Discussions of scientific realism vs. anti-realism aside, it’s commonly accepted that fulfilled predictions increase the likelihood of any given theory being correct. This is one of the reasons I accept Christianity and reject most of the tenets of other religions.
If Rome had not fallen away from Orthodoxy and started this whole process of apostasy, world history would have been much different. We can see even now that in the East, Orthodox countries like Greece and Russia did not have a Renaissance, or a Reformation, or even an Enlightenment period, as did the West. And if they are now bound up with the same kind of worldview as is the West, it is because they have in the last century or two finally accepted all these ideas and been poisoned by them. Therefore, they have become part of the whole world which is now involved in one single civilization, i.e. Western civilization – which is, as Solzhenitsyn rightly sees, in its dying phase.
I intend to use replies to this post as a springboard for an upcoming discussion on dispensationalism, e.g., whether or not the Mosaic law still applies today (or to what extent). Since orthopraxy requires orthodoxy, I see this as an important question for all believers. Please note: I am not asking if anybody believes obedience to the Ten Commandments and/or the Law is necessary to effect salvation. Rather, I’m asking, despite the fact that Christ established a new covenant, do you believe the Ten Commandments still apply today? Why or why not? Do you believe the Mosaic Law still applies today? Why or why not? Do you believe that only certain Commandments or certain parts of the Law apply today? If so, why those parts, and not others? If you are inclined to run to Vatican for support, that’s fine, feel free, I just ask that you also include Scripture to support official Church statements (i.e., that you show how Scripture supports the official Church statements).
Lately I’ve used the phrase “The time is short” on a few occasions. Crude asks:
…what prompted this? You seem to have had a drastic change in tone recently. Now, if you meant “time is short” in the sense that I can get hit by a car tomorrow, certainly I understand. I don’t think I’m deluded at all, but I do understand the importance of taking this seriously. But I’m getting the impression off you that “time is short” means, “you suddenly think the world is ending within a certain frame of time.” You certainly didn’t have this attitude last week.
It is true that “the time is short” can be applied in the first sense. Even without getting hit by a car, life goes fast. That’s not the meaning impressed on my heart. Please note, though prompted by Crude, this is not written directly to Crude. I don’t know where others stand. It is for each of us to decide whether this applies or not. It is a message for all who have ears.
Sorry for the delay. I’ve been waiting for Peter to clarify himself, but I think I’ll just go ahead and post what I wrote last week.
I closed Round 1 of DBT01 by addressing Peter Hurford’s claim that, “knowledge of germ theory of disease contained in the Bible […] would prove God’s goodness and glory beyond a shadow of a doubt.” I supplied examples of Old Testament hygienic commands which I argued were consistent with Peter’s gauntlet, enough that he had no rational alternative but to abandon his atheism and acknowledge the God of the Bible. Peter proudly claimed that he “busted” my proof, but as we’ll see, he misrepresented my argument more than once and his response is chock full of irrelevant links suggesting that his history is on par with Dawkins’ philosophy.
Hey all. I don’t have anything new to post so I thought I’d shoot you over to Peter’s blog where he’s finally gotten around to confronting my claim that the Bible provided precisely what he asked for when he wrote,
…knowledge of the germ theory of disease contained in the Bible rather than left to be discovered by fallible scientists would have saved billions of lives. Why [God] didn’t do so, given that it would prove [God’s] glory and goodness beyond a shadow of a doubt, is unknown.” [see Point Three under the section, Is Suffering Necessary for Consistent Physics?]
So if you’re interested, go read Peter’s response. All I’ll say for now is that I’ve noticed Peter getting increasingly cocksure lately. True to the trend, before even hearing what I have to say in response, he concludes his response with,
…this is enough to say that Cl’s proof is busted. Looks like I did have a rational alternative after all — The Bible’s medical knowledge is nowhere near remarkable as Cl made it sound, and this alleged overwhelmingly compelling superargument turned out to really just incomplete research.
Hardly. The show’s just getting started! Although, I’ll give him one thing: my original argument was incomplete. After all, it came as little more than a closing thought at the end of my opening piece and I had a very short amount of words to do so. Soon—and by “soon” I mean sometime this week, not three months from now like it took Peter—I’ll post my “more complete” version of the argument.
We’ll see how “busted” my proof is then.
This post is in direct response to Peter Hurford’s misleading essay, The Contradictory Failure of Prayer. My official position on prayer studies is that atheists who champion them as evidence for atheism are just as irrational as believers who champion them as evidence for theism.
As is typical of internet atheists, Mr. Hurford misleads his readers to believe that science is purely on his side, stating (bold mine) that “every time we look at the results, we notice that atheists recover from illness just as frequently as believers who pray.” I don’t know about you, but it really bothers me when people use “we” when they should use “I” instead [cf. Alonzo Fyfe and his litany of unsubstantiated “we” claims]. Peter’s use of “we” implies that his readers have reason to share his conclusions, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When I look at the results, I notice a state of affairs quite different from the one Peter wants his readers to accept as reality.
If you haven’t read it already, I highly suggest Neil Postman’s The End of Education. It isn’t about (a)theism per se—it’s actually about how the transcendent, unifying narratives of previous generations have been replaced by “gods” of consumerism, technology and economic utility—but Postman raises many points with direct import to (a)theist debate. For example,
…the Big Bang theory of modern astronomers is not so far from the story of the Beginning as found Genesis. The thought that a group of camel-riding Bedouins huddling around a fire in the desert night four thousand years ago might ponder the question of how the universe began and come up with a narrative that is similar to one accepted by MIT professors in the late twentieth century speaks of a continuity of human imagination that cannot fail to inspire. (p.112-113)
But of course, as most of the enlightened, rational atheists already know, there is no evidence for God. They may as well discard Postman’s candor entirely.
This is a response to Matt DeStefano’s post, “The Bible Says The Soul Is Not Immaterial.” The Bible does not say—anywhere—that the soul is not immaterial. Before we get too far into this, I want to say where I think DeStefano gets it right:
This view of the soul has ramifications when discussing the afterlife. Heaven becomes a physical resurrection by which our bodies are continually existing.