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Showing posts from May, 2011

A Trinitarian Argument From Salvation

Well, since we're still here... {lopsided g} I suppose we should get back to the work of, as I put it Friday, "helping people believe God lives and cares about such things".

The following argument (unlike the galumphing 600+ page monster I finally finished posting up sometime before Easter this year) does not arrive deductively at trinitarian theism, despite its deductive form. Rather, it illustrates that ortho-trin theology (if true) offers the most assurance of a person being ultimately 'saved' compared to other philosophies and theologies (broadly categorized).

Usually I would qualify 'saved' as meaning something like 'saved from sin', but for purposes of this argument I have allowed a broader and more general notion of salvation: as will be seen below, I mean something more like assurance that a person shall be saved from injustices or suffering sooner or later. This would, however, also include being saved from sin (whether from other persons&#…

Cadre To Cease Operations Tomorrow; Atheists Across The World Rejoice!

Because some guy with a highly over-convenient interpretive scheme thinks the Rapture will occur in the next 24 hours. Surely, none of us will be left behind, right...? {wry g}

All kidding aside: if we are not looking for the fulfillment of justice in the world, especially against ourselves where we deserve it, then we're doing something wrong. We're rejecting justice at all, or we're putting our own selves up as being the final standard of justice, in mere competition with other persons.

So, whether we're Christian or not, whether we believe Harold Camping's prediction or not (and obviously I don't), let us take this opportunity as a reminder to be penitent of our sins, whether those we have already renounced and left behind, or those we are still being freed from, and cry for justice--to the farthest extents we can see and beyond!


Because, after all, whether or not the world begins to end tomorrow, I can predict with 100% certainty that, barring an outright mira…

Prevenient Grace? "Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims"

Precious few details in this article, but interesting conclusion. Also suggests we are not really "born atheists" as some atheists like to argue (for reasons I still don't quite gather).

UK Telegarph Article on Richard Hawkin's Refusal to Debate Craig

Somewhat rare mainstream media coverage of a religious issue in the Telegraph, Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.

I'm a little skeptical it is just cowardice, perhaps its pride or even a fear of letting theism come across as too credible via an opponent like William L. Craig. But at least one of Dawkin's fellow atheist intellectuals is urging him to reconsider:

Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.

In a letter to Prof Dawkins, Dr Came said: “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.

“I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the Natio…

Rejection of Chrisainty and Self Esteem part 2

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Last time we looked at an general overview of the research, examined a specific study and put it in the context of its research milieu. That study said that rejecting Christianity correlates with low self esteem (LSE). This time we examine an argument made by an atheist, Skycomet the fallen angel (O him! of course). What's old Sky up to these days? He's on the Think Atheist blog. (I don't know the guy but screen names crack me up). In his article "Religious People Have More Self Esteem than Non Religious People," Skycomment argues against this view. Skycomet I was sitting in Adolescent Psychology class this morning and the topic was "self-esteem." About half-way through the class, the girl in front of me suggested that "more spiritual [which to theists means more religious] people have higher self-esteem than less spiritual [ie less religious or non-religious] people."

As most of us know, this is an extremely common theist argument …

The Three Stages of Theistic Evidence, Part I: The Cosmological Stage

(Note: this is cross-posted at my new blog, The Ring of Truth)
Of all the proposals put forward for understanding the structure of the positive case for theism, that by Dallas Willard as he described it in a famous article strikes me as the most plausible. Willard distinguishes his own approach from one which "in one stroke, from one set of true premisses, purports to establish or render plausible the existence of Jehovah, understood by Christians to also be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." He does not present a series of independent arguments, each of which lead to the same conclusion, the existence of the Christian God. In his view, the evidence for God is built up in stages, where the conclusions at each stage do not serve straightforwardly as premisses for arguments at the next stage. Rather, "what is shown or evidentially supported in the earlier stages only determines a framework of possibilities within which the considerations of the later stages are …

Rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem:Atheism and Self Esteem part 1 (of 2)

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I have for a long time now contended that most atheists had low self esteem. I found several sources that asserted it but with no empirical proof. What really got me thinking that was the almost desperate need some of them have to mock and ridicule Christians. It struck me that they were doing that to bolster their own egos. I have now found empirical evidence of this notion. There are several studies that claim to demonstrate that atheists have low self esteem. This is still not proof. There is a long way to go to prove the argument, and I'm sure that its not true of all atheists anyway. These studies are limited in many ways. but there are several of them and they do cover more than one culture. It's a good start on exploring a hypothesis. The main study I am examining here, however, is called "rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem." I will refer to this study as RCSE.

All the studies are done by the same group Emyr Williams, Leslie J Francis, Mandy Robbins
Unive…

Am I Glad that Osama Bin Laden is Dead? Should I Be?

I admit that I am. My emotional response is satisfaction with touches of pleasure that he was killed by Navy SEALS. But should I be? A friend pointed me to Ezk. 18:23, "'Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?' says the Lord God, 'and not that he should turn from his ways and live?'"

While I certainly agree that it would have been better for Bin Laden to turn from his ways and repent, that was highly unlikely. Still, am I wrong to take pleasure in Bin Laden's death? I saw this article by theologian John Piper, showing that there are verses on the other side of the coin, suggesting that God does take satisfaction in the judgment and punishment of the wicked. For example, Deut. 28:63, "And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess."

Here is ho…

Reasonable Faith - Los Angeles Chapter

I attended my first meeting of the Los Angeles Chapter of Reasonable Faith. Many thanks to Chris, the Chapter Director, for doing the hard work to start the chapter, preparing for the meeting, and hosting. We discussed what kind of group we were hoping to be a part of, our various backgrounds, and had some energetic discussions about apologetic issues. We wrapped up the evening discussing the issue of "gratuitous suffering" and its role in the argument from evil. It was good to be discussing apologetics again after a very busy time in litigation. I enjoyed the discussion, but the best part was getting to know the guys (no gals yet) at the meeting. Smart guys all.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are apologetically inclined, check out the link above for contact and meeting information.