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The Wrath of God

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The 2 minute video below illustrates the current thinking about God from the man on the street. When I asked people on The Strand in Hermosa Beach if God is a God of wrath, people overwhelmingly said no. Surprised? I used this as an illustration from a sermon I preached over the weekend called “The Wrath of God,” based on Romans 1:18-32. When I read it to my wife before the church service, she cried, because it reflects the current dismal culture in which we live (I ended up revising it and wrote a hopeful ending). Nineteen people made some type of profession of faith during the weekend.

If you’d like to listen to the sermon, click here then scroll down to February 5, 2010. You can read it below, too. If you’d like to preach it and want the  PowerPoint presentation, all you have to do is leave a comment.

Sermon: THE WRATH OF GOD (Romans 1:18-32)
2/5/10

A subject that’s rarely talked about in Christianity these days is the idea of a wrathful God; it goes against the wishful thinking of unbelievers (who certainly don’t want an angry God to exist), and most Christians would prefer not to think about him in this way at all.

We’d rather focus on the love and grace of God, the joy and blessings that accompany salvation, and the peace that is offered when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.

And with good reason: the best thing about being a believer is that the benefits are out of this world.

While all of those benefits can be true for those who have a personal relationship with the Lord, it only tells the partial truth about God and his plan of salvation.

To fully understand how great God’s love is, and the work he accomplished for us in his Son on the cross, we need to better appreciate the reality of God’s wrath.

God is indeed a God of love. God is also a God of hate. His attributes are perfectly balanced. If God did not have wrath and did not have hate, he would not be God. God is perfect in love, he is perfect in hate. Just as God totally loves, so totally does he hate.

When we understand that God hates sin so profoundly then we will find it absolutely amazing that he can love sinners like you and me.

The problem we have with God’s wrath is that we think his anger is like ours: arbitrary and fickle.

We can just as easily get angry when someone cuts us off in traffic as when there’s a bug in our soup. We fume and burn at politicians, yell at our kids and grouse over a tuna casserole.

We can also be angry at legalized abortion, rampant immorality and injustice. We’re so inconsistent. No wonder we have a hard time with God’s anger; we think he is just like us.

But ohhh nooo!

God’s anger is perfect, just as his love is perfect. God’s wrath is no capricious emotion but the necessary response of a perfect and holy God to violations of his will.

The word for God’s wrath, orge (orgee) refers to a settled, determined indignation.

A.W. Pink(1886 – 1952) has noted that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to his love and tenderness.

He writes, “Because God is holy, he hates all sin; and because he hates all sin, his anger burns against the sinner. The wrath of God is his eternal detest[ing] of all unrighteousness. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against his authority, a wrong done to his inviolable sovereignty.” –A. W. Pink (The Attributes of God, Ch. 16: The Wrath of God)

Psalm 7:11: God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.

Psalm 5:4-6: You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.

Psalm 11:5: The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.

When was the last time you clung to those verses in your Bible Promise Book? Can you remember ever singing a hymn extolling the praises of God’s wrath?

You may be saying, “Yeah, but that’s Old Testament. God is always angry there.” But wait a minute. Think about how many times Jesus talked of Hell and judgment and condemnation.

We all know John 3:16 but conveniently forget what Jesus said in John 3:18: Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

 

Remember, in the O.T. people had no real understanding of the concept of everlasting punishment, only that when they died they would go to the grave.

We forget that Jesus is the one who gave us the fullest picture of God’s wrath, through his descriptions of Hell.

Most people on the street have no concept of a wrathful God, so there is no fear of the judgment to come, no reason for them to repent and trust the Savior. In this permissive culture, they make God out to be permissive, too: an all-loving deity who winks at sin and lets things slide, a tooth-less God.

WATCH VIDEO

The apostle Paul wrote the definitive New Testament passage on the wrath of God in the first chapter of his book to the Romans. It is a good reminder as we read this, to examine ourselves, so we don’t take the love of God for granted.

Let’s read Romans 1:18-32

In those 14 verses Paul explains the revealing of God’s wrath, the reason for God’s wrath, and the results of God’s wrath.

Let’s first look at The Revealing of God’s Wrath in v.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 wrath of God is being revealed—everyday! How?

 

1. Everyone who dies reveals the wrath of God. 150,000 a day die. Death was God’s judgment on the ungodliness and unrighteousness of the human race that started with Adam.

Rom. 5:16: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation… that is, God’s wrath.

Funerals: Death always seems so unnatural. When we see someone dead, everything inside of us wants to cry out, No! This is not to be!

2. Universal frustration and misery reveal God’s wrath. God showed his wrath after Adam’s sin and the whole world has suffered since.

 

Romans 8:20: For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it…”

 

Example: You plan for years to enjoy retirement, and on the year before you plan to enjoy it, the economy wipes out your savings.

Example: You work for years building a new home and the week before you move in an earthquake demolishes it.

Anyone here have tales of frustration and misery? Has anyone ever clenched their fists and said “Grrrrrrr!”? Anyone been on the wrong end of “Murphy’s Law”? It’s all a part of God’s wrath being revealed.

3. The continual downward spiral of human behavior reveal God’s wrath. It doesn’t take a Doctor of Sociology to see that we have become a debased society with no moral compass to guide us. During this study you will see how this downward spiral is a result of God’s wrath.

Paul says that this wrath is revealed because godless and wicked men suppress the truth by their wickedness. The phrase “suppress the truth” implies that godless and wicked people have access to the truth, yet they suppress it. How can that be? This brings us to the reason for God’s wrath.

The Reason for God’s Wrath  (Vs. 19-20)

 

V.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,

Vs. 19-20: …since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Helen Keller as a very young girl contracted a disease that left her without sight, hearing, or speech. Anne Sullivan, Helen’s dedicated teacher, taught her to communicate through touch, and then taught her to talk. When Miss Sullivan tried to tell Helen about God, she replied that she already knew about him, she just didn’t know his name. (Cited in MacArthur’s commentary on Romans, Vol. 1, pg.77)

God has already revealed himself.

There are plenty of atheists, agnostics and pagans around who don’t believe in a God, yet God leaves them no excuse for their unbelief.

Paul plainly states that man can know about his Creator; all they have to do is look up and around.

Psalm 19:1-4: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

 

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

 

No one can go into the desert on a dark night, stare into the sky, see the billions of stars and say, “Wow! There is no God!”

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) wrote: This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.”

There are an estimated 100 billion stars in our galaxy and the average distance between those stars is 30 trillion miles. Just how far is 30 trillion miles?

If you could get in the Space Shuttle, which travels at 17,000 miles an hour, it would take you 201,450 years to go from one star to another. That’s just between two stars!

How many stars are in the universe? The number of stars in the universe is about equal to the number of sand grains on all the beaches of the earth. And it will take you about 200,000 years just to go from one grain to the other!

The amazing beauty and intricate design of created things in this world speaks of a Creator.

William Paley (1743-1727) in his watchmaker argument essentially wrote this: If you are walking in the woods and found a diamond-studded Rolex on the ground would you conclude that wind and rain caused it? Erosion? Some combination of natural forces?

 

Of course not. There’d be no question in your mind that some poor sap accidentally dropped it.

 

For anyone to say that there is no evidence for the existence of God is—ridiculous!

Want to cause an atheist to backslide? Ask him these four questions:

1.  Does a building have a builder?

2.  Does a painting have a painter?

3.  Does a car have a maker?

4.  Is it possible then, that creation has a Creator?

Psalm 14:1: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Creation has left enough evidence to reasonably conclude that there might be a Designer. So people are without excuse for not believing; they cannot claim ignorance when God brings his wrath down upon them.

But creation can only give a general revelation of God. For a person to know specifically who he is and how he came to save sinners, we need to play a part in telling them.

Romans 1:21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Instead of acknowledging God, worshiping and thanking him, these unbelievers turn from God to themselves which causes their thinking to become perverted and their hearts darkened.

Which brings us to The Results of God’s Wrath.

 

In the remaining verses of Romans chapter 1, Paul describes the horrible downward spiral of those who reject the God who reveals himself in the natural world.

Because of this rejection, people make an “exchange” to which God responds by “giving people over” as evidence of his wrath.

In the first “exchange….giving people over” sequence, Paul focuses on the root of all sin: idolatry.

Romans 1:22-24: Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

 

Folks, who understands that mankind is not evolving upwards?

As people’s minds are darkened they start thinking up ridiculous ideas of what God is like. They turn from the light they’ve been given and start living in the shadows.

In the ancient world, eagles were worshiped in Rome. In Egypt, storks and hawks were worshiped as well as the bull-god Apis, the cat-goddess Bubastis and the hippopotamus-goddess Opet.

In New Testament times the goddess Diana was a gross and ugly female beast with numerous nipples hanging beneath her so that, presumably, she could suckle the world.

Hindus have 330 million gods. Millions of Buddhists venerate a two-inch discolored tooth said to have belonged to Buddha. The tooth is set in a golden lotus blossom surrounded by rubies and kept in Sri Lanka in… the Temple of the Tooth.

Here are a few strange worship practices from those whose minds have been darkened:

  • In India, in a religion known as Jainism, senior monks wear no clothes following the practice of Lord Mahavira. They do not consider themselves to be nude — they are simply wearing the environment.
  • The Jewish religious ritual called Kapparot (kap⋅pa⋅rah) takes place around the time of the High Holidays. It’s performed by grasping a live chicken by the shoulder blades and moving around one’s head three times, symbolically transferring one’s sins to the chicken.

Let’s also not forget those in America who consult astrological forecasts, spirit guides, and worship at the Church of Oprah.

Ultimately, idolatry leads to sexual perversion.

Some statistics: (from Safe Families http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php:)

  • The total porn industry revenue for 2006: $13.3 billion in the United States; $97 billion worldwide.
  • More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month.
  • Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women
  • More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week
  • 100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography
  • 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home
  • The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces

A sexualized culture is a culture that is under God’s wrath, because that is all people think about. Sex is their idol.

In the next “exchange…give people over” sequence, the same ground is covered only with more detail.

Vs. 25-27: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

 

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

 

When people exchange the truth of God for a lie, they turn not only to perversion but to an inversion of the created order.

Perversion takes what is natural and God-given and twists it into something illicit and obscene. Inversion means to reverse in position, order or direction, which is what homosexuality does.

It is an expression of sexuality that is not God-given or natural.

One writer puts it this way: When man forsakes the Author of nature, he inevitably forsakes the order of nature.

Theologian Charles Hodge wrote, “Paul first refers to the degradation of females among the heathen, because they are always last to be affected in the decay of morals, and their corruption is therefore proof that all virtue is lost.”

Homosexuality is proof of God’s wrath in action on individuals and society.

According to an article by Douglas Jones and Douglas Wilson:

“Homosexuality is a judgment from God. Homosexuality is not a typical sin that cultures face like theft, lying or murder, but it is apparently a very symbolic sin through which God reveals his anger.

“The apostle Paul described homosexuality as what happens when God gives up on a nation’s normal idolatries. Widespread homosexuality is a sign that the society in question is not living under normal chastisements; it is the sign of God’s abandonment of us—Ichabod.”

They then write that “Homosexuality is primarily a judgment against the church.” (Owning the Curse: Rethinking Same-Sex Marriage)

We have failed in our responsibility to be leaders in our culture, to be salt and light, watchmen on the wall. Therefore we now have a society that embraces homosexuality as normal. We have churches that are proud to be pro-gay.

The evangelism team ventured to the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade last summer and was most shocked at the churches participating.

(SHOW SLIDES)

 

The third time God gives people over is found in the last 5 verses.

Vs. 1:28-32:  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

When God is utterly forsaken he gives humans over to a depraved mind. People who label sin as good, natural, normal, even noble, do great damage to the morals of society.

Eventually it becomes an acceptable behavior and people are no longer conscious of their own personal sin, which will ultimately bring upon them the wrath of God for all eternity.

Does it seem like this is where we are at today in America? Has God totally given us over? Possibly. But we are not without hope.

Because God is indeed a God of love. How did God show his love?

Romans 5:8:  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

God, in his love, sent his Son Jesus to take the full force of God’s wrath and punishment for us 2,000 years ago on a cross.

God, in his justice, demanded payment for sin by laying the crushing guilt of sinners on his Son, Jesus Christ.

God, in his wisdom, sent Jesus to be the “wrath-taker” for the sins of the people who did not yet know him.

2 Corinthians 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

If we individually—and as a nation—will turn to Christ in belief and repentance, it is possible for God to bring about a revival in our churches, and a great awakening in this country.

2 Chronicles 7:14: “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Alter call.

61 Comments

  1. Great question to take to the streets!

    I’d say the older fellow says it all for most:

    “Oh HELL, I don’t know. He’s forgiving.”

    He probably learned that in “church”. Key part of his answer: “I don’t know.”

    It’s no wonder God calls on us to hit the streets with the gospel truth!

  2. hi…finished my laundry. : )

    (i already sense what the UN-belivers will say about this)

    i have no problem understanding this attribute of God…a God of wrath.

    two examples come to mind for me…#1 as a parent i relate getting angered with my children when they have despitefully done something wrong and #2 how much more that God (of the Bible) would be a God of wrath over what sin has done and how it has mastered itself over mankind and His creation.

    ahhhhhhh, but in a nutshell, all are welcomed to His banquet table of forgiveness through and because of Jesus Christ. to know and understand His other amazing attributes makes my soul secure.

  3. forgot to mention…god of rap? ; D

  4. Two things:

    Hi Paul. In the “I’m a herald, not a negotiator” comment thread, I asked you a question about something that you wrote.

    It’s in this comment here. If you can, please answer it when you have a chance. Thanks.

    Secondly, to Steve, who wrote: “it goes against the wishful thinking of unbelievers (who certainly don’t want an angry God to exist)

    Well, technically, that’s probably correct… just as you don’t want an angry Xenu to exist, or I don’t want the Vogon demolition ship to come to Earth.

    But it’s irrelevant. If God exists and He’s angry, then He’s angry. No amount of wishful thinking on my part would change that.

    Ok now. I understand that and you understand that, so it’s unnecessary to mention what our “wishful thinking” is, because we agree it’s irrelevant.

    Well, unless you think it’s valuable to take pot-shots at atheists when preaching and… yeah, I guess I can see the benefit there. 😉

  5. Steve,

    I assume that this is the sermon that you wanted me to check out? If so, I will.

  6. Hi Steve,

    So, I’ve read it now, but haven’t listened to it yet. I’m just going to hit on the three most important issues I came away with after reading this.

    1. I’m still confused how I can be aware that I know that there is a God, and yet both believe and think that there is no God. That still appears to be a logical contradiction to me, just as if I said, “I know that cars exist, but I don’t think that cars exist.”

    As I said before, there’s no agenda or point that I’m trying to make with this; I’m simply confused by how I can know something exists and also think that particular something does not exist.

    2. What exactly, in detail, do you think the phrase “suppress the truth” means? To me, it sounds like it means “intentionally lying”, but I would like to hear your explanation.

    Again, there’s no agenda behind this question or point that I’m planning on making. I’m just confused.

    3. You wrote:

    Want to cause an atheist to backslide? Ask him these four questions:

    1. Does a building have a builder?

    2. Does a painting have a painter?

    3. Does a car have a maker?

    4. Is it possible then, that creation has a Creator?

    Now Steve, I’m going to call you on this one.

    You have recently had a good number of atheists come to your blog, and I can’t remember you asking any of us these four questions. I assume that you’ve asked it to one of us, but I don’t remember, and I certainly don’t remember you making an issue of asking me the four questions.

    But let’s say you’re asking me those four questions right this minute. Steve, I haven’t backslidden. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked those questions as an atheist, and it hasn’t caused me to backslide yet. Quite the opposite, in fact; not only do I consider it to not be persuasive, but I consider it dispersuasive (granted, I made that word up). I would bet that no atheist who has ever come to your site has backslidden due to these four questions.

    Steve, do you really believe that those four questions cause an atheist to backslide? Why, or why not?

    I’ll listen to the audio tomorrow night, but thank you for posting your sermon.

    Be well,

    Nohm.

    • You’ll have to listen to appreciate the humor of the Atheist’s Test. And you’ll hear what an atheist said when I took him through it, if it’s on the version you will listen to. I’ll answer your question about suppressing the truth in the “I’m a Herald..” post.

  7. You’ll have to listen to appreciate the humor of the Atheist’s Test.

    Ok, I’ll listen, but I’m skeptical of the humor value of that, since I don’t see any punchline.

    And you’ll hear what an atheist said when I took him through it, if it’s on the version you will listen to.

    Why would I care what some unknown (and most likely unnamed) atheist said? How about what this atheist says?

    Steve, you haven’t taken me through the test, and again I ask, do you really believe that asking those four questions will cause an atheist to backslide? Why, or why not?

    Hopefully the audio will clear this up, but is your audience intended to view this as a realistic claim?

  8. Steve, you said:

    “Want to cause an atheist to backslide? Ask him these four questions:

    1. Does a building have a builder?

    2. Does a painting have a painter?

    3. Does a car have a maker?

    4. Is it possible then, that creation has a Creator?”

    I don’t think I’ve backslid, but I can’t be sure, since I’ve always been an atheist, so if I did backslide, I’d still be one. But in any case, the fourth question is tendentious: calling the Universe “the creation” is already imputing a religious answer, because it implies a Creator. I could just as well ask, “Does a falling apple have an ApplePuller?” or “Do the tides have a WaveMaker?”

  9. Dede,

    I think you need a new washing machine – that thing takes ages to cycle! 🙂

    Steve,

    Let’s see if you can cause me to ‘backslide’, shall we?

    “1. Does a building have a builder?”

    Actually a building has many builders, engineers, planners, architects and other individuals involved in its design and construction. I’m an engineer and I’ve both designed, built and watched others build buildings so, in simple terms, yes it would be fair to say that a building was built by ‘a builder’.

    “2. Does a painting have a painter?”

    Yes, paintings are painted by painters (are you noticing the semantic pattern here?) and these painters can be anyone from a human to an elephant (check it out on Youtube!) to a computer. I myself have painted many paintings.

    “3. Does a car have a maker?”

    Like the building, the car is assembled in a factory and is the result of the work of hundreds (if not, thousands) of staff members. I have visited a car factory while they were on the assembly line, it’s very interesting. A friend of mine works for an automotive company and he designs car parts.

    “4. Is it possible then, that creation has a Creator?”

    Creations are created by creators, yes. But what creation do you speak of and how do you know it’s a creation? I’ve never seen anything created from nothing, I don’t know anyone that does it and there’s no stamp on ‘creation’ anywhere to indicate who ‘created’ it. I’ve never visited the ‘creation factory’ nor seen a video of anyone doing any ‘creating’.
    There’s no designer’s handbook that contains instructions on how ‘creation’ was made (at least the ones that are claimed to be the Designer’s Handbook do not match up to what we know from investigating the ‘creation’ itself).

    Of course, it’s possible, but unlike the other three examples which all have easily available evidence to support them, the creation –> creator thing is merely a semantic game with nothing to back it up but your presupposition that what you’re saying is true.

    Also, if you were to really follow the train of logic, you’d have to admit that the likely ‘creator’ would actually be a team of ‘creators’ as is required for almost all the complex, made things in our world – is that what you are proposing? Are you a polytheist?

    Either way, it is not a compelling argument at all.

    Cheers,

  10. A creation would have a creator.

    That said, however, your presupposition that the universe we live in was formed through an act of deliberate creation is not a presupposition that I share. Your reasoning is flawed, and the argument it is based on fallacious and unpersuasive.

    Unless you can provide proof-positive evidence that your initial premise is accurate, your argument will be useless. Beyond that, even if you were able to prove that the universe were a direct act of creating, it still wouldn’t convince me to anything more than perhaps deism. It certainly wouldn’t prove one whit for Christianity any more than Islam or Hinduism.

  11. Sorry, but you’ve completely missed the message of Jesus! He came to tell us how much God loves us unconditionally, not that he intends to hurt people in the slightest way, much less, TORTURE billions for eternity!

    I’ve actually written an entire book on this topic–Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There’s No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book at http://www.thereisnohell.com), but if I may, let me share one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

    If one is willing to look, there’s substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: “You don’t know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!” Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

    So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn BILLIONS of people for an ETERNITY!

    True, there are a few statements that made their way into the copies of copies of copies of the gospel texts which place “Hell” on Jesus’ lips, but these adulterations came along many decades after his death, most likely due to the Church filling up with Greeks who imported their belief in Hades with them when they converted.

    Bear in mind that the historical Protestant doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures applies only to the original autographs, not the copies. But sadly, the interpolations that made their way into those copies have provided a convenient excuse for a lot of people to get around following Jesus’ real message.

  12. Thanks Rick, but I don’t buy it at all. I hope you will listen to or read the sermon.

    For another resource, you may want to get the book “Sense and Nonsense About Heaven and Hell” by Kenneth D. Boa & Robert M. Bowman.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sense-Nonsense-about-Heaven-Hell/dp/0310254280

    Or, “Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell” by John Gerstner

    http://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Edwards-Heaven-Gerstner-1914-1996/dp/1573580880

    Sadly, your beliefs about Hell are untrue.

  13. Steve, you haven’t taken me through the test, and again I ask, do you really believe that asking those four questions will cause an atheist to backslide? Why, or why not?

    I’ve now listened to the audio, and it appears that you weren’t joking when you made the claim (I’ll actually talk about this more when I post up a transcript of that section of the sermon). It appears that you were expecting that your audience would take that claim seriously, in the same way that it appears that you expected that your audience would take your “they believe in chance” claim seriously.

  14. Steve,

    I listened to the audio section of the sermon where you talk about taking a particular atheist through the four questions. You said you reasoned with him, instead of preaching to him, and then… well, you don’t say what the result of this conversation was, or what his reaction was.

    I guess the question is, did that guy backslide?

    I still don’t see where the humor was in the Atheist Test portion, as your audience didn’t laugh until the “toothpick” joke, which was a few minutes later.

    Just for my own curiosity, what were you pointing at during the “toothpick” joke? The cross? The lectern? Something else?

  15. So, no response?

  16. expatmatt said…
    I think you need a new washing machine – that thing takes ages to cycle!

    i said…lol!
    i have 4 large males living in my household. the machine works fine…it just seems to be on a 24/7 agitation.

    rick lannoye said…
    Sorry, but you’ve completely missed the message of Jesus! He came to tell us how much God loves us unconditionally, not that he intends to hurt people in the slightest way, much less, TORTURE billions for eternity!

    i said…
    man, what book are YOU reading. if it’s the Holy Bible than it appears by the above explaination that you are extracting and twisting the parts of the Bible to your own interpretation. i can see how you might come to those conclusions but surely rick it appears that you #1…have not read the Scriptures in it’s entirety or you don’t know how to read the verse in content of the the chapter(s).

    sorry rick, but you are the one in great error. if you so desire, check out the following references.

    http://www.reasons.org/catalog/case-faith
    http://www.reasons.org/catalog/without-doubt
    http://store.rzim.org/product/tabid/61/p-252-calvary-chapel-q-a.aspx

  17. expatmatt said…
    I think you need a new washing machine – that thing takes ages to cycle!

    i said…lol!
    i have 4 large males living in my household. the machine works great…it just seems to be on a 24/7 agitation. oye vie!!!

    rick lannoye said…
    Sorry, but you’ve completely missed the message of Jesus! He came to tell us how much God loves us unconditionally, not that he intends to hurt people in the slightest way, much less, TORTURE billions for eternity!

    i said…
    man, what book are YOU reading. if it’s the Holy Bible than it appears by the above explaination that you are extracting and twisting the parts of the Bible to your own interpretation. i can see how you might come to those conclusions but surely rick it appears that you #1…have not read the Scriptures in it’s entirety or you don’t know how to read the verse in content of the the chapter(s).

    sorry rick, but you are the one in great error. if you so desire, check out the following references.

    http://www.reasons.org/catalog/case-faith
    http://www.reasons.org/catalog/without-doubt
    http://store.rzim.org/product/tabid/61/p-252-calvary-chapel-q-a.aspx

  18. Nohm wrote: I listened to the audio section of the sermon where you talk about taking a particular atheist through the four questions. You said you reasoned with him, instead of preaching to him, and then… well, you don’t say what the result of this conversation was, or what his reaction was.

    I guess the question is, did that guy backslide?

    I still don’t see where the humor was in the Atheist Test portion, as your audience didn’t laugh until the “toothpick” joke, which was a few minutes later.

    Just for my own curiosity, what were you pointing at during the “toothpick” joke? The cross? The lectern? Something else?

    Me: No, but he did say that I made a lot of sense and that he thought I was reasonable. The point is, if an atheist is truly logical, they understand that there has to be a Creator. At the other sermons some people laughed. The point is: it’s so obvious that there has to be a Creator.

    I pointed to a metal music stand as an absurd illustration of evolution.

    Thanks.

  19. Hi Steve,

    Thank you for responding.

    You wrote: “No, but he did say that I made a lot of sense and that he thought I was reasonable.

    Ok, so then we can agree that your earlier claim of “Want to cause an atheist to backslide? Ask him these four questions:” was hyperbole at best, correct? Because even this unknown atheist didn’t backslide or repent.

    Now, of course, we only have your say-so that the atheist thought that you made a lot of sense and thought that you were reasonable… yet didn’t become a Christian based on it. I would argue that this individual simply wasn’t aware (this was just a “man on the street” talk, so I doubt he had time to really mull it over) of the many logical fallacies in the watchmaker analogy.

    Zilch and ExPatMatt have written about problems that they see with your four questions above. Do you think that their objections are reasonable? Why, or why not?

    You then write: “The point is, if an atheist is truly logical, they understand that there has to be a Creator.” And a Muslim would tell you that if you are truly logical, you will understand that the Qur’an is divine and that there is no God but Allah.

    Would that convince you? No?

    Then simply asserting, without support, that “if an atheist is truly logical, they understand that there has to be a Creator” is also going to be taken the same way.

    If you really believed this, you’d be able to demonstrate how it’s logical that there has to be a Creator. You’ve attempted to do that with the four questions, but Zilch and ExPatMatt pointed out some problems that you haven’t responded to. I myself can throw in a few more problems with the questions if you choose to discuss this issue.

    At the other sermons some people laughed.

    Yes, if we create silly straw man caricatures of other people’s actual opinions, with the intention to demonize them, I can see how some people would find that funny.

    Let me know when you deal with our actual opinions; I have mentioned emergence many times and you’ve never commented on it, that I can remember.

    The point is: it’s so obvious that there has to be a Creator.

    And continually saying this, without demonstrating it, and presenting straw man arguments of our actual opinions, is less than persuasive.

    It’s dispersuasive.

    You have atheists who wish to have you reason with them, right here in this thread. Please Steve, reason with us. Respond to Zilch and ExPatMatt. Show why it’s not an argument from polytheism (because a car does not have a single maker, nor does a building). Demonstrate what a building has in common with “creation” (or else it’s not an analogy).

    You can say “it’s so obvious that I’m right” until the cows come home, but I would hope you’d understand why that’s hardly persuasive. Has “it’s so obvious that I’m right” ever worked on you?

    Lastly, you wrote: “I pointed to a metal music stand as an absurd illustration of evolution.

    Steve, the problem is that the only illustrations you know of concerning evolution are absurd. When you actually deal with evolution, as understood by people like myself and Matt and Zilch, and show how it’s absurd, then we’ll listen.

  20. Steve, I can say “it’s so obvious that there isn’t a Creator” and we can go round and round, as long as I never have to support my claim.

    It becomes a kindergarten argument of “you are!” “am not!” “you are!” “am not!”

  21. For the record, the Watchmaker Argument holds a special place in my heart, because it’s the first religious argument that I carefully considered before using it, back when I did evangelizing.

    I had already had a couple of evangelism experiences where it was clear that the non-believers knew my argument better than I did, so when I learned about the Watchmaker Argument (we didn’t call it that, of course), I wanted to fully examine it before I used it.

    I was, on my own, able to find most of the problems with it, and again I must make clear that this is when I was a believer; that is, I originally found this argument to be very convincing.

    Until I actually examined it in detail. That’s when the problems (polytheism, the raw materials used by builders/painters/car-makers, which are NOT made, the false analogy, the semantic trick of using the word “creation”, and so on) started becoming clear to me.

  22. Steve,

    “The point is, if an atheist is truly logical, they understand that there has to be a Creator.”

    Steve, earlier in this thread I took your 4 questions step-by-step and showed how it is not a logical conclusion (from that particular argument, at least) to say there is a creator. Would you care to respond to the points I raised or are you just going to continue assert without reason or evidence?

    “At the other sermons some people laughed.”

    Suuuuure thy did. 🙂

    “The point is: it’s so obvious that there has to be a Creator.”

    Which is how you know that Nohm and I are lying when we say otherwise, right?

    “I pointed to a metal music stand as an absurd illustration of evolution.”

    That is absurd. But do you know why?

    Cheers,

  23. I’d just like to make a quick plug for the nineteenth century source of the Watchmaker analogy: it’s at the beginning of William Paley’s Natural Theology, originally published in 1809, and available online here:

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=A142&viewtype=text&pageseq=1

    Here’s the beginning:

    IN crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? why is it not as admissible in the second case, as in the first? For this reason, and for no other, viz. that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e. g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it.

    I recommend both theists and atheists read this, because it is the best presentation I know for the Argument from Design. Paley knew his stuff: he goes into great detail about the complexity of living things, and his knowledge and clear prose put most modern creationists to shame. In fact, Darwin read it and was convinced by it as a young student.

    Of course, we have come a long way since then, and know a great deal more about how complexity can evolve under certain conditions, and a great deal of that knowledge started with Darwin. But I still honor Paley for having made a valiant and elegant effort to make his case. He was wrong, but in such a way that proving him wrong leads us to understand the world better.

    By the way- my qualification of Paley as the “nineteenth century” source of the watchmaker analogy was necessary, because the basic idea goes back much further: Cicero used the same analogy in 45 B.C. in his >i>On the Nature of the Gods:

    When we see something moved by machinery, like an orrery or clock or many other such things, we do not doubt that these contrivances are the work of reason; when therefore we behold the whole compass of the heaven moving with revolutions of marvelous velocity and executing with perfect regularity the annual changes of the seasons with absolute safety and security for all things, how can we doubt that all this is effected not merely by reason, but by a reason that is transcendent and divine?…

    Of course, Cicero was talking about different gods here…

    cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

  24. Regarding the “humor” in the atheist test, I’m reminded of this comment by ExPatMatt.

  25. But those are funny. I wish I had written them.

  26. Guys,

    I have no compelling argument to make to you all other than the fact that creation implies a Creator. I don’t have to convince you. Yes, biblically, you need to have an element of faith.

    Hebrews 11:6– 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.

    Can I possibly convince you? No. I’m not gonna try. You are already (spiritually) dead in the water.

    Nohm, you are right. It would be like a kindergarten game of “Show me.” “No, I’ll show you.”

    As for ExPatMat’s argument for the many gods that are needed to create, Ockham’s razor deals with that. Why many gods when only one God is needed?

    Yep. A mustard seed of faith is needed here, boys, and, sadly, I can’t provide it for ya.

  27. Nohm, you are right. It would be like a kindergarten game of “Show me.” “No, I’ll show you.”

    Steve, I’ve said multiple times that I have no desire to change your point of view regarding origins, or evolution.

    Note that I’ve never presented something to you with the statement that you should believe it, beyond my attempts to get you to accept that I actually think the things that I claim to think.

    My issue has always been that you misrepresent evolution and the non-believer’s point of view, not that we’re right. I can be completely wrong about the existence of God or how life diversifies, and you’d still be misrepresenting my viewpoint.

  28. Ockham’s razor deals with that. Why many gods when only one God is needed?

    Steve, let me ask you a couple of questions, and I hope you don’t backslide.

    Does a building… have builders?

    Does a car… have makers?

    If you’re answering this correctly, you know that a building, from a mud hut to a skyscraper, has many many people involved in creating it.

    These things didn’t just happen by one person. That’s ridiculous. Say it after me, “ree… dic… u… lous!”

    Therefore, isn’t it at least possible that creation… has Creators? I mean, if you’re being logical, it just makes sense, right?

    .
    .
    .

    Now that, is humor.

  29. As for ExPatMat’s argument for the many gods that are needed to create

    That’s not what he’s arguing.

    What he’s arguing is that many gods are the logical result of your analogy.

  30. Ack!

    Correction. Please change:

    What he’s arguing is that many gods are the logical result of your analogy.

    to this instead:

    What he’s arguing is that “many gods” is the logical conclusion of your analogy.

  31. You’re really beginning to show your true colours now, Steve….

  32. Oh, and the polytheism thing wasn’t the only argument I was making. However, it no longer surprises me that you’re not interested in hearing what we have to say. Let alone be interested to discuss it.

    When your belief system can be so reduced to semantic games and blind faith, there really is no reason to take it seriously; especially when the most vocal proponents of it (ie, you) are unable to hold up an honest conversation about why we should take it seriously without falling into logical fallacies, straw men and distortions of reality.

    And no, the “You might be a…” points were not funny, they were vacuous; I’ve come to expect nothing better.

    Regards,

  33. Steve, you ask:

    Why many gods when only one God is needed?

    I ask you:

    Why one God when no gods are needed?

    Given the choice between faith in a two-thousand year old book, one of myriads of religions people have invented, and what my senses and scientific evidence tells me, I’ll take reason over faith.

    Steve- you seem like a nice guy. Look me up if you’re ever out this way, or in the SF Bay Area in the summer. Lunch is on me.

    cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

  34. Nohm: Do I really misrepresent evolution? Let me ask you this, just to clarify: Do you believe that everything came from one thing at some point in time? (Living things.)

    My main point is not to convince you that evolution is absurd. We evangelicals, for the most part, believe it is. Remember our presupposition: We believe that God created it all.

    And yes, I do believe that the Atheist Test could, might, may, possibly even will, cause an atheist to backslide if they buy the premise that all creation needs a Creator. I happen to believe that He’s one Creator. You can believe that there are 2 or 350 million. Or none. You’re choice.

    Forget the Watchmaker argument. Let’s try… Mount Rushmore. Natural causes?

    ExPat wrote:“At the other sermons some people laughed.”

    Suuuuure thy did. 🙂 They did. Really. Anytime I talk about atheists from the stage they laugh.

    “The point is: it’s so obvious that there has to be a Creator.”

    Which is how you know that Nohm and I are lying when we say otherwise, right? That;s only what the Bible says. Sorry guys, that’s my standard. It comes first.

    “I pointed to a metal music stand as an absurd illustration of evolution.”

    That is absurd. But do you know why? Of course, everyone knows that a toothpick can’t evolve upwards to a music stand. Sheeesh! C’mon Mat, do I really have to explain it? 🙂

    My true colors? I’ve never tried to write anything but my true colors.

    To Zilch: I understand that you have no need for a God. I do and I love him. Lunch? Sounds great!

  35. Just a few things:

    We evangelicals, for the most part, believe [evolution] is [absurd].

    Because you have an absurd understanding of the theory.

    I do believe that the Atheist Test could, might, may, possibly even will, cause an atheist to backslide if they buy the premise that all creation needs a Creator.

    And if you buy the premise “Steve owes Nohm $10,000”, then you would believe that you owe me $10,000.

    If P, therefore P.

    It’s a tautology. A conclusion is derived from its premises. Therefore, you cannot use an argument’s conclusion as one of its premises.

    I don’t know how to make that any more clear.

    I happen to believe that He’s one Creator. You can believe that there are 2 or 350 million. Or none. You’re choice.

    I repeat: it has absolutely nothing to do with our choice in the matter. We are simply dealing with your analogy. You have listed items with require many humans, working together, to create. Therefore, “creation has creators” is the logical result of your analogy. Not singular, but plural.

    Forget the Watchmaker argument. Let’s try… Mount Rushmore. Natural causes?

    1. Steve, that’s still the Watchmaker argument. It’s only called the Watchmaker argument because the most famous version uses a watch in the analogy. If it used Mount Rushmore, it would be called “The Mount Rushmore Builder argument”. So we’re still dealing with the exact same argument. You’re trying to say “As Mount Rushmore is to its maker, so is creation to its creator”.

    2. Of course natural causes did not create Mount Rushmore. It was created by multiple creators, using raw materials that they didn’t create. Now, how is that analogous to the Creator you’re trying to argue for?

    3. Does Mount Rushmore give birth to baby Mount Rushmores? Does a building mate and have building kids? Any baby paintings around? How about those car toddlers, imperfectly reproduced from their car parents?

    4. Describe how a building/painting/car is analogous to “creation”. In detail, please.

    They did. Really. Anytime I talk about atheists from the stage they laugh.

    Sigh.

    Of course, everyone knows that a toothpick can’t evolve upwards to a music stand. Sheeesh! C’mon Mat, do I really have to explain it?

    Matt asked you why it’s absurd. If you think it’s so obvious, then it should be easy to explain.

    Here’s the thing, Steve: I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I asked if you were pointing at the cross or the lectern… something wooden, like the toothpick. That you pick a metal music stand, of all things, is why we ask you to explain why you think that’s absurd.

    Because I agree that it’s absurd. I’m just betting that your answer is very different than mine, and I’m incredibly curious why you think it’s absurd.

  36. Sorry, forgot to answer your question to me:

    Let me ask you this, just to clarify: Do you believe that everything came from one thing at some point in time? (Living things.)

    That’s how the math seems to work out, yes.

    Now, there are a couple more answers I can give to this question, besides the one I just gave:

    1. I don’t know.

    2. That’s how the math seems to work out, yes, but the variables involved could allow for a “multiple abiogenesis events” explanation, if we’re talking about the entirety of the universe. But also, I don’t know.

  37. Lastly,

    Do I really misrepresent evolution?

    Does Ray Comfort really have a mustache?

    Yes, Steve, you really misrepresent evolution. Listen to your sermon again.

  38. Steve: I don’t yet know exactly when I’ll be in California again, but I’ll let you know- almost certainly this coming summer sometime. I’ll probably be staying with my brother in El Sobrante, but I’m willing to travel within the Bay Area at least, if you want to do lunch. Drop me a line.

  39. I’m surprised that I missed this:

    You can believe that there are 2 or 350 million. Or none.

    Steve, you don’t believe that for a second. We have already determined that you believe that it’s impossible for me to not believe in God. Therefore your “Or none” statement is something that you don’t agree with.

    Remember how you claimed that I’m lying when I say that I’m a nonbeliever?

    Cognitive dissonance is utterly fascinating to me.

  40. Steve,

    “They did. Really. Anytime I talk about atheists from the stage they laugh.”

    Yeah, every time me and my white friends get together and talk about black people, we all have a real good laugh at them.

    [if that sentence sounds offensive to you, realize that that is what you are doing when you and your ‘Christian’ buddies get together to laugh at atheists. It’s bigotry, plain and simple.]

    Steve,

    Rather than getting into the ‘evolving toothpick’ thing, I would humbly request that at some point in the near future, you do a post where you outline what you think evolutionary biologists think evolution is. It would be nice if this wasn’t a copy/paste job, but was rather your understanding of the subject.

    Now I’m not asking you to make any judgment on whether evolution is true or not, I would merely like to see if you have a good working understanding of what the scientific position on evolution is.

    Would that be possible?

    Thanks,

  41. Matt,

    Steve has already said that all of his information about evolution comes from Lee Strobel’s “Case for a Creator” book.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong here, Steve.

  42. Steve,

    Was there going to be a follow-up statement or question after I answered your question?

    Let me ask you this, just to clarify: Do you believe that everything came from one thing at some point in time? (Living things.)

  43. One more thing, Steve:

    How exactly do you tell the difference between something that’s alive (such as a fish), and something that is not alive (such as a rock)?

  44. To Nohm and ExPat Mat: I have an idea. Both of you get together and write a 2 paragraph, concise explanation about where we evangelicals get evolution wrong, and what you believe. That way you won’t complain anymore that we get it wrong. Explain the difference between abiogenesis and evolution. I’ll post it, and then let Christians dissect it. Deal?

    Remember, write for a 5 minute attention span. Mine.

  45. Steve,

    Matt, Zilch and I all explained what was wrong with the “Creation implies a Creator” analogy, and you’ve barely responded to that.

    I have explained to you multiple times that I’m a determinist and I think that what you see as “creation” I see as emergence, and you haven’t responded to that.

    Abiogenesis is how life begins. Evolution is how life diversifies after there is life. It’s that easy. The theory of evolution does not deal with how life began; it just deals with how living things change once there are living things. But you could have spent 10 minutes and looked that up yourself by googling “abiogenesis”.

    There, that’s two concise paragraphs, and I still haven’t even gotten to where evangelicals get evolution wrong, besides saying “they get nearly every single part of it, and the scientific method, wrong”. Whether it’s talk about “chance” or “dogs having cats” or “it’s just a theory” or “can’t gain information”, the list of errors is incredibly long.

    Steve, there are entire books out there explaining, in detail, where evangelicals get evolution wrong, but let me just point one thing out: you have expressed the opinion that if we can show that Charles Darwin was a bad person, that has a negative effect on the theory. This is such a fundamental mistake, that it would be more important for me to explain to you why this is wrong, long before we got into how your understanding of evolution is wrong.

    Are you still of the opinion that showing that Darwin was a bad person has any effect whatsoever on the validity of the theory? If so, that’s a far more important issue than where you’re wrong about the theory itself.

  46. Fundamentally, you’re asking us to do the following:

    1. Explain what we believe.
    2. Explain how evangelicals misrepresent evolution.
    3. Explain the difference between abiogenesis and evolution.

    All for a five minute attention span.

    To be dissected.

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    You cannot dissect a layman’s description of something because it’s written to just barely get the idea across. To dissect something with intellectual honesty requires further discussion, and I haven’t seen much evidence that you, or your readers, are willing to do that.

    If you, or your readers, were to respond to some of the objections that we’ve brought up in this thread regarding “creation implies a creator” and “four questions to make an atheist backslide” and “anything can happen with chance, like a toothpick evolving into a metal music stand”, then I might find it worthwhile to attempt to write on a complicated subject for a five minute attention span.

    Until then, I’m not convinced that it’s worth the effort required to trim a book’s worth of explanations into two concise paragraphs.

  47. Nohm and all: You are all smart guys. I know you can do this. I’m giving you an opportunity. the post will be titled something like this: “Atheists Set Us Straight About Evolution.”

    Another thing: I can try to answer one question at a time. I don’t have time for 20 questions. I fit in my answers to you all at night, after work, after family time, before bed. I’m not afraid, nor intimidated, it’s just a matter of time. My post to the Christian family are a priority here.

    I actually enjoy you guys, your questions and your humor.

    Thanks for your understanding!

    Sooooooo…. what ONE question do you have? I’ve lost track of all the other ones….

  48. Steve,

    I said;

    “Rather than getting into the ‘evolving toothpick’ thing, I would humbly request that at some point in the near future, you do a post where you outline what you think evolutionary biologists think evolution is. It would be nice if this wasn’t a copy/paste job, but was rather your understanding of the subject.

    Now I’m not asking you to make any judgment on whether evolution is true or not, I would merely like to see if you have a good working understanding of what the scientific position on evolution is.

    Would that be possible?

    Thanks,”

    And now, what? You want us to do the work for you? Why should we? You’ve shown no interest in discussing or learning about anything we have to contribute here in the past, so why should we think that you’re suddenly going to take an interest now?

    Sorry, but if you want to learn, you’re going to have to put in some effort yourself first – as a show of good faith, you understand.

    Cheers,

  49. Steve, am I to believe that you’re unable to scroll up through the comments in this thread, to find the questions that you haven’t responded to? Because I can’t believe that.

    If I was to ask one question it would be the “Darwin was a bad person” one.

    Assuming that you think that Darwin being a bad person has any effect whatsoever on the validity of the theory of evolution…

    Why?

    Why would his character have any effect on the validity of the theory?

  50. You are all smart guys

    Not really, but I’m smart enough to understand that what you’re asking simply isn’t possible, due to the fact that there are entire books about this issue.

    I’m also smart enough to know that if you were actually interested in this subject, you’d go somewhere like this page that deals with all of the various creationist claims.

  51. Since I’m off on Monday I can give you a quick answer: I suppose it doesn’t make a difference if a person is “bad.” I didn’t write the intro to Darwin’s book remember.

  52. No, but you work for the guy who does, and you seem to share many opinions with him. If you don’t think that whether a person is “bad” has any relevance on the validity of the scientific theory that he came up with, then maybe you can try to talk some sense into Comfort.

  53. Ok Steve, so are you and I in agreement that even if Darwin was a bad person, that it has absolutely no effect on the theory?

    I’m aware that you didn’t write the intro, but in a recent post you said that you felt that Darwin was debunked.

    That’s why I wanted to clarify this.

    Do you think that Darwin was debunked and, if so, what exactly do you mean by that?

  54. Let me rethink my previous statement about a “bad” person having no bearing on a theory.

    This may seem rather wacky, crazy even, but: What if someone, like, uh, uh, Darwin maybe, was “mad” at God, or disillusioned about life due to unfortunate circumstances, and came to the conclusion that life was unfair, random or chaotic, based on these unfortunate life circumstances, and he blames God.

    In fact, is it possible that he refuses to even believe in God anymore because God has dealt him such a harsh hand?

    Would it be possible then, that he might conclude there is no God and develop a theory, a ridiculous theory no less, that excludes God from any equation, despite evidence to the contrary?

    In this case, it would be extremely relevant to list the “badness” of the man because it would be reflected in his theories about how life “evolved.”

    I told you it was crazy.

  55. Steve,

    Not crazy; ignorant. Really, really ignorant.

    “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

    No, he did not concoct his theory of natural selection in retaliation against God. No, he did not ‘exclude God’ from involvement in evolution. No, his theory was not ridiculous, it has been shown to be the most accurate description of how life diversifies.

    And even if he did concoct his theory for these reasons, what difference would that have on the modern version of the theory of evolution that has been contributed to by scientists from every faith-background imaginable?

    The answer is: none.

    Time and time again you show how little you understand Darwin, his theories, how science works, what the modern theory of evolution states, what the evidence for it is, what natural phenomena it is concerned with, why it is accepted as good science and why it has nothing to do with atheism.

    Yet you continue to pontificate on it. Why?

    Regards,

  56. In fact, is it possible that he refuses to even believe in God anymore because God has dealt him such a harsh hand?

    Would it be possible then, that he might conclude there is no God and develop a theory, a ridiculous theory no less, that excludes God from any equation, despite evidence to the contrary?

    In this case, it would be extremely relevant to list the “badness” of the man because it would be reflected in his theories about how life “evolved.”

    Bingo, and there we have it. This was the answer I was looking for and expecting.

    I told you it was crazy.

    Like Matt said, it’s not crazy, it just really shows a lack of understanding of how the whole process works.

    Would it be possible then, that he might conclude there is no God and develop a theory, a ridiculous theory no less, that excludes God from any equation, despite evidence to the contrary?

    Ok, Steve… let’s say that he did. What happens when someone else, anyone else, of any religious background, tries to test his theory? If all of these people find that the theory works, then what relevance is the morality of the person who first discovered it?

    My point is this: if the theory works, and is verified as working by people of all faith backgrounds (yes, even including evangelicals), then what does it matter about the person who first brought forth the theory? The theory works, and that’s all we care about.

    Microchips were originally invented for atom bombs… to kill large numbers of people. Does that have any negative effect on the theories involved? Do microchips work, or not?

    Steve, I think the problem here is that you think we view Darwin the same way you would view a biblical prophet. But they’re not the same. It’s not as if Darwin proposed this theory, and everyone just believed him… the exact opposite, in fact. Darwin proposed his theory, and people tried to tear it apart. But they found that it worked. People are still, to this day, working on refining the theory, because it works.

    Darwin could be a horrible person, but it has no effect on the theory because the theory works.

    Let me really nutshell it: If someone that you thought was a bad person taught you that 2 plus 1 equals 3, does that person’s character have anything to do with whether or not 2 plus 1 equals 3?

  57. Here’s your answer to the one question, Nohm: Let me really nutshell it: If someone that you thought was a bad person taught you that 2 plus 1 equals 3, does that person’s character have anything to do with whether or not 2 plus 1 equals 3?

    Since 2 + 1 = 3 it would have no bearing on whether the guy is bad. But since that is a fact, and Darwin invented a theory, it’s an apples and oranges comparison. A theory that leaves out God and condemns so many to Hell (due to their unbelief in a God and therefore a Savior) is suspect.

    Remember my original premise way back in some other post: God created everything! The evolutonary theory obviously militates against that statement of fact. I do, however, believe in MICRO evolution. It’s that macro stuff that’s hard to swallow, no matter how many people believe that “the theory works, and that’s all we care about.”

    Remember, my sermon where all this began? “Suppressing the truth.”

    And: Romans 1:21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Call me incorrigible. I’ll take what God says over what man proposes any day.

  58. But since that is a fact, and Darwin invented a theory, it’s an apples and oranges comparison.

    Steve, I question your understanding of the word “theory”.

    A theory that leaves out God

    No more or less than the theory of gravity or the germ theory of disease.

    condemns so many to Hell (due to their unbelief in a God and therefore a Savior)

    1. I thought that no one was an unbeliever.

    2. The theory of evolution has nothing to say, one way or another, about God’s existence.

    Remember my original premise way back in some other post: God created everything!

    I understand you believe this. I have tried to explain that abiogenesis deals with the beginning (creation) of life; how life began is irrelevant the theory of evolution.

    The evolutonary theory obviously militates against that statement of fact.

    1. No, it doesn’t, unless you can show otherwise.

    2. I question your understanding of the theory of evolution.

    I do, however, believe in MICRO evolution.

    I question your understanding of “micro evolution” (aka below species level).

    It’s that macro stuff that’s hard to swallow

    I question your understanding of “macro evolution” (aka above species level).

    no matter how many people believe that “the theory works, and that’s all we care about.”

    Have you done the math? I don’t believe in that… I’ve been given no choice but to accept it, once I worked with the math. Do you understand how many theories have to work for your computer and monitor to just barely work, much less work well?

    Theories describe things; they don’t tell you what to do or how you should act. They are amoral. If it works, it works, and it’s something that you depend on every second every day as you drive, walk, use your megaphone, and hang out with the family at home.

    Maybe the first guy to work on the (godless) theory of electromagnetism was a complete jerk… does that have any effect on whether or not your car’s motor works?

    Remember, my sermon where all this began? “Suppressing the truth.”

    And: Romans 1:21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Call me incorrigible. I’ll take what God says over what man proposes any day.

    I would argue that Paul said that, but I understand what you’re saying.

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