90 Days with Jesus, Day 41: John 8:48-53: No Challenge to Jesus

John 8:48-53

The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets.

 Who do you think you are?” Crazy! Downright crazy! That’s what they said about Jesus. And there seems to be no indication that they were going to change their minds just because he challenged their assessment. He has been telling them ‘to make a right judgment’ but they were rather unwilling to listen. So they continued on in their insults. Jesus couldn’t possibly be telling the truth, they say, because for one he was a nasty Samaritan and for two he was possessed by the very father of those accusing him, the devil. But notice what Jesus does: He stays on task. He doesn’t change his message just because some malcontents accuse him demon-possession. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” This through them over the edge and convinced them of his maniacal personality. To their question, “Are you greater than our Father Abraham?” Jesus doesn’t provide an answer. Instead, Jesus points to Abraham as one who understood what they did not: “He rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” But not so these folks; they refused to believe in Jesus. They refused to act like the father (Abraham) they were claiming.

In preparation for writing this short meditation on these few verses, I listened to an 18 minute interview/debate between a man named Richard Dawkins and another man named David Quinn. (Follow this link http://religionandatheism.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/debate-richard-dawkins-vs-david-quinn/ if you wish to listen yourself.) I don’t know David Quinn, but, having read much of his writing, I do know Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is a rather brilliant writer. His ability with the pen is second to none. He wields his pen deftly and aims his quill as if it were an arrow on a bow. But for all his genius, for all his brilliance, for all his wit, he remains hopelessly atheistic and a tireless opponent of all things theistic, and specifically Christian (although he is also, likely, opposed to Jews and Muslims too). Here is a portion of the debate, which begins as an interview, between the radio host, Ryan Tubridy and Dawkins:

Tubridy: So Richard Dawkins here you go again, up to your old tricks. In your most recent book, The God Delusion. Let’s just talk about the word if you don’t mind, the word delusion, so put it into context. Why did you pick that word?

Dawkins: Well the word delusion means a falsehood which is widely believed, and I think that is true of religion. It is remarkably widely believed, it’s as though almost all of the population or a substantial proportion of the population believed that they had been abducted by aliens in flying saucers. You’d call that a delusion. I think God is a similar delusion.

Tubridy: And would it be fair to say you equate God with say, the imaginary friend, the bogeyman, or the fairies at the end of the garden?

Dawkins: Well I think He’s just as probable to exist, yes, and I do discuss all those things especially the imaginary friend which I think is an interesting psychological phenomenon in childhood and that may possibly have something to do with the appeal of religion.

Tubridy: So take us through that little bit about the imaginary friend factor.

Dawkins: Many young children have an imaginary friend. Christopher Robin had Binker. A little girl who wrote to me had a little purple man. And the girl with the little purple man actually saw him. She seemed to hallucinate him. He appeared with a little tinkling bell. And, he was very, very real to her although in a sense she knew he wasn’t real. I suspect that something like that is going on with people who claim to have heard God or seen God or hear the voice of God.

Tubridy: And we’re back to delusion again. Do you think that anyone who believes in God, anyone of any religion, is deluded? Is that the bottom line with your argument Richard?

Dawkins: Well there is a sophisticated form of religion which, well one form of it is Einstein’s which wasn’t really a religion at all. Einstein used the word God a great deal, but he didn’t mean a personal God. He didn’t mean a being who could listen to your prayers or forgive your sins. He just meant it as a kind of poetic way of describing the deep unknowns, the deep uncertainties at the root of the universe. Then there are deists who believe in a kind of God, a kind of personal God who set the universe going, a sort of physicist God, but then did no more and certainly doesn’t listen to your thoughts. He has no personal interest in humans at all. I don’t think that I would use a word like delusions for, certainly not for Einstein, no I don’t think I would for a deist either. I think I would reserve the word delusion for real theists who actually think they talk to God and think God talks to them.

Tubridy: You have a very interesting description in The God Delusion of the Old Testament God. Do you want to give us that description or will I give it to you back?

Dawkins: Have you got it in front of you?

Tubridy: Yes I have.

Dawkins: Well why don’t you read it out then.

Tubridy: Why not. You describe God as a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. [The entire interview/debate transcript can be found by clicking the link I posted above.]

You get the point: Those who believe are simply nuts, in the way a child who talks to an imaginary friend is nuts. That’s the best he has. That’s the best he can do. People who have nothing better to say typically resort to this sort of name calling. By his reckoning, if God is a delusion, then those who believe in him are delusional. So what shall we do?Well, I think the response must be the same as Jesus: Stay on task. All sorts of people are going to say all sorts of things about God, about his people. But none of this is so damaging that it should cause us to change course. Jesus said, in fact, that we are blessed when people say all sorts of things against us because of Him (Matthew 5:10-12).

We should consider ourselves blessed that Mr. Dawkins thinks so highly of us. However, we must stay on task. Just because he says it doesn’t at all mean it is true and just because he believes it doesn’t mean we should change course. Jesus was accused of being in league with the devil; Jesus did not change course: “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Jesus has been saying this over and over again in John’s Gospel, and it doesn’t matter what challenges are hurled his way: He won’t change that truth for a minute.People will do the same to us. There are many who continue to say that Christians are liars, charlatans, thieves, deluded, nuts, that our Messiah is an opiate, and other such blather. It must not change the conversation. Those who say such things much not be allowed to take control of the conversation in such a way. Ours is the task of keeping people talking about Jesus. They said to Jesus one time, when they heard his disciples praising him, ‘Tell them to shut up!’ Jesus responded, ‘Even if they do, the rocks will cry out.’

Simply denying Jesus, blatantly rejecting him, or callously insulting Him does not, in any way, shape, form or other challenge the veracity of His message, the necessity of allegiance to Him, or the fact of salvation only being ours through Him. So, the question at the end is wrong. No one should ask Jesus who he is! He has been saying all along who he is. Rather the question is this: Who do we think Jesus is? That’s the real question, and try as we might: God will not give such sway that we are permitted to skirt the question. No. We will answer, either now or then, and every knee will bow, and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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  1. Amen and Amen to that!! I maintain that the likes of Dawkins and Richard Attenborough along with many other such scientists will be judged all the more harshly by God because they, unlike many of us poor “deluded” souls and lesser mortals, have been granted knowledge and seen sights many of us would truly desire to – to understand physics and science as Dawkins must, or to have seen the awesome wonders of creation as Attenborough has – to have all of that and to then STILL deny God is incomprehensible, and just sadly a testament to the arrogance and audacity of men who prefer to believe in the exact opposite of what their education has in fact taught them i.e. that everything was created from nothing by nothing, and that it has all come together in perfect symmetry and harmony all by itself albeit over millions or billions of years. And they call us the deluded ones ROFL!! However, I think if more of us undertook to praying for such people as these, think of the awesome Glory God would be given for their testimony – indeed there are many former atheists proclaiming such a mind and heart change already and yet their voices are rarely heard sadly. One of my first articles for my blog was about the awesomeness of God’s creation – the sheer vastness of it, and the complexity of even the most minute organism is staggering. I think Richard Dawkins primary problem is his own arrogance – if he can’t understand it, then it doesn’t exist!! He never stops to appreciate the fact that without God he would neither have come into being to start with, nor would he continue to live for a further nanosecond. All of his knowledge and intelligence has come from the One He continues to deny. We can but pray for God to touch his spirit and change his heart. Blessings, TKR 🙂 .

  2. Thanks for your thoughts. I agree: More prayer from the church is crucial in this hour.

    jerry

  3. I posted an article on Dawkins at Digital Journal that you might be interested in. The article can be found at:
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/210063/The_Dawkins_Defeat

    If you’d like to read more about Dawkins and The God Delusion visit http://www.michaelkrahn.com/blog/richard-dawkins

  4. bluerat

    In the bit of the interview you quoted above, Dawkins doesn’t attack Jesus, but the Old Testament God.

    I’m no lover of Dawkins. I think he has lots of shortcomings in his appraoch to religion.

    But you’re approach amounts to “nothing anyone could say to me will change my mind – Jesus said stay on course.”

    That’s closed-minded. If you don’t admit the possibility you could be mistaken about something you believe (I’m not saying you are, but I’m talking about the possibility), then you number amongst all the other fanatical believers who affirm the infallibility of their doctrine. In the past, of course, that has been one of the most dangerous approaches to take, as history amply testifies.

  5. Blue,

    thanks for joining the fray or the scrum. I’m glad you have joined the conversation. In point of fact, I have not said that my doctrine is infallible. Have you read that page of my blog called ‘musings’? There I speak of all sorts of doubts and fears.

    Regardless, that is what Jesus said: Stay on course. It’s called faith, perseverance, ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith,’ and suchlike. Dawkins’ quote is concerning the OT, but your mistake is in assuming there is a fundamental difference between the ‘God of the OT’ and Jesus. I recognize no such difference because I recognize the unity of the documents. So, if he attacks the Old Testament God, whom Jesus calls his Father, then how is that not an attack on Jesus himself? (And, if you knew Dawkins, you would know that he is no friend of Jesus either, so your point is rather moot, and beside the point of my argument.)

    What am I supposed to do, veer off course? Change direction? Give up? Are we supposed to be ‘open-minded’ and swayed by every wind of doctrine that comes along? Are we supposed to be so open-minded, and relevant, and cutting-edge that anyone can say anything and shake our faith? Am I supposed to sit around and wait for the right person to say the right thing so that my faith can be turned inside out?

    Why should I admit the possibility that I might be mistaken? OK. I might. So might you. So might Dawkins. So might the whole world. Big deal. What does that prove? I affirm the infallibility of the Scripture and of Jesus Christ. If that makes me dangerous, or in your words, ‘fanatical’, well, I guess the labels will have to do.

    I’m not sure it makes me dangerous as much as it puts me in danger. Because those Christians who affirm such faith in Christ are constantly at risk and under attack from the likes of people who are unwilling to do so.

    So, tell me again, friend, what is accomplished by admitting the possibility that I might be wrong? What will this prove? Will it help your faith? Will it bring glory to God?

    (For the record, I don’t need to be ‘right’. God is right. I’m counting on Him, not myself.)

    jerry

  6. [I don’t know how Lary was able to post this without my moderation and approval, but either way, here it is. I’m going to leave it on the blog simply because it points out how illogical Mr. Rational-Thought actually is. I actually find it quite humorous and amusing. I have in no way altered his content. However, I did alter the format to make it a little easier to read. I don’t think Lary has spent too much time actually reading the Scripture he quotes and mocks and from a cursory glance, it appears that he has taken the Rick Warren approach to quoting Scripture: ‘As long as it says what I want it to say, I’ll quote it; but never in context because that might contradict me and render me meaningless’. Anyhow, thanks Lary for the laugh. I’m leaving it here to show you that your dogma in no way threatens Christians or our faith in Christ. You are a right disciple of Mr. Dawkins who also weaves his criticisms in vague generalizations and juvenile insults rather than merely having a detailed, meaningful, thought provoking, conversation. Another Atheist, ‘Pamela’, who has read and interracted with my thoughts, recently left me this quote: “We legitimize taking moments out of context and seizing upon the least sympathetic interpretation.” –David Weinberger. I think it applies here too. Thanks again for reading. God Bless!]

    Pulpit Magazine has an encouraging series of articles about Jon Stewart. Nathan Busea says that, in a world that’s plagued with broken promises, the Bible practically invites us to get our hopes up — hope that is appropriately applied of course.
    Here are the top five reasons you can have absolute confidence in Jon Stewart

    1. His Person: We can hope in Jon Stewart because of who He is. Jon Stewart’s person — specifically, His wisdom, righteousness, and unchanging nature — allow us to trust Him because of who He is. His words are certain because His character is certain. Thus, as Hebrews 6:18 puts it: “It is impossible for Jon Stewart to lie.”

    2. His Power: We can hope because Jon Stewart is in control. Is there anything in the universe outside of Jon Stewart’s control? No! In fact, every potential danger we might face in life is under the supervision of an all-powerful Jon Stewart. … Because He is in control of all things, no circumstance, setting, or individual exists or acts without Jon Stewart’s permission.

    3. His Plan: We Can Hope Because Jon Stewart Knows Exactly What He’s Doing. The apostle Paul declares that “in all things Jon Stewart works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). In other words, Jon Stewart uses every circumstance and every person in our lives for our spiritual betterment — to make us more like Jon.

    4. His Past Record: We can hope because Jon Stewart has always been faithful before. Jon Stewart’s faithfulness is not just an abstract part of who He is. Rather, it is an attribute that has been proven throughout history time and time again. As Christians, by remembering Jon Stewart’s provision and protection in the past, we can hope expectantly in Him for the present and the future.

    5. His Parental Care: We can hope because Jon Stewart loves us. If Jon Stewart who is love (1 John 4:8) loves us (1 John 4:10) then we can be confident that He will never let us down (Romans 8:38–39). With Paul we can confidently assert that, “hope does not disappoint us, because Jon Stewart has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).

    These are magnificent Truths about Jon Stewart. But in times of trials, it’s not enough to know them, to believe that they are true. We have to abide in them daily, even hourly if necessary. Just like Peter in Matthew 14:30, we will sink if we’re distracted by our circumstances, the tumultuous storm that surrounds us. So our hope appropriately applied is “having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because” we see Jon Stewart waking on the water.

  7. Jerry,

    Admitting fallibility, whether in oneself, another or a document is an exercise in humility, for a start. It prevents hubris an arrogance. It also admits the logical possibility with all human understanding: that it is mistaken. Yes, you and I and Dawkins could be mistaken.

    All of science proceeds by adopting the principle that current theories are provisional, pending further evidence. Without this premise, we would be stuck in the dark ages with the unshakable convictions that disease is caused by God’s wrath and the earth is flat. Is that a principle you would happily subscribe to?

    As for why not admitting that something could be a mistaken belief, Voltaire put it best: “Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities.” For this reason you owe it to yourself and others to question the authority of whatever information is handed to you or that you find, rather than affirming it blindly as unquestionably true.

  8. Blue,

    What I don’t think that you or any other person who is critical of Christianity realizes or is willing to admit is this: Christianity is built upon the premise that those who follow Christ must necessarily admit that they are wrong: Ethically, intellectually, spiritual, philosophically, etc. It is built upon the premise that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ It is built upon the premise that ‘anyone who claims to be without sin is a liar and makes God out to be a liar.’ (And there are many other passages saying exactly the same thing.

    Science always proceeds with caution: We might be wrong. Christianity proceeds with caution also: We’re always wrong and our righteousness is as filthy rags. However, we trust in God’s wisdom, which to unbelievers appears as foolishness. You say that I blindly accept as unquestionable true what information I have been handed. Well, if that is true of me, is it any less true of you or your evolutionary friends? Why are, for example, evolutionists so afraid of creation being taught in schools? Is it because children are supposed to accept unquestionably what their science teachers teach them as truth? You can’t have it both ways.

    Votaire spoke in hyperbole. But, even the acceptance of it as truth does not negate the fact that evolution is no less absurd than Creation. And I have proof that you don’t: The Creation! I can look around and see it is here, all around me, everywhere I go, I can’t escape it. But science, exalted with human wisdom though it is, can not provide me with one single piece of evidentiary proof that we have evolved from something lower and less complex.

    This is but one example of the sort hubris that you say doesn’t exist among science. You want me to accept science because a scientists said. Jesus said, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether or not my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:16-17) Christians are commanded: Test the spirits. Study to show thyself approved. No, we don’t accept blindly. We challenge. We correct. We rebuke. Scripture again, “The Word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” We do not blindly accept. And blind acceptance is never a biblical definition of faith. Never.

    jerry

  9. Jerry,

    You seem a reasonable person terribly misinformed. I’m glad of your premise that mankind is fallible. It seem for you to be a Christian premise. I don’t agree. I think mankind is fallible. And, incidentally, nothing about scientific discourse argues to the contrary. Fallibility does not imply a superior being, however, much less the Abrahamic God or that Jesus was his son. If you question the authority of scripture, I’m glad to hear it, though that was not how it sounded from your previous comment.

    You contradict yourself when you say that Christianity proceeds with caution but trusts (on what basis?) the word of God, since to do so is to accept God as an infallible authority, and there is no basis for that either. “We believer because we do” is in itself no basis for belief.

    As for evolution, I think you’re terribly misguided and misinformed. There is a plethora of peer-reviewed, publicly available evidence, constantly scrutinized, refereed and tested in science about the evolution of humans from simpler ancestors. The basis of a scientific theory is compilation of facts into rational theories with predictive capacity. The prediction that we will find evidence for the evolution of species from simpler forms is all around us, if you take a look. You might find the following video somewhat of a revelation:
    http://bluerat.wordpress.com/2007/07/11/what-to-show-someone-who-believes-in-intelligent-design/

    The results were published in one of the most esteemed journals in the world, Nature, and have not been refuted since. Science, being intrinsically skeptical, invites you to do so.

    Denying the existence of evidence is not clever and it’s not funny, just because you PREFER to favour gospel canon over the real world which is testable. That is why religious people so often attack science instead of bothering themselves to understand it. Your evidence flows from what a poorly quoted 0th century Palestinian Jew said to simple fishermen and that this was subsequently recorded decades later.

    My evidence comes from current, and ongoing, publicly available, scrutinizable, repeatable research which you are free to question and provide counter-evidence for. That is quite some difference.

    Saying “God did it” is not explanation. Would you have said that of the flat earth theory, or that disease results from God’s wrath; or are you glad that scientific evidence has been brought to bear on the subject of disease so that you can go and seek educated medical attention when you are sick?

    You said I want you to accept science because of what scientists say. No I don’t. (And don’t tell me what I want.) I want you to accept what science says because it is based on evidence that is repeatable, rational and not based on doctrine. You could educate yourself to understand science and design experiments yourself to show that accepted opinion is wrong, rather than lecture people on the basis of outdated and inconsistent dogma.

    “God says…” is not an explanation.

    “Your wrong and I can show you why… here watch this…” [proceeding to show experimental evidence of error]is a good way of showing someone why they are wrong.

    Appeals to John’s gospel are as valid as appeals I could make to the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. It makes no difference. Reality doesn’t care about your book. It cares about what is real. And the way you find that out is by testing it. Science isn’t an ideology; it’s a way of testing what is true about reality.

  10. Rat,

    You need to make a correction. I never said I question the authority of Scripture. Just because a person has ‘doubts’ doesn’t mean they question it’s authority. My life is submitted to the authority of Scripture. I live it. I preach it. I believe it. Every word. I’ll gladly be that fool. But my job on this earth is not to convince you.

    I’ll let you have the last word. I can’t argue with anything you have said because ultimately you have already, as have I, decided what you are going to believe and not. You are the one who is terribly misguided and your arguments are not different in any way from the arguments that others who don’t believe put forward.

    They won’t change my mind.

    All you will continue to do is accuse me of contradiction, lying, foolishness of belief, and accepting erroneous explanations (God), and all sorts of other things–as if you hold the key to truth.

    You don’t have evidence for evolution. You have bits, pieces, fragments. You have ‘peer reviewed essays’–peer reviewed, what peers? Tell, me friend, why can I not witness apes evolving into humans? Where are your large beds of fossil evidence? There should be millions of so-called transitional fossils and there are not.

    OK. You win. You can go on in your unbelief, and I’ll go on in mine. I’m not trading the truth of God for a lie. You can, that’s what your free will is for. I applaud you for having the courage to admit it. I applaud you that you can call me a liar and a fool. I gladly accept those glorious titles! But the truth is, I am simply not smart enough to argue with you. Nor do I think that arguing with you will do either of us any good. Good Luck with that evolution thing.

    I wonder what humans will evolve into next? I can’t wait to find out!

    jerry

    Your responses are so predictable. “Misguided and misinformed.” Right. Simply saying something doesn’t make it true. You have my deepest, deepest sympathies.

    I hope someday you find hope and grace through Jesus Christ. As I have said elsewhere, My hope is the historical, Empty Tomb and the Physically Resurrected Jesus Christ. I hope someday that He is your hope also.

  11. PS–I should also note, that you did not respond to one thing I wrote in my response, but that you did manage to misquote me, misrepresent me, and in general mock me. You did not respond to my claims at all when you accused me of intellectual misguidedness, contradiction, and misinformation.

  12. Hi Jerry,

    Firstly, let me give you the dictionary definition of “doubt”, so there is no misgiving about what the word means between us:

    1. to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
    2. to distrust.
    3. Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about.

    So that’s that.

    As for the rest, I think it’s very unfortunate that you say you won’t argue with me but that I’m misguided. If you think that your way of thinking is better, offer me a reason for why. But you refuse. Why is that? It’s not that I’ve decided that I won’t be swayed. I actually say, as I have above, that admitting the possibility that you’re wrong about something is a virtue. All mistaken beliefs have been overturned in the past because of that willingness to look at better theories, better evidence and better argument. Saying “I know I’m right and I won’t be convinced” is not only retrogressive, since it means you can’t progress (by this way of proceeding we’d still believe in a flat earth and wouldn’t have the germ theory of disease and therefore no medicine). It takes some courage to admit that you might be wrong and that a better outlook might be more plausible. That takes looking at evidence and debating and using reason, not just close-mindedly repeating “I’m right, I’m right, and nothing you can say will change my mind.” Some people in the dark ages knew better. And without skeptics and scientists and people who constantly admit they might be wrong, you wouldn’t even have the benefit of the technology it takes to run a blog.

    The evidence for evolution is ample. Read some books, go to university or college, read papers, get educated. Don’t just repeat the same stuff as though you knew what evolution was about: you’re actually misrepresenting it – so you’re rejecting something I don’t think is right either. Take your example: “why can’t I see apes evolving into humans?” Because evolution doesn’t claim that they do. Evolutionary theory claims that they have a COMMON ANCESTOR. And the evidence for this is in the fossil record (there are lots of transition forms), there is paleontology, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so on. It takes millenia for evolution to happen, which is why you don’t see it happen to apes in your lifetime. But bacteria, for example, do evolve on a human scale because they divide much faster. Recently a bacterium was discovered at a waste site which digests polyvinylacetate. That’s manmade material, and took a genetic mutation for the bacterium to develop that ability. It is evolution happening right in front of your eyes.

    I also resent you saying that I called you a liar. I did not do so. You say that you’re not smart enough to argue with me. But I don’t think that’s true. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re very open to trying to understand the things that are being said. It takes effort to understand science, and any other argument that is new. Adopting the Bible as the inerrant word of God is an easy option, but it does not correspond to the real world, as it is your prerogative to go and see and ask questions about and learn about. To use your own line “saying something doesn’t make it true”. That’s right. Finding out what is true takes more effort than that. It takes asking questions and testing hypotheses and being convinced on the basis of evidence.

    You seem incidentally, also to have some misgivings about evidence. I wouldn’t have mentioned this, but you did accuse me of not tackling points you made in previous comments. So this is one of them. You wrote:

    “And I have proof that you don’t: The Creation!”

    But “creation” is not evidence. Creation is what you think God did. But that is not evidence, that is a conclusion. In fact, it is an assertion. The word “creation” implies the existence of a Creator in its semantic meaning, but does not demonstrate his existence. There is nothing in nature that has been found to demonstrate the existence of a creator. The fact that the world exists just tell you that it is there, not that it was created. That is a metaphysical preference on your part. Much less that God is a “he”, for instance.

    You seem to hold the Bible in quite high regard. But in fact, the Bible is a compilation of texts that was put together and written by people. It contradicts itself and there are lots of books that did not make it into the Bible because people chose not to put them in. Many points of doctrine (like Jesus’ divinity) were also decided by humans (e.g. at the Councils of Nicea). These are all human things. Take the flood in Genesis for example. The idea that a flood is a part of creation is a staple theme of lots of mythologies that far outdate the Judeo-Christian one. The Epic of Gilgamesh in one example. These ideas are borrowed and compiled and selected and decided on by people, not by God.

    So what other arguments did you make? You asked, for example about whether people expect for children to be taught scientific theories unquestioningly in schools because scientist say so. But that is wrong. You can carry out experiments to test theories to convince yourself that the theories aren’t wrong. If you design an experiment that disagrees with theory, you report it and the theory is re-examined and perhaps changed or thrown out altogether. The list of examples of this is just too long to list! It is the process of skeptical inquiry that leads to a better understanding of nature, not just accepting one text. You listen to others, you admit you might be wrong, you think for yourself, you design experiments, you analyze data, you come to rational conclusions and you show your working to others so they can check it, learn from it, design their own experiments and so on. Science has nothing to do with doctrine. If that were so, plenty of previous theories would not have been improved on. THAT is the way to progress in knowledge. Not acceptance of one text as though it had all the information you need.

    Now, please, offer and argument against something I’ve said and we can have a discussion. Please don’t continue saying that nothing I can say will change your mind, because that would mean we can’t have a conversation, and that is a terrible thing to say about yourself. If you truly believe you know it all, what is the point of anyone saying anything to you?

    BR




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