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for the agnostic.....

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by ISteveB, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. ISteveB

    ISteveB Member

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    For years we've heard that Huxley said---

    It's not likely God can be known.

    Yet, in Jeremiah 24:7, we read---- I will give them a heart to know me.

    So..... I have to wonder.....

    Why would you believe a guy who's been dead now for a good 140 years, when God clearly stated that he will give you what you need to know him?

    Jesus said in John 17:3, that eternal life consists of knowing God, and Jesus whom God sent.

    And just so that we're clear here......

    None of us knew if God was real before we started following Jesus. Sure, we'd heard stories, maybe even grew up in church, but those were someone else's stories. that was someone else's history.

    In Isaiah 40:12, we read that God holds the cosmos in the span of his hand. Anyone have any idea just how big the cosmos is? It's a lot bigger than the 13.8 billion light years we're told how old it is..... size of the universe - Google Search

    According to Isaiah 57:15, we read that God inhabits eternity, and yet dwells with the humble and contrite.....

    We further read in Hebrews 7:25 that God saves ALL who come to him through Jesus Christ.

    Come to Jesus and find out for yourselves.

    Jesus said he won't turn away anyone who comes to him.
     
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  2. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Many Christians are disappointed in their efforts to experience some confirmation from God or Jesus that Christianity is true, and that is why they lose faith.

    Christians claim that those who leave did not try hard enough or sincerely enough, but the evidence suggests that only a few get the confirmation they seek.
     
  3. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Some give up as soon as any trouble enters their lives. They expect 'quick fixes' from prayer.

    God is loving and merciful. We are His children. God gives us, what is best for us. He knows our hearts.
     
  4. ISteveB

    ISteveB Member

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    Yep. Been hearing, and reading people say that for decades.
    I find it curious, because I asked God if he was real in 1977, and he immediately answered me.
    In fact, I'd say that it took me longer to realize what was happening than it did for him to respond.

    Because of this, and what the bible says, I'm thinking it has to do with confirmation bias, and preconceived ideas about God.

    I had no idea what to expect, and sure didn't expect what I did receive.

    Even Richard Wurmbrand, the Soviet atheist from 80 years ago had something to say which would leave me to believe that there's DEFINITELY something they're do it wrong.

    “God, I know surely that You do not exist. But if perchance You exist, which I contest, it is not my duty to believe in You; it is Your duty to reveal Yourself to me.”​

    If ever there was a prayer that I'd expect to NOT be answered--- this was it. Yet, he became a follower of Jesus, and suffered greatly for the name of Jesus, and never walked away.

    Tortured For Christ

    So..... what did Richard and I do right, and they miss?

    That's a bible issue.

    1 John 2:19 makes this pretty clear.
    As does the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.
    I can provide plenty of other passages to answer this issue.

    I don't think it's about "trying" hard enough, or being sincere enough.
    I had a lot of friends in the 70's who were quite sincere in their experiences with LSD, and they're still dead or messed up.
    God does not tell us---- try hard enough, and I'll make myself known.

    He tells us:

    without faith it's impossible to please God. He that comes to God MUST believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.

    So, it's not about how hard you try or how sincere you are.
     
  5. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Its about picking up your cross and following Jesus, no matter how bad the journey is.
     
  6. ISteveB

    ISteveB Member

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    Yep. The guy in the parable of the sower, whose seed fell on stony soil.

    He does indeed. but we have to engage in learning to follow Jesus, and not give up.
     
  7. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    Hi Steve

    If you're trying to convince the unconvinced you're probably not going about it the best way.

    Arguing the existence of God based on scripture is known as an 'argument which presupposes its premise'. In other words - to accept that scripture 'proves' the existence of God you first need to accept that God exists. People believe in scripture and place value in the words because they already believe in the religious principles the text describes.

    The second problem is sermonising. Sermonising is basically preaching to the converted. Sermonising can drive us unbelievers away in droves.

    The third problem is that Christians frequently disagree on the meaning of scripture. For every interpretation you make there are probably 5 other versions of your 'truth'. This makes scripture difficult to justify as an ultimate truth.

    Finally your mention of the 'eternal' universe borders on the well know 'Argument from Incredulity'.

    I suspect the best argument for Christianity is not what you say but how you act. Unfortunately Christians often don't come across as 'Christian'.

    OB
     
  8. ISteveB

    ISteveB Member

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    Hi O.
    Well, if you need to be convinced before you'll take him seriously, I suppose you'll just have to keep right on moving along.
    I simply stated fact. What you do with that fact is entirely up to you.




    I think arguing God at all is hilarious.
    I've been following Jesus, and an adopted son of God since 1977. I simply asked him if he was real, and if the Jesus stuff I'd been hearing was real, or just another pile of religious BS, and he responded to me.

    I've been learning to follow Jesus ever since.
    According to 1 Corinthians 2:5, we don't place our hope/trust on the wisdom of man, or of this world. We place our Trust on the Power of God.

    So, I have to ask--- did it ever occur to you that you're simply looking at this all wrong?

    I never said that the bible proves the reality of God.
    God proves his own reality, and the bible is the basis upon which we can trust that he will.
    This is the notion of what I posted--- God inhabits eternity, and yet dwells with those who are humble and contrite. that's not a proof. the proof is in his response to you in your coming to him, as one who is humble and contrite, and doing so on his terms.

    I don't know that 2 + 2 = 4 until I do the proof.
    I take two apples, and I take two oranges, and place them next to each other. I can see at that point I have 4 pieces of fruit.
    But if all I do is sit around and argue about it, without ever taking the time to do what's required, I'm just spinning my wheels.

    So, are you going to argue, or are you going to do what's required to know?

    chuckle.....
    As I stated-- I simply stated fact. What you do with those facts is on you.
    That you think an argument would convince you just demonstrates to me that you have no idea what biblical christianity is, or is about.


    hmm..... gosh..... wow.... gee... So, are you telling me that I have to collect all 2.6 billion christians, spend the next 5000 years, discussing the bible, and once everyone who claims the name of Jesus agrees, then I can come proclaim the gospel of Jesus?

    I have a rather curious problem here O.... I didn't need their permission to think for myself, read for myself, and understand the languages for myself. It's not that difficult.
    But, if you really don't understand what I stated, please... post the parts you're having a problem with my post, and we can work through it.

    I will however say up front... I've been doing this for a long, long, long time, and I've long found it ironic that there are ideas, made up of words which under all other circumstances, you'd never have a problem understanding those words. Just like I'm pretty sure you're understanding me just fine here--- because I'm not using bible verses. In fact, I'd be willing to lay good odds that I could gather every single english speaker on earth, and they'd all agree that my words are pretty clear ordered and organized in the manner they are.

    then, and more importantly.... for this claim of--- so many different people see it differently....

    according to 2 Peter 1, it states as follows.

    19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

    I.e., this isn't some private interpretation. It's something that's been known, and stated the same for 1950+/- years.



    Hmm..... well, I'm looking at what I posted, and I don't see where I said the universe was eternal.
    So, you're going to have to show me that one. I do see where I said that Jesus stated eternal life consists of knowing God, and Jesus whom God sent. But nothing about an eternal universe. Nor would I have stated that considering that there are numerous locations in the bible which state that God is going to destroy this heavens, and this earth and create a new one, wherein dwells righteousness.

    You suspect....... Is this suspect the result of having lived out the life, spent decades reading the bible, and having up front personal knowledge, experience and awareness, or the lack thereof?
     
  9. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    No Steve. Its based on decades of experience listening to Christians evangelise in the worst possible ways.

    • You seem to have difficulty seeing your arguments/opinions as they appear to non-believers.
    • You seem to not understand that a non-believer will not automatically accept your bible quotes as truth since they lack a belief in God
    • You seem to not see the doctrinal divisions. within Christianity. over scriptural interpretation and how that appears from the outside. I don't expect you to fix it. I do expect you to understand that it's a credibility problem.

    Believe it or not Steve I'm actually trying to give you some useful information to help you see how things appear from the non-believer side of the table.

    OB
     
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  10. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    It still seems to me that if Christianity is true then God is giving a lot of earnest seekers the cold shoulder.
     
  11. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    I agree with @Occams Barber. The agnostic will listen to Huxley before they will listen to "God," precisely because they are agnostic. That is, precisely because they are not even sure whether God exists at all. It is rational to place more credence in the testimony of someone you believe existed than in the "testimony" of someone you do not believe exists.

    Surely the agnostic could find hope in Jeremiah 24:7, but I don't see why it would decisively convince them that God exists and can be known.
     
  12. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    God calls His lost sheep, and they hear Him. No matter how far away they are. They know His voice.
     
  13. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    At my age he needs to shout a little louder.

    What you've said could be regarded as a truism. A nice little quote that you'd like to be true but really is quite meaningless. Christians do this all the time.

    If God calls his lost sheep there are a heckuva lot of deaf sheep out there.

    OB
     
  14. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I think you're in the wrong place. Read the Must-Read statement of Purpose. This isn't the time or place for preaching.

    "The purpose of the Christian Apologetics forum is to give non-Christians the opportunity to start threads to challenge Christian theology, beliefs and practices, and Christians the opportunity to rationally defend their beliefs. Christians may start threads to present an argument in support of the Christian faith."

    If you're not here to rationally defend your beliefs, or to start a thread to present an argument in support of the Christian faith (which is not the same as starting an argument in support of the Christian faith) then you're conceding defeat. And while it's nice to see a Christian come in and tell us that they know they don't have any reasons for believing, I don't think that's what you meant to say.
     
  15. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Not everyone wants to be called. And mostly, they have closed ears to the truth...;)
     
  16. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

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    It's not a matter of blind belief in one teaching or the other.

    "it's not likely God can be known" is self-evident in this agnostic's own life.
    "I will give them a heart to know me" is not self-evident.
     
  17. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    The problem is, there are many atheists who tell you that their ears are not closed to truth. Myself among them, I might add.
     
  18. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    @ISteveB , you have actually presented a good proof that your faith is flawed.

    You have faith that anybody seeking God will get confirmation of the truth of God and Christianity. In fact, you claim the confirmation should come as quickly and easily as it came to you. When presented with the fact that many who seek God do not get that confirmation you seem to have no response except to repeat your original claim that everybody should get confirmation.

    What you should do now is to drop your claim, because it has been proven false by counterexample. Not everybody who seeks God finds God. You can believe in God still, but you need to be honest with yourself and accept that your claim is false. Maybe you misunderstood those Bible verses or took them out of context or something.
     
  19. ISteveB

    ISteveB Member

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    Good morning OB.
    It's a pity you didn't actually pay attention.
    So, let me make this really easy for you.
    God has actually chosen the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe him. Please read this very closely.

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
    20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[fn] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    Glory Only in the Lord
    26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.​

    The reason is quite simple---- he wants you to have a choice in the matter. What the world views as foolish, absurd, inept, insignificant, worthless, useless, and void of any real value.... God has chosen to put to silence, shame, and embarrassment the people of the world who are wise, smart, erudite, strong, powerful, and think of themselves as superior.

    So, yes.... I'm sure there are probably wiser, more erudite, stronger, and more profound ways to force you to bow to God, and Jesus. But that's not what he's asking here.
    He's asking you to come, of your own volition, to Jesus, and receive the gift of eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and become a new human being, from the inside out. He's inviting you to become an adopted child of God, through placing your trust in Jesus.

    Nope.
    I've been at this for 43+ years. I know exactly how they appear. As astonishing as this may be to you.... I once did not believe, and thought the gospel was part of some long gone and forgotten past that had no relevance to today's world, let alone my life.
    I have no difficulty whatsoever seeing exactly how the gospel is perceived by those who are perishing, and think they're doing great.

    Nope.
    I understand this all too well, and did not expect an automated response. that you think I did speaks more to your beliefs, biases and preconception than reality, and my views.
    God says that his Word will achieve the purposes for which he's sent it forth.
    Isaiah 55:8-11.
    Your choice is your choice. regardless of what you think is true or a joke.

    Rotfl.....
    I love how that is perceived by others..... It must be really hard for people like you to need something to be, which is not.
    I have a secret for you....
    What you think you know, is not in fact the truth.... it's simply your own view of reality.
    We call this solipsism.
    We who follow Jesus, we've all been invited to God's eternal home. We've further been instructed by Jesus to tell others, so they too may come, and live forever with God, as adopted children.
    In fact, it's actually quite interesting..... so important is this edict, that Jesus told a story about it.

    1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
    11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”​

    So interested in making sure that his son's wedding was well-attended, when the invited guests revealed they had other priorities, he sent his servants out into the highways, byways, alleyways, etc... and brought whomever would come. So, if you're too important to receive the invitation, and come, then just say so, and you'll be left to your own devices.

    Thanks OB.
    As stated, I've been at this for several decades now, and have actually been talking with atheists, agnostics, etc... online, for the past 2 decades, and have paid very close attention to their claims, lack of claims, ideas, lack of ideas, professions, and lack of professions. I've examined their ideas, and found them to be based entirely on a lack of knowledge, a lack of experience, and a lack of awareness, or understanding.
    So, while I appreciate your telling me these things, you're the one who is perishing, and without an everlasting hope. You may indeed have a hope for this life, but once this life is over--- eternity begins, regardless of whether you think eternity is real or not. I'm just one of the guys who's been told to come to the highways, byways, alleyways, etc....
    Your wedding invitation has been delivered. What you do with it is on you.
     
  20. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    That's not what you said in post #12. This is what you said in post #12.
    OB
     
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