A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
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21-08-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
KC your def of sin is "God thinks it's not OK"... but as that seems to not translate into oppressing people I'm fine with it. If your imaginary friend don't like strawberry icecream, is fine. It's when your imaginary friend starts telling other people not to eat strawberry icecream that I get a bit bleak. Fortunately *your* one doesn't. I'm inclined to think that TrueReason's one does.
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21-08-2012, 03:54 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:46 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 03:44 PM)elemts Wrote:  Fine tuning? So.... your god isn't all powerful?
How did you come to that conclusion?
Short version:
If he's all-powerful, he wouldn't have to follow some preset rules for the fine tuning, it'd be. "Light--humans--earth---and.......GO!" and here we'd be. Fine tuning is more like "hey, what's this? what if I do this, and this.... cool......". Fine tuning makes it seem like he's not all powerful, or incompetent/flawed (all powerful, but screwed up and decided to fine-tune to fix it).

Longer version (as I run out the door):
If your god created the universe, he wouldn't have to fine tune anything. If he fine tuned the universe, it would be more like he stumbled across the universe, and then made some tweaks here and there to abide by the rules of the universe so things worked out--if he created it he would've just made it that way. He could've made the universe as a collection of souls connected for eternity if he wanted.

If he's all powerful, creating the universe or not, he wouldn't have to fine tune anything--he could've wiped it and done whatever he wanted. If he has to abide by some rules to "fine tune" things--he isn't all powerful, or he screwed up the creation of the universe (making him not perfect, and flawed, and potentially not all knowing).
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21-08-2012, 03:56 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:48 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 03:43 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Well, I don't think it's completely fine - I still believe it's a sin; however, I believe that people are born gay and God controls sin because He created it and controls all.

The way I differ is my acceptance that homosexuals can't control being born gay and that is up to God for judgment.

Whether or not a person will be judged for being gay I don't know nor do I care. That's not a concern of mine... all of that is up to God.
I believe that people can naturally has a predisposition towards being, but that some also reach there by chosen perversion. A person can be gay and be a Christian. He simply cannot participate in homosexual acts which are sinful.

That's not what the Bible says.

It says God created sin.

Also, how can you be reformed and believe in a choice?

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21-08-2012, 03:57 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(20-08-2012 09:11 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 07:27 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Anyway Tom, I have 5 questions I like to ask Christians when they come.

If you don't want to answer these, don't feel obligated.

I will gladly answer them Big Grin

Quote:1) Do you believe in the Doctrine of Free Will (Arminian) or the Doctrine of Election (Calvinist)?
I believe in the doctrine of election. My theology is basically reformed, although the more I learn, the less dogmatic I am on Arminian-Calvinist issues because I can understand how some can come to Arminian conclusions. My problem with Arminianism is that it ultimately leads to the conclusion that the intelligence and goodness of a person is impetus for his salvation.

Quote:2) What is your belief on Origins? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), Old Earth Creationist (OEC), Progressive Creationist (PC), Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or an Evolutionary Creationist (EC)?
I am an old earth creationist who leans towards a literary understanding of the Genesis account rather than a literal chronological account of the creation account. It is essential that we look at Old Testament through the eyes of those to whom it was written, rather than the idiosyncratic, scientifically precise world in which we live. By this I mean that the Genesis account is only a small sliver of everything that occurred at the beginning of time, and that it shouldn't be read like a scientific account of what entirely occurred. What is most important is that there was a Creator who created this universe.

Quote:3) What is your eschatological belief?
I tend to learn towards a historicist understanding of revelation, though I also am wary of reading too much into vivid details found in that book. I believe in a post-trib rapture and tentatively hold to pre-millenialism.
I believe in conditional immortality which is the belief that man is not by nature immortal, and that when he dies he has no conscious existence outside of the body. Conscious existence is exclusive to the body and therefore will resume once one's spirit is returned to his or her resurrected body at the return of Christ.
I believe that once a sinner is cast into hell he is ultimately destroyed or annihilated, that is I do not believe in eternal torture. All of these beliefs are in line with Advent Christian theology, which is the denomination I plan on becoming a pastor in.

Quote:4) Do you believe the Bible is 100% literal?
If you mean literal in the sense that if the Bible says that if your eye causes you to lust you should pluck it out, then no I do not believe it is 100% literal. But I think that is simply common sense. Biblical literature is known for vivid imagery and its use of hyperbole, and so it would be unwise to take the Bible literally in that sense.

Quote:5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant?
Again, this depends upon what you mean by inerrant. If you mean do I believe the Bible is completely without error with regard to science and history, then no, I don't believe that. While the Bible is a very trustworthy source for ancient history, actual recording of events aren't necessarily to the exactitude valued by modern society. Yet if God intention was not to provide a perfect history book, or a scientifically accurate science book, then there is no error on God's part in how the Bible was inspired. The Bible was written to teach more basic truths, not to teach quantum physics. It was written to a people in way in which they could understand it, and in a literary style reflective of that culture.
Therefore, I do not find it the least bit injurious to say the Bible is not a perfect history or science book, for that was not God's intention. God's intention was to record the story of creation, the fall of man, man's failure to be right in the eyes of God, and the redemption and hope of resurrection found in Jesus Christ. It's the story of the love of God for mankind, despite the fact that we daily spit in His face. So by my definition, the Bible is indeed inerrant for it accomplishes exactly what God sent out His Word to do: to send out love and hope to the nations.
Other than for the alleged Fall, do you posit a pre Fall scenario, whereby Yawweh was able to determine, and how, the incorrigible nature of his creation.
It all seems rather tough on the Adams Family, and when Darwinian evolution is sort of tacked on, as some Christian apologists do, the waters are muddeyed even further.

Welcome to the Forum.

P.S.. Do you see the scriptural Sabbath as the preferred option?
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21-08-2012, 03:58 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:48 PM)morondog Wrote:  KC your def of sin is "God thinks it's not OK"... but as that seems to not translate into oppressing people I'm fine with it. If your imaginary friend don't like strawberry icecream, is fine. It's when your imaginary friend starts telling other people not to eat strawberry icecream that I get a bit bleak. Fortunately *your* one doesn't. I'm inclined to think that TrueReason's one does.

Yeah, I know... but do you really want to get into another discussion about morality and God's morality... because I don't.

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21-08-2012, 03:58 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:44 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 03:43 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Seriously? Oh well. I guess reason and sound logic are off the table.

On that note, I'm out. Someone lemme know if this gets back to reasonable debate.

Show me how that is illogical.

Because the only evidence you have of "gods character" is an unconvincing, self contradictory text, and logic would suggest that if you make a claim, you should be able to back it up with reliable evidence. Without said evidence, your claim is ridiculous.

Next you're going to come out with the ole, "prove god doesn't exist" crap. I don't mean to be nasty, but really, so far, your arguments are disorganized, they are based on opinion instead of evidence (no, the bible is NOT evidence of god, nor is the "finely tuned" universe that you speak of), and you don't have a grasp of basic logic. I ain't bad mouthing you man, I just can't be bothered with the same old crap.

On the other hand, if you wanna talk recipes, head on over to the food forum. Otherwise, I'm bowing out here. But hey, there's plenty that will be willing to stick around, so no worries.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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21-08-2012, 03:59 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:58 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Yeah, I know... but do you really want to get into another discussion about morality and God's morality... because I don't.

Moral tea makes me puke. So no.
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21-08-2012, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2012 07:14 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
(21-08-2012 03:37 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  Moral goodness is an innate quality of God. It is part of his character, just as He is all-just and all-merciful. Therefore I don't see the necessity for a separation between God's decree and actual moral goodness.

1. You did not answer the question. It may have gone over your head. I just proved that your god is not the origin of morality. I did not ask about the "decrees". I asked about the origins of the decrees.
2. If you actually believe that a being which killed millions of innocent children, and let millions of them starve last year is all-just and all-merciful, then you are not worth having any further discussion.
3. As I pointed out in my previous post, you don't get to cook up definitions to make your answer appear to come out right to yourself. That is the definition of self-delusion. Good luck with that.
4. I saw an bumper sticker yesterday on the PCH, (101), that said, if Science and Math are too hard for you, try Religion. Last night on the Evening News, (NBC), it said Religion was one of the lowest paid jobs for graduates. Why would you want to subject your family to that ?

I'll give up for now. You have pages and pages of text wall to answer. Have fun. Enjoy your time in the lions den. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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21-08-2012, 04:22 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2012 06:13 PM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
Welcome to the forum. Be warned that most theist posts run around 40 pages of nonstop questions, so take it one at a time. "Swarm" is a good description. We swarm on theists until they are overwhelmed.

Also, though we say we'll remain civil, we routinely dismiss "theists" as ignorant morons with childish beliefs... essentially yet unintentionally calling YOU an ignorant moron with childish beliefs. Just ignore that.

I'll pick out a few of your snippets.


(21-08-2012 02:43 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  The question is what caused the big bang. How can nothing cause anything to happen?

Why does the Big Bang need a cause? We really know nothing about the Big Bang or its state of singularity apart from an educated deduction leading to the nature of it (compressed and heated point of energy). What that point of energy actually was or what came before it is open for discussion. Who suggested that before the Big Bang was nothingness? Maybe the BB is the inverse expulsion of a black hole in another universe? The laws of existence didn't technically exist until the Bang, so we can't even postulate the nature of the origin.

Quote:The universe began to exist,

...and stop. That's a pretty big assumption to just be throwing out there. What if the universe simply existed in a different state? Perhaps anti-matter turned to matter and we perceive that as "beginning to exist" when it already existed.

Quote:everything that begins to exist has a cause.

The First Cause argument is old, outdated, and has been rebutted into oblivion.

Quote:Theists believe God is that cause because the nature of God is that he has always existed and is therefore a non-contigent being.

Actually, theists believe God is a telepathic magician with a zombie son who died to save mankind from the unforgivable act of eating fruit given to them by a talking snake. DEISTS believe that there is a "force" that we can't possibly know... let alone assign it anthropomorphic attributes and sacrifice goats to it.

Quote:Any other conclusion would simply leave with you saying something came from absolutely nothing, or that there is an infinite amount of universes which is a physical impossibility.

I would argue that the existence of a god is a physical impossibility. Again, we have no examples of this "absolute nothing." There is no such thing in the universe so why are we to believe that there can even be a state of nothing? To even exist is to be something, so nothing can never be.


(21-08-2012 02:50 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  If God doesn't exist, then I don't know how I could say genocide is wrong.

I absolutely hate this cop-out. Without God, where would we get our morals from? Are you telling me that if two atheist families lived on a secluded island, having never heard the story of any deity, and one atheist methodically beat the other atheist family's grandma to death with a lead pipe... you're telling me that they wouldn't know that to be a bad or immoral act? Morals are derived from human suffering and our shared tribal empathy. We don't want to die or have our shit stolen from us, and so naturally "God" doesn't like us to kill or steal. God's morals seemed to align quite conveniently with our own.


Edit: Christ, there have been 3 new pages since I started typing this. I'm going to revert to curious bystander. Good luck.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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21-08-2012, 04:52 PM
RE: A future Pastor and Christian Apologist
The other folks here were nice enough to begin offering you the debate you came for even though you blustered in rather rudely, but I'm going to harp on that a bit. Not long ago, when I was your age and in college, I indulged in the same smug attitude toward nonbelievers as you came here with. It was rather wrong of me to vest so much importance in humility and yet be that way to other people.

So first, I want to remind you that you're talking to real people here. I think you're seeing us atheists as "others" a bit, and I worry that it's making us less human in your mind, very much the way it did for me not long ago. But hey, I went to college not half an hour from Biola. In fact, we have an intern on my team who goes to Biola, so I might even know someone you know. I'm people, you're people, we ought to start with that first. Maybe instead of starting off with assumptions based on the "atheist" or "christian" labels, you should get to know people and find out what folks are like here. (This is a shortcoming of mine, too.)

That said...

(20-08-2012 04:56 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  My purpose in coming to this forum is to resharpen my writing and debating skills as both have grown rusty from lack of use. If someone is influenced by the arguments I present, I will count it an honor and a privilege, but my expectations here are not to convert everybody. I just want to have some civil discussions with people from the opposite side of the spectrum.
[...] I will strive to show you the same gentleness and respect that I offered to those at the rally.

Feel free to ask me any questions about Christianity. I'm talking many of major classes this year, so I'll need outlet to talk about all this.

(20-08-2012 09:18 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  I assure you that if you could present a viable naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe that I would strongly consider leaving Christianity. I haven't seen such proof, and thus I remain a theist.

(20-08-2012 09:34 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  Diversity spurs intelligent discussion, and so my goal is to encourage further depth of discussion in these areas.

(21-08-2012 02:39 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  I would advise everyone to not read into what I wrote too much. I was just trying to be nice. If you changed my point of view, I would be very thankful as it would mean that you led me from the darkness into the light.

Maybe there are people here who know more about Christianity than I do. If so, I will still gladly contribute what comparatively feeble knowledge I posses on the subject. However, I am hoping that you might find me to be a good source as someone who is being trained in Christian theology and as someone who has spent 20 years of his life in the church.

God DAMN do I hate how much I sounded like this when I was out to "lead people to Christ." You seem like you're pretty earnest, so take a look at what you said here and think how you'd feel if someone said that to you. It's not an "ohai let's be friends" moment.


And you got called out on it:

(20-08-2012 07:00 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  You're here to proselytise. If an atheist were to turn up to one of your prayer-meetings, with a welcome message that included the admission that they hoped to deconvert some of you (but not everybody)... how would you feel? Would you think that they're being considerate?

(20-08-2012 08:54 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I understand the concept of sharpening your debating skills but what your introduction says to me is that you want to able to stand firm in your beliefs and opinions no matter what someone says, no matter how compelling the argument.

(21-08-2012 12:35 AM)morondog Wrote:  Also realise that... being one of the younger members of the site, thar be dragons where you tread Big Grin Basically there's a bunch of people here who've seen a lot of life. So be careful what you're certain about Wink

(21-08-2012 02:02 AM)cufflink Wrote:  I welcome the civil, measured tone of your debut post. But underneath the civility I sense more than a little youthful arrogance, which I hope you'll outgrow. For example:

(20-08-2012 04:56 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  If someone is influenced by the arguments I present, I will count it an honor and a privilege, but my expectations here are not to convert everybody. I just want to have some civil discussions with people from the opposite side of the spectrum.

Notice what you haven't said: If you are influenced by the arguments we present, will you also count it an honor and a privilege? Or is that simply outside the realm of possibility for you, since you already have the absolute truth?

Quote:Feel free to ask me any questions about Christianity.

So you can enlighten us concerning a subject we know nothing about? What makes you think there aren't people here who know a helluva lot more about Christianity than you do?

(21-08-2012 01:55 PM)Jeff Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 09:18 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  I assure you that if you could present a viable naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe that I would strongly consider leaving Christianity. I haven't seen such proof, and thus I remain a theist.

Your name and your words suggest that you come at this from a place of reason, but I doubt that that's true. For example, the quote above suggests that theism is your default condition. That suggests that you began with belief, and then used pseudo-reason to support a position you already held.


I really just wanted to make sure you didn't gloss over all that, because I wish there had been a group of people to tell it to me, back in my converting days. This is important; it's what ultimately led me to realize that I was being dishonest with myself about my position of belief.

I realized that I did indeed expect that I could convince people of the truth of Jesus and the Bible and lead them to honestly admit they had changed their minds. BUT, I did not expect that there was any way for them to do the same to me. I told myself that, if presented with the proper evidence, I would change my mind, but I did not honestly believe that was a possibility. My faith was too strong. Well, really, I was too stubborn to admit that I could be wrong. Ultimately, I decided I had to stop being stubborn and allow myself to approach the question honestly...and this is where that journey led me--my beliefs were unfounded.

So I think you owe it to yourself and those you wish to debate to ask, "If I expect to convince someone with my arguments, do I expect that I might be convinced by theirs?" And be honest with yourself. My answer surprised me; yours might surprise you.



Okay, I can't help myself...


(21-08-2012 02:43 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  The question is what caused the big bang. How can nothing cause anything to happen?
The universe began to exist, everything that begins to exist has a cause. Theists believe God is that cause because the nature of God is that he has always existed and is therefore a non-contigent being. Any other conclusion would simply leave with you saying something came from absolutely nothing, or that there is an infinite amount of universes which is a physical impossibility.

I dunno, empirical observations of the behavior of matter and energy at a quantum level doesn't really support causality in the metaphysical sense that you'd like here. For the universe, at a fundamental level, the phrase isn't "just because something CAN happen doesn't mean it does".....it's "just because something can happen means that it DOES happen all the time." It's actually a pretty important theoretical concept that matter randomly springs forth out of empty space and that a single electron can take multiple paths through an apparatus, but ONLY as long as the matter disappears immediately after or it's impossible to say what path the electron actually took. Things only start to make sense because the macro world deals with such large numbers. The common sense principles of our everyday lives are the product of statistics and large data sets, not of truly fundamental properties intrinsic to the universe. If you look hard enough, the world is weirder than you'd think.


(21-08-2012 02:50 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  The nations of the OT we justly punished, and they honestly received a punishment that you , I , and everybody deserves.

(21-08-2012 03:25 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  I have done things wrong. I deserve death and destruction, but I have placed my faith in the sufficiency of Christ, and therefore I have hope of resurrection and eternal life.

I don't think you deserve torturous punishment. You aren't Hitler or something. I really don't like that you have to go through life thinking this way. It sucked; I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Letting go of the need to see myself and others as fucked up to the core has been one of the most freeing things about letting go of religion.


(21-08-2012 03:03 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  The real question though, is what I am telling [my flock] true? Just because believing what I say has good benefits, does not say anything about the actual truthfulness of that belief. To say that would be to commit the genetic fallacy.
[...] In the same way, the truth of the Gospel is not dependent on its appeal but on its actual correspondence with the true nature of things. Therefore, let's not muddy the waters here. Let's look at what proof there is for the existence of God and the case for Christianity.

(21-08-2012 03:13 PM)TrueReason Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 03:12 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  If you were born in Iran instead of America, what religion would you believe to be the one true Truth?

Probably Islam.

There's hope for you yet! I like evidence and honesty.


(21-08-2012 03:19 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Atheist yet?

Can we end all of our responses to theists in arguments about religion this way? Smile




D'oh, I played the Hitler card, didn't I? Undecided
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