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Uber Genius

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About Uber Genius

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  1. This is a fallacious appeal to ignorance. It is an informal fallacy. Think for a second about claims to the church's. Let's take Ephesus and the claim that if they persevere they will rule with an iron scepter and share Jesus's throne. Do we think that no other church except the one at Ephesus will rule and reign with Christ? When we interpret scripture we need to have a serious graps of context and genre. We need to interpret the fuzzy in light of the clear passages. We need Internet the content in light of its style. We need to understand that revelation is progressive in nature. There re is much work to do in order to understand what a first century audience would have understood out of Revelation. I would use a deeper understand of the text from Ceaseria where Jesus says, "Upon this rock I will build my church," if you want to undercut the Catholic argument of papal succession. Couple that with the fact that James seems to be leading not Peter, very early on, and Paul's opposing Peter to his face for withdrawing from eating with the Gentiles in Galatia, and Peter as pope will be a hard sell!
  2. there are some serious exegetical concerns about this post. Firstly, you are making sweeping generalizations about the term enemy that don't hold. That is you are including in the contexts of Jesus' saying that it included all created beings including Satan. This is not at all in view in Jesus statement love your enemy. In the diagram let P equal humans (since the context is human relations) and let Q equal enemies. There condjuct P and Q would exclude satan, but not his followers who are human. I have led satan worshiper to Christ because the HS loved them and drew them to confess Jesus as Lord. Secondly, your idea about impossibility is false. It is not in any creed. It is certainly not true with regard to how God interacts with humans as he starts with all humanity, is abandoned by same and God then chooses to work with his chosen people and then with the New Covenant returns to working with all people. So your premise suffers from basic logical errors and exgetical errors (ignoring the context of Jesus' statement), and finally theological error, suggesting that impossibility (if it even exists as an attribute of God ) applies to how God chooses to work with humans. Clean eat up the logical, exgetical, and theological errors and this becomes a non-issue.
  3. Dr. Craig videos on youtube as a section of animated videos that help establish theism as the best explanation of things like: the beginning of the universe from nothing, why there exists anything rather than nothing, existence of objective moral values and duties fine-tuning of the constants of physics and the initial conditions of the universe to support life a universal search for objective meaning and purpose in our lives. The videos are conversational and with some work one can use the points in discussion. Tracks are easily memorized. If you are familiar with the engels scale you will see that tracks are not effective until right before someone is about to give their lives to Christ. I don't use them at all and haven't in 40 years of evangelism. You can start by learning the 4 spiritual laws. But in order for that to be effective someone must be willing to trust the Bible as a source of knowledge. I used to use Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict approach, but found that much of the facts underpinning Josh's premises were not nearly as straightforward or uncontroversial as Josh made out in his great presentations. Now I focus on asking the Lord to lead people into my sphere of influence at work or with friends, neighbors, family, or even strangers on planes or at bars. I do a pull not a push approach. Let them ask you for the gospel. My friends know I disciple people, teach at my church, and do prison ministry. When they engage, so do I. I have also had the opportunity to share the gospel on planes hundreds of times. Bring books that are provocative? On Guard by William Lane Craig for instance. When people ask, "What are you reading," I say, "a rational defense for the existence of God and the supremacy of Christianity over and above other religious worldviews." And we are off to the races. No rhetorical games or tricks (That means I don't use "Way of the Master." Who Would Jesus Manipulate is not a good bracelet to wear as a Christian. Handing out tracks that won't be read is a waste. Memorizing great material in tracks in order to be able to give a 1-2 minute version of the gospel is marvelous.
  4. Mike Licona in his work The Resurrection of Jesus, which is one of the most complete scholarly works on the subject in all of Christian scholarship to date, says, "“It seems best to regard this difficult text in Matthew as a poetic device added to communicate that the Son of God had died and that impending judgment awaited Israel.” Mike was then berated by the Fundamentalists for destroying the inerrancy of scripture for the above suggestion. Those individuals called leaders of the seminary where he taught and were able to get Licona fired without a hearing (Thanks Norm Geisler, for proving everything atheists say about Christians self-interest, childishness, and hypocrisy to be true). Mike was fired from Southern Evangelical Seminary and been ousted as apologetics coordinator for the North America Mission Board (NAMB). Mike wrote the following after years had passed and he had the opportunity to do additional research, "Since my book was published, I have found additional ancient reports that confirm this interpretation and others that cast doubt on it. Accordingly, I am presently undecided pertaining to how Matthew intended his readers to understand the saints raised at Jesus’ death. More research needs to be conducted. It’s a tough passage."
  5. I have engaged atheists on thephilosophyforum.com and atheistforum.com. The challenge is finding someone who can represent the worldview. I have engaged Muslims but I usually know much more about Hadith, Sharia, the Jurists, and both the Medinan, and Meccan qurans than they do. I find it rare to encounter knowledgeable individuals in Judaism, hinduism, or buddhism. I had international exchange students live in my house for a period of about 10 years. I found that few that held religious beliefs had studied them. Even amongst Evangelical Christians I can get some very peculiar answers to questions about Jesus' divinity and his humanity. But applaud you dialogical, peaceful, and rational approach. Good luck on the last one. Especially on the atheist forums. I am constantly helping atheist improve their rational arguments. They are consistently fallacious in their reasoning and arrogant in their attitude. That said I have had success with atheists who are friends. They happily and graciously receive help shoring up defense of their worldviews.
  6. One poster encourages us above to rely on resources from Ken Ham. What is troubling is that Ken Ham seems to be the Dawkins of Christian's YEC. Having read his material and attended two of his conferences I was appalled by misrepresentation he makes about the age of the universe and things like the speed of light or geologic age. These are flatly and demonstrably false statements. When I heard about the speed of light not being a constant I was shocked. But he provided a reference and I went and found it through the use of ERIC at my university library. The abstract of the study specifically stated that the proposal was not about the speed of light per se, in fact that was considered to be constant. Rather the study was how the measurement from 400 years ago was so accurate despite poor scientific methods and measuring tools. The fact that the precision was now better and that we could more accurately measure it and it happened to be that the measurement fell on the slower side. Far from saying anything about the speed of light changing, the article referenced by Ham specified measurement accuracy. Two option remain: Ham misrepresented the study purposefully. Ham misrepresented the study because he was unable to understand the study. Neither allows us to us Ham or anyone else misstating evidence as a credible witness. This of course doesn't mean YEC is false but rather that we should not be directing people to Christians who misrepresent the data, whether through ignorance or malicious deceit. Further, when I asked him how we should respond to the overwhelming fossil evidence of life containing millions of specimens spanning over a billion years he responded by saying, "Were you there?" And he followed up by telling the audience that this was a very effective way of engaging skeptics. What Ham missed is that if skeptics used Ham's method, they could easily thwart Christian evidences about Jesus life, death, and resurrection by simply asking, "Were you there?" This is beyond foolish. Please engage the data and various claims rationally. Don't rely on sources that feel they are called to misrepresent the data for the sake of Christ. Jesus represented the real world and did so while maintaining truth and integrity.
  7. This is not how we engage scripture. We don't sit back and grab a few texts and then say "take it or leave it." We do exegete passages in context including whether they are part of the Old Covenant or New. We do gather all passages in the Bible properly exegeted. We do put forth all hypotheses that explain those texts. We do engage the reasons for and against each hypothesis to determine which one, if any, has the most explanatory depth and breadth to account for the Biblical data. That is roughly the method of systematic theology. Your strategy above is an appeal to simplicity that is not evident. It is a rhetorical appeal that cherry-picks verses that help you case while ignoring others that don't. The process described above leads to historically to things like the development of the doctrine of the trinity and the nature of Christ. I would stick to the time-honored process and avoid the easy rhetorical tricks in favor of everyone gaining knowledge about the strength of the various inferences.
  8. While I am sympathetic to your focus on the meaning of the original word. The fact that we have an unbroken commentary on Pistis would seem to contradict your point above. The fact that pistis, and its various forms including the verb form, appear in dozens of lexicons, and that teachers continue to this day to talk about the lexical range of faith seems to contradict your point. There are words in the OT and NT that are unique having only one referent and no other examples even outside of the NT. Pisteuo is not one of those words. Is this supposed to make a rhetorical point? If so one wonders, how one gained the insight of how to communicate in English the incommuncatable aspects of pisteuo? I appreciate the idea of trust and fidelity. We have an onslaught of poorly educated individuals that make equivocating the historic NT sense of the word a passtime. There fallacious understanding then serves as a premise that something other than the evidence of the resurrection, Jesus' claims about himself as understood by his enemies, the evidence from OT prophecy, the rational arguments Paul engaged in with gentile philosophers, were not occurring as recorded in Acts, but rather some sort of doxastic leap into believing something antithetical to our rational faculties was occurring. Your comments certainly are valuable at destroying that fallacy.
  9. Here is the account of the lead up to the 6-days war from the Encylopedia Britannica: "Prior to the start of the war, attacks conducted against Israel by fledgling Palestinian guerrilla groups based in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan had increased, leading to costly Israeli reprisals. Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had previously come under sharp criticism for his failure to aid Syria and Jordan against Israel; he had also been accused of hiding behind the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) stationed at Egypt’s border with Israel in the Sinai. Now, however, he moved to unambiguously demonstrate support for Syria: on May 14, 1967, Nasser mobilized Egyptian forces in the Sinai; on May 18 he formally requested the removal of the UNEF stationed there; and on May 22 he closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, thus instituting an effective blockade of the port city of Elat in southern Israel. On May 30, King Ḥussein of Jordan arrived in Cairo to sign a mutual defense pact with Egypt, placing Jordanian forces under Egyptian command; shortly thereafter, Iraq too joined the alliance. In response to the apparent mobilization of its Arab neighbours, early on the morning of June 5, Israel staged a sudden preemptive air assault that destroyed more than 90 percent Egypt’s air force on the tarmac. A similar air assault incapacitated the Syrian air force. Without cover from the air, the Egyptian army was left vulnerable to attack. Within three days the Israelis had achieved an overwhelming victory on the ground, capturing the Gaza Strip and all of the Sinai Peninsula up to the east bank of the Suez Canal." Now in order for your inference to go through you must demonstrate How Israel forced Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestinian terrorists and Iraq to form an alliance with the goal of wiping out Israel, then create a blockade, move troops to ALL of Israel's borders. So your argument is analogous to saying America started the war with Al Qaeda. The method you are using is deleting the first cause. Secondly, the only war America has with Muslims is with the small percentage that are fundamentalists and members of terrorist organizations and have attacked the US, our interests, or our allies. So I'm not sure why their is the perception of a religious war. Finally, I have Jewish friends and Muslim friends. We play cards and smoke cigars and drink scotch together. We have religious worldview differences that we discuss calmly and rationally from time to time. I have no reason to believe we are in the religious war you proposed. Why not explain the difference in belief as a product of culture, and perhaps a lack of rationality on the part of my Jewish and Muslim friends (just kidding).
  10. When I started this topic I suggested that the focus be limited to rhetorical tricks not YEC vs OEC vs NDEvolution. We find 10s of thousands of conversations on the internet about the latter and next to none about the former.
  11. Very astute observation about the wide range of the term “theory” when applied to the narrow knowledge area of science. We can be much more fine-grained in our assessments it seems. So while all agree with descent with modification we don’t all agree on common ancestry. While all would agree with the data of oscillating evolution within species such as the Galapagos finches beaks that skirts the point that for neodarwinian to be supported one must show directional not oscillating evolution. There are countless rhetorical tricks. One must do some study of philosophy of science to separate the religious aspects of evolution from the science.
  12. Lots of good discussion to be had on all sides. What would the original audiences understand the text of Gen 1 to mean? Were Adam And Eve literal of figurative? Can neodarwinian evolutionary theory account for the enormous creation of information found in the first life ex nihilo? Can neodarwinian evolution even account for the creation of new body plans? Once we eliminate rhetorical tricks, bad exegesis, false scientific claims we are still left with a wide range of conclusions it seems.
  13. So I'm having a hard time reconciling your earlier statment (1 hour ago) with your more recent statment suggesting the Gospel authors didn't have direct revelation (34 minutes ago). Did I misinterpret your earlier statement (interpreting it literally, when it was meant hyperbolically)?
  14. Of course but you were the one who described God's inspiration as "Direct," so on the view that removes the free will of the author to choose his style of writing and subject and how he will support his claims, we get dictation theory. Which in turn leads to contradictions that I highlighted. So throwing it back in my face, in know way answers the question. if all revelation is direct from God, how can four separate authors have more than one account. Did God forget what was on that sign? Or did he mislead three authors. Or is dictation theory incoherent with infallibility? Those seem to be the options. Further the text of 2 Tim. 3:16-17, and 2 Peter 1:21 Don't seem to account for the enormous assumptions around this category. As I've mentioned previously there are only a handful (less of than 5%) where the Bible Authors record dictation. The remaining material produced by the Biblical authors appear to have great choice as to how they communicate to their audience. And we would expect them to communicate in ways that their audience was familiar.
  15. Again this is a false dilemma. One should use the historic-grammatical method as the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy suggests! This involves recognizing a verbal plenary view of inspiration. Namely that God knew what the authors would write before he chose them. Further in cases whe God doesn't dictate (we would want to recognized Jeremiah, Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, most prophecies and Revelation or parts of that book as dictation), we examine the culture context of the author, and the authorial intent, and use of idiomatic language, and literary style. Further if the author used a source that was a previous extra-Biblical source we would examine that source to see how the Biblical author modified it to dramatically change the message that the authors culture would have taken. Just like authors who recast Shakespearean plays with modern themes, we want to know how are the themes parallel and how are they different. So while there are hundreds of extra-biblical references there are over 30,000 verses and 800,000 words so it is rare that one needs to spend time but I'm not the one making sweeping geralizations. So follow the method that recommended by the Conservative Evangelicals outlined in Chicago Statement of Innerrancy and it will lead you occasionally to studying these extra-Biblical stories. Now I do want to poison the wells to any claims that I am saying these sources have some authority just because the HS approached of the use of these sources. That has never been my claim.
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