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Atheist Tuesday: The Faith Clause

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I felt it necessary at this time to re-post this article from a year ago since so many new and fresh atheists have joined in the cacophony of criticism toward me, this blog, and my faith. This is the Ultimate Answer for all those who would wonder why, why, do I believe. I’m almost certain it will fall short of the answers you are looking for, but that’s okay. If you’ve read this before, unbelieving friend, then I invite you to read it again.

I will never answer the majority of the questions unbelievers have about God, questions that deal with proof that God exists; to do so would violate the “faith clause” that is a condition of becoming a Christian.

This part of the contract, which guarantees that a person who repents of their sins and trusts in Christ for forgiveness will have eternal life and not go to Hell, is not found in the fine print but is actually boilerplate stuff.

Here is the “Faith Clause”:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

You see, this is a problem for the atheist. They want proof that God exists first. But  their demand to “Show thyself!” falls on deaf ears. God inserted that clause after the fall of Adam, after his disobedience to the terms and conditions of the original contract.

Back in that day, God spoke directly to Adam. They were tight. But Adam, even in his unique relationship to God, had a special clause in his contract, too:

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

We know from the Bible that Adam violated the terms of the agreement sending the rest of the human race in a downward spiral of scum and villainy.

Now, for the most part, we no longer hear God’s voice audibly and he rarely shows himself visibly. Still, there are clues that he exists.

As Peter John Kreeft, Ph.D said, “And if that weren’t so, if there were something more or less than clues, it’s difficult for me to understand how we could really be free to make a choice about him. If we had absolute proof instead of clues, then you could no more deny God than you could deny the sun. If we had no evidence at all, you could never get there. God gives us just enough evidence so that those who want him can have him. Those who want to follow the clues will. “The Bible says, ‘Seek and you shall find.’ It doesn’t say everybody will find him; it doesn’t say nobody will find him. Some will find. Who? Those who seek. Those whose hearts are set on finding him and who follow the clues.”*

Then according to the response of the individual to those clues he will make himself known. After that we must fulfill our obligations to the further tenets of the Faith Clause.

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Now, hear this all you non-believers who demand proof! Read these words of Jesus who spoke them to the hypocrites of his day, too:

“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign [proof]! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.

Are you now ready to sign your life away?

Because you already have.

*****

*Peter John Kreeft Ph.D quote from “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, P.40, paperback edition.

Now read my article “Damning Proof” to understand why people would still go to Hell anyway if proof were provided.

147 Comments

  1. You know Steve, I’ll have to borrow that phrase “the faith clause” when talking to atheist. Thanks!

  2. Atheism is in practice just another religion. Man has just replaced God as the object of worship and faith.

  3. Great post Steve!

    It can be demonstrated and proven that 2+2 = 4. God’s existence cannot be demonstrated to unbelievers. Some people are going to look at the world and reflect upon their life experience and believe that there is a God and somepeople will never come to that conclusion.

  4. Yes, how dare someone expect you to provide evidence that the stories you say are true. Here, let me spin a web to explain why you must believe first.

    Basically you deny me any method of testing what you say is correct. Because clearly such a request is evil!

  5. “You know Steve, I’ll have to borrow that phrase “the faith clause” when talking to atheist. Thanks!”

    Eric, why would you use that phrase? What is your purpose in talking to atheists and how would that phrase help?

  6. BathTub wrote: Basically you deny me any method of testing what you say is correct. Because clearly such a request is evil!

    Me: Yes. It’s called faith. Take it or leave it. I like you anyway, bro. I would just like to spend more time with you after this life. Doesn’t look like that will happen at this rate….

  7. Interesting post Steve and one that nags at me the most I believe…

    If the goal of God is to get people to believe in itself, than why would it set up a system in this manner that is contradictory to the processes it instilled in us for survival and decision making. If we forgo increduality and accept faith blindly than we are essentially being rewarded for discarding rationality and critical thinking skills in favor of believing claims without evidence for them. Do you see where this can be a dangerous thing to reward? I mean I could TELL you you will receive a million dollars in ten years from a super natural being but you won’t believe it based on your rational decision making skills, and dismiss it. So why would a divinity capable of doing ANYTHING it wanted to, reward a person for suspending rationality in favor of blind faith. What does that say about its character?

    Also this contradicts the apparent goal of God, to use an example… as I so often do… the Native Americans. Because they were separated from Europeans, Asians and Africans since the Ice Age, they developed their own beliefs, their own cultures, and their own ideas about spirituality. Are these people unworthy of revelation? If these people have human souls than why did they receive no revelation about Jesus and Yaweh from this divine being? Biblical scholars wondered the same thing when they encountered these people, how could they have not heard about Jesus? The conclusion… of some… was that they had no souls. They were unworthy and unhuman and thus revelation was not given to them. However, we know better now, we know that they ARE human, just as human as you and I, and so the question remains… why did they receive no divine revelation from an all powerful being that is fully capable of bestowing it upon them to save their souls. Why were they allowed to perish not knowing that Jesus had died for their sins… thus condemning them to hell because they did not know about his sacrifice? They could not seek God because they didn’t know about him… because they did not know about him they could not seek him. That is…. until Christians came over seas to ‘convert’ them… and steal their land… and murder them.

  8. @Steve you need to “read the context” of Hebrews 11:6. That statement refers specifically to characters who purportedly had direct evidence of the Old Testament God, they were not purely acting on faith.

    And then of course there is this question: what reason do you have for believing in your particular deity versus any other variation of the same deity or another deity all together?

    @Eric think critically about that passage, as I mentioned to Steve it is not contextually talking about “faith” as lacking evidence.

    @Venice.
    1. Atheism is a religion like Not-playing football is a sport.
    2. Your particular deity cannot be demonstrated to believers either. As Steve points out, you take it on faith without any compelling reason.

    Take care.

  9. Bathtub: I’m not certain what your motive is in following blogs such as this, but I hope it is a genuine search for the Truth. If that is the case, seeking Truth through God’s Word (as written in the Bible) and through prayer would be a good place to begin.

    No amount of evidence regarding logic (i.e. proof that God exists website), manuscripts, corroborating writings, nor fulfilled prophesies will satisfy you because we look at evidence with different world views.

    The excerpt from Luke 16 that follows amplifies Steve’s point that no amount of “proof” will suffice: “…For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

    Bathtub et al., I hope you’ll will “hear Moses and the prophets” before it is too late…you could begin by examining yourself according to the 10 Commandments…

  10. Then how can you propose these ideas as true? Do you not see the contradiction as well? That these people were pushed to the brink of near spiritual and cultural annihiliation by Christians who decided to use force to get them to comply with their beliefs when a loving God could have just as easily manifested itself in the Americas and given the natives the same revelations that the Jews received? Then there would be no need for conversions, we would have been all united as one people across the globe, and furthermore that would be proof, irrefutable proof of God’s existence that across the globe, in Australia, America, Europe, Africa, Asia, God manifested himself or herself or itself in some manner to deliver the same message of love and peace to all peoples across the planet. Is this not what Christians desire, would the world not be a better place if everyone followed the teachings of Jesus Christ? So why would a loving God not DO this, why would he be so petty to these people?

    It would also be tangible strong evidence…. but we don’t have that, and that’s what really digs at me. That people all over the world were seemingly arbitrarily denied this revelation and doomed to hell because God simply didn’t feel like giving it to them.

    So in the end, how can you blame people for doubting your claims when no evidence support them and worse still when the book you purport as literal truth have lines in it like that that essentially say, you won’t get it unless you believe it, which is even more suspicious, as if God were incapable of demonstrating itself somehow and needed this fallback line to explain away doubters. Why would an all powerful being be so limited it would have to include this caveat in the book?

    It just seems like a good line to dismiss non-believers and move on to people who might be more receptive.

  11. vagon, Do you think there might be a principle to learn?

  12. Vintango2k:
    I respect the way you wrote your question. I’m well-versed in Spanish Catholicism during the Conquest of the Americas (I’ve read multiple primary original documents from Conquistadors in their original languages and have done in-depth university studies regarding them and the Taino indians…etc.), and I believe you would also conclude after a logical comparison that what the Bible proclaims as Christian is in direct opposition to the Spanish Catholic actions during the Conquest…in other words, it would have been more accurate to have written “Catholic” rather than “Christian” in your last sentence.

    Additionally, I was raised Roman Catholic, but I didn’t repent and put my trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior until I was 29 years old. Had I died before that day, I would have died in my sins and gone to hell..and I would have deserved it. I’m not saying that all Catholics aren’t Christian…I’m only saying that I personally was not, and that the aforementioned actions of the Spanish Conquistadors also were not congruent with Biblical Christianity. Though some Catholics may be Christians, I think we can both agree that not all Christians are Catholics.

    Here are some other comments regarding what you wrote:

    – “God’s goal” is not to get us to believe in Him. The wording of that claim in your first sentence is not in line with scripture.
    – Christian faith is not irrational. We have “evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). I recommend you read Hebrews 11 to perhaps understand the distinction between Biblical faith and “faith” in its normal English connotation. There is a distinction. Also, it is written “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”(Romans 1:19-20).
    Finally, just curious, how many things on this Earth can you not see and yet you believe in them?…the force of gravity? the basic laws of science? They exist, though you cannot physically see them. And yet this in no way is a contradiction to man’s inherent nature.

    Great comment, and cheers 🙂

  13. Part of the atheist religion is argueing. You cannot adequately answer an atheist’s question. The most eloquent, thought out response will not satisfy them. If you answer one question they have two more to ask. Sisyphus has a better chance at finishing his task than a believer getting an atheist to stop argueing.

  14. If it all comes down to faith, why should I have faith in the God of the Bible and not faith in Allah?

    You say your faith is true. The Muslims say that their faith is true.

    Using faith, how does one make a choice?

  15. @ Sheri

    While Catholicism was a factor in Indian Death it wasn’t the Catholic spanish that decimated the Indians it was the Christian Nation called the United States that did that. The Trail of Tears, the reservation policies, those were instituted by Christians… or rather people who called themselves Christians… not Catholics.

    “1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Pretty straight forward faith is confidence… not truth. You can be confident in a lot of things, especially if you think you are correct. It doesn’t make it true or not. But the thing is Sheri, the things talked about in Hebrews especially in regards to Noah’s ark we know never happened, no evidence points to it being anything more than fable. So again it would seem that faith is simply just confidence in what we hope is true… not what is. Who amongst us does not hope for things only to find out they’re not true, ie. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, etc. etc.

    As far as God’s goals… if God is Love. He loves us so much… he wants us to be with him in Heaven, then why was he so indifferent to these people who were in need of salvation? Why did he allow their only path to Christianity to occur after generations of death, extermination, and the subjugation of their culture? Its like stating that your father loves you and would do anything for you, but if a mugger came at you right before his very eyes, he wouldn’t lift a finger to help you. And just as you found Christ and repented and are spared Hell because you didn’t believe in Jesus as a Catholic (which is odd considering belief in Jesus is sort of a thing in Catholicism) that option was not given to the Natives, they were given no revelation… for over a thousand years. Think of all those people roasting in hell because of this oversight, because belief in Jesus is your only means of salvation and people can not believe in something that they are not aware of.

    And finally, we believe in natural processes because they are testable, falsifiable, and subject to prediction and repetition in certain circumstances. Physical observation isn’t required in some cases because we possess a myriad of ways of observation ie. using math and radioactive particles to prove the existence of atoms. These forces are “invisible” but are not supernatural, we have naturalistic explanations for a variety of different forces that we used to equate to magic or deities, if anything this diminishes divine claims.

    But I am curious… what invisible things are they discussing in Romans? What forces are talked about that we don’t have a scientific explanation for or are currently developing? And how are these forces evidence of the Christian God as opposed to anything else? I mean to use the example again… if these invisible forces had manifested to the Native Americans pre-Age of Exploration would they not have simply attributed them to Ancestor Spirits rather than Yaweh?

  16. perdita said,
    Eric, why would you use that phrase? What is your purpose in talking to atheists and how would that phrase help?

    I like the phrase because I can build a discussion on the phrase, expound on it.

    God’s word says in
    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  17. “I like the phrase because I can build a discussion on the phrase, expound on it.”

    Eric, fair enough. To me, it’s a discussion ender. To me it says, “I have nothing real that I can add.”

    Steve asks if there is some sort of principle to learn from unsubstantiated faith, but other then ‘it’s a bad thing’ I can’t think of any. The only other times I’m told I must first believe blindly is in e-mails from Nigeria and other cons.

  18. I’ve always thought it was odd that the requirement of faith mirrors the demands of a cult leader (or a conman) to such a perfect extent. You’d almost think that Jim Jones or David Koresh had gone back in time 2000 years, wouldn’t you?

    vintango2k: I can do better than that. Why go back in history?

    Why not talk about the 30-55 tribes currently living in the Amazon rain forest? These people have been isolated from “civilization” for so long that even the slightest contact with Westerner is likely to kill them, as they’ve never built up an immunity to the many fascinating diseases, bacteria, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.

    They not only haven’t been told of the wonders of the questionably-Living God, but they can never have the opportunity. So they are condemned to die unsanctified by faith, damned to endless torment for all eternity, not due to any sin on their part, but only to an accident of geography.

    Evidence of the mercy of Gentle Jesus.

  19. Steve, my reading of Hebrews 11 is kind of like the testimonials in an advertisement. They’re going through and showing all the hall-of-famers that had interactions with the Christian deity. The purpose seems to be if you believe x these things will happen. I just want to point out that all these guys had direct, observable evidence of miracles. There’s was not faith alone.

    You are the specialist though, what is you take on it?

  20. Now, hear this all you non-believers who demand proof! Read these words of Jesus who spoke them to the hypocrites of his day, too:

    Bible text snipped for brevity

    Are you now ready to sign your life away?

    Because you already have.

    I’m new here – just wandered over from Former Conservative’s blog – so forgive me if I’m traversing well-worn ground, here. But this particular… accusation? … troubles me, and probably not in the way you intended it to.

    First of all, “to the hypocrites of His day, too”? Did you mean to imply that all unbelievers are hypocrites?

    Second… you just dropped in a Bible quote calling out unbelievers for their failure to attend to the words of Jesus. I presume that the vast majority of your readership is Christian, and maybe that’s your target audience, but if you intended to address unbelievers – at all – that really isn’t a good approach. It suffers from the same limitation as a great deal of Ray Comfort’s material: it’s persuasive mainly to Christians. It’s so busy being Christian that it doesn’t take into account the very different perspective of unbelievers.

    I was actually going to comment on some things earlier in the post, originally, but then I hit this change of tone – “J’accuse!” – right at the end, and that pretty much eclipsed anything I had to say about the rest of it.

  21. I wonder how many websites these atheists troll. As Christians are compelled to spread the Gospel these atheists are compeled to be rude and insult Jesus, Christians and the Bible whenever they get a chance.

  22. Michael,

    Welcome to the blog. I vary my posts, in tone and text. Please check out my other Atheist Tuesday posts and sample them a little.

    Thanks.

  23. Steve, you misunderstood – I didn’t mean what is your take on my action of reading I meant what is your take on the whole of Hebrews 11. Do you agree that these people had miraculous things occur to them as direct evidence?

    Also you did not address the question of why the underlying logic of the passage could not apply with equal force to any other version of your deity, or any other deity at all.

    Thanks.

  24. @Michael – Steve changes his posting style to keep things fresh and interesting. I appreciate his open mind to commenting, which you don’t see on other Living Waters blogs like say Tony Miano’s.

    Although Ray wont admit it, because he does not like to cause too much divide between believers, you’ll find he is Calvinist and this school is what Steve is echoing. That is to say, it is enough to simply notify others of Christianity and Jesus will take care of his elect. In other words if these arguments aren’t convincing it doesnt matter.

  25. @praying for atheists – at the moment just this one. In the past Ray’s, Trish’s, Rapture Ready, Ask a Mormon, the Examiner, various Youtube channels, Australian Anglican Church, chat with Us (mormon), Rhoblogy, Vox Day, Talking Hats, AJ’s blog, Sye Tenbruggancate, Debunking Atheists, Theological Discourse.

    There’s probably more but that’s off the top of my head. You can think I’m trolling, but that seems like an awful lot of effort over the years for such an immature practice. I’m compelled to help people like yourself, and others reading these comments, to stop wasting the only life you have.

    All the best.

  26. @ Steve – Thanks. I will do that, as I have time. (Your comment on Former Conservative’s blog was… pleasantly atypical… so I’m curious to see what you’re doing here and how you’re going about it.)

    @ praying for atheists – I hope my comment didn’t come across as rude, or as insulting to Jesus, Christians, or the Bible. That wasn’t my intent; quite the opposite, in fact. And I certainly didn’t mean to troll, just to share my impression of how this post came across to an unbeliever.

  27. Nameless Cynic says:
    June 22, 2011 at 11:47 am
    I’ve always thought it was odd that the requirement of faith mirrors the demands of a cult leader (or a conman) to such a perfect extent. You’d almost think that Jim Jones or David Koresh had gone back in time 2000 years, wouldn’t you?

    So Nameless Cynic is now calling Jesus a conman?

  28. Steve, do you mind answering a direct question? Do you subscribe to that peculiarly Calvinist (as I understand it) belief that nothing you do actually persuades people to accept the truth of Christianity? Do you preach because you are commanded to preach, but believe that the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of your methods has nothing to do with you (or the methods) – being, instead, entirely and only an interaction between the recipients and the Almighty?

    I ask because if that’s the case, there’s no point in trying to suggest better approaches to you – and if so, I shan’t bother you further.

  29. So Nameless Cynic is now calling Jesus a conman?

    Did I say that? I believe what I said was, “I’ve always thought it was odd” – don’t you think it’s odd? It’s a fascinating coincidence, isn’t it? How easy would it be, back at the turn of the calendar, to take a couple of magic tricks (water into wine? Child’s play – I’ve seen a man make an elephant disappear!), the slightly-more-difficult Houdini stunt of hanging on a cross after your shill fakes pounding nails through your extremities, a little locked-cave mystery, and voilà! You’ve started a religion!

    Of course, to then say “Well, you have to believe unquestioningly!” And get people to go along with that? That would be the capper, wouldn’t it? The crowning achievement!

    If this were anything other than wild speculation, that is. I mean, that would be… well, Occam’s Razor would tell you that it’s much more likely that Christianity resulted from the unfolding of God’s Plan, right? So this is all just silliness. Rampant hypothetical fantasizing, right?

    Right?

  30. I believe that man is 100% responsible and God is 100% responsible. It’s my responsibility also to be gracious, tactful, winsome, firm yet gentle… and biblical.

    I hope that’s helpful.

  31. Interesting thought Cynic… I’m curious Steve, do you believe in the revelations of Saul of Tarsis? If so, than why, I presume, do you not believe in the revelations of Joseph Smith?

  32. Atheists love to ask questions that don’t have any concrete answers. Then no matter what answer is given them they will find fault and still not be satisfied.

  33. Hey sock-puppet-person, don’t you think it’s a bit silly to try to read the minds of other people? Especially when you fail at it?

    Because it is silly. As is using a lot of sock-puppets; just stick with one name, please.

  34. For the record, I don’t look for concrete answers to my questions; I look for the person’s opinion and viewpoint.

  35. Steve, let me take a shot.

    @vintango2k: Here’s a question for you:

    The Apostles, who knew Jesus and who carried the burden of planting the first churches, personally worked with and vouched for:

    A) Muhammed
    B) Joseph Smith
    C) vintango2k
    D) Saul of Tarsus

  36. @ Atheist Troll

    I know feeding the trolls is a bad move but I just can’t help myself I suppose. The reason these questions are asked are because they’re important. If someone is claiming to have the Truth, they are claiming that their holy book is infallible and is the absolute in all things than it should answer the important questions, it should be accurate and coincide with everything we learn about history and the natural world. Like in science, if you have a hypothesis about something like say….. the diversity of life on earth, it will need to be proven or disproven with evidence that is available to everyone to review and consider, it must be subject to falsification and then must be tested over and over again by different people to establish a positive or negative result.
    You have two claims, God created all life on this planet over the course 7 days some 6-10K years ago, and then you have science that claims lifeforms evolved from common ancestors over the course of millions of years and that the earth is far older than thousands of years. The evidence for one side is a book written over a thousand years ago that has been translated and copied over generations and is one of many holy books written by men that have been passed down through antiquity. The other is built on physical observation, testing, and tangible results that improve our lives in a variety of ways and expand our knowledge of the universe considerably. And they conflict with each other. Biblical dogma clashes with what we know about the universe so much that both can not be true. Science doesn’t disprove God, but it counters the claims of the Bible substantially and it does it not with dogma or disbelief, but rationality… the very rationality you have to suspend if you believe in the Bible. So do you bury your head in the sand and cling to dogma, hoping that you will be rewarded for choosing to ignore the rational and tangible in favor of the mystical… or do you accept that maybe your holy book is not infallible because it was written by Men and trust that what we learn about reality is true and that the message of love and fellowship is also true, and that maybe our definition of God should go beyond what’s written in a book.

  37. This is according to D. If D is the writer of the story and is free to write whatever he wants to, and there are no other contemporary sources of literature to back up the claims of D than how is D different than B? B was visited by an angel and given revelation from messengers from God that flew in the face of different denomination Christian teachings… just like what D said flew in the face of Jewish Teachings.

  38. @ the atheists

    LOL

  39. I have been away from Pastor Steve’s blog for sometime time now. And here is the reason why: It’s because Atheist scare me.

    Atheist scare me because they are so smart and they have so many reasons to object to the Bible. And they write such long responses to comments about the topic at hand. And they are quick to point to what they say are contradictions in the Bible.

    An Atheist is like when one goes to a movie and your watching as the character enters a dark room and you know that the axe murderer is waiting for them to turn around. You know what’s about to happen and you want to leave…because you can’t do anything to stop them from being killed. Except scream when it does happen.

    The Atheist is the person whose about to get killed. And you know there’s nothing you can say that will save them. It’s only by the intervention of God, by his sovereign action in revealing himself to them. That can save them. Yes, I say action…that action is the work of the Holy Spirit. The word of God, the sword which is able to tear apart bone from marrow.

    I know that God has commanded me to preach the word in season and out of season. I know that God has commanded me go into all the word.

    Therefore, my brothers and sisters in the Lord, I commend you for fulfilling God’s command. In taking the time and patience to reason with the Atheist. For he does believe in God of the Bible he is sadly suppressing the truth. I pray that you my brother and sister will hear: Will done my good and faithful slave.

    God is adding to his kingdom everyday. And won’t that be something to see…The heavenly host, the countless lives that where saved by the shedding of the blood of our redeemer Jesus. For great will be your reward in heaven.

    Brother Richard

  40. I believe in both giving evidence for our faith, and in speaking Scripture. Giving intellectual arguments *only* may win an intellectual convert, but he or she is still unregenerate. Giving Scripture *only* leaves a frustrated intellect, where someone has honest questions (not pre-packaged excuses) that remain unanswered and hinder their coming to faith.

    In Athens, Paul reasoned with them, not just preaching out of the Bible. I recommend material by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason and by J. Warner Wallace of Please Convince Me. Also, Greg has a radio show on Sunday afternoons where he takes calls from believers who want things cleared up, and from unbelievers who want information. JWW has a weekly podcast. You might want to check those out.

  41. The main reason why atheists are difficult to deal with is they have already intellectually closed the door to anything a Christian has to say.

  42. Long hours of reading atheist blogs, trolling Christian blogs, kissing Richard Dawkins photos, writing letters to their state senators about how church bells and street preachers should be silenced has made an indelligible mark on the faces of many an atheist. They are very unpleasant to behold. They scare me too Richard… they scare me too.

  43. @ vintango2k,

    Apparently you are not aware that Peter wrote of Paul in his own letters. He also vouched for Paul and went so far as to put Paul’s writings on the same level as the Torah, which for a Jew is the chiefest of writings.

    So…..who’s Joseph Smith again?

  44. @ Glenn

    And there are those that doubt that that Peter existed as a real person because the only evidence of his existence comes from the Bible. If there are other sources of his existence I’d love to hear about them if you have any links to share perhaps?

  45. @Soldier

    I’ll have a listen to Koukl

  46. Richard wrote:

    Atheist scare me because they are so smart and they have so many reasons to object to the Bible. And they write such long responses to comments about the topic at hand. And they are quick to point to what they say are contradictions in the Bible.

    Richard, I’m curious to hear you expand on your opinions on these particular issues.

  47. Wow it’s kind of interesting how long this blog went without the anonymous trolls for Jesus we’ve picked up recently, it’s kind of sad to see.

  48. I read your post.

    Here’s what I mean about atheists scaring me. If I saw someone drowning and I did everything in my power to try and save that person and they refused my help. That would be on them.

    The reality on not repenting from your sins, confessing your sins, turning from your sins, humbling yourself, asking the Almighty God to forgive you and then putting your complete faith and trust on the Lord Christ Jesus, who paid for your sins by his blood, dooms you to an everlasting eternity in hell.

    That reality scares me. I pray that unbelievers would not be deceived and turn to Christ while there is still time.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son Christ Jesus that whosoever would believe on him would not perish but have everlasting life.

    Repent and believe the Gospel.

    Borther Richard

  49. Oh, Richie. “refused your help”? Really?

    We ask but one simple question. “What proof do you have?” And the answer? Well, it’s this post.

    “You must have faith. We live by faith alone. You must not question the Revealed Word of God.”

    It’s an interesting conundrum. You’re saying that God the Almighty made man with the ability to reason and ask questions, but then demanded that they not do so? That seems… well, unreasonable somehow.

    And in the spirit of not asking questions, you either ignore everything we ask, or provide “answers” that don’t really make sense.

    The reality on not repenting from your sins, confessing your sins, turning from your sins, humbling yourself, asking the Almighty God to forgive you and then putting your complete faith and trust on the Lord Christ Jesus, who paid for your sins by his blood, dooms you to an everlasting eternity in hell.

    You show no evidence that God exists, but insist that we must bow down to Him and accept Christ into our hearts, or we go to hell. For eternity. With Gandhi.

    So, here’s the thing. I never seem to get an answer for this, but I’ll keep right on asking. God, the Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Powerful Creator of the Universe makes no mistakes, right?

    And yet, He allowed Jeffrey Dahmer to be born, knowing that our boy Jeffy would be chowing on the brains of his neighbors, raping and killing people, and generally serving as a poor role model. And then Jeffy went to hell (presumably, anyway, as we haven’t heard of a deathbed conversion), to be tormented for all eternity in the sulpherous fires on endless damnation.

    Now, since God knows everything, He knew that Jeff would become a world-famous cannibal-rapist. Feel free to utter empty words about “God gave us free will, and Dahmer chose to do those things,” but God, by knowing everything, already knew what Jeff would choose – that is, after all, the definition of “all-knowing.”

    God could have intervened, and Ms Dahmer would never have had her bouncing baby monster, but He didn’t. So, using that “logic” stuff that you don’t seem to appreciate, it seems to me that God made Jeffy strictly for the purpose of sending him to be tortured endlessly on the Eternal Grill; knowing what menu choices Jeff would make, God still breathed life into his form.

    So apparently, God keeps a torture chamber in His basement for His Own amusement.

    If God knows that people will be going to hell (and He does, right? “Omnipotent”), and God still allows them to be born, then God keeps them around for the purpose of torturing them later.

    Out of love.

    That seems pretty twisted to me. And you want us to worship this Guy?

    Feel free to tell me where I’m getting it wrong.

  50. I read your post.

    What is your standard for right and wrong?

    Here’s the proof: You have to borrow from the Christian God of the Bible to even begin to talk about what it right and wrong.

    Without God you can’t know anything.

  51. Nameless Cynic, iirc, Dahmer did convert to Christianity, so he’s actually up in Heaven. It wasn’t even deathbed conversion, but close.

    All “iirc”.

    Richard, the standard for right and wrong is “rational empathy”. It’s a simple thing of asking, “would I like this done to me?” This has been discussed, on this actual site, multiple times. Vagon even did a write-up on it a couple of months ago. Ignorance is not an excuse. You can research this. Please look this stuff up.

    Therefore, no, we do not have to borrow from the Christian God to talk about what is right and wrong; that’s simply an unsupported assertion on your part. Something doesn’t become proof simply because you say it is. Please explain exactly why we would have to “borrow from your worldview”.

    Would you take me seriously if I told you that you have to borrow from the Hindu gods of the vedas to even begin to talk about what is right and wrong? I doubt it.

    And then you say “Without God you can’t know anything”. Well, wonderful. That’s your unsupported claim. Why should I believe a word of that, especially when it flies in the face of every experience I’ve ever had?

    If you make a claim, Richard, it would help if you would please support it.

    • I read your post.

      How do you know that you are rational?

      How do you know your empathy is valid?

      How do you know your experiences are valid?

      You don’t know anything?

  52. These atheists love to hear themselves speak. Don’t fall into the endless argument trap with them. They have already made up their minds.

    Atheists don’t like any comments that are critical to their religion. They are the real trolls because they go on blog after blog trying to get people to argue with them.

  53. Richard, if you look through Steve’s archives for a post named something like “the drowning man”, you’ll see our issues with that concept.

    In a nutshell, you think we’re drowning, but it seems to us that we’re simply reading a book, on a bench, in a park… sun is shining, birds singing, kids playing.

    And you insist that we’re drowning in the ocean.

    So… kinda hard for us to buy that.

    • I read your post.

      How do you know you are not drowning?

      What gives you the right to speak for all unbelievers? How do you know anything? You have no way of explaining anything?

  54. Sockpuppetperson wrote:

    They are the real trolls

    Says the person who uses sock-puppets. You don’t exactly have a leg to stand on, there.

  55. Richard wrote:

    How do you know you are not drowning?

    I don’t. Of course, I can then ask, “how do you know that I am drowning?”

    Richard, as I explained, you claim that I’m drowning, and you’re here to help. Meanwhile, I look around and see grass and benches and trees… no ocean anywhere.

    What gives you the right to speak for all unbelievers?

    Why did you assume I did anything of the sort? The “we” is “the nonbelievers who post here at Steve’s”. As to how I know? The same way you’d know if you read the comments in Steve’s “The Drowning man” post. Plus I talk a LOT with nonbelievers, and this “we don’t see ourselves as drowning” is consistent. If you were to actually listen or read what we say/write (and yes, I’m claiming that it appears that you don’t, at least not for comprehension), I think you’d agree with my assessment.

    How do you know anything?

    I have absolutely no idea what you mean by this question. Please explain.

    You have no way of explaining anything?

    Says whom? At work I explain things on a daily basis, and there doesn’t seem to be an issue. With my friends I explain things on a daily basis, and there doesn’t seem to be an issue. With the nonbelievers here, I explain things… well, not on a daily basis, but at least on a weekly basis, and there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.

    So, I’m confused how to parse “You have no way of explaining anything?” as a question to me. Please explain?

    Thank you.

  56. Richard wrote:

    How do you know that you are rational?

    Because if I wasn’t, I’d have a much harder time at my job. My experiences show that I am often rational, but not always. In the times that I am not, I focus on it so that I will be more rational in those times.

    How do you know your empathy is valid?

    Because it works. Things are accomplished by it. Other people react positively to it. It solves problems. It works better than any other solution I’ve ever been shown.

    If you have a better method, I’m listening.

    Of course, if I were you I’d first research this before asking questions, but that’s just me.

    How do you know your experiences are valid?

    The same way you do… the impossibility of the contrary. 🙂

    Are you asking me if I wonder if I’m in the matrix or something? I don’t understand the question.

    These are basic self-reflection items.

    I “know” these things because they work. The alternatives I’ve tried have not worked. If you have a better solution, and you can explain why it’s a better solution, then I’m listening.

    You don’t know anything?

    • I read your post.

      So, your only verification for being rational is yourself.

      So, it works because you say it does.

      How do you know that I experience things the same way you do?

      You have no standard for right or wrong other than yourself.

      How do you know what is possible or not?

  57. Ack, forgot to answer the “You don’t know anything?” question.

    Since I never claimed to not know anything, I don’t understand the context of your question, Richard. Please clarify.

  58. Richard wrote:

    Unbelievers have no basis of understanding anything.

    Please support this claim.

    You are right. You don’t know anything.

    I never said that I don’t know anything, so I don’t know where you’re getting this. Please explain what you mean by this.

    So, your only verification for being rational is yourself.

    I disagree. Another verification is the reaction I get from other people. Other people, besides yourself, seem to think that I am often rational.

    So, it works because you say it does.

    As opposed to… what?

    How do you know that I experience things the same way you do?

    I don’t, and I don’t make that assumption. Why did you think I made that assumption. In fact, if I assume anything, especially on this blog, is that you don’t experience things the same way that I do.

    Richard, it seems like you’re assuming what I’m thinking. I would appreciate that you refrain from doing so, if you are doing that.

    You have no standard for right or wrong other than yourself.

    Incorrect. I also use my friends, family, society, and history as standards. Again I’ll point out that you might benefit from researching this first.

    How do you know what is possible or not?

    Again, I don’t understand the context of this question. Please explain.

    Richard, in my past few posts, I answered all of your questions to my best ability. Along with that, I asked some questions and asked for some clarifications. I would appreciate it if you would treat this conversation as a two way street and answer and/or clarify the issues that I asked about.

    Thank you.

  59. I read your post.

    Please check out the following website.

    proofthatgodexits.org

    I pray that you will capture and understand what it aims to accomplish.

    The conversion of unbelievers.

    I pray that you will use this Biblical method of apologetics to help others see the truthfulness of Christ. Repent and believe the gospel.

  60. Richard wrote:

    Please check out the following website.

    proofthatgodexits.org

    I know Sye’s game well. It’s a semantic game with no attempt to be persuasive.

    I’m surprised you didn’t get that when I used the “impossibility of the contrary” line… I even put a smiley right after it! 🙂

    But yes, I’ve been to Sye’s site. Is there a reason why you would think I would find it persuasive?

    I pray that you will capture and understand what it aims to accomplish.

    Considering that it’s my opinion that “what it aims to accomplish” is to make believers feel better about their belief, I would say that I do understand. Unfortunately, Sye’s game makes no attempt to actually talk to non-believers.

    The conversion of unbelievers.

    Yeah, I don’t think that’s really the aim of Sye’s website. If you think differently, please explain.

    I pray that you will use this Biblical method of apologetics to help others see the truthfulness of Christ. Repent and believe the gospel.

    But Richard, you’re not even accomplishing that here. I doubt that any nonbeliever here has seen the truthfulness of Christ, because you’re not talking with us, but talking at us.

    You have not given me any reason to believe the gospel any more than the Quran.

    And Richard, in my last post I asked you to clarify some of your questions, to support some of your claims, and to answer some of my questions. Will you be able to do so?

    I would appreciate that. Thank you.

  61. Also, I assume that you were talking about

    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org

    and not

    http://www.proofthatgodexits.org

    Although the latter website would be interesting.

  62. And if there’s any question at all that Sye’s game is anything more than a game, I give you this page, from his site:

    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/cannot-know.php

    If that’s not a false dichotomy, then I definitely don’t know what is.

    Sye’s game is rigged, and obviously so.

  63. /facepalm we all know Sye.

    Besides the very existence of that site negates this blog post.

  64. Richard do you realise the website you posted actually proves you do not need God and that logic is defended without your particular deity or any other?

    Would you like me to show you what I mean?

  65. Richard Chavarria, meaning no offense, but trying to argue about how people know things is essentially beside the point. I’ve seen several evangelists try to use that bit of pre-packaged apologetics, and it just doesn’t come across as persuasive. Why not? Because at the end of the day, unbelievers “know” things in the same ways that believers “know” things. People have been arguing about epistemology for just about as long as there have been people, and there’s a huge amount of material there. If your goal is to convince folks of the truth of the Gospel, epistemology is a long, wandering detour off your path.

    If you believe that Christians “know” things differently, then can you please explain how it’s different? For one thing, I just don’t see it; Christians seem to be about as correct and incorrect, as perceptive and imperceptive, as unbelievers. For another thing, if it were true, I’d be extremely curious about the mechanism – about how it works, in other words.

  66. The atheist mindset is the same as the tick… they want to suck the life’s blood out of you… by continual argument.

  67. Amen Brother Richard!

  68. I recall this website from earlier, it starts off interesting but than it dove tails into quotes from the Bible without proving the existence of the Christian God when it truth the same jump in logic can be used for any God, substitute Allah, Zeus, Marduck etc. etc. Please elaborate on more proof of the existence of the Christian God Richard.

  69. Nohm,
    “sock-puppets… don’t exactly have a leg to stand on.” (heh)

    And btw, right you are. Dahmer is apparently in heaven, if you follow those rules. Which is possibly even worse.

    What, exactly, is the threshold number for how many people you can eat and still make it to heaven? And do you think any angels have turned up missing?

    (“Dang, Jeff, that’s the biggest bucket of chicken wings ever! This must be heaven!”)

    But enough of this frivolity.

    Richard,

    I read your posts.

    First of all, your debating style could use a few remedial courses.

    How do you know that you are rational?

    How do you know your empathy is valid?

    How do you know your experiences are valid?

    Aside from the fact that you should look up a computer program called “Eliza,” you should remember that Christian Existentialism, as posited by Kierkegaard, is often considered incompatible with mainstream Christianity (and possibly heretical, according to a number of fundamentalist teachings).

    But let’s go back a few, to the statement “You have to borrow from the Christian God of the Bible to even begin to talk about what it right and wrong.” And the subclauses “Without God you can’t know anything” and “You have no standard for right or wrong other than yourself.”

    (Oh, Stormy or whatever you’re calling yourself these days: circular reasoning, post hoc, either/or, and he hasn’t gotten to argument ad populum yet, but I’m sure it’ll come. I know you love that sort of thing.)

    See, Rich, you’re limited by your viewpoint. You have a white/black view of the world, where it either comes from God, or it’s bad. You live in a valley, so you assume everything else is mountains.

    Standards of Right and Wrong:

    Buddhists follow the Five Precepts. See here

    Muslims follow the ad-Dīn (some discussion, but not enough, is here

    The Hindu belief in karma is not really related to the Westernized system of good and bad points that you build up. It’s more a system of causality, where beneficial effects are received thanks to past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions all throughout the course of a soul’s reincarnated lives. If you can’t handle pushing through the Vedas, try the Puranas

    Wiccans use variations of the Middle English “Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will.”

    See, the problem is that you’re ignoring the simple fact that every single “advanced” culture, without exception, has some variation of the Golden Rule (you know, “Do unto others…”). And just because Jesus isn’t nailed to it doesn’t make it less valid.

    When you ask the question “How do you know your empathy is valid?” – think of it as we unbelievers are using the store brand aspirin. The wrapper may be a different color, but it’s just as effective; the only real difference is that it costs us less.

    • I read your post.

      You are wrong. I don’t live in a valley. I don’t see everything in black or white. But, you are right about God.

      Romans 1: 18, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness..”

      The point is humanity is fallen. God has provided a means to get right with him. Jesus paid for the sins of the world with his life’s blood. So, that on the Day of Judgment your case can be legally dismissed. Not for to good things you tried to do. Only by the work Jesus accomplished on the cross. No other religion can save you.

  70. Hi Richard,

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding a valley, since no one else has said that you do. In fact, I have no idea who you’re replying to in this latest comment of yours.

    Regardless, I would really appreciate it if you would look back at my recent comments to you and reply to my questions and requests for clarifications, please.

    Thank you.

  71. I read your post.

    I need a remedial course in debating.

    Without the Bible you can’t know anything.

    Colossians 2: 2-3 “ My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

  72. Sorry, Nohm. I hijacked your Richard. (Hmmm…)

    Now, Richard,
    As you said, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Would you make that suffering meaningless by not committing them?

    You’re kind of changing the subject here, dude. My point was that you said there was no source of “right” and “wrong” outside of the Bible. I showed were there was. You really didn’t answer that.

    So, do you stand by your previous statements?

    But, you know, if you want to throw in Bible verses that are completely off the subject, you could do much better than that. For instance, Deuteronomy 23:1 – “No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.” (Of course, Deuteronomy is full of fascinating prohibitions on that subject – see Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

  73. One thing atheists absolutely can’t stand is THE TRUTH.

  74. Richard Chavarria says, “Without the Bible you can’t know anything.”

    How do you know that?

    I’m not being flippant, and I’m not making fun of you. It’s a serious question.

  75. Yay sock puppets!

  76. Richard, I’m not necessarily looking for a debate. I’m just asking you to please respond to the various questions I asked in my comments above. If it helps, I’ll even write up a comment listing them.

    Also, you wrote: “Without the Bible you can’t know anything.

    Okay, but I disagree with that statement. Why do you believe that statement is accurate?

    For example, I know that 2+7=9 and 10/5=2. I didn’t learn that from the Bible.

    And I’m not exactly “without” the Bible, as I’ve read it many times, both as a believer and a nonbeliever.

  77. KJV Psalms 14:1

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

  78. Nameless Cynic wrote: “Aside from the fact that you should look up a computer program called “Eliza,”

    Okay, that cracked me up. 😀

  79. Without the Bible you can’t know anything.

    Without logic and rationality, you could not know the Bible.

    You borrow from the atheist’s world view

  80. This isn’t just a debate Richard, this is serious. You could be wasting 1/7th of the only life you have on this stuff. My offer still stands to show you why logic can stand on its own two legs without religion and how (ironically) Sye’s “proof” website proves just the opposite.

    In other words here’s an opportunity to learn, what will you do with it? Accept it or be seen as wilfully ignorant.

  81. Mr. Ilovemysockpuppets wrote:

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

    I don’t “say things in my heart”; that doesn’t make sense. Regardless, I have never claimed that there is no God, whether to someone else or myself.

    So… that appears to be incorrect.

  82. @ Richard

    No matter what you say the atheists will claim that the victory goes to them.

  83. You know what? I’m going to step back from this one. Richard is only one guy, and he’s doing us a favor by approving our comments while our host is away. He’s chosen to respond to us as well, but I rather imagine that trying to keep up with three or four of us at once is, well, a little overwhelming.

  84. I read your post.

    I was understanding that you already considered me to be willfully ignorant.

    If you can’t believe that God is the sustainer and maker of all things. What chance is there for me.

    I chose to be a fool for Christ. The guarantor of life everlasting.

    Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

  85. Richard wrote:

    I was understanding that you already considered me to be willfully ignorant.

    Richard, who are you replying to?

  86. Richard you said “I was understanding that you already considered me to be willfully ignorant.”

    No I do not consider you to be wilfully ignorant, just ignorant. There’s nothing wrong with being ignorant, I am ignorant on plenty of subjects. For example I know exceedingly little about engineering for example.

    “If you can’t believe that God is the sustainer and maker of all things. What chance is there for me.”

    The same as any other belief I hold. If you come up with a cogent argument for the existence of your particular deity I would be compelled to believe in it.

    “I chose to be a fool for Christ.”

    You chose, but what do you choose? It is never to late to learn.

  87. Amen Brother Richard!

  88. I read your post.

    There is a hint of understanding on your part.

    Only Christianity makes sense of the world. Look at history and you will see that we are a fallen race. No, don’t look that far. Look at yourself as I have.

    Humble yourself. Because as you say we are willfully ignorant.

    Before I repented of my sins and put my trust in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, I was doomed to hell. Thankfully, I came to my senses.

    Now what about you?

  89. What is more humble:

    – To believe you are immortal, eternal
    – To believe you are mortal, will cease to exist

    I think I am more humble than you Richard.

    Now what about you?

  90. Actually I was referring specifically to the philosophy behind the website you used as proof of the Christian deity.

    I do agree though, history and specifically historicity is important when it comes to choosing what to believe, but can we agree to save that for another day?
    I feel it would distract from the core discussion point. Maybe you could do a post on it?
    I would be more than happy to contribute to the conversation.

    You said “Humble yourself. Because as you say we are willfully ignorant.”

    I should hope not, we are ignorant not wilfully ignorant. There is a big difference here.

    You also said: “Before I repented of my sins and put my trust in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, I was doomed to hell. Thankfully, I came to my senses.
    Now what about you?”

    I appreciate your concern, but it is unnecessary. As Steve’s original post mentions you do not actually know that your concept of the afterlife, or even an afterlife at all, actually exists. You just hope it does.

    What you do know is that you exist. Are you going to waste a large portion of that existence on unfounded belief?

    I’m happy to show you how you can begin to free yourself and I’ll use your own example of proof. The choice is yours.

  91. Richard – when you say, “I read your post,” could you put the name of the person you’re responding to? It isn’t always clear.

  92. To the unbelievers.

    Without faith it is impossible to please God. God has revealed himself through creation and in the flesh.

    That fact that you refuse to believe confirms the words of God.

    …”they will not be convinced even if one rises from the dead.”

    A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. C. S. Lewis

    The Bible is true because it says it is.

  93. Please save the drama for your evolved monkey momma! 🙂

  94. Now, Richie, here’s the thing. You throw out statements like

    God has revealed himself through creation and in the flesh…
    That fact that you refuse to believe confirms the words of God …”they will not be convinced even if one rises from the dead.”

    And the question arises “How do you know?” Because the Bible tells you? Best estimates on the New Testament alone date everything except the Pauline letters (and you know he came along after the crucifixion, right?) from between 75 AD and 300 AD. So, lacking contemporary, eyewitness accounts, how do you know that the stories are true?

    Hey, I read Lord of the Rings, and I believe Gandalf the Gray was dragged into Hell by a demon, and returned from the dead as Gandalf the White. Why do you forsake His Wizardly Eminence? My book is more recent than your book, and its authorship is undeniable.

    Oh, and incidentally, “I chose to be a fool for Christ”? Look up the phrase “Holy Fool.” Because, dude, don’t take this wrong, but you’ve really got to work on your act.

  95. I have noticed that Nameless Cynic disrespects people and tries to belittle them by calling people “Richie” rather than Richard, “Stevie” rather than Steve. The tone of his posts are often combatative and rude.

    I wouldn’t waste my time debating with him.

  96. To Richard.

    You said:
    “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

    If a perfect omniscient omnipotent God exists, he cannot be pleased since he cannot ‘not be pleased’.

    If God could be ‘pleased’ or ‘not pleased’, it would mean that God can be surprised and/or does not know what will happen, violating His fundamental attributes.

    I’ll let you conclude whatever you want from that, or perhaps you can explain where my reasoning is wrong, but I will not hold my breath…

    Richard said:
    “That fact that you refuse to believe confirms the words of God

    The Bible is true because it says it is.”

    Is that what you mean by ‘being humble’?

    Plus, I know you are overwhelmed here, but you did not address my simple question. What is more humble, believing you will cease to exist or believing you will not cease to exist at death?

    *****

    In any case I am done for now since saying that the Bible is true because it says it’s true is the most honest thing I have read so far and draws the “conversation” to an end.

    It shows that Richard does not care about the truth of his Christian beliefs: they just feel right.

  97. Dear Unbeliever:

    I’m not acting. Am writing. You don’t know anything.

    J. R. R. Tolkien the writer of “Lord of the Rings”. (my family has the entire video collection of Lord of the Rings and we watch every Christmas) was a devolt Roman Catholic and he had much to do with the of conversion of C. S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity.

    Your sources for best estimates as to when the New Testament was written are way off.

    Check out Lee Strobel’ (L. Strobel was an unbeliever too) “The case for Christ.”

    In it you will find a clear presentation for the evidence as to when the New Testament was written.

    The answers will surprise you.

    Or, Google: New Testament and scroll down to: Dates of Composition.

  98. Dear Unbeliever:

    I’m not acting. Am writing.

    J. R. R. Tolkien the writer of “Lord of the Rings”. (my family has the entire video collection of Lord of the Rings and we watch every Christmas) was a devolt Roman Catholic and he had much to do with the of conversion of C. S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity.

    Your sources for best estimates as to when the New Testament was written are way off.

    Check out Lee Strobel’ (L. Strobel was an unbeliever too) “The case for Christ.”

    In it you will find a clear presentation for the evidence as to when the New Testament was written.

    The answers will surprise you.

    Or, Google: New Testament and scroll down to: Dates of Composition.

  99. To the unbeliever:

    The Bible says the righteous will live by faith.

    How do you know what I feel?

    Humbleness is defined something like this: not proud or arrogant.

    When one turns to God, one must humble oneself.

    So long as you suppress the knowledge of God you are living in sin.

    I know that the future will be like the past because the Bible says it will.

    And because of this truth I can have total confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the word of God.

    Please repent while there is still time.

  100. To the unbeliever:

    The Bible says the righteous will live by faith.

    How do you know what I feel?

    Humbleness is defined something like this: not proud or arrogant.

    When one turns to God, one must humble oneself.

    So long as you suppress the knowledge of God you are living in sin.

    I’m not judging you, that’s what the Bible says.

    I know that the future will be like the past because the Bible says it will.

    And because of this truth I can have total confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the word of God.

    Please repent while there is still time.

  101. Aw, now, Stormpuppets. I’m sorry I’m not formal enough for you. But frankly, since I’m pretty sure I’m older than either Stevie or Richie, they should be offering me more respect. (1 Peter 5:5, Leviticus 19:32) But since “Mr Cynic” would just be silly, I figure we can just give the whole thing a rest.

    Richie – well, estimates vary. The Catholics have slightly different numbers than what I’ve seen, as does this guy, but I’m flexible. Since the earliest known fragments of the work are primarily 3rd Century and every other date is an estimate, I’m feeling pretty good about my rough call on it.

  102. Hi Richard,

    Any reason why I should believe the Bible instead of the Quran?

    Any reason why I should believe what you say instead of what a Muslim says?

  103. When the atheist realizes that his opponent has a stronger position, the atheist must revert to name calling and general incivility in order to save face.

  104. To the unbeliever:

    As you have conceded the fact that you are living in sin.

    Now repent and believe the gospel.

  105. These nonbelievers keep asking the same old questions. No answer will satisfy these folks.

    The atheists ask:

    “Why shouldn’t I believe in Allah?”
    “Why isn’t the Quran true?”
    “Why shouldn’t I pray to Zeus?”
    “Why shouldn’t I become Amish?”
    “What’s in Area 51?”
    “How come I’m not happy?”
    “Why is Richard Dawkins so handsome?”

    The questions are just a means for them to argue. Christians cannot answer their questions in a way that satisfies them. They don’t want answers they just want to feel justified in their belief that Christianity and Christians are irrational people.

  106. Well, actually, Stormpuppets, only the first 3 are valid questions that you guys have no answers for. As for the last 4, I am pretty happy, Richard Dawkins really doesn’t do it for me, I like modern conveniences too much, and Area 51 is just an advanced aircraft test site.

  107. Richard wrote:

    As you have conceded the fact that you are living in sin.

    I don’t see where anyone conceded this. Please point it out?

    Stormpuppets wrote:

    The questions are just a means for them to argue. Christians cannot answer their questions in a way that satisfies them. They don’t want answers they just want to feel justified in their belief that Christianity and Christians are irrational people.

    And with this paragraph here you conclusively show that you have absolutely no idea why I ask these questions.

    In short, you’re completely wrong.

    I ask those questions because I honestly want to know Richard’s (or your) answers to them.

    And seriously, lay off the sockpuppets. It was old days ago.

  108. the atheist must revert to … general incivility in order to save face.

    Says the person who uses sock-puppets.

    I’ll say it once again: You don’t have a leg to stand on.

  109. Atheism requires its followers to argue with Christians at least one hour a day.

  110. And apparently Theism requires the use of stormpuppets to post snark on discsussion threads. And?

  111. Atheism requires its followers to argue with Christians at least one hour a day.

    While incorrect, I’ll take that over using sock-puppets any day.

    Did I mention that you don’t have a leg to stand on?

  112. Atheists come on a blog and demand that their questions are answered. They get really angry when nobody takes the bait.

  113. And sadly no meaningful conversation is being had, this is why feeding the trolls is not recommended.

  114. FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLIDAY
    In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.
    The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,” Case dismissed!”
    The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my Client and all other atheists have no such holidays.”
    The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.”
    The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.”
    The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.”
    HOORAY FOR THAT JUDGE

  115. What is up???

    Have the unbelieving atheists been defeated or are they sleeping or busy traveling or deeply thinking. Haven’t seen that many posts and was wondering what’s going on? Also one other question, do atheists only post on Christian blogs and sites or do they post on say Buddhists, Hindu, Muslim, or humanist sites? If so could you please post those sites that you frequent so I/people can monitor and post with you my fellow bloggers!!

    At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. 1Kings 18:27-29

    At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

    Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

    When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

    Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
    1 Kings 18: 36-40

  116. Stormpuppets, I hope you don’t believe that such a thing ever actually happened.

  117. An Atheist Got PWNED got pwned.

    I’m not sure what to make of this.

    1 – You’re so gullible that you believe anything you hear/read as long as it reinforces your beliefs.

    2 – You know this is an urban legend but you don’t care, because it’s okay to spread falsehoods that others may take to be real if you think there’s somehow a ‘greater truth’ being supported by the lie.

  118. Question for Christians – When is it okay to spread lies?

  119. Happy 4th of July!

    Atheists I hope you have a wonderful day too.

    XOXO

    🙂

  120. Happy 4th of July to my fellow countrymen!

    Can we all agree that it is wonderful that we live in a country where there is religious freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of speech?

    Can I get an Amen?

    🙂

  121. @Godfrey

    Another example of old testament love… God’s holy man immediantly executes people for the crime of being wrong about metaphysical claims. Lovely =)

  122. What an awesome story, Godfrey!

    You know, it’s funny. I saw a magician in Vegas do a remarkably similar trick. But that HAD to be coincidence, right?

    And incidentally, if you can show me a place in America that is majority Buddhists, Hindu, Muslim, or humanist – or, for that matter, anyone of any religion other than Christianity who is sincerely attempting to impose their religion on everybody else, you’d have a point.

    (And please – at the risk of setting up a strawman – don’t go into some meaningless rant about “sharia law is coming to Amurika!” that you saw on Glenn Beck or somewhere: those are laughably easy to debunk. You might even be able to do it yourself, if you actually looked at the issue.)

  123. Wow this was when you were really letting the sock puppet trolls run rampent.

    Always excellent examples of the fruit of the spirit.

    • All I see here is true things being said about atheists.

      • How exactly would you know if those things being said about atheists are true, Dog?

        From what I’ve read that you’ve written, your knowledge and understanding of atheists is dismal and skewed, like all the “hedonists” stuff you’ve written.

        Where exactly do you get your information on atheists? It doesn’t seem that you get it from personally interacting with any.

      • Personal interaction might lead to a real conversation and a real exchange of information and insights… these must be avoided!

  124. Ahhhh trolling… when one side concedes the argument and takes up the argument strategy of a child.

  125. There is a lot of wisdom being expressed on this thread. This thread should be renamed Atheism 101.

    Professor Sanchez I’m taking notes. Thanks for bringing this thread to everyone’s attention.

    • Are you honestly pretending that the endless trolling on display in this thread by Christian Sockpuppets displays Christianity in a good light?

      • BathTub,

        What you consider trolling, I’m positive almost everyone else considers people making comments that are true. There are a lot of gems in this thread. Instead of dismissing the comments shedding light on atheism you might want to consider if what is being written is true. I think it is.

      • Schmader,

        So that you understand what BathTub is specifically talking about: here’s the definition of “sockpuppets”.

        Do you now understand what BathTub is talking about regarding “trolling”?

        And no, the only people who think these comments are true are people who have never interacted with an atheist in real life, which I still find surprising; I interact with Christians, even born again Christians, every single day.

        That’s hardly “almost everyone else”.

        Just for my own edification, what do you use to determine that “what is being written [about atheists] is true”? What’s your basis?

      • Thanks Nohm for providing me with the definition of sockpuppets. Now are you certain what you call a sockpuppet is indeed a sockpuppet? I’m looking at these names and they all seem pretty legit to me. Take for instance “T.R. Ohl, atheist expert” sounds like a professional name to me.

        Nohm, I am reading through the comments above and I find myself nodding my head in agreement. Are any of these people around still? They seem to know what they are talking about.

      • Nohm says:

        “And no, the only people who think these comments are true are people who have never interacted with an atheist in real life, which I still find surprising; I interact with Christians, even born again Christians, every single day.”

        Nohm,

        Aren’t you doing failed mind reading? Maybe failed surmisering? I think that anyone who has spent any time with an atheist would probably believe 99 percent of the comments describing atheists in this post.

        Nohm says:

        “How exactly would you know if those things being said about atheists are true, Dog?

        From what I’ve read that you’ve written, your knowledge and understanding of atheists is dismal and skewed, like all the “hedonists” stuff you’ve written.”

        Nohm,

        I think most of the comments match reality so I conclude that they are true. My knowledge of atheists is not dismal and skewed. Can you have dismal knowledge? I’m not sure if dismal is the correct adjective. I knowledge of atheists has led me to believe that they live a dismal life. If that is what you meant then I agree.

        I know a lot of atheists and most of them live a hedonistic lifestyle. If you live for the flesh and not for the Spirit then you are a hedonist. If you live for the material and not for the spiritual than you are a hedonist. Since atheists don’t believe in a Holy Spirit or anything spiritual then they are by default hedonists.

      • Schmader wrote: “Take for instance “T.R. Ohl, atheist expert” sounds like a professional name to me.

        Okay, you got me. For the record, I find it to be annoying when someone does a Poe.

  126. Hi Donald “The Dog”,

    You wrote:

    Nohm says:

    “And no, the only people who think these comments are true are people who have never interacted with an atheist in real life, which I still find surprising; I interact with Christians, even born again Christians, every single day.”

    Nohm,

    Aren’t you doing failed mind reading?

    No, because I’m not telling you what you think. I’m simply questioning, as I have before, how often you interact with atheists. I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask it again, how and where do you usually interact with atheists? Is it while you’re doing evangelism? Are these people that you know personally as friends or family members? Or are these just people you talk to online? I ask because my bet is that it is the latter, which would result in a warped opinion.

    Maybe failed surmisering?

    Maybe. I think my main problem was my use of the word “never”, which I shouldn’t have used. I don’t think it’s failed “surmisering” because I’ve read everything you’ve written about atheists here on Steve’s blog, and none (or, at least, almost none) of your comments match any of the atheists that I personally know.

    I think that anyone who has spent any time with an atheist would probably believe 99 percent of the comments describing atheists in this post.

    I completely and utterly disagree, especially since some of the comments were written by sockpuppets specifically to get a rise out of the atheists here.

    I mean, c’mon, “T.R. Ohl”? Really?

    Nohm says:

    “How exactly would you know if those things being said about atheists are true, Dog?

    From what I’ve read that you’ve written, your knowledge and understanding of atheists is dismal and skewed, like all the “hedonists” stuff you’ve written.”

    Nohm,

    I think most of the comments match reality so I conclude that they are true.

    So, again I ask, why would you think the comments match reality? Just who are these atheists you deal with in reality? Where do you interact with them? What’s the context?

    My knowledge of atheists is not dismal and skewed.

    It certainly appears to me that it is. What you’ve written about atheists does not match the vast majority of atheists that I personally know.

    Hence, my continued questions of where, how, and so on.

    Can you have dismal knowledge?

    Definitely. For example, my knowledge of motorcycles is dismal. Also, my knowledge of ice hockey rules is pretty dismal.

    I’m not sure if dismal is the correct adjective.

    It may not be the best adjective, but it’s correct. One of the definitions of “dismal” is: “characterized by ineptness or lack of skill, competence, effectiveness”.

    I agree that I could have picked a better adjective. How about “lacking”? Or “erroneously skewed”? Or “horrible”?

    I knowledge of atheists has led me to believe that they live a dismal life. If that is what you meant then I agree.

    For the record, I don’t believe that I live a dismal life. So, there.

    I know a lot of atheists

    For the record, I don’t believe you. But, as you can see, I would love to hear more about how you know a lot of atheists. Where do you meet them? How do you know them?

    and most of them live a hedonistic lifestyle.

    I disagree, but I thought you were using a standard definition for “hedonistic”, instead of some made-up one, like you’re Humpty Dumpty from Alice in Wonderland (“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” ). I find it strange that you question my use of the word “dismal”, and then later in your comment simply make up your own definition for “hedonistic”, which exists in no dictionary that I know of.

    If you live for the flesh and not for the Spirit then you are a hedonist.

    False dichotomy, and you’re making up your own definition for “hedonist”. If you’re going to make up definitions, you might as well just make up new words while you’re at it, to spare us the confusion.

    If you live for the material and not for the spiritual than you are a hedonist.

    Yet again, this is a false dichotomy and you’re still making up your own definition for a word which already has a definition.

    Since atheists don’t believe in a Holy Spirit or anything spiritual then they are by default hedonists.

    And one last time with the false dichotomy and a made-up definition.

    Hedonist: a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

    Note the words “devoted” and “pursuit of pleasure”. I am not devoted to the pursuit of pleasure, so therefore I am not a hedonist.

    If you only respond to one item in this comment, Donald, please explain where and how you interact with atheists. Thank you.

  127. Hi Guys!

    The article is interesting but unfortunately I met a few muslims who were giving the EXACT same reasoning but with the difference that their point was stronger for the Holy Quran! Good luck in trying to find more gullible souls for your religion of lies. May the truth and peace of Allah shine upon you..

    A new Muslim

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