Atheist Delusions- 2

29 Jun

Just continuing in providing key quotes from the book of the same title by David Bentley Hart, with a little commentary. {By accident I switched the order of the quotes}

#1. No cause in history– no religion or imperial ambition or military adventure– has destroyed more lives with more confident enthusiasm than the cause of ‘the brotherhood of man.’

In other words, the unbeliever is not as perfect as they like to let on and that they are not honest with themselves when it comes to their own faulty ideologies track records.

#2. Christian society certainly never fully purges itself of cruelty or violence; but it also never incubated evils in ambition, range, systematic precision or mercilessness to death camps, gulags, forced famines or the extravagant brutality of modern warfare. (pg. 107)

People can point to the Crusades as an example of such acts but they ignore the fact that the Crusades was originally and ideally meant to free people from the colonial rule imposed upon the Holy Land by its Muslim invaders. We can argue that the Crusades or the inquisition were not products of a Christian society but the tools of a very deceived church.

But what you do not see, as you do in very tyrannical regimes are things like, holocausts, genocide, or the results of the Kim’s of North Korea as its people suffer hourly under their non-religious iron hands.  Christian societies, for example, early Britain,Canada, America and other western nations who did implement many biblical teachings into their culture originally, tend to be more humane than their secular counterparts.

Someone may point to Zimbabwe as an example of cruelty by a Christian society but we see nothing Christian in the laws or rule of that land.  We have a man who claims to be Christian yet acts anything but.  We would need to have Dr. Hart’s definition of a Christian society first before exploring this issue further. Suffice it to say that my idea of a Christian society would not be equal to an atheist’s view of the same influence.

We can point to Boko Haram or ISIS as prime examples of what Dr. Hart is alluding to in that quote as well. The sheer hatred, intolerance and despicable acts foun din those extremist camps will not be found in true Christian societies or militias.

#3. If ever an age deserved to be thought an age of darkness it is surely ours. ((pg. 106)

In light of some recent judicial decisions and acts found around the world it is safe to agree with Dr. Hart here.  More and more people are dousing their Christian light in favor of more popular and less persecuted ideologies.

#4. Origen, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine– all denied that for instance the creation story in Genesis was an actual historical record of how the world was made (Augustine did write what he called a literal interpretation of Genesis but it wa snot literal in any sense a modern fundamentalist would recognize). (pg. 63)

I have written about Augustine and Origen’s point of view before and you can see those words at the following link:

The point the believer needs to be aware of is that the men mentioned in that quote were not inspired by God nor were they charged with changing God’s word.  Their views were their own and were not led or guided by the HS. This is why we double-check those men called great in society to see if their words match up with God’s before accepting them.

Our supposed great leaders were not always on God’s side in their lives, views or writings. We do not take the words of men, no matter how much esteem they are held in by modern church leaders or speakers. If the ‘Church Fathers’ disagree with God and the Bible then we do not accept their words.

#5. And figures as distant from one another as Augustine and Aquinas cautioned against exposing scripture to ridicule by mistaking the Bible for a scientific treatise. (pg. 63)

This we can agree with as the Bible does not reveal a natural, scientific origin for anything. It is a revelation of a supernatural, never to be repeated act by God who only spoke and it was. There is nothing scientific about the event and we should not make that event compatible with science for it has nothing to do with anything construed to be scientific.

Our goal is not to appease unbelieving scientists and atheists, who demand physical evidence, by stretching and manipulating Genesis 1 and 2 into a scientific model. It will not fit. Our goal is to tell the truth and go by God’s rules where faith is the key part of the equation not meeting the demands of those who do not believe and most likely never will. Our belief about our origins must be taken on faith alone because we have no physical evidence showing God or his speaking things into existence.

We either believe God or we do not.

#6. None of which detracts from Copernicus’ real achievements… any more than it diminishes the greater achievements of Galileo…Kepler… and Newton… but it does not mean certainly that Copernicus was not some isolated visionary gazing back into through the centuries, across a vast chasm of Christian darkness to the pale flickering flame of a forgotten Hellenistic wisdom. (pg. 62)

What this and the next quote points out is that Copernicus benefited from the previous work of his teachers and other astronomers who made their own discoveries and Copernicus merely built upon what was already done. Dr. Hart is counteracting the unbeliever’s idea that Christianity robbed people from knowledge, making civilizations ignorant of everything around them. It just isn’t so and his words show that the atheist or unbeliever will be dishonest in their assessment of past figures who published great discoveries and their treatment of the Christian faith.

#7. To suggest that Copernicus took up a thread that had been severed by the church in antiquity and arrived at his hypothesis by his own unaided lights defies not only historical record but all historical logic. Copernicus having matriculated at a number of Christian universities was heir to a long tradition of Christian scholastic mathematics and theoretical work in astronomy and the science of motion stretching back at least to the early thirteenth century; but for this tradition his thought would have no theoretical basis. (pg. 58)

Much context and actuality is lost when singular individuals and their work are highlighted far more than their contemporaries or predecessors. History, and unbelievers, tend to ignore those who built the foundation as they focus solely upon the more interesting  results and who produced them.

#8. After all few have the time or the need to sift through academic journals and monographs and tedious disquisitions on abstruse topics trying to separate the gold from the dross. (pg. 35)

I place this quote here so that pastors and other christian workers can not feel guilty for not getting to all the material they would like and obtaining the information they would like so that their sermons or speeches will contain better food than they already provide.  This quote should direct pastors, etc., to reconsider the books they do read and try to diversify away from church models, pet doctrines and let the HS lead them to the books which will broaden their thinking and help them see the truth and get better information than they already are.

The list at the link below, will contain many volumes that would be better reading than denominational magazines and fare recommended to church leaders who want to be informed pastors, etc.

Not all are Christian works and some of those provide excellent insight into the thinking of unbelievers which will aid the pastor, etc., in guiding their congregations to the truth and help them provide information that will protect their flock when they are on their own. There are 95 volumes on that list but I would not recommend that someone read all 95. Here is a short list of numbers where it would be more advisable to begin: 1, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 19, 26, 37, 41, 45, 50, 64, 65, 67, 71. That is a more manageable list.

Of course, I have read more good books since that list was compiled and I am sure you can think of some volumes yourself but the point is, we need to get the right information so that we can be used by God better. Getting the truth is what matters so that we can train our people to be strong and unafraid when evil attacks.

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, faith, General Life, leadership, theology


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