#1. Over at James McGrath’s site are a couple of items that need to be addressed. The first is found here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/04/the-meatball-argument.html
If the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t exist then why are the planets perfectly shaped like meatballs
Artifacts alone do not tell the story for physical objects are mute. They cannot attest to much without written materials to explain their existence and actual purpose. Someone might say that the planets are shaped like bowling balls or basketball thus the reason why we have the activities of bowling and basketball.
We know that the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t exist, or the great bowling ball super-power, for that matter, because they did not leave any written record of their existence nor tried to communicate to any human being over the vast amounts of time that has existed since the beginning.
That communication would have to be verified by both ancient history and modern life. By that I mean that its words would have to have some physical evidence to show that what it says is true and that evidence would have to exist from the past to the present. its communication could not come from one sole source either for if it did we could charge the words with being fake as there is no way to corroborate its message.
For example, the Book of Mormon was the product of one man, Joseph Smith, who said he got it from the golden plates. Yet we cannot verify what Smith claimed to be on those plates because they were supposedly taken back to heaven No one can corroborate what Smith supposedly translated thus we can say the Book of Mormon is false and a fake.
There is also no historical evidence to verify one part of that book. Unlike the Bible, where we have ancient manuscripts from different places to compare God’s word plus anyone can have access to those documents and see for themselves. The Bible also has cities, nations, wars, and other pieces of physical evidence in the right context, time period and location to verify its words.
Then we have 2,000 years of changed lives and miracles to point to that show that God’s word is true. We know there is no flying spaghetti monster because the shape of the planets are not enough to prove its existence. The same goes for any alternative to Biblical Christianity, they do not have the evidence or the written testimonies to shore up their claims.
#2. The next item up to talk about is found again at McGrath’s site and it is found in the comment section of the article discussing St. George: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/04/happy-st-georges-day.html
do not give up on your assault on young earthers. It is worth it, and it is an encouragement to those of us rub shoulders with them, and have to make excuses for them.
I do not know much about St. George and this was the second time I read about him today. Another mention of him is found over at West’s site as he praises Candida Moss for her ‘myth busting skills’. i also do not know much about Miss Moss but have heard she has found her purpose in busting stories and legends of the past.
Problem is, McGrath and Moss can’t verify their claims about the man. It is possible that their anti-creationist stand is blinding them to the truth and making their work dishonest but their work is responsible for the wrong attitude found in that quote above.
Why do OEC advocates feel that they have to make excuses for YEC people? Why are OEC supporters afraid of the truth? The Bible already tells us that the teaching of the cross is foolishness to those who believe so why pander to the unbeliever and accept their deception about origins and dismiss what God said he did?
We who truly believe will always look foolish to those who don’t so why change our message to fit the culturally accepted secular train of thought? If we are going to look foolish then we might as well look foolish telling the truth instead of compromising what God said in order to appear smart to those who don’t care about God.
The truth is, all God said about when he created was ‘in the beginning…’ and there is a reason for that. When is not important but WHO did it is. If you remove God’s word from the text and insert secular ideas then you are no longer preaching the truth or God’s word, you are teaching false ideas and have become a false teacher.
What is so good or smart about doing that? Why please humans who, as the Bible says, can only kill the body, yet anger God who can kill both the body and soul? Sounds to me that those who change from the truth and go with the OEC thinking or other alternative theories to Genesis 1 are the ones being foolish.
They are pleasing the wrong people.
#3. Again we turn to McGrath’s site for the next comment: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/04/153-fish-the-definitive-explanation.html
Today in my class on the Gospel of John we reached the final chapter. One detail in John 21 that has long puzzled commentators is the reference to 153 fish having been caught. Why so specific? Is there some symbolic significance to the number? If so, what is it?
For the believer there is an answer we can use when we come across or are questioned about difficult passages of scripture. That answer is ‘I don’t know’. As believers we are not bestowed the answer to every problem or explanation for every difficult passage immediately upon conversion.
There are things that we will not know and the best answer to give, instead of fumbling for some weird explanation is ‘I don’t know’. It is better to say that than provide some untruthful answer because if the unbeliever finds out you lied, you possibly lose a soul. it is best to be honest at all times instead of trying to fake it.
That doesn’t mean that we do not take the time to find out what the correct answer or explanation is. God did say in Timothy to study, Jesus said we are to follow the Spirit of truth to the truth and these passages tell us that there is a lot for believers to learn. Complete knowledge isn’t given magically to a new Christian, we all have to learn from God, wiser and more mature believers and learn how to spot the truth over the error.
We have to grow up spiritually just like we do physically and mentally. Christians who refuse to grow up in all those areas are not going to make much of an impact for God or be of much use to his kingdom. Believers need to get out of the childish stage of spirituality because we are not in a game.
When you realize you do not know the correct answer or explanation to the queries made by unbelievers, simply say I don’t know but I will find out if I can. With honesty you keep the door open in the unbeliever’s heart to the gospel.
If the unbeliever doesn’t accept that response then they are being unrealistic in their expectations of believers. We do not know everything, even I don’t as I cannot give you an answer about why the number 153 was used in that passage right now, thus let’s not fake it or act like it. We deal in truth and real answers not lies and fakes.
#4 Jim west never fails to disappoint in providing examples of what not to do. His latest example is found at this link: http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/more-proof-that-americas-gun-laws-are-stupid/
Now the first quote is what he has quoted from another source and the second will be his own words:
Local and federal law enforcement officials either don’t know or aren’t yet saying how Tsarnaev and his brother, accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, obtained the guns they later used to kill a university police officer and critically injure a mass-transit officer. They didn’t apply for Massachusetts gun permits, as required by state law.
Be honest, does that make sense to anyone? Anyone? There’s something wrong with the minds of those who think it does, and that includes the people in Congress who write these idiotic laws (and the NRA which bribes or coerces them to do it).
Now to address the first quote, it seems that everyone but law enforcement and West know exactly where those boys got their weapons. They just didn’t obtain them legally. Yes it makes sense because people who are planning to do things illegally are not going to try to leave an obvious trail to their plans and securing materials needed to do the job.
They certainly are not going to obtain their weapons legally because that would just be dumb and such an action would provide law enforcement with evidence to convict them so West really misses the point here.
He says of those, in the second quote, who think it makes sense that there is something mentally off with them and calls the gun laws idiotic and stupid but why? What standard is West using to draw such conclusions? What makes his standard superior to other ones? Actually because West fails to see the other options available for people to secure weapons, he is making himself look like he is really describing his own mental abilities and not other people or laws.
This is something that the believer needs to be wary of doing. Sometimes if or when we attack others we are really describing ourselves to the world. West is really off the mark with his accusations because he is actually showing his ignorance on how laws work, how people think and act, and about the options available to criminals.
Believers really need to be careful about what they say and they do need to install a filter between their brains and their mouths in order to stop themselves from making themselves look stupid or idiotic. The Bible says, we can’t control our tongues but we can ask God for help in doing that and we should.
What we say lasts a lot longer and does more damage than we may realize, not only to the cause of Christ but to our own reputations and credibility. West thinks he has credibility and a good reputation and he may have a few people who blindly accept everything he says but in reality he isn’t as great as he thinks he is. His anti-christian behavior and words ruin anything he may contribute to the world of academics and life.
He claims to be a Christian but you would never know it by reading his materials and that is a big problem not only for him but for true believers. Unbelievers are not dumb. They know how to compare what Jesus said for his followers to do with the words and actions of those who claim to follow him and his teachings.
They may not understand everything about what Jesus taught or what believers act the way they do but they know enough to continue to resist the Gospel. People like West create a lot more work for true believers in winning unbelievers to Christ. True Christians really need to be careful in their commentary about others for you never know who may read or hear what you say and decide against Christ.
Now are Christians going to be perfect in everything they do or say? Of course not and do not place more stress upon yourselves about the above words. It happens to every believer and we just need to admit to the mistake, after we make sure we were wrong, and then make the proper, Christ-led correction.
We do not make correction simply because some believer or unbeliever doesn’t like what we are doing. We make the corrections when we know we actually did something wrong and God is saying make the change.
It is a tricky road to walk as we have to be concerned about the weaker brother but we cannot allow ourselves to become slaves to their immaturity either. Such conflicts provide great teaching moments if the believer follows the truth and not their own desires.
West is just wrong in his judging of others and laws for he is not perfect, he is not God and he is disobeying what Jesus taught which is why I can write these words about his actions. He is showing the world that he doesn’t follow Christ but his own ideas and he is trying to implement his own ways not Jesus’ and that makes him wrong.