Answer to Theodicy: Soteriological Drama

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In respomse to the disusssion on " A Quick Review of John Lennox’s booklet, 'Where is God in a Coronavirus World?'”

I read this as a typical theodicy problem so I offer my theodocy solution:

The Free Will Defense is offered by Christian apologists as an answer to any sort of atheist argument such as the problem of pain or the problem of evil. The argument runs something like: God values free will because "he" ("she"?) doesn't want robots. The problem with this approach is that it often stops short in analysis as to why free will would be a higher value than anything else. This leaves the atheist in a position of arguing any number of pains and evil deeds and then crying that God had to know these things would happen, thus God must be cruel for creating anything at all knowing the total absolute pain (which usually includes hell in most atheist arguments) would result from creation.

The apologists answers usually fail to satisfy the atheist, because in their minds noting can outweigh the actual inflicting of pain. Something atheists evoke omnipotence and play it off against the value of free will, making the assumption that an "all powerful God" could do anything, thus God should be able to cancel any sort of moral debt, make sin beyond our natures, create a pain free universe, and surely if God were all loving, God would have done so.

The better twist on the free will defense would be to start from a different position. We should start with the basis for creation, in so far as we can understand it, and then to show how the logical and non self contradictory requirements of the logic of creation require free will. What is usually missing or not pointed out is the necessity of free will in the making of moral choices. This is the step that atheists and Christian apologists alike sometimes overlook; that it is absolutely essential in a non-self contradictory way, that humanity have free will. Thus, free will must out weight any other value. At that point, since it is a matter of self contradiction, omnipotence cannot be played off against free will, because God's omnipotence does not allow God to dispense with Free will!

Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice. Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here. I am only concerned in this argument with the the problem of evil that is, the problem of moral choice. The free will defense cannot apply to makes where the will does not apply.


Basic assumptions


There are three basic assumptions that are hidden, or perhaps not so obivioius, but nevertheless must be dealt with here.

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.


The idea that God wants a moral universe I take from my basic view of God and morality. Following in the footsteps of Joseph Fletcher (Situation Ethics) I assume that love is the background of the moral universe (this is also an Augustinian view). I also assume that there is a deeply ontological connection between love and Being. Axiomatically, in my view point, love is the basic impitus of Being itself. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that, if morality is an upshot of love, or if love motivates moral behavior, then the creation of a moral universe is essential.


(2) that internal "seeking" leads to greater internalization of values than forced compliance or complaisance that would be the result of intimidation.

That's a pretty fair assumption. We all know that people will a lot more to achieve a goal they truly beileve in than one they merely feel forced or obligated to follow but couldn't care less about.

(3)the the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end.

The pursuit of the value system becomes a search of the heart for ultimate meaning,that ensures that people continue to seek it until it has been fully internalized.

The argument would look like this:


(1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good.

(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated).

(3) Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices

(4)The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted.


This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin.

This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it. Argument on Soteriological Drama:


(5) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth.

(6) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us

(7) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart.

(8) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.


In other words, we are part of a great drama and our actions and our dilemmas and our choices are all part of the way we respond to the situation as characters in a drama.

This theory also explains why God doesn't often regenerate limbs in healing the sick. That would be a dead giveaway. God creates criteria under which healing takes place, that criteria can't negate the overall plan of a search.

Objection:

One might object that this couldn't outweigh babies dying or the horrors of war or the all the countless injustices and outrages that must be allowed and that permeate human history. It may seem at first glance that free will is petty compared to human suffering. But I am advocating free will for the sake any sort of pleasure or imagined moral victory that accrues from having free will, it's a totally pragmatic issue; that internalizing the value of the good requires that one choose to do so, and free will is essential if choice is required. Thus it is not a capricious or selfish defense of free will, not a matter of choosing our advantage or our pleasure over that of dying babies, but of choosing the key to saving the babies in the long run,and to understanding why we want to save them, and to care about saving them, and to actually choosing their saving over our own good.

In deciding what values outweigh other values we have to be clear about our decision making paradigm. From a utilitarian standpoint the determinate of lexically ordered values would be utility, what is the greatest good for the greatest number? This would be determined by means of outcome, what is the final tally sheet in terms of pleasure over pain to the greatest aggregate? But why that be the value system we decide by? It's just one value system and much has been written about the bankruptcy of consequentialist ethics. If one uses a deontological standard it might be a different thing to consider the lexically ordered values. Free will predominates because it allows internalization of the good. The good is the key to any moral value system. This could be justified on both deontolgoical and teleological premises.

My own moral decision making paradigm is deontological, because I believe that teleological ethics reduces morality to the decision making of a ledger sheet and forces the individual to do immoral things in the name of "the greatest good for the greatest number." I find most atheists are utilitarians so this will make no sense to them. They can't help but think of the greatest good/greatest number as the ultaimte adage, and deontology as empty duty with no logic to it. But that is not the case. Deontology is not just rule keeping, it is also duty oriented ethics. The duty that we must internalize is that ultimate duty that love demands of any action. Robots don't love. One must freely choose to give up self and make a selfless act in order to act from Love. Thus we cannot have a loved oriented ethics, or we cannot have love as the background of the moral universe without free will, because love involves the will.

The choice of free will at the expense of countless lives and untold suffering cannot be an easy thing, but it is essential and can be justified from either deontolgoical or teleological perspective. Although I think the deontologcial makes more sense. From the teleological stand point, free will ultimately leads to the greatest good for the greatest number because in the long run it assumes us that one is willing to die for the other, or sacrifice for the other, or live for the other. That is essential to promoting a good beyond ourselves. The individual sacrifices for the good of the whole, very utilitarian. It is also deontolgocially justifiable since duty would tell us that we must give of ourselves for the good of the other.

Thus anyway you slice it free will outweighs all other concerns because it makes available the values of the good and of love. Free will is the key to ultimately saving the babies, and saving them because we care about them, a triumph of the heart, not just action from wrote. It's internalization of a value system without which other and greater injustices could be foisted upon an unsuspecting humanity that has not been tought to choose to lay down one's own life for the other.


Objection 2: questions


(from "UCOA" On CARM boards (atheism)

Quote:


In addition, there is no explanation of why god randomly decided to make a "moral universe".


Why do you describe the decision as random? Of course all of this is second guessing God, so the real answer is "I don't know, duh" But far be it form me to give-up without an opinion. My opinion as to why God would create moral universe:
to understand this you must understand my view of God, and that will take some doing. I'll try to just put it in a nut shell. In my view love is the background of the moral universe. The essence of "the good" or of what is moral is that which conforms to "lug." But love in the apogee sense, the will to the good of the other. I do not believe that that this is just derived arbitrarily, but is the outpouring of the wellspring of God's character. God is love, thus love is the background of the moral universe because God is the background of the moral universe.

Now I also describe God as "being itself." Meaning God is the foundation of all that is. I see a connection between love and being. Both are positive and giving and turning on in the face of nothingness, which is negativity. To say that another way, if we think of nothingness as a big drain pipe, it is threatening to **** all that exits into it. Being is the power to resist nothingness, being the stopper in the great cosmic drain pipe of non existence.

The act of bestowing being upon the beings is the nature of God because God is being. Those the two things God does because that's what he is, he "BES" (um, exists) and he gives out being bestowing it upon other beings. This is connected to love which also gives out and bestows. So being and love are connected, thus the moral universe is an outgrowth of the nature of God as giving and bestowing and being and loving.

Quote:
Thus the question isn't really answered. Why does god allow/create evil? To create a "moral universe". Why? The only answer that is given is, because he wants to. Putting it together, Why does god allow/create evil? Because he wants to?

In a nut shell, God allows evil as an inherent risk in allowing moral agency. (the reason for which is given above).


There is a big difference in doing something and allowing it to be done. God does not create evil, he allows the risk of evil to be run by the beings, because that risk is required to have free moral agency. The answer is not "because he wants to" the answer is because he wants free moral agency so that free moral agents will internatize the values of love. To have free moral agency he must allow them to:

(1)run the risk of evil choices

(2) live in a real world where hurt is part of the dice throw.


 objection 3:

Originally Posted by Darth Pringle View Post
Short response.

It can never be the case that an eternal being must allow evil because it is never the case that an eternal being must create anything.

Yes it obviously is. This is anther one of my "caaaAAAAAAaaasy" Idea tha NOOOOOOO body would eVVER consider!'

(1) If God is real, then God created the world (why he's called "God")

(2) If God is real and created the world we can assume that God is good an axiom of belief and as an empirical conclusion drawn postorori from the sense of the numinous.

(3) If God created the universe we assume he's smart.

(3) if God created the world (and he's smart) and if God is good, then he must have created the world with a calculation of good vs. evil in mind.

(4) Given what's been said above if we assume God is real we just assume he knows best based upon the calculation and had tabulated the results and found that creation is worth it.


see my answers to atheist attacks on this idea in my essay: "Twelve Angry Stereotypes"

Comments

F2Andy said…
Joe: The apologists answers usually fail to satisfy the atheist, because in their minds noting can outweigh the actual inflicting of pain.

It also fails because it suggests God cares about the free will of the rapist, but not the free will of the victim. God is ensuring the rapist is free to rape; he does nothing to ensure the victim is free to avoid the rape.

It also fails because it does not account for "natural evil", such as COVID-19. God could eliminate COVID-19 before it killed anyone, without affecting free will at all. Indeed, a world free of COVID-19 would have more free will than this one, in the sense that I am restricted in what I can do because my country is in lockdown.

Joe: What is usually missing or not pointed out is the necessity of free will in the making of moral choices. This is the step that atheists and Christian apologists alike sometimes overlook; that it is absolutely essential in a non-self contradictory way, that humanity have free will. Thus, free will must out weight any other value.

You assert "that it is absolutely essential ... that humanity have free will", and conclude from that that free will outweighs other considerations, but why should we suppose it is so essential that we have free will?

Joe: At that point, since it is a matter of self contradiction, omnipotence cannot be played off against free will, because God's omnipotence does not allow God to dispense with Free will!

So explain why God does not eradicate COVID-19? Doing so would increase free will, so would support his agenda.

Joe: Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice. Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here. I am only concerned in this argument with the the problem of evil that is, the problem of moral choice. The free will defense cannot apply to makes where the will does not apply.

In the theistic view, tornadoes and diseases and the like certainly is a moral issue because God arguable causes them and certainly could choose to prevent them, if he was so inclined.

In your first sentence, you say this is a response to discussion on John Lennox’s booklet, "Where is God in a Coronavirus World?", and here you are saying your responses is specifically NOT about diseases!

Given you have admitted your argument is irrelevant to that discussion, I will not bother to address the rest of it.

Pix
Joe: The apologists answers usually fail to satisfy the atheist, because in their minds noting can outweigh the actual inflicting of pain.

It also fails because it suggests God cares about the free will of the rapist, but not the free will of the victim. God is ensuring the rapist is free to rape; he does nothing to ensure the victim is free to avoid the rape.

No that is wrong, of course we are all free to sin, but not free from punishment for sin.The assertions that rape victims are not free is silly you appreciatory don't under the concept of will. Besom victimized by someone else wrong doing is not a matter of being unfree.

It also fails because it does not account for "natural evil", such as COVID-19. God could eliminate COVID-19 before it killed anyone, without affecting free will at all. Indeed, a world free of COVID-19 would have more free will than this one, in the sense that I am restricted in what I can do because my country is in lockdown.

No I explained why God must allow pain and suffering you have not answered that. You are merely asserting that asserting that there is no reason

Joe: What is usually missing or not pointed out is the necessity of free will in the making of moral choices. This is the step that atheists and Christian apologists alike sometimes overlook; that it is absolutely essential in a non-self contradictory way, that humanity have free will. Thus, free will must out weight any other value.

You assert "that it is absolutely essential ... that humanity have free will", and conclude from that that free will outweighs other considerations, but why should we suppose it is so essential that we have free will?

You cant have a moral universe without, you can't love without, as long as the will is not free love is not freely given.

Joe: At that point, since it is a matter of self contradiction, omnipotence cannot be played off against free will, because God's omnipotence does not allow God to dispense with Free will!

So explain why God does not eradicate COVID-19? Doing so would increase free will, so would support his agenda.
suppose God appears in front of the UN in a flash of light and say I am God love me or burn," Then he says to you "do you love me?" are you really going to love him? o you wont, you will say what a jerk how I can I have feelings i don't have,? But if God saves you and you now he did without making demands then you will love him. Doing something that would reveal his existence is analogous to revealing himself pliantly.

Joe: Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice. Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here. I am only concerned in this argument with the the problem of evil that is, the problem of moral choice. The free will defense cannot apply to makes where the will does not apply.

In the theistic view, tornadoes and diseases and the like certainly is a moral issue because God arguable causes them and certainly could choose to prevent them, if he was so inclined.


You don't Know about weather? tell me how we could have a weather system for the planet and not have problems? Weather could function in a naturalistic world so I take it that is necessity that we have the kind of weather we have, That means we will have some tornadoes

In your first sentence, you say this is a response to discussion on John Lennox’s booklet, "Where is God in a Coronavirus World?", and here you are saying your responses is specifically NOT about diseases!


Yes I forgot it said that. I wrote this many years ago, I guess I need to re-write

Given you have admitted your argument is irrelevant to that discussion, I will not bother to address the rest of it.

It's clearly not irrelevant because it still answers the question. it uses the same building blocks they just have to be arranged a little differently. The assertion of the importance of Free will is there. That's the key.
Anonymous said…
Joe: No that is wrong, of course we are all free to sin, but not free from punishment for sin.The assertions that rape victims are not free is silly you appreciatory don't under the concept of will. Besom victimized by someone else wrong doing is not a matter of being unfree.

You think the rape victim chooses to be raped? Do please explain what free will the victim has. You are right; I really do not understand how the victim has free will.

Joe: No I explained why God must allow pain and suffering you have not answered that. You are merely asserting that asserting that there is no reason

You specifically said you cannot explain diseases. "Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here." Now you claim you have explained it. Please make up your mind!

Joe: You cant have a moral universe without, you can't love without, as long as the will is not free love is not freely given.

So then what you really mean is that it is absolutely essential that God create a moral universe with love. Why is that?

Joe: suppose God appears in front of the UN in a flash of light and say I am God love me or burn," Then he says to you "do you love me?" are you really going to love him? o you wont, you will say what a jerk how I can I have feelings i don't have,? ...

You are aware that this is mainstream Christianity, right? God says love me or burn in hell.

Joe: ... But if God saves you and you now he did without making demands then you will love him. Doing something that would reveal his existence is analogous to revealing himself pliantly.

Right, so God sets up a situation where I need to be saved, then steps in and saves me... So I should love him for that?

I would feel more like loving God if he stopped COVID-19 and stuff like that.

Joe: You don't Know about weather? tell me how we could have a weather system for the planet and not have problems? Weather could function in a naturalistic world so I take it that is necessity that we have the kind of weather we have, That means we will have some tornadoes

I was thinking God had some kind of power, could do miracles, stuff like that. Are you saying God allows COVID-19 because he is powerless to stop it?

Pix
Anonymous said...
Joe: No that is wrong, of course we are all free to sin, but not free from punishment for sin.The assertions that rape victims are not free is silly you appreciatory don't under the concept of will. Besom victimized by someone else wrong doing is not a matter of being unfree.

You think the rape victim chooses to be raped? Do please explain what free will the victim has. You are right; I really do not understand how the victim has free will.

I was right you don't know what will is. free will is freedom to want or desire not the freedom to do. I want to fly aided,like superman,I am free to desire that but I can't actually do it.I am not free to fly like superman but I am free to desire it,


Joe: No I explained why God must allow pain and suffering you have not answered that. You are merely asserting that asserting that there is no reason

You specifically said you cannot explain diseases.

No I did not, I said I would not deal with it, the rationale is the same.

"Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here." Now you claim you have explained it. Please make up your mind!

I have but not in that piece, however the rational is the same. Both the discussion on desire and impersonal evil. both play off of free will and the need for the universe to appear neutral; it can]t be so obvious God is real as to cancel the search. That's why God can;t fix things every time something causes pain.


Joe: You cant have a moral universe without free will. You can't love without it, as long as the will is not free love is not freely given.

Pix: So then what you really mean is that it is absolutely essential that God create a moral universe with love. Why is that?

I think that was God's purpose in cretin. I don't know what his ultimate purpose was. I speculate it was to spread more love.

Joe: suppose God appears in front of the U.N. in a flash of light and say
"I am God love me or burn," Then he says to you "do you love me?" are you really going to love him? no you wont, you will say what a jerk how I can I have feelings i don't have,? ...

You are aware that this is mainstream Christianity, right? God says love me or burn in hell.

God also gives us reason to do that. But that only works when you go through the process of search for truth. WHEN YOU SEARCH FOR IT YOU WANT IT ITS NOT COERCION.

Joe: ... But if God saves you and you know he did without making demands then you will love him. Doing something that would reveal his existence is analogous to revealing himself pliantly.

Pix: Right, so God sets up a situation where I need to be saved, then steps in and saves me... So I should love him for that?

wrong God did not make us sinners, that's a liability of the process of free will. The gift free will is precious but it has pitfall of wrong choices. God provides the way out of that,it's so very simple, seek truth.


I would feel more like loving God if he stopped COVID-19 and stuff like that.

then there would be o search, you would resent God over time because he iw making demands you didn't desire to find him



Joe: You don't Know about weather? tell me how we could have a weather system for the planet and not have problems? Weather could function in a naturalistic world so I take it that is necessity that we have the kind of weather we have, That means we will have some tornadoes

I was thinking God had some kind of power, could do miracles, stuff like that. Are you saying God allows COVID-19 because he is powerless to stop it?


then there is no search ,it's obvious he's real so you will resent him.
Anonymous said…
Joe: I was right you don't know what will is. free will is freedom to want or desire not the freedom to do. I want to fly aided,like superman,I am free to desire that but I can't actually do it.I am not free to fly like superman but I am free to desire it,

So God could stop every rape, murder and torture, without affecting free will. He just chooses to watch and let it happen.

Perhaps he should read the parable about the Good Samaritan.

Joe: No I did not, I said I would not deal with it, the rationale is the same.

Okay, would not. You are responding to a discussion on why God allows COVID-19 with an article where you say you would not deal with disease. Therefore your explanation is irrelevant.

Joe: I have but not in that piece, however the rational is the same...

No, not in the piece you presented. The piece you presented was not relevant.

Joe: ... Both the discussion on desire and impersonal evil. both play off of free will and the need for the universe to appear neutral; it can]t be so obvious God is real as to cancel the search. That's why God can;t fix things every time something causes pain.

And yet he took human form and came to earth, performing many signs to prove he was God incarnate, according to the Gospel of John. To the people Jesus performed those signs to, it was obvious God is real. Did Jesus' disciples go to heaven, despite it being obvious God is real to them?

Joe: ... Both the discussion on desire and impersonal evil. both play off of free will and the need for the universe to appear neutral; it can]t be so obvious God is real as to cancel the search. That's why God can;t fix things every time something causes pain.

This is actually a different argument. You are now saying God cannot stop rape and disease because he has to keep his existence secret and/or mysterious. It is about a very limited form of free will, the free will to choose God or not.

It is curious how you see free will as the opportunity to be wrong, and that preserving free will means withholding information, keeping people ignorant.

Is this why Christianity hates science? Science is the antithesis of what you say God wants. Science is about gaining and spreading knowledge. Hmm, I expect you will be back-tracking on this one very quickly, and accusing me of misrepresenting you; before you do, carefully read what you wrote, and think it through.

Joe: wrong God did not make us sinners, that's a liability of the process of free will...

Most mainstream Christians would say that mankind has a sinful nature. Of course, they shy away from the obvious implication that we have a sinful nature because God created us that way.

Joe: ... The gift free will is precious but it has pitfall of wrong choices. God provides the way out of that,it's so very simple, seek truth.

But when I seek the truth, I find the gospel accounts of the passion, for example, were in all probability mostly made up. When I seek truth I discover the honourable burial, the empty tomb, all the appearances in Jerusalem never happened. When I look at the world around me I see a place that looks exactly as one would predict if there was no God - and not at all as one would predict if there was a loving God looking after it. If I look at Christian arguments, all I see is them rationalising why the world so closely resembles a Godless world, just as you are doing here.

I seek the truth, and the truth I have found is that there is no Christian God.

Pix
Anonymous said...
Joe: I was right you don't know what will is. free will is freedom to want or desire not the freedom to do. I want to fly aided,like superman,I am free to desire that but I can't actually do it.I am not free to fly like superman but I am free to desire it,

So God could stop every rape, murder and torture, without affecting free will. He just chooses to watch and let it happen.

Listen good now because it's real hard to get: He can't make it too obvious or there wont be a search for truth, no one seeks for what he already has.It's the search that internalizes the values of the good and gives us the passion to please God.

Perhaps he should read the parable about the Good Samaritan.

He is the good Samaritan. Jesus is the one who told the parable.

Joe: No I did not, I said I would not deal with it, the rationale is the same.

Okay, would not. You are responding to a discussion on why God allows COVID-19 with an article where you say you would not deal with disease. Therefore your explanation is irrelevant.

Joe: I have but not in that piece, however the rational is the same...

No, not in the piece you presented. The piece you presented was not relevant.

Joe: ... Both the discussion on desire and impersonal evil. both play off of free will and the need for the universe to appear neutral; it can]t be so obvious God is real as to cancel the search. That's why God can;t fix things every time something causes pain.

And yet he took human form and came to earth, performing many signs to prove he was God incarnate, according to the Gospel of John. To the people Jesus performed those signs to, it was obvious God is real. Did Jesus' disciples go to heaven, despite it being obvious God is real to them?

Jesus' miracles were not designed to prove he was God metricate. He could have done a lot more if that was the point. Seeking to understand Jesus' role in things is part of the search.

Anonymous said…
Joe: Listen good now because it's real hard to get: He can't make it too obvious or there wont be a search for truth, no one seeks for what he already has.It's the search that internalizes the values of the good and gives us the passion to please God.

The big problem here is that it makes the evidence for your religion identical to the evidence for God not existing, which in turn makes it very suspicious that you are really just trying to justify the utter lack of evidence for God.

How does this fit with your mystical experiences? Why does God give some people mystical experiences to help their search, but chooses to withold that from other people?

How would God stopping COVID-19 before it spread to humans influence this supposed search for truth? That is, afterall, the topic under discussion.

Joe: It's the search that internalizes the values of the good and gives us the passion to please God.

Why?

Joe: He is the good Samaritan. Jesus is the one who told the parable.

Right. It is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do thing. Jesus wants us to help those in trouble, but does not lift a finger himself.

Joe: Jesus' miracles were not designed to prove he was God metricate. He could have done a lot more if that was the point. Seeking to understand Jesus' role in things is part of the search.

So all those signs that the Gospel of John talks about... Signs of what exactly?

Pix
Joe: ... Both the discussion on desire and impersonal evil. both play off of free will and the need for the universe to appear neutral; it can]t be so obvious God is real as to cancel the search. That's why God can;t fix things every time something causes pain.

This is actually a different argument. You are now saying God cannot stop rape and disease because he has to keep his existence secret and/or mysterious.

yes

It is about a very limited form of free will, the free will to choose God or not.

That does not limit free will at all. ability and opportunity are not will. You have the freedom to seek truth that is free will.

It is curious how you see free will as the opportunity to be wrong, and that preserving free will means withholding information, keeping people ignorant.

It's all about the hears no one searches for what he knows he has. The process of searching internalizes the good.think about it this way. Preacher;s children are notorious for sinning. But when a real sinner is saved he/she will often become the most ardent follower. The one who grows up hearing the truth rebels and the most lost becomes the the most found. No one seeks for what he knows he has.


Is this why Christianity hates science? Science is the antithesis of what you say God wants. Science is about gaining and spreading knowledge.

I never said anything even remotely like that

Hmm, I expect you will be back-tracking on this one very quickly, and accusing me of misrepresenting you; before you do, carefully read what you wrote, and think it through.

You always put this negative twist on everything I say, you just don't want to know the truth. So you call any kind of fuller expositions back tracking.

Joe: wrong God did not make us sinners, that's a liability of the process of free will...

Most mainstream Christians would say that mankind has a sinful nature. Of course, they shy away from the obvious implication that we have a sinful nature because God created us that way.

No false. your failure to listen, get it through your head: WE had to have free will so we could love but free will created the potential for sin and sin gave us sin nature.God did not create us with sin nature that was a consequence of Adam's choice. That is according to the mythology. When we look atiti in terms of depth psychology we have the same press but in each individual rather than a fall of Adam.Still a natural consequence of free will.

Joe: ... The gift free will is precious but it has pitfall of wrong choices. God provides the way out of that,it's so very simple, seek truth.

But when I seek the truth, I find the gospel accounts of the passion, for example, were in all probability mostly made up.

false, the basic outline is agreed by all four Gospels plus GPet


When I seek truth I discover the honourable burial, the empty tomb, all the appearances in Jerusalem never happened.

Coursers. there's a ton evidence it happened, you are basing that on your one thing about meet me in Galilee,


When I look at the world around me I see a place that looks exactly as one would predict if there was no God - and not at all as one would predict if there was a loving God looking after it.

I just spent this whole thing telling you why it has to look like that way,see you do not listen! no one searches for what he thinks he has,


If I look at Christian arguments, all I see is them rationalising why the world so closely resembles a Godless world, just as you are doing here.


It;s so bleeding obvious open your eyes man you don't want truth.

I seek the truth, and the truth I have found is that there is no Christian God.


I you sought truth you would know better than to utter those satements I just go through exposing.


"why the world so closely resembles a Godless world, "

so you will have to seek truth
Anonymous said…
Joe: That does not limit free will at all. ability and opportunity are not will. You have the freedom to seek truth that is free will.

So in your view God revealing his presence by curing disease would reduce your freedom to seek the truth, but giving a mystical experience does not?

How do you figure that?

Joe: It's all about the hears no one searches for what he knows he has. The process of searching internalizes the good.think about it this way. Preacher;s children are notorious for sinning. But when a real sinner is saved he/she will often become the most ardent follower. The one who grows up hearing the truth rebels and the most lost becomes the the most found. No one seeks for what he knows he has.

But that does not stop God curing diseases. He did it in the Bible! So why not COVID-19?

He could even do it without anyone knowing he had done it. That would preserve his mystery. But he chooses not to.

Joe: I never said anything even remotely like that

No, but it is a consequence of your position. God wants ignorance, in your view, because ignorance means the free will to decide what is true for yourself.

Joe: You always put this negative twist on everything I say, you just don't want to know the truth. So you call any kind of fuller expositions back tracking.

The negative twist is a direct consequence of your position. Your position is that ignorance is necessary for free will. It is a very post-modern view. Never mind the facts, just believe what you want to be true. That is what you advocate right? God witholds the facts, so people have the free will to chose what they want to believe.

Joe: No false. your failure to listen, get it through your head: WE had to have free will so we could love but free will created the potential for sin and sin gave us sin nature.God did not create us with sin nature that was a consequence of Adam's choice. That is according to the mythology.

Adam was like a toddler, unable to judge right from wrong. On the other hand, God knew exactly what he was doing when he set Adam and Eve up with a tree of forbidden fruit and a talking snake. He knew what would happen. He was the one responsible.

God created it such that each and every one of us is sinful (according to Christianity). When each and every one of us fails, it is not our fault we fail, it is the one common factor we all have, God created us.

Joe: false, the basic outline is agreed by all four Gospels plus GPet

That is a discussion for another time.

Joe: I just spent this whole thing telling you why it has to look like that way,see you do not listen! no one searches for what he thinks he has,

So why the mystical experience?

Either God keeps his existence secret, and no mystical experience, no curing disease. Or not.

Pix
Anonymous said...
Joe: That does not limit free will at all. ability and opportunity are not will. You have the freedom to seek truth that is free will.

So in your view God revealing his presence by curing disease would reduce your freedom to seek the truth, but giving a mystical experience does not?

If he did it wholesale, for everyone all the time. That's why Permalloy faith is so important in the healing process.

How do you figure that?

On a personal level regulated by individual faith the reality of God is notso obvious but is always available to the person of faith

Joe: It's all about the search. no one searches for what he knows he has. The process of searching internalizes the good.think about it this way. Preacher;s children are notorious for sinning. But when a real sinner is saved he/she will often become the most ardent follower. The one who grows up hearing the truth rebels and the most lost becomes the the most found. No one seeks for what he knows he has.

PX: But that does not stop God curing diseases. He did it in the Bible! So why not COVID-19?

Ln an individual basis he still heals people today. I have stories. I was there.


He could even do it without anyone knowing he had done it. That would preserve his mystery. But he chooses not to.

That also means you have no idea how often it happens, He cold do it all the time.

Joe: I never said anything even remotely like that

No, but it is a consequence of your position. God wants ignorance, in your view, because ignorance means the free will to decide what is true for yourself.

The point of being hidden is to be found,He's not trying to frustrate the looking, Jesus says "seek and ye shall find,"


Joe: You always put this negative twist on everything I say, you just don't want to know the truth. So you call any kind of fuller expositions back tracking.

PX: The negative twist is a direct consequence of your position. Your position is that ignorance is necessary for free will.

wrong. Hiddenenss is not ignorance, being hidden means one can find, It's not opposed to Knowing because they are two different types of knowledge: hidenness is contraposed to experience, while knowledge is contra ignorance.

It is a very post-modern view. Never mind the facts, just believe what you want to be true. That is what you advocate right? God withholds the facts, so people have the free will to chose what they want to believe.

that is not all my position. It is not the least bit postmodern,It's ancient world, God is not withholding facts but we must seek knowledge. Seeking leads to finding. see and ye shall find,


Joe: No false. your failure to listen, get it through your head: WE had to have free will so we could love but free will created the potential for sin and sin gave us sin nature.God did not create us with sin nature that was a consequence of Adam's choice. That is according to the mythology.

PX:Adam was like a toddler, unable to judge right from wrong. On the other hand, God knew exactly what he was doing when he set Adam and Eve up with a tree of forbidden fruit and a talking snake. He knew what would happen. He was the one responsible.
That story is not literal history but allegory so of course it has to be set up such that they sin. That's the dictate of the story not the theological truth,how could the story illustrate something if it doesn't include what it illustrates?

God created it such that each and every one of us is sinful (according to Christianity). When each and every one of us fails, it is not our fault we fail, it is the one common factor we all have, God created us.

trying to blame God means you recognize the truth about sin nature but you refuse to take personal responsibility for your own sin.

Joe: false, the basic outline is agreed by all four Gospels plus GPet

PX:That is a discussion for another time.

You sluf off my answer


Joe: I just spent this whole thing telling you why it has to look like that way,see you do not listen! no one searches for what he thinks he has,

So why the mystical experience?

Either God keeps his existence secret, and no mystical experience, no curing disease. Or not.

I don't think you understand what mystical experience is you are using the term incorrectly. ME is freely available to all. It's there fore the asking.It can be a conversion experience. ME is a requirement for salvation.
Anonymous said…
Joe: wrong. Hiddenenss is not ignorance, being hidden means one can find, It's not opposed to Knowing because they are two different types of knowledge: hidenness is contraposed to experience, while knowledge is contra ignorance.

And yet you say God chooses to withhold knowledge!

Pix: God withholds the facts, so people have the free will to chose what they want to believe.

Joe: that is not all my position. It is not the least bit postmodern,It's ancient world, God is not withholding facts but we must seek knowledge. Seeking leads to finding. see and ye shall find,

Your whole argument is based on God not revealing he existence - that is withholding information. And it is also based on free will. If that is not the freedom to choose what to believe, what are you talking about?

Joe: trying to blame God means you recognize the truth about sin nature but you refuse to take personal responsibility for your own sin.

I am pointing out the inherent contradiction in your position. If, hypothetically, God exists as you describe, then he is at least partly to blame for our sinful nature, given: (1) he created us; and (2) each and every one of us fails.

Joe: I don't think you understand what mystical experience is you are using the term incorrectly. ME is freely available to all. It's there fore the asking.It can be a conversion experience. ME is a requirement for salvation.

Some people receive them, some do not. Some people god chooses to reveal his existence to, some he chooses to withhold it.

If you are right, those he reveals himself to are damned because they have did not do the seeking thing.
Anonymous said...
Joe: wrong. Hiddenenss is not ignorance, being hidden means one can find, It's not opposed to Knowing because they are two different types of knowledge: hidenness is contraposed to experience, while knowledge is contra ignorance.

And yet you say God chooses to withhold knowledge!

Not saving knowledge.

Pix: God withholds the facts, so people have the free will to chose what they want to believe.

You also have freedom to seek the truth the facts are there to be fond,

Joe: that is not all my position. It is not the least bit postmodern,It's ancient world, God is not withholding facts but we must seek knowledge. Seeking leads to finding. see and ye shall find,

Your whole argument is based on God not revealing he existence - that is withholding information. And it is also based on free will. If that is not the freedom to choose what to believe, what are you talking about?


that is clearly wrong, I said every time the truth is there to be found, God wants you to seek, the process of searing that's importation. The turth is there to learn,

Joe: trying to blame God means you recognize the truth about sin nature but you refuse to take personal responsibility for your own sin.

I am pointing out the inherent contradiction in your position. If, hypothetically, God exists as you describe, then he is at least partly to blame for our sinful nature, given: (1) he created us; and (2) each and every one of us fails.

trying to put it off on God means you are not represented so you are not seeking

Joe: I don't think you understand what mystical experience is you are using the term incorrectly. ME is freely available to all. It's there fore the asking.It can be a conversion experience. ME is a requirement for salvation.

Some people receive them, some do not. Some people god chooses to reveal his existence to, some he chooses to withhold it.

anyone can have a ME if you do meditation, worship God seek to know God.You truly be seeking God if you are blaming him for your sins

If you are right, those he reveals himself to are damned because they have did not do the seeking thing.

that is horse shit! that doesn't Keven good logic in a from a skeptic's point of view. First because everyone seeks at some pint. Seeking can be done in different ways,all are free to seek any time. If one seeks diligently one finds. You don't listen enough to know how people find God.

Anonymous said…
Joe: Not saving knowledge.

Yes, exactly saving knowledge (if you mean the knowledge of how to be saved). The very first step of being saved is believing God exists. Without that, the rest is meaningless. And that is exactly the knowledge God chooses to withhold.

Joe: You also have freedom to seek the truth the facts are there to be fond,

But the facts point to it not being true!

For example, all the evidence from science tells us Genesis 1-3 is not true. You know that; you do not believe they actually happened. Great, you can do the mental gymnastics to convince yourself other parts of the Bible are true anyway. I cannot. That the Bible is clearly wrong on these things is evidence it was not written by and is not the inspired of God.

Joe: that is clearly wrong, I said every time the truth is there to be found, God wants you to seek, the process of searing that's importation. The turth is there to learn,

So God withholds that he exists AND he tells us he exists. Again, I cannot do those sorts of mental gymnastics - and when I see Christians doing it, I consider that further evidence God does not exist.

Joe: trying to put it off on God means you are not represented so you are not seeking

But that does not absolve God.

Joe: anyone can have a ME if you do meditation, worship God seek to know God.You truly be seeking God if you are blaming him for your sins

Right. All you have to do is already believe God exists, and then you will have the evidence to support your faith-beliefs.

And that is what this blog is all about. You have a bunch of faith-beliefs, and you are looking around for ways to rationalise them. This is exactly the problem with "rational warrant"; it is about rationalising your pre-existing beliefs.

My approach to belief is evidence-based. I believe what the evidence points to.

Your approach to evidence is belief-based. You find evidence that points to what you believe.

Joe: that is horse shit! that doesn't Keven good logic in a from a skeptic's point of view. First because everyone seeks at some pint. Seeking can be done in different ways,all are free to seek any time. If one seeks diligently one finds. You don't listen enough to know how people find God.

How much seeking is required?

How much seeking must a guy raised in a Hindu family do to find God, compared to Doubting Thomas? Do you think Saint Thomas got into heaven?

Pix

Joe: Not saving knowledge.

Yes, exactly saving knowledge (if you mean the knowledge of how to be saved). The very first step of being saved is believing God exists. Without that, the rest is meaningless. And that is exactly the knowledge God chooses to withhold.

wrong, there's a ton of evidence God is real. Of course to one who doesn't want to believe it noting could be good evidence.


Joe: You also have freedom to seek the truth the facts are there to be fond,

But the facts point to it not being true!


Obviously false since I was an atheist I found the lord.

PX:For example, all the evidence from science tells us Genesis 1-3 is not true. You know that; you do not believe they actually happened. Great, you can do the mental gymnastics to convince yourself other parts of the Bible are true anyway. I cannot. That the Bible is clearly wrong on these things is evidence it was not written by and is not the inspired of God.

You don;t need Genesis to believe in God, Or even the Bible for that matter. When I not saved I found Jesus not Genesis



Joe: that is clearly wrong, I said every time the truth is there to be found, God wants you to seek, the process of searching that's important. The truth is there to learn,

So God withholds that he exists AND he tells us he exists. Again, I cannot do those sorts of mental gymnastics - and when I see Christians doing it, I consider that further evidence God does not exist.

What do you mean "withheld?" having to look for it does not mean its withheld. It's not hard to find,there are books on it.


Joe: trying to put it off on God means you are not represented so you are not seeking

But that does not absolve God.

God judges you yo do not judge the judge.




Joe: anyone can have a ME if you do meditation, worship God seek to know God.You are not truly be seeking God if you are blaming him for your sins

Right. All you have to do is already believe God exists, and then you will have the evidence to support your faith-beliefs.


I didn't believe in God when I first began to seek. It's a process of discovery it can come in stages Ora at once.Those whose motives are impure,they want to feel superior or to mock religion they will not find why should they? they don;t want truth.


And that is what this blog is all about. You have a bunch of faith-beliefs, and you are looking around for ways to rationalise them. This is exactly the problem with "rational warrant"; it is about rationalising your pre-existing beliefs.

Pointing that out is not cleaver deep or insightful.It's pretty bleeding obvious except in my case it's not true, but an obvious attack to make.


I got saved in 1979. I had no need of any blog to feel better about Belief. I Foud this blog imn 1999.I was actually in on its creation. I had been an atheist and probably one of the most intellectually motivated back in the 70s. I was in no danger of losing faith when I found this blog,I began posting here because it seems like a good way to to lead people to truth I had no need to bolster my own faith.



My approach to belief is evidence-based. I believe what the evidence points to.



you use evidence to rationalize your doubt

Your approach to evidence is belief-based. You find evidence that points to what you believe.

That is your way of ignoring the evidence. you dismiss the evidence on those grounds. I've been through far more than you could ever understand I've seen faith from the bottom up, no intellectual BS could shake my faith, having had experience of God's presence I don't need intellectual rationalizations to motivate my faith.

Joe: that is horse shit! that doesn't Keven good logic in a from a skeptic's point of view. First because everyone seeks at some pint. Seeking can be done in different ways,all are free to seek any time. If one seeks diligently one finds. You don't listen enough to know how people find God.

How much seeking is required?

that is like asking how much maturing is required to grow up?

How much seeking must a guy raised in a Hindu family do to find God, compared to Doubting Thomas? Do you think Saint Thomas got into heaven?


I think Hinuds can get into heaven too go back and read that Passage again Romans 2:615 Romans 2:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
Anonymous said…
Joe: wrong, there's a ton of evidence God is real. Of course to one who doesn't want to believe it noting could be good evidence.

But your argument is based on God keeping his existence secret!

Make up your mind!

Joe: Obviously false since I was an atheist I found the lord.

People are wrong sometimes! Is this news to you? Or do you think that specifically Joe Hinman cannot be wrong?

The vast majority of the world population of theists adopts the religion of their parents and/or culture. If you were raised in a Christian family, you will be a Christian, while if you were raised in a Hindu family, you will be a Hindu. I do not know your background, but it is likely you were raised a Christian, and so you were conditioned as a child to accept much of Christianity as true, and that is why you later became a Christian.

Joe: You don;t need Genesis to believe in God, Or even the Bible for that matter. When I not saved I found Jesus not Genesis

Sure, you can pick and choose which bits of the Bible think are the inspired word of God and which bits you will say is just allegory. Christianity is very good at that. Decide what you want to believe first, then use the Bible to support that. This is why both slave-owners and abolitionists used the Bible for their arguments.

If you are right, then huge numbers of Christians are wrong about how the Bible should be read. Why should I believe what one Christian says about the Bible when plenty of others tell me he is wrong?

Joe: What do you mean "withheld?" having to look for it does not mean its withheld. It's not hard to find,there are books on it.

Withheld, as in kept a secret so it is a mystery. As you said "the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end". The whole point of your argument is that God does not reveal himself; that he withholds the fact of his existence.

Joe: God judges you yo do not judge the judge.

Why not? How can I tell if someone is worthy of love without judging them?

The only reason to forbid people from judging God is that Christianity knows God would fail. If god was as perfect as Christianity claims, there would be no problem with judging him.

Joe: you use evidence to rationalize your doubt

No, doubt is the default position.

Joe: That is your way of ignoring the evidence. you dismiss the evidence on those grounds.

Do you really think you have presented ANY evidence in this discussion?

Pix
Anonymous said…
This gave me a big LOL. I did not know people still pretend like Christianity is true. There may be some vague deistic concept but The Christian God is demonstrably false. It is a shame you go to such great lengths to maintain your cognitive dissonance.
Anonymous said...
Joe: wrong, there's a ton of evidence God is real. Of course to one who doesn't want to believe it noting could be good evidence.

But your argument is based on God keeping his existence secret!

Make up your mind!

No you got it wrong I knew you would distort the meaning. I did not say he keeps it secret I said it's a search and he has laid the clues



Joe: Obviously false since I was an atheist I found the lord.

PX: People are wrong sometimes! Is this news to you? Or do you think that specifically Joe Hinman cannot be wrong?

I am not wrong. The way it changed my life is the proof. Obviously I can be wrong. I was wrong when I tried it my way, this is God's way and it works.



The vast majority of the world population of theists adopts the religion of their parents and/or culture. If you were raised in a Christian family, you will be a Christian, while if you were raised in a Hindu family, you will be a Hindu.

That does not disprove Christianity, it's been around for 2000 years the children of those who have truth should have truth too. why should they cling to a lie as you do? Why should they give up the truth their parents learned and cling to a lie as you do?


I do not know your background, but it is likely you were raised a Christian, and so you were conditioned as a child to accept much of Christianity as true, and that is why you later became a Christian.


Have you not heard me tell I was an atheist? I accepted the lie that my parents could not be right and i gave in to adolescent rebellion. I rejected the truth they knew. After searching and anguish I found the the truth then I had off scale happiness and Mom baked me a cake.

Joe: You don;t need Genesis to believe in God, Or even the Bible for that matter. When I not saved I found Jesus not Genesis

Sure, you can pick and choose which bits of the Bible think are the inspired word of God and which bits you will say is just allegory. Christianity is very good at that. Decide what you want to believe first, then use the Bible to support that. This is why both slave-owners and abolitionists used the Bible for their arguments.

That implies that you have some knowledge about the Bible that you know that tells you how the Bible is to be understood but You have no such knowledge;You only have "they said..." I know far more about the bible than you do. I'e even read the NT in Greek.

If you are right, then huge numbers of Christians are wrong about how the Bible should be read. Why should I believe what one Christian says about the Bible when plenty of others tell me he is wrong?

that's not a shock. You think most Christians are idiots, they probably are most people are.I don;t base my views on most People. I expect the asses to be wrong.

Joe: What do you mean "withheld?" having to look for it does not mean its withheld. It's not hard to find,there are books on it.

Withheld, as in kept a secret so it is a mystery. As you said "the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end". The whole point of your argument is that God does not reveal himself; that he withholds the fact of his existence.

I also said it's an open secret,the clues are there you are encouraged to search! Seek and ye shall find


Joe: God judges you yo do not judge the judge.

Why not? How can I tell if someone is worthy of love without judging them?

there's a distinction between investigating the truth claims and setting your self up as a moral judge.I really begin to doubt that you care about truth,



The only reason to forbid people from judging God is that Christianity knows God would fail. If god was as perfect as Christianity claims, there would be no problem with judging him.


Just use your use your brain fora minute. If God is real how could he possibly fail? are you prefect? you claim to be faultless? Do you know so much you could create morality and be the source of all good.When did you die for all sins? God is that you are not


Joe: you use evidence to rationalize your doubt

No, doubt is the default position.


that's a BS trick to keep you form ever finding faith

Joe: That is your way of ignoring the evidence. you dismiss the evidence on those grounds.

Do you really think you have presented ANY evidence in this discussion?


not in this discussion I told you I was not, I have presented evidence in the major blog spot why are you not answering it?

https://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-modal-argument.html
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This gave me a big LOL. I did not know people still pretend like Christianity is true. There may be some vague deistic concept but The Christian God is demonstrably false. It is a shame you go to such great lengths to maintain your cognitive dissonance.

5/25/2020 02:22:00 PM

I don't know anyone who pretends Christianity is true, it i true.
Anonymous said…
At the end of the day, your explanation fails to explain why God chooses to let COVID-19 kill so many people, which is what you said was the purpose of the thread. You even admitted:

Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice.

Your argument fails its stated purpose.

Pix
Anonymous said...
At the end of the day, your explanation fails to explain why God chooses to let COVID-19 kill so many people, which is what you said was the purpose of the thread. You even admitted:

not at all. Same reason for all bad stuff we have a natural world runs by nature,viruses develop.

Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice.

Your argument fails its stated purpose.

Nope! I[ve answered your bs

Pix
Anonymous said…
Joe: not at all. Same reason for all bad stuff we have a natural world runs by nature,viruses develop.

But you explicitly stated your argument does not apply to diseases!

Joe: Nope! I[ve answered your bs

It is your BS you need to address. It is you who explicitly stated your argument does not apply to diseases.

Pix
Anonymous said...
Joe: not at all. Same reason for all bad stuff we have a natural world runs by nature,viruses develop.

But you explicitly stated your argument does not apply to diseases!

But I have a second one that does.

Joe: Nope! I[ve answered your bs

It is your BS you need to address. It is you who explicitly stated your argument does not apply to diseases.

Pix

No you are trying to read into it something that is not there. I said I would deal with one thing there;I did not say the other thing can't be dealt with by the same logic,

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