Some Commentaries on Galatians 2:19

Let me preface this by saying that Ravi here may not in fact be in heaven, but in hell. However, that being said — even a madman can get the truth of a subject correct. (I do not support the ministry any longer, so ignore the graphic.) This one is regarding the law:

A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)

THE GOAL OF THE LAW is to point us to the only one that can keep it. Not that we should abandon it, but as we fail to keep it in our walk, we are called to the scarred feet and hands of the one that kept the law

Here are a few commentaries on Galatians 2:19 for use by “others,” “elsewhere” on the dubya-dubya-dubya:

GALATIANS 2:16-17 (<< link to the HCSB version. Below is the ISV)

“…yet we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We, too, have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law, for no human being will be justified by the works of the law.” (International Standard Version [ISV])

~ According to the text in the ISV, Christ’s faith — not ours — does the justifying. It is His focus of attention, not ours, that does the work. (The “onus” then is put in proper perspective.) As an example from one of my favorite verses, PHILIPPIANS 1:6:

“I am sure of this, that He who (a) started a good work in you will (b) carry it on to completion until the (c) day of Christ Jesus.”

To be clear:

(a) HE started the Good work [salvation];
(b) He will carry it out;

(c) He will complete it.

It is ALL a work of Christ!

THREE COMMENTARIES

I have about a hundred [digital and hard copy], but these three should suffice for the serious searcher of truth/context to 2:19, or the Christian student looking for resources:

2:15–21

Paul’s Case in Antioch

Paul seems to summarize the substance of Galatians here, whether or not this paragraph is the thesis statement of the book (as Betz, who classifies Galatians as judicial rhetoric, thinks). Paul’s response to Peter may continue through verse 21 (as in NIV), although this is unclear.

2:15–16. Paul argues that Jewish Christians are also made righteous by faith, which does not give them any advantage over Gentiles who must come to God on the same terms. Jewish people regarded Gentiles as different by nature, because they believed that Gentiles’ ancestors were not freed from the evil impulse at Sinai as Israel was.

2:17–18. Paul then argues—refuting opposing arguments in advance—that righteousness by faith does not lead to sinful living. He uses the objection of an imaginary interlocutor to make his point, as was standard in ancient diatribe.

2:19–20. The law itself taught Paul the way of Christ and Paul’s death to sin in Christ. The closest parallels to the divine empowerment of Christ’s indwelling are Old Testament teachings about empowerment by God’s Spirit (although the New Testament writers develop these teachings much further).

2:21. Paul continues his point that righteousness (both before God and in one’s behavior) comes through Christ’s life in the believer (through the Spirit—3:1–2; cf. 5:13–25). Christ would not have died if salvation could have been provided another way. Jewish people normally believed that all Jews were chosen for salvation in Abraham and were saved unless they were very disobedient; by contrast, Gentiles might be saved without conversion to Judaism but could attain to Israel’s full status as members of the covenant only if they converted. By insisting that righteousness is through Christ alone, Paul places Jew and Gentile on the same terms with regard to salvation.


Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ga 2:15–21.

……συνήσθιεν] The Judaizers who troubled the Church at this time are described, Acts 15:5, as converts belonging to the sect of the Pharisees. The prohibition against eating meat with the impure was one of the leading principles of this sect, Luke 15:2. As the agape was the recognised bond of brotherhood in the infant Church, this separation struck at the very root of Christian life. St Peter’s vision (see especially Acts 10:27, 11:3) had taught him the worthlessness of these narrow traditions. He had no scruples about living ἐθνικῶς. And when in this instance he separated himself from the Gentiles, he practically dissembled his convictions.

ὅτε δὲ ἦλθον] ‘but when they came.’ The reading ἦλθεν yields no good sense, whether we refer it to St James with Origen (c. Cels. 2:1 ἐλθόντος Ἰακώβου) or to St Peter with other writers. I have given it a place nevertheless, as an alternative reading, on account of the weight of authority in its favour: for though it can scarcely have been the word intended by St Paul, it may possibly be due to an error of the original amanuensis. For a similar instance of a manifestly false reading highly supported and perhaps to be explained in this way, see Phil. 2:1 εἴ τις σπλάγχαν καὶ οἰκτιρμοί. Such readings are a valuable testimony to the scrupulous exactness of the older transcribers, who thus reproduced the text as they found it, even when clearly incorrect. In this passage the occurrence of the same words ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν, ver. 11, is the probable cause of the mistake.

ὑπέστελλεν καὶ ἀφώριζεν] ‘gradually withdrew and separated himself.’ Both verbs govern ἑαυτόν: compare Polyb. 7:17. 1 ὑπέστειλαν ἑαυτοὺς ὑπό τινα προπεπτωκυῖαν ὁφρύν. The words describe forcibly the cautious withdrawal of a timid person who shrinks from observation, ὑπέστελλεν denoting the partial, ἀφώριζεν the complete and final separation. The word ὑποστέλλειν is frequently used, as in the passage quoted, in describing strategical operations; and so far as it is metaphorical here, the metaphor seems to be derived from military rather than from nautical matters. Comp. στέλλεσθαι, 2 Thess. 3:6.

τοὺς ἐκ περιτομῆς] not ‘Jews’ but ‘converts from Judaism,’ for this seems to be the force of the preposition: Acts 10:45, 11:2, Col. 4:11, Tit. 1:10.

13. οἱ λοιποὶ Ἰουδαῖοι] i.e. the rest of the Jewish converts resident at Antioch, who, like St Peter, had mixed freely with the Gentiles until the arrival of their brethren from Jerusalem. The observance of Pharisaic practices with the latter was a genuine expression of bigotry, but with the Jews of Antioch and with St Peter it was ὑπόκρισις, the assumption of a part which masked their genuine feelings and made them appear otherwise than they were. The idea at the root of ὑπόκρισις is not a false motive entertained, but a false impression produced. The writer of the epistle prefixed to the Clementines, doubtless alluding to this passage, speaks of some who misrepresented Peter, as though he believed that the law was abolished, ‘but did not preach it openly’; Ep. Petr. § 2. See on ver. 11.

καὶ Βαρνάβας] ‘even Barnabas my own friend and colleague, who so lately had gone up to protect the interests of the Gentiles against the pressure of the Pharisaic brethren.’ It is not impossible that this incident, by producing a temporary feeling of distrust, may have prepared the way for the dissension between Paul and Barnabas which shortly afterwards led to their separation: Acts 15:39.

From this time forward they never again appear associated together. But on the other hand, whenever St Paul mentions Barnabas, his words imply sympathy and respect. This feeling underlies the language of his complaint here, ‘even Barnabas.’ In 1 Cor. 9:6 also he connects Barnabas with himself, as one who had laboured in the same disinterested spirit and had the same claims upon the Gentile converts. Lastly in Col. 4:10 he commends Mark to the Colossian Church, as being the cousin of Barnabas.

συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει] ‘was carried away with their dissimulation,’ as the A. V. rightly. Their dissimulation was as a flood which swept every thing away with it. Comp. 2 Pet. 3:17 ἵνα μὴ τῇ τῶν ἀθέσμων πλάνῃ συναπαχθέντες ἐκπέσητε κ.τ.λ., Zosimus Hist. 5:6 καὶ αὐτὴ δὲ ἡ Σπάρτη αυναπήγετο τῇ κοινῇ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἁλώσει. In all these passages the dative seems to be governed by the preposition, and cannot without harshness be taken as the instrumental case.

14, 15. ‘Seeing that they had left the straight path and abandoned the true principles of the Gospel, I remonstrated with Cephas publicly. Thou thyself, though born and bred a Jew, dost nevertheless lay aside Jewish customs and livest as the Gentiles. On what plea then dost thou constrain the Gentiles to adopt the institutions of the Jews?’

14. οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσιν πρὸς κ.τ.λ.] i.e. ‘they diverge from the straight path of the Gospel truth.’ The word ὀρθοποδεῖν appears not to occur elsewhere, except in later ecclesiastical writers, where its use may be traced to this passage of St Paul. Its classical equivalent is εὐθυπορεῖν. The preposition πρὸς here denotes not the goal to be attained, but the line of direction to be observed: see Winer § 49. p. 505. For ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου see the note on 2:5.

εἶπον] Were all the concluding verses of the chapter actually spoken by St Paul at the time, or is he adding a comment while narrating the incident afterwards to the Galatians; and if so, where does the text cease and the comment begin? To this question it seems impossible to give a definite answer. St Paul’s narrative in fact loses itself in the reflexions suggested by it. Text and comment are so blended together that they cannot be separated without violence. The use of the word ἁμαρτωλοί, vv. 15, 17, marks the language of one speaking as a Jew to Jews, and therefore may be regarded as part of the original remonstrance; and yet, though there is no break in the continuity from that point onward, we find at the end of the chapter that St Paul’s thoughts and language have drifted away from Peter at Antioch to the Judaizers in Galatia. For similar instances where the direct language of the speaker is intermingled with the after comment of the narrator, see John 1:15–1:18, where the testimony of the Baptist loses itself in the thoughts of the Evangelist, and Acts 1:16–1:21, where St Peter’s allusion to the death of Judas is interwoven with the after explanations of St Luke.

Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων] almost equivalent to φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι below; see 1:14. In such cases ὑπάρχων implies a contrast between the original and the after state, e.g. in Phil. 2:6. Here it is very emphatic; ‘If you, born and bred a Jew, discard Jewish customs, how unreasonable to impose them on Gentiles.’

ἐθνικῶς ζῇς] i.e. mix freely with the Gentiles and thus of necessity disregard the Jewish law of meats. The present tense describes St Peter’s general principles, as acted upon long before at Cæsarea (Acts 10:28), and just lately at Antioch (ver. 12), though at the exact moment when St Paul was speaking, he was living Ἰουδαϊκῶς and not ἐθνικῶς.

οὐχ Ἰουδαϊκῶς] The best MSS. agree in reading the aspirated form οὐχ. For other examples of anomalous aspirates in the Greek Testament see Winer § 5. p. 48, and comp. the note on Phil. 2:23 ἀφίδω. In this particular instance the aspirate may perhaps be accounted for by the yh with which the Hebrew word (יהודים) represented by Ἰουδαῖοι commences.

ἀναγκάζεις] i.e. practically oblige them, though such was not his intention. The force of his example, concealing his true principles, became a species of compulsion.

Ἰουδαΐζειν] ‘to adopt Jewish customs,’ opposed to ἐθνικῶς ζῇς which in connexion with Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων is equivalent to ἑλληνίζεις; comp. Esth. 8:17 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν περιετέμοντο καὶ Ἰουδάϊζον διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν Ἰουδαίων, Plug. Vit. Cic. 7 ἔνοχος τῷ Ἰουδαΐζειν. See the note on Ἰουδαϊσμός, 1:13.

15, 16. ‘Only consider our own case. We were born to all the privileges of the Israelite race: we were not sinners, as we proudly call the Gentiles. What then? We saw that the observance of law would not justify any man, that faith in Jesus Christ was the only means of justification. Therefore we turned to a belief in Christ. Thus our Christian profession is itself an acknowledgment that such observances are worthless and void, because, as the Scripture declares, no flesh can be justified by works of law.’

Of many constructions proposed, the simplest and best is to understand the substantive verb in ver. 15, ‘We (are) Jews by birth etc.’ The δὲ of ver. 16, which is omitted in the received text, is certainly genuine.

15. φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι] ‘Jews by birth, not only not Gentiles, but not even proselytes. We inherited the Jewish religion. Everything was done for us, which race could do.’ See especially Phil. 3:4, 5.

ἐξ ἐθνῶν] Not ‘of Gentile descent,’ but ‘taken from, belonging to the Gentiles’; comp. Acts 15:23.

ἁμαρτωλοί] ‘sinners.’ The word was almost a synonyme for ἔθνη in the religious phraseology of the Jews. See 1 Macc. 2:44, Clem. Hom. 11:16 οὕτως ὡς οὐχὶ Ἰουδαῖος, ἁμαρτωλὸς κ.τ.λ.; and compare Luke 6:32, 33 with Matt. 5:47, and especially Matt. 26:45 with Luke 18:32. Here ἁμαρτωλοὶ is used in preference to ἔθνη, not without a shade of irony, as better enforcing St Paul’s argument. See the note on ver. 17.

16. ἐὰν μή] retains its proper meaning, but refers only to οὐ δικαιοῦται, ‘He is not justified from works of law, he is not justified except through faith.’ See the note on 1:19.

καὶ ἡμεῖς] ‘we ourselves,’ notwithstanding our privileges of race. Compare καὶ αὐτοί, ver. 17.

ἐπιστεύσαμεν] ‘became believers.’ See the note on 2 Thess. 1:10. The phrase πιστεύειν εἴς or ἐπί τινα is peculiarly Christian; see Winer § 31. p. 267. The constructions of the LXX are πιστεύειν τινί, rarely πιστεύειν ἐπί τινι or ἔν τινι, and once only ἐπί τινα, Wisd. 12:2 πιστεύειν ἐπὶ Θεόν. The phrase, which occurs in the revised Nicene and other creeds, πιστεύειν εἰς ἐκκλησίαν, though an intelligible, is yet a lax expression, the propriety of which was rightly disputed by many of the fathers, who maintained that πιστεύειν εἰς should be reserved for belief in God or in Christ. See the passages in Suicer Thesaur. s.v. πιστεύειν, and Pearson On the Creed Art. 9.

ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ] It seems almost impossible to trace the subtle process which has led to the change of prepositions here. In Rom. 3:30, on the other hand, an explanation is challenged by the direct opposition of ἐκ πίστεως and διὰ τῆς πίστεως. Both prepositions are used elsewhere by St Paul with δικαιοῦν, δικαιοσύνη, indifferently; though where very great precision is aimed at, he seems for an obvious reason to prefer διά, as in Ephes. 2:8, 9, Phil. 3:9 μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ κ.τ.λ., which words present an exact parallel to the former part of this verse, οὐκ ὲξ ἔργων νόμου, ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Faith is strictly speaking only the means, not the source of justification. The one preposition (διὰ) excludes this latter notion, while the other (ἐκ) might imply it. Besides these we meet also with ἐπὶ πίστει (Phil. 3:9), but never διὰ πίστιν, ‘propter fidem,’ which would involve a doctrinal error. Compare the careful language in the Latin of our Article 11, ‘per fidem, non propter opera.’

ὅτι] is the best supported, and doubtless the correct reading. The reading of the received text διότι has probably been imported from the parallel passage, Rom. 3:20.

ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων κ.τ.λ.] A quotation from the Old Testament, as appears from the Hebraism οὐ πᾶσα, and from the introductory ὅτι. This sentence indeed would be an unmeaning repetition of what has gone before, unless the Apostle were enforcing his own statements by some authoritative declaration. The words are therefore to be regarded as a free citation of Psalm 143:2 οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐνώπιόν σου πᾶς ζῶν. For πᾶς ζῶν, a very common Hebrew synonyme, πᾶσα σάρξ (מל־בשר) is substituted by St Paul. In Rom. 3:20 the passage is quoted in the same form as here. In both instances St Paul adds ἐξ ἔργων νόμου as a comment of his own, to describe the condition of the people whom the Psalmist addressed. In the context of the passage in the Romans (3:19) this comment is justified by his explanation, that ‘whatever is stated in the law applies to those under the law.’

For οὐ πᾶσα see Winer § 26. p. 214 sq.

17, 18, 19. ‘Thus to be justified in Christ, it was necessary to sink to the level of Gentiles, to become ‘sinners’ in fact. But are we not thus making Christ a minister of sin? Away with the profane thought. No! the guilt is not in abandoning the law, but in seeking it again when abandoned. Thus, and thus alone, we convict ourselves of transgression. On the other hand, in abandoning the law we did but follow the promptings of the law itself. Only by dying to the law could we live unto God.’

17. Among a vast number of interpretations which have been given of this verse, the following alone deserve consideration.

First; We may regard Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος as a conclusion logically inferred from the premisses, supposing them to be granted; ‘If in order to be justified in Christ it was necessary to abandon the law, and if the abandonment of the law is sinful, then Christ is made a minister of sin.’ In this case ἄρα is preferable to ἆρα.

If the passage is so taken, it is an attack on the premisses through the conclusion which is obviously monstrous and untenable. Now the assumptions in the premisses are two-fold: (1) ‘To be justified in Christ it is necessary to abandon the law,’ and (2) ‘To abandon the law is to become sinners’; and as we suppose one or other of these attacked, we shall get two distinct meanings for the passage, as follows: (1) It is an attempt of the Judaizing objector to show that the abandonment of the law was wrong, inasmuch as it led to so false an inference: ‘To abandon the law is to commit sin; it must therefore be wrong to abandon the law in order to be justified in Christ, for this is to make Christ a minister of sin’: or (2) It is an argument on the part of St Paul to show that to abandon the law is not to commit sin; ‘It cannot be sinful to abandon the law, because it is necessary to abandon the law in order to be justified in Christ, and thus Christ would be made a minister of sin.’

Of these two interpretations, the latter is adopted by many of the fathers. Yet, if our choice were restricted to one or other, the former would seem preferable, for it retains the sense of ἁμαρτωλοί (‘sinners’ from a Jewish point of view), which it had in ver. 15, and is more consistent with the indicative εὑρέθημεν, this proposition being assumed as absolutely true by the Jewish objector. But on the other hand, it forms an awkward introduction to the verse which follows.

It is probable therefore that both should be abandoned in favour of another explanation: For

Secondly; We may regard Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος as an illogical conclusion deduced from premisses in themselves correct; ‘Seeing that in order to be justified in Christ it was necessary to abandon our old ground of legal righteousness and to become sinners (i.e. to put ourselves in the position of the heathen), may it not be argued that Christ is thus made a minister of sin?’ This interpretation best develops the subtle irony of ἁμαρτωλοί; ‘We Jews look down upon the Gentiles as sinners: yet we have no help for it but to become sinners like them.’ It agrees with the indicative εὑρέθημεν, and with St Paul’s usage of μὴ γένοιτο which elsewhere in argumentative passages always negatives a false but plausible inference from premisses taken as granted, And lastly, it paves the way for the words διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον which follow, In this case ἆρα is to be preferred to ἄρα, because it at once introduces the inference as a questionable one. It may be added also in favour of ἆρα, that elsewhere μὴ γένοιτο follows an interrogation. Ἀρα expresses bewilderment as to a possible conclusion. Any attempt further to define its meaning seems not to be justified either by the context here, or by its usage elsewhere. Ἄρα hesitates, while ἄρα concludes.

εὑρέθημεν] involves more or less prominently the idea of a surprise: comp. Rom. 7:10, 2 Cor. 11:12, 12:20. Its frequent use however must be traced to the influence of the Aramaic dialect: see Cureton Corp, Ign. p. 271.

ἁμαρτίας διάκονος] while yet He is δικαιοσύνης διάκονος, thus making a direct contradiction in terms.

μὴ γένοιτο] ‘Nay, verily,’ ‘A way with the thought.’ This is one out of several LXX renderings of the Hebrew חלילה (‘ad profana’ and so ‘absit,’ see Gesenius Thes. p. 478). Another rendering of the same is ἵλεως (sc. ὁ Θεὸς) which occurs Matt. 16:22 ἵλεώς σοι Κύριε, ‘far be it from thee, Lord’: see Glass. Phil. Sacr. p. 538. Μὴ γένοιτο is not however confined to Jewish and Christian writings, but is frequent for instance in Arrian; see Raphel Annot. Rom. 3:4.

18. ‘If, after destroying the old law of ordinances, I attempt to build it up again, I condemn myself, I testify to my guilt in the work of destruction.’ The pulling down and building up have reference doubtless to the Mosaic law, though expressed as a general maxim (ταῦτα). The difficulty however is to trace the connexion in γάρ.

With the interpretation of ver. 17 adopted above, it seems simplest to attach γὰρ to μὴ γένοιτο, ‘Nay verily, for, so far from Christ being a minister of sin, there is no sin at all in abandoning the law: it is only converted into a sin by returning to the law again.’ For this use of γὰρ after μὴ γένοιτο comp, Rom. 9:14, 15, 11:1.

παραβάτην ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω] ‘I make myself out, establish myself, a transgressor.’ It will have been seen that much of the force of the passage depends on the sense which the Jews attached to ἁμαρτωλός. Having passed on from this to ἀμαρτία, St Paul at length throws off the studied ambiguity of ἁμαρτωλός (‘a non-observer of the law,’ and ‘a sinner’) by substituting the plain term παραβάτης.

ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω is opposed to Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος, though from its position ἐμαυτὸν cannot be very emphatic.

συνιστάνω] ‘I prove,’ like συμβιβάζω, as Rom. 3:5, 5:8; comp. 2 Cor. 3:1.

19. Establishing the statement of the foregoing verse: ‘For in abandoning the law, I did but follow the leading of the law itself.’

ἐγώ] Not ‘I Paul’ as distinguished from others, for instance from the Gentile converts, but ‘I Paul, the natural man, the slave of the old covenant.’ The emphasis on ἐγὼ is explained by the following verse, ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ κ.τ.λ.

διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον] In what sense can one be said through law to have died to law? Of all the answers that have been given to this question, two alone seem to deserve consideration. The law may be said in two different ways to be παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν. We may regard

  1. Its economical purpose. ‘The law bore on its face the marks of its transitory character. Its prophecies foretold Christ. Its sacrifices and other typical rites foreshadowed Christ. It was therefore an act of obedience to the law, when Christ came, to take Him as my master in place of the law.’ This interpretation however, though quite in character with St Paul’s teaching elsewhere, does not suit the present passage; For (1) The written law—the Old Testament—is always ὁ νόμος. At least it seems never to be quoted otherwise. Νόμος without the article is ‘law’ considered as a principle, exemplified no doubt chiefly and signally in the Mosaic law, but very much wider than this in its application. In explaining this passage therefore, we must seek for some element in the Mosaic law which it had in common with law generally, instead of dwelling on its special characteristics, as a prophetic and typical dispensation. Moreover, (2) the interpretation thus elicited makes the words διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον an appeal rather to the reason and intellect, than to the heart and conscience; but the phrases ‘living unto God,’ ‘being crucified with Christ,’ and indeed the whole tenour of the passage, point rather to the moral and spiritual change wrought in the believer. Thus we are led to seek the explanation of this expression rather in
  2. Its moral effects. The law reveals sin; it also provokes sin; nay, in a certain sense, it may be said to create sin, for ‘sin is not reckoned where there is no law’ (Rom. 5:13). Thus the law is the strength of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). At the same time it provides no remedy for the sinner. On the contrary it condemns him hopelessly, for no one can fulfil all the requirements of the law. The law then exercises a double power over those subject to it; it makes them sinners, and it punishes them for being so. What can they do to escape? They have no choice but to throw off the bondage of the law, for the law itself has driven them to this. They find the deliverance, which they seek, in Christ. See Rom. 7:24, 25, and indeed the whole passage, Rom. 5:20–8:11. Thus then they pass through three stages, (1) Prior to the law—sinful, but ignorant of sin; (2) Under the law—sinful, and conscious of sin, yearning after better things; (3) Free from the law—free and justified in Christ. This sequence is clearly stated Rom. 5:20. The second stage (διὰ νόμου) is a necessary preparation for the third (νόμῳ ἀπέθανον). ‘Proinde,’ says Luther on 3:19 (the edition of 1519), ‘at remissio propter salutem, ita praevaricatio propter remissionem, ita lex propter transgressionem.’

What the Mosaic ordinances were to the Jews, other codes of precepts and systems of restraints were in an inferior degree and less efficaciously to other nations. They too, like the Jews, had felt the bondage of law in some form or other. See 4:9, 5:1, and the note on 4:11.

νόμῳ ἀπέθανον] ‘I died to law.’ For the dative comp. Rom. 6:2, 11 (τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ), and for the idea of ‘dying to the law’ Rom. 7:1–7:6, esp. ver. 4 καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ, and ver. 6 κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἀποθανόντες ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα (literally, ‘we were nullified, i.e. discharged, by death from the law in which we were held’).

20, 21. ‘With Christ I have been crucified at once to the law and to sin. Henceforth I live a new life—yet not I, but Christ liveth it in me. This new life is not a rule of carnal ordinances; it is spiritual, and its motive principle is faith in the Son of God who manifested His love for me by dying for my sake. I cannot then despise God’s grace. I cannot stultify Christ’s death by clinging still to a justification based upon law.’

20. An expansion of the idea in the last verse.

Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι] ‘I have been crucified with Christ.’ A new turn is thus given to the metaphor of death. In the last verse it was the release from past obligations; here it is the annihilation of old sins. The two however are not unconnected. Sin and law loose their hold at the same time. The sense of feebleness, of prostration, to which a man is reduced by the working of the law, the process of dying in fact, is the moral link which unites the two applications of the image: see Rom. 7:5, 9–11. Thus his death becomes life. Being crucified with Christ, he rises with Christ, and lives to God.

The parallel passage in the Romans best illustrates the different senses given to death. See also, for a similar and characteristic instance of working out a metaphor, the different applications of ἡμέρα in 1 Thess. 5:2–5:8.

For the idea of dying with Christ etc., see Rom. 6:6 ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη: comp. Gal. 5:24, 6:14, Rom. 6:8, Col. 2:20, ἀποθανεῖν σὺν Χριστῷ, and Rom. 6:4, Col. 2:12, συνταφῆναι. Comp. Ignat. Rom. § 7 ὁ ἐμὸς ἔρως ἐσταύρωται. The correlative idea of rising and reigning with Christ is equally common in St Paul.

ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ] The order is significant; ‘When I speak of living, I do not mean myself, my natural being. I have no longer a separate existence. I am merged in Christ.’ See on ἐγὼ ver. 19.

ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ] Not exactly ἣν νῦν ζῶ ζωήν, but ὃ limits and qualifies the idea of life: ‘So far as I now live in the flesh, it is a life of faith’: comp. Rom. 6:10 ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ, ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ Θεῷ, Plut. Mor. p. 100 F ὃ καθεύδουσι, τοῦ σώματος ὕπνος ἐστὶ καὶ ἀνάπαυσις.

νῦν] ‘now’: his new life in Christ, as opposed to his old life before his conversion; not his present life on earth, as opposed to his future life in heaven; for such a contrast is quite foreign to this passage.

ἐν πίστει] ‘in faith,’ the atmosphere as it were which he breathes in this his new spiritual life.

The variation of reading here is perplexing. For τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ may be pleaded the great preponderance of the older authorities: for τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ, the testimony of a few ancient copies, and the difficulty of conceiving its substitution for the other simpler reading.

με ἐμοῦ] ‘loved me, gave Himself for me.’ He appropriates to himself, as Chrysostom observes, the love which belongs equally to the whole world. For Christ is indeed the personal friend of each man individually; and is as much to him, as if He had died for him alone.

21. οὐκ ἀθετῶ κ.τ.λ.] ‘I do not set at nought the grace of God. Setting at nought I call it: for, if righteousness might be obtained through law, then Christ’s death were superfluous.’ For ἀθετῶ ‘to nullify’ see Luke 7:30, 1 Cor. 1:19: its exact sense here is fixed by δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν. ‘The grace of God’ is manifested in Christ’s death. The connexion of γὰρ is with the idea of ἀθετῶ, and may be explained by a supplied clause, as above.

δωρεάν] not ‘in vain,’ but ‘uselessly, without sufficient cause,’ or, as we might say, ‘gratuitously,’ John 15:25 ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν (Ps. 34:19); comp. LXX of Ps. 34:7 δωρεὰν ἔκρνψάν μοι διαφθοράν, Hebr. חנם, where Symmachus had ἀναιτίως; Ecclas. 20:23.


Joseph Barber Lightfoot, ed., St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes, and Dissertations., 4th ed., Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co., 1874), 112–120.

……..2:12 When Peter first came to Antioch, he would eat with the Gentiles in the full enjoyment of his Christian liberty. By Jewish tradition, he could not have done this. Some time later, a group came down from James in Jerusalem to Antioch for a visit. They claimed to represent James, but he later denied this (Acts 15:24). They were probably Jewish Christians who were still clinging to certain legal observances. When they arrived, Peter stopped having fellowship with the Gentiles, fearing that the news of his behavior would get back to the legalist faction in Jerusalem. In doing this, he was denying one of the great truths of the gospel—that all believers are one in Christ Jesus, and that national differences do not affect fellowship. Findlay says: “By refusing to eat with uncircumcised men, he affirmed implicitly that, though believers in Christ, they were still to him ‘common and unclean,’ that the Mosaic rites imparted a higher sanctity than the righteousness of faith.”

2:13 Others followed Peter’s example, including Barnabas, Paul’s valued co-laborer. Recognizing the seriousness of this action, Paul boldly accused Peter of hypocrisy. Paul’s rebuke is given in verses 14–21.

2:14 As a Christian, Peter knew that God no longer recognized national differences; he had lived as a Gentile, eating their foods, etc. By his recent refusal to eat with Gentiles, Peter was implying that observances of Jewish laws and customs was necessary for holiness, and that the Gentile believers would have to live as Jews.

2:15 Paul seems to be using irony here. Did not Peter’s conduct betray a lingering conviction concerning the superiority of the Jews, and the despised position of the Gentiles? Peter should have known better, because God had taught him before the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius to call no man common or unclean (Acts 10 and 11:1–18).

2:16 Jews who had been saved knew that there was no salvation in the law. The law condemned to death those who failed to obey it perfectly. This brought the curse on all, because all have broken its sacred precepts. The Savior is here presented as the only true object of faith. Paul reminds Peter that “even we Jews” came to the conclusion that salvation is by faith in Christ and not by law-keeping. What was the sense now of Peter’s putting Gentiles under the law? The law told people what to do but gave them no power to do it. It was given to reveal sin, not to be a savior.

2:17 Paul and Peter and others had sought justification in Christ and in Christ alone. Peter’s actions at Antioch, however, seemed to indicate that he was not completely justified, but had to go back under the law to complete his salvation. If this is so, then Christ is not a perfect and sufficient Savior. If we go to Him to have our sins forgiven, but then have to go elsewhere in addition, is not Christ a minister of sin in failing to fulfill His promises? If, while we are professedly depending on Christ for justification, we then go back to the law (which can only condemn us as sinners), do we act as Christians? Can we hope for Christ’s approval on such a course of action that in effect makes Him a minister of sin? Paul’s answer is an indignant Certainly not!

2:18 Peter had abandoned the whole legal system for faith in Christ. He had repudiated any difference between Jew and Gentile when it came to finding favor with God. Now, by refusing to eat with Gentiles, he is building up again what he once destroyed. In so doing, he proves himself to be a transgressor. Either he was wrong in leaving the law for Christ, or he is wrong now in leaving Christ for the law!

2:19 The penalty for breaking the law is death. As a sinner, I had broken the law. Therefore, it condemned me to die. But Christ paid the penalty of the broken law for me by dying in my place. Thus when Christ died, I died. He died to the law in the sense that He met all its righteous demands; therefore, in Christ, I too have died to the law.

The Christian has died to the law; he has nothing more to do with it. Does this mean that the believer is at liberty to break the Ten Commandments all he wants? No, he lives a holy life, not through fear of the law, but out of love to the One who died for him. Christians who desire to be under the law as a pattern of behavior do not realize that this places them under its curse. Moreover, they cannot touch the law in one point without being responsible to keep it completely. The only way we can live to God is by being dead to the law. The law could never produce a holy life; God never intended that it should. His way of holiness is explained in verse 20.

2:20 The believer is identified with Christ in His death. Not only was He crucified on Calvary, I was crucified there as well—in Him. This means the end of me as a sinner in God’s sight. It means the end of me as a person seeking to merit or earn salvation by my own efforts. It means the end of me as a child of Adam, as a man under the condemnation of the law, as my old, unregenerate self. The old, evil “I” has been crucified; it has no more claims on my daily life. This is true as to my standing before God; it should be true as to my behavior.

The believer does not cease to live as a personality or as an individual. But the one who is seen by God as having died is not the same one who lives. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The Savior did not die for me in order that I might go on living my life as I choose. He died for me so that from now on He might be able to live His life in me. The life which I now live in this human body, I live by faith in the Son of God. Faith means reliance or dependence. The Christian lives by continual dependence on Christ, by yielding to Him, by allowing Christ to live His life in him.

Thus the believer’s rule of life is Christ and not the law. It is not a matter of striving, but of trusting. He lives a holy life, not out of fear of punishment, but out of love to the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself for him.

Have you ever turned your life over to the Lord Jesus with the prayer that His life might be manifest in your body?

2:21 The grace of God is seen in His unconditional gift of salvation. When man tries to earn it, he is making it void. It is no longer by grace if man deserves it or earns it. Paul’s final thrust at Peter is effective. If Peter could obtain favor with God by Jewish observances, then Christ died for nothing; He literally threw His life away. Christ died because man could obtain righteousness in no other way—not even by law-keeping.

Clow says:

The deepest heresy of all, which corrupts churches, leavens creeds with folly, and swells our human hearts with pride, is salvation by works. “I believe,” writes John Ruskin, “that the root of every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered, has been the effort to earn salvation rather than to receive it; and that one reason why preaching is so ineffective is that it calls on men oftener to work for God than to behold God working for them.”


William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 1879–1880.

 

 

The Illogical Thinking of An “Agnostic” (RIP Bugliosi)

(Originally posted October 2011, the 2nd reposting was when Vincent Bugliosi died in June 2015. I am reposting this March of 2022 to update the media in the post.)

I am re-posting this because Vincent Bugliosi just passed away. He was a legend in his field who wrote many good books. But even smart people say DUMB things.

INCORRECTLY DEFINING AGNOSTICISM

I was surprised in listening to Vincent Bugliosi in an interview about his book, Divinity of Doubt: The God Question. Surprised because considering his book on debunking pretty much every JFK conspiracy known to man, I would expect him to realize his fundamental mistake that taints his whole view.

So when I heard Mr. Bugliosi quote Gertrude Stein as part of his definition of agnosticism…..

“There ain’t no answer.
There ain’t gonna be any answer.
There never has been an answer.
There’s your answer.”

…. I immediately knew he was a second rate skeptic churning every old cliché over again for a new generation.

PROPERLY DEFINING “SOFT” & “HARD” AGNOSICISM

So here we should define for the layman what an agnostic is and why some say that there are two kinds… one being indistinguishable from an atheist.

✓ Atheism: The belief that there is no God. This is typically the conviction that there is no personal Creator of the universe, and no powerful, incorporeal, perfect being in heaven or anywhere else.

✓ Agnosticism: The state of not-knowing whether there is a God or not. The humble agnostic says that he doesn’t know whether there is a God. The less humble agnostic says that you don’t, either. The least humble agnostic thinks that we can’t ever really know.

Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies (Foster City, CA: IDG Books, 1999), 238.

Okay, most philosophy texts and dictionaries will at times make this distinction. Again, that there are two types of agnostics. A soft agnostic says: “I do not know. You may. Therefore I may want to dialogue because you may have information I do not.” A hard agnostic says: “I do not know, and neither can you.”

But what about what Vincent Bugliosi said about the impossibility of knowing?

Does he know this possibility?

Let me show how his position is self refuting, incoherent, and illogical. This comes from my “chapter” via my “book” on Reincarnation vs. the Laws of Logic (references at linked chapter):

….To begin, pantheists claim that God is unknowable because it [God] is above and beyond human logic. In other words, we are told that we cannot intellectually comprehend God because he is beyond all understanding. However, this is nonsensical and self-defeating statement. Why? “Because the very act of claiming that God is beyond logic is a logical statement about God.” Also, to say that we cannot know or comprehend God, as do the agnostics, is to say that we know God. How? I will answer this with a response to agnostic claims by the associate professor of philosophy and government at the University of Texas at Austin:

To say that we cannot know anything about God is to say something about God; it is to say that if there is a God, he is unknowable. But in that case, he is not entirely unknowable, for the agnostic certainly thinks that we can know one thing about him: That nothing else can be known about him. Unfortunately, the position that we can know exactly one thing about God – his unknowability in all respects except this – is equally unsupportable, for why should this one thing be an exception? How could we know that any possible God would be of such a nature that nothing else could be known about him? On what basis could we rule out his knowability in all other respects but this one? The very attempt to justify the claim confutes it, for the agnostic would have to know a great many things about God in order to know he that couldn’t know anything else about him.

Although not the time nor place to explain the law of non-contradiction, for those who do not know, a brief perusal may be warranted. The law of non-contradiction is simply this: “‘A’ cannot be both ‘non-A’ and ‘A’ at the same time.” In the words of Professor J. P. Moreland:

When a statement fails to satisfy itself (i.e., to conform to its own criteria of validity or acceptability), it is self-refuting…. Consider some examples. “I cannot say a word in English” is self-refuting when uttered in English. “I do not exist” is self-refuting, for one must exist to utter it. The claim “there are no truths” is self-refuting. If it is false, then it is false. But is it is true, then it is false as well, for in that case there would be no truths, including the statement itself.

You see, Mr. Bugliosi is denying that you know, which means he REALLY KNOWS… which is self defeating.

You can see in this mock conversation how this woks out:

Teacher: “Welcome, students. This is the first day of class, and so I want to lay down some ground rules. First, since no one person has the truth, you should be open-minded to the opinions of your fellow students. Second… Elizabeth, do you have a question?”

Elizabeth: “Yes I do. If nobody has the truth, isn’t that a good reason for me not to listen to my fellow students? After all, if nobody has the truth, why should I waste my time listening to other people and their opinions? What’s the point? Only if somebody has the truth does it make sense to be open-minded. Don’t you agree?”

Teacher: “No, I don’t. Are you claiming to know the truth? Isn’t that a bit arrogant and dogmatic?”

Elizabeth: “Not at all. Rather I think it’s dogmatic, as well as arrogant, to assert that no single person on earth knows the truth. After all, have you met every single person in the world and quizzed them exhaustively? If not, how can you make such a claim? Also, I believe it is actually the opposite of arrogance to say that I will alter my opinions to fit the truth whenever and wherever I find it. And if I happen to think that I have good reason to believe I do know truth and would like to share it with you, why wouldn’t you listen to me? Why would you automatically discredit my opinion before it is even uttered? I thought we were supposed to listen to everyone’s opinion.”

Teacher: “This should prove to be an interesting semester.”

Another Student: “(blurts out) Ain’t that the truth.” (Students laugh)

Francis Beckwith & Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Planted in Mid-Air (Baker Book House; 1998), p. 74.

Do you see? After listening to Bugliosi himself do you understand where he went wrong? If you are a person who thinks like Bugliosi, may I posit that you are just as dogmatic as the most dogmatic atheist.

BONUS: RELATIVISM



Do All Roads Lead To God? (Exclusivity in Metaphysical Claims)

(Originally Posted Sept 2012)

The story of the six blind men and the elephant is one you hear then and again. In this short response you will see how this story collapses under its own weight. (See also Geisler’s dealing with Postmodernism)

(September 3, 2012) Ravi Zacharias responds with “precise language” to a written question. With his patented charm and clarity, Ravi responds to the challenge of “exclusivity in Christianity” that skeptics seem to think is exclusive to our faith. This is one of Ravi’s best. (While I am still devastated Ravi did what he did… I will forever share his truths expressed so well)

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.

Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions [New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959], 285-286.

Homosexuality, A Christian Ethic?

(Originally posted September of 2010)

Between this post here, and a multi-part post at True Free Thinker, the reader should get all the answers available for skeptic.

This will be a critique of some points in a presentation by gay, lesbian, and transgender about homosexuality, the Bible, and Christianity. This long article attempts to pick apart some major premises of the Christian faith that many believe are a given, but would not know how to respond to it. May I also say that we as Christians should be welcoming to the gay community, while at the same time not affirming. This can be tough and should be a challenge in one’s life to show the loving kindness we have already through Christ by applying it to our cultural surroundings while not giving up the Gospel and its absoluteness. Paul was a missionary to his surroundings as we should be as well. One of the major arguments in the same sex marriage debate deals with this accepting but not affirming aspect. We want the state to accept the homosexual lifestyle by not impinging on the privacy of one’s home, but also to not affirm as a body politik this behavior by allowing marriage.

I have written on this subject a bit. I have a paper entitle Roman Epicurianism: Natural Law and Homosexuality, as well as many points of debate over the years. You can see a few of them here

These links are not up for debate, merely a posting of my position in regards to this topic exhumed. Okay. onto this critique of some bad thinking and application. And I truly think that ultimately this debate is not about homosexuality, but about which hermeneutic one used to interpret the Bible. This was dealt with many years ago and can be found in a free book pictured and linked to the right. The Rev. Mel White, who happens to be the co-founder of Soulforce, wrote an article entitled “What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality.” (For those interested, I read Mel’s first book, Stranger at the Gate.) It is some of the points in this article I will critique and use my resources to critique as well. My first critique comes from premise number one, and is the only point I will take from this first premise. It deals with Jesus Christ and is short and sweet:

“Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.”

Partially true. But one can surmise from other statements and positions that God (Jesus Christ) accepts the goodness of His creation as the norm, making outright other acts inferior in form. This norm is something Soulforce stands against as the Anti-Heterosexism Meeting hints at. Where does Jesus stand on this? Let us read Matthew 19:3-6:

Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?” “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female , and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

This seems pretty straight forward. Not only is Jesus affirming young earth creationism here, in contradistinction to evolutionary thought (Adam and Eve), he is also affirming a norm. A model for those reading his words to follow. Jesus like wise affirms other main aspects of “fundamentalism” that are worth listing to show the literal interpretation He had on historical events:

(AiG Source)

Back to the verse at hand [Matt 19:3-6]. Here Jesus is not merely mentioning a historical event that the prophets, Apostles, God, and I believe to have happened. Jesus is accessing a moral category that stems from biology. A more modern author talks about this in natural law and biological/scientific terms:

Matrimonial law has traditionally understood marriage as consummated by – and only by – the reproductive-type acts of spouses[1] whom make this biological whole. Robert George mentions a thought experiment by Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Germain Grisez:

Imagine a type of bodily, ra­tional being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, however, locomotion or diges­tion is performed not by individuals, but only by complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anybody acquainted with such beings have dif­ficulty understanding that in respect of reproduction the organism perform­ing the function is the individual, while in respect of locomotion or digestion, the organism performing the function is the united pair? Would anybody deny that the union effected for purposes of locomotion is an organic unity? [2]

In this short analogy, one can see that because of biology, law is fashioned to affirm one action as naturally well for society over another. Not because of bias or phobia, but because inherent in the male and female are two potential parts of a different organism, one that can reproduce naturally. What did I mean by inherent? Professor George explains:

take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized (Q&A: PapaG Style)

This is what God (Jesus) was accessing… the created order and its inherent qualities that define moral categories via Natural Law. In a wonderful book, The Apologetics of Jesus, Geisler and Zukeran in their chapter on Jesus’ use of reason, quote Dallas Willard, the Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles:

We need to understand that Jesus is a thinker, that this is not a dirty word but an essential work, and that his other attributes do not pre­clude thought, but only insure that he is certainly the greatest thinker of the human race: “the most intelligent person who ever lived on earth.” He constantly uses the power of logical insight to enable people to come to the truth about themselves and about God from the inside of their own heart and mind. Quite certainly it also played a role in his own growth in “wisdom.”[3]

Indeed. Jesus was a thinker who accessed Natural Law, the Laws of Thought, and the like. His use of such demand our response and understanding of what He was wielding. That is point number one.

Point number two comes along lines I am very familiar to. Ad hominem attacks. I will quote the Revs second premise:

Over the centuries people who misunderstood or misinterpreted the Bible have done terrible things. The Bible has been misused to defend bloody crusades and tragic inquisitions; to support slavery, apartheid, and segregation; to persecute Jews and other non-Christian people of faith; to support Hitler’s Third Reich and the Holocaust; to oppose medical science; to condemn interracial marriage; to execute women as witches; and to support the Ku Klux Klan.

This is a lot to deal with, so I will deal with just a few, historically and logically. Logic first. Assuming that all of the above is correct in the way Mel White understands it, so what? How does this affect the veracity of the argument at hand? It would be like me quoting all the cases of homosexual violence against heterosexuals negate any argument from Mel’s side. See for instance:

(Even most of the priestly attacks were male on male.) Cataloging these crimes makes no judgment on whether or not this particular argument is Biblical or sound.[4] It has no bearing on whether there are degrees of offense to God and his created order. None. They are non-sequiturs. I could likewise quote the same exact thing and mention that this view Rev. White holds to is just like the examples I gave, a misuse of the Bible. Again, the one has nothing to do with the other, other than to engender feelings of animosity that drive the progressive to action. Rightly or wrongly. One author puts it thus:

…he [Mel White] uses a lot of anecdotal arguments about this inexcusable behavior, but that is not really a substantive argument. We could just as easily speak about the Crusades, slavery, the treatment of women, etc. None of the anecdotes deal with the heart issue, namely, what the Bible says about homosexuality. Still, it’s fine for him to use these to get an emotional appeal going before he dives into his argument.[4a]

That aside, I would love to deal with a few of the historical aspects of this point number two by the Reverend White.

  • The Crusades

This is from a philosophy 101 class my son and I took at a local community college. Francis Collins, one of America’s leading scientists and head of the Genome Project for America – one of the most important scientific programs of our day, stepped outside his expertise and tried to don on a cap of a historian at times. Here is my critique of a portion of Collins book[5] for class:

b. Faith in God is harmful, since “throughout history terrible things have been done in the name of religion” (p. 39).

Another favorite of the skeptic. Here Collins drops the ball in my opinion. I will critique two aspects of his work: i. his understanding of Islam, and ii. His understanding of comparative crimes.

i. Collins is getting out of his genre a bit. If I met him I would probably hand him two books by Robert Spencer. Quickly, before I quote Spencer. Muhammad personally ordered (and partook in) the slitting of 900 throats of men, women, and children. Jesus, when Peter cut off the Roman soldiers ear, told Peter to put the sword away and healed the soldiers ear.

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great re­ligious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strongminded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been wor­shipped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their prac­tical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a con­sistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the com­prehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.[6]

Not to mention that just saying the Crusades were wrong is almost jeuvinile. Robert Spencer talks a bit about the lead up to Christendom finally responding — rightly at first, woefully latter.

The Third Crusade (1188-1192). This crusade was proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Crusader forces of Hattin in 1187. This venture failed to retake Jerusalem, but it did strengthen Outremer, the crusader state that stretched along the coast of the Levant.[7]

The almost Political Correct myth is that the crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world.[8] I can see with quoting Tillich and Bonhoeffer, although worthy men to quote, they are typically favorites of the religious left. Robert Schuller and Desmond Tutu on the back of the cover of Collins first edition are also dead give a ways. So PC thought is entrenched in Collins general outlook on religion and life. Continuing:

The conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood as the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression, and Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: Early in the eighth century, sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam; and Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction to others, even their own children.

Brutal subordinations and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of Saint Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christians cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.[9]

A pastor once made mention to me that to paint a picture of the crusaders in a single year in history is like showing photos and video of Hitler hugging children and receiving flowers from them and then showing photos and video of the Allies attacking the German army. It completely forgets what Hitler and Germany had done prior.

While the church withheld the Bible from most, so the misuse of it wasn’t the case as much as a drive for political supremacy — and in fact was the catalyst for the Reformers and pre-Reformers getting copies of it into the laities hand so they could actually read what the Bible said on such matters — the response by the West’s only large organization to the Islamo-Fascism of the day was in fact a net-good. (Actually showing that God can bring good out of the bad.) This response may have been carried out wrongly at times engendering people’s fears and prejudices, however, the Bible played no role in these fears or prejudices. Mainly because the people involved in these atrocities had no access to a Bible. That aside, the totality of the Crusades [good and bad] was a net moral good for our planet and shows God’s providence over the course of history.

  • Witch Trials

Here I wish to point something out that Gregory Koukl mentioned in his article, “The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?” In it he points out that,

…between June and September of 1692 five men and fourteen women were eventually convicted and hanged because English law called for the death penalty for witchcraft (which, incidentally, was the same as the Old Testament). During this time there were over 150 others that were imprisoned. Things finally ended in September 1692 when Governor William Phipps dissolved the court because his wife had been accused. He said enough of this insanity. It was the colony’s leading minister, by the way, who finally ended the witch hunt in 1693 and those that remained in prison were released. The judge that was presiding over the trials publicly confessed his guilt in 1697. By the way, it’s interesting to note that this particular judge was very concerned about the plight of the American Indian and was opposed to slavery. These are views that don’t sit well with the common caricature of the radical Puritans in the witch hunt. In 1711 the colony’s legislatures made reparation to the heirs of the victims. They annulled the convictions.

A man of God ended the trials. The question then is, was this guilty judge misusing Scripture as well for his care for the Native-American and the slave as well? Or, was there issues of misapplying law in cases of religious matters? And it took a religious man to set things straight? The argument Rev. White makes is again a non-sequitur, being able to be used against his position, not to mention banal.

  • Hitler’s Third Reich

This is so often misused I almost grow tired of refuting it. I can mainly supply some resources to understand some of the thinking behind the paganism found in Germany, and some of the progressive liberalism found in fascist Italy. Let us first start with a highly recommended book by Rabbi David Dalin, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany, in which, for example, the inside leaf of the book has some mind blowing points (mind blowing to the progressive):

  • The true history of Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust—how the Catholic Church did more than any other religious body to save Jewish lives
  • The real history of the Church and the Nazis—including the Nazi plan to kidnap the pope
  • The real agenda of the myth-makers: hijacking the Holocaust to attack the very idea of the papacy—especially the papacy of the late Pope John Paul II—as well as Christianity and traditional religion as a whole
  • How Hitler’s cleric, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, advised and assisted the Nazis in carrying out Hitler’s Final Solution
  • How Pope Pius XII rescued Jews—and deserves to be called a “righteous gen­tile”—while the grand mufti of Jerusalem called for their extermination

Many times people forget that 3 million Catholics were killed in Poland. Which brings me to ask if Christianity played any role in brainwashing the youth?

We are the happy Hitler Youth;

We have no need of Christian virtue;

For Adolf Hitler is our intercessor

And our redeemer.

No priest, no evil one

Can keep us

From feeling like Hitler’s children.

Not Christ do we follow, but Horst Wessel!

Away with incense and holy water pots.

Singing we follow Hitler’s banners;

Only then are we worthy of our ancestors.

I am no Christian and no Catholic.

I go with the SA through thick and thin.

The Church can be stolen from me for all I care.

The swastika makes me happy here on earth.

Him will I follow in marching step;

Baldur Von Schirach, take me along.

~ Hitler Youth Song [10] ~

In fact, there is a plaque hung on a entrance wall to the building many people (mostly Jews) lost their lives in at Auschwitz. It quotes Hitler:

“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.”[11]

Likewise, Hitler said:

“The war is going to be over. The last great task of our age will be to solve the church problem. It is only then that the nation will be wholly secure…. When I was young, my position was: Dynamite. It was only later that I understood that this sort of thing cannot be rushed. It must rot away like a gangrened member. The point that must be reached is to have the pulpits filled with none but boobs, and the congregations with none but old women. The healthy young people are with us.”[12]

So if not in the name of Christianity and in fact a rejection of the Bible… what was it done in the name of and accepting which worldview? I have some ideas on this. The first is in what name. Philosophical Naturalism, or the Neo-Darwinian Worldview. For instance, Hitler himself mentions this in Mein Kampf:

“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”[13]

Hitler referred to this dispensation of nature as “quite logical.” In fact, it was so logical to the Nazis that they built concentration camps to carry out their convictions about the human race as being “nothing but the product of heredity and environment” or as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.”[14] It is significant to note that some of the Crusaders and others who used force to further their creeds in the name of God were acting in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ.[15]

Here is where the German Nazi’s diverged from what is known to be fascism as lived in Italy under Mussolini (dealt with later). I will present here some occultic ties that twisted the Super Man into the monster he became. Again, showing that this movement had nothing to do with the Bible[16]:

Many of the Nazi emblems, such as the swastika, the double lightning bolt “SS” symbol, and even the inverted triangle symbol used to identify classes of prisoners in the concentration camps, originated among homosexual occultists in Germany (some, such as the swastika, are actually quite ancient symbols which were merely revived by these homosexual groups). In 1907, Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfels (Lanz), a former Cistercian monk whom the church excommunicated because of his homosexual activities, flew the swastika flag above his castle in Austria. After his expulsion from the church, Lanz founded the Ordo Novi Templi (“Order of the New Temple”), which merged occultism with violent anti-Semitism. A 1958 study of Lanz called, “Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab” – or, “The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas” – by Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Daim, called Lanz the true “father” of National Socialism.

List, a close associate of Lanz, formed the Guido Von List Society in Vienna in 1904. The Guido Von List Society was accused of practicing a form of Hindu Tantrism, which featured sexual perversions in its rituals (the swastika is originally from India). A man named Aleister Crowley, who, according to Hitler biographer J. Sydney Jones, enjoyed “playing with black magic and little boys,” popularized this form of sexual perversion in occult circles. List was “accused of being the Aleister Crowley of Vienna”. Like Lanz, List was an occultist; he wrote several books on the magic principles of rune letters (from which he chose the “SS” symbol). In 1908, List “was unmasked as the leader of a blood brotherhood which went in for sexual perversion and substituted the swastika for the cross”. The Nazis borrowed heavily from Lis’s occult theories and research. List also formed an elitist occult priesthood called the Armanen Order, to which Hitler himself may have belonged.

The Nazi dream of an Aryan super-race was adopted from an occult group called the Thule Society, founded in 1917 by followers of Lanz and List. The occult doctrine of the Thule Society held that the survivors of an ancient and highly developed lost civilization could endow Thule initiates with esoteric powers and wisdom. The initiates would use these powers to create a new race of Aryan supermen who would eliminate all “inferior” races.

This is the first known Swastika known to be in Germany,
and it is a political poster by the occult Thule Society

Hitler dedicated his book, Mein Kampf, to Dietrich Eckart, one of the Thule Society’s inner circle and a former leading figure in the German Worker’s Party (when they met at the gay bar mentioned earlier).

And among them I want also to count that man, one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of his, our people, in his writings and his thoughts

After the above dedication, the notes in this edition of Mein Kampf read, “Dietrich Eckart was the spiritual founder of the National Socialist Party.” The various occult groups mentioned above were outgrowths of the Theosophical Society, whose founder, Helen Petrovna Blavatsky, was a lesbian, and whose “bishop” was a notorious pederast Charles Leadbeater. Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was obsessed with Freemasonry, which is full of occultic influences and practices.

The dreaded SA Brownshirts or Sturmabteilung (“Storm Troopers”, the SA) were largely the creation of another homosexual, Gerhard Rossbach.

the SA, under its leader Ernst Rohm, was administered to a large extent by homosexuals. And elaborate pimping service had been developed to satisfy the appetites of Rohm and his cohort

Rossbach, who historian Gruber says “was a open homosexual,” formed the Rossbachbund (“Rossbach Brotherhood”), a homosexual unit of the Freikorps (“Free Corps”), The Freikorps were independent inactive military reserve units, which became home to the hundreds of thousands of unemployed World War I veterans in Germany. Rossbach also formed a youth organization under the Rossbuchbund, calling it the Schilljugend (“Schill Youth”). Rossbach’s staff assistant, Lieutenant Edmund Heines, a pederast and murderer, was put in charge of the Schilljugend. The Rossbuchbund later changed its name to Storm Troopers (in honor of Wotan, the ancient German God of storms).

(See also: Was Hitler a Christian) So again the question is this: “Is Reverend White correct in connecting the Third-Reich and the Holocaust to Christianity?” The obvious answer is a resounding “NO!” One last aspect before moving on. Mussolini was a very intelligent man and even had a masters degree in philosophy and in one of his books he defined what fascism is, lets read:

“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”[17]

So we can deduce from this definition given by the father of the only true fascist movement yet that it stood in direct contradistinction to Christianity. One last point before moving on to the next point. Mel documents a murder of a homosexual by a person claiming Scripture in his act. I wish not to get into said persons bad hermeneutic, exegesis, cultural and historical applications, but instead wish to bring to the attention of the reader some points of interest. Most serial killers have been either homosexual or bi-sexual. In fact, one study puts 69% of the serial killers as being homosexuals (i.e., people who were self-described homosexuals or people who had engaged in homosexual behavior immediately prior to, during, or after committing their murders).[18]

In a paper presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago by Dr. Paul Cameron in 1983, he documented that of 518 sexually-tinged mass murders in the U.S. from 1966 to 1983, 68% of the victims were killed by homosexuals! And remember that they only make up 1% to 3% of the total population.[19]

I guarantee I would be able to find some Scriptural use or understanding in the manifesto of one of these serial killers towards their victims. Would I then discount Rev. White’s stance with this? No, it is a non-sequitur. I will bring up, however, this lopsided percentage I quoted above later; as I believe it to show something else about this topic. Mel White thinks “it’s important to hear these stories, because [he] not writing this little pamphlet as a scholarly exercise… [but as]… a matter of life and death.” Using his own thinking, I will write with this in mind. Which brings me to the next topic, his fourth premise.

Mel writes:

“organizations representing 1,500,000 American health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have said clearly that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, a combination of yet unknown pre-and-post-natal influences.”

This is partially true. There is good evidence that some influence comes from pre-natal influences. And there is work being done that may not only allow for the parent to catch and correct down-syndrome in the womb, but also to make sure their child is heterosexual. However, this being said, most of the homosexuals in the real world have been affected by outside influence and is correctable by counseling. And this graphic (below) Reverend White has on his site doesn’t explain how the American Psychiatric Association (APA) came to this conclusion.

Jeffrey Satinover in his book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth,[20] deals with this current position and how the APA got there:

A CHANGE OF STATUS

The APA vote to normalize homosexuality was driven by pol­itics, not science. Even sympathizers acknowledged this. Ronald Bayer was then a Fellow at the Hastings Institute in New York. He reported how in 1970 the leadership of a homosexual faction within the APA planned a “systematic effort to disrupt the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association” [R. Bayer, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagno­sis (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 102.]They de­fended this method of “influence” on the grounds that the APA represented “psychiatry as a social institution” rather than a sci­entific body or professional guild.

At the 1970 meetings, Irving Bieber, an eminent psychoana­lyst and psychiatrist, was presenting a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism.” He was abruptly challenged:

[Bieber’s] efforts to explain his position … were met with derisive laughter…. [One] protester to call him a . “I’ve read your book, Dr. Bieber, and if that book talked about black people the way it talks about homosexuals, you’d be drawn and quartered and you’d deserve it.” [102-103]

The tactics worked. Acceding to pressure, the organizers of the following APA conference in 1971 agreed to sponsor a special panel—not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals. If the panel was not approved, the program chairman had been warned, “They’re [the homosexual activists] not going to break up just one section” [104].

But the panel was not enough. Bayer continues:

Despite the agreement to allow homosexuals to conduct their own panel discussion at the 1971 convention, gay activists in Wash­ington felt that they had to provide yet another jolt to the psychi­atric profession…. Too smooth a transition… would have deprived the movement of its most important weapon—the threat of disorder…. [They] turned to a Gay Liberation Front collective in Washington to plan the May 1971 demonstration. Together with the collective [they] developed a detailed strategy for disruption, paying attention to the most intricate logistical details.[104-105]

On May 3, 1971, the protesting psychiatrists broke into a meet­ing of distinguished members of the profession. They grabbed the microphone and turned it over to an outside activist, who declared:

Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you…. We’re rejecting you all as our owners.[105-106]

No one raised an objection. The activists then secured an appearance before the APA’s Committee on Nomenclature. Its chairman allowed that perhaps homosexual behavior was not a sign of psychiatric disorder, and that the Diagnostic and Statis­tical Manual (DSM) should probably therefore reflect this new understanding.

When the committee met formally to consider the issue in 1973 the outcome had already been arranged behind closed doors. No new data was introduced, and objectors were given only fifteen minutes to present a rebuttal that summarized seventy years of psychiatric and psychoanalytic opinion. When the committee voted as planned, a few voices formally appealed to the mem­bership at large, which can overrule committee decisions even on “scientific” matters.

The activists responded swiftly and effectively. They drafted a letter and sent it to the over thirty thousand members of the APA, urging them “to vote to retain the nomenclature change” [145]. How could the activists afford such a mailing? They purchased the APA membership mailing list after the National Gay Task Force (NGTF) sent out a fund-raising appeal to their membership.

Bayer comments:

Though the NGTF played a central role in this effort, a decision was made not to indicate on the letter that it was written, at least in part, by the Gay Task Force, nor to reveal that its distribution was funded by contributions the Task Force had raised. Indeed, the letter gave every indication of having been conceived and mailed by those [psychiatrists] who [originally] signed it. . . . Though each signer publicly denied any role in the dissimulation, at least one signer had warned privately that to acknowledge the organizational role of the gay community would have been the “kiss of death.”

There is no question however about the extent to which the offi­cers of the APA were aware of both the letter’s origins and the mechanics of its distribution. They, as well as the National Gay Task Force, understood the letter as performing a vital role in the effort to turn back the challenge.[146]

Because a majority of the APA members who responded voted to support the change in the classification of homosexuality, the decision of the Board of Trustees was allowed to stand. But in fact only one-third of the membership did respond. (Four years later the journal Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality reported on a survey it conducted. The survey showed that 69 percent of psy­chiatrists disagreed with the vote and still considered homosex­uality a disorder.) Bayer remarks:

The result was not a conclusion based upon an approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of the times. [3-4]

Two years later the American Psychological Association—the professional psychology guild that is three times larger than the APA—voted to follow suit.

How much the 1973 APA decision was motivated by politics is only becoming clear even now While attending a conference in England in 1994, I met a man who told me an account that he had told no one else. He had been in the gay life for years but had left the lifestyle. He recounted how after the 1973 APA deci­sion he and his lover, along with a certain very highly placed officer of the APA Board of Trustees and his lover, all sat around the officer’s apartment celebrating their victory. For among the gay activists placed high in the APA who maneuvered to ensure a victory was this man—suborning from the top what was pre­sented to both the membership and the public as a disinter­ested search for truth.

So this graphic by the Reverend White means nothing. Most women I know who are lesbians who have intimated family members of mine their past have all said they were abused by a man in the family. Likewise, the two homosexual men I know well enough to ask, both had a sexual encounter with an older man when they were 14 years old and younger. Lesbian author Tammy Bruce intimates this story in her book:

and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. Here come[s] the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.[21]

Do you think… I am asking you… do you think this is psychological in nature? I mean, raping of boys and these boys growing into men confused, hurt, traumatized (often by a close family confidant) and expressing this confusion in unhealthy lifestyle choices? These men and women are hurting and need counseling, compassion, care, and understanding. But the best way to get this to them is not to normalize the actions done to them and they do to themselves. One author mentions the timing this “reclassification came about:

it may be just a coincidence that just about at the height of the “sexual revolution” (or devolution) the “evidence from science” changed. Keep in mind that psychiatry and psychology are soft sciences and that secular counseling and education is largely based on the societal trends de jour.[22]

Which brings me to a point I left off with in premise four. Homosexuals make up one to three percent of the population, yet, almost 70% of serial killers are homosexuals… this non-diagnosis in lieu of political correctness and the sexual revolution seems a bit quick and non-scientific, considering the abuse that leads to this lifestyle and crime stemming from this lifestyle.

In Mel’s fifth premise, you will find this:

“all kinds of relationships that don’t lead to having children:

couples who are unable to have children

couples who are too old to have children

couples who choose not to have children

people who are single”

Are these relationships (or lack of relationships) “unnatural”? There’s nothing said here that condemns or approves the love that people of the same sex have for each other, including the love I have for my partner, Gary.

In this Mr. White is saying that acts by these categories are just like acts by homosexuals. However, there is no potential in same-sex couples acts like we understand marital acts. That apparent conundrum offered by Mel has nothing on Professor Robert George’s understanding of the situation and the logical end of these acts:

ONE

Properly understood in light of a non-dualistic account of the human person, the goodness of marriage and marital intercourse simply cannot be reduced to the status of a mere means to pleasure, feelings of closeness, or any other extrinsic goal. Indeed, it cannot legitimately be treated (as some Christians have, admittedly, sought to treat it) as a mere means to procreation, though children are among the central purposes of marriage and help to specify its meaning as a moral reality even for married couples who cannot have children.

So marital acts realize the unity of marriage, which includes the coming to be of children. In consensual nonmarital sex acts, then, people damage this unity, the integrity of the marriage, inasmuch as the body is part of the personal reality of the human being and no mere sub-personal instrument to be used and disposed of to satisfy the subjective wants of the conscious and desiring part of the “self.”

The psychosomatic integrity of the person is another of the basic or intrinsic goods of the human person. This integrity is disrupted in any sexual act that lacks the common good of marriage as its central specifying point. Where sex is sought purely for pleasure, or as a means of inducing feelings of emotional closeness, or for some other extrinsic end, the body is treated as a sub-personal, purely instrumental, reality. This existential separation of the body and the conscious and desiring part of the self serves literally to dis-integrate the person. It takes the person apart, disrupting the good of acting as the dynamically unified being one truly is.[23]

TWO

(1) Marriage, considered not as a mere legal convention, but, rather, as a two-in-one-flesh communion of persons that is consummated and actualized by sexual acts of the reproductive type, is an intrinsic . . . human good; as such, marriage provides a non-instrumental reason for spouses, whether or not they are capable of conceiving children in their acts of genital union, to perform such acts.

(2) In choosing to perform non-marital orgasmic acts, including sodomitical acts—irrespective of whether the persons performing such acts are of the same or opposite sexes (and even if those persons are validly married to each other)—persons necessarily treat their bodies and those of their sexual partners (if any) as means or instruments in ways that damage their personal (and interpersonal) integrity; thus, regard for the basic human good of integrity provides a conclusive moral reason not to engage in sodomitical and other non-marital sex acts.[24]

THREE

It is sometimes thought that defenders of traditional marriage law deny the possibility of something whose possibility critics of the law affirm. “Love” these critics say “makes a family” And it is committed love that justifies homosexual sex as much as it justifies

heterosexual sex. If marriage is the proper, or best, context for sexual love, the argument goes, then marriage should be made available to loving, committed same-sex as well as opposite-sex partners on terms of strict equality. To think otherwise is to suppose that same-sex partners cannot really love each other, or love each other in a committed way, or that the orgasmic “sexual expression” of their love is somehow inferior to the orgasmic “sexual expression” of couples who “arrange the plumbing differently.”

In fact, however, at the bottom of the debate is a possibility that defenders of traditional marriage law affirm and its critics deny, namely, the possibility of marriage as a one-flesh communion of persons. The denial of this possibility is central to any argument designed to show that the moral judgment at the heart of the traditional understanding of marriage as inherently heterosexual is unreasonable, unsound, or untrue. If reproductive-type acts in fact unite spouses interpersonally, as traditional sexual morality and marriage law suppose, then such acts differ fundamentally in meaning, value, and significance from the only types of sexual acts that can be performed by same-sex partners.

Liberal sexual morality which denies that marriage is inherently heterosexual necessarily supposes that the value of sex must be instrumental either to procreation or pleasure. considered, in turn, as an end-in-itself or as a means of expressing affection, tender feelings, etc. Thus, proponents of the liberal view suppose that homosexual sex acts are indistinguishable from heterosexual acts whenever the motivation for such acts is something other than procreation. The sexual act of homosexual partners, that is to say, are indistinguishable in motivation, meaning, value, and significance from the marital acts of spouses who know that at least one spouse is temporarily or permanently infertile. Thus, the liberal argument goes, traditional matrimonial law is guilty of unfairness in treating sterile heterosexuals as capable of marrying while treating homosexual partners as ineligible to marry.

….it is a central tenet of the traditional view that the value (and point) of sex is the intrinsic good of marriage itself which is actualized in sexual acts which unite spouses biologically and, thus, interpersonally. The traditional view rejects the instrumentalization of sex (and, thus, of the bodies of sexual partners) to any extrinsic end. This does not mean that procreation and pleasure are not rightly sought in marital acts; it means merely that they are rightly sought when they are integrated with the basic good and justifying point of marital sex, namely, the one-flesh union of marriage itself.

It is necessary, therefore, for critics of traditional matrimonial law to argue that the apparent one-flesh unity that distinguishes marital acts from sodomitical acts is illusory, and, thus, that the apparent bodily communion of spouses in reproductive-type acts—which, according to the traditional view, form the biological matrix of their marital relationship is not really possible.[25]

I will import a critique by someone I consider a friend. He has an excellent series of posts dealing with this same article I am. I will let him comment a bit on Reverend White’s misuse of Genesis:

While appealing to Genesis ch. 1 and 2 Rev. Dr. Mel White only quotes five words, “In the beginning” and “it’s good.” This, of course, offers no context whatsoever. Yet, he concludes,

“We can also learn from this story that ultimately God is our Creator, that God shaped us, and said, ‘It’s good.’ Isn’t this the heart of the text?”

God proclaimed His creations “good” and the entirety of His creation “very good” while it was in the un-fallen state in which He had created all things-this is the heart of the text.

Now, let us consider an extremely important aspect of the story of creation as regards our discussion of human sexuality.

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field. But there was not found a suitable helper for Adam. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. And the Lord God made the rib (which He had taken from the man) into a woman. And He brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife; and they were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18-25).

Notice the intermixing of a discussion of Adam being alone and that of animals being brought before Adam to be named. What were the names Adam gave the animals? What language did he speak? Can etymology disclose these original names? As interesting as these questions may be they are neither as relevant nor as important as what the text is relating to us. What is the text relating?

Firstly, note that Adam’s being alone was described as “not good” and that the solution is to make “a helper suitable for him.” At this point we do not know what or whom (or what gender) this helper will be. Adam then witnesses all of the animals and yet, “there was not found a suitable helper for Adam.” Next the Lord created Eve and brought her to Adam who said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Understand the picture and Adam’s astonished excitement. He has just seen every sort of living being and has apparently noticed that they are not like him, “This one has wings-I don’t, this one has a trunk-I don’t, this one has a tail-I don’t,” we may imagine Adam thinking. But when he sees Eve he makes a statement that expresses his acknowledgment of her as being like him, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”-the perfect match for a lonely man, the companion, the helper, is a woman.

What Rev. Dr. Mel White did not point out is that the creation story has been viewed for millennia as the model for marriage. This is why “a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:18-25). One man and one woman leaving their families in order to come together for life. Keep in mind that Adam and Eve did not have human parents, which is an indication that this is meant to be a model for future generations.[26]

In dealing with these Scriptures and positions the Reverend takes, I would read forward from the link provided in footnote number twenty-six. Ken Ammi is a Messianic Jew who has an excellent grasp of the Old Testament and the created order.

I wish to end this long post by dealing with White’s (and the progressive’s) understanding of equality. In other articles the Reverend White pushes the idea that we all should be treated equal. The progressive left envisions an egalitarian society. The left values equality above other values. You cannot have equality AND liberty at the same time. You must choose one or the other.

[THERE WAS A VIDEO HERE… BUT IT IS LONG GONE IN THE ETHER OF YOUTUBE]

Prager:

Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity. This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.[27]

FOOTNOTES

[1] Robert P. George, The Clash Of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2001), 79. This is from my online chapter, Roman Epicurean’ism: Natural Law and Homosexuality.

[2] Ibid., 344.

[3] Dallas Willard, “Jesus the Logician,” Christian Scholars Review (summer 1999): 610; taken from Norman Geisler and Patrick Zukeran, The Apologetics of Jesus: A Caring Approach to Dealing With Doubters (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009), 66.

[4] This is a tactic used often by the left. See my recent debate entitled “Discussing Mosques and Men,” especially point number two.

[4a] Daniel B. Wallace, Review of Mel White’s “What the Bible Says — and Doesn’t Say — about Homosexuality”

[5] Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (New York, NY: Free Press, 2006).

[6] Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.

[7] Robert Spencer, The Politically Correct Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2005), 147-148.

[8] Ibid., 122.

[9] Ibid., 122-123.

[10] Gene Edward Veith, Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview (Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1993), 67; See Ernst Christian Helmreich, The German Churches Under Hitler: Back­ground, Struggle, and Epilogue (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1979), 267; Horst Wessel was the composer of the party anthem. Baldur von Schirach was the Reich Youth Leader – See Hermann Glaser, The Cultural Roots of National Socialism (Austin, TX: University Texas Press, 1978), 43, 56n.

[11] Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God (Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 1994), 23.

[12] From Hitler’s Tabletalk (December 1941); quoted in the Joachim Remake ed., The Nazi Years: A Documentary History (Lon Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 1990), 105.

[13] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), 161-162.

[14] “The SS Blood and Soul,” one of four videos in a video series entitled, The Occult History of the Third Reich (St. Lauret, Quebec: Madacy Entertainment Group, 1998); Now in DVD – ISBN: 0974319465).

[15] For a thorough view on this topic, see my Racism and Evolutionary Thought.

[16] For full referencing see, Homosexuality, Pederasty, & Occultism’s Combined Influence On the Third Reich, this section begins on page 3.

[17] Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77; quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18. Read more: RPT What “Is” Fascism (Two Posts Combined & Imported from Old Blog)

[18] Homosexual Serial Killers: Statistical analysis of the proportion of homosexuality among serial killers, with a listing of prominent GLBT/homosexual serial killers.

[19] Don Boys, Ph.D., Most Mass Killers Have Been Homosexual!

[20] (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 32-35.

[21] Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 90,99.

[22] Ken Ammi, Rev. Dr. Mel White on Christian Homosexuality, part 3 of 21

[23] Robert P. George, A Clash of Orthodoxies, 1999 First Things 95 (August/September 1999)..

[24] Robert P. George, In Defense of Natural Law (New York, NY: Oxford Universit Press, 1999), 115.

[25] Robert P. George, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis (Wilmington, DE: ISI books, 2001), 80-82.

[26] Ken Ammi, Rev. Dr. Mel White on Christian Homosexuality, part 5 of 21

[27] Democracy Forums, Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality.

What Is “Liberal” or “Progressive” Christianity?

A friend asked the following: “Question… Can you tell me what Liberal Christian means. In short form so Lisa can understand….” The Gospel Coalition defines it thus:

  • Liberal theology is rooted in modern, secular theories of knowledge and has moved towards participation in the work of the church as the priority for Christians at the expense of delineating theological belief, which has led to the abandonment of many orthodox beliefs in many mainline denominations.

Likewise, a friend noted, “I understand liberal theology as subscribing to the Enlightenment presuppositions concerning naturalism. Thus, liberal theology is skeptical concerning supernaturalism. Like Occam, they look for a logical/natural explanation for everything, including the 10 plagues of Egypt, the virgin birth, and the resurrection.”

But this seemingly short definition is followed by a larger article discussing it’s origins. The enlightenment and the differing forms it took were also heavily influential on liberalism both in religious and political reals, as well as “critical theory” stressed by Jacques Derrida:

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions. Although Derrida at times expressed regret concerning the fate of the word “deconstruction,” its popularity indicates the wide-ranging influence of his thought, in philosophy, in literary criticism and theory, in art and, in particular, architectural theory, and in political theory. Indeed, Derrida’s fame nearly reached the status of a media star, with hundreds of people filling auditoriums to hear him speak, with films and televisions programs devoted to him, with countless books and articles devoted to his thinking. Beside critique, Derridean deconstruction consists in an attempt to re-conceive the difference that divides self-consciousnes (the difference of the “of” in consciousness of oneself). But even more than the re-conception of difference, and perhaps more importantly, deconstruction attempts to render justice. Indeed, deconstruction is relentless in this pursuit since justice is impossible to achieve.

(STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY)

What follows below will travel between the theological aspects of liberalism, as well as the attacks on our Founding documents (political).

Ravi Zacharias does a decent job in showing the basics of liberalism in it’s “questioning” aspect, and that this has been around a long time — that is — the postmodern tendency:

(I deal with the postmodernism of the church and the Emergent Church in my chapter, “Emergen[t]Cy – Investigating Post Modernism In Evangelical Thought“)

The following quotes by the author who put a warning shot across the bow of the modern “liberal” attack of the church… J. Gresham Machen. However, these quotes can in some sense be applied to the Constitution as well (more on this in a bit).

  • The chief modern rival of Christianity is “liberalism.” An examination of the teachings of liberalism in comparison with those of Christianity will show that at every point the two movements are in direct opposition.
  • Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity–liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God.
  • It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism on the other hand is founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.
  • The movement designated as “liberalism” is regarded as “liberal” only by its friends; to its opponents it seems to involve a narrow ignoring of many relevant facts.
  • According to the Christian conception, a creed is not a mere expression of Christian experience, but on the contrary it is a setting forth of those facts upon which experience is based.
  • But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.
  • Faith is essentially dogmatic. Despite all you can do, you cannot remove the element of intellectual assent from it.

So here is a “Basic” rundown… but a good definition comes from IMPACT 360 INSTITUTE (a long article):

Theology matters because beliefs are connected with behavior. In addition to this fact, one’s theology also reveals the true source of authority serving as the ultimate foundation. Am I going to be faithful to Scripture or conform to what is culturally comfortable? A recent example of this is the book, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle, which is #1 on Amazon’s “Christian self-help” category and currently #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. It is written from a loosely Christian perspective, utilizes Scripture, and speaks about God, faith, Christianity, and morality. It also teaches that you can find God within yourself, promotes moral relativism, teaches that sexuality and gender are fluid, and blames the Bible for creating a culture that oppresses women.

Blogger, speaker and apologist Alisa Childers (author of the IMPACT 360 article [linked] above) talks to us about a dangerous form of Christianity invading our churches. (Alicia has a YouTube Channel HERE)

Liberal Christianity does not mean a “politically leftist form” of the Christian Faith. Although, the same “sickness” applies that lead to similar outcomes, whether in religious beliefs or political beliefs.

That is, true conservatives conserve ideas born from natural rights, as immutable and objective — written in stone so-to-speak… the liberal progressive sees things not “in situ” (situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position) but in flux.

Changing in that, modern definitions and understandings supersede the previous outdated ideas and definitions as applied by those earlier thinkers. Dennis Prager talks about a popular saying when he was going to college in the 60’s/70’s, it was, “don’t trust anyone over 35 [years old].”

What do I mean about the same sickness?

Here is a must read (a bit long) for the avid fan of Dr. Norman Geisler who enumerates the founding “in situ” nature of the political conservationist. He deals with our countries Founding ideas:

THE CONSERVATIVE AGENDA: ITS BASIS AND ITS BASICS

The Conservative Agenda:

Its Basis and Its Basics

by Norman L. Geisler

Take for instance Joe Biden’s saying that he won’t be “satisfied” until half of the U.S. Supreme Court is filled with women who hold a “living document” view of the Constitution. To wit, a poll taken by C-SPAN a few years back notes “that 48 percent of voters overall agree that ‘the Constitution is a living document which should evolve to recognize ‘new rights’ and changing circumstances.’ That includes 80 percent of liberals and 66 percent of Democrats — but only 22 percent of conservatives and 26 percent of Republicans. Another 42 percent of voters overall say that the Constitution “should be interpreted according to its original words and meaning.” The survey found that 15 percent of liberals and 23 percent of Democrats agree with this, compared to 68 percent of conservatives and 64 percent of Republicans.”

To read the Constitution through an originalist framework means we seek to interpret and apply it in the way people understood it at the time of ratification. Human nature was no different or advanced then as now. In other words, we look at what supporters said each provision meant as they were “selling” the Constitution to the people and trying to overcome intense opposition to ratification. The assertions of supporters served as the basis upon which the ratifiers – the elected representatives of the people – agreed to adopt the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is essentially a contract forming a union of states. In any contract, provisions have a fixed meaning. [One author notes that The U.S. Constitution is a Contract, Not a Rule Book] When you sign on the dotted line, you expect them to remain constant over time. When disputes arise, you always attempt to ascertain what the parties believed they were agreeing to. The ratifiers acted with this expectation.

James Wilson was a Pennsylvania lawyer and politician. He was a key member of the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the Constitution, and one of its most influential supporters during the ratification process. His State House Yard Speech laid the foundation for the ratification effort. In 1790 and 1791, Wilson delivered a series of lectures titled Of the Study of Law in the United States. In one of these lectures, he asserted this was the proper way to interpret legal documents.

✦ “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”

Think about it. Would you sign a living, breathing mortgage? Would you enter into a living, breathing employment contract? Would you sign a living, breathing agreement with a builder to build an addition on your house?

Of course not! Because you would have no idea what that contract really means. And you certainly wouldn’t agree that the other party to the contract gets to decide how it will be interpreted.

[….]

Progressives want a living, breathing Constitution because they want to mold society into their own image. They crave power. Originalism constrains power. And despite their lip-service to constitutional fidelity, conservatives want the same thing – power.

But the rule of law requires consistency. Otherwise, government becomes arbitrary. When the limits on government power become subject to reinterpretation by the government itself, it becomes limitless in power and authority…..

(TENTH AMENDMENT SOCIETY)

The same with Christianity, and how “leftist” progressive Christians see Christianity (even if they do not word as well):

  1. True religion is not based on external authority….
  2. Christianity is a movement of social reconstruction….
  3. Christianity must be credible and relevant….
  4. Truth can be know only through changing symbols and forms….
  5. Theological controversy is about language, not about truth….
  6. The historical accuracies of biblical facts and events are not crucial, so long as we meet Jesus in the pages of Scripture….
  7. The true religion is the way of Christ, not any particular doctrines about Christ….

(THE GOSPEL COALITION)

Here is another excellent article entitled “5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity

  1. There is a lowered view of the Bible….
  2. Feelings are emphasized over facts….
  3. Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation….
  4. Historic terms are re-defined….
  5. The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice.

LONG PRESENTATIONS:

We are living in a day when liberal theology has made deep inroads in the church. Many professing Christians and even ordained ministers no longer believe in the authority of Scripture or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can people deny these essential doctrines and still call themselves Christians? In this message, Dr. Sproul explains that liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all. It is nothing more than unbelief.

In this in-person interview, I sit down with Alisa Childers to discuss “Progressive Christianity.” Is this new movement dangerous to Christianity?

What was the infectious inroad into Democrats thinking about the Constitution being alive and breathing? Darwinism and his evolutionary view of biology, via Woodrow Wilson’s impact on progressivism. This is a large excerpt from Gary Demar’s article, Charles Darwin, Woodrow Wilson, And The Evolving Constitution


APPENDIX


“In Wilson’s book, Constitutional Government (1908), he came out in favor of implementing a Darwinian view of evolution to civil government.

Constitutional Government praised the presidency as the central political office: head of the party. This was a self-conscious break from the Constitution’s view of the office. The Constitution does not mention political parties, and the Framers had hated political factions in 1787. Wilson, having switched to Progressivism, had to undermine this older political faith. He turned to Darwin as the solution.

“The framers had been Whigs because they had been Newtonians, he correctly argued. This Newtonian Whig worldview is incorrect, he insisted, and so is the Constitutional order that assumes it. ‘The government of the United States was constructed upon the Whig theory of political dynamics, which was a sort of unconscious copy of the Newtonian theory of the universe. In our own day, whenever we discuss the structure or development of anything, whether in nature or in society, we consciously or unconsciously follow Mr. Darwin; but before Mr. Darwin, they followed Newton.

Some single law, like the law of gravitation, swung each system of thought and gave it its principle of unity’ (pp. 54-55). The checks and balances built into the Federal government by the Constitution are now a hindrance to effective political action, he said. This language of balances reflects mechanism. We need to overcome this mechanical way of thinking, Wilson wrote.

“The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action” (pp. 56-57).

Does any of this sound familiar? The Constitution is a “living, evolving document” to be directed in its evolutionary development by leaders who believe that government is the divine force for change.

So the next time you hear someone talk about how the Constitution is a living document, think of Woodrow Wilson, but more specifically, think of Charles Darwin.

Ravi Zacharias (RPT’s Tribute)

(Almost all the videos or audios below are from my YouTube Channel. I recovered many of them from my Vimeo account and my MRCTV account. Enjoy, I have worked all day on fixing audio and video to make them more presentable)

  • If C.S. Lewis was the greatest Christian expositor of the 20th century, Ravi Zacharias might well go down in history as the greatest of the 21st century. Both are often described as “apologists,” but that sounds defensive to the modern ear. (WASHINGTON TIMES)
  • “To my friend, my mentor and a great hero of the faith [Ravi Zacharias] — Thank you,” Tim Tebow wrote. “I know I’ll see you again and I look forward to that day. Love you brother.” (PJ-MEDIA)

First, let me say, I am a fan of Ravi Zacharias. A huge fan. He has impacted me in countless ways, and thus, he has impacted my family. As a three-time felon, I benefited from his insights into what a Christian worldview should look like, and how a Christian should present himself. But he is a man — in need of a savior and prone to missteps and falls. Like any of us. His statement via CHRISTIANITY TODAY makes note of this:

  • “I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,” Zacharias said. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”

Ravi, like many a person I know (myself included), will always make claims not in line with reality to lift ourselves up to a greater status in life to impress others. It is almost a default of our prideful nature. I acknowledge all these faults in Ravi, and in my own life — it is a long and complex life filled with spiritual falls, scrapes, wounds, and battles. Ravi’s message of how the Christian worldview is coherent whereas others are not is not changed by his faults and missteps. God’s truth is unchangeable. As imperfect vessels, we imperfectly reflect His perfection. As you can see one of Ravi’s misstatements is made in the following video… but that retelling of flawed history by Ravi has no impact on the truth of his response in showing the self-deleting assumption of the questioner:

With that being said, Ravi passed from this place to the next. In March 2020, it was revealed that Zacharias had been diagnosed with a malignant and rare cancer within his spine. If one wants a book by him that shows the elegance of his thought and skills as a writer, his book “The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives” is the book I recommend the most. A portion of this book in audio form has been used by myself in a presentation while filling in at an adult Bible study at church (Grace Baptist). the Below is an older post of mine (updated a bit) discussing this section of the book where God’s design of our life doesn’t end with Him knitting us together in the womb — along with the mentioned audio:


BEAUTY IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP


In this presentation Ravi Zacharias takes his time explaining a talk he was present at where Dr. Francis S. Collins (WIKI) compares a cross section of DNA to a stained-glass Rose window from Yorkminster Cathedral. The design is apparent and Collins mentions it a huge boost to his faith.

At The Veritas Forum at Caltech, Francis Collins shares two images representing the scientific worldview and the spiritual worldview. He asks whether there is a way to merge science & faith, and suggests that his experience is that these two perspectives are not in conflict. (The full presentation can be seen HERE):

RAVI WRITES:

“The picture (of the DNA) did more that take away one’s breath; it was awesome in the profoundest sense of the term – not just beautiful but overwhelming. And it almost mirrored the pattern of the Rose windowThe intricacy of the DNA’s design, which pointed to the Transcendant One, astonished those who are themselves the design and who have been created semitranscendant by design. We see ourselves only partially, but through our Creator’s eyes, we see our transcendence. In looking at our own DNA, the subject and the object come together.”

TO WIT…

 


END of POST


I have other uploads as well I have used in conversation over the years as well that are instructive to the armchair apologist. Here they are (some recently imported from my VIMEO account:


AUDIO/VIDEO


Ravi Zacharias responds with “precise language” to a written question. With his patented charm and clarity, Ravi responds to the challenge of exclusivity in Christianity that skeptics challenge us with.

A student asks a question of Ravi Zacharias about God condemning people [atheists] to hell. This Q&A occurred after a presentation Ravi gave at Harvard University, and is now one of his most well-known responses in the apologetic sub-culture. This is an updated version to my original upload. I truncated the beginning as well as editing the volume of the initial question. I also added graphics and text quotes into the audio presentation.

A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload… and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)

 

(February 12, 2014) This is for a group of men that are going through Gregory Koukl’s book, “Tactics.” Often times a person merely need to ask his accuser questions to better open up what they mean by their questioning.

Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” AND WHEN HE HAD SAID THIS, HE WENT OUT AGAIN…. (NASB – emphasis added)

One example of this “Socratic Method” can be seen here: “Socratic Method ~ Falling On Their Own Sword (Origins Myths)” The students start out sounding like experts and often times the Christians will shy away from conversation when in fact the person is basing their assumptions on a self-refuting idea[s], and all that is needed to bring it out are a few questions.

(March 31, 2013) Ravi Zacharias does a great job in explaining what pornography does to shame, the Holy, and the insatiable fire of not being able to satisfy men’s archetype they build in their minds eye.

(February 11, 2014) A quick witted response brings a light heart to a serious subject. This comes from an event today from the University of Pennsylvania, titled, “Is Truth Real?” Ravi Zacharias International Ministry has the longer version here.

 

What Started Out As a Question Ended Up Being a Lesson In Gods Love

(Originally posted January of 2011)

During a Q&A with Ravi Zacharias and RZIM at Oxford, a homosexual man asks a question but really ends up encouraging those in the faith of the miraculous work of God in peoples changed lives.

Something said during this exchange that really clicks with my understanding of this very important issue. Love. Most often — as I note often in my debates and posts on this topic (see below) — there is abuse or some family issue that drives these young men and women into this lifestyle. While I am more of a political-animal/armchair-philosopher and I deal with this issue in a “cut-n-dry” fashion, love is the motivating factor of change….

Gay Christians?

….Usually the Christian [at the time of conversion] has this immense connection with their Creator and what He has done for him/her and the depths of their depravity that has been covered. Dorothy Sayers says it best:

  • “None of us feels the true love of God till we realize how wicked we are. But you can’t teach people that — they have to learn by experience.”

There is love and change available to those who seek it (GREGALOGUE). the problem has become a society that perpetuates the PC status quo, i.e, egalitarianism. To keep the quoting of Mrs. Sayers going, she comments well on tolerance:

  • “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”

This is such a great expansion to my video library and writings on this topic. I highly suggest getting the entire Q&A by Ravi.

Evolution Cannot Account for: Logic, Reasoning, Love, Truth, or Justice

(Recently Updated – Originally Posted 12-2015)

(H/T ~ Debunking Atheists)

One of the most deep thinkers of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, noted that even “liberty” ~you know, one of the ideals impregnating our Founding Documents~ would be groundless if naturalism were true [among other things]:

Atheism—pure, unadulterated atheism…. The universe was matter only, and eternal Spirit was a word without a meaning. Liberty was a word without a meaning. There was no liberty in the universe; liberty was a word void of sense. Every thought, word, passion, sentiment, feeling, all motion and action was necessary [determinism]. All beings and attributes were of eternal necessity; conscience, morality, were all nothing but fate. This was their creed, and this was to perfect human nature, and convert the earth into a paradise of pleasure Why, then, should we abhor the word “God,” and fall in love with the word “fate”? We know there exists energy and intellect enough to produce such a world as this, which is a sublime and beautiful one, and a very benevolent one, notwithstanding all our snarling; and a happy one, if it is not made otherwise by our own fault.

(See more context)

Ever hear an atheist say he’s a freethinker? Well, if atheism is true, an atheist, cannot be free nor would his thinking make any real sense. Frank Turek explains.

  • If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. (J.B.S. Haldane)

These are some of my favorite quotes and dealing with “naturalism” and their logical end-result, consequences, or logical conclusions. Merely a combining of MANY quotes and a “not-so-few” videos.

If you read the threads of several of the blog entries on this site, you will see both atheists and Christians charging one another with committing “logical fallacies.” The assumption both sides are making is that there is this objective realm of reason out there that: 1) we all have access to; 2) tells us the truth about the real world; and 3) is something we ought to use correctly if we want to know the truth. I think those are good assumptions. My question for the atheists is how do you justify these assumptions if there is no God?

If atheistic materialism is true, it seems to me that reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism). Chemicals can’t evaluate whether or not a theory is true. Chemicals don’t reason, they react.

This is ironic because atheists– who often claim to be champions of truth and reason– have made truth and reason impossible by their theory of materialism. So even when atheists are right about something, their worldview gives us no reason to believe them because reason itself is impossible in a world governed only by chemical and physical forces.

Not only is reason impossible in an atheistic world, but the typical atheist assertion that we should rely on reason alone cannot be justified. Why not? Because reason actually requires faith. As J. Budziszewski points out in his book What We Can’t Not Know, “The motto ‘Reason Alone!’ is nonsense anyway. Reason itself presupposes faith. Why? Because a defense of reason by reason is circular, therefore worthless. Our only guarantee that human reason works is God who made it.“

Let’s unpack Budziszewski‘s point by considering the source of reason. Our ability to reason can come from one of only two sources: either our ability to reason arose from preexisting intelligence or it did not, in which case it arose from mindless matter. The atheists/Darwinists/materialists believe, by faith, that our minds arose from mindless matter without intelligent intervention. I say “by faith” because it contradicts all scientific observation, which demonstrates that an effect cannot be greater than its cause. You can’t give what you haven’t got, yet atheists believe that dead, unintelligent matter has produced itself into intelligent life. This is like believing that the Library of Congress resulted from an explosion in a printing shop.

I think it makes much more sense to believe that the human mind is made in the image of the Great Mind– God. In other words, our minds can apprehend truth and can reason about reality because they were built by the Architect of truth, reality, and reason itself.

So I have two questions for atheists: 1) What is the source of this immaterial reality known as reason that we are all presupposing, utilizing in our discussions, and accusing one other of violating on occasion?; and 2) If there is no God and we are nothing but chemicals, why should we trust anything we think, including the thought that there is no God?

(Cross Examined)

Let’s consider a basic question: Why does the natural world make any sense to begin with? Albert Einstein once remarked that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. Why should we be able to grasp the beauty, elegance, and complexity of our universe?

Einstein understood a basic truth about science, namely, that it relies upon certain philosophical assumptions about the natural world. These assumptions include the existence of an external world that is orderly and rational, and the trustworthiness of our minds to grasp that world. Science cannot proceed apart from these assumptions, even though they cannot be independently proven. Oxford professor John C. Lennox asks a penetrating question, “At the heart of all science lies the conviction that the universe is orderly. Without this deep conviction science would not be possible. So we are entitled to ask: Where does the conviction come from?”” Why is the world orderly? And why do our minds comprehend this order?

Toward the end of The God Delusion, Dawkins admits that since we are the product of natural selection, our senses cannot be fully trusted. After all, according to Darwinian evolution, our senses have been formed to aid survival, not necessarily to deliver true belief. Since a human being has been cobbled together through the blind process of natural selection acting on random mutation, says Dawkins, it’s unlikely that our views of the world are completely true. Outspoken philosopher of neuro-science Patricia Churchland agrees:

The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it… enhances the organism’s chances for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.

Dawkins is on the right track to suggest that naturalism should lead people to be skeptical about trusting their senses. Dawkins just doesn’t take his skepticism far enough. In Miracles, C. S. Lewis points out that knowledge depends upon the reliability of our mental faculties. If human reasoning is not trustworthy, then no scientific conclusions can be considered true or false. In fact, we couldn’t have any knowledge about the world, period. Our senses must be reliable to acquire knowledge of the world, and our reasoning faculties must be reliable to process the acquired knowledge. But this raises a particularly thorny dilemma for atheism. If the mind has developed through the blind, irrational, and material process of Darwinian evolution, then why should we trust it at all? Why should we believe that the human brain—the outcome of an accidental process—actually puts us in touch with reality? Science cannot be used as an answer to this question, because science itself relies upon these very assumptions.

Even Charles Darwin was aware of this problem: “The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the conviction of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” If Darwinian evolution is true, we should distrust the cognitive faculties that make science possible.

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2010), 37-38.

Here is a detailing of the above in a book I recently read:

“There is no need for God,” Atkins declared. “Everything in the world can be understood without needing to evoke a God. You have to accept that’s one possible view to take about the world.”

“Sure, that’s possible,” Craig admitted. “But—”

[Interrupting] “Do you deny that science can account for everything?” challenged Atkins.

“Yes, I do deny that science can account for everything,” said Craig.

“So what can’t it account for?” demanded Atkins.

“I think that there are a good number of things that cannot be scientifically proven, but that we’re all rational to accept,” Craig began.

[Interrupting] “Such as?”

“Let me list five,” Craig continued. “[First,] logical and mathematical truths cannot be proven by science. Science presupposes logic and math so that to try to prove them by science would be arguing in a circle. [Second,] metaphysical truths like there are other minds other than my own, or that the external world is real, or that the past was not created five minutes ago with the appearance of age are rational beliefs that cannot be scientifically proven. [Third,] ethical beliefs about statements of value are not accessible by the scientific method. You can’t show by science that the Nazi scientists in the camps did anything evil as opposed to the scientists in Western democracies. [Fourth,] aesthetic judgments cannot be accessed by the scientific method because the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven. And finally, most remarkably, would be science itself. Science cannot be justified by the scientific method, since it is permeated with unprovable assumptions. For example, the special theory of relativity—the whole theory hinges on the assumption that the speed of light is constant in a one-way direction between any two points, A and B, but that strictly cannot be proven. We simply have to assume that in order to hold to the theory!”

Feeling vindicated, Buckley peered over at Atkins and cracked, “So put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 162-163.

….Darwin thought that, had the circumstances for reproductive fitness been different, then the deliverances of conscience might have been radically different. “If… men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering” (Darwin, Descent, 82). As it happens, we weren’t “reared” after the manner of hive bees, and so we have widespread and strong beliefs about the sanctity of human life and its implications for how we should treat our siblings and our offspring.

But this strongly suggests that we would have had whatever beliefs were ultimately fitness producing given the circumstances of survival. Given the background belief of naturalism, there appears to be no plausible Darwinian reason for thinking that the fitness-producing predispositions that set the parameters for moral reflection have anything whatsoever to do with the truth of the resulting moral beliefs. One might be able to make a case for thinking that having true beliefs about, say, the predatory behaviors of tigers would, when combined with the understandable desire not to be eaten, be fitness producing. But the account would be far from straightforward in the case of moral beliefs.” And so the Darwinian explanation undercuts whatever reason the naturalist might have had for thinking that any of our moral beliefs is true. The result is moral skepticism.

If our pretheoretical moral convictions are largely the product of natural selection, as Darwin’s theory implies, then the moral theories we find plausible are an indirect result of that same evolutionary process. How, after all, do we come to settle upon a proposed moral theory and its principles as being true? What methodology is available to us?

Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, eds., Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering the New Atheists & Other Objections (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009), 70.

See also my post on logical conclusions in meta-ethics and evil (like rape), HERE:

if evolution were true, then there would be selection only for survival advantage; and there would be no reason to suppose that this would necessarily include rationality. After a talk on the Christian roots of science in Canada, 2010, one atheopathic* philosophy professor argued that natural selection really would select for logic and rationality. I responded by pointing out that under his worldview, theistic religion is another thing that ‘evolved’, and this is something he regards as irrational. So under his own worldview he believes that natural selection can select powerfully for irrationality, after all. English doctor and insightful social commentator Theodore Dalrymple (who is a non-theist himself) shows up the problem in a refutation of New Atheist Daniel Dennett:

Dennett argues that religion is explicable in evolutionary terms—for example, by our inborn human propensity, at one time valuable for our survival on the African savannahs, to attribute animate agency to threatening events.

For Dennett, to prove the biological origin of belief in God is to show its irrationality, to break its spell. But of course it is a necessary part of the argument that all possible human beliefs, including belief in evolution, must be explicable in precisely the same way; or else why single out religion for this treatment? Either we test ideas according to arguments in their favour, independent of their origins, thus making the argument from evolution irrelevant, or all possible beliefs come under the same suspicion of being only evolutionary adaptations—and thus biologically contingent rather than true or false. We find ourselves facing a version of the paradox of the Cretan liar: all beliefs, including this one, are the products of evolution, and all beliefs that are products of evolution cannot be known to be true.

Jonathan D. Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, And Scientific Commentary On Genesis 1-11 (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2015), 259-259.

* Atheopath or Atheopathy: “Leading misotheist [“hatred of God” or “hatred of the gods”] Richard Dawkins [one can insert many names here] often calls theistic religion a ‘virus of the mind’, which would make it a kind of disease or pathology, and parents who teach it to their kids are, in Dawkins’ view, supposedly practising mental child abuse. But the sorts of criteria Dawkins applies makes one wonder whether his own fanatical antitheism itself could be a mental pathology—hence, ‘atheopath’.” (Taken from the Creation.com article, “The biblical roots of modern science,” by Jonathan Sarfati [published: 19 May 2012] ~ comments in the “[ ]” are mine.)

Even Darwin had some misgivings about the reliability of human beliefs. He wrote, “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

Given unguided evolution, “Darwin’s Doubt” is a reasonable one. Even given unguided or blind evolution, it’s difficult to say how probable it is that creatures—even creatures like us—would ever develop true beliefs. In other words, given the blindness of evolution, and that its ultimate “goal” is merely the survival of the organism (or simply the propagation of its genetic code), a good case can be made that atheists find themselves in a situation very similar to Hume’s.

The Nobel Laureate and physicist Eugene Wigner echoed this sentiment: “Certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.” That is, atheists have a reason to doubt whether evolution would result in cognitive faculties that produce mostly true beliefs. And if so, then they have reason to withhold judgment on the reliability of their cognitive faculties. Like before, as in the case of Humean agnostics, this ignorance would, if atheists are consistent, spread to all of their other beliefs, including atheism and evolution. That is, because there’s no telling whether unguided evolution would fashion our cognitive faculties to produce mostly true beliefs, atheists who believe the standard evolutionary story must reserve judgment about whether any of their beliefs produced by these faculties are true. This includes the belief in the evolutionary story. Believing in unguided evolution comes built in with its very own reason not to believe it.

This will be an unwelcome surprise for atheists. To make things worse, this news comes after the heady intellectual satisfaction that Dawkins claims evolution provided for thoughtful unbelievers. The very story that promised to save atheists from Hume’s agnostic predicament has the same depressing ending.

It’s obviously difficult for us to imagine what the world would be like in such a case where we have the beliefs that we do and yet very few of them are true. This is, in part, because we strongly believe that our beliefs are true (presumably not all of them are, since to err is human—if we knew which of our beliefs were false, they would no longer be our beliefs).

Suppose you’re not convinced that we could survive without reliable belief-forming capabilities, without mostly true beliefs. Then, according to Plantinga, you have all the fixins for a nice argument in favor of God’s existence For perhaps you also think that—given evolution plus atheism—the probability is pretty low that we’d have faculties that produced mostly true beliefs. In other words, your view isn’t “who knows?” On the contrary, you think it’s unlikely that blind evolution has the skill set for manufacturing reliable cognitive mechanisms. And perhaps, like most of us, you think that we actually have reliable cognitive faculties and so actually have mostly true beliefs. If so, then you would be reasonable to conclude that atheism is pretty unlikely. Your argument, then, would go something like this: if atheism is true, then it’s unlikely that most of our beliefs are true; but most of our beliefs are true, therefore atheism is probably false.

Notice something else. The atheist naturally thinks that our belief in God is false. That’s just what atheists do. Nevertheless, most human beings have believed in a god of some sort, or at least in a supernatural realm. But suppose, for argument’s sake, that this widespread belief really is false, and that it merely provides survival benefits for humans, a coping mechanism of sorts. If so, then we would have additional evidence—on the atheist’s own terms—that evolution is more interested in useful beliefs than in true ones. Or, alternatively, if evolution really is concerned with true beliefs, then maybe the widespread belief in God would be a kind of “evolutionary” evidence for his existence.

You’ve got to wonder.

Mitch Stokes, A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012), 44-45.

  • “Relativists aren’t interested in finding truth but in preserving their own autonomy. This isn’t a logical argument against relativism, of course. I’m just trying to point out that the true(!) basis for relativism is ultimately rooted in its motivation rather than in any good reasons or persuasive arguments.” — Paul Copan

This childish rejection of God in light of the evidence provided through the Book of Nature comes way of True Free Thinker, and shows the juvenile manner in which evidence is rejected in lieu of the ego:

Lewis Wolpert simplistic dismissal of any and all intelligent design and creationism discoveries as “There is no evidence for them at all” is no less than an intellectual embarrassment and that he insists that “They must be kept out of science lessons” shows why he is the vice-president of an Atheist activism group.

And his dismissal of God is just as unimpressive, “There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.”

But what scientific, evidence based, academic, scholarly reasons does Wolpert himself offer for having become an Atheist?:

I stopped believing in God when I was 15 or 16 because he didn’t give me what I asked for. [1]

Keith Ward asked Wolpert, “What sort of evidence would count for you? Would it have to be scientific evidence of some sort?” to which the reply was, “Well, no… I think I read somewhere: If he turned the pond on Hamstead Heath into good champagne, it would be quite impressive”[2]. And yet, the historical record is that Jesus turned water into wine and that is still not good enough, is it?

[My addition: no it isn’t, some people like champaigne and not wine]

Lewis Wolpert also stated, “I used to pray but I gave it up because when I asked God to help me find my cricket bat, he didn’t help.” Thus, Justin Brieley stated, “Right, and that was enough for you to prove that God did not exist” to which Wolpert replied, “Well, yes. I just gave it up completely.”[3]

[1] Lewis Wolpert, “The Hard Cell,” Third Way, March 2007 AD, p. 17

[2] Ibid., p. 16

[3] From an interview on the Unbelievable show titled, What Does Science Tell Us About God?

…read more…

(For the above audio) Well respected [in evolutionary circles] University College London Professor (Emeritus) of Cell and Developmental Biology answers this, and explains that most people want more. And indeed, the Judeo-Christian God is the only answer to this conundrum. You can see how the answer to the problem actually resonates and responds to the truth of human need.

In other words, if naturalistic evolution is true, reductionism is also in play. Then we are determined by the chemical make-up, firing of synapses, and whole of historical events leading up to us controlling our actions. So one could ask in all seriousness, “how much does love weigh?”

It is a cold world, unbelief.

What is love? Here are two possibilities:

1) chemical reactions in your brain perceived as feelings of loyalty toward a single co-parent for the purpose of rearing a child together, at least until it’s weaned
2) the ultimate good, a reflection of the image of God upon humanity

Arguments often arise by using the same words to mean different things. One worldview (Christianity) views love as the ultimate good in the material world and beyond.

Let’s look at how love is viewed by two different worldviews: Christianity and naturalism.

On Christianity, love is ultimately:

a) the state of affairs existing prior to the creation of the universe, flowing between the Father and the Son via the Holy Spirit, the vehicle of love
b) the highest good
c) the ultimate goal, an act of worship.

On naturalism, love is ultimately:

a) the evolutionary mechanism to ensure the survival of children and the propagation of our species
b) a nice concept, something to distract you from the depressing thought of a meaningless existence
c) an amusing illusion

Your worldview will shape how you understand the concept of love…

…read more…

I wish to start out with an excerpt from a chapter in my book where I use two scholarly works that use Darwinian naturalism as a guide to their ethic:

  • Dale Peterson and Richard Wrangham, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 1997).
  • Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000).

My incorporation of these works into my book (quote):

“Lest one think this line of thinking is insane, that is: sexual acts are something from our evolutionary past and advantageous; rape is said to not be a pathology but an evolutionary adaptation – a strategy for maximizing reproductive success….. The first concept that one must understand is that these authors do not view nature alone as imposing a moral “oughtness” into the situation of survival of the fittest. They view rape, for instance, in its historical evolutionary context as neither right nor wrong ethically. Rape, is neither moral nor immoral vis-à-vis evolutionary lines of thought, even if ingrained in us from our evolutionary paths of survival. Did you catch that? Even if a rape occurs today, it is neither moral nor immoral, it is merely currently taboo. The biological, amoral, justification of rape is made often times as a survival mechanism bringing up the net “survival status” of a species, usually fraught with examples of homosexual worms, lesbian seagulls, and the like.”

(pp. 7-9 of Roman-Epicurean-ism-Natural-Law-and-Homosexuality)

Now, hear from other atheist and evolutionary apologists themselves in regard to the matter:

Richard Dawkins

(h/t: TrueFreeThinker) – A Statement Made by an atheist at the Atheist and Agnostic Society:

Some atheists do believe in ethical absolutes, some don’t. My answer is a bit more complicated — I don’t believe that there are any axiological claims which are absolutely true, except within the context of one person’s opinion.

That is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so are ethics. So, why is Adolf Hitler wrong? Because he murdered millions, and his only justification, even if it were valid, was based on things which he should have known were factually wrong. Why is it wrong to do that? Because I said so. Unless you actually disagree with me — unless you want to say that Adolf Hitler was right — I’m not sure I have more to say.

[side note] You may also be aware that Richard Dawkins stated,

  • “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”

Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007 (copyright; 2007-2008)

Lewis Wolpert

From the video description:

Atheists Trying to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too on Morality. This video shows that when an atheist denies objective morality they also affirm moral good and evil without the thought of any contradiction or inconsistency on their part.

Dan Barker

This is from the video Description for the Dan Barker video below:

The atheist’s animal-level view of “morality” is completely skewed by dint of its lack of objectivity. In fact, the atheist makes up his own personal version of “morals” as he goes along, and this video provides an eye-opening example of this bizarre phenomenon of the atheist’s crippled psyche:

During this debate, the atheist stated that he believed rape was morally acceptable, then he actually stated that he would rape a little girl and then kill himself — you have just got to hear his psychotic words with your own ears to believe it!

He then stammered and stumbled through a series of ridiculously lame excuses for his shameful lack of any type of moral compass.

To the utter amazement of his opponent and all present in the audience, the gruesomely amoral atheist even goes so far as to actually crack a sick little joke on the subject of SERIAL CHILD-RAPE!

:::shudders:::

Meanwhile, the Christian in the video gracefully and heroically realizes the clearly objective moral values that unquestionably come to humanity by God’s grace, and yet are far beyond the lower animal’s and the atheist’s tenuous mental grasp. Be sure to keep watching until the very end so that you can hear the Christian’s final word — it’s a real knuckle-duster!

Atheist dogma™ not only fails to provide a stable platform for objective human morality for its adherent — it precludes him even the possibility. It’s this very intellectual inability to apprehend any objective moral values that leads such believers in atheist dogma™ as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Dahmer to commit their horrific atheistic atrocities.

Any believer in atheist dogma™, given sufficient power, would take the exact same course of action that Hitler did, without a moment’s hesitation.

Note as well that evolutionary naturalism has very dogmatic implication, IF — that is — the honest atheist/evolutionist follow the matter to their logical conclusions, via the ineffable Dr. Provine:

William Provine

Atheist and staunch evolutionist Dr. William Provine (who is often quoted by Richard Dawkins) admits what life has in stored if Darwinism is true. The quote comes from his debate here with Dr. Phillip E. Johnson at Stanford University, April 30, 1994.

“We must ask first whether the theory of evolution by natural selection is scientific or pseudoscientific …. Taking the first part of the theory, that evolution has occurred, it says that the history of life is a single process of species-splitting and progression. This process must be unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England. This part of the theory is therefore a historical theory, about unique events, and unique events are, by definition, not part of science, for they are unrepeatable and so not subject to test.”

Colin Patterson [1978] (Dr. Patterson was Senior Principal Scientific Officer of the Paleontology Department of the British Museum of Natural History in London.)

People think evolution is “science proper.” It is not, it is both a historical science and a [philosophical] presupposition in its “neo-Darwinian” form. The presupposition that removes it from “science proper and moves it into “scientism” is explained by an atheist philosopher:

If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design ~ Apologetics315 h/t

In other words, the guy most credited in getting us to the moon used science to get us there, but was a young earth creationist. His view on “origins” (origin science) is separate from his working science. Two categories.

Likewise one of the most celebrated pediatric surgeons in the world, whom a movie was made after, “Gifted Hands,” is a young earth creationist. And the inventor of the MRI, a machine that diagnosed my M.S., is also a young earth creationist.

Evolutionary Darwinism is first and foremost an “historical science” that has many presuppositions that precede it, making it a metaphysical belief, a philosophy, as virulent anti-creationist philosopher of science, Michael Ruse explains:

Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.

Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post (May 13, 2000), p. B-3. (Via ICR)

The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy [New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942], pp. 161-162. Found in: Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith [Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001], 206.

He thus acknowledged the need for any theory to allow that humans have genuine freedom to recognize the truth. He (again, correctly) saw that if all thought, belief, feeling, and choice are determined (i.e., forced on humans by outside conditions) then so is the determinists’ acceptance of the theory of determinism forced on them by those same conditions. In that case they could never claim to know their theory is true since the theory making that claim would be self-referentially incoherent. In other words, the theory requires that no belief is ever a free judgment made on the basis of experience or reason, but is always a compulsion over which the believer has no control.

Roy A. Clouser, The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2005), 174.

If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result…. They [determinists – I would posit any philosophical naturalist] want to be considered as rational agents arguing with other rational agents; they want their beliefs to be construed as beliefs, and subjected to rational assessment; and they want to secure the rational assent of those they argue with, not a brainwashed repetition of acquiescent pattern. Consistent determinists should regard it as all one whether they induce conformity to their doctrines by auditory stimuli or a suitable injection of hallucinogens: but in practice they show a welcome reluctance to get out their syringes, which does equal credit to their humanity and discredit to their views. Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them.

J. R. Lucas, The Freedom of the Will (New York: NY: Oxford University Press, 1970), 114, 115.

video erased

One of the most intriguing aspects mentioned by Ravi Zacharias of a lecture he attended entitled Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate, given by Stephen Hawking, who is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, Isaac Newton’s chair, was this admission by Dr. Hawking’s, was Hawking’s admission that if “we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free.”[1] In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms?[2] Michael Polyni mentions that this “reduction of the world to its atomic elements acting blindly in terms of equilibrations of forces,” a belief that has prevailed “since the birth of modern science, has made any sort of teleological view of the cosmos seem unscientific…. [to] the contemporary mind.”[3]

[1] Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 118, 119.
[2] My own summation.
[3] Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Meaning (Chicago, IL: Chicago university Press, 1977), 162.

What merit would attach to moral virtue if the acts that form such habitual tendencies and dispositions were not acts of free choice on the part of the individual who was in the process of acquiring moral virtue? Persons of vicious moral character would have their characters formed in a manner no different from the way in which the character of a morally virtuous person was formed—by acts entirely determined, and that could not have been otherwise by freedom of choice.

Mortimer J. Adler, Ten Philosophical Mistakes (New York, NY: Touchstone, 1985), 154.

If we were free persons, with faculties which we might carelessly use or wilfully misuse, the fact might be explained; but the pre-established harmony excludes this supposition. And since our faculties lead us into error, when shall we trust them? Which of the many opinions they have produced is really true? By hypothesis, they all ought to be true, but, as they contradict one another, all cannot be true. How, then, distinguish between the true and the false? By taking a vote? That cannot be, for, as determined, we have not the power to take a vote. Shall we reach the truth by reasoning? This we might do, if reasoning were a self-poised, self verifying process; but this it cannot be in a deterministic system. Reasoning implies the power to control one’s thoughts, to resist the processes of association, to suspend judgment until the transparent order of reason has been readied. It implies freedom, therefore. In a mind which is controlled by its states, instead of controlling them, there is no reasoning, but only a succession of one state upon another. There is no deduction from grounds, but only production by causes. No belief has any logical advantage over any other, for logic is no longer possible.

Borden P Bowne, Metaphysics: A Study In First Principles (originally published in 1882; London: Sampson Low, Searle & Rivington, 2005), 105.

“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”

Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18

Is Truth Relative? (Ravi Zacharias and Crew)

(This is recovered audio from Vimeo*) While this is an older audio, it really is timeless… the topic in fact has been renewed every generation in the annals of human history since Grecian times and even waay back to the Garden when the Serpent said, “did God say…”?

*My Vimeo account was terminated; this is a recovered audio from it. (Some will be many years old, as is the case with this audio.)

Ravi Zacharias | The Ben Shapiro Show

Ravi Zacharias — cultural apologist on behalf of Judeo-Christian values, founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and best selling author of “The Logic of God” — joins me to discuss faith, morality, the problem of suffering, the case for a creator, and much more.

Here are other topics found above segmented:

MYTH: Human/Chimpanzee Similarities

(There are really two “apologetics” [streams of arguments] below. The first is a refutation of Chimp/Human similarities; the second is a dealing with the underlying presuppositions and the self-defeating aspects of them [Jump To This]. And this post spawned a “SISTER POST” of sorts. Enjoy.)

UPDATED MEDIA

TIMELINE CHAPTERS

  • 0:35 ‘They’re 99% the same’
  • 1:56 70% aligned and verified
  • 3:55 Time needed for evolution
  • 5:29 Chromosomes don’t add up
  • 6:57 What else is similar?
  • 9:07 More than merely DNA
  • 10:27 Useful in witnessing
  • 11:52 These facts convince scientists

Here I want to offer a somewhat short refutation [NOT] of the perpetual myth about human and chimpanzee DNA being 99% similar. One friend included it in a comment to me:

  • A cat shares 85 percent of our DNA along with dogs. Plants 15-20 percent . We share 90% of the genome with a banana. Chimpanzees 99% nearly

Here is my short response:

Not only that, but your idea of 99% is not a real stat as well. Many things have changed since that 1975 claim.* One example is that junk DNA is roundly refuted, and 2001 and 2005 Nature and Science Journal articles make clear that we share from 81% to 87% of DNA with chimps. That shouldn’t be a surprise since we both have eyes to see, stomachs to digest food, etc. So again, when I see you make claims above, rarely are they rooted in anything either current or true.

* (CREATION.COM) The original 1% claim goes back to 1975.2 This was a long time before a direct comparison of the individual ‘letters’ (base pairs) of human and chimp DNA was possible—the first draft of the human DNA was not published until 2001 and for the chimp it was 2005. The 1975 figure came from crude comparisons of very limited stretches of human and chimp DNA that had been pre-selected for similarity. The chimp and human DNA strands were then checked for how much they stuck to each other—a method called DNA hybridization. (2. Cohen, J., Relative differences: the myth of 1%, Science 316(5833):1836, 2007; doi: 10.1126/science.316.5833.1836)

Even a recent 2006 TIME article continues the mantra when they say, “Scientists figured out decades ago that chimps are our nearest evolutionary cousins, roughly 98% to 99% identical to humans at the genetic level.” So while science moves on and corrects itself, our culture is stuck in what was said to be a proof, and reject what ACTUALLY an evidence against the evolutionary proposition. Similar refutations of evolutionary positions that Richard Dawkins and “Junk DNA.”

What do I mean by that? I mean that if something is said to be evidence and is used to promote [FOR] the evolutionary paradigm… and then it is shown not to be the case… wouldn’t it then logically be an evidence AGAINST this said paradigm? I think so.

MOVING ON… SORTA

Before zeroing in on the Chimp issue, one other quick note regarding a recent discovery that undermines this “similarity” idea. That is this study:

PJ MEDIA notes:

A study published in the journal Human Evolution is causing quite the stir. In the words of Phys.org, “The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.”

So startling, in fact, that according to David Thaler, one of the lead authors of the study, “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.”

The study’s very own author was so disturbed by how the conclusions challenged current scientific dogma that he “fought against it as hard as [he] could.” His “fight” gives credence to the study’s conclusions. His eventual acceptance, not to mention publication, of the conclusions speaks well of Thaler’s commitment to being a scientist first and an ideologue second.

[….]

This is no small matter for evolutionists because, as World Magazine helpfully summarizes:

According to traditional evolutionary thinking, all living things on Earth share common ancestry, with species evolving through a slow process of random mutation, natural selection, and adaptation over roughly 3.8 billion years. The idea that humans and most animals suddenly appeared at the same time a mere 200,000 years ago or less does not fit with that model.

(See more from my post, “Major DNA Study Undermines Evolution ‘In A Big Way’“) Obviously we differ on time-scalesbut it sure seems like they are getting closer to mine over said time. But if one wishes to keep it ecumenical, here is a quote I love:

  • “While thoughtful investigators may disagree about the precise age of the universe, we can be confident about its finite nature”

>> J Warner Wallace, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 37.

Okay, back to the refutation of the 99% similarity. Here, Dr. Thomas Seiler, Ph.D., Physics, Technical University of Munich refutes compelingly this outdated TIME magazine article… and my friend:

Most of you may have heard the statement that chimpanzees and humans are having 99% of their genes in common. However, what you are usually not told is that this result was not based on comparing the entire DNA of man and ape but only on comparing a very small fraction of it (ca. 3 %). The function of the other 97% of the genetic code was not understood. Therefore, it was concluded that this DNA had no function at all and it was considered “leftover junk from evolution” and not taken into consideration for the comparison between man and ape. Meanwhile, modern genetics has demonstrated for almost the entire DNA that there is functionality in every genetic letter. And this has led to the collapse of the claim that man and chimpanzee have 99% of their DNA in common.

In 2007, the leading scientific journal Science therefore called the suggested 1% difference “a myth.” And from a publication in Nature in 2010 comparing the genes of our so-called Y-chromosome with those of the chimpanzee Y-chromosome we know now that 60% of human Y-chromosome is not contained in that of the chimpanzee. This represents a difference of one billion genetic letters, known as nucleotides.

And modern genetics has recently made another important discovery which was very unexpected. Researchers found that all of the different groups of humans on earth, wherever they live and whatever they look like, have 99.9% of their genes in common. This leads to a problem for the hypothesis of evolution because if humans really were descended from the apes, then how could it be that we only have 40% of our Y-chromosome in common with the apes but at the same time there is almost a complete genetic identity among all humans? If there had been an evolution from ape to man then it should still go on among men and reveal significant genetic differences. These recent discoveries therefore drastically widen the gap between man and the animals. And they confirm that there are in reality no such things as human “races”. Asians, Europeans, Africans and Indigenous people from America and Australia only have superficial differences like color of skin or shape of the nose but they are all extremely similar on the genetic level.

And these recent breakthrough discoveries even go further. Today, because of the extreme similarity of the human genome, it is considered a well-established fact among geneticists, that all humans living on earth now are descended from one single man and from one single woman. In order to convince yourself of this you only have to search in the internet for the terms “mitochondrial Eve” or “Y-chromosome Adam”. These names were given by evolutionists in an ironic sense but now many regret that choice of name because this discovery perfectly confirms the Catholic Doctrine of Creation which has taught for 2000 years that all humans are brothers and sisters descended from one single human couple, the real historical persons Adam and Eve, not from a multitude of subhuman primates….

(Via LIFE SITE NEWS)

Here is a visual of the varying studies (click to enlarge in another window):

This video evaluates the claim that humans and chimps have 98% to 99% DNA similarity.

DR. JONATHAN SARFATI passed this on to me in conversation (click to enlarge):

Wow. Enough said? Or will this myth still infect the brains of people wishing something to be true that continue to lose evidences for? One other noteworthy exchange from that conversation I wish to note here.


Switching Gears


My friend said many things, which is convenient… many skeptics of young earth creationism or Christianity for that matter have paragraphs of bumper sticker [what they think are] facts strung together… like a lullaby to prove to themselves they are right. (What they ironically they call the GISH GALLOP [“it’s far easier to raise numerous unsubstantiated points than it is to refute them properly”] in referring to us.) Which is why I like to stop, and discuss one issue at a time. Which the above is.

When you do that, rarely does the position of the skeptic hold water.

Here is what my friend said:

  • I also see damage being done to children when you teach them things that are scientifically inaccurate. The earth is not 10000 years old…

To which Jonathan Sarfati responded (and reminded me of a larger quote I got from his commentary of Genesis I will post at the end):

ATHEOPATHS: in an evolutionary universe, concepts like “good” and “evil” are just illusions of our brains conditioned by millions of years of Darwinian evolution.

Also ATHEOPATHS: Christianity is evil child abuse.

While the main driver of the topic is a PSYCHOLOGY TODAY article that posits Christianity is harmful to children — just Christianity mind you…

It is a form a Christophobia – a fear of anything related to Christianity/Christ, A bias against one “particular” religious expression. A word I used in one of my first “conversation series” posts on my old blog (November of 2006): “theophobia” – a fear of “the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe”.

… is telling. The point that Doc Sarfati makes is Yuuuge. That is,

  • skeptics of the Faith like to use moral positions to refute the absolute morality of Christianity, or a position they attribute truth to and expect others to grasp said truth as, well, true — is not in fact the case if their worldview is reality. They pay no attention to the underlying aspect of where these laws or stated facts are reasoned from — mind or matter.

While the whole conversation is a bit drawn out, a refuting principle I used in it which is the same principle Dr. Sarfati taps into (i.e., the Laws of Logic), is this quote by J.B.S. Haldane

  • “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”

It is the same as this reflection by Stephen Hawkings noted by Ravi Zacharias:

One of the most intriguing aspects mentioned by Ravi Zacharias of a lecture he attended entitled “Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate,” given by Stephen Hawking, who is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, Isaac Newton’s chair, was this admission by Dr. Hawking’s, was Hawking’s admission that if “we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free.”[1] In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms? Michael Polyni mentions that this “reduction of the world to its atomic elements acting blindly in terms of equilibrations of forces,” a belief that has prevailed “since the birth of modern science, has made any sort of teleological [a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose, or goal] view of the cosmos seem unscientific…. [to] the contemporary mind.”[2]

[1] Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 118, 119.
[2] Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Meaning (Chicago, IL: Chicago university Press, 1977), 162.

John Cleese explains the above in a Monty Python view for the layman:

Here is Ravi again, but this time at a Q&A at Yale being challenged by a graduate student:

To be clear, my friend has no idea that what he has said is internally self-refuting. To show this working out with yet another skeptic of the Faith, here is apologist Frank Turek dispensing in similar fashion to Jonathan Sarfati (see below), Daniel Dennet:

Atheist Daniel Dennett, for example, asserts that consciousness is an illusion. (One wonders if Dennett was conscious when he said that!) His claim is not only superstitious, it’s logically indefensible. In order to detect an illusion, you’d have to be able to see what’s real. Just like you need to wake up to know that a dream is only a dream, Daniel Dennett would need to wake up with some kind of superconsciousness to know that the ordinary consciousness the rest of us mortals have is just an illusion. In other words, he’d have to be someone like God in order to know that.

Dennett’s assertion that consciousness is an illusion is not the result of an unbiased evaluation of the evidence. Indeed, there is no such thing as “unbiased evaluation” in a materialist world because the laws of physics determine everything anyone thinks, including everything Dennett thinks. Dennett is just assuming the ideology of materialism is true and applying its implications to consciousness. In doing so, he makes the same mistake we’ve seen so many other atheists make. He is exempting himself from his own theory. Dennett says consciousness is an illusion, but he treats his own consciousness as not an illusion. He certainly doesn’t think the ideas in his book are an illusion. He acts like he’s really telling the truth about reality.

When atheists have to call common sense “an illusion” and make self-defeating assertions to defend atheism, then no one should call the atheistic worldview “reasonable.” Superstitious is much more accurate.

Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 46-47.

Or when the same naturalistic position is used to make moral statements… it should be taken as illusory. Philosopher Roger Scruton drives this point home when he says, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely negative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.” I agree.


QUOTE[s]


Here is the promised longer quote[s] by Jonathan Sarfati:

if evolution were true, then there would be selection only for survival advantage; and there would be no reason to suppose that this would necessarily include rationality. After a talk on the Christian roots of science in Canada, 2010, one atheopathic* philosophy professor argued that natural selection really would select for logic and rationality. I responded by pointing out that under his worldview, theistic religion is another thing that ‘evolved’, and this is something he regards as irrational. So under his own worldview he believes that natural selection can select powerfully for irrationality, after all. English doctor and insightful social commentator Theodore Dalrymple (who is a non-theist himself) shows up the problem in a refutation of New Atheist Daniel Dennett:

Dennett argues that religion is explicable in evolutionary terms—for example, by our inborn human propensity, at one time valuable for our survival on the African savannahs, to attribute animate agency to threatening events.

For Dennett, to prove the biological origin of belief in God is to show its irrationality, to break its spell. But of course it is a necessary part of the argument that all possible human beliefs, including belief in evolution, must be explicable in precisely the same way; or else why single out religion for this treatment? Either we test ideas according to arguments in their favour, independent of their origins, thus making the argument from evolution irrelevant, or all possible beliefs come under the same suspicion of being only evolutionary adaptations—and thus biologically contingent rather than true or false. We find ourselves facing a version of the paradox of the Cretan liar: all beliefs, including this one, are the products of evolution, and all beliefs that are products of evolution cannot be known to be true.

Jonathan D. Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, And Scientific Commentary On Genesis 1-11 (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2015), 259-259.


* Atheopath or Atheopathy: “Leading misotheist [“hatred of God” or “hatred of the gods”] Richard Dawkins [one can insert many names here] often calls theistic religion a ‘virus of the mind’, which would make it a kind of disease or pathology, and parents who teach it to their kids are, in Dawkins’ view, supposedly practising mental child abuse. But the sorts of criteria Dawkins applies makes one wonder whether his own fanatical antitheism itself could be a mental pathology—hence, ‘atheopath’.” (Taken from the Creation.com article, “The biblical roots of modern science,” by Jonathan Sarfati [published: 19 May 2012] ~ comments in the “[ ]” are mine.)

THE LAW: A Muslim Student Challenges Ravi Zacharias

A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload… and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)