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  #141  
Old 18th May 2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Apologetic_Warrior View Post
Your view takes the "special" out of Special Revelation.
Not at all. The essentials are still special.

Do you reject all other "holy" writings claiming to be inspired by God? If so, on what basis? How is the Bible any more special than the Koran, Book of Mormon, or Watchtower literature?
The Koran is said to be dictated by God. It contradicts a lot of the essential revelation we have in the Bible. Therefore I do not believe it. The Book of Mormon has contradictory stories about its origins by Joseph Smith. Therefore I distrust its authenticity. The Watchtower literature is contradicted by God in His Creation. So now you know how I decided to believe that they were not accurate revelations.

Remember, there are contradictions present in the Bible, but there are no contradictions for essential theological truths, with one possible exception: Ezekiel 20:25. And the way to get around that contradiction is to have fallible Ezekiel be the writer. In this case Ezekiel was using whatever arguments he could against child sacrifice (which was still happening during his lifetime) and he used this one without thinking about the consequences.

Really? You seem to be of the opinion that evidence and facts are somehow neutral...if they are...why do people come to many different conclusions?
Much of the time they are. For instance, the text of the Bible is the same for you and me.

Sometimes we have different evidence. All evidence is personal experience, and often we don't have the same experiences. For instance, what do Brussels sprouts taste like to you? In all probability, your experience is different from mine. Who is right?

Do we not have to INTERPRET the "evidence" and facts?
"interpret" means applying them to various hypotheses. We rarely use facts independently of hypotheses. Sometimes we collect facts just to collect them, but not often. So, hypothesis: there are no contradictions in the Bible. At that point we look at the examples I gave in relation to that hypothesis. The hypothesis is falsified.

There are no liberal scholars and no conservative scholars, just scholars coming to unbiased conclusions based on evidence....
No, there can be biased individuals. There can be individuals who deny facts and evidence. There were phlogiston chemists who went to their graves refusing to admit phlogiston was falsified. So yes, people can let their biases influence how they look at evidence. That's why you incorrectly use the word "presupposition". Biblical literalists/inerrantists come to the Bible with a presupposition. They expect everyone to do what they do.

As you sort thru claims and evidence, eventually you reach one of 2 states:
1. A conclusion about the idea based on the evidence.
2. A realization that people are dealing with different evidence.

No we do not have the same sources unless we've studied from the same sources.
No, we all have access to the same sources. In science, the source is the physical universe. In Biblical scholarship, the source is the text of the Bible itself or the texts of other writings of the time. You are apparently using "source" as those who summarize information from the sources we both can access.

You will not accept my sources and I will not accept yours...why is this?
I won't accept the writers you believe because, when I check them against the sources we both can access, they are contradicted by the evidence. You don't accept sources like talkorigins or modern Biblical scholarship because the evidence contradicts your presupposition.

It's funny, you talk about truth as though it's just 'out there', as though all knowledge were not God's, and if we are to know truth, it is God's truth, thinking His thoughts after Him as it were.
Isn't God "out there"? Doesn't God make truth available to us? Are you suggesting God is hiding truth?

Atheists do not believe God exists, I am not looking for their version of the "truth", and it doesn't fit with what I know as truth. Neither am I "open" to their version of the "truth", and I have reasons for this.
John Calvin noted in his Commentary on Genesis that scientists had determined that some stars --i.e., Sirius and Betelguese -- were much brighter than our sun. He noted that some of those scientists might be atheists. But he also recognized that those atheists were looking at God's Creation, so even though they did not believe in God, they were still finding God's truth.

When some atheists say that such-and-such scientific theory or discovery shows that God does not exist, they are making a scientific mistake. They are improperly extrapolating beyond science and misusing science to back their faith. See the book Science Held Hostage for details of how that happens.

Now, when you say "what I know as truth", how do you know it is truth? Is it possible that you are either ignoring or denying God when you decide what you think is truth?

Very good, and you know, according to your own standard, the hypothesis of the existence of God cannot be proven either... But you probably have never said to an Atheist anything to the effect of "you cannot disprove God"...
I've said it dozens of times. I've also noted that, in science, what counts is the evidence against. If you cannot falsify a hypothesis, it stays on the table as a possibility. Atheists hate that. Militant atheists (those that fail to recognize that atheism is a faith) are almost always Logical Positivists. Why? Because that is the only philosophy of science that can be used to dismiss the existence of God. They also hate it when I show how and why Logical Positivism was rejected as a philosophy of science.

Now what you ignored in there is Mark 10 and Matthew 19. You have Jesus telling us scripture is errant.

It's called sarcasim, intended for people with a sense of humor...
Caught you, didn't I? What, exactly, in the original would tip us off that you were using sarcasm?

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, if you read JN 1:1 in it's context "14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." He is more than the Word of God...which shows how you are downgrading...see I can do it too.
LOL! Nice try, but you blew it. The verses you quote don't show Christ = God. He's "the only Son from the Father". Nor is there anything more than "Word of God": "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. "

Word = God. Jesus = Word = God. Just how can you say that is "downgrading"?

I said "in a sense" to make the difference between the written Word of God and the Living Word of God (Jesus),
In scripture, there is no "written Word of God"! The only time "word" is capitalized is when it is referring to Jesus. When the reference is to scripture, it is just "word of God".

When do we capitalize god, he, and him? When we refer to God. When you capitalize "word" as scripture, then you are making scripture = God. And that is bibliolatry.

The ironic part is that you insist the Bible is inerrant, but then say the Bible made an error when it refers to scripture only as "word of God" instead of "Word of God".
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  #142  
Old 18th May 2011, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by elman View Post
God writes on every human heart. All normal mentally healthy humans have the ability to know what is loving and what is not in our relationships and they know that loving others is good and harming others is bad.
If God wrote this on "every human heart", then why are there mentally unhealthy humans that don't know it: such as narcissists and sociopaths? I'm sorry, but you just tripped yourself up. Either you have God screwing up and not writing what needs to be written on every human heart, or God isn't writing this on human hearts. Instead, God and human parents teach this to children.

What you are talking about is another form of revelation.

We don't need anyone to teach us this which is confirmed by the various societies of human being coming up with the same basic moral laws even when separated from each other from the dawn of recorded history.
So now you are saying these moral laws are independent of God. After all, if societies who do not believe in God can come up with the same moral laws, then those laws must be "out there" to be discovered independent of God.

Of course, then we have the societies that did not discover these. The Huns. The Mongols. Tamerlane and his people. How do you account for the fact that they missed the moral laws if God wrote them on every human heart?

The fact that our cultures are all flawed and lead us to go against what our heart tells us is the correct thing to do is not evidence God did not write on our hearts.
Sorry, you can't have it both ways. If you are going to use that societies that follow the moral laws as evidence that God wrote on our hearts, then societies that do not follow the laws must be evidence that God did not write.

What was shocking to them was their cultural influences about the good priests and the bad Samaritans was turned on its ear.
But if God had written on the priests' hearts, then Jesus could not have constructed a beleivable parable about them leaving the man beset by robbers, could he? Yes, there was prejudice against Samaritans. But what kills your argument is that pharisees and Sadducees -- which we have no reason to believe were not mentally healthy -- would pass by such men frequently enough that Jesus' listeners would believe they did in the story.
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  #143  
Old 18th May 2011, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by elman
God writes on every human heart. All normal mentally healthy humans have the ability to know what is loving and what is not in our relationships and they know that loving others is good and harming others is bad.
If God wrote this on "every human heart", then why are there mentally unhealthy humans that don't know it: such as narcissists and sociopaths? I'm sorry, but you just tripped yourself up. Either you have God screwing up and not writing what needs to be written on every human heart, or God isn't writing this on human hearts. Instead, God and human parents teach this to children.
Why then is there so much similarity between the cultures. I already limited my statment to normal mentally healthy so I did not trip up. I don't know why God allows us to suffer mental illness and all the other illnesses.
What you are talking about is another form of revelation.
Yep. Paul talked about it some in Rom 1 where the gentiles not have the law was a law unto themselves.


We don't need anyone to teach us this which is confirmed by the various societies of human being coming up with the same basic moral laws even when separated from each other from the dawn of recorded history.
So now you are saying these moral laws are independent of God. After all, if societies who do not believe in God can come up with the same moral laws, then those laws must be "out there" to be discovered independent of God.
I did not say independent of God. I said it came from God.
Of course, then we have the societies that did not discover these. The Huns. The Mongols. Tamerlane and his people. How do you account for the fact that they missed the moral laws if God wrote them on every human heart?
I already said all societies and cultures are flawed and train people to go against what God has written on their hearts. I believe the Huns, the Mongols, etc. Hitler, Stalin, and the Muslim terrorists all know it is wrong to harm people. They just chose to do it anyway.
The fact that our cultures are all flawed and lead us to go against what our heart tells us is the correct thing to do is not evidence God did not write on our hearts.
Sorry, you can't have it both ways.
Yes I can have it both ways. We are all free to go against what God writes on our hearts and in somewas our cultures encourage us to do just that.

If you are going to use that societies that follow the moral laws as evidence that God wrote on our hearts, then societies that do not follow the laws must be evidence that God did not write.
All societes are flawed but this does not change the fact that murder is condemned and lying is wrong in every society.

What was shocking to them was their cultural influences about the good priests and the bad Samaritans was turned on its ear.
But if God had written on the priests' hearts, then Jesus could not have constructed a beleivable parable about them leaving the man beset by robbers, could he?
God writes on everyone's heart. The fact that the priest were included does not preclude their going against what was written.

Yes, there was prejudice against Samaritans. But what kills your argument is that pharisees and Sadducees -- which we have no reason to believe were not mentally healthy --
Passing by without helping the man in trouble had nothing to do with mental health and everything to do with not doing what they knew was the right thing to do.

would pass by such men frequently enough that Jesus' listeners would believe they did in the story.
Nonsense. No one had to see a priest mess up to believe it was possible that they do.
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  #144  
Old 18th May 2011, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
And why is he the "finest"? Because he agrees with you?

Bauckham is like scientists against oxygen combustion: there are very few of them and the data contradicts them.

One or 2 dissesnters from an overwhelming consensus demonstrates only that these are very stubborn people who refuse to accept evidence they don't like.
Which publications of Professor of NT studies, Dr. Richard Bauckham, have you read from beginning to end?

"Finest" is judged by worldwide reputation.

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  #145  
Old 18th May 2011, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
That contradictions are there if you read the Bible literally. None of them are theologically fatal, but they are there. For instance, both Luke and Matthew claim to trace Jesus' geneology thru Joseph, but they have different geneologies.

In Mark, the stone covering Jesus' tomb is small enough that one man can move it. In Luke the stone takes 3 strong men to move it. In Matthew, we have a large stone and a guard. Luke and Matthew represent counters to objections raised by the Jews: that a single disciple stole the body (large stone) or that a group of them did (large stone and guard). Claim and counterclaim showing up in the gospels.

The 2 creation stories in Genesis 1-3 contradict on a number of points including:
1. The duration of creation.
2. The name used for God.
3. The order of creation.
4. The method of creation.

This isn't an agenda for me. It's simple acknowledgement of what the Bible says. As I say, none of the contradictions are theologically important. The contradictions in the creation stories do not negate that God created, for instance. The contradictions, IMO, are inevitable when you have different human authors working from different traditions and with slightly different aims.

Now, if you hold the belief that the Bible is literal and inerrant, then these cause problems. For a literal and inerrant Bible. But they don't cause problems for belief in God or Christianity.
None of these alleged contradictions is new. They have been investigated by liberals and evangelicals down through the years and I have concluded that there are satisfactory answers.

However, your post demonstrates your presuppositions:
  • We should not read the Bible literally;
  • Jesus' genealogies in Matt & Luke can't be reconciled;
  • My view of the Genesis' creation is the correct one;
  • Contradictions have no important impact on theology;
  • Different human authors of Scripture mean that there will be contradictions, but the sovereign Lord cannot prevent that;
  • The Bible is a human document.
  • The Bible is not inerrant. It does not tell the truth.
Many of these are assumptions of theological liberalism that you are imposing on the text.

I'll pick up one of your objections - the alleged contradictions of Jesus' genealogies in Matt. vs. Luke.

Some of the alleged difficulties between Jesus' genealogy in Matthew vs. Luke have been answered in Gleason Archer's Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, 1992. Here is his response on p. 316 to this question:
From Which of David's sons was Jesus descended? In Matthew 1:6 Jesus' ancestry is traced through Solomon, while in Luke 3:31 it is traced through Nathan.

Matthew 1: 1-16 gives the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, who was himself a descendant of King David. As Joseph's adopted son, Jesus became his legal heir, so far as his inheritance was concerned. Notice carefully the wording of v.16: "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ" (NASB). This stands in contrast to the format followed in the preceding verses of the succession of Joseph's ancestors, "Abraham begat [egennesen] Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, etc." Joseph is not said to have begotten Jesus, Rather he is referred to as "the husband of Mary, of whom [feminine genitive] Jesus was born."

Luke 3:23-38, on the other hand, seems to record the genealogical line of Mary herself, carried all the way back beyond the time of Abraham to Adam and the commencement of the human race. This seems to be implied by the wording or v.23: "Jesus ... being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph." This "as was supposed" indicates that Jesus was not really the biological son of Joseph, even though this was commonly assumed by the public. It further calls attention to the mother, Mary, who must of necessity have been the sole human parent through whom Jesus could have descended from a line or ancestors. Her genealogy is thereupon listed, starting with Heli, who was actually Joseph's father-in-law, in contradistinction to Joseph's own father, Jacob (Matt. 1: 16). Mary's line of descent came through Nathan, a son of Bathsheba (or "Bathshua," according to 1 Chron. 3:5), the wife of David. Therefore, Jesus was descended from David naturally through Nathan and legally through Solomon.

Gleason Archer, in Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (pp. 316-317) has also attempted to resolve other alleged difficulties with Jesus' genealogies:
Does not Matthew 1:9 err in listing Uzziah as the father of Jotham?

Matthew 1:9,which gives genealogy of Jesus through His legal father, Joseph, states, "Ozias begat Joatham." These are the Greek forms of Uzziah and Jotham. Some are confused by this mention of Uzziah, because Jotham's father is called Azariah in 2 Kings 15:1-7 and in 1 Chronicles 3:12. On the other hand, 2 Kings 15:32, 34 calls him Uzziah rather than Azariah and refers to him as the father of Jotham. The same is true of 2 Chronicles 26:1-23; 27:2; Isaiah 1:1; 6:1; 7:1. The names are different, but they refer to the same king, zaryah (Azariah) means "Yahweh has helped," whereas uzzi-yahu (Uzziah) means "Yahweh is my strength." The reason for the two names is not given in the biblical record, but the fact that he bore them both (perhaps Azariah was later replaced by Uzziah) is beyond dispute.

There are various reasons for the acquisition of second names in the case of Israel's leaders. Gideon acquired the name Jerubbaal because of his destruction of the altar of Baal at Ophrah (Judg. 6:32; 7:1; 8:29, etc.). Rehoboam's son Abijam was also called Abijah (cf. 1 Kings 14:31; 15:1, 7-8 for Abijam and 1 Chron. 3:10; 2 Chron. 12:16 for Abijah). Jehoahaz son of Josiah also bore the name of Shallum (2 Kings 23:21 and 1 Chron. 3:15; Jer. 22:11). Jehoiakim, Josiah's oldest son, was originally named Eliakim; but Pharaoh Necho changed his name to Jehoiakim (i.e., "Yahweh will establish" rather than "God will establish"), according to 2 Kings 23:34. Likewise Jehoiachin son of Jehioakim was also known as Jeconiah, and Zedekiah's original name was Mattaniah.
So, some of your objections to the genealogy of Jesus have been answered.

Oz
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  #146  
Old 20th May 2011, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
What choices do you see?
Christianity and non-Christianity, Theonomy and autonomy, true faith and pesudo-faith, revealed truth and subjective truth, that's what I see.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
You admit different types of truth, which means you implicitly admit that we can tell truth. So how do you think we do that?
There is a difference between "telling the truth" and giving an account for truth, or having a basis for truth. The liberal version of truth is grounded in man, and unable to escape subjectivism. Without the objective words of Scripture, the revealed truth from God, the interpretation of what we call "reality" given by God, there is no absolute truth, just interpretations, half truths, etc.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
Why do humans think that the human truths in Macbeth are true? Why do we think that the truths science finds are true? Why do we think the theological truths of the Bible are true?
One could write a book answering those two questions alone. Maybe because humans constantly look for something to believe in? Obviously thinking that something is true, does not make it true. As God's creatures, what we have are left with are true beliefs and false beliefs and combinations of the two. Human "truths" guided by autonomy are subjective by nature and therefore relative. God "truths" guided by theonomy based on Scripture are objective and absolute. This is not to say all "truths" are absolute, because obviously humans have different tastes and preferences, these are subjective, but in no way diminish or distinguish absolute truth.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
The same reason for all of them: they are supported by evidence while at the same time not contradicted by evidence.
Autonomous reasoning and evidence can easily be put into question. Although I disagree with secular philosophy, secular philosophers such as Immanuel Kant have demonstrated the failure of human reason or autonomous reasoning. When you speak of evidence, you mean interpreted evidence and a belief in the evidence. A historical study of Science will show how it is an ever changing field, of how new evidences demand hypothesis revision.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
Are you saying the Bible is dictated by God?
I do not subscribe to mechanical inspiration, I subscribe to "Verbal Plenary Inspiration".

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
The human authors are. They are trying to make sense of that revelation and, in the process, studying that revelation and what it means. So yes, the Bible is a book of theology. When Yahweh reveals Himself as creator by creating Israel ex nihilo, that causes humans to reflect on the relationship of Yahweh to other gods, on whether Yahweh only created Israel. We see a progression in theological thought thru both the OT and NT. In the OT, Yahweh starts out as one god among many, but the god of Israel. But Yahweh morphs into the deity, period, the only deity that exists.
Ok, since you put it like that, it begs the question, do you believe there is one God or many? I disagree with your progressive interpretation. Yes we see the word "gods" in the OT, but they are considered to be FALSE gods by the authors, meaning the false gods are no gods at all, idols created by men, empty and vain.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
No. I'm saying that, in reading the Bible, you look for the theological message first. Everything else is subordinated to that. As you noted, even the history is subordinated to the theology, since the history is God's intervention into human history. That intervention is looked at as telling us about God. So there is no attempt to be "historically accurate" as we understand the term.
The notion of looking for a theological message where there is none, such as a genealogy is quite hilarious. Continuing on what you have said, Science is subordinated to theology...I think of Science more as the handmaiden of theology. Anyway, another extension of your thought is "there is no attempt to be scientifically accurate". Ok, it's true the Bible is not a history textbook, nor a science textbook, but it does contain historical facts, and events involving scientific matters. To say there is no attempt to be accurate, in my view, would be to say God the Holy Spirit, in superintending the Scriptures, was not concerned with error, which goes so far as to say God the Holy Spirit inspired errors. Now on your view, if it's just a book written by mere men (which I addressed previously), I guess the argument doesn't apply, but the moment you suggest inspiration from God...

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
Also, it is not a presupposition that the Bible is errant. It's a conclusion based on the internal evidence from the Bible, history, and God's Creation.
Ok, let's say you started out with the presupposition that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. After reading, studying, both primary text and secondary sources you come to the conclusion that it contains errors etc., this does not mean it is not a presupposition, it means one of your most basic presuppositions changed! Everyone approaches the text with some basic presuppositions that make up their worldview, their view of reality.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
Again, different types of truth. He's concerned with the theological accuracy, but even here He has a problem: how does God ensure 100% accuracy while preserving free will? Inspiration is not dictation. The human author gets to write down what he wants, unless you have God interferring with the human's brain so that the human is a puppet. Do you?
How is a will free? Does it exist in a vacuum apart from desires and passions? The human will is bound to it's nature and cannot do anything contrary to that nature. A sinner has the freedom to sin, and all they do is sin at least in God's eyes (only what is done in faith pleases God). Freedom of the will is in Christ, he breaks the bondage of sin, and only when the Son sets us free, are we free indeed. I can see the thrust of your argument though, and it is logical. Somehow many Arminians do not see through the inconsistency of their view of the will, and biblical interpretation. However, on the other hand, you do not have a correct understanding of Calvinist compatiblism, because if you did, you would see how the "puppet" argument is a strawman.

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
God may be concerned with that list of "misguided 'facts'", etc., but God is limited to what He can do about it without doing something that would prevent us from worshipping Him.
It would seem so based on a LFW view of the will. However, neither the words "free will" nor the Arminian understanding of it, are biblical. You're so concerned with not violating human will, that you miss the whole picture of a sovereign God with free will. Can God not do with His creation as He pleases? Does the clay command the Potter? How is it the will of the clay trumps the will of the Potter? Can you resist the will of God? What are you but a mere man, a mortal?

Originally Posted by theistic evol View Post
How do we distinguish any true message from a false one? C'mon, we deal with that every day with all the ads we are bombarded with. There are methods for sorting truth from fiction. We are not stuck with the false and dangerous dichotomy of "the Bible must be completely true or completely false".
Obviously you do not understand and or want to come to grips with the implications of an errantist view of Scripture. I am trying to show you the error of your ways, but you will not listen. You would say with logic, with the basic principals of reasoning...but on your view of Scripture, you have no true way to account for the laws of logic, because the basic laws of logic are not subjective. To even admit they were, would be to throw away reasoning...but I suspect you know this. Even atheists have to borrow from the Christian worldview...quite often their hand is in the cookie jar. TAG!
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"All truth is from God; and consequently, if wicked men have said anything that is true and just, we ought not to reject it, for it has come from God. Besides, all things are of God; and, therefore, why should it not be lawful to dedicate to his glory everything that can properly be employed for such a purpose?" - JOHN CALVIN

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  #147  
Old 20th May 2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by elman View Post
Why then is there so much similarity between the cultures.
1. As I noted later in my post, not all cultures adhere to the "do unto others .."
2. If morals are independent of God, then any culture can find them by reason and reflection of the members of the culture.
3. Some forms of morals are hardwired in our genes. For instance, it appears that every human as a genetic brain "module" for detection of cheating. Thus, cheating is "bad". This is necessary for any social species where the individuals depend for survival on help from other members of the group. A cheater is a huge danger in this species, so individuals who can detect cheaters so they can be eliminated from the group has a huge survival advantage.

I already limited my statment to normal mentally healthy so I did not trip up. I don't know why God allows us to suffer mental illness and all the other illnesses.
But the problem is that you have God directly writing in human hearts. By doing this you have made mental illness directly God's responsibility. This leads you into theological trouble in now you must explain why a just and loving God fails to write in some hearts.

Yep. Paul talked about it some in Rom 1 where the gentiles not have the law was a law unto themselves.
Apples and oranges. You are talking about Gentiles not being required to obey the Law. I'm talking revelation from God. The revelation Paul was having to say this is the same type of revelation any Biblical author had.

In the context of our conversation. Originally you stated "I believe those points are divine truth, not because they are in the bible, but because they are divine truth." I asked how we know "divine truth" unless it was revealed to us. I was thinking of revelation in terms of inspired writers of scripture or revealed to individuals thru prayer and reflection. You then said that "God wrote on every heart" as tho this wasn't revelation. But it is a revelation, isn't it? So you agree that we get "divine truth" by revelation.

[quote]I did not say independent of God. I said it came from God.[quote]
I said morals are independent of God. Is something good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good?

I already said all societies and cultures are flawed and train people to go against what God has written on their hearts.
Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Either God wrote it in their hearts and thus people do it, or God didn't. This is an ad hoc hypothesis designed to save your original claim from falsification by cultures who did not keep the morality. There are 2 problems with it:
1. How do we test if they were flawed cultures independently of not holding the morals? What other criteria can we use to say they were flawed? Without that, the ad hoc hypothesis is invalid.
2. Now you have culture and society more powerful than God!

I believe the Huns, the Mongols, etc. Hitler, Stalin, and the Muslim terrorists all know it is wrong to harm people. They just chose to do it anyway.
Yet another ad hoc hypothesis. This goes against your "training" hypothesis in that the training hypothesis would have people recognize the new behavior as "moral". Now people know it is wrong. By the writings of those peoples, they thought they were/are doing right.

All societes are flawed but this does not change the fact that murder is condemned and lying is wrong in every society.
As I noted above, both of these are hardwired into our genes. Lying is a form of cheating. Murder decreases the chances of survival in the group.

Nonsense. No one had to see a priest mess up to believe it was possible that they do.
If a priest had never messed up, why would you consider it "possible"? Do you consider it possible that the friction caused by functional brakes will not stop your car? Do you consider that the Bernouli effect will stop the next time you board an airplane? We make generalizations based on observations. If something never happens, we don't consider it possible. But in the Good Samaritan parable work, people not only need to be able to consider it possible, but likely. Otherwise the story loses its ability to convince. After all, if no pharissee or Sadducee had ever done this, then the audience is going to yell "That would nover happen" and the parable is dead.
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Old 20th May 2011, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by elman
Why then is there so much similarity between the cultures.
1. As I noted later in my post, not all cultures adhere to the "do unto others .."
All cultures are flawed, but there are the similarities.

2. If morals are independent of God, then any culture can find them by reason and reflection of the members of the culture.
Yes, I think even you and I can seek and find God by reason and reflection.

3. Some forms of morals are hardwired in our genes. For instance, it appears that every human as a genetic brain "module" for detection of cheating. Thus, cheating is "bad". This is necessary for any social species where the individuals depend for survival on help from other members of the group. A cheater is a huge danger in this species, so individuals who can detect cheaters so they can be eliminated from the group has a huge survival advantage.
Perhaps I use the term God wrote on our hearts and you use the term morals are hardwired in our genes.

I already limited my statment to normal mentally healthy so I did not trip up. I don't know why God allows us to suffer mental illness and all the other illnesses.
But the problem is that you have God directly writing in human hearts. By doing this you have made mental illness directly God's responsibility.
Why have I made God responsible for mental defects simply by believing that ever normal human is created with some dna that is hard wired? There are normal but not perfect humans and there are humans who suffer from abnormality in various degrees. I don't see that as being proof that a normal human has no revalations from God built in from the begining.

This leads you into theological trouble in now you must explain why a just and loving God fails to write in some hearts.
No more of a problem that why a loving God creates some babies with health problems. I don't know, but that does not effect the idea that God writes on our hearts or we begin with some built in instructions, if we have a normal human brain.

[
QUOTE]Yep. Paul talked about it some in Rom 1 where the gentiles not have the law was a law unto themselves.
Apples and oranges. You are talking about Gentiles not being required to obey the Law.[/quote] I don't think so. The Gentiles had a law to obey and it cam from God--but not from the Jews.

I'm talking revelation from God. The revelation Paul was having to say this is the same type of revelation any Biblical author had.
I agree and he could have gotten what he said from God or not. I think this is probably divine truth.

In the context of our conversation. Originally you stated "I believe those points are divine truth, not because they are in the bible, but because they are divine truth." I asked how we know "divine truth" unless it was revealed to us. I was thinking of revelation in terms of inspired writers of scripture or revealed to individuals thru prayer and reflection. You then said that "God wrote on every heart" as tho this wasn't revelation. But it is a revelation, isn't it? So you agree that we get "divine truth" by revelation.
Yes and I think usually reflection and using ones brain is part of the process.
[quote][quote]I did not say independent of God. I said it came from God.
I said morals are independent of God. Is something good because God commands it or does God command it because it is good?
Loving others is good. If God command that we be unloving that would not be good and we would not be good if we obeyed.

I already said all societies and cultures are flawed and train people to go against what God has written on their hearts.
Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Either God wrote it in their hearts and thus people do it, or God didn't.
No other revelations from God are tested on the basis of obediance, why this one? Just because we don't obey does not mean the instructions are not from God.

This is an ad hoc hypothesis designed to save your original claim from falsification by cultures who did not keep the morality. There are 2 problems with it:
1. How do we test if they were flawed cultures independently of not holding the morals? What other criteria can we use to say they were flawed? Without that, the ad hoc hypothesis is invalid.
How do you test that it is a good thing to help someone who is hurting? Do you not just instinctively understand that? Is our culture the only one that understands that? While all cultures are flawed and can teach and encourage people to go against what their heart tells them is good, such as killing their children etc still is it not obviouse all cutures have similarities in the area of loving others or hurting them?

2. Now you have culture and society more powerful than God!
I don't see where this conclusion came from.


I believe the Huns, the Mongols, etc. Hitler, Stalin, and the Muslim terrorists all know it is wrong to harm people. They just chose to do it anyway.
Yet another ad hoc hypothesis. This goes against your "training" hypothesis in that the training hypothesis would have people recognize the new behavior as "moral". Now people know it is wrong. By the writings of those peoples, they thought they were/are doing right.
Why was their cruelty so shocking? because they knew better.
All societes are flawed but this does not change the fact that murder is condemned and lying is wrong in every society.
As I noted above, both of these are hardwired into our genes. Lying is a form of cheating. Murder decreases the chances of survival in the group.
As I noted above, on can use the words hardwired into our genes or one can us the words God wrote on our hearts, but either we we arrive at the same bottom line.

Nonsense. No one had to see a priest mess up to believe it was possible that they do.
If a priest had never messed up, why would you consider it "possible"? Do you consider it possible that the friction caused by functional brakes will not stop your car? Do you consider that the Bernouli effect will stop the next time you board an airplane? We make generalizations based on observations. If something never happens, we don't consider it possible. But in the Good Samaritan parable work, people not only need to be able to consider it possible, but likely. Otherwise the story loses its ability to convince.
I think to the contrary the power of the story was in the people thinking it unlikely the priest would pass by and the Samaritan would help. We all knew it was possible for priest to pass by because we all knew being a priest did not make a person perfect and unable to do the wrong thing.
After all, if no pharissee or Sadducee had ever done this, then the audience is going to yell "That would nover happen" and the parable is dead.
I know all mean are capable of doing the wrong thing. Therefore wheather I have seen a pharisee or Sadducee do a wrong thing is not required for me to know they are capable of doing the wrong thing. I suspect howeve most of this audience had obsever Pharisees and Sadducees doing the wrong thing at some time.
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Old 20th May 2011, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Apologetic_Warrior View Post
Christianity and non-Christianity, Theonomy and autonomy, true faith and pesudo-faith, revealed truth and subjective truth, that's what I see.
The question I asked was in response to your statement: "When we talk about truth we talk about knowledge, which is what the philosophical branch of epistemology is all about. So, tell me friend, which epistemology should a Christian subscribe to?"

I asked about the choices of epistemology. You didn't answer that. BTW, revealed truth and subjective truth are the same thing. Most revelation is subjective in that it is given to some individuals and many times it is the subjective feelings of the individual.

The revealed truth that is both objective and intersubjective is the truth God has left us in His Creation: what science studies.

There is a difference between "telling the truth" and giving an account for truth, or having a basis for truth. The liberal version of truth is grounded in man, and unable to escape subjectivism. Without the objective words of Scripture, the revealed truth from God, the interpretation of what we call "reality" given by God, there is no absolute truth, just interpretations, half truths, etc.
The "objective words of Scripture" represent the subjective experiences of the authors. What they wrote down is also grounded in man -- what those humans were able to understand about God. We all agree that God is beyond human understanding. What we have in scripture, therefore, is subjectivism.

OTOH, the evidence God left us in His Creation is available to everyone. It's also the same for everyone under approximately the same conditions. Everyone (who can see and is not colorblind) sees that the sky is blue. Everyone sees that fossils of Archeopteryx have a mosaic of features distinctive to reptiles and birds. Everyone going to Siccar Point Scotland is going to see the same rock formations, and there is only 1 valid explanation for how those rock formations got to be the way they were.

In contrast, there are thousands of interpretations of scripture, as witness the thousands of denominations of Christianity. All this led Christians in 1832 to write:
"If sound science appears to contradict the Bible, we may be sure that it is our interpretation of the Bible that is at fault." Christian Observer, 1832, pg. 437; quoted by Stephen Neill in Anglicanism, Penguin Books, 1960, pg. 240.

One could write a book answering those two questions alone. Maybe because humans constantly look for something to believe in?
I gave you my answer: "The same reason for all of them: they are supported by evidence while at the same time not contradicted by evidence."

Human "truths" guided by autonomy are subjective by nature and therefore relative.
"Human truths" as in how humans feel and behave.

God "truths" guided by theonomy based on Scripture are objective and absolute.
They are dependent on how people interpret scripture. All you have to do is look at the debate within Christianity on whether we are saved by faith alone or by works. There are scriptural passages supporting either. So scripture is neither objective nor absolute. Everything in scripture, altho inspired by God, is filtered thru the culture and limited viewpoints of the authors.

Autonomous reasoning and evidence can easily be put into question. Although I disagree with secular philosophy, secular philosophers such as Immanuel Kant have demonstrated the failure of human reason or autonomous reasoning.
Not really. Yes, it can make mistakes. But it does work.

When you speak of evidence, you mean interpreted evidence and a belief in the evidence. A historical study of Science will show how it is an ever changing field, of how new evidences demand hypothesis revision.
It's evidence and explanations of the evidence. And yes, shouldn't we change our explanations when new evidence comes to light.

A look at Biblical and Christian history also shows that belief in Yahweh is also an ever changing field. In Exodus other gods exist, just that Yahweh is the god of Israel. When Genesis 1 is written, Yahweh is the only deity that exists. First John the Baptists then Jesus were new evidence that demanded new hypotheses about religion. The Jewish concept of Messiah was overturned by the new evidence of Jesus' Resurrection. Yet the Jews did not change their hypothesis.

In early Christianity there were several hypotheses concerning the nature of Christ. Thus we have Adoptionists, Docetists, Monophysites, Marcionists, Arians, Pelagians, Gnostics, etc. Eventually it was decided that the hypothesis of Trinity was correct. But today we have the Jehovah's Witness who are Arians. Later we have the Protestant Reformation and hypotheses of religion were changed again. Since then we have had Mormons, Christian Scientists, Moonies, etc. all who think the hypothesis should be changed based on what they consider new evidence.

Pot, meet kettle. Your criticism of science fails because the log in religion's eye is bigger than the dustmote of science's eye.

I do not subscribe to mechanical inspiration, I subscribe to "Verbal Plenary Inspiration".
Doesn't that mean that God chose the very words the writers used? It differs from mechanical inspiration only in that now God messes with the minds of the authors with or without their knowledge. On a practical level it's no different from mechanical inspiration. On an ethical level, it's abominable.

Yes we see the word "gods" in the OT, but they are considered to be FALSE gods by the authors, meaning the false gods are no gods at all, idols created by men, empty and vain.
In Exodus, which is the earliest, the gods of Egypt are not called "false". They exist. It's just that Yahweh is more powerful. Even when we get to the Conquest, Baal is still considered to exist. But again, because Yahweh is the god of Israel, Baal is not to be worshipped. When we get to the later prophets (after David's time), the belief has changed and there is only Yahweh. At that point what you describe takes place: the gods are false in the sense they do not exist.


The notion of looking for a theological message where there is none, such as a genealogy is quite hilarious.
Oh no, there's a theological message there. Remember, according to Jewish belief, the Messiah belongs to the House of David. And descent is traced thru the male line. So, since the Resurrection made clear that Jesus was the Messiah, then theologically he has to be a descendent of David. Thus the geneologies. But stop and think for a moment. The line is traced thru Joseph, right? But Joseph is not the father of Jesus. So literally the geneologies are irrelevant, since Jesus is not a son of Joseph!

Science is subordinated to theology...I think of Science more as the handmaiden of theology.
Science is reading God's other book: Creation.

Anyway, another extension of your thought is "there is no attempt to be scientifically accurate". Ok, it's true the Bible is not a history textbook, nor a science textbook, but it does contain historical facts, and events involving scientific matters. To say there is no attempt to be accurate, in my view, would be to say God the Holy Spirit, in superintending the Scriptures, was not concerned with error, which goes so far as to say God the Holy Spirit inspired errors.
That's a huge non sequitor. Yes, scripture does contain historical facts. If the Resurrection is not a historical fact, then Christianity is toast.

However, the non-sequitor chain is that the Bible has to be scientifically accurate or God inspired errors. Not so. Remember, God has another book to teach science. It's a book that can wait until humans accumulate enough knowledge to understand it. So if there are scientific errors in scripture, God is not inspiring errors. He is simply explaining the theology the best He can to people with limited knowledge and vocabulary. Think those are not important? Try giving a detailed and accurate explanation for how televisions work to a 4 year old.

God's Creation is there for use to read as we become able to.

Ok, let's say you started out with the presupposition that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. After reading, studying, both primary text and secondary sources you come to the conclusion that it contains errors etc., this does not mean it is not a presupposition, it means one of your most basic presuppositions changed!
LOL! presuppositions come before you start studying. After the study, you reach conclusions. Now, if after studying, you come to the conclusion that the Bible does not contain errors, your "presupposition" becomes a conclusion.

Everyone approaches the text with some basic presuppositions that make up their worldview, their view of reality.
But you just stated that the presupposition of error was not a presupposition! You agreed it was a conclusion.


How is a will free? Does it exist in a vacuum apart from desires and passions? The human will is bound to it's nature and cannot do anything contrary to that nature.
It means the future is not fixed. A person gets to choose. Yes, I have desire and passion for females. But my free will means I get to choose a particular female to be with.

Standard Christian doctrine is that humans sin. But we still get to choose which sins and how. For instance, Jesus says it is adultery to look at a woman and find her desirable in your heart. However, that is still different than the sin of actually having sex with another man's wife. I perhaps cannot choose to have the desire, but I can choose not to act on it.

However, on the other hand, you do not have a correct understanding of Calvinist compatiblism, because if you did, you would see how the "puppet" argument is a strawman.
I'm not Calvinist and do not believe that is a correct theology.

Can God not do with His creation as He pleases? Does the clay command the Potter? How is it the will of the clay trumps the will of the Potter? Can you resist the will of God? What are you but a mere man, a mortal?
That's the Jobian answer to why bad things happen to good people. IMO, it's the worst of all the possible answers. It portrays an arbitrary, dictatorial, sadistic god. A much better answer is that God so loves us that He lets our lives have meaning.

Obviously you do not understand and or want to come to grips with the implications of an errantist view of Scripture.
So far, your "implications" are not valid.

You would say with logic, with the basic principals of reasoning...but on your view of Scripture, you have no true way to account for the laws of logic, because the basic laws of logic are not subjective.
How do you connect the laws of logic to an errantist scripture?

Also, I don't hold the "laws of logic" in the godlike position you seem to. When logic comes in conflict with God's Creation, God wins. For example, the logical law of the excluded middle is shown to be in error with wave-particle duality as just one example. Given a choice between what God tells us and the laws of logic, I'll go with God.

I see you don't want to accept the clear evidence from scripture that some scripture is in error.

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Old 20th May 2011, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by elman View Post
All cultures are flawed, but there are the similarities.
But the similarities you say show that God wrote on our hearts is the "do unto other ...". That some cultures don't have that becaomes evidence against the hypothesis that God wrote on our consciences.

Yes, I think even you and I can seek and find God by reason and reflection.
I don't. Reason and reflection won't find God. It will help you think about what He wants after you find Him.

But I was talking about morals. If we can find morals by reflection and reason without God, then they are independent of God.

Perhaps I use the term God wrote on our hearts and you use the term morals are hardwired in our genes.
Different things. "God wrote on our hearts" is direct action by God. That some morals are hardwired in our genes is an indirect action by God. The hardwiring (or fixation) of the genes was by natural selection as a direct cause.

Why have I made God responsible for mental defects simply by believing that ever normal human is created with some dna that is hard wired?
Not DNA. You said God wrote on their hearts. But then you made an exception. God did not write on some people's hearts. Why would God make an exception? Why some people and not others? You have God arbitrarily condemning some people by making them incapable of having morals.

There are normal but not perfect humans and there are humans who suffer from abnormality in various degrees. I don't see that as being proof that a normal human has no revalations from God built in from the begining.
It's evidence against a just and loving God. Now God is unjust because He arbitrarily writes on some hearts but not others. The problem is that the hypothesis creates a god we can't trust and can't worship.

No more of a problem that why a loving God creates some babies with health problems. I don't know,
No less, either. You still have God directly making babies with health problems. The way around that is that God does not directly make babies. Instead, God sustains the processes that make babies, and those processes directly make some babies with health problems. Now God is off the hook because God is not directly doing this. Do you see that?

Now we would have the problem of why God would not stop the health problems. The answer is that God so loves us that He wants our lives to have meaning.

[Apples and oranges. You are talking about Gentiles not being required to obey the Law.
I don't think so. The Gentiles had a law to obey and it cam from God--but not from the Jews. [/quote]

Are you referring not to worship images? Try the First Commandment.

I agree and he could have gotten what he said from God or not. I think this is probably divine truth.

Yes and I think usually reflection and using ones brain is part of the process.
That's one reason you are a Methodist.

I did not say independent of God. I said it came from God.Loving others is good. If God command that we be unloving that would not be good and we would not be good if we obeyed.
So loving others is independent of God. Yes, God gave the commandment but he was basically giving us a shortcut. We could have figured it out for ourselves.

No other revelations from God are tested on the basis of obediance, why this one?
Sure they are. The revelation against false idol worship was tested on the basis of obedience. The prophets said that when Israel disobeyed, God condoned the destruction of Israel.

If we go with the Calvinists that faith in Jesus is essential for salvation, then that revelation is tested by obedience and those who do not obey to have faith in Jesus are cast out. Right?

How do you test that it is a good thing to help someone who is hurting?
Look at the consequences of helping vs not helping. No, it's not instinctively understood. If it were, Jesus would not have had to teach it in parables and we would not have to teach our children by forcing them to share, not hurting others, etc. Do you have to teach a baby to suckle? Do we have to teach people to detect cheaters? No to both.

ill is it not obviouse all cutures have similarities in the area of loving others or hurting them?
But all cultures do not have that similarity. The ones I mentioned were based upon the principle of hurting others, not loving them.

I don't see where this conclusion came from.
Because you are saying that culture and society can undo what God wrote on our hearts. If something can undo what God did, then that is more powerful than God. Or perhaps God is incompetent. Either way it's bad news for belief in God.

Why was their cruelty so shocking? because they knew better.
Shocking to who? US? We were the victims! Of course the victims are going to find it shocking! But we have tapes of Bin Lauden and his group cheering. It wasn't shocking to them. So again the evidence says they didn't "know better".

I think to the contrary the power of the story was in the people thinking it unlikely the priest would pass by and the Samaritan would help.
As I said, if they never thought the Sadducee would pass by, it would simply be unbelievable. They would have rejected it like we reject stories of perpetual motion machines. As it was, since they knew the character of the Sadducees, the story was able to highlight the hypocrisy of the Sadduccees and the morality of the Samaritan.

We all knew it was possible for priest to pass by because we all knew being a priest did not make a person perfect and unable to do the wrong thing.
What do you mean "we", paleface? "We" in the 21st century have had considerably more evidence than even was available in 1st century Palestine as to the immorality of priest, minister,and rabbi.

BUT, if we had no pedophile scandals, hooker scandals, etc. would we believe this? Think back to the first televangelists caught using prostitutes. At first the congregations did not believe it. Why? Because they had no prior evidence of this. It took massive, undeniable evidence to pierce the disbelief.

Now, back to 1st century Palestine. If Jesus said a Sadduccee left a man beaten by robbers at the side of the road and, instead, everyone knew of a Sadducee helping such victims, then the story would not have worked on "not perfect". It would only work if people had knowledge of this type of behavior by Sadduccees.

Are you old enough to remember My Lai? Americans rejected that because we knew American soldiers did not behave that way. Yes, American soldiers were not perfect, but they didn't commit massacres! So if Jesus had told a story of Americans massacring a village but Nazi soldiers helping the civilians, our reaction would be "that's a ridiculous story because no American soldier has ever or would ever do that."
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