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About Tristen

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  1. Science and Faith ARE Compatible

    “Except that you may be forgetting that I came out of Christianity given my upbringing.” I don't think that alters my point. “You think that's logical merely because they believe it is within their worldview?” Logic is the measure of consistency between premise, evidence, arguments and conclusions. If a claim is consistent with it's premise, then it is logical, rational – not necessarily correct, but it can't be dismissed on the basis of flawed logic. “People can believe what they want, but when those people ask others to believe the same then I have every reason to press them for more details and give me confidence that they're on the right track. It makes no sense for me to promote something I can't defend.” I'm not really sure why the conversation is going this direction. If I didn't think you had the right to ask “for more details”, I wouldn't be engaging in discussion. And I'm not suggesting you “promote” anything; whether you can “defend” it or not. “Do you also deny that the Bible states that I am w/o excuse? This isn't misguided Christians it's their scripture telling them that people are horrible and you can't trust them etc. I've spent too much time in the Bible and in church I know the talking points.” Paul teaches, in Romans 1, that God has placed enough information of Himself in both nature, and every heart – such that a rejection of God is indicative of an intrinsic bias against Him. This is consistent with the Biblical premise that all of humanity has been corrupted by sin. It is not a universal declaration “that people are horrible and you can't trust them”. It just means we all have tendencies against God which cause many to prefer arguments against Him. I understand it's not what you believe, but it is what we believe. Yes, it implies things about non-believers that you might find uncomfortable; namely, that non-believers, like believers, can be influenced by biases. It's hardly a malevolent sentiment. It just comes back to everyone thinking that they are correct, and therefore, by logical default, that everyone who disagrees is incorrect.
  2. Science and Faith ARE Compatible

    I think your comments here indicate that you may have missed the point I was making. You were claiming that we don't have enough information to consider anything to be settled to the point where anyone can be dogmatic. But that is only necessarily true if you assume the agnostic premise. The agnostic paradigm makes no logical provision for that degree of confidence. However, Christian arguments are not formulated under the agnostic paradigm. Christian arguments are formulated on the premise of a supernatural God who personally interacts with His creation. So our arguments cannot be objectively judged by the agnostic premise. Sometimes unthoughtful Christians will tell an atheist they are wrong because the atheist disagrees with the Bible. In such cases, the Christian is making the error of assuming everyone is on board with the Christian premise of Biblical authority (which atheists obviously don't accept). In order for anyone to truly be objective, they have to be able to think outside of their own faith premise. Arguments are only obligated to be logically consistent with the premise upon which they are formulated. The Christian should recognise that the atheist does not consider the Bible to be authoritative - by virtue of the fact that they are atheist – and that appealing to Biblical authority is meaningless to the atheist. I think you are making the same type of error in applying the agnostic premise to the Christian claiming absolute confidence. If, as you suggest, our perspective is limited by the agnostic premise, then you are correct in saying no one has enough information to claim such superior confidence. But Christians are not operating on the agnostic premise. The paradigm we promote makes logical provision for supreme confidence. I'm happy to discuss why you don't like the premise if you like, but that is an aside to my main point.
  3. Science and Faith ARE Compatible

    “Aren't we talking about something above and beyond confidence though?” I don't think so. Given the empirically unverifiable nature of the claims, no one can ever be logically obligated to change their mind. So if someone has been convinced that a particular faith premise is true, it is reasonable for them to assume that arguments that can't obligate a change of mind, won't actually change their mind. It's only unreasonable if they refuse to consider the arguments. “It's not like any of this is settled, far from it. We're talking about things that happened way in the past and much is relied on "eye witness" which you stated requires another level of faith. Doesn't sound like something people should hold dogmatic views on but that's just me.” But you are not considering the premise that God can reveal Himself to believers in a manner providing absolute confidence. That level of confidence is only impossible (i.e. can't be logically reconciled) under the secular paradigm. But Biblical theism makes logical provision for such confidence. If the God of the Bible is as real to you as the person standing beside you, then it stands to reason that you won't be convinced otherwise by 'maybe' arguments about His non-existence (or the divine nature of scripture). “I haven't read his conversion article in years but if you search "Why I Left Young-Earth Creationism" by Glenn Morton he writes about it there.” I've read a few such testimonies (I can't remember if this was one). From memory, they tend to provide much the same information as secular arguments against creationism.
  4. Science and Faith ARE Compatible

    “Except the person saying this has concluded that their initial assessment or guidance in these matters is spot on and is infallible” Everyone thinks that what they believe is correct (otherwise they wouldn't believe it). The person saying “that they won't accept any conclusion that goes counter to scripture” is merely claiming confidence in their current beliefs – which I have no problem with. However, I do have a problem with people who aren't prepared to give rational consideration to alternative arguments. When it comes to claims which are unverifiable, there is no risk to considering arguments. No one is ever logically obligated to change their mind. At worse, if we can't reconcile some claim, we always have the option of saying “I don't know” - without intellectually compromising our position. So even if we don't think we can be convinced, there is no risk in considering and understanding a different point of view. I'd also suggest that the inflexibility you describe is common to all beliefs (including secular beliefs). I am often accused of being anti-science, or being scientifically ignorant, or ignoring facts, or somehow otherwise intellectually bereft - based, not on hearing my arguments, but by virtue of me being a creationist. Christians recognise that we have faith in an inerrant authority, but many secularists consider their position to be equally unequivocal. “Glenn Morton didn't leave Christianity. He just stated that he could no longer accept young earth creationism based on his field work. I was just meaning to provide a real life example of someone who went through a fairly major change in religious views/interpretations due to what they viewed solid evidence for an opposing view.” Right – And I didn't know creationism really existed until I was forced to consider it after converting to Christianity as a young adult. Given my secular upbringing, I was astonished to find that there were sincere creationists. So I had the same kind of paradigm-shifting experience – but arriving at a different conclusion to Morton. What's important is arguments – i.e. the reasons why Morton doesn't think the geological facts can be reconciled to Biblical creationism. The mere fact that someone changed their mind is less meaningful than the reasons behind the change. “Some people would have kept their views in tact because they aren't open to such modifications in their theism” I agree – though this particular affliction is in no way exclusive to “theism”.
  5. Science and Faith ARE Compatible

    Hey Bonky, I don't have any problem with someone claiming “they won't accept any conclusion that goes counter to scripture” because conclusions incorporate a culmination of, not only objective elements (such as facts), but also subjective elements (e.g. premises, biases, presuppositions, interpretations etc.). I would find it problematic if a Christian (or anyone) claimed they would not consider any fact. But raw facts can't speak either for or against scripture. Facts can only speak to the nature of their own extant existence. Implications either for or against scripture can only be attributed through interpretation – which is dependant on the subjective presuppositions of the interpreter. Failing to even consider a fact is contrary to both scientific, critical reasoning, as well as to scripture (which explicitly admonishes Christians to seek truth and “test all things”). For the sake of making sense of our reality, we all generally agree that we can trust observation (the facts) – which is itself an unverifiable expression of faith. Furthermore, in many cases, we are not making the observations ourselves, but rather trusting in the reported of observations of other humans – which is another level of faith built into the process. Asan interesting side - a recent study found that only 11% of published. landmark, cancer research papers could be reproduced (http://www.nature.com/articles/483531a). Faith is the only philosophical system making logical provision for certainty. Therefore, no one is ever logically obligated to “accept” a particular “conclusion”. Even facts are subject to some rational measure of scrutiny. I don't think one example of someone changing from creationism to the secular view is any more meaningful than the many geologist (or scientists in other disciplines) who started out secular, but are now creationists. Innuendo about any of them not holding onto their former positions is less relevant than the arguments they use to support their new positions (or denounce their former positions).
  6. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    “I find it interesting that you responded to a bunch of my specific points but then posted another post in the name of not wanting to do that. A little confusing” I apologise for the confusion. In the first instance, I felt as though I had previously addressed the objections. Your response was to essentially say “I'm still not convinced” - which is fine, but it doesn't give me anything new to address. So my only response would be to repeat myself. When you re-asked for a response to these, I placed my responses in a separate post to break up the conversation. “I'm not sure I understand your objection here. I still see this as a possible harmonization. ” Your suggestion is that Paul and Torah observance may be harmonised by assuming that when Paul taught freedom from Law, he meant freedom from human traditions rather than freedom from the Mosaic covenant. My main objection to this approach is that Paul nowhere makes this very important distinction. The distinction doesn't come from the text itself, but rather from an attempt to fit Paul into Torah observance. By contrast, there are many instances where Paul specifies that he is using the terms “Law” and “commandments” to mean the Mosaic covenant. “ The new covenant obviously does have rules...you seem to have rephrased them as "not doing things that offend God", but "don't do any of these individual things that offend God" is exactly the same as saying don't do X, Y, or Z in the Old Testament, since the very REASON not to do X, Y, or Z OT things was because X, Y, and Z offend God. The new covenant either a) uses the rules from the original covenant or b) has its own set of rules.” I disagree. Grace is an entirely different system to Law. Under Law, there is a specific list of rules to which adherence determines reward or curse. The Law is holy, but it is weak in that it relies on corrupted humanity. Under grace, all of the requirements have been fulfilled in Christ. God is pleased by faith in His sacrifice, and all that His sacrifice accomplished; including freedom from obligation to Law and its associated curses. We cannot break the New covenant by personal disobedience because Christ fulfilled the requirements for us. The covenant is not between God and us, but between God and Christ, our Intercessor. For sincere Christians, an exchange has occurred – our disobedience for His righteousness. Whilst morality is eternal, there is no explicit list of rules under grace. We obey because we love God, because we seek His will from a place of sincere devotion, and because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us; also because we understand that being governed by our corrupted flesh destroys us. “I still see a new covenant, which replaced the old, as a possibility. Sounds like we have some ambiguity on the requirements of this new covenant” The “ambiguity” is intentional because it is an entirely different system. Under Law, outward adherence was paramount. Motivation/sincerity/attitude were irrelevant to outcome (reward or curse). Under grace there is no curse – because the standards have already been fulfilled. We are therefore free to follow the spirit of righteousness (to do what is right because we know what is right in the specific circumstances) rather than strict adherence to the letter of the Law. Notice how often the Pharisees complained about Jesus healing on the Sabbath – as though God cared more for strict adherence to Law than he did for those who were suffering. That's the difference between the letter that brings death, and the Spirit that gives life (2 Cor 3:6). “ It's only 'exaggerated' if you doubt these Bible verses, which depict Paul indeed proving to the Jews that he DID keep the law: “Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. 25 But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.’ 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them” (Acts 21:23-26). This again seems strange if Jewish rules are no longer required, Jesus was the final sacrifice, etc. I have yet to see a good explanation of this which supports Jewish laws having been done away with.” A few posts ago, you expressed frustration that we were talking in circles. Here is a good example of why. I have several times provided verses where Paul specifically, explicitly, unequivocally addressed this behaviour (i.e. 1 Cor 9:19-22, 10:31-33). No speculation is required because Paul himself directly answered this question. Yet here you again claim a lack of “good explanation” for why Paul sometimes adhered to Law. If you won't hear Paul's own explanation, what chance do I have of convincing you about his motives? “I've raised a lot of doubts, and the responses received to such doubts are largely the repetition of the same interpretation rather than an explanation of why it's correct.” I think I have provided a strong, logically-consistent, solid overall argument which I have supported heavily by scripture. I have also addressed objections I have with the alternate interpretations (e.g. often reading concepts into the text rather than extracting them from the text). Some of my frustration stems from you commonly responding with general dismissals such as “There is still a huge lack of clarity here”. I can't clarify my arguments further if I don't know specifically what you're objecting to. “Jesus kept the Sabbath and biblical feasts and never alluded to these things going away. … I can mostly at this point accept that he does harmonize...but HOW is not clear ” It's highly debatable to suggest that Jesus “never alluded” to imminent big changes. If we accept Paul as scripture, then what he teaches is a clarification of the information provided in the gospels (and visa versa). If we accept God as the ultimate Author of scripture, then it's all part of the same revelation. “ There are writings referring to Polycarp preaching on the Sabbath, and even the date of his martyrdom is referred to as a Sabbath (which also could refer to a biblical holiday). The Martyrdom of Polycarp records that he was taken on the day of the Sabbath and killed on a Great Sabbath. Those references would be fairly odd for someone who has done away with the Sabbath; one who keeps biblical holidays and preaches on Sabbath, referred to as Sabbath, likely doesn't do those things and then hold to a Sunday doctrine.” I find this a very weak argument supporting mandatory Sabbath observance. I agree with your statement; “the further we get from the apostles, the more we start to see ideas departing from them”. Our authority as Christians is scripture. As previously discussed, Paul taught that the specific day is less important than the underlying motive (Rm 14:5-6). Unsurprisingly, some Christians, especially Jewish Christians, maintained the tradition of setting aside Saturdays. Others adopted Sunday as their preferred day of fellowship and worship. So I don't think the fact that some continued to worship on Saturday strongly supports the idea that Sabbath observance (and by extension, Torah observance) was considered to be mandatory for all Christians. “What evidence is there that Matthew 23 is about "obeying authority" rather than obeying Jewish law?” The reason we are given to respect the authority of the scribes and Pharisees is that they hold the office of Moses. We then have to ask ourselves why would the people be tempted to disrespect their authority (i.e. what is the main point Jesus is addressing). The reason given is that the authorities are hypocrites. Jesus devotes the rest of chapter 23 criticising their hypocrisy. That is clearly, overwhelmingly the main point of the passage. As previously discussed, Jesus was obligated by His mission to point people to Moses, but it is a minor introductory point in this overall discourse. Further supporting evidence was provided in Paul's admonition to respect authority (Rm 13:1-7). “Having claimed to have kept the Law, there was still something the requester lacked. He didn't have fellowship with Christ. That's not what it says, though: 17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[a] 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” ” In verse 21, Jesus invites the man to become a disciple. Even though the man thought he'd kept the Law, the “one thing” he still lacked (i.e. the thing he still needed to “inherit eternal life”) was to “follow” Jesus. It's the same thing we all lacked prior to salvation.
  7. Hey Kevin, I can't recall any verse specifically dealing with this issue. Though I think it can be explained conceptually by a change of perspective. Family is a temporal construct – designed to help us through this life. Christian parents are commonly taught that our children belong to God, and parents are simply God's stewards to protect and guide the children God has blessed us with through life. In the same way that marriage is only obligated “till death” (see 1 Cor 7:39), an argument can be made that our allegiance towards specific people in this life is mitigated with after we pass into eternal life. Temporal constructs that obligate us to specific people are no longer applicable from an eternal perspective. Just by way of example, when my own Mother passed, I was comforted by the thought that her burden for me was over. As long as I live, she will be my Mum to me, but from her current perspective, she is God's little girl resting in the arms of her loving Father. She is no longer burdened with concern for my welfare. That is God's responsibility. She has done her job. No one will be “happy” about the fact that there are people existing eternally separate from God, but ultimately, we are all individuals; each responsible for our own salvation.
  8. Hi Kevin, When we sin, we corrupt ourselves. Essentially, we brake ourselves so that we are not whole in the sense that God created us. We are missing aspects of our creation. In turn, that corruption weakens us to temptation, so that we are more susceptible to further sin - and thus the cycle of corruption perpetuates. In the afterlife, God restores us to our original, created condition. We will live a perfectly whole existence - i.e. in perfect peace; entirely fulfilled and content. Not only will we be less susceptible to sin, but our experience of this corrupted life will starkly contrast against our existence of perfect peace. Our current life makes us fully aware of the consequences of sin - i.e. of all the suffering and death. So there will be a massive shift of perspective. Our memories are part of who we are. God restoring us is not taking anything away from us, but replacing what is missing. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 Corinthians 15 :50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 2 Corinthians 5 :1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
  9. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    " I enumerated the doubts which I still have in my previous post. I still would love to see those addressed." Due to the length of our conversation, and the fact that I think I have covered these issues already in most respects, I chose not to go over them again (you also lament us “going in circles”). Here, I will re-address them in a separate post (to break it up from the other lengthy conversation). " * At what point are Paul's gospel and the twelve apostles' version harmonized? " I don't see any necessary disharmony between Paul and other New Testament scripture. The issue of freedom from Law is less explicit in the gospels - but ambiguous verses on the issue can rationally be interpreted to support freedom from Law. " * Possibility: Since we know that the apostles were Jews, Jesus was a Jew, and Jesus told people to follow Jewish commandments, Paul's letters, which are confusing the the apostles' admission, can indeed be interpreted as opposition to the traditions of MAN rather than opposition to any of the laws God gave to Moses. We're left with the question of why he seemed to tell the Gentiles not to be under the law, or if indeed he did. " In many places, Paul specifically addresses the issue as referring to the covenant Law of Moses. So I don't think this "possibility" rates. " * Possibility: We see in the OT that a new covenant was foretold. If we can establish that the new covenant is characterized by a new set of commandments replacing (and not in addition to) the old ones, then Paul's (again confusing) letters can also be interpreted as supporting adherence to such a set of new rules. " Nooooooo! The New Covenant is of grace, not Law. Why would God "replace" Law with Law? Law doesn't work for corrupted humans (Galatians 3:21-22). If Law worked, we wouldn't need a Saviour (Galatians 2:21). But since Law doesn't work, we need a path to salvation that doesn't rely on corrupted humans fulfilling a set of rules. The Christian covenant does not contain a list of rules to follow. It is a better system because, unlike the Law, we can't break the covenant by falling short of perfection (and because we have the Holy Spirit directly convicting our hearts of God's standards in accordance with the spirit of morality, rather than outward observance of a written list of rules). " We're let with the question of whether the old laws were truly abolished, though, since the apostles seemed to keep them, many early church fathers are recorded as keeping the sabbath and the biblical feasts " Some did and some didn't. The issue was debated (as addressed several times in scripture), and it was decided not to be mandated. Some, especially Jews, chose to honour God through keeping the Jewish traditions, whilst others chose to honour God in their freedom from those traditions. " and why Paul so adamantly wanted to prove to the Jews in the book of Acts that he indeed DID keep the law " I think you have exaggerated this in your mind. Paul explains this behaviour. 1 Corinthians 10 :31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 9 :19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. “* Why does Jesus never mention during his time on Earth any of the things Paul is teaching? * I still don't know. But I can recognize that the notion that a few things were changing was definitely alluded to on multiple occasions. It's a bit cryptic, though, which doesn't satisfy my black-and-white mind.” As you suggest, Jesus alluded to this new paradigm in several places in the gospels. I also agree that those passages are often less straightforward than some of Paul's statements. That's why it's important to establish Paul's legitimacy independently of any presupposed doctrine. If Paul is scripture, then we have additional information shedding light on how to interpret any ambiguous verses found in the gospels. “* Since Paul's version is so different from the apostles' version, how can we be sure he's not a false prophet? (Many people at the time thought he was) * The explanations to this are seen under the first point. * If Paul's truth is the one we're supposed to go by, then why wouldn't Jesus have made any mention of those concepts during his earthly ministry? Why would he choose twelve guys who would ultimately "get it wrong"?” I don't think you've established that anyone got anything “wrong”, or that Paul's gospel was all that different to the gospel of the other Apostles. So again, I think it backwards reasoning to assess the legitimacy of Paul based on perceived doctrinal differences between him and the gospels. You seem to perceive Paul as posing contradictions to the gospels, whereas I interpret Paul to be adding information to that already found in the gospels. “* This I am still confused by...especially since those twelve guys seemingly kept on living by the Jewish laws long after the resurrection. I'd love to see some material that demonstrates otherwise. * What early Christian records do we have which suggest that the churches founded by the apostles and NOT touched by Paul were taught Paul's version of the gospel...and were taught so by the apostles and not Paul? (This perhaps would be the most convincing to me, seeing as all biblical attempts to harmonize Paul and the apostles are written by Paul's camp.) * While searching, I found out that people like Polycarp DID keep sabbath on the 7th day, as well as the biblical feasts, which is odd if those things "passed away".” In the previous post I mentioned that I couldn't find the evidence that Polycarp taught that Saturday Sabbath observance was necessary (or even that he necessarily adhered to this tradition). I did provide an example of another of John's disciples, as well as Polycarp's own disciple, both endorsing Sunday as the day of Christian worship. So even if Polycarp DID keep the Saturday Sabbath, it doesn't seem to have been considered a dogmatic position held ubiquitously by the early church. “I observe that you bring up a myriad of verses which seem to say that sabbaths and dietary laws requirements and such are done away with, but I fail to see how this explanation fits: I fail to see how these verses harmonize with the words of Jesus who told us to listen to and DO the law of Moses (Matthew 23) and who told a man seeking eternal life to follow the ten commandments literally (Mark 10:18).” I don't think either of these examples can be categorically interpreted as demands on Christians to keep the Law. The point of Matthew 23 is an admonition to respect authorities – regardless of hypocrisy or immorality found in the individual leaders. Paul encourages the gentiles to do the same (Romans 13:1-7). Paul teaches that one purpose of the Law is to draw people to Christ (Galatians 3:24-25). You read Mark 10, verses 17 to 19 and conclude that Jesus was teaching adherence to Law. I read Mark 10, verses 17 to 21 and conclude that Jesus appeal to Law was part of a broader strategy leading to a different conclusion – namely, that devotion to Law is insufficient to “inherit eternal life”. Having claimed to have kept the Law, there was still something the requester lacked. He didn't have fellowship with Christ.
  10. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    “ * sigh* I feel like we're going in circles. "The New Covenant was instituted at the time of Jesus death – consecrated through His blood." I'm still wondering why Paul went to great lengths to prove he kept the law” The reason some of our conversation is moving in circles is because, when I provide an answer to your query, you simply respond with a renewed expression of doubt – like the one above with Paul. As I previously demonstrated, Paul provided the answer to your question for himself. Paul kept the Law when engaging with people under the Law – showing them respect so that he might gain opportunity to present the gospel of Christ to them (e.g. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22). Apart from that context, he clearly (and abundantly) taught freedom from Law for those in Christ. For example, he taught that “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse” (Galatians 3:10). So if you again respond with a statement wondering why Paul sometimes chose to submit to Law, then you are not really considering my responses – and thus we will continue to go in circles (i.e. continue to go over the same ground). I can't move beyond my responses until you address the information I've already provided. “or why favored early church leaders kept sabbaths and Jewish holy days (Polycarp was one I mentioned)” I could not find where Polycarp insisted that Christians keep the Sabbath. I found a fellow disciple of John, Ignatius, condoning Christians worshipping on Sunday (in his epistle to the Magnesians – Chapter 9). In chapter 8 of the same letter he states “if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace”. Furthermore, Polycarp's own disciple, Justin Martyr, explicitly endorses the tradition of Christians holding their “common assembly” on Sunday for Bible readings, teachings, prayer, offerings and communion (First Apology, chapter 67). As previously discussed, many Christian Jews chose to maintain the tradition of worshipping on Saturday – but such was not mandated or required throughout the church. Paul said, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” (Romans 14:5-6). “ "Paul tells the Thessalonian Church that Satan will use “signs and lying wonders” to deceive (2 Thes 2:9-10)" And at other times, Paul uses his own miracle workings as "proof" that he's legit. Which is it? ” This seems like an unprovoked Red Herring argument against Paul in general. Nevertheless,where does Paul claim his miracles are, quote - “proof” - of his legitimacy – or are you exaggerating Paul's claim? “ (Regarding Matthew 7:21-23): "The passage tells us who the people were – they were those who thought there part was to focus on working for God, rather than sitting at His feet and getting to know Him." Does it say that? Interesting idea, but I do not see any declaration that these people "thought there [sic] part was to focus on working for God, rather than sitting at His feet and getting to know Him." Is this your interpretation, or what the verse actually states? Here is the verse: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Seems to be the former.” I provided a fuller argument than you have recognised. In summary, the passage itself speaks to the “Many” appealing to the actions they had performed in His name, but the criticism of Jesus was that He “never knew” them. The contrast between them working for Him versus getting to know Him is therefore readily evident in the passage itself. I further provided support for this position in the parallel account of Mary and Martha – where Mary's decision to sit at Jesus' feet, getting to know Him was endorsed over doing work for Him. “Also, I don't see convincing evidence that all the Gentiles in the Jewish synagogues are converts to Judaism rather than Christianity. In fact, Christianity was, at that time, a Jewish sect. On what basis can you claim a distinction? This is an interesting interpretation, but I am interested to understand how it is you came to it” Christianity was a brand new belief at the time Paul took the gospel of Christ beyond the borders of Israel. It was not an established, or common, or accepted Jewish sect. Paul's occupation, prior to his conversion, was as a Pharisee - tasked with persecuting and destroying the Christian belief. After his conversion, it was Paul's explicit mission to take the gospel of Christ to the gentile world. So it seems to me far less likely that Paul would find pre-existing gentile Christians in a Jewish synagogue in a gentile region of the world - i.e. before he had had the chance to preach the gospel to them. “"The Law requires absolute obedience – or else condemns us as transgressors." Sure, I'm familiar with the verses that tell us that. Question still remains how popular Christianity makes the distinction on what laws do and don't still apply. Jesus asks us to obey his commandments, which include the entire Torah in Matthew 23.” Does Matthew 23 really say that Jesus' commandments "include the entire Torah"? Or does it merely teach that Jews should respect the authority of their leadership - despite their individual hypocrisy? As previously discussed, John explicitly defines Jesus' commandments. Regardless, this is another issue where you have not responded to my answers - resulting in us covering the same ground over again. As previously discussed, in order to qualify as the Redeemer of those under Law, Jesus had to fulfil the Law perfectly. He was obligated by His mission to point Jews to their obligation to Law (the purpose of which is to arrive at faith in Christ - according to Paul). “Seems that we then ought to be doing the best we can” Only if that is what pleases God - which is what we are discussing. If God equates our subjecting ourselves to Law as a rejection of His grace, then we ought not be doing that. “Maybe sacrifices are impossible at this time, as you state, but following food and clothing laws are still very possible: On what basis can we say those disappeared?” But the Law makes no such conciliation – but rather requires absolute obedience - not just doing "the best we can". Deuteronomy 27:25 Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you God is only pleased with us fulfilling the Law if we can do so without compromise. Otherwise, the only way to please God is through faith in the redemption provided through the cross of His Son. “on what basis are these distinctions made? Because remember shrimp are an abomination (Leviticus 11:9-12)” Ritual edicts are ritual, not moral. Administrative edicts tell the authorities how to govern the nation, not what is moral. Moral edicts espouse right from wrong behaviours. Shrimp consumption is a good example. In Genesis 9:1-3 (i.e. before the Law), God gave Noah permission to consume all animals. Was God giving Noah instructions to do something immoral? Now under the New covenant, Jesus says “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (Matthew 15:11), and Paul teaches that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (see 1 Tim 4:1-5). So the only context in which these dietary restrictions applied was under Law. Also note carefully the language of Leviticus 11. God does not say that “shrimp are an abomination”, but that “They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination” (Leviticus 11:13). Consuming shrimp was not an abomination to God (i.e. was not immoral), but God expected the Jews to regard eating shrimp as an abomination to them – as an act of covenant distinction. “ "If a denomination condones homosexual practice, then they are teaching against the clear morality espoused by scripture." I don't yet have an opinion on this yet. I've looked into why the churches which accept it do so, and it seems that it is largely because the verses which appear to condemn the practice have more to do with idolatrous temple prostitution than committed gay relationships, which weren't really a thing that people did back then. They have an interpretation of the Bible. You have an interpretation of the Bible.” How do you interpret the following?; Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination Where in Leviticus 20 is the caveat that this list of moral rules only applies in a context of “idolatrous temple prostitution”? Because that would be an important distinction – given the prescribed consequence. Where is the exception mentioned for “committed gay relationships”? What is the basis of your claim that such relationships “weren't really a thing that people did back then”? I would suggest to you that any “interpretation” justifying or condoning homosexual practice stems from agendas beyond the text itself. Whereas my interpretation simply takes the text for what it says (i.e. I am not reading anything into the text that isn't already explicitly stated). If I am permitted to twist the meaning of scripture to meet the requirements of my personal sensibilities, then I have rendered the authority of scripture impotent in my life. “You've just made a claim that 'homosexuality or not' is essential doctrine” Essential doctrine simply refers to those concepts which God has preserved in scripture through multiple contexts (i.e. they are overtly supported multiple times in scripture). I would suggest that homosexual practice as sin does qualify as a concept which is preserved throughout scripture. Some doctrinal concepts are less well supported in scripture – and for those, there is room for disagreement (i.e. we can disagree without compromising the legitimacy of our faith confession). “Some of these churches would say the same about the issues mentioned. (modest dress standards, make-up, Saturday sabbath, practicing homosexuality among members, jewelry, Torah observance, marriage to non-Christians) Again, differing interpretations, and I'm still left at "I don't know". We need a basis for establishing what is and isn't essential.” The Bible gives us a clue as to how to judge these things; “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (Matthew 18:16, 2 Corinthians 13:1) That is, the more an issue is addressed in the Bible, and the more overtly, the more important it is to God. Likewise, less commonly addressed, more ambiguous issues are less important (but nothing God says is unimportant). I think you'll find that many of the issues you've suggested, apart from those I have addressed, are barely mentioned in scripture, and even those that are are often ambiguous. “Everyone seems to disagree on this, and for most of the issues, I've yet to see an argument convincing enough to prove their opinion is the right interpretation.” God will only ever hold you accountable for what you do with what He has given you. It is not up to anyone to provide you with an argument meeting your subjective standard of “convincing enough”. We are each accountable to work out our own salvation. We have scripture, and if we are Christian, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us through scripture. The best we can be is sincere, and remain open to God's instruction. “We all like to think the Holy Spirit leads us, but let's face it--the real result is we all come to different conclusions” There are many reasons Christians disagree. Human corruption results in various forms of 'noise' which can drown out God's voice. Also, God doesn't show any one person everything. Only God Himself has perfect knowledge. So we all have conclusions we reached without God's direct input – some right and some wrong. God also likes Christians to think about what He has said – so some things are left more ambiguous; leaving room for sincere (and hopefully respectful) disagreement. We are all at different stages in learning to hear God's voice. So perfect agreement in every area is not mandated. Nevertheless, my impression is different to yours. Whilst the areas of disagreement get the 'headlines', I think Christians have a lot more in common with each other than we disagree over. “Most Christians don't deny the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter and instead insist that such origins are irrelevant due to the new meanings assigned to them after Christians adapted these holidays … In some way, perhaps you agree with me then...that these were pagan holidays that eventually got adapted by Christians who gave them new meanings” I entirely disagree. The evidence suggests that Christians have long celebrated these festivals – independent of any pagan influence or precedent. If the “Most Christians” believe the propaganda rather than being up-to-date on their history, their opinion doesn't undermine my informed opinion in the slightest. “ "Does that mean we can't do anything the pagans did – because that is a ridiculous standard?" Hmmm, I never made that argument. I did, however, state that we can't accept something just because it's widespread. Here's the original snippet: "...pagan customs made their way into just about every church in existence today. I already mentioned this--Christmas and Easter are pagan, as are wedding rings and even the requirement of government or church weddings in order for a couple to be truly "married"--and yet, these things are also generally accepted by churches. Again, we can't accept something just because it's widespread." ” My comment was specifically addressing the issue of wedding rings being a pagan intrusion in the church. I could only find information that they were ever used as a sign of devotion between couples – nothing to do with pagan beliefs. Your response was - “they're not pagan "worship" as you mentioned, but they were pagan nonetheless”. So the implication of your response is that we cannot adopt any practices that the pagans did first – regardless of whether those practices had any specific pagan implications – which I still find a bit silly. “You accuse me of "dogma over doctrine", but this is interestingly fallacious, for all I've done is state that circular proof isn't exactly convincing, which I'm sure any logical person would agree with. Christians also ought to be logical people. Luke, Paul, or anyone else can still potentially be valid and convincing, but we need more than circular support among contemporaries to establish that” Luke supporting Paul is not circular by any logical standard. “ "For a Christian, the Law is obsolete in its entirety (with regards to righteousness – not knowledge). There are exactly no such written rules that apply to, or in any sense obligate, sincere Christians - none." Really? Because a few paragraphs ago, you said that condemning homosexuality was 'essential doctrine'.” Homosexual behaviour is sin because it is immoral – not because it is written in the Law. It was wicked when the Sodomite men desired sex with Lot's male 'guests' (Genesis 19). Its immorality was explicitly articulated in the Law (including Leviticus 20:13). And it is still considered to be sin under the New Covenant (Romans 1:26-27). So some immoral practices are articulated in the Law, but immorality is not determined by the Law. Christians don't avoid immorality because it is written in a list of rules, but because it is wrong; because God's Holy Spirit convicts us; because we love Him and want to avoid those things which offend His justice; because we understand that sin destroys us and we no longer wish to be slaves to its destructive influence etc. The list of rules is obsolete to those of sincere faith. “Furthermore, my doubt remains: Yes, a new covenant is foretold, with Israel. Where exactly do we see this distinction between what was and wasn't changed? There is much disagreement even on WHICH rules changed. I just don't see any clarity on this matter.” No “rules changed”. Rather, the New Covenant of grace entirely superseded the Old Covenant of Law (for those who have come to faith in Christ). The way Christians relate to God is different to the way the nation of Israel related to God (via a works-based covenant – which was impossible for any corrupted human to fulfil, yet required perfect obedience on penalty of death). “beyond Judaism, was there any salvation available?” Salvation has always been by faith, never by the Law. “If going to hell was the alternative to accepting Jewish laws, then apparently the rules given in Judaism did indeed apply to gentiles” A gentile was permitted to become a citizen of Israel and thereby become a partaker of the covenant of Law, but the Law never saved anyone from hell. The Law is a covenant between God and the nation of Israel. Sure, gentiles could convert to Judaism and partake of that covenant, but the covenant was not given to the gentiles. God's salvation preceded the Law - and is therefore not dependent upon Law. Enoch, for example, found salvation apart from the Law (as did Noah, Abraham etc. - perhaps Job as well). Gentiles never needed the Law to be saved. Even those under Law understood this. For example, speaking of the sacrifices required under the Law, both King David and the Prophet Isaiah understood that God has little interest in simple obedience to a set of rules (see Psalm 40:4-8 & Isaiah 1:11-14). "But the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). Jesus reinforces this idea; Matthew 12 :1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” “"You are suggesting we should read exceptions into what is actually written – therefore it is your responsibility to provide an argument for the case of exceptions." Again, nope. I find it interesting that you seem to to so badly desire to accuse me of saying things I haven't. Why? I'm doubting your interpretation because you have failed to support your claim, but why not just actually support your claim? To shout back that I, your doubter, am making a claim, is rather ridiculous. Doubting your claim != making my own. Here's the verse: Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. You originally brought that verse out hoping to support your position, citing it directly following these words: "We can abstain from bacon if we choose, but there is no value in that decision before God with regards to righteousness (either for or against)." Thus, you're the one making a claim, and the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim. I'm still waiting for you to support this claim ("we can abstain from bacon if we choose") Read the verse carefully. There's no mention of bacon; it just says "meat".” I'm not sure what translation you are using, but the original language doesn't use the word "meat". Even if it did, I think it would be incumbent upon you to justify why bacon is excluded from "meat". But since it doesn't, what is said is merely a general statement about eating - i.e. that some people eat whatever they choose in honour of the liberty they have attained through Christ, whilst others honour God by choosing to deny themselves certain foods. There is no indication in the context to assume that bacon (or any other food) is excluded from this statement. In response to this scripture, you argued for the possibility that Paul's statement here is only regarding "the Pharisee traditions that Yeshua AND the apostles preached against". My response to your suggested interpretation is that I see no such specification in the context of the statement. I read nothing more than a general statement about eating – i.e. no special inclusions or exceptions. Therefore, it is up to you to explain why I should consider your suggested interpretation over what is actually written. You have since argued that you “don't need to” support your suggested interpretation. Innuendo regarding what I "badly desire" to do is meaningless fallacy. “I wanted to better understand how these widespread ideas came to be without any explicit point in biblical history where the apostles or Paul encouraged that it was acceptable to abandon Torah observance.” The idea of freedom from Law is explicit in many of Paul's writings. Paul's letter to the Galatians, for example, is a defence of liberty from Law against those trying to compel Christians to submit to the “bondage” of Law. He specifically addresses the issue of circumcision, but applies his arguments more broadly to the Law in general. For example; Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? Paul further addresses this concept substantially in his letters to the Romans, Hebrews and Colossians. The first generation of apostles (including Paul) is the “explicit point in biblical history” where this idea originated in the church. “I believe I've established my doubts as to how Paul harmonizes with the twelve, and several others along the way. That I'm trying to put the pieces together is saying that I haven't yet reached a conclusion, nothing more.” From my perspective, your reasoning seems backwards. When you speak of harmonising Paul, your standard of harmonisation is to the doctrine of Torah observance. So you are assessing Paul's legitimacy as scripture from the starting point of doctrine. I think it more logically robust to establish scripture first (by whatever canon/standard you decide on), then determine doctrine from scripture. Decide first whether or not Paul's letters constitute scripture. Then if we agree that they do, it is worth examining what he has to say regarding the role of the Law in the life of a Christian. If not, then we are operating on a difference faith premise. I consider Paul's letters to be scripture, and therefore valid support of my argument that the Law is obsolete for Christians. Your current approach makes this conversation difficult. Because; if I argue that Paul teaches freedom from Law, you will question Paul's authority as scripture, but if I argue for Paul's authority as scripture, you can dismiss my argument on the basis that Paul teaches freedom from Law. This is not logically linear - and therefore 'stacks the deck' against any outcome you find unpalatable. Which is why I suggest you need to deal with the issue of scripture before you deal with the issue of doctrine. Arguing both at the same time muddies the waters. There are clues in the gospels and non-Pauline letters regarding freedom from Law, but they are usually ambiguous enough to be contested. This is likely due to the contention between the ultimate goal of freedom from Law, and Jesus' obligation to perfectly uphold the Law prior to His death. The most explicit teachings of freedom from Law are found in Paul's letters. Paul was trained a Pharisee; i.e. highly educated in the Law - zealously persecuting those who opposed it. He therefore had the perfect background to understand the implications of Christ's death on the Law.
  11. Do you mean my provided arguments are Ipse Dixit, or I challenge the provided arguments as Ipse Dixit fallacy? If the latter, I think you may be confusing me with Enoch. Nevertheless, if the fallacy fits . . . . .
  12. Is there a particular point you wish to discuss, or are you simply trying to bombard dissenting opinions out of the conversation by posting such a voluminous amount of information - as to give the false impression of overwhelming, unequivocal support for your position (a.k.a. elephant hurling fallacy)? As discussed with you previously, I am happy to consider your own arguments to specific positions (i.e. a reasonable amount of information to respond to), but am not prepared to put in the time or effort required for a point-by-point assessment of your multiple, mass-cut-and-paste jobs.
  13. Genesis 9:3 / Poisonous Animals

    “You are referring to venom, which is not the same as poison” I actually grouped them together under “toxins” or “toxic substances” and addressed them together in 4 individual points. “You need many years of training to get certification to prepare puffer fish for human consumption and the certification is only given in Japan. It's an extremely dangerous food” Nevertheless, it is used for “food” - which makes its use consistent with the Biblical statement in Genesis 9:3. “Golden poison frog flesh isn't used as a food by anyone” Genesis 9:3 is not a commandment to eat every animal. It is a statement of permission to do so. Whilst it is somewhat spurious to narrow the examples to a species that may not have existed at the time, the fact that people don't eat this specific frog doesn't mean it can't be used for food if prepared correctly (like the puffer fish you mentioned above). “Christians cite Genesis 9:3 as a justification for animal use by Christians living in the 21st century. If your two points above are valid then Genesis 9:3 does not apply to people living today, only to people living at the time of Genesis 9” Genesis 9:3 gives humans permission to use animals for food. The fact that some animal groups have since speciated into toxic sub-groups doesn't mitigate that permission. Common sense tells us to prefer safe foods over “dangerous” foods (though this common sense is ignored in the case of the puffer fish. Other examples might include smoking cigarettes – i.e. where people choose to do something they know to be dangerous). “Also, this OP is a little too narrow and I would like to include other inedible animals and plants in this discussion if I may. Everything that lives and moves is not food for us. Fleas for example, are not food for us. They're not eaten by humans. Out of the 7.7 million species of animals on the planet, a handful are used as food and the rest aren't. Many animals taste horrible, or spread disease, or are too bony to be consumed, or are too small to be worth the effort, etc. Most animals are unusable as a food source by humans for one reason or another. So Genesis 9:3 as written is untrue. "Some things that live and move about will be food for you" would be correct, but the word is Strong's 3605 meaning "every".” I don't think any reasonable person could interpret this statement as a command to eat every creature. It is a statement that these creatures are available to us for food. As you say, there are many reasons we prefer some foods over others. But just because some creatures aren't consumed by humans, doesn't mean they are unavailable as food. I.e just because we don't eat fleas doesn't mean we can't. I'd be willing to bet that some have done so unwittingly. Note also that the 7.7 million species figure is an estimate. The actual described figure is around 1 million. “Also, in Genesis 9:3 there is a reference to Genesis 1:29-30 when every (again, Strong's 3605) green plant is given for food (but not fungi, i.e. mushrooms, interestingly). As we know, there are many poisonous green plants unfit for human consumption. It isn't reasonable to suggest that The Fall made these plants poisonous because Genesis 9:3 seems to indicates every green plant is still good for food at this point in the narrative.” In Genesis 9:3 (and 1:30), the Hebrew esev (Strongs 6212) is used – referring to a specific kind of plant – i.e. herbs (or tender shoots). As opposed to ets (Strongs 6086), which is the more general term for plants. “Luckily Genesis 1:29-30 and Genesis 9:3 are not used by anyone as a wilderness survival guide. Their repeated use of the word "every" rather than "some" would indicate that every plant or animal you see is safe to eat. I don't understand how believers make sense of this.” I think you should hear the arguments and consider the issues in their intended context before succumbing to the temptation to ridicule.
  14. “It is your responsibility to prove the evidence of an old earth I posted is false.” Firstly, you didn't provide any actual “evidence”. What you provided was a massive information dump of summary claims about the evidence. If you have such confidence in your position that you can label my position a “joke”, then you should be able to muster a few facts which cannot be logically interpreted to be consistent with young-earth, Biblical creation. Secondly, I did not claim anything to be “false”. I claimed that there is no objective scientific reason to dismiss the Genesis account of history – as written; i.e. without the need to resort to additional concepts that are not found explicitly in the text. “The ducking and dodging you keep doing doesn't fly!” I have neither ducked nor dodged anything. I have simply asked you for your own arguments in a reasonable amount of information to respond to – rather than expecting me to spend days trawling through, and responding to, your minute's worth of cutting and pasting. I could just as readily point you to a creationist web site and claim its your responsibility to respond to every one of their claims. But as you might say, that “doesn't fly”. We are engaging in conversation with each other. It is therefore each of our own responsibilities to give our own account of our position. “IN AN AGE PRIOR TO THE SIX DAY CREATION THE EARTH HAD NO OCEANS The same way it will be when God creates the New Heaven and earth: ” I don't think the scriptures you provided make this case. Revelations 21:1 certainly says there was “no more sea” - but, as you understand, that is speaking of the new earth. Proverbs 21 is a discourse from the personified perspective of Wisdom – claiming that Wisdom dwelt with God in eternity; i.e. before the creation of the earth (verse 23), and so obviously before the the forming of the oceans (verse 24) which Genesis tells us He accomplished on the second and third days of creation (Gen 1:6-9). I think you have to read an awful lot into these verses (i.e. ideas which don't actually exist in the text) to come away with the conclusion that there was “AN AGE PRIOR TO THE SIX DAY CREATION THE EARTH HAD NO OCEANS ” based on this evidence. “For much more: ...” I'm not going to follow your links to more of other people's arguments. That's no different than expecting me to respond to your cut and paste job. You tell me what you think the facts are, and what you think those facts mean, and how they dispel the possibility of the Genesis account of history. Then I will follow any links you provide to the research, and assess the claims for myself – i.e. not someone else's claims about the research, but the primary report of the facts (if you have access - if not, I might be able to track the information down myself).
  15. “The above remarks are the epitome of those with their heads in the sand and views cast in iron” This remark is an example of an Ad-Hominem fallacy – and therefore technically irrational. “our claim the preponderance of proofs provided you are "alleged," is a joke” This remark is an example of an Appeal to Ridicule fallacy – and therefore technically irrational. “as though the evidence in front of you is all false” What “evidence”? You haven't provided any “evidence” for my consideration. I've stated several times that I'd be happy to discuss any specific fact you think obligates one away from the clear reading of Genesis. “You are the one who wants a discussion, but you have nothing to say, but personal opinion, from an empty wagon” You are the one who started the thread. All I've asked for is for you to provide your own argument for your position – so I know you've done your own due diligence on the issues raised. As it stands, all I can ascertain is that you've found someone who agrees with you, and pasted their arguments. You've dumped a lot of information on this thread. It is not reasonable to expect me to spend the amount of time required to mount a point-by-point response to all that information – especially when I have no indication from you that you have invested any time considering the issue. That is the point of the Elephant Hurling fallacy – to bombard the opposing position with so much information as to try and bully them out of the conversation. I assume people start threads for the purpose of discussion. But if you don't want “a discussion”, if you just want people to read and accept your position, then I am happy to move on. “I have provided you the format, now field an argument of your views, with evidence for a young earth” If I want to discuss something creation-specific, I'll start my own thread. But this is your thread. So I've asked for a narrowing of the topic, and evidence that you have more invested than the two minutes it took to cut and paste the various walls of text. “Until you do, this is my final response to you on this issue.” Until your are prepared to provide your own arguments to clarify your own position, there is little point to any further response.