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Loving Lawless Lovers of the Lord

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Periodically, I re-post articles from the past to encourage those who practice Biblical evangelism. This one I include in my 10 week class. I hope you find this helpful:

Even though there is a wealth of evidence from Scripture, history, and the great teachers of the past (including Jesus, Paul, Peter, Martin Luther, Wesley and Spurgeon) in regard to the efficacy of using the 10 Commandments in a Gospel presentation, you will still face the greatest opposition when sharing your faith in this way from… Christians!

Yes, Christians.

Some of the most difficult people to reason with are religious people, people of faith… nay, followers of Christ.

Make sure that when you share this Biblical principle of using the Law with a believing friend that you remain reasonable. Don’t fight. Don’t argue about it. Remain calm. Take a deep breath and… let them listen to “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” or direct them to the Living Waters website where they can hear this teaching for free. I have found that some “get it” while others don’t. That’s okay. Remember, it is Hell’s best kept secret.

If your Christian brethren insult the teaching, the teacher, or even you, understand that there are a few underlying motives for their opposition:

  1. They probably don’t share their faith on a regular basis and feel threatened when you do.
  2. They are afraid.
  3. Possibly, they may not even be Christians.

So what should you do? What is the proper response from an evangelist who is highly effective, but faces opposition from Christians who reject all convincing arguments that using the Law is the most biblical way in reaching the lost?

Do what Jesus did.

When the rich young ruler told Jesus that he had kept all the Commandments since birth, how did He respond to the ruler’s ignorance? He didn’t go into a tizzy and screw up his witness. He refused to huff and puff and blow the man down. And He resisted calling lightning down from Heaven.

No, Jesus simply challenged the young man on what he believed, then looked at him…

…and loved him.

18 Comments

  1. Greetings to all of you that are presently involved in this particular ministry. My name is Keith Bray and it is a privilege to say that I have known Steve for many years. It is my intent to open a discussion related to this ministry, and to open our dialogue withing the context of this

    This present correspondence Steve likes to refer to me as an “apologist,” which is most commonly and broadly undertood as to refer to someone that defends the faith and/or present arguments to non-believers for the truth claims of Christianity–although the purpose of apologetics goes way beyond simply presenting a positive case for Christianity. For example, apologeics (1) builds up the confidence in the Christian (or evangelist)

    I have chosen to write a public response (knowing that it may not be too well received by Steve and others–especially after reading this particualar article [yicks]), because you are all apologists. That is to say, you all have a biblical duty to provide a reason for the truth claims of Christianity. Analogously, when someone walks up the staircase at Hope Chapel on Sunday morning and asks you, a Christian, where th

    I have also chosen to write a public article because I am somewhat perplexed at the hostility and “seeming” spiritual arrogance that one can derive given the content of this particular article (which I read when it was first written) prompted both confirmed and numerous internal issues, the best approach would have been to have a personal conversation with Steve about the issues to which I will hopefully be able to engage all of you over the next few weeks.

    However, I have The following article, or picture of a particular story, is an exercise in what can only be described as a quiet revolution to some, but is a glaringly fact to others; namely, there is something terribly wrong with of the value of reason and intellectual development for individual discipleship in the church; thus, forever perverting our the present understanding of faith, which has now become to be seen at odds with knowledge and reason. Historically, this was never the case, and any dissenter can corroborate this painfully obvious fact by reviewing the entirety of church history, starting from the church fathers who waged notorious intellectual battles against heresies that sought to define theological and biblical concepts about the nature of God and belief in God, and up to the Great Awakenings and mid-1800’s. Luckily, this intellectual heritage spilled over into the United States before a full-blown fidiesm in conjunction with an enlightenment worldview could completely overtake every facet of knowledge in the public square. Indeed, if it were not the case that our divinely enabled predecessors took stock in what we shall call the Christian mind, then it is pretty good speculation that the contemporary ministry of evangelism and evangelical landscape in America would very much resemble the landscape in Europe and other non third-world countries. That is to say, in developed countries that have reached a melancholy of abundance, strong intellectual barriers against the ultra mundane are intelligently formed and articulated by even the average citizen, and such arguments typically presents the main obstacle to faith in Christ–regardless of the spiritual and moral reasons the non-believer seeks to hold such arguments. After all, like people in general, the Holy Spirit is probably going to show up where He is most welcome. In Germany or France–like England–their object of worship is the “Christ of faith,” not the historical, or real, Jesus. The Christ of faith is either the Jewish equivalent of a Greek Cynic philosopher, or was a figure mythologically conjured up by the apostolic writers–i.e., it is possible that Jesus, the man, never even existed!
    This revolution was started by Jesus himself over two-thousand years ago. We know that some time during his thirties He chose a handful of ordinary people to become His students–to learn from Him by hearing and observing what He did. He was their teacher and they were his students. After His death and resurrection, these ordinary men began to do extraordinary things, much like Jesus performed prior to His crucifixion. After His death and resurrection, these ordinary men began to say and teach things that they had learned from Jesus prior (and after) His resurrection–“Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40). There should be no difference today. As Dallas Willard states, “Today it is the same, except now it is the resurrected Lord who walks throughout the world. He invites us to place our confidence in Him. Those who rely on Him believe that He knows how to live and will pour His life into us as we ‘take His yoke . . . and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart’ (Matthew 11:29, emphasis added).” In other words, Jesus is still our living teacher in the midst of His people.
    However, somewhere along the way, and for a multiplicity of reasons–many of which we shall explore below–we have lost the full meaning of what it means to be a teacher; and along with it, both the nature and content of teaching. Faith and a disciplined and well-informed minds are regarded as natural enemies to the secular world, and sadly, even within our own congregations–both implicitly and explicitly–there is certainly a tension. Dallas Willard remarks that living Jesus who is our teacher has “been removed by various historical developments” and He has now been “assigned the role of mere sacrifice for sin or social prophet and martyr. But where there is no teacher there can be no students or disciples.” Dr. Willard’s point has nothing to do with minimizing the import of the crucifixion; rather, the salient point is that there is something missing regarding the value placed on intellectual development within the context discipleship, whether that emphasis be on teaching, apologetics or evangelism–all of which are interconnected. On American soil this quiet revolution, which started in the 1960’s, has largely been isolated from our churches–in some case this has been intentional. In this series of unsolicited inquiries into the nature of we shall attempt to introduce, demonstrate and provide reasons why this quiet revolution should not remain so quiet

  2. Let me begin one last time with the hope that there are no further glitches. Perhaps God does not want me to write anything. However, I would prefer to believe that what I have to say is so important, Satan himself manifestied within this keyboard sending some random statement to an unsuspecting audience. I do like, however, how one of my previous articles was somehow cut-and pasted onto the first reply–I may just run with this one. This is what I hope to be the first installment of a springboard in speaking with some of you. Please forgive the length, but it is somewhat difficult to pack certain ideas into small bits.

    Again, greetings again as you now know my name. It is my intent to open a discussion related to Ray Comfort’s ministry, and to open a dialogue within the context of this this present article: “Loving Lawless Lovers of the Lord” whereby Steve states that even “Christians” have issues with Ray Comfort’s ministry and over his method of evangelism (“MOE”). Moreover, Steve has some very lofty and public claims about such “believers.” I can be counted among those that has a personal, theological and philosophical problems with Comfort’s apologetics and his MOE (although Comfort has many good things to say, is obviously a very warm personality, and great speaker).

    Steve’s letter serves as a good springboard for a sorely needed discussion because of the content of Steve’s article, and the content and nature of Ray Comfort’s ministry and teaching materials, much of which I have familiarized myself with over the past 6 months (including his main books, his 2 websites, speeches, and teaching materials). Although this ministry is about evangelism, it really follows under two formal categeries: apologetics and metapologetics (i.e., the study of the nature and methods of apologetics and evangelism). And it is within these two schools that I will try and spark some creative dialogue.

    That is to say, although this is a collateral reply to a specific article (“Loving Lawless Lovers of the Lord”), I am much more interested in both the teachings and the teaching materials of Ray Comfort, his overall MOE, including the scriptural, theological, and philosophical base from which he derives his overall MOE (unless otherwise indicated, when using the referent MOE, I mean his to include his entire program of “biblical evangelism,” which includes his 2-step evangelism method of presenting the Ten-Commandments prior to presenting the gospel, or “law-before-gospel” for brevity purposes (Comfort also refers to this as the “what did Jesus do” approach in The Way of the Master).

    That is to say, there are a multiplicity of issues riding on the wings of Ray Comfort’s overall MOE, which is a confusing hybrid of evangelism, apologetics, theology and his core 2-step metapologetic (i.e., the study of the nature and methods of apologetics), all mixed up into one tidy little package that is confused, simplistic, flatly wrong, and inconsistent.

    Like I accidentally stated, Steve has known me for many years and I know that Steve has nothing but good intentions. Therefore, this is not a reason to distrust Steve as he is simple a man (like the rest of us). Steve sometimes refers to me as an “apologist,” which is broadly undertood to refer to someone that defends the faith and/or presents arguments to non-believers for the truth claims of Christianity–although the purpose of apologetics goes way beyond simply defending Christianity (which will be laid out in a seperate correspondence).

    However, we are all apologists and we all have the same duty when it comes to fulfilling this particular obligation. Analogously, when someone walks up the staircase at Hope Chapel on Sunday morning and asks you if you know where the “minister” is located, your response should be to point to every believer that is within your view, because we are all ministers.

    I have chosen to write a public response (knowing that it may not be too well received) primarily because of the content of Steve’s article whereby those who disagree with Ray Comfort are simply called names (e.g., cowards, disobedient, and unbelieving), they probably don’t share their faith, or they are not saved in the first instance. If this article was not written, then I would have handled this matter differently as we all have too much drama in out lives.

    However, when a pastor (and someone I consider a friend) is so insulted and thinks people are personally attacking him simply because someone may disagree with Ray Comfort’s ministry, and then publically denounces the salvation of dissenter, and calls the dissenter an unbelieving coward, there is something amiss in the way we handle one another. (I have some personal speculations behind this whole-hearted loyalty to Ray Comfort but those will be saved for a personal meeting and will not be made public). Let me assure you that I am a Christian brother, and one that does share his faith (just not every day using a particular MOE).

    So what’s my problem? Haven’t I read these books and heard the tapes? Yes, I have. I think Ray Comfort sounds like a very friendly and humorous guy–I loved his sermon. I think he is a Chritian and a great many things that he states and writes are absolutely true. The problem is that he says and advocates many things that are NOT true–and this part of my reply will have to come to you in segments as I do not want to write too much in one day.

    Moreover, his “apologetics” and so-called arguments for “intelligent design” (“ID”) are completely misguided, and to the point of embarassment. Mr. Comfort is not an ID theorist, and for those of you that so not know, ID is essentially about epistemology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge, or justified, true, belief. More specifically, the ID movement is a culture war within the philosophy of science, and which deals with so-called demarcation theories as to what is to count as knowledge. There is a positive and negative aspect to the ID movement, and it is scary to have Mr. Comfort’s book “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists” printetd with “Dr.” Kent Hovind’s endorsement on the books cover, and who subsequently writes the forward to the bok. Mr. Hovind is a convicted felon that has a false Ph.D, and even young-earth creationsists have distanced themselves from his young-earth views (which are patently false–almost to the point of self-delusion).

    Like I stated, many of Mr. Comfort’s responses to very simple questions are simplistic, false and even unbiblical! Now that sounds like a real mouthful, and I do not think that Ray would intentional mislead others (at this point anyway). Tomrorow morning I am going to start with Ray’s response to the question–who made God?–as our first example. Please stay tuned as I am merely dealing with someone’s ideas–not their salvaton or motives. Like I said above, there are many good things that Mr. Comfort talks about.

    Again, my two primary and crucial concerns will be his apologetic writings, and his MOE or metapologetic, which is not necessarily false, but sorely wanting. So tomorrow morning (unless I am cut off), I will be addressing the question–who made God? For any you that read these e-mails, please bear with me for at least one day. I am not trying to attack you–I just want to help our church.

    Let me close about the mistakenly filed quote above in the previous reply. As I read it, there is no coincidence that the content was sent for a reason–there is something terribly wrong with of the value of reason and intellectual development for individual discipleship in the church; thus, forever perverting our the present understanding of faith, which has now become to be seen at odds with knowledge and reason. However, faith is not opposed to reason or knowledge: faith is only oppossed to sight.

    Moreover, study and proper thinking about doctrine is not only a good thing, but is also necessary in cultivating the spiritual discipline of maintaining a mind stayed on God. Unfortunately, the importance of this may not be clear enough to provide the reader motivation, let alone interest, in subject matter such as topics in theology and philosophy. Worse yet, there are some in our midst who believe such endeavors are irrelevant, meant for others, and/or hostile to the entire endeavor–especially towards apologetic argumentation.

    We sorely need to cultivate a mind stayed on God. Philosopher J.P. Moreland creatively states that “God loves good thinking. Indeed, God is the epitome of intellectual excellence. Knowledge may puff up, but the solution to arrogance is not ignorance–it’s humility (emphasis mine).” Good thinking presupposes that one forms and engages in good habits of study, which is its own spiritual discipline.

    “Study is a discipline that strengthens the mind and enriches the soul . . . We study, then, not simply to gain knowledge about the topic of study, but as a broader spiritual discipline. By way of application, it is important to read books from time to time as a form of spiritual discipline and intellectual exercise, even if the topic of a given book does not address one of our immediate, felt needs. If all we do is read simple books and those that overemphasize stories or practical application, we will never learn to think for ourselves as mature Christians, nor will we develop trained minds.”

    There are two sub-issues that underlie the “why bother” question: the first relating to the Scriptural mandates that we are to love our God with all of out mind; and, the second relates to reasons why we answer why. Regarding the latter sub-issue, I make no assumptions regarding the biblical or theological convictions of the reader when it comes their methodology in offering negative, positive (or no) arguments for the truth claims of Christian theism–an endeavor commonly known as apologetics. There there are many methodological approaches to this most virtuous of endeavors.

    For eample, some engage in positive apologetics, so named because one presents “positive” arguments for the truth of Christianity–e.g., arguments for the historicity of the resurrection of Christ. Others engage is “negative” apologetics where one simply defends objections to the truth of Christianity by providing rebutting and undercutting defeaters to arguments (e.g., God’s attributes are logically incompatible rendering the concept of God incoherent), largely because they believe positive apologetics unbiblically assume a burden of truth that presupposes the unbelievers worldview.

    According to apologist William Craig, “. . . the overall thrust of these two approaches remains quite distinct: the goal of offensive [positive] apologetics is to show that there is some good reason to think that Christianity is true, while the goal of defensive [negative’ apologetics is to show that no good reason has been given to think that Christianity is false.”

    For Steve and all of you that may not have the foggiest idea to which I am referring–you will. Lord wiling we can start tomorrow morning, and I will bring clarification to anyone that has a question. Good night and happy new year.

  3. Keith said:

    “That is to say, there are a multiplicity of issues riding on the wings of Ray Comfort’s overall MOE, which is a confusing hybrid of evangelism, apologetics, theology and his core 2-step metapologetic (i.e., the study of the nature and methods of apologetics), all mixed up into one tidy little package that is confused, simplistic, flatly wrong, and inconsistent.”

    and then:

    “Moreover, his “apologetics” and so-called arguments for “intelligent design” (“ID”) are completely misguided, and to the point of embarassment…

    Kent Hovind’s endorsement on the books cover, and who subsequently writes the forward to the bok. Mr. Hovind is a convicted felon that has a false Ph.D, and even young-earth creationsists have distanced themselves from his young-earth views (which are patently false–almost to the point of self-delusion).”

    It’s fantastic to see a theist who can appreciate this.

    I’m looking forward to your more level headed defence of faith.

  4. Interesting Keith, though I’d recommend a spell checker =) That aside you’re right about Hovind, and it was watching Hovind’s lectures that I learned about Ray Comfort because they’re apparently friends. The man is a fraud and a snake oil salesman so to speak, and the fact that there are still people around that defend him is laughable.

  5. Interesting Keith, though I’d recommend a spell checker =) That aside you’re right about Hovind, and it was watching Hovind’s lectures that I learned about Ray Comfort because they’re apparently friends. The man is a fraud and a snake oil salesman so to speak, and the fact that there are still people around that defend him is laughable.

    The problem is ID has failed in court, its failed in labs, its failed in general observation. If there were any merit to it, scientists, drug companies, and the medical community would be flocking to it if it were the dominant theory about the complexity and diversity of life forms on the planet Earth. ID IS a belief and/or philosophy, and one that is unprovable by science or basic observation. The only controversy that exists between evolution and ID is the controversy that is manufactured by the faithful (not just Christians, Jews and Muslims also don’t like their holy books contradicted). It exists because evolution, just like numerous other scientific revelations ie. the earth being round and going around the sun, jives with established scripture that was written by people who were, and lets be honest here, ignorant of these subjects, thousands of years ago.

    People, like Ken Hamm, have trouble reconciling this however, because if they think that scripture lied or was ignorant of the truth than that means that holy book is fallible because its supposed to be THE word of the infallible, all knowing, God, but yet evidence exists that goes against it. How do you reconcile this disconnect?

  6. @ Vin

    You confuse me. From reading past posts aren’t you Catholic?
    Are you Catholic because of the views you hold or maybe you were baptized as a baby?
    Kind of curious if you don’t mind me asking.

    Because your writing on this blog is almost more against God and against the Bible than the non-believers.

    So if you ARE a professing Catholic doesn’t that strike you as contradicting your own beliefs?

    Your thoughts?

  7. @ Dennis

    Said it before on this blog, lately I’ve been leaning more towards agnosticism than catholicism. While I was baptized as a baby I didn’t really have a say in the matter, religion was just taught to me at a young age like it is with most Christians and often they never question it. It wasn’t till I was exposed to other view points that I began to question what I believe in if anything at all.

    The reason I come to this blog is to find out what people believe and there’s such interesting conversation going on on most topics that it holds my interest and occasionally good points are brought up.

    I tend to throw in with the atheists or skeptics more because I’ve become far more skeptical of divine or magical claims as I’ve grown up as opposed to when I was a teenager or child. I’ve seen my fair share of hypocrites, charlatans, magicians, psychics, faith healers, and scam artists that I tend to take all of it with a grain of salt. It also helps that I’ve been exposed to science, the method, the progress, and how we got from point A to point B in a variety of different fields from physics to biology, and I find it stunning how some people can walk around wearing their ignorance of this progress and what we actually know like it were a badge of honor. I guess you could say I’m more of a rationalist and its my hope that others reading the posts or participating in them will think rationally as well or perhaps be challenged mentally by some of the discussion topics.

  8. Thanks Vin

    That explains a lot and that is pretty much my story as well up until 5 years ago that is.
    I was baptized into the Roman Catholic church as a baby and then went to a Catholic school up until the 6th grade. Did my Communion in the 4th grade with everyone else in my class not really knowing what it was all about but sure loving the gifts I received! Then when it came time for the confirmation in the 6th grade I was able to make my own decision and decided not to do it as I didn’t believe in any of the stuff I was being taught. Also going to Catholic Church only on Christmas for Mass (in Latin) didn’t really do anything for me.

    Fast forward 18 years later and after reading the Bible again as an adult and being challenged on my beliefs I came to realize that God does exist.
    Creation testifies to it. My conscience at that point in my life was absolutely screaming at me that what I was doing was SIN and that I would be accountable for all my actions in this life. It quickly led to repentance and faith in Christ. As I continued reading the Bible it basically confirmed what had already happened to me in my heart and spiritually. So it wasn’t the Bible that saved me. It was seeing myself as a sinner in desperate need for a Savior that saved me.

    Whenever I met someone before that claimed to be “born again” I would kind of laugh and be on my way. However now that this experience has happened to me whenever I meet someone that is born again it’s like they are an instant brother or sister in Christ. I can’t explain it – but it is just one of those things that shows that God really did a work in my heart and other people’s hearts. The desire to curse was taken away, the desire to drink and get drunk, all of it changed in one moment when I was given a new heart and new desires.

    Fast forward another 5 years and I am still growing in Christ and I am finding myself sharing about Jesus with strangers, handing out tracts, and even open air preaching.

    I still love science but I don’t have the faith in it as you do.
    Because I have always known that much of the language they use is:
    “could be” “might be” “theory” in other words – we’re not 100% sure but this is the best we can come up with. God doesn’t change He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. That’s where I am comfortable putting my faith.

  9. Dennis wrote:

    I still love science but I don’t have the faith in it as you do.

    I sincerely doubt that Vin has “faith” in science. I know I certainly don’t.

    Dennis, do you understand what the word “theory” means within the context of science? The way you use it above makes me think that you are mistaken about its definition. Please look it up so you understand what the word means in that context.

    Also, yes, science uses “the language of speculation”. And you suggest that God doesn’t change. All well and good. The problem is that, when it comes to understanding how things in reality (the sun, earth’s orbit, how eggs are laid, the tides, etc) work, do you know of a better method than the scientific method?

    Do you know of a religious method that answers any of these questions?

    We don’t use science as a alternate God; we use science as a method to understand how things work.

  10. Dennis, do you understand that the scientific definition of Theory isn’t the same as the colloquial definition?

  11. Hi Nohm

    I have looked up the definition of the word Theory on Wikipedia.
    Looks like it is derived from Greek word Theoria which means “a looking at, viewing, beholding”

    Theory in Science I then presume is saying this is how we look at, view, and behold this particular phenomena.

    That’s all fine and I don’t disagree with any of that. But then when it comes to say the beginning of the Universe and the way that science thinks, believes, or theorizes it all started I have an issue.
    In my observations science does everything possible to stay away from God being a possible cause and instead jumps through hoops to stay well clear of anything having to do with God or Intelligent Designer.

    Anyways – no problem with the scientific method when it is used properly.
    I love learning about what makes things tick and how our cells are put together. It’s truly mindboggling. As a matter of fact it is all the latest science that is making me more secure in my faith that God did all of it!

    There is no denying (in my opinion) that all this order, all this amazing complexity had indeed an intelligence behind it. That’s the only logical conclusion. The only honest conclusion. Yet most non-believers still to their dying breath will claim that it all came about by itself, randomly, uncaused, just pure chance, time, mutations, etc. Pfew. Here we go again. I think we’ll be having these discussions to the end of time???

    Anyways you all seem very intelligent so keep on searching.
    The truth will set you free – it did me!!! Praying for you.

  12. @ Dennis

    Its your belief and I respect it, what stretches my mind though are people who assert that understanding science is just as much faith as religion is as if the two were somehow on equal footing. And I do agree that science doesn’t give us the same certainty that religion does, but what is more important to you ultimately… that good feeling you feel when you meet other Christians (which is similar to good feelings other people get when they encounter people in the same social group as themselves), or accepting established science, despite its contradiction to the Bible, ie. the 7 day creation. The way I see it, you can’t have both an appreciation for science and strict adherence to the biblical dogma at the same time. The catholics have done it (after some prodding) as have some denominations of Protestants, its really only a matter of time before the rest do as well. Do you agree?

  13. Looks like it is derived from Greek word Theoria which means “a looking at, viewing, beholding”

    Theory in Science I then presume is saying this is how we look at, view, and behold this particular phenomena.

    Dennis, why would you look up Theory on Wiki, concentrate on etymology and ignore everything past the first paragraph?

    But there’s no need to presume anything. If you want to stay with wiki, google “scientific theory.” It has it’s own wiki page which includes a definition from the National Academy of Sciences and compares/contrasts scientific theories with scientific laws.

  14. Hi Vin

    It’s not so much faith in science as a whole (it covers so many areas after all) but mostly the science involved with the beginning of our universe, evolution, etc. To me it takes greater faith to believe what science thinks happened vs. what the Bible says happened.

    Also please don’t think that my faith and my continuing in it has anything to do with “good feelings” when I meet others that are in the faith.
    That would be absurd and extremely shallow. If you read the Bible you can catch the same one-mindedness all throughout scripture.

    I disagree with you when you say you can’t appreciate science and have a strict adherence to biblical dogma. Even your example of 7 day creation doesn’t really cause any problems. When you realize that God is very capabable to give an appearance of age. The earth might be 10,000 years old or it could be that time as we know it was different at the time of creation and therefore to us it seems like the universe began millions (or billions as science claims) years ago.

    Again it’s not an issue and I can still appreciate science while wholeheartedly believing that: Gen 1: In the beginning God….

  15. Dennis wrote:

    I have looked up the definition of the word Theory on Wikipedia.
    Looks like it is derived from Greek word Theoria which means “a looking at, viewing, beholding”

    Theory in Science I then presume is saying this is how we look at, view, and behold this particular phenomena.

    As perdita pointed out, I asked you to look up the scientific definition of the word, which is in the same article you looked at… so I’m a bit confused as to how you came away with that answer.

    Here’s the actual answer:

    “In scientific usage, the term “theory” is reserved for explanations of phenomena which meet basic requirements about the kinds of empirical observations made, the methods of classification used, and the consistency of the theory in its application among members of the class to which it pertains. These requirements vary across different scientific fields of knowledge, but in general theories are expected to be functional and parsimonious: i.e. a theory should be the simplest possible tool that can be used to effectively address the given class of phenomena. Such theories are constructed from elementary theorems that consist in empirical data about observable phenomena. A scientific theory is used as a plausible general principle or body of principles offered to explain a phenomenon.”

    Dennis, do you see how different that is from “guess”?

    But then when it comes to say the beginning of the Universe and the way that science thinks, believes, or theorizes it all started I have an issue.

    Dennis, are you convinced that you fully understand how science theorizes “it [the universe] all started”? Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from talking with people here is that what they think the scientists claim is actually not at all what the scientists claim.

    So I ask you to seriously ask yourself if you actually know and understand what is claimed. You might have been misinformed.

    In my observations science does everything possible to stay away from God being a possible cause

    Please give a couple of examples, because every Christian, Jewish and Muslim scientist would probably look at you quite strangely about this.

    Is it possible that you’re completely incorrect about this, and you’ve simply digested a particular narrative that might be misinformation?

    and instead jumps through hoops to stay well clear of anything having to do with God or Intelligent Designer.

    Dennis, it’s my guess that you haven’t followed the ID movement too much, given this comment of yours. Please give a couple of examples of this, because I’m betting that this is another area in which you’ve been misinformed.

    I’ll say this: if someone was to bring forward a theory of Intelligent Design, I would take it completely seriously. I encourage you to research *why* this hasn’t happened yet (and, to be clear, there’s nothing preventing anyone from putting up a theory of ID in ID-related publications… yet, they don’t), and learn about what happened in Dover, PA, in 2005.

    There is no denying (in my opinion) that all this order, all this amazing complexity had indeed an intelligence behind it.

    Wonderful. That’s your opinion. But how do you demonstrate this?

    That’s the only logical conclusion. The only honest conclusion.

    You are asserting this, but not demonstrating this. Why is this the only logical conclusion? Please display your argument that results in this being the only conclusion.

    How do you determine if something was intelligently designed or not?

    I think there’s a lot of this that you haven’t thought through yet, Dennis.

    Yet most non-believers still to their dying breath will claim that it all came about by itself,

    Strawman.

    randomly,

    Strawman.

    uncaused,

    Strawman.

    just pure chance,

    Oh my goodness what a strawman.

    time, mutations, etc.

    And it’s stuff like this that makes me think you haven’t spent much time researching this; what do “mutations” have to do with cosmology? Like certain other people, you seem to think that evolution and cosmology have something to do with each other. That’s incorrect.

    Have you ever even researched what the scientists are actually claiming? Because it appears to me that you got a lot of misinformation from anti-evolution and YEC sources.

    For example, I’m a “believer” in deterministic emergent properties. Yet I’ve found time and time again that, even though people can look up what that means when I mention it, they almost never do.

    Please prove me wrong there.

    Pfew. Here we go again. I think we’ll be having these discussions to the end of time???

    It’s an imaginary discussion because you’re building up classic strawman (like the whole “just pure chance” silliness) and knocking them down. If and when you ever deal with the actual claims, I’ll be very interested.

    Thank you, and be well.

  16. Dennis wrote:

    but mostly the science involved with the beginning of our universe, evolution, etc.

    Dennis, why do you bring up totally disparate issues? Do you understand that cosmology and evolution are completely different fields of study that have nothing to do with one another?

    This is what I was talking about above, and why I think you’ve been misinformed as to what the actual claims are.

    Like Ray, maybe you prefer the “street version” of evolution.

    To me it takes greater faith to believe what science thinks happened vs. what the Bible says happened.

    1. I’m of the belief, obviously, that you are misinformed as to “what science thinks happened”.

    2. Please demonstrate why it takes greater faith for the former than the latter.

  17. Re: scientific theories:

    Dennis, I think the best way to explain it is this:

    We have facts. Theories are used to explain facts.

    (And, to avoid confusion, no… theories do not become laws. Theories do not become anything. “Theory” is already the highest classification.)

  18. @ Dennis

    No faith is required to learn about and understand these theories Dennis, they’re the conclusions that sciencists… and might I had many of them are Christian or consider themselves Christian accept. Just like how we know the Earth is not the center of the universe, is not flat, and the sun doesn’t revolve around it. We have good theories about how the universe came into its current state and we have good theories on the diversity of lifeforms on this planet. We’ve begun to develop good theories on the origins of biological life forms on this planet but more work is required to unravel that particular mystery, in time we will figure this out and it will once again usurp biblical dogma.

    We can assume that time works differently for God in the case of creation but how in the world do we interpret or explain this, and further more why bother jumping through all these hoops when the answer is so obvious. That bronze age and iron mage mystics got the facts wrong, due to their limited understanding of the universe. This isn’t pride speaking, its fact, we have the advantage of history and progress on our side compared to our biblical forefathers.

    In the face of scientific progress, mysticism and superstition fades when the truth is discovered. Do you dare shed your ignorance and learn about scientific progress or do you hold it up like a shield in hopes that it will simply just go away? And finally, do you think God, who gave you free will and the ability to learn and grow, would be proud of this denial, that here you have the opportunity to learn how he shaped the course of biological life on this world and the process with which the universe was created, and you choose to simply ignore it?

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