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Atheist Tuesday: The Sad BloggableTruth

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I got an email recently from an adolescent atheist mocking my decision to make “Atheist Tuesday” posts an occasional blog item instead of weekly. Here it is:

SUBJECT: Laughter

Wish you could hear mine. [Presumably his own laughter]

Quitters never win and winners never quit, Steve.

I like the fact that your “Evangelism Schedule” and “Evangelism Training” posts have received no comments, not even from Christians, while your “atheists are bad” post has received over fifty.

Keep up the good work.

Yes, it’s a sad fact that this blog will never be popular.

If I wanted to pander to atheists, I suppose that it would be more popular, but why would I want that? I will end up having to answer over and over again the same Googleable questions that are found ad nauseum on Christian apologetic sites’ comments sections. You know, questions like these:

  • What makes your story of creationism fundamentally different from all the others that exist now, have existed before, and will exist in the future?
  • Why is there at least some evidence for our scientific theories, but none at all for your creationism?
  • Why does your God support slavery, murder, etc.

Remember, this is an evangelism blog “written to be an encouragement to those who share their faith and a motivation to those who don’t.”

I found I was getting off-track and wasting my time answering questions that never lead to salvation. That is, I can try and answer all those questions, but really, atheists will not believe the truth by my answers, only if they have been called by the Holy Spirit.

So, back to the adolescent atheist’s email….

Yes, I admit it. This blog will never be popular. Ever. I’d love to have more people sample this site but I’m not naive. I understand that an evangelism blog has a very limited audience. Here’s why:

  • Bill Bright has stated that 2% of Christians share their faith. Out of those 2% most are repelled by biblical evangelism because they don’t understand it, dismissing it as too harsh and judgmental. I don’t expect them to visit. (Sadly, a Barna study shows that only 55% of born-again Christians even believe it’s their responsibility to evangelize.)
  • Another subset of that 2% who evangelize won’t come back to this site because their way of witnessing is better and “that guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about anyway.”
  • Of those who do share their faith in a biblical manner—those that understand that using the Law, the 10 Commandments, is the most effective way for sinners to understand why they  are going to Hell and need a Savior—even they eventually lose their zeal (for the most part) and don’t want to be reminded of the urgency of this irksome task, which is the whole purpose of this blog. I don’t expect them to visit that often.
  • The other 98% of Christians will not be interested in this type of site because they are too concerned with other things: potlucks, choir practice, weddings,  family rearing, life. All good things, important things, of course, but shouldn’t evangelism be included? I expect them to stumble on this site accidentally then quickly click on over to a Christian Facebook page.

(I’m reminded of that famous quote from Oswald J. Smith: “Oh my friends… we are loaded down with countless church activities while the real work of the church—that of evangelizing and winning the lost—is almost entirely neglected. The Body of Christ is not a pleasure cruiser on its way to Heaven, but a battleship stationed at the very gates of Hell.” )

  • Non Christians (the non-atheist kind) will not understand why this site needs to exist. It’s a waste of time. Stupid. They won’t visit again.
  • Atheists will visit for a limited time and only because they want to ridicule this writer and his faith. Eventually they, too, will leave in frustration due to his fundamentalist, narrow-minded, Stone-Age thinking. I expect them to visit haphazardly.

But I’m stuck. I can’t write with passion about anything else!  I must encourage believers to take the step and experience the great adventure that is Biblical evangelism. There is nothing else I can do, so I’ll just  have to be satisfied with my limited audience.

Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.

78 Comments

  1. If it wasn’t for christian websites, what would atheist do with their time?

    • If it wasn’t for christian websites, what would atheist do with their time?

      If there were no atheists posting to those websites, what would you do with yours?

  2. Steve, keep up the good work, we know that only God’s Spirit can open the human heart to the truth of the Gospel. The message is more important then the argument!

  3. Keep the faith brother, doing the WORK of an evangelist, which isn’t just reeaching out to the lost but equiping the saints for ministry. I appreciate what you do and am still an avid member of the Everyday Club (though I think I may have forgotten to report the last few months)

  4. Thanks for this excellent post!

    May Horatius Bonar speak momentarily for Steve?
    “The object of the Christian ministry is to convert sinners and to edify the body of Christ. No faithful minister can possibly rest short of this. Applause, fame, popularity, honor, wealth-all these are vain. If souls are not won, if saints are not matured, our ministry itself is vain.”

    Steve wrote: “If I wanted to pander to atheists, I suppose that it (this site) would be more popular.”

    The apostle Paul wrote: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

    ‘Nuff said, for the moment!

  5. Glad you changed the name from Evanggie Tales…..

  6. I was reminded a few hours ago, on a phone conversation, why I need to continue sharing the gospel, regardless of what people think.

    A close relative of mine, who is a professing Christian, told me:
    *I should stop wasting my money on tracts, because they don’t work.

    *When having one to one with the same person
    I should change the conversation a little and not talk about the same thing meaning “the Law and the Gospel”, but more on the ‘fact’ that God is ‘all-loving’.

    What horrible comments from someone who professes to be a Christian.

    Her comments show me the urgency to continue sharing the Gospel.

    Thank you Pastor Steve for being so stubborn and sticking to encourage us.

  7. While I disagree with what you believe, I don’t agree with ridiculing you or anyone on a personal level.
    Your ideas are stone age, yes, because that where they came from. They have not moved on much since then, a little updating 2000 years ago, but in reality, they present a idea of life death and understanding of the culture of a nomadic stone age tribe that was trying to understand their world.

    What is sad is that you think you have the right, no, the duty, to tell people they are sinners, going to hell or that thay are inmoral – all of these ideas are destructive and there is no proof for any of them.

    • Blythe wrote:

      “Your ideas are stone age, yes, because that where they came from. They have not moved on much since then, a little updating 2000 years ago, but in reality, they present a idea of life death and understanding of the culture of a nomadic stone age tribe that was trying to understand their world.”

      Truth began when God spoke in Genises (“the stone age”) and TRUTH doesn’t change. The word of God is just as relevant now as it was then!
      Life and death haven’t changed either; you’re born and then you die. The question for you is, what will you do with God’s gift to keep you from incurring His wrath?

      • Steve, you offer no reason why ‘Genesis’ or any of the bible is ‘truth’. Just stating it is so, does not make sense.

      • Blythe:
        I offer you these words;

        “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
        Heb. 11:3) (ESV)

        “But the just shall live by faith;” Heb. 10:33a (DBT)

        Oh… there I go again, quoting scripture!

    • what if there is proof and you just haven’t discovered it yet?

      If the Bible is wrong, nothing happens to the soul when you die then nothing is lost. But if the Bible is right, then we do have a duty to warn others.

      • Pascal’s Wager, once again, doesn’t work as a valid argument, as it can be extended to absolutely every argument similar in nature to Christianity.

      • Laurie, if there is proof, please post it and share. That’s all most people have been asking of Steve, he has yet to provide any proof that can be tested, falsified, debated, and eventually accepted as true.

      • Vin: I already acknowledged there is no proof for God in this article: http://stonethepreacher.com/2010/08/17/atheist-tuesday-damning-proof.html

        Please read it again.

        And memorize it, please! 🙂

      • Laurie,

        If the Bible is wrong, but the Quran is right, then definitely something happens to the soul when you die, and everything is lost.

        You have ascribed partners with Allah, and such a sin is worthy of Hellfire. If the Muslims are right.

        And that’s one of the reasons why Pascal’s wager fails.

      • I know Steve, I was just making a statement that you can not prove your claims I thought that maybe Laurie can. She posed the question. To answer the question, there might be evidence for your claims that we haven’t discovered yet, Christians would be the first to jump on this and shout it from the mountain tops, because proof is the foundation of true knowledge not assertions. We believe illness is caused by germs, viruses, and bacteria, not demons, for example. You can assert demons all you wish but in the end its the former that you’re infected with and the former that is treatable. To assert anything without proof or evidence is dishonest, and any God that claims to be benevolent should know that, and if that God cared about saving people it would provide evidence to the people that is undeniable and let them make a REAL choice about whether or not to be saved or not.

      • vintango: God has given us all the proof we need. If we look at the complexity of the creation around us we can see that a highly intelligent being put it together. The question really is, who is this being? is it my God or your God or another God?

        Jesus came not to start a new religion, but he came to show us the true reality of what God is like, who He is. He made some outrageous claims – He claimed to be the One True God. Either he was lying, or he was crazy or he was telling the truth. The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (a former atheist who set out to disprove Christianity) is a great book for more about proof of Christ and his claims. He alse wrote Case for Creator and Case for Faith. Another book is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. If you are really seeking some answers to some common questions and objections, please check them out. I’d even be willing to send them to you.

        Nohm: it is possible for all religions to be wrong. It is impossible for them all to be right. What I meant by saying “if the Bible is true”… which Christians believe it is, then according to our beliefs, we have an obligation to tell others about what it says. Each person must live according to what he believes – what else can we do? If I truly believed that smoking causes lung cancer, then wouldn’t I have an obligation to warn those whom I care about? They can choose not to believe me, but if I believe it’s true and don’t warn them what kind of person does that make me? That is the purpose of this blog – to encourage Christians to do what the Bible tells us to do, which is share Christ with people.

      • Each person must live according to what he believes – what else can we do?

        Some people go the extra mile to make sure their beliefs are true.

      • But Laurie, you said “If the Bible is wrong, nothing happens to the soul when you die then nothing is lost.

        I was showing you that there are other situations (e.g., “The Quran is correct”) where your statement is false.

        Therefore, there are many situations where “if the Bible is wrong” leads to “something happens to the soul and something is lost”.

        Hence, as I said, it’s one of the reasons why Pascal’s wager fails.

        I never had an issue with your “But if the Bible is right, then we do have a duty to warn others.” statement, because I agree; if the Bible is right, then you have that duty.

        The problem there is this: how do you demonstrate that the Bible is right, in a way that doesn’t also work for demonstrating that the Qur’an is right?

      • To make sure this is completely clear:

        Laurie, if the Quran is right, then the Bible is wrong, and something definitely will happen to your soul when you die and everything will be lost for you.

      • Perdita says:
        “Some people go the extra mile to make sure their beliefs are true.”

        Absolutely; I have done exactly that!!

      • “God has given us all the proof we need. If we look at the complexity of the creation around us we can see that a highly intelligent being put it together. The question really is, who is this being? is it my God or your God or another God?”

        – Complexity is not proof of design Laurie, things that are designed are typically streamlined to be efficient, and you don’t see that in biology, because nature often times does not reward that trait with successful reproduction. Junk accumulates, genes go dormant, organs become vestigial, and environmental pressures tend to rule over which changes that naturally occur in almost all living species without any signs of intelligence behind them… unless you consider human driven environmental change.

        – Furthermore, what is the line between simple and complex? You may consider a rock simple, but it could be comprised of tens of thousands of layers of sediment. Even a rain puddle can be complex, containing small chambers where bacteria grow and populate, with rain water bringing particulate matter in microscopic chunks that float around one another and feed the tiny organisms thriving in that environment. And for those organisms that puddle is, for all intents and purposes, their universe. But its a universe that came into existence due to a depression in the earth and the presence of rain, not due to some puddle making God… as far as we’re able to tell.

        – And my last point to this quote, we tend to, as human beings, ascribe intelligence to things when none has proven to exist. As we are social, intelligent beings we are quite capable of ‘creating minds’ so to speak. Often times we can imagine an argument we might have with a friend, or a debate and we are fully capable to coming up with a mind devoid of body that is a stand in for said friend. Children do it with great frequency by age 6 when they concoct imaginary friends, its a useful trait to have when learning social interaction skills, and can help in the development of empathy as well as a myriad of helpful social traits. When you say its obvious that a highly intelligent being put it all together, there’s been no proof in any of the scientific disciplines that indicate anything… at all… in nature has been ‘put together’ by anything but natural forces acting in accordance with the physical make up of this universe. This doesn’t mean there isn’t some sort of disembodied intelligence out there, but unless it makes itself known and explains what parts of the universe are designed and which aren’t and points to evidence of that, then we’re forced to learn about the universe via observations and testing of the evidence in reality. God becomes reality when he manifests in reality, without this, anything else is simply an assumption, and without evidence… a basless assumption.

        Additionally you wrote.

        “The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (a former atheist who set out to disprove Christianity) is a great book for more about proof of Christ and his claims.”

        – You know, it takes a journalist of the highest integrity to interview 13 Christian evangelical apologists among whom is William Lane Craig (A man who defends the slaughter of children at the command of God as a good, or as he put it a greater good, thing.) and get an answer of, “Of course Jesus existed and was the son of God!” But tell me Laurie, if he had interviewed 13 fundamentalist Muslim clerics how do you think those clerics would have responded? Of course Allah has no equals and Mohammed was his Prophet!

        If “former atheist” (I use quotation marks because I’ve met a “former atheist” Christian apologist before and he was never atheist, merely just secular and hadn’t given religion any real serious thought) Strobel was really “setting out to disprove” Christianity why would he ONLY interview proponents (some of whom have signed statements of faith, putting their Christian faith ahead of any evidence they may come across or learn of in academic circles that might conflict with their world view) and not a single critic of Christianity unless he himself was advocating for the position? Given his degrees in law, and his choice of titles, he seems to be making an argument in the same style a lawyer would and not a journalist, well… at least not an honest one.

        He could have interviewed Professor Bart Erhman, a former evangelical Christian if he was really interested in “disproving” Christ, and while Erhman believes that Jesus existed in some historical sense, he doesn’t believe he was divine. THAT would have made for a more interesting book, but interesting books might cause you to question your beliefs and that is certainly not the goal of apologetics, Laurie.

      • Additionally if you want to send me Strobel’s book I might be game for reading it.

      • Vintango:

        Send me your address at my email and when I get a new supply I will send one to you! Free!

      • Perdita: Some people go the extra mile to make sure their beliefs are true.

        I have gone that extra mile. have you?

        Jesus came not to start a new religion, but he came to show us the true reality of what God is like, who He is. He made some outrageous claims – He claimed to be the One True God. Either he was lying, or he was crazy or he was telling the truth. The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (a former atheist who set out to disprove Christianity) is a great book for more about proof of Christ and his claims. He alse wrote Case for Creator and Case for Faith. Another book is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. If you are really seeking some answers to some common questions and objections, please check them out. I’d even be willing to send them to you.

      • Hi Steve L.,

        In response to Perdita saying, “Some people go the extra mile to make sure their beliefs are true.”, you said, “Absolutely; I have done exactly that!!

        For my own curiosity, exactly how did you go about doing that?

      • Hi Vin,

        1. That was an absolutely great response to Laurie. I tip my hat off to you.

        2. I definitely encourage you to read Strobel’s books, for the point you yourself make; you’ll have no question that his whole claim of “investigating” is a sham, given who he interviews (and, who he doesn’t interview, as you pointed out) and the questions that he asks his interviewees.

      • Hi Laurie,

        You wrote: “I have gone that extra mile. have you?

        As I asked Steve L., for my own curiosity, would you please explain exactly how you went “that extra mile”?

        Either he was lying, or he was crazy or he was telling the truth.

        1. Those are not the only possible answers.
        2. Those answers are not weighted equally.

        The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (a former atheist who set out to disprove Christianity) is a great book for more about proof of Christ and his claims. He alse wrote Case for Creator and Case for Faith. Another book is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. If you are really seeking some answers to some common questions and objections, please check them out. I’d even be willing to send them to you.

        Laurie, have you ever researched the multitude of problems that people have with the books that you listed? There are entire websites out there that go through those books, page by page, showing what’s wrong with them.

        For the record, I first read those books as a Christian, and even then I had a very hard time believing that selectively interviewing only people that agree with the intended demographic of the books (evangelical Christians) was the honest way to go about things. Also, while I was an evangelist, I had an issue that the “atheist questions” listed in those books never actually matched the questions I got from atheists.

        It’s my opinion that the Strobel and McDowell books are only effective at confirming the beliefs of the believers, and nothing more.

      • For the most part, I would agree with you. And I like those answers and confirmations!

      • Laurie and Steve L,

        Late to the party as usual. Vintango and Nohm pretty much sum up what I was thinking.

        I’ve read Strobel and to me it sounded like he was searching for reasons to become a believer because his wife was a believer (can’t remember it they were married at that time or not). He was intent on building a case for Christ from the start and, courtroom lawyer-like, minimized or ignored anything that wouldn’t support the case he wanted to build.

        I would be interested in hearing how you two came to your conclusions that your beliefs about God and the Bible are true. My journey to the dark side actually started by reading apologitcs as a believer and finding them seriously lacking in credible logic. Then, I compared what the Bible said about history, the natural world, and human nature and such and compared it to what we know about history, the natural world, and human nature and the Bible really didn’t come close.

      • Sorry for all the typos in my post. Friends don’t let friends type without spell-check.

      • It’s my opinion that the Strobel and McDowell books are only effective at confirming the beliefs of the believers, and nothing more.

        This is really the true aim of apologetics. I’ve not seen any apologetics that hold up to critical thinking, and, I’m sorry, but its a pretty poor truth if it can’t hold up to critical thought.

  8. Steve. My friend. You are such a huge encouragement to me. As soon as I get my health back and I have a reliable car to drive I want to hit the streets with you. Lord willing. Keep the amazing post coming and I understand the few comment thing. Hardly anyone ever comments on my blog posts when I have time to post one but occasionally I get an email from some that lets me know they are being encouraged so press on. God bless you!

  9. I thank the Lord for you, brother. You certainly have and continue to be of constant encouragement to me since I came across your blog several years ago. Press on in the good fight. There are probably more in the wings who have and are benefitting from Stone the Preacher than you know. The main thing to remember is that through this form of encouragement, not matter how many do or don’t read blogs of this sort, God is being glorified. Onward Christian blogger!

  10. Hi Steve

    Well said my brother.. By using the law in a gracious, loving and humble manner God does speak…I have had some great encounters with those willing to hear the law and actually thanking me afterwards that they now understand what the gospel is all about..

  11. Steve,

    While you are right about a good amount of atheists posting, I think you’re leaving out people like Nohm. I don’t see him ridiculing you, but he seems to genuinely want to learn what we believe and why. I think he gets frustrated, as do others like him (which are few).

    I think one additional step you can take, and then I think you can say you’ve turned all stones, is give them a few links to sites they can find on Google. Consider it a Tuesday post. That way they have links and no excuses.

  12. Just wanted to let you know Steve that I receive a lot of encouragement from your blogs… I always need the gentle but firm proddings to get back out there and share my faith with those around me. And if at any time I think I can slack off, wouldn’t you know it, but within the space of a week, there you go again in another blog stating the importance and ultimately the privilege of sharing the Gospel! 🙂 You were a huge motivation during the Ambassadors Academy, and I know that you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk; you lead by example. I thank you for your faithfulness in both preaching the Gospel to the lost and encouraging us to do the same!

    P.S. I also received great encouragement from your blog about continuing to witness to others even after blowing it (either through pride, arrogance, or selfishness). It came at a most perfect time!

  13. I am reminded of a quote (by Spurgeon of course – I love that guy!) He said, “If there existed only one man or woman who did not love the Savior, and if that person lived among the wilds of Siberia, and if it were necessary that all the millions of believers on the face of the earth should journey there, and every one of them plead with him to come to Jesus before he could be converted, it would be well worth all the zeal. labor, and expense. If we had to preach to thousands year after year, and never rescued but one soul, that one soul would be full reward for all our labor, for a soul is of cou;ntless price”

    and let me add, that if just one Christian is led to take a step out of his/her comfort zone to “do something, do something, do something” (again Spurgeon) then you have succeeded. I am a life that was changed personally by your faithfulness to preach the biblical gospel to the seemingly uninterested crowds of Redondo Beach. And knowing that you (and others like Paul L, Richard C. Tony M. and Ray C.) are out there on the front lines, spurs me on to take the next step and not give up even when things are frustrating and look hopeless. I remember the story of Mr. Genor on George Street in Sydney, Australia. He was faithful to pass out tracts for 40 years and never heard of any fruit until 2 weeks before he went home to be with the Lord. (if you need encouragement, just google “I got off at George Street”)

    And to any atheists out there, you think you are so clever to attack the Christians and try to out argue them, but we know how the story ends. Jesus wins and we really care about where you will spend eternity.

    • And to any atheists out there, you think you are so clever to attack the Christians and try to out argue them, but we know how the story ends. Jesus wins and we really care about where you will spend eternity.

      And a Muslim would say the same general thing to you; they know how the story ends… Allah wins and Muslims really care about where you will spend eternity.

      • Nohm: what I meant by this comment is that some (not all) atheists appear to get some pleasure out of being able to “out-argue” Christians thinking that they have accomplished something. According to the Bible that we believe, Jesus wins in the end. and so atheists may have won the argument, for us it doesn’t change the final out come and it’s because we do care about where people will spend eternity that we continue to share despite the opposition. A person of another faith may have a different idea about such things and they must live according to what they believe as well. In the end, all religions can be wrong, but they cannot all be right. See my other comment reply above.

      • Hi Laurie,

        When you say: “what I meant by this comment is that some (not all) atheists appear to get some pleasure out of being able to “out-argue” Christians thinking that they have accomplished something.

        Is it possible that you’re trying to read their minds, and not succeeding? What makes you think that this is their actual intention?

        According to the Bible that we believe, Jesus wins in the end. and so atheists may have won the argument, for us it doesn’t change the final out come and it’s because we do care about where people will spend eternity that we continue to share despite the opposition.

        I commpletely agree, with emphasis on “According to the Bible that [you] believe,“.

        You wrote: “person of another faith may have a different idea about such things and they must live according to what they believe as well.

        Laurie, my point is this: what would be your reaction if a Muslim said the same thing to you? Would you take it seriously? If you don’t take “Allah wins in the end” seriously, then why should we take your statement about “Jesus wins in the end” seriously?

      • Nohm: you asked, Is it possible that you’re trying to read their minds, and not succeeding? What makes you think that this is their actual intention?

        many atheists I have interacted with have a very smug attitude and when they are able to “stump the Christian” they have this “so ha” attitude that is what I meant when I said some atheists just like to feel like they have “out-argued” a Christian. I have also spoken with other atheists who are much more humble and are genuinely seeking to make sense of the whole “which religion, if any, is right” It is a very confusing thing to figure out and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I have researched the validity of the Bible, I have researched the claims of Christ and I have personally experienced God’s transformation in my life.

        you also asked: what would be your reaction if a Muslim said the same thing to you? Would you take it seriously? If you don’t take “Allah wins in the end” seriously, then why should we take your statement about “Jesus wins in the end” seriously?

        bottom line is we would have to agree to disagree. I can share why I believe Jesus is the only way and a Muslim can share why he believes Allah is the only way, the fact of the matter is that neither of us is going to “convince” the other. It is up to each person to “research” and see what is true. And in our culture where people think that whatever is true for me is true, and whatever is true for you is true, it makes it very different. Just because I believe something doesn’t make it true. Something is true even if no one believes it.

        I said this above in another line of comments: Jesus came not to start a new religion, but he came to show us the true reality of what God is like, who He is. He made some outrageous claims – He claimed to be the One True God. Either he was lying, or he was crazy or he was telling the truth. The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (a former atheist who set out to disprove Christianity) is a great book for more about proof of Christ and his claims. He alse wrote Case for Creator and Case for Faith. Another book is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. If you are really seeking some answers to some common questions and objections, please check them out. I’d even be willing to send them to you.

        Knowing what to believe is very important and I hope you continue to seek the truth. 🙂

      • Hi Steve,

        It’s a metaphorical hat that I’m taking off to Vin and Swan. 🙂

        I do not have to wear a hat to work, nor do I usually ever wear a hat; I’m almost 40 and still have all my hair, so I have to show that off. 😉

      • Hi Laurie,

        You wrote: “many atheists I have interacted with have a very smug attitude and when they are able to “stump the Christian” they have this “so ha” attitude that is what I meant when I said some atheists just like to feel like they have “out-argued” a Christian.

        My questions still stand:

        Is it possible that you’re trying to read their minds, and not succeeding? What makes you think that this is their actual intention?

      • Vin wrote:
        “Truth is universal, if something is true than it is empirical.”

        The resurrection, the Virgin birth, the sinless nature of God and the like cannot be validated empirically , so they must be believed by faith. This is the fundamental and crucial difference between your world view and “ours!” BTW, have you ever been in love?

        Your discourse basically boils down to you asking this question:

        ” what evidence can you put forth that shows…. that the Bible is written by God and infallible, and not the work of delusional people, story tellers, or con artists.”

        I learned many years ago that the shortest distance between pt. A and pt. B is a straight line, or the straightest under the circumstances! Now, simplistic as it may seem, here is my answer:
        “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
        (2 Peter 1:21 ESV)

      • @ Steve L.

        “The resurrection, the Virgin birth, the sinless nature of God and the like cannot be validated empirically , so they must be believed by faith. This is the fundamental and crucial difference between your world view and “ours!” BTW, have you ever been in love?”

        But why is faith useful or better than empirical evidence? The whole of human history is made up of men and women believing or “knowing” the “truth”. Men believed by faith that the sun revolved around the earth. Men believed by faith that a global flood covered the earth. And men “KNEW” as “revealed truth” that the world was a flat disc afloat upon the deep and not a sphere. And they were all wrong. So what good or useful is this ‘revealed truth’ when it has a proven track record of failure Steve L. ? Was God wrong then… or is ‘revealed truth’ simply assumed knowledge that people pass around amongst members of their religious faith and to their children that merely persists in defiance of physical evidence. Why is that better Steve that man should live in ignorance when there are discoveries being made every day that shed new light onto the inner workings of reality?

        As far as love is concerned, yes I have been in love, its an amazing feeling that I quite enjoy when it hits me. If you’re asking how I can prove that with evidence, I can demonstrate it by my actions, my words, changes in body chemistry, or they can hook me up to an EKG or similar medical scanner and see which centers of my brain light up when the object of my affections is mentioned, and then cross reference those with the areas of the brain that have been linked to emotion, empathy, attraction, generosity, caring, etc. etc.

      • “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

        That is something you take on faith and I can’t for the life of me see why that should be taken on faith. It’s not like cons and unethical people don’t exist and it’s not like people don’t get duped into believing what they want to be true as opposed to what is really true.

      • Steve L. wrote:

        “The resurrection, the Virgin birth, the sinless nature of God and the like cannot be validated empirically , so they must be believed by faith. This is the fundamental and crucial “difference” between -your- world view and “ours!”

        Vin’s reply:

        But why is faith useful or better than empirical evidence?

        I don’t understand how you can question my statement the way you did! I made no mention of “useful or better”; only a “distinct difference!”

        Jesus said to Thomas in Jn. 20:29 these words: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have “not seen” and yet have believed.” (my emphasis) These words are just a relevant today as they were 2000 yrs. ago! For all who put their faith and trust in the gospel of Christ, it’s a matter of “walking by faith and not by sight!” 2 Cor. 5:7

        That’s as “simple” and as short as I can make it!

    • Laurie, question, without proof or evidence, how can one determine whether or not the Bible is written by a God, by delusional people, or by con artists? If you say faith determines its truth to you, what do you say to people who have believed things that are not true (illness is caused by demons and not germs from Martin Luthor comes to mine) on faith. And why would you trust faith when it has a track record of being wrong on so many topics from science, to medicine, or even history?

      • see my comment above about “proof” but I am wondering what you mean by: “why would you trust faith when it has a track record of being wrong on so many topics from science, to medicine, or even history?”

      • Hello vintango2k,
        I have just read your reply, and have decided to answer your questions.

        vintango2k: “without proof or evidence, how can one determine whether or not the Bible is written by a God, by delusional people, or by con artists?”

        Since you have not given any evidence that there is no evidence that supports the Bible, I am very curious on how you came to believe this statement. After all, even secular historians will admit that there is a great deal of archaeological support for the accounts in Scripture. So I must ask, do you have a good, logical reason to dismiss the Bible, or is it just an uneducated guess and opinion? Besides, if the Bible were not the Word of God, then what would be the foundation of the Laws of logic, reason, morality, or science. If evolution were true then everything would be relative and up to the individual to discern. All these things would make sense if there is a God who created the universe, and placed these Laws in it. But without the Bible, science and morality and logic, would just be an opinion to the individual.

        vintango2k: “If you say faith determines its truth to you, what do you say to people who have believed things that are not true (illness is caused by demons and not germs from Martin Luthor comes to mine) on faith.”

        I’m sorry you misunderstood the Christian worldview. What Christians mean is that God through His Holy Spirit, revealed to us that the Bible is true, just like a station on the TV reveals to us that the TV works. We don’t have blind faith, we have the truth revealed to us. In reference to your question “what do you say to people who have believed things that are not true (illness is caused by demons and not germs from Martin Luthor comes to mine) on faith”, I would say to them that they are just claiming this out of there own opinion. Now, we know that the Bible is true because if it were not then what would be the foundation of right or wrong? If evolution were true then there is no ultimate foundation for logic, science, and morality. It would just be an opinion.

        vintango2k: “And why would you trust faith when it has a track record of being wrong on so many topics from science, to medicine, or even history?”

        I suppose and guess that you are referring ‘faith’ to the Bible. Where is your evidence that the Bible is wrong “on so many topics from science, to medicine, or even history”? What is your reasoning that this is so? Do you have evidence that the Bible has these mistakes on those topics you mentioned, or is it just a naive opinion?

        It is very sad to see that you have misunderstood the Christian worldview. Have you ever heard the Christian message? Do you know that if you’ve told one lie, that that is enough to make you guilty and send you to hell? Did you know that Christ died for you so you wouldn’t have to go to hell? And have you heard that all you have to do to be saved is repent, and trust in Jesus? Don’t let yourself dismiss Christianity because of your opinion. Repent and Trust in Jesus today.

      • Since you have not given any evidence that there is no evidence that supports the Bible, I am very curious on how you came to believe this statement.

        – Wow… Evidence of No evidence? That’s an interesting phrase. Furthermore that’s not my job! If there is evidence in the Bible that better describes what we have found in reality than what we have discovered through science THEN PRESENT IT, show how it BETTER explains a phenomenon in nature or reality than what we’ve discovered through testing and empirical observation and furthermore explain WHY it explains it better. If the argument has merit than you MAY be onto something.

        “After all, even secular historians will admit that there is a great deal of archaeological support for the accounts in Scripture.”

        GOOD, that’s kind of getting warmer, if you have a specific example of something discovered on site in the middle east that can only be described by supernatural means than present it, I want to hear it! If ‘secular historians’ agree on something in particular then post what it is! If ‘secular historians’ all agree that the city of Jericho existed and its written about in the Bible then great! But Spider-Man comics often feature New York City as a backdrop, it doesn’t mean a friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man exists just because New York City has been discovered.

        “So I must ask, do you have a good, logical reason to dismiss the Bible, or is it just an uneducated guess and opinion?”

        I could go on at length about this one, but I’ll summarize by saying that a book that claims itself to be an infallible source of knowledge should not contain errors nor require apologetics to defend itself. I will say its not uneducated guess or opinion though, it more has to do with what I’ve learned in school, science, lectures, etc. etc. etc. and the conclusions that are drawn from those sources which makes the Bible look wanting or just incorrect by comparison. The Catholics defend this by saying parts of the Bible are allegorical, Protestants deal with it in a variety of different ways, either by allegory claim or by burying their heads in the sand.

        “Besides, if the Bible were not the Word of God, then what would be the foundation of the Laws of logic, reason, morality, or science.”

        Can you please point to chapter and verse in the Bible where God talks about…

        – The Laws of Logic
        – The Laws of Reason
        – The Laws of Morality
        – The Laws of Science

        Did he write the laws of logic down on stone tablets? You could argue the laws of morality = the ten commandments but why are there countless other moral situations (some of which can be extremely dubious like cannibalism of the dead in a desperate situation when trapped in the mountains etc. or whether or not killing in times of war is a sin or not) Can you point to ANYTHING… ANYTHING at all when it comes to the LAWS OF SCIENCE in the Bible that are correct? Can the blood of birds cure leprosy? (Leviticus 14:2-52) Is the Earth spherical or cylindrical? What is the firmament? How can the stars fall to the Earth when they are millions of times the size of the Earth and several million light years away?

        “If evolution were true then everything would be relative and up to the individual to discern. ”

        If evolution were true? Evolution is true, and the knowledge of self-replicating systems that copy themselves with variation and survive due to environmental pressures doesn’t offer up any advice, command, or will on how to govern yourself or behave morally, it is merely a biological process that has been observed, tested, and supported by the natural sciences after surviving over a hundred years of falsification attempts, and only enhanced by an increasing stockpile of evidence.

        “All these things would make sense if there is a God who created the universe, and placed these Laws in it. But without the Bible, science and morality and logic, would just be an opinion to the individual.”

        You’re beginning to sound like Eric Hovind and his grand pre-suppositional argument of “You must agree with my position before you debate me” position. Don’t you find that juvenile? Forgive me if you’ve never heard it but your post sounds familiar is all. There are complexities to logic and morality that are not discussed in the Bible or worse are contradicted in the Bible (Love your Enemy vs. Old Testament SLAUGHTER your enemy, killing of infants, etc etc. take your pick). Again I ask, please point out chapter and verse for the Laws of Logic, I would enjoy reading them, please quote the verse where God tells Abraham that A can not Not be A, or something along those lines that have been made up frustrated Christian Apologists.

        Additionally, science is NOT an opinion, I don’t see how you could post something like that. Is it an opinion the penicillin is a valid medical treatment or IS IT A FACT?

        I would also pose the question to you, “Is putting green socks on your feet Right or Wrong?” “Is it morally Good or Bad to put green socks on your feet?”

        Most people would answer that that is just a matter of opinion or that it may be situational. Often cases this is also true of many morale arguments depending on the severity we with which we gauge them as human beings. Green socks may be trivial to us as humans, but if there existed a fictional race of intelligent creatures on this planet that were slaughtered by similar fictional green sock wearing people, the wearing of green socks might be morally reprehensible.
        Morality is the product or emergent property of humans existing in this world. Take away humans and human relationships and the idea of murder, theft, rape, lying, etc. fall by the wayside, they are contingent upon humans and humans existing in a relatively similar state. What I mean by relatively similar I mean genetically, hormonally, physically, mentally, we are pretty much similar in comparison to other animal ring species (ie. we don’t have pockets of humans running around the planet that are incapable of interbreeding with other pockets of humans).

        So when surveyed you can find statistical norms when it comes to certain crucial survival behaviors (such as, don’t murder your own tribe, don’t steal from your own tribe, etc.) that we possess BECAUSE we have evolved as social, intelligent beings. These are not opinions they are typically (I use the term typically because there is always variation in biologically and for every 1000 average people you may get one sociopath) hard wired into you and are observed in adolescent behavior on through adulthood.

        In all cases dealing with morality and human interaction, they’re almost always complex. (Is killing a person in a time of war, bad or good? What if its an act of aggression against an evil power, but the man who is killed is a conscript being forced to fight?) Rarely are you ever afforded black and white scenarios, and rarely do we ever, as social, intelligent lifeforms deviate from the golden rule when assessing our own personal morality… unless you involve religion =)

        “I’m sorry you misunderstood the Christian worldview. What Christians mean is that God through His Holy Spirit, revealed to us that the Bible is true, just like a station on the TV reveals to us that the TV works.”

        A TV is a physical object that can observed and tested to see it is working by everyone. As a result we accept the concept of TV stations, when the claims of the Bible are tested and observed and seen to be working by everyone than they too will be accepted. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence etc. etc. If you have some please present it.

        “We don’t have blind faith, we have the truth revealed to us.”

        Truth is universal, if something is true than it is emperical. Running makes your heart race faster, this can be demonstrated by anyone, and therefore does not require in special revealing… merely an education.

        “In reference to your question “what do you say to people who have believed things that are not true (illness is caused by demons and not germs from Martin Luthor comes to mine) on faith”, I would say to them that they are just claiming this out of there own opinion.”

        Then, WHERE, do you draw the line between “revealed truth” and opinion. Martin Luthor KNEW ailments were the work of the Devil and claimed biblical revelation. He was wrong. Just like some Christians believe the Earth is 6000 years old. They are wrong.

        “Now, we know that the Bible is true because if it were not then what would be the foundation of right or wrong? If evolution were true then there is no ultimate foundation for logic, science, and morality. It would just be an opinion.”

        Again, is wearing green socks right or wrong? Please point to the verse of the Bible that condemns this.

        You also seem to be hung up on ultimate foundation. As I mentioned above, there are going to be some things as a social, intelligent, lifeform that are going to be …nearly… universally… ultimate but other things that are not depending on the situation. You can find some universality in logical concepts, such as A being A and not Not A, but these are abstract concepts… not Biblical ones as far as I’m aware. Chapter and verse would help! And again… science is not an opinion, it may be my opinion that a tablet of cyanide could cure your headache, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to swallow it!

        “I suppose and guess that you are referring ‘faith’ to the Bible.”

        No you could refer to faith in any example where it is wrong, I have placed faith in friends who recount the actions of certain events in history due to trust of their knowledge and found that they were wrong due to a mountain of evidence to the contrary (ie. the first president of the US was Herbert Hoover when it was actually George Washington) I’m claiming that faith is a poor and often lazy substitute for evidence, observation, and evidence and possesses a bad track record. It IS necessary though because of our limitations as humans as we often do not possess the time, or mental capacity to fact check, observe, test, read up on absolutely everything everywhere at all times. But it should never be ‘blind’, if new evidence is brought forth than it must be considered and ultimately your faith, your positions, maybe even your world view must change in accordance… otherwise you’re merely fighting reality. (I INSIST that Herbert Hoover was the first President of the USA!)

        “Where is your evidence that the Bible is wrong “on so many topics from science, to medicine, or even history”?

        Bird’s blood curing leprosy? Rabbits that chew there cud? 4 legged insects? Since it also claims that bats are birds, a simple comparison between birds and bats reveals that genetically bats are not birds, the Bible would just be wrong. Furthermore its not my job to prove its wrong, its your job to prove it’s RIGHT. There’s a reason our court system works off of innocent until proven guilty for example, when a murder occurs, everyone on the planet is not suddenly guilty of the crime until they are proven innocent. Guilt is the CLAIM being made and the evidence available must support it… otherwise the person is considered innocent as that is the null, defacto state. Not making a claim, is the null, defacto state, and its not my position, responsibility or job to prove that state, the Laws of Science, Morality, Logic etc. are a claim that you are making and using the existence of the Bible to somehow explain. Please explain this position. Once you have then there can be debate.

        What is your reasoning that this is so? Do you have evidence that the Bible has these mistakes on those topics you mentioned, or is it just a naive opinion?”

        Yikes… no need to get snarky… but than again that might just be my naive opinion =) I realize passive aggressive is better than aggressive but really you’re allowed to get upset or outraged.

        “It is very sad to see that you have misunderstood the Christian worldview. Have you ever heard the Christian message? Do you know that if you’ve told one lie, that that is enough to make you guilty and send you to hell? Did you know that Christ died for you so you wouldn’t have to go to hell? And have you heard that all you have to do to be saved is repent, and trust in Jesus? Don’t let yourself dismiss Christianity because of your opinion. Repent and Trust in Jesus today.”

        I’ve heard the message thank you, but please… prove it. I pose the question to you, going on faith or ‘revealed truth’ , as opposed to empirical observation, testing, and falsification trials of reality, what evidence can you put forth that shows…. that the Bible is written by God and infallible, and not the work of delusional people, story tellers, or con artists. What is the evidence of one conclusion over another? And if you’re not going off of evidence, and merely claiming faith, why is faith better than evidence… especially when… again… faith has a proven track record of being WRONG.

      • Hi Joshua,

        I realize I’m not Vin, but I’ll respond in kind as well. Feel free to call me Swan, if you wish.

        Since you have not given any evidence that there is no evidence that supports the Bible, I am very curious on how you came to believe this statement.
        This sentence has a lot of logical gaps in it. First and foremost, it is impossible to provide a lack of evidence as actual evidence, unless I’m completely missing what you’re trying to say. If you want to say that no rebuttals have been provided to the supposed ‘evidence’ of the Bible, well I’m afraid you’re mistaken on many levels. More to the point, those who are making the positive assertion – in this case “There is a deity, and that deity is the one discussed in the Bible” – must provide evidence to support that assertion.

        After all, even secular historians will admit that there is a great deal of archaeological support for the accounts in Scripture. So I must ask, do you have a good, logical reason to dismiss the Bible, or is it just an uneducated guess and opinion?
        Secular historians do indeed admit that the places mentioned in the Bible exist. It isn’t uncommon for many works to reference actual geographical places. However, what is argued about is not where the events supposedly took place, but whether they took place at all.

        Besides, if the Bible were not the Word of God, then what would be the foundation of the Laws of logic, reason, morality, or science.
        Let’s tackle these one at a time. First off, in case you didn’t know, the Laws of logic can and have changed over time, based on new discoveries of different scopes of our universe. Quantum logic, for instance, is not the same as classical logic, which certainly isn’t the same as fuzzy logic. Reasoning is merely the ability to apply these principles in our decisions. Morality is a whole side issue at this point, which as a preview I’ll go ahead and state that people’s morality stems primarily from empathy, followed by nurture. The Inuits, for instance, engage in infanticide without any sense of guilt or shame for doing so.

        If evolution were true then everything would be relative and up to the individual to discern.
        That’s not true at all. If evolution is true (and spoiler alert – it is), then all that would tell us is how species evolved over time. Evolution, in and of itself, does not comment on morality.

        All these things would make sense if there is a God who created the universe, and placed these Laws in it.
        While you would argue that it makes sense (I, of course, would seriously disagree with that statement), it doesn’t actually make your case any more valid. Comfort or easy explanations are not evidence – verifiable, objective lines of reasoning are evidence.

        But without the Bible, science and morality and logic, would just be an opinion to the individual.
        See above.

      • Hi all,

        I was going to respond to Joshua’s post last night, but work became a priority and I didn’t have time to write my post here. Now I read Vin’s and Swan’s posts, and all I can say is:

        My hat is off to you both. Great job on the replies. 😀

      • Nohm,

        Do you have to wear a hat at your work? Does it have ears? 🙂

      • Hi Steve,

        It’s not a real hat. 😀

      • The ears. Mouse ears. Get it?

      • Yes, I know who Mickey Mouse is, but I don’t get the joke.

      • Nothing Josh? Well darn, I was hoping for further conversation.

  14. Although I haven’t commented for awhile, i read your blog nearly everyday. This and a few other blogs sites encourage me to continue sharing my faith. Thank you for helping me mature in the faith and in the area of evangelism.

  15. Keep Fighting the Good Fight, Steve.

    Your work is an encouragement!

  16. Steve you would be pleased to know we pass out tracts almost everyday.
    So many people are discouraged these days because of the economy.

    I often give a small gift alone with the tract to some of the recipients who really look like they are in need.

    God is good all the time!

  17. Hi Pastor Steve,
    Keep on doing what God called you to do He has given you a great boldness to be on fire to preach the WORD through Evangelism God is using you to encourage so many. I can’t wait to share my tracts this week your class is great!!!!
    By the way I shared my faith week but I didn’t have a tract on hand at the moment hope that counts. =)

  18. The atheists that come over here are generally all from the same place. It is no surprise to me how they behave themselves. Why the couple “good” and intelligent atheists like to associate themselves with and hang out with the atheists who have gotten banned from this blog is a mystery to me.

    If you lie down with the dogs you wake up with fleas.

    • I take it that you wouldn’t do well in a prison ministry, then.

    • Why the couple “good” and intelligent atheists like to associate themselves with and hang out with the atheists who have gotten banned from this blog is a mystery to me.

      It wouldn’t be such a mystery if you’d take the time to interact with them honestly.

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