e. the writings of Moses and others.

DON'T FORGET THE FLOOD that preceded Abram.

hmmmmmm

And this one:::>

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

These kinds of subject topics miss in my judgment one very important thing.

God came first. God is eternal in existence. Therefore God alone makes the eternal decisions for the consequences of our ACTS.

Paul makes the further point in his writings of all the SINFUL ACTS we humans commit, that one KIND of act that is directly harmful, hurtful and most destructive to the human soul is the sexual ACT when it is outside of marriage.

Marriage is honorable and the bed is undefiled. ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST DESTRUCTIVE, HURTFUL, HARMFUL to all, man or woman, boy or girl.

Marriage is between one man and one woman, to be permanent, to be of virginal origins. Wake up mommies and daddies of boys and girls who want to be married someday and bring you grandchildren!

The Gospel, the Gospel, the Gospel bears the FRUIT. One may water, another may plant, but at all times and among all humanity, GOD GIVES THE INCREASE.

The only increase is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST in all things human!

Let us pray:

DEAR LORD, BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. BE MERCIFUL TO ALL MANKIND.

GRANT US DELIVERANCE FROM OUR OWN SINFULNESS, OUR OWN SINS, OUR OWN LIFESTYLES WITHOUT YOU.

AMEN

michael

Bob said...

Thanks Christine, it's encouraging to have other Christians who are like minded in the current culture and standing against the spirit of the age. I was commenting to my wife that I never get mad when I talk with Mormons or Jehovah's Witness' or any other heretical group. The one group that I really do get mad about is these Liberal theologians. I just feel like they are bald face lying to people, and purposely twisting words to be percieved as thinking one thing (orthodox) but really they give those words different meanings (heretical).

Michael-
Hey good comments, Christ is central in what you said. God gives the increase.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid your analysis is forsaken, and ultimately, without merit. There remains no point in comparing theological morality with science per se. Morality is a process of indefinite interpretation of social, cultural norms moulded via historicity and the norms incumbent within. Science is vastly different because the variables involved are measurable, comparable, and most importantly, able to be set within distinct, and irrefutable conceptual, categorical , and sometimes immutable formats, patterns, and modalities. This is untrue of morality, which consists of vast shades of perspectives, genetic pre-dispositions, and ever-shifting derivations of the inter-relationships occuring within society. A fully-formed, and comprehensive understanding of human interactions, and inter-relationships remain as elusive to mankind as the consolidaton, and perfection of current scientific understanding of how that organ within the human body, the brain, operates.

Consider what Humanists aspire to be as ethical agents. They wish always to respect their fellow human beings, to like them, to honour their strivings and to sympathise with their feelings. They wish to begin every encounter, every relationship, with this attitude, for they keep in mind Emerson's remark that we must give others what we give a painting; namely, the advantage of a good light. Most of their fellow human beings merit this, and respond likewise. Some forfeit it by what they wilfully do. But in all cases the humanists' approach rests on the idea that what shapes people is the complex of facts about the interaction between human nature's biological underpinnings and each individual's social and historical circumstances.

Understanding these things - through the arts and literature, through history and philosophy, through the magnificent endeavour of science, through attentive personal experience and reflection, through close relationships, through the conversation of mankind which all this adds up to - is the great essential for humanists in their quest to live good and achieving lives, to do good to others in the process, and to join with their fellows in building just and decent societies where all can have an opportunity to flourish.

And this is for the sake of this life, in this world, where we suffer and find joy, where we can help one another, and where we need one another's help: the help of the living human hand and heart. A great deal of that help has to be targeted at the other side of what the human heart is - the unkind, angry, hostile, selfish, cruel side; the superstitious, tendentious, intellectually captive, ignorant side - to defeat or mitigate it, to ameliorate the consequences of its promptings, to teach it to be different; and never with lies and bribes.

Humanists distinguish between individuals and the wide variety of belief systems people variously adhere to. Some belief systems (those involving astrology, feng shui, crystal healing, animism...the list is long) they combat robustly because the premises of them are falsehoods - many, indeed, are inanities - and, even more, because too often belief in some of those falsehoods serves as a prompt to murder. Humanists contest them as they would contest any falsehood. But with the exception of the individuals who promote these systems when they should know better, humanism is not against the majority who subscribe to them, for it recognises that they were brought up in them as children, or turn to them out of need, or adhere to them hopefully (sometimes, and perhaps too often, unthinkingly).

These are fellow human beings, and humanists profoundly wish them well; which means too that they wish them to be free, to think for themselves, to see the world through clear eyes. If only, says the humanist, they would have a better knowledge of history! If only they would see what their own leaders think of the simple version of the faiths they adhere to, substituting such sophistry in its place! For whereas the ordinary believer has a somewhat misty notion of a father-cum-policeman-cum-Father Christmas-cum-magician personal deity, their theologians deploy such a polysyllabic, labyrinthine, intricate, sophisticated, complexified approach, that some go so far as to claim (as one current celebrity cleric does) that God does not have to exist to be believed in. The standard basis of religious belief - subjective certainty - is hard enough to contest, being non-rational at source, but this is beyond orbit. It is hard to know which are worse: the theologians who are serious about what they say in these respects, and those who know it for a game.

In contrast to the utter certainties of faith, a humanist has a humbler conception of the nature and current extent of knowledge. All the enquiries that human intelligence conducts into enlarging knowledge make progress always at the expense of generating new questions. Having the intellectual courage to live with this open-endedness and uncertainty, trusting to reason and experiment to gain us increments of understanding, having the absolute integrity to base one's theories on rigorous and testable foundations, and being committed to changing one's mind when shown to be wrong, are the marks of honest minds. In the past humanity was eager to clutch at legends, superstitions and leaps of credulity, to attain quick and simple closure on all that they did not know or understand, to make it seem to themselves that they did know and understand. Humanism recognises this historical fact about the old myths, and sympathises with the needs that drive people in that direction. It points out to such that what feeds their hearts and minds - love, beauty, music, sunshine on the sea, the sound of rain on leaves, the company of friends, the satisfaction that comes from successful effort - is more than the imaginary can ever give them, and that they should learn to re-describe these things - the real things of this world - as what gives life the poetry of its significance.

For that is what humanism is: it is, to repeat and insist, about the value of things human. Its desire to learn from the past, its exhortation to courage in the present, and its espousal of hope for the future, are about real things, real people, real human need and possibility, and the fate of the fragile world we share. It is about human life; it requires no belief in an after life. It is about this world; it requires no belief in another world. It requires no commands from divinities, no promises of reward or threats of punishment, no myths and rituals, either to make sense of things or to serve as a prompt to the ethical life. It requires only open eyes, sympathy, and reason.

Frank Walton said...

Great observation! I really hope the church doesn't go the "Buzz" route. More and more Christians are too scared to handle the homosexual issue. It's really easy, the Bible condemns it, that settles it.

natamllc said...

Hey Richard

good to read your stuff again!

Frank, come on, getting to the point quickly! THANKS.

Richard, I agree with you the first part of the first sentence in your retort! FORSAKEN.

I don't want to die forsaken! But, ah, you, this is not an issue for you yet, or no?

michael

Dani said...

EXCELLENT POST BOB!

Sorry I didn't come across it a week ago. As usual, you make a lot of great points. Too bad it isn't this obvious to the leaders of the church.

If you don't mind I would like to link to this article from the current debate going on at my place.

Thanks again for dealing with Deb.

Dani said...

Hey Bob - I just came across this article from CovenantNews.com => When Religious Leaders Lose Their Credibility: Part III

Thought you would be interested in it!

Bob said...

Hey Richard:

"There remains no point in comparing theological morality with science per se."

Well that was MY criticism of what this "pastor" was saying. He kept referring to science and how it was somehow "prooving" that homosexuality really is moral. That was Thomas' argument not mine...so I would agree with you Richard.

After rambling about humanism you began to turn your guns to Christianity saying:

"The standard basis of religious belief - subjective certainty - is hard enough to contest, being non-rational at source, but this is beyond orbit. It is hard to know which are worse: the theologians who are serious about what they say in these respects, and those who know it for a game."

Well again I would join you in deploring the "theologian" who says God's existance doesn't matter in order to believe in God...Christians don't say things like that even if they want to call themselves Christians.

I do however disagree that faith is in its root irrational. We've been over this before but I will say again that I don't treat faith as some sort of irrational leap. For me one of the reasons I know God exists (beyond subjective experience) is due to the impossibility of the contrary. It's an indirect proof assuming God does not exist we find that we are left with a vacuum in numerous essential areas:

1)We can not give an account for the laws of logic in a sense that would be universal and binding in atheistic univers. The best the atheist can do is say that the LOL are just conventions that we agree upon.

2) We can not give an account of morality in an objective sense but it too becomes conventional and consensus based.

3) We can not give an account for the uniformity of nature. See David Hume's riddle of induction for a precise exposition. But the argument simply is:
1.science proceeds on the assumption that the future will be like the past.
2.This assumption is not warranted.

So based on the three fundamental areas that we operate in in our daily lives as though they do exist objectively it is rational to conclude that the Christian God exists by indirect logical proof.

Finally Richard states:

"For that is what humanism is: it is, to repeat and insist, about the value of things human."

Well Richard given YOUR worldview of atheism why do human beings have any value at all?

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts (that includes Richard)

Bob said...

Dani-
Yeah, I just sometimes step back and scratch my head and think "Why do these guys want to call themselves Christians?" When these liberal theologians say these things, things that Christians don't say like:

1)Jesus wasn't born of a virgin Mary was rapped by a Roman Centurion.

2)Jesus didn't really feed 5000 people Him and His disciples had food stashed in a cave...the real miracle was sharing.

3)Jesus didn't really die and rise again He just went into a coma came out of it and rolled away the stone and said He rose from the dead.

When they say this stuff I just don't know why they even want to call themselves Christians. But hey they are the "Scholars" of today...their research has discovered that a man scourged, nailed to a cross and pierced with a spear could fake his death and tell people he rose from the dead....they make Jesus into a liar through their unbelief...that's all it is unbelief...oh I'm ranting.

Seriously though nothing not atheists, not Mormons, not Muslims, gets me more fired up than these snakes who call themselves Christians and deny everything that is in fact Christianity.

None333333 said...

The problem is that the false theologians are not being led by the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can cut through the 'rational-lies' that the human mind devises. Only the Spirit can give you that inner knowing that something is 'off' about something a theologian claims.

People who are not led by the Holy Spirit have no concept of spiritual bondage, the flesh, and deliverance, which I believe to be a factor in this subject.