Monday, August 17, 2015

The Lordship Salvation Controversy in 2015

This is the reality of the world we live in today.
It is also the reality of the doctrines of Christendom.
It is 2015 and that means it has been 27 years since John MacArthur put Lordship Salvation on the discussion table in earnest with his book The Gospel According to Jesus in 1988.  Some years ago after I decided to discuss my walk toward Christ here at OMW this controversy became a point of primary interest to me.

As the years have progressed my focus has been more toward the Gospel than the various controversies surrounding it. This being true lately my heart has been being tugged to discuss where we are in 2015 with regard to the Lordship Salvation controversy.

In the world, that is the world system which is dictated by the Kingdom of the Prince of the Power of the Air, which is ruled by the god of this age Satan himself, tolerance of everything except fidelity is law. We shouldn't be surprised by this.

Tolerating sinners of any kind as they live in the world is something we are supposed to do. We are to plead with sinners to be converted, not try to force them to act like they have been.

1Cor 5:6-13
Your boasting [is] not good. Do ye not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, according as ye are unleavened. For also our passover, Christ, has been sacrificed; so that let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth. I have written to you in the epistle not to mix with fornicators; 10 not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the avaricious and rapacious, or idolaters, since [then] ye should go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you, if any one called brother be fornicator, or avaricious, or idolater, or abusive, or a drunkard, or rapacious, not to mix with [him]; with such a one not even to eat. 12 For what have *I* [to do] with judging those outside also? *ye*, do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But those without God judges. Remove the wicked person from amongst yourselves.
We are not to allow sin in the assembly. We are not to tolerate it. However we are to expect it in the world. We are not given pass to take part, but we are told not to judge those outside of the Church which is His Body.

In society today "Christianity" has been subverted to be some organization of people who are "against" various things and various people. It ought not be so. No one should be "for" a sinner more than one who has been forgiven of great sin.

Luke 7:47
47 For which cause I say to thee, Her many sins are forgiven; for she loved much; but he to whom little is forgiven loves little.
In 2015 Lordship Salvation is adding to this perversion of Christianity by making lists of people who "cannot be saved" or who "cannot be a Christian." Whether intentionally or not the message received by the world is that Christianity is for people who think they are good. Most often the Lordship Salvation proponent is talking about people who say they are saved but are still committing some kind of high profile or highly distasteful sin, but that is not the message the world gets because the world doesn't recognize the reality of being Born Again. They think Christianity is a club you can join, and if you can't be in the club as a XYZ type of sinner then XYZ types of sinners can't join...

There is only one kind of sinner who cannot be saved and that is kind who persists in rejecting Christ until they die in their sins.

None of this is all that new. Lordship Salvation proponents have been making lists and preaching various versions of their false gospel for a long time now. How ever in 2015 the problem is that Christendom is acting like the world even more than we ever have in the past. Metaphorically, we put up signs like one above. All doctrines are welcome they all have equal value and should have equal access to the minds of the Believers.

Oh there are lists of taboo preachers but if you're on Facebook you'll see all the doctrines of all these taboo preachers get spread through Christendom no matter if the preachers of the doctrines are singled out for mocking or not.

Largely whatever that is said from the pulpit, so long as it is encouraging in some vague way, is accepted. This is again nothing new, but this post is about the Lordship Salvation controversy but in 2015 there is little or no controversy. In 2010 it was raging on all fronts, but in 2015 the controversy is "Oh well I understand... I think XYZ preacher is pretty good. I don't concern myself with the finer details that only lead to arguments. I just want to love people."

Titus 1:10-11
10 For there are many and disorderly vain speakers and deceivers of people's minds, specially those of [the] circumcision, 11 who must have their mouths stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which ought not [to be taught] for the sake of base gain.

All is not lost however. There are still learned Believers who are not giving in and letting the Church sleep.

We are not to judge sinners in the world, we are told to warn them of the judgment to come and to preach to them the good news of Jesus Christ. Out in the world it is the wild west, but in the Church we are to be orderly. We are not to match the world. We are a called out people.

In the case of Lordship Salvation we have to demonstrate this "called out people" aspect by rejecting every doctrine except for that which is true. We have failed at this and the scary thing is that people aren't even offended when I bring the subject up any more - they just don't care about those kinds of things.

You know those kinds of things like The Gospel by which we are saved.

1Cor 15:1-11
1 But I make known to you, brethren, the glad tidings which I announced to you, which also ye received, in which also ye stand,by which also ye are saved, (if ye hold fast the word which I announced to you as the glad tidings,) unless indeed ye have believed in vain.For I delivered to you, in the first place, what also I had received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures;and that he was buried; and that he was raised the third day, according to the scriptures;and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.Then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the most remain until now, but some also have fallen asleep.Then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles;and last of all, as to an abortion, he appeared to *me* also.For *I* am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called apostle, because I have persecuted the assembly of God.10 But by God's grace I am what I am; and his grace, which [was] towards me, has not been vain; but I have laboured more abundantly than they all, but not *I*, but the grace of God which [was] with me.11 Whether, therefore, I or they, thus we preach, and thus ye have believed.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Revisiting the Lordship Salvation controversy.

I am reading a brand new book on the subject now. I think it is time to revisit the topic and talk about where we are now. As is clear I have had a hard time finding topics to write about that matter to me and others.

This book is helping me realize that the issue has changed and perhaps become more dangerous.

Also it is becoming clear that the tide is changing quickly in North America and soon Evangelism will be treated as a crime. More on this subject soon.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Popular Disbelief - Pt 1 - Introduction

Welcome to the introduction of a new series of articles entitled "Popular Disbelief." Right now this is intended to be a brief review of Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary by Kenneth W. Daniels. However, I like the title "Popular Disbelief" and perhaps it may be expanded to deal with other atheistic arguments as well. So who knows? I could be back to writing consistently again.

Please Note: You'll find an index of each of the articles in this multi-article review linked at the bottom of this article. They'll be added here as they are published.

As per normal with my reviews, answerers, or generic articles I want to offer some disclosures so you know where I am, and where I am not, coming from.

  1. I have not read the entire book. I will explain this later in this article.
  2. I have skipped over parts to get to more important parts.
  3. I have gone back and read parts that the people who suggested the book to me thought were of particular importance and/or were particularly convincing to them.
  4. If there is something in the book which I do not cover in this series and you want me to look at it because you believe it is of particular importance or convincing then I will go back and look at it. I won't necessarily answer all suggestions with my own writing. I will most likely link to other resources which already offer information on the subjects of interest to you. If you want me to comment on everything in the book I will simply ignore you because after a few light meals I get tired of feeding the trolls.
  5. I believe the Bible in full. I am not an expert on every part of it, but I have critically examined enough of it over the years in order to be completely comfortable with trusting what it says everywhere about everything, as it says it not how I would like to read it. I was an Avionics Technician in the Canadian Forces for 20 years.  I am a subject matter expert in air deployed SONAR and RADAR systems including system diagnostics and component level repair and design. I also have extensive experience diagnosing and maintaining communications, navigation, and sensor systems. During my years in the military I served on land, in the air, and at sea on two different naval vessels with Helicopter Air Detachments embarked. I'm telling you this so you know that I am used to people's lives hanging in the balance on my interpretation of and attention to detail. I don't believe the Bible because someone told me to, or because it was comfortable; I believe the Bible because the Bible is true.

If you think that anything disclosed above means that I am incapable of reviewing and answering this work and intend on ignoring what I do answer with criticisms related to the things disclosed then I suggest you do one of two things: either follow what I suggest in disclosure 4, or just ignore this series of articles.

Oh one more disclosure before we get started: I love you in Christ. I really do. This doesn't mean I'm going to be all soft and cuddly making sure not to offend you. It does mean I'm not going to try to offend you, and I'm going to try my very best to offer you truth. I will do my very best to respect you, and Mr. Daniels while being honest about what is in the book, what isn't in the book, and what I believe the implications of these things are. So if you troll me, I'm going to call you a troll but I'm not going to call you a troll just to avoid a point you want to make. Fair? I think so. If you do too then let's get started.

2Cor 4:3-3  
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Why I Believed is a tale of a man who went from suffering under the unwise practices of those he allowed to lead him unto the madness of the popular blind disbelief (Atheism) as he submitted to other men to suffer under their unwise practices.

In this introduction to the series we will look at the goal he had for the book, his path to missions, and if he was saved or not.

The Goal of Why I Believed

We can sum up the goal of his book with two quotes. 

"Most believers are not prepared to travel as far as I have from my former position as a fundamentalist believer. I implore such readers to consider a middle ground, one that acknowledges both the virtues and the vices of the scriptures, as millions of moderate and liberal believers already do." 

He then goes on to discuss the evils practiced by some of the Muslim religion implying how they are a point of agreement for us all about fundamentalism and are as such a reason to reject belief in the Bible.

Again equating Christianity with the evil practiced by some people of Islam he writes: 

"Likewise, the world would be a better place if fundamentalist Christians could frankly acknowledge the good, the bad, and the ugly in their own scriptural tradition, whether or not they end up abandoning the faith outright." 
He also notes that one of his primary reasons for writing the book is that he doesn't want people to think he is "on the road to eternal damnation" if he doesn't repent. Almost every complaint in the book is just short of an argument. Instead of arguing points completely he attempts to sow seeds of doubt by presenting ideas instead of actual evidence. 
Ecc 1:9  
That which has been is what will be,That which is done is what will be done,And there is nothing new under the sun.
The Father of Lies once appealed to our flesh with the words "Has God indeed said..." Gen 3:1 and in response we surrendered to our desire to please ourselves and disbelieve God. Our imagination took over and filled in the blanks and we acted as though the story we made up in our minds was true and we have suffered the consequences ever since. Some 6,000 years later the Enemy of Our Souls is still playing the same game and we still willingly fall for it.

Mr. Daniels tells his story of weak roots being torn out by continual acceptance of every wind of doctrine that came his way and this is exactly what he suggests that you and I do as well. Eph 4:14

I, in opposition to Mr. Daniels' suggestion, encourage you to critically examine all things and hold fast that which is good. 1Thes 5:21 By this I mean whole heartedly test the Scriptures, and everything else you run into. Throw out what is untrue and hold unwaveringly to that which is true. I don't want you to just doubt, or hold things loosely. I want you to know what is true and what isn't - because you can.

His Path to Missions

Ecc 10:16
Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child
1st Tim 3
not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

Mr. Daniels was sent into and decided to go into full time missions work when he was still a child of a man and completely unstable in his faith. Here is a series of quotes that show his path into missions work.
"Like many believers, I was aware of puzzles in the Christian faith even in my youth." 
"Theologically I became inclined to call myself an "evangelical ecumenicist," focusing on what united the evangelical faith and not taking strong stands on points of disagreement." 
"It was during my junior year of college that I began paying attention to difficult passages in the Old Testament in my personal readings, some that troubled me for ethical reasons, and others that seemed to be internally contradictory."  
"I became and avid reader of Christianity Today... the magazine staff accepted the earth's great antiquity while rejecting evolution."  
"My personal study of the Bible again led me to the conclusion that it contained errors and probably not divinely inspired. However I had already signed up for a one-year certificate program a Columbia Biblical Seminary..."  
"The following summer... I visited a Unitarian Universalist church as a seeker. I asked one of the leaders whether he believed God listens to prayer. He said he'd like to think God is out there somewhere listening when we pray but he wasn't sure."  
"About three months into my seminary studies... and having read the no-nonsense nineteenth-century apologetic work An Examination of the Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (Haley 1876), my confidence in the reliability of the Bible was restored."  
"Following my year of seminary I moved back to my parents' house... I met my beautiful wife...on June 30, 1991" 
"We began a wonderful romance, helped by the Sunday school superintendent who asked us to teach the junior high Sunday school class together."  
"We married in June of 1992 and lived in northern Minnesota for a year together before joining Wycliffe Bible Translators."  
"The ensuing years involved in retrospective an almost insane flurry of activity. By 1999, seven years into our marriage, we had lived in 18 places for one month or longer in six different countries. In our first eleven years of marriage, the longest we lived in one residence was 18 months." 
What we see here is the story of how a young man who was not grounded in truth but continually rocked one way or the other by argumentation (either for or against the Scriptures) was thrust into marriage and ministry even though he was wholly unprepared. 
John 15:5  
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 
Abiding is restful. The branch does not strain or rush to produce fruit. It grows there, sometimes imperceptibly to the branch, without effort at all; growing solely from that which is supplied by the vine.

I cannot quote his entire testimony but Why I Believed reveals how Mr. Daniels never took the chance to truly evaluate the Scriptures and come to a clear, settled decision. He had, by his own accounts, an unstable faith which he forced himself to hold in spite of what he was becoming convinced of. If one reads the book one will see clearly that Mr. Daniels never based his faith in God on a reasoned examination of the Scriptures, Creation, or anything else; it was always a vacuumous belief that came by proxy not repentance. We will likely look at this further in later articles and we will also discover how his rejection of God is also a vacuumous faith based decision. From his faith in the Bible to his faith in the atheistic arguments he has adopted the final position that was decided upon prior to the investigation being conducted.

Was(Is) Mr. Daniels Saved?

Eph 1:13-14  
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[ is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Let's get down to brass tacks shall we? This is the question on everyone's mind. Was Mr. Daniels the real deal or not? Here are some quotes of his reaction to a form of this question (and related discussion), if not exactly the question of whether he was saved or not. 
"I have been told that if I had embraced a slightly different brand of Christianity, I could have avoided coming down this path." 
" whose life was formerly defined for decades by his commitment to Jesus..." 
"If you are convinced your faith is the only thing keeping you from a life of profligacy, murder, rape, and pillaging, then please read no further; the world already has enough of that to go around." 
"I was able to regain what I considered to be a full-fledged, robust biblical faith. Though we dated for ten months, we never kissed, wanting to reserve that privilege for marriage!"  
"I recall a discussion with a Christian friend who expressed doubt that I was ever a true believer to begin with. Though it was apparent neither to me nor to my family, friends, church, or mission organization, it is in theory possible that I was never a true believer."  
"Might you not consider yourself to be a believer and to have a dynamic relationship with God, only to find yourself years later leaving the faith and being told you were never a believer sin the first place?" 
"I was a Christian (rather than, for example, a Muslim or a Hindu) because my family and society had influenced me to accept Christianity(rather than Islam or Hinduism.)"  
"As a believer I was reluctant to admit that my decision to follow Christ was anyone's but my own." 
"I am convinced that the influence of other believers is likely the primary reason for which most Christians are Christians, as opposed to Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims." 
This and other similar statements are Mr. Daniels' confession of his faith. He is called in the introduction of the book, and he calls himself repeatedly a "former Fundamentalist." Yet we are given no definition of what a Fundamentalist is or was. It is suggested that it is part of the foundation on which the Homeschool Movement is built on along with the doctrines of Protestantism, young earth creationism, and biblical inerrancy... but is never defined. With the exception of at one point having rejected Evolution while believing in a young Earth creation model I can find no confessions of the "fundamental" beliefs of biblical Christianity. Perhaps it is intentional to cause argument, but no Fundamentalist would ever seek to convince someone they were a Fundamentalist through the use of the Rosary found on the cover of Mr. Daniels' book.

The two most striking things about his confessions of his former faith is how  he believed because the community he was in believed, and the complete absence of repentance and faith in Christ crucified for Mr. Daniels' own sins, having been buried and risen again the third day all in accordance with the Scriptures. There is no confession that I have found in this book where Mr. Daniels says he repented and believed the Gospel as found in the Scriptures. 1Cor 15:1-11 

Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary isn't an influential dangerous testimony that is any threat to faith in the Bible or Christ, it is a religious tragedy. A young struggling man fell prey to those who loved what he could do for their work more than they loved him. That's all this story is.

I have written at length about salvation at this blog so I will not get into it all here. It is clear from Mr. Daniels' own testimony that he never personally repented and believed the Gospel. If you want to know how I can be so sure, it is based on the clear testimony of Scripture on the subject. Please visit the links on the right of this page under "Salvation" and my full detailed Soteriology (Doctrine of Salvation) for a detailed discussion on the topic.

Before you consider accusing me of the No True Scotsman Logical Fallacy because I do not believe that Mr. Daniels has ever been saved you should read how even the Atheism proponents define the fallacy HERE(rational wiki).
"No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy by which an individual attempts to avoid being associated with an unpleasant act by asserting that no true member of the group they belong to would do such a thing; this fallacy also applies to defining a term or criteria biasedly as to defend it from counterargument which can be identified as a biased, persuasive, or rhetorical definition. "

It is not a fallacy to say that Gold is not Silver. It is not a fallacy to say that someone who has not repented and believed the Gospel (1Cor 15:1-11) for their own reconciliation to God is not, and has never been, a Christian; no matter what they call themselves. I can call myself a Dentist all I want. I may have read lots of books about Dentistry, and I might have even worked in the field but if I am not a Dentist I am not a Dentist.

In Closing to Part 1

I haven't read the whole book, nor will I. It is a work written to those who are "Cultural Christians" that is people who have never really investigated the Scriptures themselves but like to go to Church and love the people they go there with no matter if what they are doing makes sense or is based on truth or not. As such, the work has contempt for the Reader. Sometimes this contempt manifests openly, but more often it manifests in the open assumption that the Reader doesn't have a clue what the Bible says or what the Scientific Method can or has revealed. Lots of books are written by authors who just expect the Reader to go along with them. The author of this book seems assume the Reader is stupid. I didn't find this overly offensive, but I did find it tiresome. Especially when many of the arguments (half) presented were sophomoric at best. 
"That said, all views expressed in this manuscript are my own, and I take responsibility for any errors."
I can only take Mr. Daniels at his word. So, based on the confession in this book I can only discern that he was never a Christian because he never repented for himself. I cannot say outright that he is not saved, because he may have simply left this out of the book (for whatever reason). However, if I take him at his word I have no reason to consider that he is saved, and therefore I have no reason to think he was ever a Christian.

Because of his not being grounded and not being saved his religion was always all over the place. He had no willingness to reject anyone's position on anything because, even though he claimed the title Fundamentalist, he never had a solid, defined, and grounded position on anything. Yet those around him embraced his acceptance of the "Christian" culture and decided this made him "one of us" and put him to work in ministry and immediately into missions work. It was a recipe for disaster and that is exactly what happened.

Thanks for reading this introduction! Next time we'll be discussing the Concerns that Mr. Daniels has which have driven him to write this work. 

Popular Disbelief - Why I Believed - Series Index of Articles

Part 1 - Introduction (Goals of the book, Mr. Daniels' path to missions, Was Mr. Daniels saved?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q1 The God Who Is vs The God We Might Think Would

10 Sincere Questions.

Please see the series introduction here.

Question 1:
Why would a truly all-encompassing, all-powerful, capital-G god need to condescend to hatching a scheme to get himself sacrificed in the form of a man in order to "forgive" humanity? It seems to me that these are the actions of a lowercase-g god.
If God really had the need to see the sins of humanity "placed" on himself, couldn't he have done it without playing out a strange little story here on Earth? As far as I can see, for every reason that can be given, there would be a way for God to accomplish those same ends without making himself seem so small and petty.
This question was asked by Kaelyn N. I will have to take her word for it that this is significant to her with regard to her coming to faith in Christ or rejecting Him. This is the first question anyone has posed since I have been asking for them.

Rejection of God is often caused by a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of God. People think of God as a fairy tale and pay attention to the details about Him with as little concern as they would about the details of a character in such a tale. Then because their fairy tale version of God doesn't make sense to their intellect they simply reject Him. This is almost always a convenient misunderstanding for the person who does not want to worship God. Sometimes it is a sincere misunderstanding which is fostered by fairy tale Christendom being so popular in the media and sadly in many church buildings.
1Jn 1:5This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Let's assume the confusion is sincere and go through it to see if there are reasonable answers available for Kaelyn. My idea here is to answer completely, but briefly. Should deeper discussion be required we can do that in comments.
Why would a truly all-encompassing, all-powerful, capital-G god need to condescend to hatching a scheme to get himself sacrificed in the form of a man in order to "forgive" humanity?
While God is "all-powerful" He is not "all-encompassing" for He is light and in Him there is no darkness. (1Jn 1:5) it is clear from the Scriptures that He does not encompass sin or sinners or anything that is unrighteous whatsoever. What fellowship does light have with the darkness? (2Cor 6:14)

God doesn't "need" anything. As the Creator of all things (John 1) He is necessarily self-sufficient. God does not "need" but He does desire all to be saved. (1Tim 2:4; 2Pet 3:9)

Also God did not "hatch" anything to accomplish His desire. To "hatch" something implies, or necessitates rather, that it is a new plan which has come about within Time/History. The purpose of God that Christ would die for our sins, be buried and rise again the third day, didn't come about within Time/History. This was determined in Eternity Past - that is outside of our Space/Time Universe and logically (not actually chronologically) before Creation. (Tit 1:2)

This was accomplished according to God's determinate counsel and foreknowledge, it was not a "scheme." (Acts 2:22-24) He did not "get Himself" sacrificed He in fact sacrificed Himself. (Isa 53)

He did however condescend to accomplish this. The Creator of the Universe condescended to come in humility as a flesh & blood human man. He who was rich became poor so that we could become rich. (2Cor 8:9) This is the great enigma for religious and prideful man. What King would become a peasant for me?

God isn't the megalomaniac of atheism fair tales. He isn't a bully or power mad. He is is morally perfect, humble, self-sacrificing, and loving.

I'm not sure why Kaelyn puts quotations around the word forgive. It is almost as though she thinks that humans don't need to be forgiven. We were created, given life, fellowship with Holy God, and a beautiful universe to live in and take care of. Instead we wanted more. We believed a lie and thought we could make ourselves like God. We submitted to the enemy of our souls instead of to God. Adam did this in the beginning and we each do the very same thing in our own lives.

We took was was perfect and poisoned it intentionally (Gen 1-3) and none of us since have done any better than Adam did. (Rom 3:9-20)
It seems to me that these are the actions of a lowercase-g god.
Satan wanted to make himself like the Most High because of pride. He saw God's power and thought that is what defined Him. This is the same bait that Satan gave Adam & Even in the garden. Lower case g gods, that is idols who are not gods at all, need to oppress in order to impress. People server their lower case g gods to the end of themselves. Money, lust... people give up their lives in pursuit and service to them. In the end these idols can give nothing back. All they can do is take a person's life away. God is not like them at all.
If God really had the need to see the sins of humanity "placed" on himself, couldn't he have done it without playing out a strange little story here on Earth? As far as I can see, for every reason that can be given, there would be a way for God to accomplish those same ends without making himself seem so small and petty.
God didn't need anything, as we have now already discussed. We need our sins placed on Someone who had no sin of their own who could pay for our sin and take it away. God knew our need, and Him fulfilling our need expresses His humble, self-sacrificing, and loving nature in a way that excludes any other from trying to pretend they are like Him. The purposes of God are accomplished by this strange story. Man is free to love or not to love, God is shown to be perfectly righteous, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. His glory is manifest for all to see and He gets to fellowship with those who will love Him not just with robots He has programmed to act like they love Him.

The "strange little story" is a infinitely specific set of information which was foretold and accomplished exactly in accordance with that foretelling. In types, pictures, and explicitly stated the Christ was explained ahead of time so that when He came at the appointed day (yes the very day April 6th AD32) He would be unmistakeable to any who had taken the very little trouble of reading the Scriptures. Those there on that day were without excuse the same as we today are without excuse because of how clearly God has demonstrated Himself through this "strange little story."

People call God "small and petty" because they don't understand Him, they don't understand themselves, and they don't understand sin.

One single lie which was designed to inspire a man to desire to become more than he was already is the reason cancer kills people, the reason cars rust, the reason ALS exists, the reason why children suffer.... and so on and so on. (Gen 3)This just scratches the surface of why lying is atrocious.

Lying is truly evil because Holy God, that is "Perfect God", cannot lie.  Yet we lie without thinking about it. I have heard thousands of individuals tell me that "everybody lies." That's a cool phrase when Dr. House utters it on TV but it is a disgusting truth when we realize it is true of mankind who is suffering because of one single lie even today. We play in the poison that is killing us and call it normal. God cannot lie, and will have no fellowship with liars. (Tit 1:2; Rev 21:8)

Do we call the local judge "small and petty" for exacting justice against murders? Liars are no better than the worst murder. Sin is evil. The wages of sin - that is what you earn for sinning - is death.

WE NEED our sin to be born away from us. WE NEED to be saved from the just judgment of our sinful practices that we all do.

How can we call the perfectly righteous God "small and petty" when He humbles Himself to pay the price we cannot pay and to do it in the complete open where all can see so that we who deserve nothing but death for our murderous ways may have life?
Rom 5:6-11For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Kaelyn the God who is, is not very much like the god that atheism argues against. He is not like the god we hear about from talking heads on CNN, or the god we hear about in popular TV shows, or even in the anti-Creation books by the most popular authors. He is however completely unique in His perfection and power - yet He condescended to become a man to WILLINGLY take on your guilt and shame, die in your place the death that you deserve in accordance with the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1Cor 15:1-11)

This happened exactly as the Scriptures required and foretold, completely out in the open for all to see, so that you are without excuse if you reject it.

Today is the day of salvation Kaelyn. Humble yourself. Agree with God about your sin (repent) and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose death on the Cross has been accepted as payment for your sins so that God would be just and the justifier of you if you believe on Him. (Rom 3:21-26)

You can can perfect standing before Holy God based on what He has done, and there is no other way this could have been accomplished or ever will there be.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

10 Sincere Questions From Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ the Lord

I'm seeking 10 questions to answer. Here is what I wrote in a Facebook group I frequent.

I am looking for 10 sincere questions that matter significantly from those who do not believe in Christ the Lord, Creator of everything which has been created.
I am not looking for debate. By entering your question you are already stating that you don't have faith in Christ, you don't have to convince me further.
I am also not looking for questions that don't significantly matter to you as you consider whether Christ is Lord or not.
As I am able I will pick 10 questions which I believe are sincere and matter to the subject for the one asking it and answer them individually.
I have been in the work of street evangelism since the spring of 2006 after it dawned on me that sinners were not actually attracted to Christ by clever church signs and warm handshakes at the door. These things have their place, but the command of the Great Commission is to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. In this work I have had thousands of personal conversations with people of all walks of life, from politicians and rich men, to beggars; from philosophers and science instructors to lay persons; from muslims and roman catholics to new agers. Over these years I have heard many many sincere questions, and many many more cleverly devised or adopted objections.
I don't know if I've "heard it all" but I've heard a lot of it.
As I pick these 10 questions from the submissions - should any be presented - I will be making a blog series and I will post the individual answers here as well.
So if you have a sincere question please ask it. If you want to debate there are probably discussions here which are more suited to that.
Looking forward to reading these! BTW don't be shy if you think your question is too easy or too hard. Just be sincere.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I'm thinking about answering questions I find from Agnostics

The whole Calvinism debate thing really tired me out from blogging, but I miss it now. I miss it a lot. So I think I'll start a series answering questions that I find from Agnostics. I suspect no one is even checking the blog any more but that's OK. Ya'll come back!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Waddya Got to Prove Anyway?

Is Atheism a lack of belief which
makes no claims and so has no burden of proof?
What about Christianity? Do we, as Christians, have
a burden of proof? Is it wise to try to prove God?

If you have never been mocked by a fool, you have never preached the Gospel to the masses. 
Over the past few months I've run into more and more self proclaimed Atheists on Twitter who are militant activists going around nagging Christians and spewing anti-Christ hate.

They are almost always elitist in attitude and yet (seemingly) never able address an argument as it is made. They dodge, use Ad Hominem, and Straw-Men but never seem to actually engage the real arguments.

When pressed about their belief or position they claim to have no belief or position. They quote Richard Dawkins who has a clever system to define Atheism in such a way that you get to keep the title Atheist without actually saying saying that God doesn't exist.

This position is justified by ignoring the philosophical definition of Atheism and Atheist, and adding a descriptive in front of the title which determines the knowledge level of the belief. They say that an Gnostic Atheist knows there is not God and therefore does not believe in Him. They say that an Agnostic Atheist doesn't know if there is a God, but still doesn't believe in Him. They say that Atheism speaks of belief, not knowledge. Therefore, these militant Twitter Atheists normally are the Agnostic Atheists, they "lack a belief" or so they say.

They want to claim the title Atheist but they don't want to have to defend it.

It has been said by Christian Apologists that when the Atheist claims to have a "lack of belief" in God that they are actually making a claim that to lack a belief in God is possible. Such a claim would stand in opposition to what Romans 1:18-23 says:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
So Scripture says all men know God exists, and that they know about Him from what He has revealed through Creation.

An argument about whether they know God exists often ensues when the Apologist brings up Romans 1.  Often the Apologist can simply quote the Atheist back to him or her. Often in 1 on 1 conversations with Atheists they will blame God for things that have happened in their life, or in the lives of others. This reveals their true knowledge and disposition. Other times they will simply be filled with open hate for Him and quoting them on the subject shows that they do in fact hate Him. Since you cannot hate something you don't believe exists this generally proves that the Atheist does in fact have a belief in God.

But what if they don't manifest hate so openly that you can quote it back to them? Are they right? Do they really lack a belief in God?

Well the answer gets quite complicated, but, the short answer is no. The long answer includes a discussion of what it means that the "god of this age" has blinded the minds of those who disbelieve. In short, when one disbelieves the Gospel the god of this age, Satan, then blinds their minds because God has turned them over to a reprobate mind. Rom 1:18-32; 2Cor 4:3-4 They haven't always been blinded, but those who have willfully disbelieved are now. It is not that they lack a belief, but they have disbelieved and now have been blinded.

This brings us to another topic they tend not to like. What you do has consequences. If you receive general revelation (the revelation God has given through Creation) God shall give you more, and more, specific revelation. He will go so far as to send and Evangelist to wherever you are in the world or History. If you reject it, He will let you reject it and let you suffer the consequences of doing so.

The Atheists try to twist this into God playing favourites, or this being some sort of way for the Christian to try to get out of having a burden of proof. But think of it this way. If you don't pass High School you don't get into University. It IS that simple, but it is actually even simpler. If you refuse to accept what is obvious and what anyone can understand so that you can continue to blaspheme God then He has no reason to send you more. You are without excuse, you choose to refuse God, and so you have it the way you wanted it.

So be careful what you choose to do with the evidence you do have. If you are shown something that is evidence for God and you immediately go looking for any answer - no matter how valid or invalid - to give you an excuse for not believing it then don't be surprised if you can't seem to find any evidence for God after that. You refused, and now you have been turned over to your own sin. That sin will drag you to Hell unless you repent.

Last year I did an article entitled The Drawing of God which was focused on the Reformed movement, but it may be helpful for this topic as well.

Atheists expect Christians to be ever present trying to reach them. They act like the prettiest girl in school who thinks the whole world revolves around her. Atheists expect to Christians to answer every contrived argument they come up with and to keep doing so over and over again no matter if the atheist engages with any level of intellectual integrity or not. Well Christian, if you are playing along with that you're not doing them any service nor are you engaged in Evangelism. You've simply become an entertainment system for the perishing fool on their way to the Lake of Fire. If they disbelieve that is their decision and they are responsible for it.
Is the Atheist responsible to what Scripture says?
The Bible says what it says, and and it is absolutely true. No matter if it is speaking on science, belief, or anything else. Does the idea that Atheists don't believe the Bible excuse them from all of this? Well Romans 1 says that they are without excuse. Are they really? Can we prove they are?

Enter the Kalaam Cosmological Argument. It's a simple argument. Simple to state. Simple to understand. If it were not true, it would also be simple to falsify.

Here it is:
Premise 1: All things which begin to existence are caused to come into existence.  
Premise 2: The universe began to exist. 
Therefore: The universe was caused to come into existence. 
We know Premise 1 is true to a very high degree of probability, so high as to realize that it is beyond absurd to presume it is not true. We know this inductively. Everything we have ever seen come into existence was caused to come into existence by something or someone else.

We know Premise 2 is true through deductive, and scientific evaluation. This has been proved repeatedly, and every theory to the contrary has failed testing with the Scientific Method. This is even true for a theorized Multiverse, if that were to exist.

Since we know both premises are true, and the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises, then we know that the Universe had a cause.

The real question is does each person have awareness of this fact? Yes, of course! We know this inductively. The universe is aging and wearing out. Things that age and wear out all had a beginning. If something is wearing out, it cannot have existed forever because it would have worn out all ready. Entropy is something no created thing can overcome.

To argue against the Universe having a Creator or Cause would require a deductive argument that overcomes millennia of observations which support that it does have a Cause.

Therefore the universe was caused, and we know it to such a high degree of probability that we are without excuse.
If someone has rejected all the evidence around them, and this evidence is so obvious that they are without excuse for rejecting it, it is not reasonable to simply pile more evidence up for them to reject. 
God says that if they reject the evidence they are given that He turns them over to a reprobate mind. Why would we try to do what God will not do? I say don't do it!

BUT is this just a cop-out? Is this a way for Christians to get out of answering tough questions? Apparently not, because there are many Christian's who are scientists doing amazing work answering the toughest questions and making accurate predictions where secular scientists are failing. The 1984 prediction of the planetary magnetic field strengths by Dr. Russell Humphreys is just one example of this.

We're not ducking the questions and we are engaged in hard science and vigorously test our ideas and theories by the Scientific Method.
If Christianity is true, then God reveals Himself.

Here's the thing; if Christianity is true then God really does reveal Himself. Then He really does convince and convict sinners of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. Then He really does tell the truth in His Word.

When the Christian reduces God to a theory to be proven he does two terrible things. He tries to usurp God's authority in revealing Himself, AND he starts with the premise that God not existing is a reasonable idea.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? 

Which is more extraordinary; to claim that God created the Universe and revealed Himself through the Scripture, History, and the Lord Jesus Christ, OR that the Universe which we know to have a beginning was uncaused, that established scientific laws which govern things like Abiogenesis, thermal dynamics, entropy, information and more were all violated by an uncreated universe and evolution?

I like how this video puts it: At least with Magic you have "magic" as an explanation.

Creation reveals the Creator; whether Atheists like Him or not. The only thing the Christian Evangelist ought to focus on is introducing people to the Creator. It is perfectly reasonable to consider the question of Who this Creator is. We see that through out History He has revealed Himself in various ways. In our age He has given His Son. We are to be like Paul, proving from the Scripture how that Christ must suffer, die, be buried, and rise again the third day. Having done this we are to show that Jesus is this Christ and that God has through His own Son provided for the reconciliation of the world back to Himself.

Those who insist on the claim that there is no evidence, or refuse to honestly examine the evidence, cannot be won over by more evidence which they will only ignore. Beloved Christian, you need not "prove" anything to the Unbeliever. You do not bear the "burden of proof." God does, and He has explained how He reveals Himself and who He will allow to be blinded.

Unbelievers need the conviction of Scripture.

Rom 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Amber Strikes Back

This is a follow up to the article titled The Fruit of Believing a False Gospel and Refusing Answers

Amber responded to that article with an article of his own.

BEFORE I START: This is written very quickly as I am preparing a teaching package for a weekend conference. The grammar will, without doubt, be horrendous. If this means to you that I am not to be taken seriously then laugh all you like. Just don't think this gives you an excuse to disbelieve in God.

Amber's description of me is amusing. I would be surprised if the two of us could not be friends (of some sort) in real life. He complains about my use of " LOL!!!!" which was a reaction to absurd tweets of his over our conversation of a few days. It apparently had the intended effect.

Amber's first premise is that he, as an Atheist, IS interested in evidence. This is of course in opposition to my premise that this is not the case. The speed with which Amber was able to answer the multitude of evidence sources I offered belies the truth of the situation. Amber isn't interested in evidence, he is skilled at finding things that claim to be refutations of evidence. It is not physically possible that Amber evaluated very much of the evidence I shared with him at all and also evaluated whether the sources he cites were actual refutations of the evidence provided. He simply searched his resource for things that claimed to be refutations.

This is not the behaviour of one who is interested in evidence at all. This is the behaviour of protectionism. This is the behaviour of one who is desperate to maintain the appearance of being correct, not the behaviour of one who wants to know the truth.

Amber then responds to my assertion that he was not in fact born again. He first says that I was correct in my assessment but then later writes as if he disagrees with me. The fact is that being "born again", or regenerated, is a meta-physical change that happens to those who believe the Gospel. If Amber thinks this does not actually happen, then he must agree that he was never actually born again.  Though his conversion story did not include any details that remotely relate to the Doctrine of Salvation, Amber now (after having read the linked article) includes information that at least in spots does line up with what Scripture says. It is however easy to answer a question when you know the "right" answer to give. 

Amber then brings up his dislike of how God handled the Canaanites. He claims that God ending a civilization that practiced the laying of babies and young children on heated metal idols to cook them to death as being an evil act by God.

Amber says that there are things that context cannot fix. I do not see anything broken. If you have trouble with God punishing those who cook babies to death then I think that speaks of you more than it does of God.

Amber then talks about how he doesn't accept that we are depraved from birth. He doesn't like my challenge to find a perfect man... So I'll lower the standard for Amber, just for Amber though... because I like him. One wonders if my repeated use of three periods in a row also bugs Amber. Hrmm?

Amber, find a child who had to be taught to lie, cheat, steal, be violent, and so on... The truth is if a 2 year old had the strength of an adult we would have to lock him or her up to protect society from the menace. 

Amber then takes issue with my response to him about the Atonement that Christ accomplished with His death, burial, and resurrection. 
Kevin missed the point of the injustice I tried to highlight in this section, so I’ll state it more plainly. Consider two men. One is an old man who spent his entire life causing serious harm: rape, murder, the worst of the worst. The other is a normal young man in his twenties that tried, and succeeded, to avoid causing serious harm. Now, the old man becomes a true Christian, dies and gets rewarded. The young man does not become a true Christian, dies, and get punished. That is devoid of justice.
The old man's sin was fully and completely paid for. Justice was served for it. The young man's harm, no matter how insignificant it is to a man who is hardly even aware of it remains unpaid for. Just like in our justice systems here on Earth - if the fine is paid you go free, if it isn't you go to jail.

You may not think that a lie is a terrible thing, but Amber you are in danger of eternal judgment because you refuse to take the salvation that is freely available to you, and why? Because you choose to believe lies. You may not think lies are serious now, but like the rich man who found himself in Hell there is coming a time when you will take them very seriously. There is coming a time when you would do anything to have someone warn the people you love. The staggering answer to that desire will be no different than what the rich man heard: they have all the evidence they need, if they refuse it they are themselves responsible. Luke 16:19-31

Next for Amber is the doctrine of Heaven and Hell. He does not seem to appreciate my interaction with the subject. He quotes an analogy of mine, and claims to like it. One assumes that he likes it because he feels he can insert the following into it:

Perhaps the analogy is weak due to the missing context. For it to be a better reflection of what is actually going on, we must consider the following: 1) the judge wrote the law himself, 2) the judge made the law impossible for anyone to follow, 3) the judge created the criminal organisation [SIC] in which the law-breaker was born and raised, and 4) the judge is the father of the law-breaker.
1 - yes the Judge wrote the Law Himself. You know what a Law does? It informs the potential Criminal of what is disallowed, and what the cost of violation is. God didn't just write the knowledge of Good and Evil in a book, He wrote it on your heart Amber. When you do evil you know it is evil. Because God has done this for you, you are without excuse. Romans 2:12-16

2 - The Judge Himself came and lived as a man and fulfilled the whole Law. The Law is not impossible to keep. It is impossible for an evil man to keep God's Law.

3 - The Judge did not create the evil organization. God created Man in His own image. Man had the freedom to live in innocence or to try to live by his own standards. Man choose his own way because the Devil lied to him. The very first murder in all of History was perpetrated with a weapon known as a lie Amber. Man was created innocent and free. Man choose evil and bondage. Have you chosen any differently Amber?

4 - the Judge is not the father of the law-breaker. The law-breaker is the child of Satan. John 8:37-47

Amber says:
In other words, the judge is responsible for the unfortunate situation that the law-breaker finds himself in.
Nope. The Judge is responsible for providing the only way out of this unfortunate situation. He didn't have to. He didn't cause the problem. He is the like the earthly father, who is also a judge let's say, who lets his son drive the family car after making sure the son knew the rules. The son goes out and breaks the rules and finds himself in trouble with the law. The father didn't get the son in trouble with the law. The father is a judge and responsible for the law (I am TRYING to follow Amber's attempt at rebut...), and responsible for the existence of the son, but he is not responsible for the son's law-breaking: THE SON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN SIN.

Amber complained about how terrible it was to put the sins of the father on the son in his previous article. Isn't interesting how he thinks it is OK to put the sins of the son on the father though.

Amber then claims that I overstated his suffering. Perhaps, but I doubt it for some reason. No, not because Amber is a pathological liar, but because IMO his responses come from pain and emotion not rationality.

Yet he makes a very true statement: 

I now think that Christianity failed me, and that Christianity fails full stop, but as a Christian I never once thought this.
I believe, strongly, in the corruption of the Christian testimony; how that the Church Which is His Body, will loose its testimony to worldliness and false doctrine more and more over time. The false Christianity that Amber was exposed to cannot help but fail. He notes many things about different denominations, and one cannot argue. Christendom (all people who think they are Christians or call themselves Christians) grows more and more evil daily.

Amber moves on to say that my assertion that he hates God is false. He says he hates religion and whatnot... I'll let Amber's own testimony speak for itself. OK I'll add one thing. If Amber truly hated all the things that he claims to hate he would argue against those things, not against God.

Under the title of "The Joys of Atheism" Amber quotes the late Christopher Hitchens. 

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way” – Christopher Hitchens
Yet when he offers answers to the evidence I shared with him he doesn't once think for himself. I doubt he even looked at all the evidence I shared. I know that I gave him more than he could have physically viewed in so little time, let alone honestly evaluate them.

No, instead of thinking for himself Amber did what all people are prone to do. He received a challenge and searched his resources for any potential answer to the challenge. Christians do this too. There is even wisdom in using someone else's answers, but ONLY if you have carefully evaluated them to ensure they are actually reliable (they address the real arguments, and the actually rebut them.... among other criteria).

Amber is far from the first Atheist I have ever interacted with. It would be wrong for me to paint him with the same brush (as it were) but I can comment that his argumentation is not unique or remarkable. I am not trying to be dismissive, I'm trying to be real. However, this may be a distinction without a difference.

Under the title "Historically Accurate" Amber demonstrates his ability to inaccurately quote those he disagrees with and then argues against the strawman he created instead of what I wrote. I'm going to quote almost this entire section. 

Weirdly, Kevin lists historians of the time—Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Julius Africanus, Origen, and Pliny the Younger—in this section on Daniel’s prophesy. All of these historians were born after Christ’s supposed crucifixion, so I’m not sure of the relevance. Unless Kevin is saying that they specifically reference Daniel’s prophesy, which I highly doubt. 
Kevin also claims that all historians at the time wrote about Jesus. Let’s forget about the fact that none of them were even born before Jesus died. The more pertinent question is why were there not hundreds of historians, during Jesus’s lifetime, documenting His every word and action, to prove his historicity? Why have a handful of scholars write about him after he had died?
Here is what he is talking about:
Extra Biblical References to Jesus at this TimeJosephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Julius Africanus, Origen, and Pliny the Younger.
Not just some of the historians, but every one of them that wrote about this area at this time.
I didn't say that these ancient historians lived at the time of Jesus but that they give reference to Him there at that time. In fact they do confirm the Biblical record. Here is ONE article and ANOTHER article which goes into deep detail about these things.

Instead of dealing with the fact that every ancient historian writing about this period and area puts Jesus there and then doing the things that the Scriptures say He must do, and actually did Amber chooses to distort what I said and argue against his distortion instead of the actual substance of the claim. If there was only a term for that kind of behaviour.

Amber offers several links to failed prophecies from the Bible. I've looked at these things before. Should I say that you said something that didn't happen and so you are a failed prophet I would have to be sure that's what you said not just what I said you said. I'm not sure I've ever said the word said that many times in my mind ever before, as I just said it.

*Update: It should be noted that I did not examine each of the links Amber provided on the subject of failed prophecy in the Bible, even though I have commented on his use of them. Keeping with the subject of Daniel it is irrefutable that the book was written prior to the events it describes and that it accurately describes those events including the (future at the time of the writing) history of the Gentile world. There are some 300 prophecies of Christ many very specific and some typological which were written hundreds and thousands of years before He lived here on Earth which were fulfilled. There are yet future events still in prophecy which have not yet happened. Some call this a failure by default, but the Scripture is not silent on the order of events so it is clear there is no failure. Twisting the Scripture to make it say what it does not and then showing how that failed is not a valid form of argumentation. I don't know if that is the tactic all the links Amber shared take or not, I did not visit them all. However, this is the pattern and my response to Amber was not intended to include refutations of all his links.  If my main premise - that Amber is not interested in evidence after all - is correct (and I believe it has been shown to be so) then spending time and effort on this would simply be a waste. I already know the answer and the answers are freely available for anyone who will look past their atheistic sources.

Amber disputes the heptadic structure of the Scriptures. They are freely available for anyone to look at. Ad hominem against Chuck Missler doesn't invalidate the fact of how the Scriptures are written. I challenged Amber to produce a similar document. I guess he choose to insult Chuck instead.

Amber says that "many of" The Scientific Facts and Concepts in the Bible which were written hundreds and thousands of years before they were "discovered" are unconvincing because they are not specific enough for him. Does this mean that some where specific enough? Interestingly Amber chooses the weakest example to attempt a rebut and even this weak point he is only able to describe as unconvincing to him.

Under the title "No Contradictions" Amber writes:

I made the claim that even if all contradictions could be solved satisfactorily, Christians must, at least, agree that the bible is ambiguous.
The Bible is not ambiguous, as I demonstrated in the previous article. Strangely though he then accuses me: 
Lastly, I submit that Kevin himself is bigoted towards gay people, and uses the bible as justification. The evidence for this is the fact that he recommened that I read the divisive book, A Queer Thing Happened To America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, by Michael Brown.
Ad hominem aside... I am "bigoted" because I recommended a book that explains how the popular opinions of the public in North America were manipulated? Yes Amber, I link to a dictionary because words have meanings. I know that you enjoy using Dawkins' redefinitions of Atheism and Agnosticism, but I tend to use the plain meanings of words. At least as much as I am able to do. How am I being intolerant of anyone by linking to that book?

Amber is not sure if the manuscript evidence I cited for the New Testament is accurate or not. Here ya go Amber. You can make up stories about how the Text has changed all you want, but I can simply look at the manuscripts and see that it has not.

Amber then gives a number of links in response to the links I provided. You can look at them if you like or not.. it doesn't matter to me. The evidence for God is plain and on display. You can spend your life trying to find ways to ignore it, or you can open your eyes. It's truly up to you.

In conclusion I stand my my previous assertions. Amber was never really Born Again (regenerated), or if he was (and perhaps he was given his late testimony) he was born among the thorns and was choked out by religion instead of being nourished. Mat 13:5-6 I don't think this is the case, but it is possible. Further I stand by the assertion that Amber is not interested in evidence. He did not even consider the evidence I provided him, though he did read at least some of it.

Amber finishes with:

Lastly, in Kevin’s conclusion he said something that saddened me, “I will not be debating, or allowing the debate of, the existence of God. There is no debate, and I won’t blaspheme God by pretending that there is.”Certainty, and the refusal to even evaluate answers, should sound alarm bells. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Do so always, and do not stop.
I am able to critically examine all things without having to endure endless insult by those who have no intention of doing likewise. If an Atheist were to say that they don't believe that God exists but that they want to explore the possibility I would work with that person to see that they had the opportunity to evaluate the evidence. Letting people post links to things they have not carefully considered themselves, while they expect me to rebut every word of it is not reasonable.

Further, there is no debate. I know for a fact that you, Amber, are aware that there is a God and that you know many things about Him. Go make a blog about how you don't believe in purple squirrels and I'll take you more seriously.

You say that people don't claim that a purple squirrel exists so you don't blog about that. Well, isn't it interesting that you don't have some title that says you disbelieve people's claims, but instead you choose the title Atheist. You talk about God and your denial of Him. Your hate for Him, your focus on Him, and the effort you invest in all of this belies your true motives.