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Archive for July, 2010

These are two debates I want to get around to finish watching by Christian apologist James White with Muslim apologist Shabir Ally

It was a debate back in November 2008 out in London, but the footage has only been recently released!

Enjoy!

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The guys over at Triablogue has written a 257 page response to “The Christian Delusion” titled “The Infidel Delusion”

You can access the PDF file of “The Infidel Delusion” by clicking HERE

Their blog has the following description below:

The Infidel Delusion was written (in alphabetical order) by Patrick Chan, Jason Engwer, Steve Hays, and Paul Manata. This is a true tour de force. By the time I got to Manata’s debunking of Valerie Tarico’s naturalistic reductionism in chapter two, the perfect metaphor had formed in my head: Collectively, these Triabloggian authors were firing intellectual howitzer shells point-blank into a cardboard shanty town.

Each chapter of The Christian Delusion is thoroughly debunked by Hay’s philosophical and theological acumen, Engwer’s encyclopedic knowledge of history, Chan’s medical training, and/or Manata’s philosophical prowess. Contrary to the tactic The Christian Delusion used—to attack the weakest arguments put forth in the name of Christianity—the authors of The Infidel Delusion dismantled the strongest arguments atheists had to offer. Indeed, if there truly are “few works as effective” as The Christian Delusion, as Parsons claimed, then Triablogue shows atheism to be in a sad state indeed.

A Quick Overview of What’s in The Infidel Delusion
After introductions from Hays, Engwer, and Manata, the debunking of The Christian Delusion begins. In chapter one, Eller’s entire premise is shown to be at odds with the rest of The Christian Delusion, making that book internally incoherent. Eller’s belief that there is no real Christianity, but instead thousands of Christianities, actually destroys the basis for The Christian Delusion by rendering the idea that there is such a thing as Christianity (singular) to refute moot. If atheists are to be consistent, either Eller’s contribution must go or it must stand alone.

Chapter two shows Tarico’s cognitive research to be nowhere near adequate to explain what she thinks it explains. In addition to showing the argument to be self-refuting, Manata makes an excellent case that Tarico doesn’t even understand the issues involved in naturalism and scientific reductionism. Additionally, Chan includes a great deal on the medical issues involved, including debunking the idea that Paul’s vision of Christ on the Road to Damascus could be explained by a frontal lobe seizure.

Chapter three deals with Long’s attempt to show cultural background determines how one will believe. This sort of cultural relativism is a double-edged sword, however. If it works against Christianity, it is only at the expense of destroying atheism in the process.

Chapter four gets us to the heart of The Christian Delusion, the Outsider Test for Faith that forms the key of Loftus’s atheistic apologetic. Hays demonstrates how Loftus doesn’t consistently apply this test since it equally destroys his own view. Engwer shows that the attitude Loftus has about how beliefs are formed doesn’t cohere to Christian experience. And finally, Manata demonstrates that the outsider test is “vague, ambiguous, invalid, unsound, superfluous, informally fallacious, and subject to a defeater-deflector.”

Chapter five reviews Babinski’s flawed view of Jewish cosmology based on uncharitable assumptions about the stupidity of ancient people and their lack of ability to understand figurative language; chapter six shows Tobin’s repeating of common objections to Scripture (creating “dilemma” by ignoring all conservative scholarship, and even most liberal scholarship); and chapter seven refutes Loftus’s claim that Scripture is unclear, ironically in part by showing that if Loftus’s chapter is true, Babinski’s and Tobin’s must be false! But internal consistency is not something The Christian Delusion was concerned with.

Chapter eight deals with Avalos’s claims that Yahweh is a “moral monster.” Yet this once again requires us to reject Loftus’s chapter seven, and furthermore Avalos’s moral relativism defeats his own argument.

Chapter nine deals with concepts of animal suffering as evidence for the non-existence of God. Amongst other arguments they present, Hays deftly shows how Loftus’s claims are unsupported anthropomorphisms, while Engwer focuses on the ludicrous demands Loftus requires of believers to “answer” this “problem” and Manata shows Loftus’s argument is really nothing short of wishful thinking completely divorced from the Christian theology it was supposed to debunk.

Chapter ten reviews Price’s misuse of methodological naturalism, including the fact that Price actually ignores the vast majority of modern scholarship in rejecting the very existence of Jesus as a historical figure. Chapter eleven examines similar weaknesses of methodology in the claims Carrier makes regarding the resurrection.

Chapter twelve examines Loftus’s poor exegetical skills and his inability to understand even simple Biblical passages in context. In critiquing Christian prophecy, Loftus manages to all but ignore the preterist movement and makes some rather basic label errors on the positions he does look at.

Chapter thirteen deals with Eller’s moral claims, especially in light of his rejection of objective morality. The Infidel Delusion shows how his evolutionary claims are insufficient to create any type of morality.

Chapter fourteen shows that Avalos’s argument that atheism didn’t cause the Holocaust is irrelevant to the issue of whether Christianity is true. Finally, chapter fifteen shows that Carrier’s historical claims that Christians are not responsible for modern science is both irrelevant to the issue of the truth of Christianity as well as focused on the wrong issues, even within the context of his argument.

The last section of The Infidel Delusion consists of ten appendices that give us more detail into some of the arguments presented within the various chapters, as well as a look at some of the specific claims made by contributors to The Christian Delusion outside of the scope of that actual book.

Conclusion
The Infidel Delusion debunks the entirety of The Christian Delusion. This is not to say it addresses every single flaw in The Christian Delusion—such would take multiple volumes. But there is no major claim made in The Christian DelusionThe Infidel Delusion. As Steve Hays wrote in his introduction, “…if The Christian Delusion turns out to be just another white elephant in the overcrowded zoo of militant atheism, then that‘s a vindication of the Christian faith.”

The Infidel Delusion certainly demonstrates this.

Full disclosure: While I did not contribute any writing to The Infidel Delusion, I did edit, collate, and format the ebook.

UPDATE:
[*] To be fair, Babinski classifies himself as an agnostic that withstands the criticism leveled at it in

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NAACP CONDEMNATION

NAACP GETS OWNED

HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THIS HYPOCRISY?

In case one were to attack this blog, all the bloggers in Veritas Domain are minorities, so don’t assert that we are racist Whites, we are not

The sad part about groups like the NAACP is that their real problem is that everything is out of balance when they do not worship God first above anything else

They choose instead to idolize race, and all their view of life and things is RACE-CENTERED

THEIR WHOLE PARADIGM IS ON RACE; IT IS A COMPLETE WORLDVIEW WHERE RACE IS GOD: THAT IS, RACE DETERMINES THEIR WORLDVIEW’S ETHICS (RACISM TO THEM IS THE BIGGEST FORM OF IMMORALITY, AND ULTIMATE ‘BLASPHEMY’ TO COMMIT, AND TO COMMIT IT IS TO COMMIT AN UNPARDONABLE SIN WHERE THERE IS NOTHING MORE WORST TO BE CALLED THAN BEING LABELED A “RACIST”), METAPHYSICS (THEY CONTINUOUSLYPERPRETRATE THE MYTHICAL CONSTRUCTION OF “RACE”, EVEN THOUGH ALL HUMANITY IS REALLY ONE RACE, SEEING SKIN COLOR TRANSCENDING BEYOND JUST THE MELANIE OF ONE’S THE EPIDERMIS, AND SEEING THE WORLD BEING NECESSARILY DETERMINED IN TERMS OF RACIAL CAUSE-AND-EFFECT), EPISTEMOLOGY (CERTAIN SKIN-COLOR INDIVIDUALS CAN “NEVER KNOW” WHAT IT”S LIKE, ONE’S PHYSICAL ANCESTRAL PHYSICAL MAKE-UP DETERMINES WHETHER ONE CAN KNOW OR NOT KNOW ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL’S EXPERIENCES, OR SOMEHOW BEING  BLACK MEANS I KNOW WHAT BEING A SLAVE IN THE ANTIBELLUM SOUTH IS LIKE, ETC) AND AESTHETICS (EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL SO LONG AS IT’S NOT DETERMINE BY THE MAJORITY RACE, IN WHICH CASE IT IS UNETHICAL!)

Accusing others of racism, they have failed to escape that paradigm of the above description, which is best describe as RACISM.

In their Worship of creation (skin color, ancestral genetic make up) and the creature (the superiority of their ‘race’), they praise those things rather than the CREATOR

Therefore, it is theologically impossible to escape the very thing they accuse others of doing, because their paradigm is idolatorous and thus, they inevitably become the very despicable thing they hate, in a inverted, reverse, internally-irrational form: THEY BECOME RACIST THEMSELVES.

THEIR BEGINNING IDOLATROUS AXIOM ACCOUNT FOR DIVERSITY, BUT WITHOUT THE TRIUNE CHRISTIAN GOD, IT RESULTS IN EPISTEMOLOGICAL SKEPTICISM AND IRRATIONALISM, FOR THEIR IS NO WAY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF UNITY WITH DIVERSITY (ANOTHER MANIFESTATION OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEM OF THE “ONE AND THE MANY”)

THE NEEDED ANTIDOTE TO RACISM IS NOT TO FORM A GROUP FOR THE “ADVANCEMENT OF COLOR PEOPLE”, or any other skin-colored people for that manner…

RATHER THAN TREAT THE SYMPTOM, THE REAL SOLUTION REQUIRE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IDOL OF RACISM ITSELF (AS DESCRIBED ABOVE) AND REPENTANCE UNTO THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD OF THE BIBLE

TO BE RESTORED UNTO THE LIVING GOD REQUIRE ONE’S SIN TO BE ATONED FOR, AND THAT WAS PAID FOR BY JESUS CHRIST DYING AND RESURRECTING ON THE CROSS FOR THE SINS OF THOSE WHO REPENT AND CONFESS

NAACP, CONFESS YOUR SINS FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS: AS SOMETHING THAT OFFENDS GOD BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE, BECAUSE IT IS IDOLATROUS

REPENT FROM YOUR RACISM, AND ASK GOD TO REDEEM YOU FROM HIS WRATH, AND FROM THE INESCAPABLE IRRATIONAL DIALECTICAL TENSION THAT THIS IDOL PRODUCES

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At minimum, the YouTube should prompt you to make some serious calls if you care about your constitutional right to share the gospel and freedom of speech

CONTACT INFO:
Dearborn Police Department: (313) 943-2240(general info line); 313.943.2241 (police desk)
Cheif Ronald Haddad: Phone: 313.943.2235 (office)
Mayor John B. O’Reilly: Phone: (313) 943.2300(office); e-mail: mayor@ci.dearborn.mi.us

I have called and left a voice message on Cheif Haddad’s message center.  Of course, the guy didn’t call me back.

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CLICK HERE FOR PART IV

As mentioned previously in part five of this series, this essay will evaluate another sample of a Christian objection to Presuppositional apologetics:

…it is my opinion that presuppositional apologetics is the leaven that fuels the advancement of Calvinism’s carnal flavor. It’s premise is founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth. The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems. He tells us instead “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa 55:11 AV). He tells us again “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 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? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1Co 1:18-21 AV)
I do not believe presuppositionalism has any ground in scripture.

Summarizing the above, the critic understands Presuppositionalism to be “founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems” (SENTENCE 2).  The critic adds a second proposition that Presuppositionalism focus on this “rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth” (SENTENCE 2).  In light of his understanding of Presuppositionalism, he does not believe that this to be an apologetics methodology that is Biblically warranted (SENTENCE 3 and LAST SENTENCE).  Furthermore, he finds Presuppositionalism to be some sort of Carnal Calvinist’s endeavor (SENTENCE 1).

Let us take a closer look at the objection:

1.) The critic reveals the shallow depth of his understanding of Presuppositional Apologetics when he claimed that Presuppositionalists are not “relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth” (SENTENCE 2).  Proponents of Presuppositionalism believe that Scripture (that is, the Bible, which is God’s Word) is self-evidencing and hence must be relied upon in the task of Christian apologetics. In fact, the Presuppositionalists reliance upon the Scriptures goes so far as to presuppose it to be self-attestingly true before, and during, as well as in the conclusion in apologetics.  Non-presuppositional Christian apologists have even faulted Presuppositionalism for relying on the Word of God to the degree of presupposing God’s special revelation as the necessary foundation for rationality and human experiences.  How this particular critic can then charge that Presuppostionalism does not rely on Scriptural evidencing power and truth of God is rather strange. It is rather ironic, but this kind of criticism against presuppositionalism is used by critics every now and then.

2.) Our critic here is only telling half the story when he claimed that Presuppostionalism is  “founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems” (SENTENCE 2).  It is true that Presuppositionalism engage in refuting other belief systems.  But as stated earlier, Presuppositionalism presupposes the truth of the Scriptures all along, because God has Himself made His Word self-evidencing.  Thus, Presuppositional apologists must depend and trust in God’s power and truth in engaging the nonbeliever, which entails the use of Scripture in apologetics.

3.) There is an important assumption on the part of this particular critic, that commits the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy.  It is evident when he said Presuppositionalism “is founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth” (SENTENCE 2), that he constructs a false either/or scenario: Either one (1) dissuade the merits of others belief system, or (2) rely on Scripture.  It is not a given that refuting another worldview is mutually exclusive from relying on Scripture.  The two are not necessarily contradictory.

4.) Our friend assumes more than a false dichotomy, as he goes on to say, “The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 3). Backing up this claim, he goes on to say, “He tells us instead “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (SENTENCE 4).  In SENTENCE 4, the critic cites a Scriptural passage from Isaiah 55:11 in supporting his view that “The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 3).  The subject of Isaiah 55:11 is on the power of God’s Word, which the Presuppositionalist would affirm.  However, the verse is silent on the subject of whether or not a Christian can “argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 3), and hence Isaiah 55:11 can not be used to support the conclusion of SENTENCE 3, especially since refuting unbelief and using Scripture are not mutually exclusive.

5.) The same response above on the critic’s use of Isaiah 55:11 can be given to his use of 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 (SENTENCES 5-11).  1 Corinthians 1:18-21 does not prohibit a Christian apologist engaging in refuting another false belief system, and can not be used as a Scriptural support against refutations since refuting falsehood and the power of God’s Word are not mutually exclusive.

6.) Looking more closely at the 1st Corinthians 1:18-21 cited by the critic (SENTENCE 5-11), one can make the observation that it is not wrong in of itself to “argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 3), since God said in 1 Corinthians 1:18 says that “ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (cited in SENTENCE 6).  God Himself will use His “ability to dissuade the merits” (SENTENCE 2) of those who are intellectually proud in their unbelief.

7.) It is simply wrong to claim that “The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 3), because the LORD through His Word does command Christians to refute falsehood.  How does the Bible describe how believers are to relate to false speculative beliefs? Note 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” To be able to refute theological error is actually a requirement to be an elder, as Titus 1:9 teaches, “so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Titus 1:9 also teaches us that those who are servants of God are not only engage in positive constructive activity (“exhort in sound doctrine”) but there is also a negative deconstructive aspect to it as well (“refute those who contradict”).

8.) The critic has stated his belief that Presuppositionalism fuels Calvinists carnal flavor (SENTENCE 1).  As to what those carnal flavor is, he does not spell out precisely but judging from the context he seems to be referring to arguing “against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 2) as a carnal activity.  Since Scripture does allow room for refutation, he cannot label it as “carnal”.

9.) Finally, if arguing “against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 2) is a carnal activity, there is an irony that the critic does not live up to his own standard, and is according to his standard, he is engaging in carnal activity himself.  His entire criticism of Presuppositionalism is arguing “against the merits and beliefs of other systems” (SENTENCE 2), in this case the system of Presuppositionalism.  In light of the fact that his criticism does not have Scriptural support, one can use his own words to describe his activity as trying to “dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth” (SENTENCE 3).  Thus, his own argument is turned back against him.

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Not too long ago, TurretinFan has blogged on how there might be a famous professor of apologetics who might have some misunderstanding about what Presuppositionalism, also known as Presuppositional Apologetics, is all about.

I would not be suprised, as I’ve met other professors of even reputable Evangelical schools famous for apologetics, not “getting” what it’s about.

From Greg Bahnsen’s “Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended”:

“Being confident of these things, a truly Reformed apologetic must begin from the presupposition that the living and true, triune God speaks to him with absolute authority in infallible Scripture.  His reasoning then finds its only legitimate function as a servant or tool of God’s word, rather than its judge.  Following God’s Word, the Christian receptively reconstructs the created facts of the universe about him with a view toward both fulfilling the cultural mandate and being conformed to the image of his Savior by the power of Christ’s Spirit; hereby he glorifies God and enjoys Him forever.  Thus, the apologetic task will consist, not of externally verifying the Christian presupposition but, of applying it by (1) bringing God’s truth and command to bear upon the lives of unbelievers, appealing to the image of God in them (distinguishing between present remnants of man’s orignal nature and the ever-present nature of fallen man), pointin out that every fact of the world bears witness to God, and (2) doing an internal critique of the non-Christian’s system, calling down its idols, and pointing out the absolute necessity of Christian presuppositions if logic, factuality, history, science, and morality are to have any meaning, validity, and application at all.  The Christian apologetic will not concede intellectual ground to Christianity’s cultured despisers or allow them to exploit theorethical foundations to which they have no legitimate claim without depending on the Christian faith.  Thus, part of the Christian’s reasoned defense of the faith will be an aggressive offense.

Not like the fool who built his house upon the sand, the Christian apologist must, in love for Christ, found his whole life, including apologetical reasoning, upon the solid rock of Christ’s Word.  In accordance with this the apologist seeks the repentance of the sinner and does not encourage his continued use of hostile, autonomous reason in judgment over God’s Word.  We seek a God-controlled man, not a man-controlled God.

(Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, Page 6-7)

More materials by Greg Bahnsen can be found on our blog entry HERE

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“The Doctrine of the Word of God” is the last of the installment in John Frame’s Lordship theology series which include “The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God”, “The Doctrine of God” and “The Doctrine of the Christian Life”.

John Frame has finished the first draft of the work, which is available online thanks to Reformed Perspective Magazine (a ministry of Third Millennium Ministry, that is an extension of Reformed Theological Seminary)

Get all in one book HERE.

This is a treasure trove. Here it is:

• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Preface
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Orientation: The Personal Word Model
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Orientation: Lordship and the Word
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Modern Views of Revelation
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Revelation and Reason
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Revelation and History
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Revelation and Human Subjectivity
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Revelation and God Himself
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
What is the Word of God?
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Word as His Controlling Power
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Word as His Meaningful Authority
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Word as His Personal Presence
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Media of God’s Word
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Revelation Through Events
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Revelation Through Words: the Divine Voice
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Revelation Through Words: Prophets and Apostles
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Permanence of God’s Written Word
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
God’s Written Words in the Old Testament
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Respect for God’s Written Words in the Old Testament
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Jesus’ View of the Old Testament
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Apostles’ View of the Old Testament
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The New Testament as God’s Written Words
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Canon of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Inspiration of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Content of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Scripture’s Authority, its Content and its Purpose
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Inerrancy of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Phenomena of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Bible Problems
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Clarity of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Necessity of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Comprehensiveness of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Sufficiency of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Transmission of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Translations and Editions of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Teaching and Preaching
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Sacraments
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Theology
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Confessions, Creeds, Traditions
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Human Reception of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
The Interpretation of Scripture
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Assurance
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Person-revelation: The Divine Witness
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Human Beings as Revelation
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Writing on the Heart
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Summary and Organizational Reflections
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Epilogue
Webpage PDF Word
• The Doctrine of the Word of God
Study Guide
Webpage PDF Word

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