Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The L'Abri Conference 2007

I thought these Redwoods looked nice and fit the idea of growth and new life in this post...if you don't think so I think you will agree that they at least look nice.
In the last post I wrote about some of the changes the Lord is bringing me through in how I engage other people, particularly unbelievers. The men the Lord has been using to bring this change about are Francis Schaeffer and Jerram Barrs. L'Abri of course is the communal ministry that the Schaeffers started in the 50's, it has blossomed to numerous communities throughout the world. The idea of L'Abri was to be a vibrant community in which unbelievers and believers could come and study to find answers to their questions. One of the motto's of Schaeffer was that there is no question that is off limits, if Christianity is the truth it can answer any question man may have. So unbelievers are encouraged to come to L'Abri as questions, raise objections and really find answers in Christianity.

It is this emphasis on a communal/relational witness (although L'Abri is not technically a commune) that I think is desperately needed in our day. In that the Emergents are right, they are late in saying this but they are right. This relational approach to evangelism is really faithful to what the Bible says about man, because man is more than just a biological machine, man is personal, emotional, and in need of real love. This is because man is made in the image of God, and as such all men's lives are precious and valuable. There are no insignificant people. This is the heart of the Bible centered relational approach to evangelism I am falling in love with.

This brings me to the conference. I had been listening to Jerram Barrs' messages on these topics for the past few months and I knew I had to go to this conference in Minnesota put together by L'Abri on Postmodernism and truth. It was absolutely wonderful, I don't think I could have been more impressed with all that I saw and heard.

Apart from the content of the messages the thing that has impressed me the most is the sorrow over the lostness of man. One of the most touching examples was when one of the speakers was telling of his ministry in Africa and he recounted to us his visit to one of the old slave fortresses in Ghana. It was in this fortress that about a thousand slaves would be held prior to be shipped out to various countries. When you walk into the room the slaves were held you realize the floor you are treading upon is not dirt it is human excrement and blood. As he continued his tour of the fortress he saw a beautiful white building and asked the guide, "What is this building?" the guide replied "That was the church that the traders met in." The church was located above the dungeon that housed the slaves.

How utterly tragic. But what was beautiful was to be in the conference room and with tears in my eyes hear numerous sniffles and noses being blown as we sorrowed over how ugly and hypocritical man can be and that the Church did not act as the Church and speak out against these moral evils. That is something to weep over. This should be our attitude towards the lostness of our culture, one of sorrow. Don't get me wrong I think anger is also Biblical, but I just wonder how the world sees us when we speak out on the lostness of our culture. Do they see people who are mad at homosexuals and women who think abortion is a right, and thus are just an angry mob trying to impose our morality on everybody?

We must weep because these are real people who are made in the image of God whose lives are precious who are living in homosexual lifestyles. These are real women who are so warped in their fallen thinking that they honestly believe that as a women it is their right over their own body to choose whether or not to terminate a child in the womb. When we can see these people as lost people made in the image of God not "Them" or enemies then can we have a loving witness that is seasoned with salt. If we can't do this we will always be dismissed as an angry hateful activist group seeking to impose our will on others.

Don't get me wrong this will not be at the expense of conviction, we must tell the homosexual that he is living in a sinful lifestyle, we absolutely must. But, if we don't truly love the lost person who is caught in this lifestyle why are we even telling him he is in sin at all?

That has really been what the Spirit of God has been working in me, how to truly be salt and light in this lost and dying world. One of the examples Jerram brought up was how Jesus dealt with Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and as such he used his power to strong arm money out of people, it is also noted that he was rich, so put the two together. When Jesus sees Zacchaeus he invites Himself over to his house, to the dismay of the "Religious" because they knew what kind of person Zacchaeus was. Zacchaeus repents and repays fourfold what he stole. This is how we are to be with lost sinners, we are not to be friends with them in their sins by participating with them but friends with them while they are sinners.

Now as for the messages themselves time would fail me to write on all of them and I really am still digesting what I heard. But one of the clearest was Jerram's message, it was in part testimony and all in all an exhortation to take the Bible to the lost man because the Bible answers all of man's problems. It really does, and if we don't think so we might as well pack up shop. There were three questions in particular that Jerram hit on that the Bible gives needed answers to postmodern man:

1) Who/what Am I?

2) Where can we find a basis for morals?

3) Why do I see so much that is evil in this world?

These were the questions that Jerram had prior to his conversion to Christianity, he found no anMeaningless meaningless!, says the Preacher, All is meaningless. (Eccl 1:2)swers. These are fundamental questions surrounding our existence. It is the hallmark of postmodernism that it has given up hope of ever finding any answer (At least in any universal/rational sense). Schaeffer called this giving up on reason and the hope of ever finding a uniformed answer to man's problems and questions going under the "line of despair". All that is left once we give up on the hope of a universal uniformed answer is leaps into non-reason hoping to find some sort of answer through personal mystical experience.

What Jerram warmly heralded is that the Bible has the answers that postmodern man is in desperate need of. I say desperate because man's state in this postmodern ethos is truly desperate, it is the suicidal and the Nihilists who feel this desperation and are being the most consistent with their thinking. I am being serious.

When in our thinking we can make no sense of life all we are left with is absurdity. Duchamp's bicycle wheel on the stool (pictured above) is an example of a statement about the absurdity and meaninglessness of the human condition.

I have found this with all the non-Christians I have talked with, they simply don't have any answers to these questions, but they will always inconsistently with their worldview hold on to the Biblical truth irrationally. This is glaring in the area of morals. Most unbeliever make moral judgements all day long yet really have no real basis to determine right from wrong any higher than personal preference. This is tragic.

But we as Christians have an answer for modern man, the Bible, the written word of God. It explains who/what man is saying that he is a creature and is personal, creative and moral because he is made in the image of God. It gives a foundation for ethics which is outside of man based upon the character of the God who made man, thus they are objective and universal ethics. The Bible also answers the question of why we see so much evil in the world, man is fallen and in rebellion against his Maker. The image of man Jerram gave citing Tolken is that of a prince who was once clothed in a royal robe now still wearing what used to be the robe man is clothed in the rags of his former majesty. Thus, we see both beauty and ugliness in man. The beauty is what man once was as God created him, the ugliness is what man has become as he has rejected God.

To wrap up, there is still so much to say but I really am still digesting and praying through what the Lord is bringing me through. All in all I a just very excited, I am excited to live in a manner that is heartfelt and salty to all I may encounter.

If anyone wants to listen to some of Jerram Barrs' messages you can find some here.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Call To Radical Love of the Lost. (My Paradigm Shift)

Paratrooper evangelism...I have recently been going through what I would call a paradigm shift in how I live my Christianity out in the area of evangelism. This vision for evangelism has been almost as significant of a shift in my thinking as when I was convinced of the Doctrines of Grace and the absolute Soveriegnty and freedom of God over all of human history. This shift has come primarily throught a professor's lectures on evangelism/apologetics from Covenant Seminary, where I now plan to go to Seminary. They offer 20 free Seminary courses online and I listened and took notes on Jerram Barrs' course as if I was right there. I really found myself saying, "Yes, yes, that's what it should look like!" Jerram was close with Francis Schaeffer and spent a good deal of time at L'Abri England (I hope to spend some time with him at the L'Abri conference in Minnesota next week which I will be attending).

Anyway enough details, the change has really come in how I view witnessing to unbelievers. I had always heard talk of friendship style evangelism, but really had gotten the impression that it was a smooth way of calling your compromise in witness evangelism. My concept of friendship evangelism was a kind of blah message about Jesus' love with no judgement spoken of, coupled with numerous visits to the coffee house. So in light of this my approach had become more head on, purely confrontational. The unbeliever would say "X is my worldview." And I would respond by polemically displaying the problems (Don't get me wrong this IS good to a point. see 1 Pet 3:15 ). So my "outreach" would be a sort of parachuting into the non-Christian world firing polemical bullets at unbelievers and then getting out.

What I really have been undergoing is a tearing down of my barriers toward non-Christians. I never outright thought it but it just creeps in when you get into holy huddles enough, but I really have come to realise my "Them-ing" of unbelievers, thus really dehumanizing them. Don't get me wrong it's not that I wouldn't display love towards unbelievers, it's more that I was very impatiant with them, treating them like arguments to be proven wrong and thus be "won". What I really have been coming to see is that we have focused so much of our evangelistic efforts on "reaping" (leading people through sinners prayers) that we have lost the patience to dutifully sow seeds and let another reap.

What I have really been coming to see is that people really not only need to hear the gospel but see it (My emergent friends are rejoicing). To see us showing selfless love to them and REALLY expecting nothing in return. To see us REALLY care for them in their highs and lows. To display these things we need to be in people's lives, it will take more than drive by evangelism to display to a lost world the self sacrificial love of Christ.

And, no, this does NOT eliminate a Biblical message of judgement. Because if we truly love the lost we will tell them of God's judgement. Not merely as an intellectual fact they need to know, but with teary eyes and anguish of their souls. True friendship evangelism WILL have a message of judgement, a message of judgement mingled with tears.

This following Poem by John Bunyan gives us a picture of the judgement upon sin:


"Who falls into the fire shall burn with heat;
While those remote scorn from it to retreat.
Yea, while those in it, cry out, O! I burn,
Some farther off those cries to laughter turn.


While some tormented are in hell for sin;
On earth some greatly do delight therein.
Yea, while some make it echo with their cry,
Others count it a fable and a lie."

This is heavy truth, and shame on us if we can read this and not feel any anguish over the lost souls of our Jeremiah weeping over Jerusalem.unbelieving friends and loved ones who delight in that which has damned so many. I have also been reading through Schaeffer's "Death in the City" which is in part commentary on Jeremiah. Schaeffer uses Jeremiah in the midst of a God rejecting Israel to illustrate what our attitude should be towards men's unbelief, one of weeping. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, he was in anguish over the unbelief of Israel. This should be our hearts attitude as well toward unbelief, and it will be if we love the lost and don't merely approach them in their lostness in a drive-by evangelistic manner. So my question to anyone who didn't get bored and has read this far is this: "Do you love the lost?"

To close there is much more to the vision for ministry God is shaping in me. I have really focused on this issue of Christian love, because it is central to true outreach and it really is radical. This IS RADICAL, it is radical (by that I mean it goes against every selfish and sinful desire of ours) to love somebody enough to lay down your personal preferences/comfort to genuinely love them. This IS CHRISTIAN LOVE. Again this is radical and if you don't think so you don't get it, you don't get what I am talking about at all. What I am talking about is what Schaeffer called "The Mark of the Christian", which is selfless love displayed to a lost world in an unfiltered compassion for others. I want to live this way with every Spirit born fiber in me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Standard Dialogue With an Atheist on Ethics:

What follows is a dialogue I have had with an Atheist on the subject of ethics. You the reader are seeing what appears to be the dusk of the dialogue (This is generally where the Ad hominem insults start to fly). I would post the whole thing but this is long enough as it is. To bring the reader up to speed, the general argument has gone:

1) I asked for a foundation for ethics based upon Atheist Materialism

RE: "Do unto others"

2) Why based upon Atheist materialism should I practice a do unto others ethic?

RE: "Because that is the way you would like to be treated."

3) That simply begs the question.

RE: I hate God.

This is the structure the dialogue goes nearly every time I talk about ethics with Atheists. You will see a nearly identical dialogue to the one I am posting here between me and an Atheist "Jody" in the comment thread of my prior post "Fundamentalist Atheism". What I generally do is bring up something that anybody who is not a full blown Nihilist will find morally wrong and press them as to WHY based upon their worldview. In the following dialogue I have brought up a hypothetical where the Atheist needs to explain why molesting children is wrong. The sad thing is they never can do so. And in attempting to do so they are borrowing from Christianity, and divorcing the ethics from their base which gave them meaning.

Anyway here's the dialogue, I have changed the names a bit:

Mat (short for Materialist):

You again are just begging the question as you say:

[In referring to the supernatural events recorded in the Bible "never happening" because there is no evidence that supernatural things happen]

"No, it’s because there is no evidence for these things having actually happened."

The point is that you reject the Bible's testimony that these supernatural events happened because you say there is no evidence that supernatural events happen. That is the definition of the logical fallacy of begging the question. This discussion could serve as an example in formal logic books of this fallacy because you continue to commit it so brazenly.

"It has nothing to do with “supernatural testimony” (there’s no evidence that the Bible even IS supernatural testimony in the first place, apart for its claiming so and lots of people believing it)."

I don't know what you are saying here. I guess my question is simply what kind of "evidence" do you want or would find adequate to verify supernatural events like walking on water that happened 2000 years ago?

You continue in response to how to deal with the Nihilist:

"Well, the man’s obviously a screwed-up arsehole. What do you want me to say to him?"

Well, you need to be able to give him a reason WHY he should care about his neighbor at all, that's not too much to ask I don't think. It's really the foundation of any ethic. Screwed up seems to be a relative term until you can provide some objective footing for why his Nihilism is "bad" and Altruism is "good". It simply isn't enough to just utter "You should do unto others", that may have worked based upon a Christian foundation, but when you try to apply it to a materialist foundation it simply is a subjective ethic to be taken or left by personal preference.

Do unto others fits the Christian worldview because we believe:

A)Man has intrinsic worth and value because he is made in the image of God.

B) That being the case man's life is precious because man is unique in the universe. Therefore any abuse toward man is not just horizontal against a creature but against God who made man.

C)The ethic is universally binding because it is based upon God's character which is unchanging. Thus, it is not subjective or arbitrary (to be taken or dropped at a whim) because it is based on God who created the universe and is above the universe (transcendent).

D)God owns us and has the right to tell us how to live.

" But is that "morality" in the sense that we're talking about? Has morality simply become what God finds pleasing? Ted [Ted is the Nihilist example I used who is wondering why if materialism is true it is "wrong" to molest children], the jerk, would still be a jerk. He'd just refrain from doing what he was previously doing because of fear of being punished. So all you've really been talking about is how to bring delinquents under control, in the only language they understand: threats of violence."

Well, as you can see from above there's more to Christian ethics than threat, that's a rather crude understanding of Christian ethics. The point is that man has value (Which materialism can never really ascribe to man) and crimes against man are crimes against God who made man in His image. So the message is: Don't do harm to your fellow man because life is precious, it is a gift from God. And yes there is threat of judgement from the God who owns us upon those reject the view of the preciousness of life and break ethical laws.

"So basically, if you didn’t believe in God, you’d see no problem with torturing babies? I don’t think so. I think you’re just more interested in scoring points in this debate."

No, that's not my point at all, I don't think all atheists are horrible people. Some of them are actually more moral/loving than some Christians I know, so it is NOT my point that unless you believe in God you will be a complete wreck morally.

My point is that unless you believe in God you simply can not account for WHY you should be moral to begin with, not to mention what IS moral in any non-subjective sense. So, no I don't think that if you don't believe in God that you will become a baby torturer (My account for why the vast majority of Atheists are moral is because they are made in the image of God and by that fact intuitively know right and wrong although they suppress the truth in areas) I do think that you can't provide any real reason WHY you shouldn't without Christian Theism.

"It’s amazing how preachy fundamentalists can get when discussing morals, but take away God, and they sound more like sociopathic delinquents. They lose their bearings when they don’t have to. Sometimes I almost wish them to stay religious, because goodness knows what they'd do if they took their own rhetoric about the necessity of belief in God seriously."

This again simply is NOT my point as I stated above.

"It is if it invokes unsubstantiated entities. Note throughout all this that, even IF religion gives us a better moral foundation than naturalism/atheism, it still has no bearing on the truth claims of religion. I admit from the outset that the problem of ethics is a hard one, because you have to get into how ethics should even be defined, when it's applicable, whether there are any absolutes or if it's context dependent, where we get our ethics from in the first place, how they change through time, and so on. Perhaps it's an intractable problem."

Yes it is, for the non-Christian. I would also argue you have no standard by which to use the term "better" in regards to comparing ethical systems.

"Saying that God endowed us with kindness isn’t any sort of an answer, though. We just pass on the problem to a supposed higher arbiter, and declare it to be a mystery anyway, because God is profoundly mysterious. It just means that God endowed us with kindness. Why did God do it? Because kindness is “good”. Why is kindness good? Because God endowed us with it."

Saying God endowed us with kindness isn't an answer...Well actually it is, it explains where man's moral sense came from, his Creator. God also isn't shrouded in mystery He has revealed Himself, He has not been silent. "Good" is that which is in alignment with the character of God (who is perfect).

"I wasn’t borrowing it, I just happened to hold it myself, and merely expressed it. That it's stated in the Bible in those words was useful for me because I intended it as a rhetorical overture to show that almost anyone can adhere to it, whether or not they are religious. Please don't flatter yourself by thinking that you own the issue, simply because a manifestation of it appears in your holy book."

Well, it's more than that. My point has been that although you may hijack "Do unto others" it really has lost all true meaning when you set it up on a materialist base. By that I mean you simply can not answer WHY "Do unto others" should be obeyed without begging the question (see the first paragraph). So although you may live out "Do unto others" (and I am sure you strive to, and you should) your materialism can not give you any real reason WHY you should follow this ethic to begin with.

" Obviously if you define “dignity” as being in God's image, then you've won the argument by default, because if there is no God, therefore their can't be "dignity". You’re grasping for wishy-washy, vague definitions that no one can rebuke, and to do that you’re assuming the existence of an unsubstantiated entity from the very outset, without providing any independent reasons to take such an idea seriously. You're using the Bible as a blunt weapon to try to get me to admit that atheism and morality can't peacefully coexist."

Well, actually my point in part is that because we live as though man has dignity, and morals exist, that the only thing that can rationally account for these phenomena is the existence of God. My reason for starting presupositionally with the existence of God is that without Him you can't really sufficiently prove anything whether its ethics, uniformity of nature, epistymology, or the laws of logic. Without the existence of God all of these concepts which we assume and use every day crumble to pure relativism and nothing can really be proven.

As far as trying to get you to think Atheism and morality can't exist, my point is a bit more sophisticated than that. My point is yes you may live morally as an Atheist but you can't be rationally justified in doing so, all you can do is chew the scraps from the table Christian ethical table in our post-Christian age.

"Okay, but since I’m not in the business of violating other people’s dignity, I have nothing to worry about."

Well, you aren't rationally justified for not violating a person's dignity. You probably are a fairly moral person but again you can not rationally account for WHY based upon your worldview you should live in a loving man. That's something to worry about, and again it should concern you that you can't provide any real reason based on your worldview why Ted shouldn't molest kids for fun.

"Strange, I don’t find myself raping and molesting, which I should be given that I don’t have a true moral foundation by which to live by. Oh well, sorry to disappoint you. You probably can’t stand the fact that I’m not doing those tings, because then it would give you so much more ammunition to use against atheism."

Oh no I praise God that you haven't done those things, it shows that you are still in touch with reality to some degree even though you are a Materialist. Again, my point isn't that if people become Atheists they automatically cast of all moral regard, my point is simply they have no objective reason to live morally.

"So basically, it’s either your way, all the way, or chaos and mayhem. It’s not going to happen. If you really need God to tell you how to act decently towards someone else, you have some real problems. I suspect that this isn't in fact the case, but if you're going to use these sorts of piss-poor arguments, it might as well be."

Again NOT my point, that was never my point. I never said anything that would give you the notion that that was my point. My hangup is that if you cant tell a Nihilist WHY it is wrong to molest kids you have a big problem.

"Evolution via natural selection. Yours is nothing but an argument from incredulity. "I can't imagine how we can possibly be endowed with these faculties for morality and kindness, therefore God did it". You ask the question as though yours was the only explanation available, which it most certainly is not. The evolution of altruism and emotions, and what selective pressures favoured them, is a hot topic n evolutionary biology. Your question is banal by its implicit assumption that it somehow CAN'T be answered, unless of course we adopt your explanation."

And here's the rub. Evolution is the magic word that makes all of the Materialists problems go away. Well, if you want to say that I am leaving you with one option as to how ethics can be accounted for, I would simply say the same of you. You leave me to accept a Materialist view and abandon any Theistic one. Evolution may or may not have happened but that does not inherently eliminate Theism.

"Obviously you’re utterly ignorant of human psychology, sociology and history. This is another incredulous type of question. You see absolutely everything through a religious lens, to the detriment of everything else....
No, it’s an appeal to modern science. Appealing to authority is what theists do, and the authority they appeal to is not even required to verify its extravagant claims. (in fact, it’s nothing more than claims) Science, on the other hand, at least provides actual evidence to back up its claims."

Pheh, and the ad homimens start to fly...yawn. Your scientific and I inherently am not because I am religious (false dichotomy), two fallacies here. By the way psychology is pretty weak science if you spent any time studying the philosophy of science.

"Or some nomads who wrote a book centuries ago. And yet, we're to believe that they're more well informed than those "big brained fellows". (could this just be anti-intellectualism on your part? Or do scientists not know a shit about what they're talking about?)"

No anti intellectualism at all, I was just saying you made an appeal to an authority to bolster your argument. You still haven't pointed me to any studies to verify the stuff you said about mirrors in the brain and ethics. Left at that what you said is simply an appeal to an authority which is still uncited.

"“Objective meaning”. Fundamentalists seem to be obsessed with “objective meaning”, as though proximate, human meaning wasn’t enough."

Well, apparently it isn't if you can't explain to a Nihilist Ted WHY he shouldn't molest kids for fun. So I think an "obsession" with objectivity is warranted if without it we can't explain why molesting kids is wrong and sheer relativism is all we are left with.

"They want to believe that somehow the universe owes them something, and that without this something, morality and stability are impossible. Instead of learning to live in the real world like grown-ups and dealing with it, they prefer to talk down to others with their childish myths, holding themselves up as authorities on everything (even those things they wouldn't have a clue about, like biology) and that only they can save the world from God's wrath. Fear and intimidation, basically, and not a shred of credibility. That's a corrupt, perverted foundation for ethics. It's really no ethics at all."

Ad hom, and straw-man in one. Firstly, I absolutely love the natural sciences. I find no problem whatsoever with them and my Christianity, you assume that I am against science because of all the rhetoric of the war between faith and science.

Also, am I trying to scare people with fear and intimidation? Again I don't think "behave or you'll burn" is a Biblical way to account for ethics at all, so this is simply a straw man. And again you might think that fear and intimidation are "perverted" in your subjective little universe but that doesn't make them so....that's that pesky lack of objectivity creeping up to make your moral sentences meaningless.

"Oh yeah, how? I know that fundamentalists like to feel superior to others ("People criticise what you say, but they don't give you credit for how loud you say it" - The Daily Show, of course) and like to view everything through a tiny little lens where things are nice and simple, and there are no greys, just black and white, and absolute certainties. (as if just saying so made it true)"

Ad Hominem again. I really don't think I am better than you Mat, honestly. The only difference is that I have stopped hating God, by His grace alone. Also, you seem to have a LOT of assumptions about Christians that simply are unfounded, maybe you should take some time to really get to know some.

"And you’re yet to demonstrate that yours is anything other than subjective, however much it might be dressed up in the language of being “objective”. I'm asking for independent verification, not just claims of its own pre-eminence."

Well, my point is that without Christian Theism objectivity with ethics is simply an illusion. I have not quoted the Bible and told you "There you go!", I have merely referred to it's claims. So, everything I have said is "independent verification" via indirect logical proof.

You say you are a man of science, when you have two theories explaining some phenomena and 1 has multiple anomalies when it tries to explain the phenomena, and 2 has none which one do you go with? So it is with this discussion of ethics.

" That’s because Ted is a mutt, and if I ever have to deal with him he’s getting a boot up the arsehole. If he were to become a Christian and stop doing these things, he would still be a mutt, because someone who's not a mutt won’t do these things in the first place. You’re only bringing up ways for PSYCHOPATHS to be brought under control, not you and me. (not me, anyway, because I'm quite resistant to mythology)"

Well, the point is that you in your Materialism can't furnish what could be considered an answer as to WHY he should behave differently than a Nihilistic ethic. As for how this relates to you and me, you have a gross inconsistency in your philosophy, you can't account for ethics in any sense that is binding upon others. Yet, you insist that molesting children is wrong for Ted, and would never do so yourself, in thinking this way you are being inconsistent with your materialism. I would submit to you that this inconsistency arises because you are made in the image of God and know right and wrong, yet you have rejected the God who made you.

So, you are like a man who sitting on a tree limb (called ethics) decides to cut the branch from the trunk (called God). Now on the ground (called Materialism) the branch has lost all vitality and life because there is no sap in its veins. So now though you cling to you precious branch of ethics it has lost all vitatlity and based uont your materialism it is simply dead. Ethics is dead when based upon Materialist philosophy, they are the true Mythology, just words without any real life or meaning. So, far from being against mythology you have actually embraced mythological notions of right and wrong when your worldview can give them no base on which to thrive.

"And you’ve failed to demonstrate why this has to be so. You basically just threw around a bunch of self-glorifying statements about “objectivity”, without actually thinking about how you can make these statements truly meaningful in the ways that matter to human beings. You've only alluded to blind sycophancy, not why rational people should take your view of morality seriously."

Well, my point is that there is no morality in any objective sense apart from Christian theism. Anyway, put simply I have not just claimed objectivity I have pointed to it, His name is God. He exists outside the natural world which He made, He owns us because He made us, we are made in His image hence we are moral beings, He has also not been silent but has revealed Himself through His word. It is this God (who you hate and are at war with) that gives moral objectivity to us His creatures.

No rational person would reject this in favor of Materialist ethics which can not tell us WHY Steve should refrain from horrible acts. The problem is that man is fallen, and hates this God and labors with all his might to supress the knowledge of Him like Paul the apostle said. You know this God though you deny Him. My plea with you is to lay down your autonomy and come under His Lordship. It is this God to whom you will give an account, yes there is judgement.Without Him, you have no real moral compass, and with Him you do.

You ask how can a rational person accept this? I ask how can a rational person refuse?