I’ve posted several comment strings over at Joe Carter’s evangelical outpost in defense of the Christian theistic worldview.
I’m fascinated by the atheists who continually reason in circles and speak of things such as “evil” as though they had some basis for objectively identifying anything at all as “evil”.
When challenged with the fact that only Christian theism can explain why anything makes sense at all they ludicrously respond that atheists think and communicate all the time! But isn’t that interesting? WHY can atheists think or communicate? WHY can you and I count 10 things and both arrive at the same conclusion that there are 10 things there? WHY does anything at all make sense in a supposedly materialistic chaotic universe? They’re so busy hiding behind or secretly borrowing from Christianity that they fail to realize they are assuming the very thing they purport to refute!
Our intrepid atheists never seem to pause long enough to consider these questions, they simply want to assume their experience of existence as a matter of personal observation and/or convention. But again we’re faced with the same quandary, WHY can men (or science for that matter) make accurate observations of or arrive at a mutual consensus about ANYTHING AT ALL in a supposedly materialistic chaotic universe? In such a universe nothing whatsoever would have any meaning at all.
The reason for reason is God Almighty. He created everything and His creation reflects His divine order and perfect mind. Man, made in God’s image is able to function in God’s order because He is divinely equipped to do so. Even the most depraved lost sinner is blessed with the basic ability to function in God’s universe.
The wisdom of this world however, science, philosophy, etc is only wisdom so-called when it is based upon the reason of man apart from the revelation of the Holy Bible. Only when a man takes “every thought captive to Christ” and “loves the Lord with all his heart, his soul his mind” is he able to cogently reach rational, logical and coherent conclusions about the universe in which he lives.
Yet man cannot do this by his own power, rather he must submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in order that he might be born-again as commanded in scripture.
At any rate, for your viewing pleasure below are my comments and responses to my critics:
Coram Deo writes:
I’m always fascinated when I see a non-Christian decry “evil” as though they have some objective basis for identifying it.
How can you rationally, cogently explain why you believe there is evil outside of the Christian-theistic worldview?
I’m genuinely interested as I blogged on this subject not long ago and would appreciate your thoughts.
posted on 01.29.2007 2:04 PM
I’m not using evil in a theological sense, but as a synonym for bad.
Good = beneficial, pleasurable
Bad = harmful, painful
Coram Deo writes:
So you are saying that morality is subjective or perhaps merely a social convention? If so, that’s okay (I guess) but it means that you are not able to objectively define evil, hence you are merely positing your own personal subjective opinion of what is evil to you. In that case other people can simply define what is and is not evil for themselves as well and thus there is no objective evil at all.
Therefore – according to your worldview – there’s no problem of evil since it doesn’t objectively exist, therefore I ask again how you can speak of evil as though it objectively exists.
How did you end up in that cramped closet you call a worldview? Morality and objective knowledge of it are not exclusive to christianity.
I don’t know who started this foolishness but practically speaking I don’t need the book of revelations to teach me that killing children is evil. Neither do I need Leviticus to instruct me that I should play by the rules.
The only way – philosophically speaking – to make sense of the world is through the Christian theistic worldview, no other position is philosophically defensible. In fact rejection of the Christian theistic worldview results in hopeless circular reasoning and any number of untenable irrational worldviews.
posted on 01.29.2007 5:38 PM
Coram Deo writes:
I must humbly yet boldly disagree with your assertion. It’s important to understand that believers in the One True Living God are admonished by scripture to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3) and to tell those without God that “the fool hath said in his heart that there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Clearly the Bible is NOT engaging in name calling or some other ad hominem attack when it makes this statement, rather it’s speaking the truth of God.
The Apostle Paul certainly didn’t shirk from “engaging in logical arguments to prove the existence of God” as evidenced in his inspired Mars Hill discourse. Paul boldly asked his audience the rhetorical question in 1 Corinthians 1:20 : “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” The short answer of course, is that there is none. No one can successfully challenge or dispute the manifold wisdom of God. Hopeless circular reasoning is the hallmark of the unregenerate mind.
Looking further we discover that the inspired Apostle Peter didn’t waffle when he unequivocally stated the factual reliability of the witness of Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:16 when he said: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty”. It isn’t a book of fairy tales or the mere oral tradition of men.
Personally I’m surprised that you undermine your own faith by entertaining the heretical idea that you reserve the right to “say some of the Bible stories are just that, stories told around the campfire and passed down orally for many generations before finally being written down”. I can state with certainty that you DO NOT speak for orthodox Christianity when you make such un-Biblical and apostate statements. The Creator never subjugates Himself or subordinates His truth for the inspection and verification of the created. This is the great desire and paradox of the unredeemed. They want to usurp God with their own reason and examine His motives and then pronounce judgments based upon their observation. Man’s sinful, depraved reason becomes the ultimate (autonomous) authority instead of God. The majority of mankind’s arguments against God are simply manifestations of their basic presupposed unbelief (the problem of evil, etc).
Furthermore, while you personally may suspend belief in reality to believe the truth of scripture, many born-again Christians – myself included – define reality from the truth revealed in scripture as opposed to the “truth” and “reality” – so called – of this fallen world taking every thought captive to Christ and subordinating all presuppositions under the Word of God. Man is incapable of reasoning himself to revelation of God, but presenting a cogent, scriptural defense of the Gospel is no different from any other presentation of the Gospel. It’s presented with earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit might move upon the heart of the unregenerate individual and give him the ability to believe the claims thereof. It’s a commendable and worthy form of witnessing Jesus Christ and presenting the Gospel.
To state that no one can know truth during this life on earth is to crucify the Lord of Glory all over again and outright deny His revealed truth as revealed in the Holy Bible. I for one am frankly fed up with professing Christians who are content to wear a badge and subscribe to
a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Tim 3:5). If we are to be salt and light then let us stand boldly and proclaim the truth of the ages, the singular truth upon which all of history hinges; Christ crucified.
Finally in closing, the arguments of the unregenerate are silly and it’s a fact that cannot and should not be ignored. Again, the Bible says they are fools for saying in their heart that there is no God, and therefore fools they be.
posted on 01.29.2007 7:07 PM
Robert Duquette writes:
How is it that Christians were both for and against slavery in the 19th century?
Just assuming that there is an objective, eternal right and wrong doesn’t mean you can identify what it is.
Coram Deo writes:
You seem unable to distinguish the personal from the abstract.
I’m not the ultimate authority – nor is any Christian – on objective truth or evil however we have a worldview from which we can reasonably discern good and evil, and that is the Christian-theistic worldview as found in the Holy Bible.
No other worldview can make sense of such things as “good”, “evil” or anything else for that matter. No other worldview can give a reasonable account of why universals such as laws of logic should even exist.
If someone takes the position that they don’t exist (materialist) then nothing can be made sense of since everything is simply conventional and there’s no need to even discuss or think about anything. In fact meaningful communication itself would be impossible.
If someone takes the position that things like the laws of logic aren’t universals, but simply conventional then again we destroy reason.
It’s futile. Only the Christian-theist has a proper, functioning worldview.
posted on 01.29.2007 7:17 PM
Robert Duquette writes:
And yet millions of non-Christians discuss, think and communicate every day. Do you ever stop to realize how easy it is to refute such silly assertions? If you asserted that women can’t drive, don’t you think that your drive to work would give you ample evidence to withdraw your ill-conceived opinion?
Coram Deo writes:
In your effort to refute the truth of scripture you instead provide yet more evidence to the irrefutable truth that Christian theism is the only philosophically adequate worldview.
Have you paused to consider how it is possible that “millions of non-Christians discuss, think and communicate every day”.?
What accounts for this? The reason is because God has made man in His very image (Genesis 1:26-27)and has provided – through God’s common grace – even the unredeemed (depraved) man with the ability to obtain a rudimentary knowledge of and a basic ability to function within the created order.
This isn’t a saving grace, rather it is God’s omnibenevolence as Creator to allow the created (man) “to understand by the things that are made” (creation) so that men are “without excuse” for denying the Godhead and His eternal power (Romans 1:20).
Despite God’s impressive and clear revelation men still refuse to glorify Him and instead became “vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21) and “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).
This is the crux of the problem. Fallen man is aware of God in his heart of hearts. Men are made in God’s image and bear that image everywhere they go. There’s no place far enough or lonely enough to flee from the image of God they bear in their very person. Men know they are guilty before Him and know they are under His divine and righteous judgments, but instead of repenting and submitting to his Lordship they suppress the knowledge of God in unrighteousness, exchanging the truth of God for a lie. In this they become increasingly antagonistic and resentful of God. This animosity is manifested in any number of ways but it always ends up in an untenable, irrational state wherein the individual becomes the ultimate authority by which all matters are judged and through which all information is filtered and processed resulting in a self-centered worldview.
We see then that men who deny the truth of God have chosen to actively suppress the revealed truth of God and therefore they are under God’s wrath. This is because they hold the truth unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). For this man stands guilty before God and is in need of repentance (a change of heart) and salvation – uniquely available through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Once again we find that only the Christian theistic worldview gives a credible account of “reality” and is able to make sense of the universe in which we find ourselves.
posted on 01.29.2007 10:52 PM
Enough “earnest contending” for tonight methinks…