The word usually spelled simply "atheist" is intentionally spelled as it is above, to underscore what this particular brand of vain philosophy is: AGAINST GOD. What follows is an actual correspondence that took place over an Internet chess game between myself and a man whose cyberspace nickname was Wolfie5, August/September 2003...
Wolfie5: ok starting off with the most basic of questions- why do you believe there is a god?
Keith_Graham: I'll answer by suggesting that you're asking the wrong question. Then I'll try to begin to explain why I say that, by asking you a question. Here it is:
Can a man rightly think and act AUTONOMOUSLY?
In other words, can a man rationally, ethically, and consistently set himself up as the "ultimate reference point" of his knowledge?
Wolfie5: the short answer is yes- why would man need a god for that- and why in particular the god of the hebrews?
Keith_Graham: If your answer is yes, then what you've essentially done is say that you can be your own god (which by the way is an evidence of man's nature as a being who needs the true God).
And if you answer yes, I assert that you cannot rationally, consistently, or ethically actually BE autonomous.
Meanwhile, the God of the Hebrews, Who became incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, claims to be the only true God. His claims are rooted in history and documented in a book called the Bible.
That history and that documentation are germane to the discussion. For instance, no one can deny that if you take the three major monotheistic religions of the world, the order of their appearance in history is Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
Wolfie5: it seems to me that christians actually try ruling out any other answer. in essence u r putting words in my mouth- somehow arriving at because i think then there is a god.
i think we missed out the interim steps there?
the question was about right thinking? your conclusion- that can only come from god?
as for autonomous- no man is an island?
this very conversation will have an impact on both of us!
history- the bible is not a history book per se! although there are historical writings in it?
re jesus there is not one contemporary or corrobarary piece of evidence outside the bible to back up one single claim made in it? unlike perhaps the koran- which is the only one of the three religions that there is certainty about its authority from mohammed- (ie we have proof it is his work)
u may want to cite suetonius, josephus or tacitus- but they were not contemporaries of jesus so they could not provide eye witness accounts.
re the gospel writers- their authority is dubious as non of them penned their names to the books- so are alleged authors.
re their writings- many parts are copied word for word from each other and there are many parts with gaping differences- such as the last words of christ or the genealogy of jesus. these are amongst the most famous differences- and u will no doubt be aware of others.
sorry if this has gone at a tangent i just wrote with the flow.
Keith_Graham: You wrote - "it seems to me that christians actually try ruling out any other answer. in essence u r putting words in my mouth- somehow arriving at because i think then there is a god."
Yes, that is my assertion, with the stipulation that it is not the existence of "a god", but the power and mercy of the only true God, Who is the foundation of human thought, that upholds you in all you do and think. When man attempts to deny God, he has plunged his position (be it a-Theism, agnosticism, or other false religion) into irrationality.
"i think we missed out the interim steps there?"
Tell me what your position is at present, and I will endeavor to show how what I just said applies. My method of proving my assertions will be by showing the impossibility of the contrary.
"the question was about right thinking? your conclusion- that can only come from god?"
Again, YES. Or as the Bible puts it, "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." (Proverbs 1:7 et. al.)
You will perhaps answer that you feel you are getting along fine without God. And again, I will try to show how you are being inconsistent and irrational in doing so. You are "borrowing" from the principles that exist in God's real universe (of which you are a part) to try to construct a universe in which you reign as a god.
"as for autonomous- no man is an island?"
If you're asking what it means, that's a pretty good definition...law unto himself, acts unilaterally, is independent. This is an attribute of the Lord God only. Man is a usurper when he tries to do it!
"this very conversation will have an impact on both of us!"
You bet it will. Notice that I have at least twice referred to the ethical dimension. Having a discussion of this nature as if it were merely an academic exercise would be unprofitable and foolish.
The God of the Bible does not present himself as a celestial philospher, trying to persuade his peer philosopher, man, about Himself. The God of the Bible proclaims Himself as our Creator Who has full rights over us, and ourselves as morally and ethically accountable to Him.
Moreover, the Bible clearly explains that man's basic problem is not with his reasoning, although his reasoning is corrupt and unable to function properly. Man's basic problem is his antipathetical stance toward God. This is called sin. Man is by nature at enmity with God, and the core message of the Bible is the message of redemption through Jesus Christ. Christians call this the GOSPEL. It is a good news message of salvation for man from God. It offers man the rebel sinner forgiveness and reconcilation. A mind at peace and restored to right thinking is a fruit of that.
"history- the bible is not a history book per se! although there are historical writings in it?"
Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the Author's purpose is not simply to provide historical data. No, in the sense that many parts are intentionally and clearly historical narrative.
"re jesus there is not one contemporary or corrobarary piece of evidence outside the bible to back up one single claim made in it?"
And I understand that her enemies sought to eliminate all reference to Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut from historical records. In the movie "The Ten Commandments", the pharaoh character is presented as doing this regarding Moses.
The Bible stands as a historically reliable document, having more ancient authentication than say, the writings of Plato. I could assert that the Bible doesn't corroborate some writing contemporary to it. So what?
And as far as alleged discrepancies in the Bible, such as the geneology of Christ as given in Matthew vs. Luke, there are solutions to these; for instance, Luke probably gives His geneology through Mary, while Matthew gives it through Joseph His step father. There is also an elaborate alternate solution involving the principle of levirate marriage (A good example of which appears in the book of Ruth).
Also, the Gospel writers can legitimately summarize or rephrase words of Christ, what's the problem with that? Why must the Bible be denied the use of literary tools found in other writings? The fact is that the majesty, coherency, and sublime subject matter of the Bible enobles it above other writings.
At any rate, I'm just not sure how profitable it will be for us to discuss this sort of thing, along with the writings of Josephus, Suetonius, Manetho, Pliny, or whoever in detail. They are indeed tangents, as you suggested.
"unlike perhaps the koran- which is the only one of the three religions that there is certainty about its authority from mohammed- (ie we have proof it is his work)"
And Mahomet started off as a crusader, out to reform the Christendom he knew, according to his ideal of what should be. I refer back to my simple statement of the order of appearance in history of Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
The true religion of God before Christ was Judaism, the foundations of which go back to Creation itself as per Moses' book of Genesis. (This Jewish book gives the true account of the Flood, stories about which we find in so many human societies. It explains the origin of different languages, the seven day week, marriage - just to name a few things that are universal, or almost so, among mankind.)
So, Judaism is the root. Christianity is the Divinely intended fruit. It is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, the promise of blessings to come through Abraham's seed for all human familes (see Genesis 12). Islam is best understood as a radical heresy which arose in the seventh Christian century, as was the Christless Judaism that failed to accept Christ before it. This is also the case with more modern religions such as that of the papacy (with the Council of Trent as perhaps a historical starting point; but probably earlier), Mormonism, the religion of the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. The religion of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, is the standard.
Wolfie5: ok lets also leave aside islam and just deal with the bible- even without the papacy and apocrypha.lets leave aside any other religion too. but permit me sources of science and history outside the bible if relevant to my points.
re jesus- so u concur that there are no contemporary writings outside the bible- even if as u suggest by now they have been eradicated?
re the descendency of jesus thru the levirate laws? or thru mary- that is also a tangent- especially when claiming jesus is descended either thru david or adma or whoever via joseph- as jesus was not of the loins of joseph anyway- remember begotten not made?
the bible gives a true account of the flood? i dont remember raading the book of noah in the bible or the book of enoch or jasher which were mentioned in the bible- but again we'll leave these out!
as for more modern religions like the papacy- you are presbyterian which is newer?
as re the king james- do we talk about the 1609 or 1611 version of this catholic king?
Keith_Graham: I think it would be only fair, before we continue, for you to tell me exactly what your position is. At this point, I do not know if you are a Moslem, an Anglican, an a-Theist, an agnostic, or a Hindu! Please let me know.
Wolfie5: ah getting back to me asking u about your own- i am straightforwardly athiest- i have studied quite a bit of the bible and read the koran- glanced at other religions a little.
this gets back to me asking about ur knowledge of other religions? how much study have u done of the bible timeline and how much of egypts history?
i know u think this is all irrelevant perhaps as i am sure you just wanna deal with the "truth" but these are part of my proofs of your truth to me not adding up.
Keith_Graham: Thank you for your frank admission of your position, "straightforwardly atheist". Feel free to appeal to any historical or scientific sources you'd like, as I present the claims of the Scriptures of God.
As far as versions of the English Bible, remember that they are all translations out of the original languages. As far as religions claiming to be represent true Christianity, remember that the Bible is the standard. If a papist can show me that the legitimacy of prayers to Mary, or the authority of the man in the Vatican as the "vicar of Christ" stand in Scripture, I will submit to them.
On the other hand, if the term Presbyterian is a stumbling block, we can leave it out of our conversation. Biblical Christianity would be a better term, and one that applies more or less to many visible religious bodies (i.e. "denominations", none of which can claim to perfectly embody it, or have 100% consistency).
In fact, let me assure you that as a Biblical Christian I do not claim to belong to the only legitimate religious group, nor to be capable of glibly and easily answering any question. A Biblical Christian could be compared to a destitute beggar who has been invited to a royal banquet, and whose Benefactor wants him to go tell other beggars to come to the feast.
Yes, I have studied the Bible's timeline in some depth. No, I am not very knowledgeable regarding Egyptian history. As far as writings contemporary to the New Testament, the geneology of Christ, and literary citations by Biblical writers that seem obscure, I would say that they are tangential issues. Whereas I would not say that they are "irrelevant", I would affirm that there are crucial, foundational issues that must be tackled first.
For instance, I noticed that you put quotation marks on the word TRUTH. I suspect that those quotation marks indicate that you don't believe truth really has any meaning. If that suspicion is wrong, please explain what truth does mean in the overall world view of a straightforward a-Theist. If my suspicion is right, please explain your interest in debating a person who asserts that there is ultimate TRUTH. Why does it matter to you?
"...Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free....I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'." (John 8:31, 32 and 14:6)
Wolfie5: ok a couple of your questions- of course this conversation is completely about the truth- i just dont se the bible as the "truth". possibly a small amount of it contain events that may/may not have happened? other nations histories can give a clue to that too! as re why i am debating- i think that is related to the first.
let me first explain my background- parents from northern ireland- mum protestant - dad catholic- the troubles start- they have to leave- my older family born there- me born in england- educated catholic- seen the wars caused by both sides.
Keith_Graham: Thanks for sharing your background. I was nominally Christian until my 19th year (I am age 50 now) when I was converted out of agnosticism and dissipation.
What I'm getting at in my question to you about truth is some kind of definition of it that is consistent with an a-Theistic conception of reality, which we might call a "world view". What is the nature of truth, according to an a-Theist?
Here's a brief account of what TRUTH means in the Christian world view, it probably won't surprise you:
Jesus said both "I am the truth", and that He "came to bear witness of the truth". So ultimate truth is of Divine origin, and is yet is profoundly personal, not just some platonic, ideal abstraction.
Truth is graspable by man because the holy, eternal, infinite, all powerful and personal Creator God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has revealed truth to man in human terms. The incarnation of the living God in the person of Jesus Christ is the zenith, core, and essence of revealed truth.
Thus man the creature can know truth, can confidently make propositional assertions that are true, etc. because the eternal, triune Creator has revealed truth.
Again, that's the Christian (Biblical) view of truth, which I realize you do not accept at present. But since you don't see the Bible as truth, I'm asking for YOUR accounting of what truth is, in other words according to the a-Theistic world view.
Wolfie5: the truth- i think possibly easier to start with that which i see is not the truth.
kinda like the creed but obviously not!
i believe in no god of any form shape religion or design.
i do not believe in the supernatural ie ghosts,
vampires, demons, devils, angels etc
i do not believe in spiritual realms of darkness and light
heaven or hell or valhalla or elysian fields or the underworld.
i do not believe in a soul or immortality or reincarnation or the like.
i do not believe in miracles or divine intervention
or god's wrath or his grace,
i do not believe either in excorcisms or faith healings or spiritualism etc.
i believe probably as u do - every other religion apart from ur own is man made either thru superstition or to consolidate power for the leaders and nation or tribe or whatever.
however i also believe ur own beliefs fall into the same category as every other religion- ie man made god and not the other way round.
anyway thats enough for now i know from some of what i said the rest was obvious but i just wanted to clarify!
Keith_Graham: Vampires, lol! I saw the actual bat in an Australian zoo once. Absolutely hideous looking animal. So was the wombat I saw there.
Ok, now I think we might be getting somewhere. In your attempts to make sense of the universe, you have adopted a NATURALISTIC world view. So HOW does such a thing as "truth" exist in such a world? In order for your position to be consistent, you must show HOW this transcendant, invisible reality called truth exists in a universe which is basically nothing more than molecules in motion. (You actually have to account for even the molecules, but we'll leave that aside for now.)
Perhaps you will admit that, based on your own presuppositions, "truth" is ultimately just a subjective concept in man's mind, in other words just a chemical reaction in his brain (since there's no soul or intangible, spiritual part of man). If so, how do you account for your desire to grasp knowledge of ultimate reality (whatever that would be in a consistently naturalistic world) or engage in friendly debate with a Christian?
What do you mean by "knowledge" or "belief"? Aren't they merely chemical reactions taking place inside a roughly spherical, bony structure on a bipedal animal, called the skull? If not, why not?
Even more poignantly, WHAT are you, and I, and all our fellow human beings? Why are personal existence, consciousness, love, ethics, etc. anything more than just biochemical reactions? What makes you or me any different from a child's science experiment, where he puts a bunch of chemicals in a tube?
In your naturalistic world view, aren't we nothing more than bags of skin, which skin itself is just a bunch of crusty biochemicals, and other biochemical reactions are taking place within the bag?
So far in your personal journey through life, you've decided to believe that certain things are false, so you must believe that something else is "true", else the idea of "false" is meaningless. What is bugging you deep down inside, driving you to search for ultimate meaning, truth, etc. if those sort of transcendant spiritual realities don't even exist...if they CAN'T exist?
So basically I'm asking to be shown why naturalistic a-Theism is not hopelessly irrational and inconsistent on its own terms.
Again, my method here is to show that without the only true God, the God Who has revealed Himself to man through the Christ of the Bible, it is absolutely impossible to avoid complete and utter foolishness, an attempt to turn nonsense into sense.
There are really only two religions on Earth: the one that affirms the one true God, and the one that denies Him, though the denial takes various forms...a-Theism, agnosticism, paganism in all its varieties.
Wolfie5: again u make the presupposition that you can pigeon hole or compartmentalise- which i suppose i do myself.
you can test the things you believe in against recorded facts- so lets start with that. of course we both would believe in the ancient pharoahs of egypt and their existence- even with molecular reasoning or wherever u want to take that rationale we would agree. where we disagree is u would place all pharoahs in the biblical timeframe- i would place them outside- so negate the bible story.
ie early pharoahs existed b4 the flood dating- therefore the bible is wrong!
Keith_Graham: Again, an issue like the dating of the pharaohs vs. the Bible is just a rabbit trail, compared to the hard, preliminary work of showing how it or ANY OTHER QUESTION can even be asked or addressed in an a-Theistic universe.
Let me try this tack. You wrote, "we both would believe in the ancient pharoahs of egypt and there existence- even with molecular reasoning or whereever u want to take that rationale we would agree."
What I'm saying is that words you use there such as belief, existence, reasoning, agreement...these are absolutely meaningless under naturalistic a-Theism! You see, you can appeal to them ONLY because the real universe is NOT just matter in motion.
Positing a godless universe renders even basic logical ideas such as uniformity, non-contradiction - "positing" and "meaning" themselves all meaningless.
You see, Wolfie, what's going on in this world is that God has made the truth about Himself inescapable. Man is without rational or moral excuse for not owning God as his Creator and master, and being thankful. The only way to account for man's refusal to not only recognize His existence, but also honor Him appropriately, is by the Biblical accounting for it.
And the Bible accounts for man's refusal to see, know, and love God because of that natural enmity that man has, brought upon the human race through its primeval head, Adam. It is called SIN. We are born in sin and grow up to become sinners. This is why Jesus said one MUST be born again to see the kingdom of God.
You can't have it both ways. If you want to have naturalistic a-Theism, first explain what meaning, logic, communication, and so forth are IN TERMS OF SUCH A UNIVERSE.
In other words, I hold the Bible's position to be proven already, because debaters can only agree OR disagree on anything because the universe is the creation of the transcendant, personal, eternal, infinite Creator, and not the place naturalistic a-Theism would have it be. A person has to presuppose God to deny God...man denying God is kind of like a wicked child, who, when picked up by a loving parent, slaps the parent in the face.
Attempt to put God out of the picture, and you have instantly plunged yourself into a void, where the issue of the pharaohs, or the "issue" of how you "know" that you really had what you "believe" you had for dinner last night, lack even a rational basis for discussion, for agreement or disagreement, for proof or disproof, for any logical argumentation. Either "issue" can only be discussed because the universe can't possibly be what naturalistic a-Theism insists it is.
So, I have to hold your feet to the fire on this, otherwise, again, a discussion about the pharaohs (or your dinner last night) will be nothing but wrangling and jangling words. To debate and discuss is to at once be fundamentally and radically inconsistent with naturalistic a-Theism.
Wolfie5: you are trying to be philosophical about rationalisation. this was answered by descartes by i think therefore i am! we know we both exist and think because we are continuing this conversation- which could not come about without our being. and yes there has to be something that caused it all. but we are here and all we need to deal with are facts and evidence.
to start off with then would u agree every other non christian religion was started by either someone deluded- or indeed himself a deluder? i think u would. is the bible a delusion- history of the pharaohs shows it is and i dont think you can match it to the bible because it is outside its timeframe!
Keith_Graham: Ok, you wrote, "yes there has to be something that caused it all. but we are here and all we need to deal with are facts and evidence."
So it looks like you now admit that straightforward a-Theism cannot stand, that it is hopelessly inconsistent. There has to be something. OK, perhaps that's a start.
Now what you call philosophizing about rationalizing. is simply the same claim that I have been making all along.
Man MUST have the word of the eternal, infinite, personal Creator God (Who both possesses all knowledge and is able to communicate it) as the starting point of all reasoning.
Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am) begs the question: "you think, therefore you are...WHAT?" - just as I asked you.
The Christian thinker says something like, "I think because I am a being created in the image of God, therefore capable of rational, ethical, personal behavior."
How would you complete the thought? I think, therefore I am __________ .
Fill in the blank! Let''s say your answer tries to make God irrelevant (i.e. "Something caused all this, but it doesn't matter, let's just deal with the facts"). If you do that, than I submit that although you might have abandoned "straightforward a-Theism", you are still in the same hopeless morass of relativism, where meaning itself is meaningless.
Again, God has so arranged things that man absolutely cannot deny Him, and remain rational and consistent, let alone morally upright. All attempts to deny Him are actually attempts to REPLACE Him with self or with some projection of self. I think therefore I am, period., or, I think therefore I project SOMETHING as my cause. These projections from the heart of sinful man are called IDOLS.
...They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image, and pray to a god that cannot save. Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. He shall say, 'Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him. In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.' " (Isaiah 45)
Wolfie5: ok- i wont put you admit into my posts if u dont in yours! i think we are getting away from disecting the bible for the truth.
whatever the cause of why we are here- i agree is important - but if the words in the bible r to be found lacking then that too is important.
for instance babel- biblically dated approx 2000 bc- i dont wanna go further into whether that is a few yrsout but it is a good approximation.
now we know from babel according to the bible-all lived in shinar and spoke the same adamic tongue. and according to the bible they got dispersed due to nimrod building a tower.
now the bible gives some of the generations of ham (the egyptians) after this. do u agree offshoots of hams descendendants were the egyptians? it woulda took a lot of time to learn building pyramids and cities and for egypt to come together. and then we biblically have the exodus say 600 yr later.
now in the exodus the pharoah was ramesses 2nd who is according to egyptian chronology about 1800 yr after the first ruler of a united egypt.
so all the events in the 600 yrs of the bible have to compare to 1800 yrs of egyptian history? this conversation then no longer deals with is there a god- but is the bible correct?
i might even accept some abstract notion of god but when presented with evidence that does not seem to hold water i think the boat sinks for me on that one!
Keith_Graham: You wrote "ok- i wont put you admit into my posts if u dont in yours!"
Very well, you didn't make an out and out admission. However, you started off saying "i am straightforwardly athiest". You also wrote, "i believe in no god of any form shape religion or design".
But now you have said - "there has to be something that caused it all."
So perhaps you can explain to me why I should not think of this as having the same force as a direct admission. How do "no god of any form shape, etc" and the "something that caused it all" fit together? It certainly seems that you have changed your position since we started. Please let me know which belief you are sticking to.
In other words, first you said you were "straightforwardly athiest", now you say you are a believer in "something". Which is it? You can't have it both ways!!!
I hope you will answer that question, as well as all the previous tough questions I have asked. Again, I think we're putting the cart before the horse if we move to "nuts and bolts" issues such as chronology before we deal with the hard, foundational issues.
I have challenged you by asserting that your position is hopelessly irrational and inconsistent. You haven't offered any defense. As a rational man, how can I converse rationally with someone unable to demonstrate this his beliefs are not irrational at the core? How can rational fruit come from an irrational tree?
Nevertheless, and sort of "just for fun", consider these quotes from the Sumerian king list -
"After kingship had descended from heaven,
Eridu became the seat of kingship.
In Eridu Aululim reigned 28,800 years as king.
Alalgar reigned 36,000 years.
Two kings, reigned 64,800 years.
"The FLOOD then swept over.
After the Flood had swept over, and kingship had descended from heaven,
Kish became the seat of Kingship. In Kish ....
Total: twenty-three kings, reigned 24,510 years, 3 months, 3 1/2 days.
Kish was defeated; its kingship was carried off to Eanna."
Now let's suppose I was having another conversation with "wolfie # 6", lol! Suppose he told me that "the Bible can't be correct because it conflicts with the Sumerian king list."
I would tell that person that the Bible is correct, and the Sumerian king list nothing but fanciful fiction, as you also likely believe.
What is the reason I can't say to you, in a similar way, the Bible is correct, and the Egyptian chronology is wrong? Why do you look upon the authority of the Egyptian chronology in a way similar to how I look on the Bible? And how does that acceptance of the authority of the Egyptian chronology fit with your overall world view?
Wolfie5: where is your logic coming from? ok back to basics?
there is something that caused it all- does not have to be a god? besides you then have to further explain this omnipotent omniscient omnipresent being as well as the mess he created? u must also accept that god is the creator of evil- as it did not exist until he created it?
getting back to my beliefs i am an athiest- not a nihilist- which i think is confusing u?
getting back AGAIN to egypt- please show me a comparable egyptian chronology to the bible one.
the answer- and u know it is that u cant- no matter how much u try to avoid it you cannot find a single biblical historian who also knows egyptian chronology to fit known and tested egyptian resources into untestable bible dating?
ps known egyptian history is not the same as the gilgamesh account that u r trying to use just as the legend of king arthur is not the same as the evidence of william the conqueror. or are u saying no pharoahs existed?
you are certainly having to say none existed pre babel- and we have a date of about 2000 bc for that. and we know from the bible ramesses 2nd gets his cities mentioned 600 yr later.
the problem we have is with a chronology of egypt that i trust- compared to a chronology of the bible which i dont. if things happened to the people of the bible then reference is comparable to other societies- ie other people lived who didnt get into ur bible- and the ones who did get mentioned can be used as a yardstick to measure the bible with? now that to me is logic.
Keith_Graham: Back to basics!? Well, you started off with:
"ok starting off with the most basic of questions- why do you believe there is a god?"
I began to answer that, but now it seems that you've not only switched your position from straighforward a-Theism to belief in "something", but you've switched what the discussion is about...from your "most basic question", to a very minor issue, comparing Bible chronology to a chronology derived from other sources.
If I wanted to take the time, I could examine that, but I don't think it is very important...NOT because the accuracy and veracity of the Bible is unimportant, but because I am convinced already that the Bible is accurate and reliable, and that your sources are wrong.
Yes, that is my apriori assumption.
Yet, it doesn't seem that you can give a reason why you want to assume the Bible wrong and your sources right! Why couldn't it be the other way around? In other words, why aren't you saying, "the Egyptian chronology is wrong, because it doesn't agree with the Bible?"
Not only that, but you continue to avoid addressing my assertion that without the eternal, infinite, all knowing, personal God of the Bible, you don't even have a basis for measuring accuracy, establishing proof, knowing truth.
To sum up, I only see you expressing irrationality (foundational issues) and arbitrariness (assuming that the Bible is wrong, and Egyptian chronology correct, rather than vice versa).
Wolfie5: i've took in your answer- now we get again to the bible history! i'm sorry if u cant see it is like fitting a square peg in a round hole as unimportant to u. but if the bible is the veryfoundation of your belief then that is where the answer lies!-- so if it is historically correct then that can be demonstrated- again u mix up athiesm with nihilism- my argument is yes we are here but i do not believe the bible gives the answers.
whatever else is the cause whether it could be allah of the islamics- which is to them the same god as urs or whether zeus of the greeks or who or whatever caused our existence- the discussion now is "is the bible history correct!"
u have answered we could not be here without the creator- even if i were to accept that we have to at some point in our conversation move onto who or what is the creator- so we then get back to the bible and we examine it for truth or lies- you believe there are no lies in it so are you prepared to examine that topic with me by a comparison of its history or not?
Keith_Graham: OK, Bible history 101. :-)
From the book of Genesis we learn that God created the entire universe in six days, including mankind, whose history starts with Adam and Eve in Eden. From the information given in Genesis 5 and 7:11, it is not difficult to determine that the Noahic Flood occured in the 1,656th year of the world. All mankind and all animals "in whose nostrils was the breath of life", except the people and animals in the ark, died in this global catastrophe, a Divine act of judgment.
The human race repopulated the world from the 8 survivors of this flood: Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their three wives. The account of the life of Abram (eventually renamed Abraham), from his 75th year onward, begins in the 2083rd year of the world. This account is given in Genesis 12, and in it Abram is said to enter "the land of Canaan" (Canaan being a son of Ham). We are also told that Abram went down to "Egypt" on account of a famine in Canaan, and that a "pharaoh" was there at that time.
Although Abraham did not remain in Egypt, his descendants, who also would go there later on account of another famine, did dwell there for an extended period. The departure (called the "exodus") of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob back to Canaan under the leadership of Moses and Joshua occured in the 2,513th year of the world. This date corresponds to the early 15th century B.C.
Therefore 857 years elapse between the great flood and the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. I find no problem at all believing that the Egypt depicted in the early chapters of the book of Exodus could have developed in this amount of time. I find it very easy to believe that vain, proud pharaohs and others would falsify records, just as wicked men do today.
A few other things should be kept in mind --
1. The exact date of the tower of Babel event is unknown, but based on the assumption that the statement in Genesis 10:25 means that it took place during the life of the patriarch Peleg, we can place it approximately 100 - 200 years after the Flood. Peleg was born in the 1757th year of the world, and died in the 1996th year, a lifespan of 239 years (cf. Genesis 11:18,19).
2. The longevity and stamina of the early humans must be taken as a factor as we consider the demographics and social capacities of early man. Please don't fail to notice the direct and stark contradiction between the Biblical world view and "standard" Darwinistic thought! According to the latter, early man was a low browed troglodyte with a life expectancy of perhaps 30 years. This popular mythology would have us believe that by the combination of an invisible, inexorable force called evolution, the magic dust of unlimited time, and our own wonderful powers we have increased that lifespan so that by modern times our strongest can attain an earthly existence of a century or so.
Although details are scarce (but see Genesis 4:20-22, for example), it is inferred from the Bible that our earliest ancestors were very intelligent, literate, creative, and industrious. It is stated plainly that many lived almost 1,000 years (Methuselah, 969, Genesis 5:27). Death itself originated, and the deterioration of human life set in, because of man's rebellion from God (sin, which brought Divine curses). The life of this man Peleg, incredibly long by our standards, was sadly brief by Methuselah's standards!
The point is that those early humans, living far longer and doubtlessly with far more vitality during their long lives, were able to accomplish more than a Darwinism clouded, modern mind might allow. Rome might not have been built in a day, but perhaps Memphis or Thebes were, lol!
True history is not an account of the ASCENT of man, but an account of the DESCENT of man, with God's plan of salvation both bearing fruit upward and restraining sin all along that generally downward spiral. This present age of the proclaiming of Gospel of Christ to all mankind is the full flowering of that plan of salvation. "Monotheism" is primeval. Animism, polytheism, and assorted philosophies like nihilism, agnosticism, and a-Theism are more modern.
Again, this is the exact opposite of what is commonly believed...namely that animism gave way to polytheism, and that to monotheism, with Judaism, Islam, and Christianity being the three major branches of its expression. In reality, the Divinely revealed religion (as it developed from Abraham's time and earlier onward) has always been "monotheistic". There is only one true God.
3. The scattering of the nations by the Divine means of the confusion of languages at Babel does not imply that before that event, no humans whatsoever could have lived in the area that would become known as Egypt. However, even granted that no significant human presence existed there until sometime after the tower of Babel, we still have approximately 7 centuries for Egypt to develop into what it was by the time of the exodus.
4. Although Mizraim the son of Ham (Genesis 10:6, 1 Chronicles 1:8 et. al.) evidently gave his name to the place on the map we call Egypt (cf. Genesis 12:10, Exodus 1:1 et. al.), not all Egyptian pharaohs or residents of that area must necessarily have been physical descendants of the man Mizraim. The Hyksos are, perhaps, an example.
Finally, I will *yet again* ask why it is the Bible chronology that must be in error, if there are contradictions between it and the Egyptian chronology you speak of? I self consciously presuppose that the Bible is infallibly true, if you are presupposing the inerrancy of your Egyptian chronology, why? Why does that chronology have the power with you that the Biblical canon has with a Christian?
And that question of course brings us back to the bedrock questions regarding the nature of truth, meaning; man's ability to have knowledge and communicate, the laws of logic, etc. I have yet to read any defense from you to my charge that, in his bid to be AUTONOMOUS (whether he calls himself an agnostic, an a-Theist, or a nihilist), man is hopelessly adrift in an irrational sea of relativism and inconsistency.
Wolfie5: ok i am relatively happy now with your bible chronology! i can go with that as a good approximation!
so we have apporx 700 yrs between babel and the flood- this is where i think you will now get the difficulty to prove to me the biblw is correct- using the jigsaw pieces we have left we need to compare that to history outside of the bible -
1. i think it is safe to assume that according to the bible any civilsation sprung forth out of the timeline of babel.
2. now i need to find if u are happy that the cities of ramses and pithom mentioned in exodus coincide with the pharoah ramses 2nd- if so and i believe even biblical historians will agree with this- then we have a comparision to make between the first pharoah of egypt known as narmer/menes- and ramses 2nd. typically historians date this difference as 1100yrs- then
there is a further 800 yrs of egyptian chronology they reckon before the first united pharoah of egypt and the period of 2 seperated kingdoms! ie 1800 yrs between menes and ramses and a further 800 yrs back to the formation of egypt.
3 so to sum up in the 700 yrs the bible gives between babel and exodus- there is 2600 yrs of egyptian chronology to account for!
4. this brings me back to ur point about rationalisation of human viewpoints to say i admit that i dont know everything but i have to base my reasoning on what i see to be the best options- just as i would in our chess match- and in that i know i will make mistakes or miss something but i can only preceed with the knowledge that i assume i have- even if it does come from a divine source i have to check things based on my understanding.
anyway excuse a lot of the waffle please but i hope it shows a bit more of why i am reluctant to accept the bible!
Keith_Graham: You wrote - "typically historians date this difference as 1100yrs- then there is a further 800 yrs of egyptian chronology they reckon before the first united pharoah of egypt and the period of 2 seperated kingdoms! ie 1800 yrs between menes and ramses and a further 800 yrs back to the formation of egypt."
I will *yet AGAIN* ask why it is the Bible chronology that must be in error, if there are contradictions between it and your confidence in what "typically historians date"? I self consciously presuppose that the Bible is infallibly true, if you are presupposing the inerrancy of your Egyptian chronology, why? Why does that chronology have the power with you that the Biblical canon has with a Christian?
You are reluctant to accept the Bible, because it contradicts "typical historians". I am reluctant to accept what historians typically assert and reckon, because it contradicts the Bible. Can you explain what makes your position better?
You then wrote - " i admit that i dont know everything but i have to base my reasoning on what i see to be the best options- just as i would in our chess match- and in that i know i will make mistakes or miss something but i can only preceed with the knowledge that i assume i have- even if it does come from a divine source i have to check things based on my understanding."
I don't know everything either, but I self consciously deny human autonomy and affirm man's complete dependence on God, based on my overall Biblical world view. You apparently assume human autonomy, yet without accounting for it according to your overall a-Theistic world view. And that is where I keep trying to bring you again and again.
The man who would be autonomous winds up hopelessly lost in irrational relativism, whether he winds up an a-Theist, an agnostic, a nihilist, or any other type of false religionist/philosopher.
Why? Because he is attempting to deny the God Who has made it impossible for man to reason without Him, whether that man consciously acknowledges and honors Him or not. Knowledge of the true God is inescapable, so the agnostic is just as much trying to deny Him as is the straightforward a-Theist.
And that, again, is why God in Scripture doesn't come across as a big, invisible philosopher in the sky, trying to persuade autonomous man to acknowledge his bare existence. God in the Bible PROCLAIMS Himself to be man's creator and master, offering redemption to man who is lost and antipathetic to God.
Would be autonomous man is like that child slapping its parent's face, and moreover is deliberately closing his eyes and sticking his fingers in his ears to shut out the adult's patient communications which seek the child's welfare. One does not reason with such a child, although once the child stops his temper tantrums and matures, he will understand the reasonableness of adult ways.
Jesus Christ said, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
You will never REASON yourself into the kingdom of God as a would be autonmous man, for then your religion would be nothing more than a "baptized" mimcry of real Christianity, which does not have it origin in the mind and heart of man, but comes from God. One must repent and believe the Gospel.
Faith and reason are not enemies; nothing about the Christian faith is unreasonable. However, it's origin is higher than human reason. An analogy might be found in the realm of logic. Logic can tell us whether a syllogism is SOUND, but it cannot tell us whether or not it is TRUE. Example:
1. Insect X has six legs.
2. All insects with six legs are arachnids.
3. Insect X is an arachnid.
A sound conclusion, based on the propositions, but an utterly false conclusion!
The God Who created both 8 legged spiders and 6 legged flies has, by Divine revelation, given man truth. Man cannot be the autonomous, arbitrary proclaimer of truth. Again I say, God has made this impossible. The plunge into irrationality and relativism is logically instantaneous when man attempts to use reason to deny God.
If you are able and willing to accept it, a very powerful proof for the reality of the living, eternal, infinite, personal, transcendant God inheres in that inescapable reality.
Why don't you directly speak from your heart to this God? Another fallible man, a man like you who doesn't know all things, who has human weaknesses like you do, and a desire to be sure about things like you do, is telling you is that He is inescapable, ever present, and willing to receive those who come to Him through Christ. Is there any reason you are unwilling to call upon Him?
Through His prophet, God spoke in this way to His ancient people:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Wolfie5: why do i believe it more than the bible- because it accounts for the history of nearly 100 pharoahs that would have to fit in the biblical timeline in 700 yrs into a more reasonable period of time- if the bible was correct then they would have an average age of fatherering kids at about 7yr old per person and that to me is simply not feasible unless either there were less pharoahs or the timeline was longer than 700yrs.
and as we have the names ages dates of rule names of their children the battles they fought the gods they served and a whole host of info about these people- and in the abscence of a credible alternative i still tend to go towards the normal chronology! and it isnt just dating of egypt there are civilisations the world over.
this is without even touching on fossils or archaelogy or any of the other sciences!
it is not my failings that are at question to me but the whole foundation of the book u call the truth! u leave yourself only one option and u take it as truth without consideration of anything else- why then not tackle the koran as truth that too talks about the same god u worship? anyway that would lead us away from the point.
Keith_Graham: In other words, you believe that the "names ages dates of rule names of their children the battles they fought the gods they served and a whole host of info" is true and the Bible is false. I believe the Bible is true, and your information, insofar as it contradicts the Bible, is false.
Meanwhile, you don't address the deep underlying issues of what you mean by truth, or meaning itself. I claim that you can only weigh evidence, affirm or deny propositional statements, etc. - in short, to think - because you are a man made in the image of your Creator. You deny that.
Ok, so I ask how can you be rationally consistently as an autonomous empirical investigator of historical or other data? What are you, the investigator, in a straightforwardly a-Theist world view? What is truth? What is history? On the basis of my Biblical worldview, I have a grounds for all of this, and I continue to affirm that man cannot possibly think or behave autonomously.
And the main point, as I understood at the beginning, was your question "why do I believe in a god". So I'm trying to get you to deal with that, rather than these secondary issues. I believe all true human history fits the Biblical time frame, whether or not the reconciliation of apparently conflicting data is readily apparent to me.
Yes, that is my starting point...the veracity of God's Word. What is the consistently rational, bedrock starting point for all your historical investigation? Try to answer that as a straight forward a-Theist, and I think we will get back to the original point which you raised, and perhaps make some progress.
Wolfie5: the same bedrock as anyone starts to judge history by ALL available sources- and that would include the bible- and like a jigsaw puzzle when one piece doesnt seem to slot into place then either it needs to go somewhere else it isnt of that puzzle or it needs turned round to fit in.
FACT - the ancient civilisations existed
FACT - we have comprehensive evidence to name the pharoahs and evidence about them.
FACT- RE Moses and his predecessors we only have the bible stories as evidence.
FACT- to fit in the two together i.e. bible and history u need to do a lot of jiggling-
can u understand that there are 100 pharoahs pre moses and his contemporary ramses 2nd- a fact that they r contemporary is the cities ramses and pithom so for ur bible to be correct
a) either some of these pharoahs didnt exist and egyptian history is shorter or
b) there is some other logical explanation other than the average age difference between pharoahs is 7 yrs.
can u not accept that biblical history might just be a fabrication to explain everything to a simple people who worshipped numerous gods and when they didnt fall in line with moses and the patriarchs they got killed- not to mention the other peoples they killed
Keith_Graham: Well, it seems that you continue to evade the important issues. You speak of FACTS, but can't tell me what they are according to your world view! I say that a person can only speak about facts, truth, meaning, etc. in the first place because that person is the kind of person the Bible says he is, living in the kind of world the Bible says we live in.
What is a "fact" in the straightforwardly a-Theistic universe? For that matter, what is a "person"?
Sure, in popular speech, all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs throw around terms like truth, fact, reason, meaning, et. al. And they can get by, generally speaking, BECAUSE they also are the kind of people the Bible says they are, who live in the kind of world the Bible describes, a world ruled over by the just and compassionate God of the Bible, Who is active in the affairs of mankind "causing His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sending rain on the righeous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45)!
However, if someone who self consciously denies those things (you) wants a serious debate with someone who affirms them (me), that one must define even the most basic terms in a way consistent with his overall, non-Biblical world view! That's what I keep asking you to do, but so far you have refused.
No, I can't accept that the Bible history might be just a fabrication, because the Bible is the word of God. Again, I self consciously declare to you - the word of God, the holy Bible, is my starting point for all my reasoning - *WHAT IS YOURS*?
Is it your own mind, projecting a "something" out there? If you are projecting the "something", how is it different from you? If you say it's not a projection of yourself, how did this "something" communicate its existence to you, if the "something" is not the transcendant, personal, eternal God of the Bible?
If the "something" did not communicate to you, so that the "something" is ultimately irrelevant to your investigation of the universe, how are you as a straightforward a-Theist really different from the nihilist that you want to make clear to me you are not? What makes your mind (or mine, or anyone's) different from the molecules fizzing around in a can of soda pop? Don't you see the irrationality of it all?
I am not at all troubled by the apparent discrepancies between the Bible and your sources, including the part about "7 yr old fathers". I know that the Bible will eventually be proven right, once all the research is in. It has happened over and over again, archaeology finally catching up with what the Bible said all along.
Wasn't it the Hittites who were completely unknown outside of the Bible for a long time? As I recall, for years skeptics laughed at the Bible because of its references to the Hittites, until finally archaeologists discovered evidence of them. It's kind of like the way irreducible complexity is finally loosening Darwinism's grip on biological sciences.
There is no brute data, all data is interpreted by the human beings who look at the data according to their world view biases. You look at the data through your world view, I look at it through mine. You defined your beliefs, and said it was not a creed. Well, it doesn't have the trappings of institutional religion, no organ music plays when you say it, but guess what - it REALLY IS your creed! You interpret the data you see and investigate, based on your a-priori, creedal denial of all that you call "supernatural". I look at the data through my Christian creed.
Now let's suppose you say, Ok, I see you're right, so how do you know your bias is right and my bias wrong?
My method as I've been saying all along is to compare world views for consistency and rationality, and seek to work from the top down, showing the Bible's world view to be true by showing the impossibility of any alternative. After we've faced the tough, bedrock questions, we can discuss secondary issues like Egyptian history, the geneologies of Christ, the ethical issues involved in the extermination of the Canaanites, whatever you like.
Remember, you started this by asking me why I believe there is a god. I've been answering you all along.
Wolfie5: You wrote - "I am not at all troubled by the apparent discrepancies between the Bible and your sources, including the part about '7 yr old fathers'. I know that the Bible will eventually be proven right, once all the research is in. It has happened over and over again, archaeology finally catching up with what the Bible said all along".
You know the bible will eventually be proven right? it wont be by ignoring my points- or your own common sense. Your faith is powerful- but if it ignores reason then you might as well be a muslim because they would share the same belief in the history. on this issue i am not moving-
average age of fathers for 100 generations- 7yr old- thats absurd and u know it! how many of your ancestors had kids when they were seven- i doubt any- never mind 100generations. i can see i cant get common sense over to you!
Keith_Graham: And I see that I can't get you to tell me what "common sense" means, in a way that is consistent with the god-less universe you claim to believe in!
There is no ignoring or despising of reason on my part, just the reasonable observation that ultimate truth cannot be generated by the would be autonomous mind of finite, sinful man. In other words, man's reason itself CANNOT be the ultimate reference point for his reasoning!
Of course I would agree that an average age of 7 for fathers over 100 generations is absurd. I'm asserting that your sources have misinterpreted their data, and constructed an erroneous "history". I believe that way because I trust the Bible. You trust your sources, and hence doubt the Bible.
Your common sense rests on the foundation of your world view. My common sense rests on the foundation of my world view. Where I'm challenging you is at that foundation...if a foundation is totally irrational, inconsistent, and untrustworthy, would it be reasonable to trust anything built on it?
Your attempt to disprove the accuracy of the Bible by your Egyptian chronology sources is like a man coming to me and trying to prove that the sun is not rising and setting at the right times because it doesn't agree with his wrist watch, and saying that his position makes perfectly good "common sense"! Well maybe in his own little world where a wristwatch is his ultimate reference point, it does make common sense...but not in the real world.
Wolfie5: well as my wristwatch as u put it is all i have to go on how do you propose to tell me i should go by the sun!
now let me reverse that back to your wristwatch- how do you propose to show me this egyptian chronology is "erroneous?" please show me a reliable chronology of the world that would fit into the bible timeline? this is the only source of accurately measuring the bible whether you are a believer or not- this does not need to go into god created the heavens and universe etc- just the accuracy of the bible because we could draw a conclusion that some other god not mentioned in the bible did it all until we check its accuracy!
Keith_Graham: The Bible is the word of God, and the word of God is the standard by which man must measure all other claims to truth. If there were some higher standard by which the Bible could be proved, that higher standard would be greater than the word of God. The word of God is ultimate truth, and we can only embrace it to our benefit, or deny it to our dismay.
I recognize that, at present, you deny it. I also recognize that my assertion of its truth is not what "makes it true". I have not autonomously declared it true, I have not established it as truth. God has done that, I am merely one who has believed God.
As I've said, in ordinary instances of human communication, people holding all sorts of world views (belief systems, religions, philosophies, etc.) throw around terms like "truth", "proof", "meaning", "communication" itself among themselves. However, my approach here is to ask that we each explain our use of these terms, and the realities behind them, in a way consistent with our world views.
Here is how I do that as a Bible Christian: We are beings created in the image of God. God is holy (having a utterly pure ethical nature), personal (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), eternal, transcendant, all knowing.
Being made in His image, we possess a created version of those attributes. Hence we have an ethical nature (corrupted by sin, our core problem). We are persons who normally live in society with other persons like ourselves, we have immortal souls, and we have derivative knowledge that is analogous to God's exhaustive knowledge, because God has revealed that knowledge to us.
This Biblical world view even accounts for those "ordinary instances of human communication". They can only exist because we actually ARE the kind of beings the Bible tells us we are. We are on that common ground, God's ground, hence we can talk to each other about proof, about beauty, or about fair and foul play in soccer games.
Now, how do YOU, as one denying the Bible world view, justify your use of terms like "truth", "proof", "meaning", and "communication" itself? Are YOU the autonomous declarer of what truth is? Did you establish truth as truth? First you said you were a straightforward a-Theist, then you switched to saying you believe in a "something" out there.
Has this something communicated with you? If not, please show that the something is not just a projection of your own mind. If you say it HAS communicated with you, then you've taken another step. The first step was from straightforward a-Theism to "something-ism", the second step from "something-ism" toward a god with a face, so to speak (a personal being communicating with you, a personal being).
And if you say you haven't taken those steps, that I've put words in your mouth, then we're back to the straightforwardly a-Theist universe which is just "molecules in motion". And that brings us back to the question, what exactly is your mind? Indeed, what are you (or me)?
If molecules in motion is bedrock reality, and we are not special beings created in the image of God, why am I any different from a dead log or a colony of algae? How does human speech differ from thunder or the chirping of birds?
And if, to be consistent, you admit that ultimately there is no difference, explain your ongoing desire to debate such a superstitious, silly person as a Christian...why not just listen to the birds, or take a stroll in a thunderstorm? It's all ultimately the same, right?
Again I ask, please account for your use of terms like "truth", "proof", "meaning" and "communication" itself in a way CONSISTENT WITH YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM, your world view. And I'm not even picky...go with any belief system you want: straightforward a-Theism, "something-ism", some type of philosophical deism, or other. Just give me a consistent accounting in terms of whichever world view you choose.
If you will not or can not do this, perhaps you can at least recognize why I insist that because you will not or can not, the idea of debating with you over such a secondary issue as your Egyptian chronology compared with the Bible is pointless. Jesus said "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets..." (i.e. the word of God) "...neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.". Even if God showed you such a miracle, you would not believe, because before you can see the kingdom of God, you must be born again.
You said that this conversation would change us. I'm hoping that it will change us both for the better, and I have good grounds for that hope because I believe God Himself is involved in our conversation. He is involved "with infinite intimacy", so to speak, with all things in His universe.
It might be Him provoking you...Him, because of His love, pricking your heart and conscience until you see your lost condition without Him. I can't believe that your interest in this is purely academic. I believe that deep down inside, you really want to know the God Whose truth is behind the traditions of both your maternal, Protestant ancestors and your paternal, Roman Catholic ancestors (despite the corruptions that have clouded the message and cloyed the practice in both cases).
So to come back to the wristwatch analogy, I'm saying that the Bible, the word of God, *IS* the sun by which all our human wristwatches must be set, including your Egyptian chronology. By denying this, your watch becomes like those in Dali's famous painting. A chap with a watch like that is unable to tell time. He is adrift in some sort of irrational, inconsistent twilight zone.
The Gospel of Christ, the gospel of reconciliation to God, is the only escape. That Gospel says that Christ died to pay the penalty which rebel sinners owed to a justly offended God, and that He rose from the dead to demonstrate the justification before God of such sinners who believe in Him. God commands sinners to turn from their sin and trust this living Messiah of the Hebrews and the Gentiles, and thus be saved with an eternal salvation.
Come to God by way of this glorious Gospel, which has been proclaimed among every tribe, tongue and nation of mankind for some two thousand years so far, and you will see ancient history and a whole lot else flooded with light. Your watch will be given a brand new battery, and be re-set according to the Divine Greenwich.
Wolfie5: ok lets simplify this conversation. lets assume that there might be a god- prove that the bible is his word- assuming again god is a he?
for me to prove their is no god would be as impossible as trying to prove that no person ever walked the planet with the name joseph elisha ermintrude wilson- i would need to know every person that ever existed before i could say he is not one of them- unless of course i actually found someone with that name! prove to me the bible is 100% true and that noah and adam actually existed.
Keith_Graham: By what standard can ultimate truth be proven? Who can authenticate the highest authority? It is the basis on which all else is proven, and the authority that establishes all delegated authority!
You deny that the word of God is the ultimate truth and the highest authority. OK, tell me what is, and how you know it to be so. If you can't do that, how can you talk about proving ANYTHING? What is "proof", and what is your knowledge?
It is incredible to me that you keep evading this, lol! Don't you see that when you believe things like, "well that's just the way it is and everybody knows it", that you are tacitly admitting to yourself that the universe is the sort of place that the Bible says it is!? You are behaving in a way predicted by what they Bible says you are, and you are doing it in a universe that fits what the Bible says. Your attempt to deny it while living it is the epitome of irrationality.
Proof of the overall Biblical world view exists in the impossibility of the contrary, but you refuse to accept it. My personal inability to answer any question about the "details" of that world view is irrelevant to the veracity of the whole. Let's compare God's knowledge to a perfect, infinite version of the Oxford English Dictionary. Do I have to have read every definition, or even know of the existence of every word, to trust the whole?
Wolfie5: with all ur flowery language i just asked u to prove the bible is correct- that should be the only test.
i gave gave u a historical accuracy test- you could not pass that so now i am taking the ball game to your field- i do not evade questions i think u just do not see my answers.
even if the existence of the world is true- could perhaps the Bhagvad Ghita not be the inspired word as to millions of hindus- prove ur bible is THE word.
Keith_Graham: To attempt to "prove" the word of God to be the word of God in the way you're asking would be to admit that it is not the highest authority, the ultimate truth by which all else is proven.
The historical accuracy test was failed by your Egyptian chronologists, because they contradict the word of God.
God's eternal power and divine nature are inescapably proclaimed by the creation. His message of redemption, centered in Jesus Christ, is proclaimed by the Bible.
Only God Himself can persuade you that He lives and that He saves.
Meanwhile, you cannot show me that apart from God, you have a consistent rational basis for using words like "prove", "correct", "accuracy", "true"! What are those things, in a molecules in motion universe?
Wolfie5: u dont accept hostory as proof- so how could i prove anything to you- you cant show how we have wrong info about egypt- perhaps Pythagoras theorem is wrong after all it is only a theory?
u never answered the point that other holy books may have the correct god such as the bhagvad ghita of the hindus
Keith_Graham: The Bible *IS* historically accurate, in fact the rest of history is peripheral to its history! You can't even say what proof is, yet at the same time you claim you have proof that the Bible is wrong. This is irrational.
Happily the Bible, the word of God and only foundation for reason, accounts even for human irrationality! Man by nature is at enmity with God and refuses to acknowledge what God has made plain about Himself to all men through creation, so that they are without excuse for not honoring Him as God. It says that God has provided a way for man to be redeemed from this deplorable, natural state through Christ. It says a man must be born again before he can see the kingdom of God.
As a Biblical Christian, I can account for Pythagoras' theorem, because this is an orderly universe, created by an all knowing and all wise God. How and why does the theorem exist - how COULD it exist - in the molecules in motion universe? If your mind is just chemical reactions inside your cranium, what is your knowledge of the theorem, or of anything else? What are you, and what is your basis for asking for proof of anything?
Your appeal to Hinduism seems to be another evasion. First you were a straight forward a-Theist, then a believer in "something", now you are a Hindu?
Sorry, I have to hold your feet to the fire on the basics, as I've said before, and try to keep the discussion on track. Remember, I'm not arguing for the existence of "a god", as if I were a deist, I am proclaiming the word of the one true God. The proof of His word comes to us according to His own terms. There is no higher authority than Him, He authenticates Himself.
The one who denies Him intellectually has abandoned the only basis of reason for the darkness of an irrational, inconsistent foolishness from which there is no escape. I've demonstrated this, again and again, as in the wristwatch illustration, the ill tempered child illustration, and more. You have never overcome this line of argument, or even attempted to rebut it!
You apparently are satisfied to just seize upon terms like truth, proof, meaning, etc. that you can't account for in a way consistent with your world view. You are actually "borrowing" them from the Bible's world view. Sorry, unacceptable for serious debate.
(Meanwhile, the Biblical world view can even account for the way people can "get by" in day to day life using these terms among themselves, because this *IS* the kind of world the Bible says, and they *ARE* the kind of beings the Bible says they are!)
PLEASE ACCOUNT FOR TRUTH, PROOF, MEANING, COMMUNICATION, ETC. IN A WAY THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH YOUR WORLD VIEW - whether that is straightforward a-Theism, "something-ism", or Hinduism.
The one who shuns God ethically remains under a sense of guilt and alienation...he is "lost". I don't have to know you personally and all the incidents of your life to know (on the basis of what the Bible says about me and all men, as we are by nature) that this is your condition as an unbeliever.
The one who repents and believes comes to his sense, so to speak. He now acknowledges the only basis he has for reason, God's Word, and by God's light he sees all clearly, and is redeemed from his alienation from God. He is no longer lost, but saved; no longer blind, but sees.
Wolfie5: the conversation on god is finished as there is no communication between us- u carry on prclaiming my views that i have not said!
Keith_Graham: If that's the way you want it, no problem...but I just tried to get you to express your views, asking several times "Please account for...", etc. If you ever want to try to do that, perhaps we can continue.
And so the dialog ended as abruptly as it began. Removal of comments irrelevant to the conversation, the addition of helpful spacing, some spelling correction, and such minor editing was done.
Go to Pastor Graham's Teaching Page