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Posts tagged ‘christian’

Alleged Contradictions and Proposed Resolutions!

A common objection to Christian theism by skeptics is to propose that the Bible is so full of contradictions as to be unreliable. Whilst it is true that there are some contradictions in the Bible it is my position that there are far fewer than skeptics propose and none of any consequence to Christian theology or doctrine or practice. This section of my blog will list alleged contradictions from skeptics and offer resolution. It is important at the outset to set the logical criteria for something being a contradiction and that is found in the Law of Non-Contradiction:

A thing cannot be a and ~a at the same time and in the same context.

That is the principle which must be violated for any charge of contradiction to stand.

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“Is anything impossible for God? Matthew 19:26 says no whilst Hebrews 6:18 says yes. Care to explain”? 

Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Hebrews 6:18 – God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

The proposed contradiction seems to be that the Bible claims both that with God all things are possible and with God some things are impossible.

The resolution is in considering how possibility is here thought of in Christian theology. It is not that God can do do absolutely everything – a proposition that would include doing the logically impossible including things like creating married bachelors or  square circles or rocks so heavy he couldn’t lift – but rather than can God can do everything that it is logically possible to do. On this definition, and given that it would be logically impossible for a morally perfect being to do that which is morally imperfect – lie – then the alleged contradiction disappears.

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Atheists and Misunderstandings or Misrepresentations of Theism, the Bible, Christianity or Theology

This section of my blog will be devoted to exposing atheist misunderstanding or misrepresentation of theism, the Bible, Christianity or Theology. Atheists in general are not at all very well informed about these matters and confuse taking Internet quizzes and statistics drawn from them for knowledge. As always I’m happy to stand corrected on anything I post where persuasive reasons are provided warranting that correction.

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“Poorly written fiction: Matthew 10:38 – Referencing the crucifixion before the crucifixion even happened”.

‘And anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me’.  (NIV)

This is a misunderstanding of the verse because there is no clear reference in it to the crucifixion. Those who heard these words would have a definite fixed reference point for what is stated in the witnessing of those before Jesus who had to literally carry their cross to their crucifixion. Even if one were to think of Jesus as only a human, the most you would have in this passage is irony, i.e. that in making the statement to something familiar Jesus was unaware that in his own life he would have to literally do this and to his death. Bring in the divinity of Jesus and you then do not have irony, but a subtle fore-telling of Jesus of the manner of his own death (compare Mark 8:34). What we don’t have in either situation is ‘poorly written fiction’ as the author of the comment asserted.

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“Religious beliefs remain unchanged even with opposing evidence. Science changes to fit evidence, even if it’s harsh”. 

This misrepresentation or misunderstanding of theistic beliefs is easily refuted by the counter-examples of changes in religious beliefs in light of evidence on subject matter such as evolution, the causes of diseases, the nature and proper application of the Scriptures (in Christianity) and so on. That these changes in light of the evidence is not universal within religions does not change the fact that within some religions and with some religious beliefs change does occur in light of the evidence It also ignores that the scientific method is set up, via it’s assumption of methodological naturalism, to *only* accept evidence for natural explanations and entities.

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“We’re not split between atheists & theists, but between those that rely upon evidence & those that trust in myths”. 

Aside from the unjustified, begging the question unsubstantiated nature of this tweet it is but a misrepresentation of a large number, if not the majority of theists, who hold their beliefs upon at the very least the perception of some evidence but most certainly not through trust in myths. One also has to wonder upon what evidence the atheists are supposed to be relying upon? We aren’t told nor directed to what that might be.

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“Pascal’s Wager Fixed”. 

Although not defending Pascal’s Wager which is a flawed ‘argument’ for belief in God I have included this post here as it serves well the purpose of showing how atheists either misunderstand or deliberately misrepresent theism. Why they would do the latter in a forum such a twitter where their misrepresentations can easily be exposed is beyond and is for them to answer.

The misrepresentation in this table is in making Roman Catholicism, Baptists and Evangelicals mutually exclusive to each other, something that they are most definitely not. An accurate representation would of course have spoiled the effect of the image on the table but to sacrifice the facts for effect isn’t very rational or honest.

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“Questions that scare religionists “Who created God?” since they claim everything needs a creator”. 

This seems to be a fairly common misconception with some atheists. In fact in response to this comment I replied by asking which religious persons of note claim that ‘everything needs a creator’ and got immediate response from another atheist stating, ‘All of them!’.  It most certainly is true that at lease one religion – Mormonism – believes in an endless regression of creators with no starting point and there might well be others but it is just as certain that the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, define God as eternal and uncreated. On this definition it is logically absurd to ask the question, ‘Who created God?” for it translates into asking, “Who created that entity that is defined as being uncreated” and that makes no sense. If atheists are going to engage with religious people then they have to do so on the God they believe in and not some strawperson version of that God and with the Abrahamic religions, that means engaging with God as defined as an uncreated being.

Note: I suspect the source of this question and why it is increasingly popular among atheists is Richard Dawkins in his book, ‘The God Delusion’. If so, then it once again demonstrates how uninformed he is on theology as well as how unthinkingly some atheists fall blindly into line behind most anything he states.

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