Gods Word Returns Full – More Fruit from Matt Dillahunty!

The Matt Dillahunty debates on Premier Unbelievable continue to reverberate.  For some reason those two debates (see links below) seem to have really touched a nerve. For example a couple of weeks ago another angry atheist posted a blog explaining in great detail why I ‘lost’ the debate.  I havn’t read it – mainly because life is too short – and I don’t really care.   I know what happened.  Matt came on, as he always does, with his smug, superior ‘I’m gonna hammer the dumb hick Christians and get the applause of my fans’.  I was utterly astounded at how empty, full of bluster and irrational his arguments were.  So I didn’t let him away with it and ever since I get backlash of two kinds.  The angry atheists who for some reason desperately want to believe their champion won.  And the nice Christians who think that I was far too hard on Matt and should have been nicer.  As I say to people – I’m quite happy for you to listen to the debates and make up your own mind.  I have no intention of writing and defending myself.  I want to talk about Christ – not my debating style!

Meanwhile the Lord continues to bless that recording.  Recently I heard from an atheist who is seeking Christ because of that debate.  And last week – just before standing up to speak at Menai Anglican – I received this e-mail from Ben – which I share (with his permission). Its a great reminder of two great biblical truths that every evangelist should keep in mind –  “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). and ‘ cast your bread on waters, after many years it will return to you”  (Ecclesiastes 11:1).

The meeting at Ann Street Presbyterian in Brisbane 

I attended the event you spoke at last Thursday night at Ann Street Presbyterian Church. I enjoyed hearing you speak in person and I was encouraged to continue in prayerfully proclaiming the gospel.
After hearing you speak in person, I felt led to share something with you to encourage you. About four years ago (I think it was around April 2014) I listened to the radio shows you did on Unbelievable with Matt Dillahunty about why you’re not an atheist and why Matt’s not a Christian.
My encouragement to you is that God used you in a huge way to bring me back to himself. At that point in time I’d been going through a severe crisis of faith for four years. It started during my final year at Bible college (QTC – Bruce Winter was the principal then, before Gary Millar) in 2010. For the next four years I was practically a deist, though I never got to the point where I could say that I wasn’t a Christian anymore (God was holding on to me and wouldn’t let me go, even though I was trying very hard to let go of him).
When I listened to your debates with Matt Dillahunty, God used the words you spoke to really speak to me. From memory, in particular the moral argument for God’s existence. God also used Matt to speak to me. When Matt was talking about how people shouldn’t be agnostics, they should just make up their minds, God used that to convict me. I had to stop sitting on the fence in terms of living like a deist but not willing to reject the true God completely. I felt like I needed to decide. And then hearing your arguments, well God really used that.
And by God’s grace I’ve been walking with him ever since. And I’m now the pastor of a Presbyterian church in Brisbane.
I know that ministry can be tough and I appreciated your honesty about how you find it hard when you’re attacked etc. So I really wanted to share this with you to encourage you brother. And it’s bringing tears to my eyes as I’m typing this. God is using you. So keep on going. Keep proclaiming the gospel. Keep “enduring everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (2 Tim 2.10). And “therefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor 15.58).
God bless,

The Atheist Experience – First Debate with Matt Dillahunty – Why I am not an Atheist

Part 2 of Debate with Matt Dillahunty on Premier

Unbelievable – The Matt Dillahunty Showdown – or Why am I such a smug, dishonest, stupid, ignorant prat?!

 

31 thoughts on “Gods Word Returns Full – More Fruit from Matt Dillahunty!

    1. No – I didn’t write a post about the critique of the debate and who won it. I wrote a post about the response to the debate which included this man returning to the faith he had left as a result of it…you shall know them by their fruits!

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      1. David, thank you for your steadfastness in Jesus’ message of the Kingdom and how we should live while here on earth. I am from the RC faith originally and have lived overseas for some 35yrs, I made a promise to myself one night while being confronted by Evangelical Christians after coming out of a club on Sauchiehall Street to investigating Jesus’ claims about Himself and to read His Word.

        I did eventually and read the Bible cover to cover, made a commitment to Christ while working in an advertising agency in Johannesburg, where a good friend challenged me on the issue of who is Jesus? Has the Creator of the universe entered into space and time, His creation and is Jesus a personal God?

        I am convinced that we need to join hands as Christians and look to what unites us in Christ as we have a formidable enemy who has deceived many.

        This world needs to hear the Good News!

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      2. And he wrote, he was having a crisis of faith. His return was based on former cultural alliances and emotional issues rather than evidence.
        And if one were to dig deeper one would likely find other things in play and I’d wager a bob or two I’d be proved right.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. David, your blog continues to highlight precisely where the battle lines are and the comments section is a significant hotbed of debate too. People arguing from all angles, sometimes succinctly and sometimes not. Let us not forget to pray for that debate too, that the contributors backing you up and contending for the faith are equipped and that God grants many on there who oppose, ears to hear and eyes to see because they are not the enemy. We know who the enemy is and he is a defeated enemy.

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  1. I have listened to both of those discussions with Matt numerous times and enjoy them. The format of the “Unbelievable” podcast usually leads to a discussion rather than a debate which I think is always a more interesting and entertaining for the listener/audience.

    I really think you did Matt a disservice with this comment – ” Matt came on, as he always does, with his smug, superior ‘I’m gonna hammer the dumb hick Christians and get the applause of my fans” when you refer to the discussion you had with him on “Unbelievable”. But that’s just my take on it.

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    1. Thanks John – you may be right – but if you listen to Matt’s show – it is entirely based upon the “I’m an intelligent atheist, lets make fun of the dumb red neck Christians’. He brought that modus operandi to the Unbelievable show and it backfired – thats why he got mad!

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  2. I just heard this Spurgeon quote for the first time. Love it! Be encouraged Christian brothers and sisters. Jesus promised his yoke would be easy and his burden light. Don’t let the devil trick us into thinking that the burden is too great and that we can do anything on our own strength. His strength is made perfect in weakness. Blessings!

    “The Word of God can take care of itself, and will do so if we preach it, and cease defending it. See you that lion. They have caged him for his preservation; shut him up behind iron bars to secure him from his foes! See how a band of armed men have gathered together to protect the lion. What a clatter they make with their swords and spears! These mighty men are intent upon defending a lion. O fools, and slow of heart! Open that door! Let the lord of the forest come forth free. Who will dare to encounter him? What does he want with your guardian care? Let the pure gospel go forth in all its lion-like majesty, and it will soon clear its own way and ease itself of its adversaries. – Charles Spurgeon / “The Lover of God’s Law Filled with Peace” (January 1888)

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  3. Once again, Ark,
    you have given us an insight into how desperate Unbelief really is.
    And he wrote, he was having a crisis of faith. His return was based on former cultural alliances and emotional issues rather than evidence.
    And if one were to dig deeper one would likely find other things in play and I’d wager a bob or two I’d be proved right.

    Doesn’t anyone else see in Ark’s tweet-sized analysis of this case, a parallel with Luke 15:11-32 – The Parable of the Prodigal Son?

    Yours,
    John/.

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    1. Hi, John.

      The ”prodigal son” is a reasonable analogy to be honest. All that’s missing is the indoctrination, including the fallacious nonsense of the bible, and the threats of Hell of course.
      If the chap had offered any evidence I might be impressed. In fact I would have been more impressed had he turned round and said, ”Islam is the right religion,” and offered evidence.

      Are you excited about the World Cup? Who’s your money on this time?

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      1. Actually, Ark,
        I had you down for the part of the elder brother in the parable and, sadly, you haven’t disappointed me.

        (What world cup? I’m a Scot and my football season finished rather defeatedly at Kiev [#IamKarius])

        But if we must change the subject to evidence, I’ve got a bit of a story for you:-
        William G. Dever made a name for himself by digging up evidence of idolatry in Israelite settlements. Despite the Biblical record that it was especially for idolatry in high places that Judah was exiled, Dever likes to imagine that there was an elite that tried to propagate a rather impractical Deuteronomistic Book religion. Be that as it may, the evidence he uncovered brought him kudos even if his interpretation received a more lukewarm welcome.
        When Dever retired he made it his mission to attack the Copenhagen School of archaeology, aka minimalists because of their extremely low view of the value of the Bible as evidence — somewhat like your own view, Ark. Unfortunately, because of his opposition to minimalism, Dever got landed with the name of being a maximalist. Dever has felt the need to demonstrate that he is no maximalist but it is the steps taken to extricate himself that has led you, Ark, to think of him as an uber-minimalist after your own heart.
        Of course, all this may just be a story.

        Yours,
        John/.

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      2. John.
        I’ve never considered Dever a minimalist let alone an uber one. And certainly not a maximalist like evangelical fundamentalist such as Kitchen.

        I am aware of Dever’s background and of some of his run-ins with Finkelstein.
        My only point in raising him is for the reason concerning his acceptance of the evidence regarding the nonsense of the biblical tale of Moses and the Exodus.

        Why you would suggest that I thought him a minimalist is quite bizarre.

        But then you are wont to go off at the deep end on occasion.

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      3. As I said, Ark,
        maybe just a story.

        But it has flushed you out on yet another point. You are telling me that rather than being interested in Dever’s work on the kingdom period of Israel and Judah — on which he is an acknowledged expert — your ‘only point in raising him’ is because he has expressed opinions about a place and period of which his expertise is and can only be secondary. You mention Kenneth Kitchen — funny that, since he is an acknowledged expert on that period of Egyptian history — and dismiss his opinions on the grounds that they don’t agree with your pre-formed judgement!

        Again, maybe this is just a story: maybe you are prepared to cite Dever as an expert witness in the area in which he is an acknowledged expert and maybe you will stop dismissing every expert that we produce on ridiculous grounds. Or is that merely another story?

        Yours,
        John/.

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      4. Flushed out John?
        Good grief!
        What are you going for here; The Inspector Clouseau Award for pedantic detecting?
        If I had added something along the lines of …. with regard to this post, or with regard the bible would that have made you less asinine?
        Kenneth Kitchen is an Egyptologist.
        But primarily he is an evangelical christian and thinks the Exodus story is fact.
        This is why, as far as I am aware, as far as the Exodus is converned, he is not regarded by any secular archaeologist. Has he never produced any relevant evidence? No.
        Has he has never written a peer reviewed paper on it or supervised a dig about it. No.
        Please stop trying the old ”Gotcha”, John. You are no good at it and your disingenuous tactics are wearing thin.
        How many archaeologists would I need to cite before you stopped this?
        But I will offer you this though.
        Quote me one peer-reviewed archaeologist who is on record as saying the Exodus happened as described.
        Then we can look at their evidence and evaluate it.

        Your call.

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      5. What I am going for here, Ark,
        is a calling of your bluff.

        I just copied this off the website of the Egypt Exploration Society: ‘Professor Kenneth Kitchen is Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool.‘ I reckon that makes him qualified to say something about the evidence for the Pentateuch having been written contemporaneously.
        I have ordered a copy of Dever’s Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? and I shall be very interested to see what he has to say — if anything — about:
        1. {Ex. 1:11] city of Ramesses
        2. [cf. Ex. 13:17f.] Egyptian coastal forts
        3. [Deuteronomy] Covenant treaty documentation.
        4. [Ex. 7:14-10:29] Nile exceptional flooding.
        5. [Ex. 35-40; Lev. 1-7] structure of the Tabernacle.

        Perhaps you know good reasons why these are not good evidences for contemporaneity but the fact that Kitchen is an evangelical has nothing to do with it.

        Yours,
        John/.

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      6. Nope. I know about Kitchen, thanks all the same. He is a recognized expert in Egyptology and especially the era he specializes in.
        Not going to deny this at all. Why should l?
        Nothing to gain from suggesting otherwise.
        So, rather that supposedly trying to call my bluff, (sic) as if I’m really trying to be disingenuous – one cannot hide from the evidence as it will all come back and bite one in the backside every time , and I am not a Christian, and have no need for inferring things from erroneous bronze age stories that have no evidence to support them,

        Oh, and Kitchen being an evangelical Christian has EVERYTHING to do with how he regards Moses and the Exodus.

        So back to my request.
        And this time, please don’t simply ignore it.

        Quote me one peer-reviewed archaeologist who is on record as saying the Exodus happened as described in the bible.

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      7. And, Ark,
        while I’m reading Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? I’ll be looking for the place where he takes away all reason for your over-dependence on Dame Kathleen Kenyon’s work at Jericho.
        I had no idea that the minimalist position was so weak that it depended on work done sixty years ago and on the misreading of Joshua that that work undermined. The minimalist position is that there was no conquest as interpreters of the Bible have claimed and still claim. A reading of the text indicates that — apart from the destruction of a few cities — there was no ‘conquest’ to speak of: just a settlement that couldn’t be resisted by the Canaanites. (Which leaves a lot of supposed ‘Biblical Literalists’ unhappy but they can at least read Joshua again to see if I’m right.)
        Which leaves us with the destruction of the cities and a North/South divide for the scholars are as happy about the destruction of Hazor at the time of Joshua as they are unhappy about the destruction of Jericho, then. So, as far as I’m concerned, the only substantial objection to Joshua being a contemporary record of the Israelite settlement is the archaeology of Jericho and Ai. But that’s another story.

        And if you remember, Ark, it wasn’t a request you made, it was an offer, and I hardly think that I could be accused of ignoring it, either. You say: ‘Kitchen being an evangelical Christian has EVERYTHING to do with how he regards Moses and the Exodus’ but that doesn’t — despite the shouting — negate what I said. Kitchen is well qualified to suggest evidences for the contemporaneity of the Pentateuch. You asked for evidence and I gave it. I’m suggesting that your offer/request is smokescreen but just to be sure, I don’t think you can show me a scholar who can demonstrate that what the Bible actually says happened, didn’t happen. Remember all that digging at Kadesh Barnea just because people didn’t read and respond to what the Bible actually says.

        Yours
        John/.

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      8. Even as far back as Allbright there was no evidence for the Exodus and Moses.

        I recommend you stick with the evangelicals’ perspective, John.
        They usually include a degree of faith in their archaeological and scientific interpretations that will, in the main, be more what you are looking for.

        However you regard it, offer or request, it still stands.

        Quote me one peer-reviewed archaeologist who is on record as saying the Exodus happened as described in the bible.

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      9. A confession, Ark,
        I don’t actually know what you mean by a peer-reviewed archeologist when you are excluding any archeologist who is evangelical even if they have published articles in peer-reviewed journals.

        However, as I’ve pointed out to you, I think that this request/offer of yours is just smokescreen because you are unwilling to either admit or deny that the texts I gave you are evidences for the contemporaneity of the Pentateuch records. I’m quite happy meeting the requests that you’ve been piling onto others, thinking that you would not be called out on it.

        You are also, I believe, unable to comment on whether or not the unnamed experts that you are depending on are dismissing what is actually written in the Bible or what scholars have read into the Biblical accounts.

        No, Ark, I don’t think I will stick with what you call the evangelicals’ perspective; I’ve paid out for a couple of Dever’s books and I will give his judgements due consideration as you used to suggest I do. I’m wondering why you’ve developed cold feet on that one now that the books are allegedly dispatched. You could have deceived me about the book’s importance, but I’m hoping he deals with the actual Bible texts and not just someone’s interpretation.

        I was thinking to tell you what I suppose happened at Jericho but maybe I’d better read Dever first. Besides, all we can show you in the Old Testament is evidence of contemporaneity and that’s of no concern when those things in the OT written about Jesus Christ are predictions rather than contemporary records.

        Yours,
        John/.

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      10. Come back when you’ve read Dever.
        He gave up his religion – the one his father was a minister in – once he began digging with a spade in one hand and a bible in the other.
        And in several aspects he changed his opinion upon uncovering more evidence that sometimes moved him away from people ,like Frankenstein or moved him closer to tentative agreement.

        Science does this to people – if the are brutally honest.
        Eventually Devrer could not deny what the evidence was telling him.

        It matters not what you think happened at Jericho. Or anyone else for that matter. The evidence tells us what likely happened.

        And it certainly had nothing to do with
        anyone called Joshua and the Horn Section of the mythological Wandering Israelite Orchestra.
        William Allbright was faced with a similar problem as Dever faced, and all those who beleive the biblical text is an accurate historical representation.

        And so are you faced with the same problem.
        But at least we can state one thing that has come out of our sometime sharp edged interaction.
        You are actually reading a book about one of the single most important aspects of your religious belief. The tale of Moses and the Exodus, written by a non-believer.
        I am impressed.
        And who knows where this might lead?

        However, I will say this to close, for now,. You can react like Allbright did, or Kitchen does or Bryant Wood- bless his YEC cotton socks – or Ron Wyatt or Ken Ham and simply dismiss the evidence that contradicts your presuppositional faith-based belief or, you can put aside every aspect of your faith for a short while and simply ask; What does the evidence tell me?
        I hope Dever’s writing sparks something.

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  4. LOl … Finkelstein. Damn auto correct!
    Although it almost certainly moved him away from Frankenstein.
    *David, if you could include this comment or correct the typo I’d be obliged?
    Thanks.

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    1. Telling me not to think, Ark,
      is like showing a red rag to a bull.
      The Bible tells me certain things about Jericho which lead me to be very sceptical about some of the things people say about it. I shall be interested to read anything Dever has to say but there are a few things that specially interest me.
      1. What can be known about the state of Canaanite society at the time of the Middle Bronze Age when the ancient city was destroyed and abandoned?
      2. 23 of 25 places mentioned in Joshua are known from archaeology to have been functioning at the time — with good reasons perhaps for the lack of evidence for the other two — so what, if anything, does that say about contemporaneity of writing?
      3. There was evidence of Late Bronze Age Building on the Tell es-Sultan [Jericho] mound. What was learned about that settlement before erosion and, sadly, excavation destroyed the evidence?
      4. Would there have been a cultic purpose to building houses into a defensive wall?
      5. In a badly-built wall — or in a well-constructed array of dominoes — the collapse of one brick can set off a chain reaction that brings down everything. How unlikely was wall-collapse in the A.N.E.?
      6. Since ancient structures are protected from damage by being buried, how much damage might have accrued to the top layer through exposure over centuries?
      7. Could the Late Bronze Age layer that has almost been destroyed have been buried by an even later layer which has now, to all intents and purposes, been obliterated? If not what did bury it?

      Yours,
      John/.

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    1. Well done! YOu must be grinning from ear to ear.

      However, I am fed up to the back teeth with David deleting comments so in future you will just have to discus this issue with yourself.

      Oh, and I am so glad you included Kitchen and Hoffmeir. Way to go, John.

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      1. Ark – I already allow far too many of your posts. I’m afraid that you can go and troll/rant elsewhere. I don’t post your insults or your ignorance…which doesn’t leave a whole lot!

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      2. Is Hoffmeier, a problem, Ark?
        I’d never heard of him but Dever — who is your expert witness — says ‘Easily the best survey of the evidence from a conservative viewpoint is the recent work of James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (1996).’

        I’m sorry if my insistance on thinking has upset you into insult — I can’t think what else might have stopped you in your tracks — but you give the impression that putting up an insulting post so that it will be moderated out is a way of saving face. I’m also sorry that you feel you have to do that. It undermines your argument.

        Yours,
        John/.

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  5. Silence from Ark (or perhaps him just telling us where to go and what to do, again) Whatever!

    Which brings us back to Ben’s testimony and Ark’s ridiculous — IMHO — claim: ‘His return was based on former cultural alliances and emotional issues rather than evidence.’ But — as has been said time and time again, in various ways — Testimony is evidence.

    It is a prosecutorial ploy to have the witnesses for the Defence, dismissed as incompetent before we even start hearing them, and so it is a righteous defence to keep saying, that in a very real sense the record of the ungainsayable eyewitness testimony of those who saw Jesus, risen from the dead, is the only evidence that we have to offer.

    Consequently, trying to do without testimony is nothing less than a defense capitulation. Woe betide us if we dare to put aside the evidence that has been given us in order to present some cobbled-together apologetic of our own devising that we think to be an improvement on the Gospel. The Gospel plus this or that ‘evidence’ is a different ‘gospel’.

    Yours,
    John/.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The key passage for tying together what we know about the use and missuse of evidence is Exodus 5:22-6:13. In vv. 6:6-8 there is the list of seven ‘Exodus’ promises through which God makes himself known to his people by his name ‘the LORD’ and to each of these we can attach testimony to another evidence which we do not have objectively. Having none out of seven is either a spectacular failure — unbelievable failure, actually — or it is highly significant. It should be obvious that these evidences are bracketed around a central testimony but to indicate the relationship I’ll label the pairs as {n. and n’.}.

    a. Emancipation from bondage: Pharaoh not so much let them go as drove them out; then — understandably and true to form — he left no record of his ‘magnanimity’.
    b. Deliverance from pursuit: Pharaoh’s army drowned in the sea so the Israelites couldn’t just strip them of their weapons and use them.
    c. Redemption: The copper snake that Moses had made and lifted up on a pole [Numbers 21:9] — so that snakebite victims might ‘look and live’ — was eventually destroyed by Hezekiah because people were making offerings to it [2 Kings 18:4]
    d. Identification as God’s Own People: The Ark of the Covenant was/is the archetypical evidence of God’s Faithfulness yet within a few years of the Temple being built in Jerusalem, it was carried off to Egypt by Shishak/Sheshonq [1 Kings 14:25ff.].
    c’. Knowing God: The Israelites were prevented from worshipping Moses as the one who brought them out of Egypt by virtue of the fact that no site in Israel was associated with him and noone knew where he was buried.
    b’. Entrance into the Land The walls of Jericho fell down and because there was a curse placed on rebuilding the site — not to mention the absolute destruction of the place — the Israelites were prevented from reoccupying it and the city, walls and all, simply weathered away.
    a’. Full Possession as Inheritance: There was no conquest because — [Heb. 4:9] — ‘there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.’

    Yours,
    John/.

    Like

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