Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Atheist ads to adorn New York subway stations

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Some New Yorkers may want to reconsider exclaiming "Thank God" when arriving at their destination subway station beginning next Monday.

Or at least that's what a coalition of eight atheist organizations are hoping, having purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.

The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"

On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.

Read rest of story here

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Well I can tell you right off; I'm not good without God.

I'm not even good with God.

In fact, I'm not good at all.

Jesus said in Matthew chapter 19 verse 17, "...no one is good but One, that is, God."

Only God is good.

He is perfect.

I am not.

His standard of goodness is so high we could never attain it. But there is a way to be forgiven of breaking His law; His Ten Commandments.

No, I'm not talking about asking Jesus into your heart. I'm not asking you to 'make' Jesus your Lord and Savior. I not telling you you need to 'accept' Jesus. I'm not telling you that you have a 'God shaped hole' in your heart that only Jesus can fill.

I'm talking about repentance and faith in Christ.

The Bible says we must repent (Acts 2:38) and put our trust in Christ (Acts 16:31).

One day you will die.

You will stand before the Creator whom you have mocked or denied. He will judge you according to the perfect, moral standard of His Law. If He finds you guilty of so much as one lie, or one theft, or one greedy desire, or one selfish act, or one lustful look, or one hateful thought, or one blasphemous utterance; He will find you guilty of breaking His Law. The sentence you will receive will be just and good: eternity in Hell.

2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect and sinless life, to be a sacrifice for you and me. Jesus was the propitiation, the satisfaction if you will, for our sins. Jesus died on a cross and the wrath of God was unleashed upon Him.

Jesus died a brutal, shameful, and humiliating death.

Three days later Jesus defeated death and rose from the dead and ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father.

If you Repent of your sins and Trust in Jesus as your Savior you will not see the wrath of God on Judgment Day.

You are free from the Judgment only if you repent and trust because Jesus' sacrifice delivered you from the law of sin and death. You will have eternal life with God! God will forgive you of your sin and you will become born again. God will place new desires in your heart.

You will become a new creation in Christ.

All this will happen not because God made you into a good person, but because He has forgiven you and declared you not guilty.

56 comments:

Jonathan said...

"A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"

Sounds like they're not atheists at all, but people who acknowledge God's existance and then refuse to build a relationship with Him.

mdmcginn said...

The original survey at http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/ did't actually ask people if they are "good" and only 7% of the "nones" said they were atheists. Interestingly, they were about as gullible about horoscopes as the general population - so much for "reason" and "thinking"!

Joe A. said...

I think there are atheists who would disagree with that particular quote from the billboard, as that seems to almost quantify as an idea derived from some assumed unified atheistic worldview, which some atheists disagree with thoroughly.


Anyway, you've had a lot of law-and-gospel posts lately! :)

Wayne Dawg said...

Good point Joe.....

It's looks like some atheists are starting to do their own evangelising now!

ExPatMatt said...

I think it's less 'evangelizing' and more 'outreach'.

From what I understand, it can be quite difficult being an atheist in the US (I wouldn't have thought this was the case in New York though, they probably just see it as something trendy) and most of these billboard ads are aimed at people who are afraid to 'come out' to their families about their lack of belief in God. It's to let people know that they are not alone, that's all.

I agree, Joe, that the wording is a bit 'off'. I would disagree that there are a million good (and rational) people in New York - whatever definition of the words you use!

Its a good opener for street-evangelism though, right?

Cheers,

Dale in TX said...

ExPatMatt wrote:
Its a good opener for street-evangelism though, right?

Can you imagine OA right underneath one of these signs? Automatic ice breaker.

Wayne Dawg said...

Dale -

Yes!

What a perfect setup this is for OA.

Any OA preachers out there in NYC that want to give this a go?

Please send video!

Nohm said...

Jonathan, are you serious?

I've never really understood that line of thinking: that there are people who believe in God, but "refuse to acknowledge His existence".

Because... what would be the point? Why would someone do that? What benefit is there to doing this?

Also, I agree with Matt (I know, I know) that this is more "outreach" than evangelism; trying to make people more comfortable about "coming out" as a non-believer. Also, there's probably a bit of "hey everyone... not all of us believe as you do" in there.

Regardless, I completely support their want to do this but, personally, it's not something I get into much.

As long as it's public space there, I completely support the ability to evangelize in front of the ad, as Dale mentioned above.

Nohm said...

My first paragraph should have been written as:

I've never really understood that line of thinking: that there are people who believe that there are people who believe in God, but "refuse to acknowledge His existence".

Jonathan said...

Wayne,

Not sure if you follow The Chronicle Watch, interesting articles and videos there concerning swine flu vaccine.

http://www.chroniclewatch.com/2009/10/21/the-swine-flu-and-you/

Jonathan said...

Nohm,

I never said, "refuse to acknowledge His existence". I said they appear to acknowledge His existence but refuse to build a relationship.

Nohm said...

Jonathan, I apologize for misquoting you.

But again, why would someone "acknowledge His existence", but create that particular subway ad? That doesn't make any sense to me, or why you would come to that conclusion based on the wording of the ad.

Actually, now that I think about it for a second, I guess I can see how "without God" isn't as clear as "without belief in God". I guess I just view "without God" to be short-hand for "without belief in God".

Am I correct in my understanding of how you came to your conclusion?

Nohm said...

I guess my confusion comes from this:

If someone acknowledges the existence of God, specifically the one that Wayne and Jonathan believe in, but refuses to build a relationship with Him...

Isn't that the dumbest thing a person can do?

I mean, it's asking to join the losing side in the "Final Battle".

That's why I'm confused by the belief that there are people out there who believe in God, but don't like Him. If any of those people exist, I'd also be confused as heck about them.

Dorci said...

There are lots of those people out there, Nohm. People know there's a God. Deep down they do. But they'd rather keep trying to fumble on their own through their lives rather than believe in Christ as their Savior. And now it looks like many of those people are trying to make sure they keep as many other people as possible fumbling through their lives, too. How selfish. If they want to go down in flames that's their business, but why are they so hell-bent on taking as many with them as possible? Because the enemy of God is hell-bent and he knows his time is coming to an end. he's working through many to do his dirty deed of deceiving and seducing. Evil is afoot.

Nohm said...

Dorci, you said:

There are lots of those people out there, Nohm. People know there's a God. Deep down they do.

What evidence do you have to support this claim?

"And now it looks like many of those people are trying to make sure they keep as many other people as possible fumbling through their lives, too. How selfish."

So, here it appears that you're talking about non-believers, like myself.

Dorci, please understand this: we do not believe in your God. It's not an issue that we believe but we act like we don't; we simply do not believe.

Also, we don't believe that we are "fumbling through" our lives. At least, I certainly don't think that.

"If they want to go down in flames that's their business,"

Dorci, we don't believe in Hell. And the people who do believe in Hell, but who don't agree with you, don't want, much less believe, that they're going to Hell.

"but why are they so hell-bent on taking as many with them as possible? "

Again, we don't believe in Hell, so we don't see ourselves as "taking as many with [us] as possible". I'm not at all asking you to agree with this, but do you understand this?

"Because the enemy of God is hell-bent and he knows his time is coming to an end. he's working through many to do his dirty deed of deceiving and seducing."

Are you talking about Satan, or non-believers here? Honest question.

"Evil is afoot."

Where?

Nohm said...

Dorci, my point is this: when you talked about "those people" in your post, I would be (to some extent) one of "those people".

But I don't believe, much less KNOW, that there's a God... deep down or otherwise.

If I did, I would be the appropriate religion. I don't, so I'm not.

I've never understood the psychology of people who think that they know what's in the heads of others better than those other people know.

It's not that we'd rather fumble through life, it's that we don't see ourselves fumbling through life any more or less than anyone else, yourself included. Belief in Jesus Chist is irrelevant to our "fumbling", as I see it at least (and I'm betting it's the same for most non-believers).

Nohm said...

To clarify that last point, and to speak only for myself.

It's not as if I think, "hmmm... I can either stumble through life, or I can take Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior... hrmmm... which to choose, which to choose."

I don't believe in Jesus Christ, so the latter option is simply not an option. Also, as I said before, I don't see myself as fumbling. So, I don't consider either option that you presented.

Dorci said...

The prime enemy of God is satan. Because you don't believe that there's a hell doesn't have any bearing at all on the fact that there is one. There's a heaven, too.

And because you don't believe there's a God also has no bearing on the fact that He exists. And that He created you. And that He loves you.

Everything may be great in your life. That's awesome. Everything in mine stunk. I sinned. And I needed forgiveness for my sins, and I chose to accept Jesus' payment for my sins rather than pay for them by being eternally separated from God and all that is good and pure and holy.

Romans 1:20 says, " For since the creation of the world his (God's) invisible attributes-his eternal power and divine nature-have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse."

God reveals His existance to everyone in one way or another, even through what He created - nature itself. God's word also says that He does not desire that anyone be separated from Him for eternity, so He sent His Son as our perfect Sacrifice. If He desires that all would know Him, it stands to reason that He will, in one way or another, reveal Himself to all of His creation. Just like He's revealing Himself to you, right now.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

I understand that you believe in a Heaven and a Hell, but that doesn't make it a fact. Having said that, I understand that I'm on Wayne's blog, and not my own, so I won't pursue that issue.

Also, regarding Romans 1:20, I'm not a Christian, so I don't view that verse (written by Paul) as authoritative. In other words, from my personal point of view, that's Paul's opinion, and nothing more.

I'm not at all trying to convince you to think as I do, Dorci. I'm asking you to understand that I think differently than you do.

Also, I wouldn't say that everything in my life is necessarily "great", just that I don't see myself as "fumbling" through life. Just because I'm not straight-edge doesn't mean that I'm an alcoholic.

Lastly, I am very curious about what exactly you mean by "Just like He's revealing Himself to you, right now."

Dorci said...

What I mean is, here I am, having found Wayne's blog, by having found another blog, by having found another blog, by starting my own blog.

And here you are, having found Wayne's blog, by what means, I don't know.

And here I am telling you that God exists and that He loves you.

I don't think it's a coincidence. I think God has you here for a reason. And that reason is that He is speaking to you through Wayne and others, and now me, explaining to you that there's a way you can have your sins forgiven and live with God for eternity.

God speaks through His people to reveal Himself to those He loves and desires a relationship with.

Nohm said...

"I think God has you here for a reason."

Muslims tell me the same thing when I go to their blogs.

I, much like Matt, enjoy searching for evangelical blogs where we can actually dialog with people.

Wayne's blog not only doesn't moderate comments, but also Wayne engages from time to time, and he appears to be polite. This is a million times better than the vast majority of evangelical blogs I check out and sometimes comment on.

So, I found Wayne's blog for the reason given above; I look for evangelical blogs, both Christian and Muslim.

If God is speaking through you and Wayne, and not all of these other people I've chatted with online through the years, I'm at least thankful that He's decided to stop being verbally abusive to me. :-)

Still, sorry, I don't see any good reason to believe your claims about God.

Regardless, I very much appreciate your replies, Dorci. Thank you.

Wayne Dawg said...

Nohm -

Thanks for the kind comments to me and others on the blog.

Moderation of comments sometimes leads to one sided conversations for the host of the blog.

I will delete comments that take the Lords name in vain or flat out abuses the blog with profanity.

I have been quite fortunate in not having to do that with the folks who comment here.

I'm happy to have an open forum where anyone can speak (write) their mind.

Dawg

Wayne Dawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

Nohm,
You were eventually right about my point. And like Dorci said, there are many out there who believe that God exists, but do fail to build a relationship with him. I would point out that many who go to church and confess and believe they are Christians do so because they believe that those two acts, going to church and confessing a belief in God, will get them into heaven. It won't though.

People say and do those things all the time without any real change in their lives. They don't trust God to build them in Christ-like character, they don't love God with all of their heart, soul, and mind. They don't repent from their sins. True christians struggle with these issues to, but they do keep trusting that God will help them through those struggles, whereas a good portion of the church community shows up to church to put on a good show in the hopes of winning points toward heaven.

Jonathan said...

Nohm and Matt,

You two seem to enjoy an elevated intellectual conversation regarding Christianity and other topics. Many of the people you find and blogs you read may not be able to converse with you in an equal manner. Have either of you given serious consideration to Ravi Zacharias at www.rzim.org?

The debate is one sided, as there isn't a blog as far as I can tell, but the information may be more of what you seek and enjoy.

I'm not trying to send you away :) Just wanted to provide another resource that you may find interesting.

ExPatMatt said...

Anyone else find this funny?

"I'm happy to have an open forum where anyone can speak (write) their mind.

Dawg

6:47 AM"
.


"Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author"
.


Sorry, the juxtaposition just made me laugh.


Jonathan, thanks for the info, I've listened to some of that guy's lectures/sermons/talks before and he is quite the intellectual. I prefer the dialogue that goes on here though.



Dorci,

Do you think it's coincidence that atheists, who enjoy talking about religion on the internet, end up talking to Christians, who enjoy talking about religion on the internet, on the internet? Seems pretty inevitable to me.

And, finally, to back up what Nohm was saying; I neither believe nor know that there is a god (any god) out there - I honestly think there isn't one (given the knowledge and experience I currently have).


Cheers,

Wayne Dawg said...

Darn Jonathan, just when I start having intelligent non-believers hang out, you go and send them to Ravi!

;)

Joe A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe A. said...

Matt, the "juxtaposition" you bring up seems somewhat ignorant since assuming Dawg's statement there is a blanket one seems obviously nonsensical.

Perhaps a brief "Rules of the Blog" link is in order, I guess.

Steve said...

Jesus Christ Himself would be considered insufficient for them.

They looked into His eyes. They saw Him raise the dead.

And yet they did not believe.

"No man can come to me unless the Father draw him." - Jesus

Joe A. said...

Off-topic: I've read a few things about Dawkins' new book that make me wish for perhaps a different source for that evolution-primer request of mine: (one example) voxday.blogspot.com under "Dawkins, the historical dimwit." I've read similar things about him on various subjects in the book "The Irrational Atheist."

I'll just have to do some research on my own for one. No offense toward Dawkins fans; I just think there are more objective sources, atheistic or otherwise.

Wayne Dawg said...

"Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author".


Sorry, the juxtaposition just made me laugh."

That was me......that post was entered twice. I thought about claiming it as soon as I double posted, but the phone rang and I forgot all about it.

ExPatMatt said...

Joe,

This sentence doesn't make sense, grammatically;

"Matt, the "juxtaposition" you bring up seems somewhat ignorant since assuming Dawg's statement there is a blanket one seems obviously nonsensical".

I wasn't having a go at Wayne or anything. I just thought it was funny that right after a comment about free and unrestrained speech there was a deleted comment (it would have been funnier if it were deleted by the blog admin rather than the author, but it still made me chuckle).

I don't think there's any need for a "Rules of the Blog" link because everyone seems to be behaving themselves fine without it.

Also Joe, about Dawkins;

So you don't want to read his primer about evolution because during a phone conversation with a lawyer/Radio DJ he showed his lack of history credentials?

Even this I would dispute. He was saying that eye witness accounts of the Roman Empire (along with a staggering amount of supporting evidence) are enough to convince people that there was a Roman Empire. While the Bible makes claims that there were eye witnesses to supernatural events although there's no direct eye-witness accounts and these are not supported by other, physical evidence.

The point he was making was that if a Latin teacher was constantly having to defend the reality of the existence of the Roman Empire, he'd never get to teach any Latin. Similarly, if biology teachers are constantly having to defend against the - equally absurd - claim that evolution doesn't happen (and that Creation did) then they'd never get any biology taught.

Read the book, it's worth it. If not, read Kenneth Millar's "Just a Theory?" (he's a Christian, by the way)

Cheers,

Joe A. said...

Yeah, I've heard of Miller. And no, that wasn't the single reason, as I said. I'll give Miller a read; I forgot about him recently.

Oops, grammar error. My bad...

Nohm said...

Wow, I go away for a night and suddenly this thread gets busy! :-)

Wayne said:

"I'm happy to have an open forum where anyone can speak (write) their mind."

And we appreciate that, Wayne. Very much so. Also, I think comment moderation leads to "staggered" conversations, as people have to wait for the blog owner to post the accepted comments before the conversation can get flowing again.

In short, I think you made the right call, Wayne, and I completely support your rules (e.g., no taking the Lord's name in vain, etc).

Jonathan said:

"Have either of you given serious consideration to Ravi Zacharias at www.rzim.org?

The debate is one sided, as there isn't a blog as far as I can tell, but the information may be more of what you seek and enjoy.
"

So, I have been to Ravi's site. As you mentioned, the debate is one-sided. While I'm ok with *listening* to people who don't think like I do (e.g., Ravi), I far prefer to dialogue with these people instead... much as we're doing here.

Also, I'm not a big fan of Ravi's arguments. To clarify, there are people where I might completely disagree with their arguments, but I find their construction of their arguments to be fascinating.

With Ravi... eh, not as much.

Regardless, thank you for thinking of me and making a suggestion, Jonathan.

Also, you said:

"You were eventually right about my point. "

Which point was that? I'm just curious.

As for Dawkins, re: Joe's complaints, I think you can disagree with him in that area, but still read his primer on evolution. Whatever his other many faults, the guy knows his biological sciences.

In other news, gah Vox Day gah feh bleh. ;-)

Question of Identity said...

Nohm you said, I think, somewhere up near top of this discussion that you do not believe in Jesus. What is it that you don't believe in Jesus - his existence? that he is the Son of God?

You also ask for evidence of God's existence - like you did on my blog about the soul. What type of evidence do you require?

Also - Have you ever wondered if God believes in Atheists?

Question of Identity said...

"A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"

This statement is a bit of an own-goal as far as atheism is concerned.

Nohm: Why do you think it is so important to atheists to try aggressively to prove that there is no God?

Nohm said...

Question of Identity asked:

"Nohm you said, I think, somewhere up near top of this discussion that you do not believe in Jesus. What is it that you don't believe in Jesus - his existence? that he is the Son of God?"

Good question, Question. ;-)

I'll say that I'm skeptical of the existence of Jesus, but I have little problem accepting that there was a street preacher around that time with that name (or a variation of it). His existence is not a real issue to me.

The claim that He, or anyone else, was the son of God (or the Messiah) is one that I definitely do not believe.

"You also ask for evidence of God's existence - like you did on my blog about the soul. What type of evidence do you require?"

I've never really known how to answer this question. In short, I'm looking for objective evidence. Empirical evidence would be nice, but objective evidence is really what I'm looking for. Having said that, I'll even accept a good, persuasive argument; I just haven't been presented with one as an adult.

Also, if God exists, then, being all-knowing, He knows what kind of evidence would work for me better than I do, right?

"Also - Have you ever wondered if God believes in Atheists?"

Heh... I'm assuming that you're referencing Ray Comfort's book here, which I've read. Well, if God exists as you believe, then he created me, correct? So, it would seem that my Creator would "believe" in me... although it depends on exactly what you mean by "believe" in your question. I can only assume that my answer would be "yes, God believes that people-who-call-themselves-atheists exist."

If you mean something else by that question, please clarify.

"Why do you think it is so important to atheists to try aggressively to prove that there is no God?"

Well, first off, I don't see the subway ads as doing that. As I stated above, I see the subway ads more as "hey, fellow non-believer... you're not alone."

Why do you see it as an own-goal?

I disagree that atheists try to prove there is no God, agressively or not; most atheists, myself and (I believe) Matt included, do not "believe there is no God". We simply believe that the evidence and arguments we've been given for the existence of God have been weak and non-persuasive.

But let's say that I was to take your statement to mean, "Why do atheists appear to want people to be less theistic?" Because, in short, we think that this world would be better if people didn't believe in the supernatural, whether that's God, ghosts, psychics, etc. We believe it would be better if people used reason and rationality (as we see it), instead of faith or believing in something just because it feels good.

Question of Identity, is it your opinion that I have been agressively trying to prove that there is no God? Why, or why not? How about ExPatMatt? Do you think he has?

I don't question that there is a minority of people who may try to do this, but I think that people who say, "the arguments for God's existence are unconvincing" usually get thrown in with the "there is no God" people.

Here's the thing: I can be wrong about my current opinion on God's existence. That allows me to have this dialogue. Can you be wrong about this issue? Is it possible?

Last question to Question of Identity: did you get a chance to look up the definitions of "law", "fact", and "theory" within the context of scientific discourse?

Nohm said...

One last thing regarding Question of Identity's last question to me:

"Why do you think it is so important to atheists to try aggressively to prove that there is no God?"

If by this question you meant, "as opposed to leprechauns and unicorns", then I'll point out that I don't live in a country (or a world, for that matter) where belief in leprechauns or unicorns, and exactly how someone believes in them, leads to strife. If I did, then I'd deal with that subject in the same way that I deal with theism.

In short, other people's theism affects my life, but other people's beliefs in leprechauns and unicorns does not affect my life.

Dorci said...

Hi ExPatMatt,
I don't believe in coincidences at all. There are no big coincidences. There are no little coincidences. Sorry, just a little Seinfeld ref.

Anyway, what I think is interesting is when when people who say they're atheists find themselves on blogs where Christ is is clearly preached. I've been on other Christian forums where there are nonChristians who regularly post. There are an innumerable number of blogs out there with about as many subjects. Even many "religious" blogs that are more concerned with teaching religion rather than Jesus Christ. And yet, somehow some nonChristians still find their way to Christian blogs. Now, don't get me wrong, I love it. I think it's great. But I do think it's interesting. And no coincidence. ;)

Nohm said...

Dorci,

As I wrote above, I also go to Islamic blogs.

In fact, I probably spend more time in muslim chat rooms than I do on Christ-centered blogs.

As you stated, there are blogs about every subject under the sun. Matt and I find religious beliefs to be more interesting than those other subjects, is all.

(And many apologies to Matt... I realize that I tend to "speak for him", which is rude of me.)

Nohm said...

Oh, to further clarify to Dorci:

The reason why you see me *here*, instead of other religious blogs (although I do post from time to time on other blogs, such as Ray Comfort's or Fish with Trish), is the way that Wayne runs his blog. It better allows for dialogue. Not all religious blogs are run this way, and I have a great appreciation for Wayne's philosophy in this matter.

So, that's why you see me here. :-)

Dorci said...

Nohm, you said that you believe there was a "street preacher" by the name of Jesus, or some similar name. Do you know that Jesus said that He was God and that's actually the reason behind his arrest? Did you know that Jesus told people he forgave their sins, and that only God can forgive sins? So, was a good man, as some claim? If he was good, then the claims he made seem to refute that and would actually make him either crazy or liar? Or He could have been telling the truth. That He was actually the sent Messiah spoken of throughout the OT.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

I'm not a Christian, so I don't see the Bible as authoritative.

I recognize that some people believe that the Bible claims that Jesus said He was God (granted, I originally grew up in a non-trinitarian church, so we actually *didn't* believe that, but the later Baptist church that I joined was trinitarian, so I did believe that at that time).

Also, it appears that you're using Lee Strobel's false trichotomy, that Jesus was either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. It's my opinion that there are more options.

If you'd like me to get into the other options, I will... but I just see that as off-topic right now.

I don't believe the claims of the Bible just like you don't believe the claims of the Qur'an.

Dorci said...

There are writings from that time other than the bible that talk about Jesus, or Joshua, who lived at that time, and who did the things that the bible teaches. But if it's too off topic, that's okay. Don't want to be a derailer.

ExPatMatt said...

Dorci,

As Nohm said (hey, if you're going to talk for me! ;)), it's no more or less a coincidence that atheists find there way here than it is that atheists find themselves at other blogs.

It's a big internet, you know, there are always going to be groups of people from different backgrounds who are interested in the same subjects.

However, if you see this as evidence for providence or the 'Hand of God' or whatever, that's fine too.

You can assert that 'God has a reason for...' about anything, but there's no way of showing that it's actually the case beyond what you believe to be true.

If God has a 'reason for everything' then it's a moot point to highlight any individual instance as being specifically for 'a reason' over any other instance, right?

Nohm,

Was that Lee Strobel's false trichotomy? I thought it was a CS Lewis thing?

And don't worry about speaking for me - you generally just include me in the atheist 'us' anyway - because you've been doing a good job of accurately reflecting my position.

Cheers,

Nohm said...

Matt,

It appears that you were correct in correcting my incorrection; it was CS Lewis, and not Lee Strobel, who presented the "Lord, Liar, Lunatic" false trichotomy.

I guess I just seemed to remember it coming from "The Case For Christ" instead of "Mere Christianity". It appears that I was mistaken.

Thanks for the correction.

Dorci said:

"There are writings from that time other than the bible that talk about Jesus, or Joshua, who lived at that time, and who did the things that the bible teaches."

Dorci, I encourage you to read the "other side's" opinion about those writings. I'm not asking you to agree with it, but that will allow you to know that yes, we are aware that there are claimed writings about these individuals and events, but we see the reasons behind the writings differently... and that's why we don't accept them as credible evidence of the supernatural claims in the Bible.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

When you spoke about "writings", I'm assuming that you're talking about Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the younger, and so on... correct?

Or were you talking about something else? Were you talking about someone who was writing about Jesus at the time he was said to have lived?

Nohm said...

Question of Identity,

Do you have any responses to my replies to your questions?

Question of Identity said...

Nohm
Re: not being sure what evidence will convince you - might this be seen as a sign that you are not in any sense open minded. Could it be that no matter whatever evidence you were given you would deny it? It is interesting that Jesus has the same problem convincing others - eg in John 9 the Pharisees saw that the man who was blind since birth, the same man who they saw begging on the streets for years had been healed, but they would not allow themselves to think that Jesus had preformed a miracle.

"Also, if God exists, then, being all-knowing, He knows what kind of evidence would work for me better than I do, right?"
(1) Might it be that God might want you to exercise a little bit of faith!
(2) God might also know that no matter what evidence he lay in front of a particular person - he is going to deny God's existance

Regarding your confession that the Christian faith affects your life: DO you think that you have benefitted in any way from the existance of Christian faith?

Nohm said...

"not being sure what evidence will convince you - might this be seen as a sign that you are not in any sense open minded. Could it be that no matter whatever evidence you were given you would deny it?"

Sigh.

Yes, because that's the answer that would make it easy for you... you, the person who said "people's opinions regarding science will not shake my faith.".

Short questions: Is it possible that you could be wrong about the existence of "the soul"? Is it possible that you could be wrong about the existence of God.

I can be wrong about both of those. How about you? Then let's ask who has an open mind.

Just because you don't know of any evidence that would convince me doesn't mean that evidence doesn't exist... you just haven't presented it yet. Is it possible that you haven't fully thought through the concept of evidence, or fully thought out the concept of presenting a persuasive argument, since you accepted these issues on faith?

Look, if God wants me to accept Him on faith, He's gotta understand that there are millions of different belief systems on Earth here, and without evidence, if I was just going to select one based on faith, why would I chose yours instead of, say, Judaism? Or Islam?

You also said, "God might also know that no matter what evidence he lay in front of a particular person - he is going to deny God's existance"

Well, that's kind of rigged, isn't it? Look, here's the thing: I have zero problem with the concept of a God... even the one you believe in. If He exists, then He exists, regardless of my "want" in the matter. So, there is no good reason for me to deny God.

Fortunately, I don't deny God. I just don't find your arguments, or evasion of evidence-presenting, to be persuasive. In fact, I find them to be the opposite.

It has nothing to do with how I feel about God. It has everthing with how I feel about the arguments and evidence that have been presented to me (when they're actually presented, and not obfuscation).

Lastly, you asked, "DO you think that you have benefitted in any way from the existance of Christian faith?"

Well, we'd have to define what you mean by "Christian faith", because I don't know if you're talking about YOUR specific faith, or just "Christianity" as a whole.

But, in short, have I benefitted? Yes, I'm sure that I have, even if it's simply things like a person whose motivation to be a better person comes from his faith, and his affect on my life. At the same time, I'd also argue that some flavors of Christianity, such as yours, have negatively affected my life, and certainly the lives of others.

This is why I tend to talk more about these issues with people like yourself and less with all of the moderate Christians I work with or know in my personal life. In short, I'm not worried about them, because I know we'll be on the same side when fundamentalists try to get things working their way. The Dover trial in 2005 is a great example of this, as it was a trial that pitted moderate Christians against fundamentalists.

I hope I was able to answer your questions, Neal; the only questions I asked that I really would like you to consider are the "is it possible for YOU to be wrong" ones.

Be well.

Nohm said...

Ack, sorry, I had some misspellings above, the worst one being Neil's name.

I apologize for that, Neil.

Nohm said...

"It is interesting that Jesus has the same problem convincing others"

Neil, when you can do miracle healings, then we can talk about how this is "the same problem".

Until then, it isn't.

Question of Identity said...

Nohm: Can I be wrong about there being a God? Well no - I can't deny my experience of God in the same way as I explained to you over on my blog that those disciples facing death couldn't deny Jesus - even though eg in Polycarp's situation they could have avoided death by denying him.

I can however be wrong about some aspects of my understanding about God and in this I am open minded.

"Neil, when you can do miracle healings, then we can talk about how this is "the same problem".

That's the point - I can't do miracles God can. He can (and has)however used me in his process of miracle healing - but I don't think you would believe me if I told you!

Nohm said...

Neil, my point is that you directly implied that I was closed-minded, yet we see that I'm more open-minded than you are about whether I can be wrong about these things.

As for your point that the disciples were put to death for not denying Jesus... yes, I'm aware that that's how the story goes. Did you also know that Peter Parker went through many trials and tribulations after being convinced by Tony Stark to reveal that he, Parker, was Spider-Man? It's fascinating stuff.

If you have the chance, please answer some of the questions above, as I feel I've made every effort to answer all of your questions.

Lastly, I wouldn't believe you for the same reason that you don't believe in muslim miracle healings, or new age miracle healings.

Word ver: "Spong"!! Yes!

ExPatMatt said...

Nohm,

Civil War was great, wasn't it?

/derail