Christianity TV USA Videos

The Good Society? A Discussion on The Handmaid’s Tale

This is our latest Third Space video – which you can get on our website. 

It is a discussion of The Handmaid’s Tale and what it says about Christianity and society….the good and the bad…religion, misogyny, fundamentalism, dystopia, truth and beauty…..enjoy…

 

The Handmaid’s Tale – An American Dystopia?

130 comments

  1. What has ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ got to do with the good news of the Gospel? It is nothing…has nothing to do with salvation in the name of Jesus. If people are going to consider and adhere to all the movies, books, pamphlets, events and all worldly opinions, then they are going to be greatly disappointed, unsatisfied and lost. The bible is a Holy and Living thing…that woos a person with the innate desire to know God the creator of all things. Why waste time debating, discussing something that isn’t of God. All people from all walks of life, from ancient to the latter days will bow before Jesus and confess all; the good, the bad and the ugly. And needless to say…’The Handmaid’s Tale’ has nothing to do with a person’s salvation standing before God. A person is responsible for his/or her sins and salvation; it has nothing to do with worldliness or the past wrongs/sins of others. Salvation comes from hearing God’s Holy Word alone. Repentance is a good sign if a person is saved or not. People who have truly accepted the works of Jesus on the Cross for their sins, will not and cannot indulge in sins or wrong doings. If a person, especially someone who claims to be a Christian asks you to do something against God’s Holy Word; rebuke him or her and have nothing to do with it. Claim the works of the Christ on the Cross and shun all evil. Idol worship, movies, ungodly books. The Handmaid’s Tale {which I have not & will not see} is a distraction & diversion of satan; anything to keep a person/persons resentful, bitter, suspicious and disregarding the need of the Cross.

    1. “All people from all walks of life, from ancient to the latter days will bow before Jesus and confess all.”

      Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ presents a hyperbolic vision of just this sort of totalitarian mentality.

    2. My understanding is that they are trying to find ways of engaging with the culture, and of interpreting the culture from a Christian world view. How can you possibly do this without finding out about the culture. How can you engage with people if you don’t know something about what they are engaging with? How could David Wilkerson have really helped the drug addicts and others in New York if he had no idea what they were doing or what their challenges were?

      Different people have different callings. What is ok for some people because of their calling may well not be ok for people with different callings. It is far too easy to misunderstand and criticise those whose callings are different from our own.

      God has is far too big to be seen in individuals. We have to find ways of working together despite different perspectives and different callings so that others can gain a real picture of what God is like.

      At the end, they spoke of the ‘servant heart’ – of turning things upside down by serving people. Of being aware that we are all broken and thus find it extremely easy to mess things up. Might it be that drawing contrasts between the Gospel and dystopian society, could actually make the Gospel attractive enough for some people to find out more?

    3. Lana,

      You are missing the point… the gospel is for all to hear and, prayerfully, some to believe. In awareness of our culture and the ongoing trends, it should enable us to better communicate the gospel. A thing like this is a part of the culture that while it has redeeming perspectives also has topics that scripture speaks to that we need to know how to answer them. Paul at Athens comes to mind… Paul knew his society and culture and the popular topics of his day so was able to make a case for Christ. Many rejected his answer, but some realized he had something different and believed.

      While scripture should be sufficient, there is as well a context we must be aware of so we can speak truth in love in a way that relates to the pagan world we live in.

      I’m sure David will have a more robust answer to follow…

  2. I haven’t watched the series but the clip suggests this is just another view of society under extremist rule, but with a Christian twist.
    We have similar current examples in some Middle East countries.

    This would not happen in a democratic society based upon secular humanist values.

      1. Because Human beings will always screw it up

        If you believe this then why would you consider Christianity fares any better? After all, evidence clearly shows that it hasn’t got it right in over 2000 years.

    1. Ark,
      I’ve not watched it and don’t intend to either.

      Morality: Can Atheism deliver a better world?

      As far as basing society on the secular, here is something recent you need to watch as Mat Dillahunty get painted into a corner, is stumped when the moral bankruptcy of atheism is exposed, and even faith in a future which there is no evidence base for – just an airy- fairy, ” I don’t know” atheism , in a discussion with Christian and Australian Glenn Scrivener.
      MD does the usual ploy of changing the category: when he realises the water temperature has become too hot,and he has nowhere to go, he tries to jump out of the pot with a diversion.
      Here is a short extract:
      https://twitter.com/i/status/1227240327129575424

      And a blog post, long form note about the whole talk:
      https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Like-it-or-not.-Religion-is-good-for-us

      Here is one listener’s response:
      https://speaklife.org.uk/2020/02/08/atheist-humanist-pick-one/

      Last, is the full discussion:
      https://youtu.be/B3-sjyDYO2I

      It seems that GS is filling some of David’s shoes with events at Dundee University.

      1. Morality: Can Atheism deliver a better world?

        Atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods. It has no moral agenda.
        There are atheists who are monsters, I’m sure, as there are atheists who are ”lambs”.

      2. You’re conflating atheism with atheists.

        Atheists can be moral and Atheists can be immoral, just as Christians.

        Atheism is the absence of belief in gods.
        That’s it.

      3. All human beings are moral. The question is the basis for that morality. Atheism is not just the absence of belief in gods – it is the philosophy and reason behind that absense of belief that is the question. (By the way as I have explained to you many times – no post of yours will get posted that complains about your posts not being posted – this is my personal blog and I am happy to let you comment – but not endlessly and there is no way I will post all your comments….!)

      4. Sorry, your definition is incorrect. Atheism is the absence of belief in gods. A-theism.
        Outside of this what individual atheists believe is another matter entirely.
        There are conservative atheists and liberal atheists. Atheists that support abortion and atheists who do not.
        Atheists who are for the death penalty and atheists who are against it.
        Atheists who eat meat and atheists, like me , who do not.

        I am open minded enough to state that I am perfectly willing to re-examine my lack of belief in gods if evidence is presented for their existence.
        If you believe you have evidence that will convince me then go ahead and present it.

      5. You think you are open minded…but you show no evidence of any kind of open mind. You won’t accept any evidence because quite simply you don’t believe that there can be any evidence. If that is not true please tell us what evidence you would accept?

      6. Again, I have not been presented with any evidence so how can I decide what would convince me?
        You are a devout believer so let’s start with the evidence that convinced you, David.
        That can’t be difficult at ll.
        Fire away …

      7. So you refuse to answer. The question is simple….what evidence would convince you? There’s so much! But my view is that there is no evidence that would convince you….so let us know what you would accept….

      8. Of curse I am not refusing to answer!

        The question is simple….what evidence would convince you?

        And my honest answer is: At this point I do not know.
        None of the claims I have read (to date) are convincing.

        You claim you were convinced by evidence and all I am asking is that you present it and maybe it will convince me.
        How difficult is that?

      9. SO again you refuse to answer….you demand evidence for God and then cannot say what evidence you would accept – thereby giving evidence for my belief that there is no evidence you would accept….

      10. I have answered. I said: at this point I don’t know.
        And I have not demanded anything, I merely asked you to tell me (present)the evidence that convinced you and perhaps it will convince me as well.
        So why do you refuse to tell me of the evidence that convinced you to become a Christian?

      11. Because its a waste of time. If you are unable to say what evidence you would accept, my assumption that you wouldn’t accept any, is correct….so why waste my time. If someone closes their eyes and then asks for evidence to be shown there is not much point…

      12. Nonsense! That is a fallacious assertion and you know it.
        Christians -including you- are forever announcing that, people are converting to Christianity all the time.
        To this end these people,like you, must surely have been convinced by evidence of the veracity of the claims.
        If not then they are shamming or have converted because of some form of indoctrination.

        So, if you are not prepared to divulge the details of the evidence that convinced you then without transgressing any privacy lines, you can at least discuss details of some of those you helped bring to Christ.
        That is if you are honest enough and sincere.
        After all, that is your profession/vocation, for goodness’ sake!

      13. Amazing – you are still unable to answer the most simple of questions – what evidence would you accept? The answer is of course – none – because such is your blindness and hardness that you would always explain it away. It’s like arguing with a conspiracy theorist. We are not talking about the evidence that convinced me or others – we are asking about what evidence you would accept. If you can’t answer that most basic of questions then there is no point in telling you the evidence that convinced us – only for you to mock and abuse. It would be casting pearls before swine….so answer the question and you will get the answer…

      14. I am unable to tell you what would convince me of the existence of your god because I have not been presented wth any evidence.
        The bible does not constitute as evidence for the existence of your god and therefore I do not find the claims for its veracity convincing.
        Let me offer an example from a fellow Christian. I have a chap who likes to visit my blog under the handle Godsmanforever. His real name is Bruce. A ful on born-again-Christian and former porn addict. So he told me. He is adamant that belief in Jesus/Yahweh does not rest with me but is the work of the Holy Spirit. He is adamant that I can do nothing unless I am singled out.
        Already you see a different perspective with regard evidence and belief and this is from a Christian!
        So according to him even details of what convinced you are meaningless in my ownpossible conversion.
        How does respond to Bruce on that score? How would you respond as a professional? He says he prays that the Holy Spirit intervenes. He is a persistent chap on that score I’ll give him that.
        I could say that watching an amputee’s limb regenerate while a Priest prayed over it.
        Now that would be truly amazing. Yet even such an example does not offer evidence of Yahweh.
        So you see the dilemma?

        This is why I ask what evidence convinced you, or perhaps your wife or son or someone you know personally. At least this would be something first hand we could discuss.

      15. You keep repeating yourself and thus you keep repeating my point. There is no point in you asking for evidence because you would automatically dismiss any such evidence. You have already pre-determined that no such evidence can exist. I’m not going to give you my evidence (I’ve already written about the in The Dawkins Letters and Magnificent Obsession – if you really want to read it)…because I don’see the point in talking to someone who is not listening – or asking someone to look at the evidence when they are determined to keep their eyes shut. Tell us what evidence would convince you and we will begin!

      16. Tell us what evidence would convince you and we will begin!

        If Jesus appeared in the post resurrection flesh as he is claimed to have done 2000 years ago in the bible and using language and tools we would understand demonstrate how he created the universe.

      17. If Jesus materialised in the flesh today/within my lifetime: In appearance to that which he was claimed to have looked post-resurrection and using language and tools I would understand, demonstrate how he created the universe.
        I will add that, a similar demonstration performed on a global scale would also help.

        After all, we are talking about ”God”, yes?

      18. If Jesus appeared in the flesh to you today – you would still not believe – you would be like the people in his own day. You have far too high an opinion of both your own cognitive abilities and your willingness to accept evidence.

      19. I watched it a couple of weeks ago.
        Where on earth did you see Dillahunty ”stumped”?

        Read the comments and see what most people who watched thought about Scrivner’s performance.

      1. Sorry but that’s no reply at all. Or, if it is a reply it is an admission that there is no universally accepted defintion of ‘secular human values’. As you say above, atheists have numerous contradictory beliefs so the ‘human values’ they hold can also be contradictory. Which means that ‘a democratic society based on secular human values’ is a figment of your imagination. There cannot be a society based on a set of values when there is no agreement what those values are.

      2. If a politician ran for office and his manifesto was based solely on his Christian worldview (Maybe he’s a Southern Baptist?) I am reasonably sure there would be certain Christians who would disagree with him.

        I imagine ti would be the same with secular humanists.
        If you want to know about the generally agreed upon secular humanist values then Google them.

  3. Arkenten,

    Could you clarify what you mean by ‘hasn’t got it right’ and could you provide some sources of your evidence?

      1. Do you mean that you are unable to? Or just unwilling to do so? Either way it is an interesting and very revealing response.

  4. Ark,
    You know what stumped means. This is a flaccid, feeble comment.
    MD had no answer or credible one to GS’s
    1 insistent in asking, Who is ,”we” that MD kept referring to. This was much to the annoyance of MD. And he didn’t take well to GS refusal to respond to the well known mockery.
    2 in relation to the killing of Downes Syndrome children in the womb. It was a tacit acceptance the they were excluded from the decision of the strong “we”. A poignant point was when MD couldn’t answer whether the “we” included all three of them taking part in the discussion!
    3 As stated above MD said “,I don’t know” when asked about a better atheist moral future, as there was no evidence to say it would be better- an honest, if blind faith answer.
    4 Come on Douglas, you are the one who has commented here, not others There is not one iota of substance to it..

    1. Yes I know what stumped means.

      in relation to the killing of Downes Syndrome children in the womb,It was a tacit acceptance the they were excluded from the decision of the strong “we”.

      Really? It didn’t come across like this to me.

      As stated above MD said “,I don’t know” when asked about a better atheist moral future, as there was no evidence to say it would be better- an honest, if blind faith answer.

      And he is correct. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods, a point he stressed on several occasions, which seemed to frustrate Scrivner. Yet Matt followed this by referring to a secular humanist ”future” or did you miss that bit?

      1. Ark/Douglas,
        The Future? A better moral atheist future?
        MD: “I don’t know”
        Why? There is no evidence on which to base knowledge, he said.
        You must have missed that as you seek solely to divert (from the parts you cite from me) by looking to define atheism (which did raise some discussion) rather than deal with the substance, the main point, which is where it leads, morally.
        Again your comments do not deal with the substance, have substance.
        It is hollowed out atheist humanity based on a blind leap of faith into the dark (as no atheist light can be shone into it) unknown, by the unknowing.
        It is a movement from Rebellion to Extinction!
        You are unable to follow the arguments, or when self-painted into a corner deliberately divert to attempt fudge the main points as do your idols, MD and atheism, as they are found to have feet of clay, even as your mind is set in concrete beliefs and unmoveable.
        I’m ending this.
        Anyone who is really interested can make up their own minds by spending some time by following the links above, which David kindly permitted, and make up their own minds on the matters raised, rather than on our comments.
        What there is evidence for is that you can’t keep away from Christianity and Christians, as you watch, listen to Premier, not to really learn but learn in one direction only – to oppose Christianity.
        No doubt all of the substance of historian Tom Holland’s arguments with Greyling will have been completely discounted by you as well.

  5. Geoff.
    I already said i watched the entire video a few weeks ago.
    Where Dillahunty did not know something he was honest to state this. Such as the future, but suggested that secular humanism was a better option.
    He even explained this by demonstrating he could write a better bible simply by removing all the references to slavery and even asked Scrivener what his god could not have included a commandment about not owning another human being, to which Scrivener babbled on and on without giving a definite answer.
    Scrivener was even worse when asked for an explanation regarding the Trinity. He was almost derailed at that point and the host had to save his bacon.
    Matt openly stated what he thought regarding atheism and corrected Scrivener when he tried to lead the discussion and force Dillahunty into a gotcha situation. I am surprised he remained as calm as he did in the face of such illogical argumentative nonsense from Scrivener.

    Dillahunty was not disingenuous and neither was he evasive, and he would not allow Scrivener to use presuppositional nonsense – his god exists – which was the basis of Scriveners argument.
    Dillahunty mentioned on at least two occasions he thought there was nothing wrong with taking the best parts of the bible and disregard the stuff that did not contribute to the overall well
    being of people. And he was cautious about the term well being as well and explained how this would be agreed upon.
    Scrivener made a complete arse of himself when he foolishly brought Hitler into the discussion – and said we should be fighting a war. I am not going to watch the video again to get his exact wording, but Dillahunty was incredulous and pulled him up and then Scrivener blathered on some more trying to save face.he

    Anyone who is really interested can make up their own minds by spending some time by following the links above,/blockquote>

    They did. Read the comments on the full version on Youtube,
    Most people thought very little of your apologist.

    1. Really poor effort Douglas, of even handedly reflecting the lengthy discussion, Douglas.
      I too watched it all.
      A far more reasonable an accurate note take, like well written lecture notes, is the Premier blog I linked above.
      And the key point, bearing in mind the subject matter of the topic,which wasn’t the existence of our Triune God, was the one GS emphasised in the abstracted clip, I linked above along with humanity created in the image of God, who became weak, took on flesh.
      Your summary of what was discussed about Hitler and War is very poor. GS touched upon Atlee, Just Wars ( a concept which seemed to by- pass MD) and a number of times asked if MD who gather together a symposium, and who would be included, to discuss with an intractable Hitler.
      Not balanced at all from you.
      You must try harder, but if that is your best even handed effort, I dispair of the future being in your atheist hands.
      But it isn’t, for every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
      This is a long goodbye, but goodbye.
      Geoff

  6. Arkenten,

    “If you want to know about the generally agreed upon secular humanist values then Google them.”

    ‘Generally agreed’? By what method was this ‘generally agreed’ conclusion reached? Was a poll conducted among self-proclaimed ‘secular humanists’?
    I suspect that this is an example of a circular argument. It’s probably the case that a ’secular humanist’ is defined as somebody who has certain beliefs. So, obviously, on that basis these people are going to have certain beliefs in common. And anybody who doesn’t share those beliefs is not regarded as a ‘secular humanist’.
    Which, no doubt, nicely excludes the ‘enlightened’ atheists who, during the French Revolution, delighted in sending thousands of people to the guillotine.
    And, no doubt it nicely excludes the atheists in Spain and Mexico who delighted in murdering thousands of nuns and priests.

    1. Exactly Mike,
      This was the point GS kept emphasizing, when asking, who is the “we” MD repeated talked about.
      It’s worth a watch, if long, with a longish getting to know you intro.
      The blog long form note published by Premier, linked above is an accurate, lecture- type note taking.
      There was some mention by GS of John Grey’s. 7 types of atheism, war , and Hitler, and a Just War by GS which wasn’t developed, neither was the Trinity.
      The. Key point GS honed in on, was the one that is unique to Christian, God becoming weak, taking on flesh, the point well abstracted in the short clip in my first link.

    2. Here’s the list from secularhumanism.org.
      There are more but not to overwhelm the post I’ve included half a dozen or so. YOu can click on the link and read the rest.

      1.We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
      2.We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.
      3.We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
      4.We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
      5.We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
      6.We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
      7.We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
      8.We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
      9.We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
      10. We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
      11.We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

      1. Who is the “We”?
        More evidence, that you just don’t get it Douglas. Ta! More blind faith atheism.

  7. Hello again WeeFlee.

    Bear with me a minute on this/these temporarily indirect, but relevant question(s).

    What Christian seminary did you graduate from… OR what Christian seminaries do YOU approve, support, and promote as worthy educators of Jesus Christ’s TRUE teachings and salvation?

    Please feel free to give examples of seminaries that YOU believe are the antithesis of Christ’s TRUE teachings.

    Thank you for your prompt, fully honest answer.

      1. Is that where you received your theological education and perhaps a theological or divinity degree?

        Please feel free to divulge any and all relevant post-grad education or degree from a seminary, including Edinburgh Theological Seminary if that is where you attained your religious degree. Your above answer is vague as to whether you attained a post-grad from there. Also, you didn’t mention other seminaries that you’d recommend or any you would not recommend, as a Robertson bearing, idea, or standard you have for “TRUE Christian” ministry, missions, education, church-leadership, etc. Thanks.

    1. Hello Prof Taboo,

      I’m afraid your point is not clear to me, but it seems that you are questioning how we know something to be the true teaching of Christianity.

      That is simple, in principle. The truth of Christianity is not defined by what Christian leaders or seminaries or etc. declare to be the case. The truth of Christianity is defined by what is in the Bible. When my dad was in Bible college around 1950, the college had a number of rules that the students had to abide by, but told the students that if they could show that any of their rules were contrary to what the Bible teaches, the Bible took precedence. What they were doing was expressing the principle that the Bible was the ultimate authority, not their college rules.

      Christians and seminaries might have different views (in some cases) about what the Bible teaches, but the Bible remains the standard, the only issue being to resolving differences about what people think it means.

      But humans being human, they sometimes stuff it up, and their prejudices and selfish agendas get in the way. And they often compromise with what the world teaches. So to answer your question about which seminaries are good educators of Christ’s teaching, it’s those that teach what the Bible says without compromising with the world.

      That is not a list of course. That is a principle by which they can be judged.

      1. For Robertson (again) and Philip —

        Well, since everybody EXCEPT WeeFlee wants to comment-answer and your, Philip Rayment and Geoff’s, responses are not on the topic I had intended based on Robertson’s answers, then I am just moving forward since Robertson seems to have suddenly gone deaf/blind, maybe? 😄

        The truth of Christianity is defined by what is in the Bible.

        Insufficient Philip. Which “New Testament” are your referring to? The traditional 4th-century CE Canonical, Greek New Testament? Or one of at least three 2nd-century CE circulating gospels of Yeshua/Jesus? One of two 3rd-century CE gospels? Anyway, I had no intention of tackling this gross Christian misnomer (ignorance?) again with WeeFlee or any other Christian here. Thus, I specifically directed my initial question(s) to WeeFlee only. Therefore…

        Mr. Robertson, you’ve had sufficient time to be much more specific and elaborate on what YOU’D consider to be sketchy or heretical teachings of Christ at thousands of other (true) Christian seminaries. This is a very valid, reasonable question in order for your elementary blog-readers to better know more precisely/truthfully YOUR particular angle on Jesus/Yeshua and one of the Canonical Gospels. Your silence I will go ahead and reasonably assume that your initial vague reply that you attained a Master’s or PhD(?) in Theology/Divinity from “Edinburgh Theological Seminary“? Is that right? I wanted 100% confirmation on that. Why be cautious or afraid to boldly state that and elaborate? Meanwhile, by YOUR doing/choice this has all been a needless waste of time. Why avoid such a simple question(s) and request for elaboration? It sends the wrong message to non-Christians.

        Therefore, based upon “Edinburgh Theological Seminary’s website” YOU adhere to or would not argue against their theological statement and foundations:

        The doctrinal standard of Edinburgh Theological Seminary is the Westminster Confession of Faith.

        This sets the Seminary firmly in the main-line Christian tradition, particularly with regard to such doctrines as the Trinity and the Incarnation.

        More specifically, the theological position of Edinburgh Theological Seminary is:

        • Protestant
        • Presbyterian
        • Calvinist
        • Conservative
        • Evangelical

        However, the Seminary consciously provides a clear welcome to students who may hold different views on and come from other traditions.

        It is that very last statement WeeFlee, their Release of Liability Clause so to speak, that I asked you my initial question for more clarity, of which you did not provide. Thus anticipating your possible vagueness, another reason I asked was because your (assumed?) theological seminary education falls perfectly in line with MY American seminary: Reformed Theological Seminary in Clinton, MS near Jackson. However, I would rather like to nail-down our near identical, or sibling theological education (or not) that we both share before I post my next evaluation of one of your earlier comments on here.

        It would be appreciated Mr. Robertson if you were MORE forthright in your answers and VERY WILLING to freely expound on your answers for the sake of precision and less (or no?) misunderstandings of YOUR specific viewpoint about Yeshua bar Yosef’s life, teachings, and execution by the Roman Empire.

        Thanks

        P.S. Ugh, this honestly did NOT need to be made THIS difficult if you had just fully comprehended and answered fully my first question(s) Sir! Geezzz. 🙄

      2. I’m sorry but I really have no desire at all to engage with you. You ask a leading question – not for the purpose of eliciting information but just you let you have one of your self-righteous rants – so forgive me for not engaging. The answer to your question was simple – and I gave it. I attended the Free Church College and the University of Edinburgh. I have no interest whatsoever in giving you a list of seminaries I consider to be heretical – why would I waste my time? As for sending a ‘wrong message to non-Christians’ what arrogance! What makes you think that any such have any interest in your hamfisted attempt at interrogation?! So, if you don’t mind – leave me alone and let me get on with my life – I have absolutely no interest in engaging with some anonymous, smug, keyboard warrior who thinks he is a cut above everyone else and drowns us all in a sea of pomposity.

      3. Insufficient Philip. Which “New Testament” are your referring to?

        I’m referring to the (whole) Bible as inspired by God. Part of resolving differences is resolving what the correct reading of the text is, which is why an enormous amount of research and study has gone into that.

        The principle, however, stands. The Bible, not our various (mis)understandings, is the criterion.
        If we can show that a particular group or organisation is teaching contrary to the Bible, then they are wrong in that teaching. If the different teaching is due to a different textual variant, then part of showing that they are wrong is to show that the textual variant is wrong.

        Sometimes different groups do disagree on things, such as eschatology, but they are disagreeing on things that can legitimately be understood in different ways, whilst still making the biblical teaching the benchmark.

      4. No, that is not entirely correct Philip. However, I am unable to get into it now, or over the next several days, the immense volumes of why that is not correct about the/your 4th-century CE Canonical Greek New Testament. The provenance and textual-criticisms alone are a subject much too involved to tackle here with you! Apologies. Hence, my wish for a strict closed dialogue with WeeFlee Robertson. Our time, my time is just too valuable to tackle this with you.

        However, all this information, facts, evidence, source-evidence, plausible probabilities, etc, etc, are easily accessible for anyone out there to dive in and find the real truth, the comprehensive independently verified contextual history of the Late Second Temple period, i.e. the window just before, during, and after Jesus’/Yeshua’s lifetime, AND grasping fully Yeshua’s/Jesus’ Sectarian Jewishness. Most Christians today have no clue about his full background/context that was his foundation for his hopeful Reforms! Christians today just have to choose to NOT to be so lazy to completely understand their supposed Savior. 🙂

        Take care Philip

      5. Philip is correct – but you will forgive me if I ask you not to persist in your campaign and self=promotion. You of course know ‘the real truth’ in which you want to enlighten us. Those who don’t agree with you are of course to ‘lazy to completely understand their supposed Saviour’. Whereas you of course do. As I said I don’t appreciate you coming on here supposedly to ask questions – but in reality to try and get a platform for whatever heresy you are about to propound. You say your time is too valuable. So is mine…GO and try elsewhere.

    1. Thanks Geoff.

      Though your comment is like WeeFlee’s—very vague/general—I’m afraid your suggestion is understandably way off the mark. I have already done and still continue to do large amounts of study and research. This factual information is readily available for anyone to read on my WordPress blog’s About page and subsequent pages. Hence, to courteously respond to your vague input, I have indeed already completed researching, studying, and fully grasping the “Good News” as you put it and done so quite extensively over two decades and also through ministry and missions work on multiple continents.

      Also, to state the obvious but with respect, my question was directed specifically to Mr. Robertson. He will be the only person to truthfully answer my question(s). Thank you.

      1. Hello Prof,
        Maybe you should spend some time reading your own blog, “Why Christianity always fails” and stop using this as a thinly veiled notice board or signpost to your own site with your loaded interjected, questions with an apparent intention to draw in.
        Poor stuff really, I venture.
        As you are aware, this is not a forum or facility for systematic or biblical theology on which numerous books have been written, again as you are aware.
        You will also be aware that David Robertson has books published, which you could read, even though I’m not his spokesperson or press secretary.
        Every blessing in Christ Jesus,
        Geoff

      2. Geoff, I’ll indulge you very briefly and politely this one last time.

        First, thank you for taking a few minutes to skim my blog. However, you completely missed the overall purpose of my blog clearly shown throughout, but specifically on the About page and other pages listed on the Menu. No worries, I forgive you. 😉

        Second, not to state the obvious again, but my initial comment-question was specifically for WeeFlee since his blog does not specify his academic-educational background, particularly the institution(s) attended, so I was curious to know. Not only to know the religious slant of his (assumed?) theological or divinical degree’d institution, but also to get an idea of what HE would NOT condone, advocate, teach, or promote to readers and the world regarding “Christ™.” That information is not easily available on his/this blog or at all. Hence, I asked and suggested he might freely elaborate on his answer. Very simple, right?

        To be frank and courteous to you Geoff, there’s no need for you and I to spar without even knowing what it was I was going to ask further of WeeFlee and the direction of those following questions and comments. Therefore, our engagement—especially based on your opening comment’s tone to me—does not interest me. I doubt our discussion would be productive.
        You are however welcome to answer the following. Implicitly read into its/my meaning as to the purpose of what I asked Robertson in my initial question. This is important to Christians™ …

        Geoff, how do you interpret and obtain an exegetical summary of 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 and Hebrews 5:11-14 and connect the dots or purpose and relevance of my INITIAL, simple question to WeeFlee. In your reply please stay strictly on-topic with these two passages.

        Geoff, you certainly do not have to write-up your answer-comment to this. I don’t care one way or the other. If you do answer and WeeFlee allows it thru his tight Moderation protocol, I still won’t reply. By asking it explains why I ask Christians this question all the time. And so I simply ask for a straight and expounded reply from WeeFlee to my initial question(s) to him, not you.

        Take care Geoff

  8. It took a while for you to reveal your motives, though your open questions, were merely leading to leading questions. As a former lawyer I can often identify direction of travel.
    A clue may be in your somewhat preposterous nomenclature combined with your opening gambit, question with more than a hint of, justify yourself.
    With a motive and intention to what?
    It is David Robertson’s blog after all.
    Now your question to me is interesting and as I don’t know the scriptures by rote, and I’m not at home, but on my phone I ‘ll dig into it later for my own edification, though you’re not interest in a reply as you’ve already made your mind up on a question you ask Christians all the time.
    Every blessing in Christ Jesus,
    Geoff

  9. If Jesus appeared in the flesh to you today – you would still not believe

    Even after acceding to your request and providing what I considered to be a well thought out answer regarding evidence for Jesus being your god you continue to dismiss and delete every reply I make.
    So perhaps after all this would be a good time to tell me what evidence convinced you and suggest if this would be the type of evidence you think would convince me also?

    1. A well thought out answer? You gave an answer which made no sense. Were you saying that if Jesus appeared to you personally you would believe in God. That makes about as much sense as saying you won’t believe that Hitler existed unless you have a personal appearance from him! Besides which Jesus appeared to many people who did not believe in him.

      1. Hello Prof, PT,
        I’d identify,off the top of my head,basics without detailed study a number of topics from the scriptures you cite, on which, many books have been written and include, in no particular order.
        (v merely implies a comparison, a consideration of, not opposition)
        1 indicatives v imperatives
        2 justification v sanctification
        3 birth(new), babe v maturity
        4 visible church (mixture of belief & unbelief) v invisible church
        5 teaching
        5.1 basic
        5.1.1 The Irreducible, indicative there is NO foundation other than Jesus Christ – Cor 3 :11 and
        5.1.2 remember indicatives of verses 16 & 23

        “16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

        23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”)

        5.2 teaching depth -extent of Christian life -Union with Christ.

        6 Differences between is and ought, between who and what you are and how you are, transforming changed life belief v as you were.
        7 first order matters v secondary
        8orthodox v heterodox/heresy
        9 life transforming teaching v life lived
        9 christian academic qualifications eg reformed without being unformed!
        10 range/scope across context of and in Corinthians, Hebrews and rest of NT Gospels, Romans (in particular 7 &8)

        Yours in Christ Jesus
        Geoff -every Christian- BA (Hons): Born Again and Honoured

    2. Ark, the point in asking what sort of evidence you would accept is two-fold:
      * It would be a waste of time providing evidence that you would simply dismiss because you don’t consider it to be acceptable. I have on a number of occasions been asked for evidence for something, and I’ve provided the evidence, only to have it dismissed because it didn’t meet another, unstated, requirement (i.e. the questioner moved the goalposts). When I have asked the questioner to be very specific, he typically refuses. On one occasion when one did get specific, I provided the requested information (which showed his view to be wrong), and being unable to move the goalposts, he simply ignored the answer and didn’t talk to me any more.
      * To determine whether or not you are consistent. This is the basis of David’s response to you about Hitler. It seems (as is so often the case with atheists) that you expect evidence of a type or level that you would not request in almost any other case, showing that you have a double standard and therefore are not really interested in being convinced.

      I would add that many sceptics have said that if such-and-such is the case, I would believe, only for them to not believe when it was shown that it was the case.

      1. My initial response, as you can read up thread, was that at this point I did not know what evidence would convince me.
        I will add for clarity and honesty that this would in no way mean I would worship this individual or confess to being a ”sinner” or any other such Christian dogmatic nonsense; only that I would likely acknowledge his claim as creator of the universe.
        Furthermore, you can bet your bottom dollar there would be a lot of questions to follow!

        Because David was not satisfied with my initial answer I asked repeatedly what evidence convinced him, to which he has steadfastly refused to give details, other than insisting I buy his book/s .

        When I finally offered what I thought would be an example of the evidence that would convince me of the bona fides of the character Jesus, David merely dismissed my response in his usual condescending style.
        This game is one so may apologists like to play and is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
        It is all the more frustrating when dealing with a blogger who invites dialogue and then moderates to hell.

      2. Ark, I second all of this you’ve stated about “convincing evidence” and the incredible difficulty you, myself, and any other non-Christians or people who are simply different than WeeFlee have trying to dialogue about a subject that should NEVER be taken personally, but only based upon the historiology, evidence, facts, contextual contemporaneous sources, especially the INDEPENDENT unbiased sources, plausible probabilities with limit facts/evidence, or “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” or argument from ignorance, etc,… being dismissed, never answering FULLY questions posed… it does indeed show a type of police-state that wants to control ALL and everyone’s freedom of expression. Censorship and/or heavy Moderation is not conducive to fully open, flowing, free expression and dialogue is it?

        Oh, and your arrogance Ark is outstanding and should be placed in the pantheon of arrogant gods and goddesses Sir! 😄

      3. @Prof.
        The irony of course is the fact that, Christians are commanded to witness to the non-believer or adherents of other faiths yet when asked to do so they balk at the first hurdle – evidence.

        It is natural and expected that the non believer will show extreme doubt at the continual assertion that one must have faith or one can only come to Christ via the intervention of the Holy Spirit, a near impossible task for those brought up to exercise critical thought.
        This does not even take into account the tacit threat of eternal damnation for those who do not convert or accept this ”Word”.

        The point is even more pertinent in today’s technological environment where access to information is available 24/7, and especially when the internet is full of testimonials from religious deconverts explaining that the basis of their belief was largely due to cultural or emotional influences and had nothing to to do with evidence.
        That there is an organisation called The Clergy Project, set up specifically for professional members of the clergy who have lost faith and have deconverted or are hiding their lack of belief tells its own story.

      4. Ark, I don’t think that your reply to me really answered what I wrote, so in many ways this response is simply an elaboration of my last response.

        “My initial response, as you can read up thread, was that at this point I did not know what evidence would convince me.”
        On one level I can understand that. If I was a jury member in a court case, I would want to be open to whatever evidence there is available and wouldn’t want to predetermine what evidence it would take to convince me of the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

        However, I would already know that the evidence should be eyewitness testimony, a video or audio recording of the crime, forensic evidence, and so on, but not the opinion of someone who wasn’t there, someone who heard from their sister who heard from her best friend who heard from their neighbour that the defendant did it, etc. If a juror said, for example, that the only evidence he would accept is being taken back to the crime in a time machine, he’d be laughed off the jury (if not first dismissed by the judge), for wanting such an impossible level of proof before he’s convinced.

        Of course a court already has rules about what sorts of evidence are acceptable and what aren’t, whereas there are no rules about what sorts of evidence an atheist would find acceptable. Hence David’s question. Now, perhaps you want to quibble about the fact that he asked what “evidence” rather than what “types of evidence”, but I think that should have been understandable.
        Your belated suggestion that you would accept Jesus appearing to you in the flesh today is the same type of answer as the juror who would only accept using a time machine to view the crime—if it weren’t for that being impossible, it would be an unrealistically high expectation, and would show that you’re not being reasonable.

        (I don’t know if that comment surprised you, that Jesus appearing in the flesh would be impossible, but if it does then it shows that you have the level of understanding of a child or an immature Christian. Yes, there are things that God (and therefore Jesus) cannot do. God cannot lie. God cannot contradict Himself. God cannot go against His own nature. God cannot create a square circle, because there is no such thing as a square circle—God is not restricted by a lack of power or lack of knowledge (he is omnipotent and omniscient), but cannot do the logically impossible because it is His nature to be logical.

        Jesus told us that we would not see Him again until He returned to bring an end to this age. So appearing in the flesh to you prior to that time would be contrary to what God has said, so is not possible.)

        But the other issue is whether you would actually accept such an appearance anyway. Some atheists have admitted that even if the stars aligned to spell out something like “I am the Creator”, they would still not believe, and of course they could always explain it away as a hallucination, mass delusion, or whatever.

        I’ve seen this sort of thing numerous times. Darwin said that perhaps the strongest argument against evolution is the lack of the “finely graduated organic chain” that evolution would predict, but excused that lack of evidence on the grounds of the imperfection of the fossil record. Since then, a lot more fossils have been found, but still no finely graduated organic chain. But evolution is still believed. J. B. S. Haldane said that evolution could never produce magnets and wheels. Both have been found in living things, but people were still not convinced. Evolutionists are fond of saying that evolution could be disproved by finding rabbits in the Precambrian (and they clearly don’t mean that rabbits would be a problem, but not hares, so what they are obviously talking about is a fossil of a creature that is well outside the range expected by evolution). But would they really? If they did, would it be acknowledged as a rabbit? Would the rock be reclassified to not be Precambrian, because it had rabbits in it (often rocks are dated by what fossils they contain)? There are always ways to get around the evidence if you really want to. And fossil pollen has been found in the Precambrian, so evolutionists simply ignore that evidence.

        Would you actually believe if Jesus did appear in the flesh? I don’t know, but I have reason to doubt you, and of course as David and I both indicated previously, like the juror and the time machine, that’s a (ridiculously) higher standard than we expect you would require for almost anyone else, such as Hitler.

      5. @Phillip

        Jesus told us that we would not see Him again until He returned to bring an end to this age. So appearing in the flesh to you prior to that time would be contrary to what God has said, so is not possible.)

        He is also claimed to have said: For verily I say unto you, Till. heaven and earth pass, one jot or one. tittle shall in no wise pass from. the law, till all be fulfilled

        And that turned out not to be the case.
        Furthermore, an omnipotent deity can change his mind and who are we to cast aspersions or judge, correct? Or at least this is what I have been told by several Christians.
        Therefore omnipotence – if this is what Jesus/Yahweh is is still in play and an omnipotent deity has the power to do whatever it likes.

        Ergo my comment regarding what evidence would convince me stands.-
        To refresh: (and , David, as you will read this please, for once allow it through)
        You will note Phillip that an appearance in the flesh is not the sole condition of what I would consider adequate evidence.

        If Jesus materialised in the flesh today/within my lifetime: In appearance to that which he was claimed to have looked post-resurrection and using language and tools I would understand, demonstrate how he created the universe.
        I will add that, a similar demonstration performed on a global scale would also help.

      6. “And that turned out not to be the case.”
        I don’t know what you are claiming there.

        “Furthermore, an omnipotent deity can change his mind and who are we to cast aspersions or judge, correct?”
        Why would an omnipotent deity change His mind? When we change our mind it’s mostly because of new evidence, but God already knows everything. Or it might be new desires, such as now wanting to visit England instead of Canada. But again, why would God do that? In fact the Bible tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” So I’m not judging whether it’s okay for God to change His mind; I’m relating my understand of what God is like.

        Now one thing that could cause God to “change his mind” is a change in circumstances. Such as sending someone who has rejected him to hell, but when that person accepts God, God “changes his mind” and will take him to heaven instead.

        “Therefore omnipotence …is still in play and an omnipotent deity has the power to do whatever it likes.”
        Yes, He does, in a sense. But being good, He cannot like to do bad. Being logical, He cannot do something illogical. I mentioned that God cannot lie, which I’m sure most Christians would accept, but you seem to be ignoring or waving that away.

        “You will note Phillip that an appearance in the flesh is not the sole condition of what I would consider adequate evidence.”
        I wasn’t claiming that you would definitely reject all evidence for God. On the contrary, I said that “I don’t know” if you would accept it. Maybe you would accept it, but as I said, I have reason (precedent from many other atheists, for one) to doubt that you would.

        And of course there is still the matter of the inconsistency in what sort of evidence you would accept in this case compared to other cases.

      7. @Phillip

        I mentioned that God cannot lie, which I’m sure most Christians would accept, but you seem to be ignoring or waving that away.

        You have no evidence to support this. If your god felt the end justified the means how would you know he hasn’t lied or would not do so in the future?

        And of course there is still the matter of the inconsistency in what sort of evidence you would accept in this case compared to other cases.

        I have been at pains to be as explicit as I can regarding what I would accept as evidence.
        That you ”doubt” my answer is your opinion.
        I do not consider there is inconsistency in this.

        Let me ask: If the character Jesus appeared to you in this manner and demonstrated how he created the universe would you accept this as evidence?

        Perhaps if you would actually address my comment on this directly rather that merely quote it back to me we may be able to clear up any misunderstanding you have?

        Ark

      8. “You have no evidence to support this. If your god felt the end justified the means how would you know he hasn’t lied or would not do so in the future?”
        I have no evidence that you don’t lie in your responses to me either, but I like to assume the best of people until I see evidence otherwise. I do think that there are reasons to believe that God cannot lie, such as Him having no need to, being all powerful, etc.
        But I think that’s rather beside the point. If, hypothetically, God cannot lie, then Jesus couldn’t appear to you before His prophesied return. So if that hypothesis is correct, then my point stands that you requested evidence is unreasonable.

        “Let me ask: If the character Jesus appeared to you in this manner and demonstrated how he created the universe would you accept this as evidence?”
        I consider that question, as worded, to be loaded, and not worth answering. However, if you are asking “If a character that appeared to be Jesus appeared to you … would you accept this as evidence?”, my answer is “No, I would not, because I believe that Jesus will not appear in the flesh to anyone before his return, and therefore it must be a deception or delusion. That is, I judge such claims on the Bible; I don’t judge the Bible on my experiences.

      9. No, I would not, because I believe that Jesus will not appear in the flesh to anyone before his return, and therefore it must be a deception or delusion

        So, presuming this return happens in your lifetime – as surely it must otherwise you wouldn’t know if he had returned (as you would be dead, obviously) – how would you discern that the character IS Jesus ans not a delusion?

      10. “So, presuming this return happens in your lifetime – as surely it must otherwise you wouldn’t know if he had returned (as you would be dead, obviously)…”
        Except, of course, the dead will be raised. So I would know.

        “…how would you discern that the character IS Jesus ans not a delusion?”
        Because of the events that will accompany His return. Sure, if it was just Him returning and, say, walking down the street past me, I wouldn’t expect to know. The Bible says that everyone will see him. Also:
        “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
        In a sense I don’t need to know if it’s Him, because I won’t have to do anything. It will just happen.

    1. Ark your arrogance is in this from you:
      “that this would in no way mean I would worship this individual or confess to being a ”sinner” or any other such Christian dogmatic nonsense; only that I would likely acknowledge his claim as creator of the universe.
      Furthermore, you can bet your bottom dollar there would be a lot of questions to follow!”
      It reveals amongst others :
      1 a lack of biblical knowledge and understanding, though you claim to read it
      2 even a lack of a smidgen of imagination of the immensity of a God who was able to create the universe(s) ex nihilo, who is saviour, judge, And Abba, Father. and more.
      3 A superiority to God (so your self named Pharaoh is highly pertinent) with nota prideful no iota of understand of what is. (There is a clue here!)

      You not half whinge, for someone who knows something of eternity- you go on and on and on and on, with avoidance issues, who won’t/can’t answer hard question.
      If you don’t like the rules, unless they are yours, you don’t have to play the game of your own making.

      1. @ Geoff

        1. Lack pf biblical knowledge? In what way? I always understood from Christians it was solely interpretation.
        Furthermore, I’d venture that my knowledge of the tales in the bible is pretty good.
        Or are you referring to something else?

        2. This makes no sense. The idea of a saviour is based on Christian dogma/doctrine.

        3. Again, in what way do I assert superiority?

        You’ll have to be a little more specific in your accusations. And if you have a ”hard question” you feel I am avoiding then spit it out, Geoff.

      2. “I always understood from Christians it was solely interpretation.”
        I don’t know what sort of Christians you have been talking to, and perhaps I misunderstand what you are getting at, but, I for one would never say that. On the contrary, I have said things like “I don’t interpret the Bible, I just accept what it’s saying”. If the Bible says that God told Abraham something, I just accept that God told Abraham something, I don’t “interpret” it to mean something else.
        Now that doesn’t mean that there are not passages that are difficult to understand, or perhaps a bit ambiguous, but for me, it’s definitely not “solely” interpretation.

      3. Really? Then why in your view are there so many different sects of Christianity?
        Why have there been so many wars over what is the correct understanding of the bible?
        Why are there Old Age Creationists and YEC?

        Why do some accept that there were around 2 million people in the Exodus while others consider the numbers a lot less, while others consider the tale a myth?

        Every example is one of interpretation and each interpretation has its adherents.

      4. “Really? Then why in your view are there so many different sects of Christianity?”
        “Sects” is not really an appropriate term, but I won’t take that further here.

        How many are there? The oft-touted figure of 40,000 or whatever is bogus. That refers to organisations, not different beliefs. So the Victorian Baptists are one, the New South Wales Baptists are another, the Australian Catholic church is another, the New Zealand Catholic church is another again, and so on.

        But yes, there are still a number of different denominations. However, some of those differences are non-theological, such as different types of church government. Some have a top-down structure, while others have more of a bottom-up structure, for example. Again, not a difference due to different understandings of the Bible.

        Baptists require one to be baptised by full immersion to be a member, but do not say that you have to be so baptised to be a Christian, and will happily accept members of other denominations as Christians. I am currently a member of a Baptist church, but I’ve been involved with an independent church, a Wesleyan-Methodist church, and a Church of Christ. So yes, there are differences, but in many cases they are relatively trivial.

        “Why have there been so many wars over what is the correct understanding of the bible?”
        I don’t accept the premises that there have been wars as such, many of them at least, and necessarily over the correct understanding of the Bible. There have certainly been some disagreements, but over various matters. For example, some Christians were burnt at the stake or similar for translating the Bible into the vernacular, not because of a different understanding of a particular biblical text, but because the church establishment wanted to control the message.

        “Why are there Old Age Creationists and YEC?”
        Simply because some Christians have compromised with the world on this (and others who have followed those without really investigating. For example, Wheaton College lecturer Pattle Pun said (emphasis added): “It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of Genesis, without regard to the hermeneutical considerations suggested by science, is that God created the heavens and the earth in six solar days, that man was created on the sixth day, and that death and chaos entered the world after the fall of Adam and Eve, and that all fossils were the result of the catastrophic deluge that spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.”
        Note that his reason for being an old age creationists is not due to his reading of the Bible, but due to taking on board the so-called science (which is actually based on naturalism). I could quote others saying similar, but I don’t know of any who make a good argument for getting that from the Bible.
        Further, essentially no Christian ever made the case for an Earth much older than about 6000 years prior to the secular view of an old Earth being promoted, which shows that the idea didn’t come from the Bible.

        “Why do some accept that there were around 2 million people in the Exodus while others consider the numbers a lot less, while others consider the tale a myth?”
        In the last case at least, because like the OECs, some have compromised with the secular view. In the second case, I don’t know what there reasons are, but neither have you shown that it’s due to an ambiguous reading of the Bible.

        “Every example is one of interpretation and each interpretation has its adherents.”
        You haven’t shown that. It could very well be that one understanding in each case is based on what the Bible says, and another understanding is based on something outside the Bible, as in the YEC vs. OEC case.

      5. I don’t accept the premises that there have been wars as such, etc etc

        Sorry, Phillip, I won’t tolerate disengenuity.
        The internecine wars between various Christian sects especially Catholic v Protestant including the near extermination of the Cathars are a perfect example.
        I won’t bother addressing the rest of your comment.
        Thanks all the same.

      6. “Sorry, Phillip, I won’t tolerate disengenuity.
        The internecine wars between various Christian sects especially Catholic v Protestant including the near extermination of the Cathars are a perfect example.”
        Let me clarify. I said that I don’t accept the premise that there have been wars as such, many of them at least.
        In that statement I wasn’t saying that you were definitely wrong, but that I wasn’t convinced that you were correct. I was also tacitly conceding that I might be wrong about there not being any such wars, but even if I was, I wasn’t accepting that there were “many”. But also, I was referring to something that might be normally as a literal “war”. A “war on drugs”, for example, would not fit that bill. Neither would a church/government crackdown on Christian dissidents.

        I was also clear that I was talking about wars over the correct understanding of the Bible, which it appears you might be alluding to with your reference to “internecine” wars.

        The three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars lists 1763 wars known from human history, and classifies on 123 (7%) as being religious in nature. Of those, 66 were wars waged in the name of Islam. So that leaves 57 for all other religions, not just Christianity. I don’t know what the further breakdown is, but they wouldn’t all be Christian, and of the Christian ones, they wouldn’t all be inter-Christian ones. And of the inter-Christian ones, they wouldn’t all be over different understandings of the Bible. So the actual figure is probably quite low, which is one reason, sans you providing more evidence of such, that I wouldn’t simply accept your premise.

        The anti-Christian Wikipedia has an article “Sectarian violence among Christians”, which discusses the Albigensian Crusade against Catharism. Yes, it does refer to it as a “war” (“The 20-year war”), and perhaps it was, although it starts off by saying that “Jonathan Barker cited the Albigensian Crusade … as an example of Christian state terrorism.” So it’s not clear to me that describing it as a “war” is necessarily correct. But as I said, perhaps it was.

        But how many others were there? Wikipedia also talks about the European Wars of Religion, but of them says that “religion was not the only cause of the wars, which also included revolts, territorial ambitions, and Great Power conflicts.”

        I also gave an example of a case that was not over the understanding of the biblical text.

        In return, you have simply accused me of being disingenuous and used that to ignore the rest of my reply.

      7. Fair enough … I will try to address your other points.

        So any organised and well funded military campaigns, fully sanctioned by the Church with the express objective of slaughtering fellow Christians over doctrinal disputes is not, in your view, a war?
        What would you call it then, Philip? A local spat or a tiff?

        If you can put aside any Wiki Bias for a few moments here is a good article you might care to read. It covers all kinds of war, including Christian justification for genocide.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_violence

        “Sects” is not really an appropriate term, but I won’t take that further here.

        In actual fact it is the perfect description.

        sect
        /sɛkt/
        noun
        plural noun: sects
        a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.
        Similar:
        (religious) cult
        religious group
        faith community
        denomination
        persuasion
        religious order
        splinter group
        faction
        schism
        heretical movement
        DEROGATORY
        a group that has separated from an established Church; a nonconformist Church.
        “two of the older sects—the Congregationalists and the Baptists—were able to increase their membership dramatically”

        Worth noting that, heretical views were one of the major reasons for all the internecine wars between Catholics and Protestants.

        Again, not a difference due to different understandings of the Bible.

        Really? How about non-trinitarian sects such as the Christadelphians?

        Re: Exodus
        In the last case at least, because like the OECs, some have compromised with the secular view. In the second case, I don’t know what there reasons are, but neither have you shown that it’s due to an ambiguous reading of the Bible.

        How have OEC’s compromised with the secular view?
        We are talking about evidence, Philip, surely? And it is this evidence which has forced believers to reinterpret the text?

        I am also a little concerned with these two sentences ….

        …. but due to taking on board the so-called science (which is actually based on naturalism).

        so-called science?
        and …

        Further, essentially no Christian ever made the case for an Earth much older than about 6000 years prior to the secular view of an old Earth being promoted, …
        Surely this should be scientific view

        Are you in any way defending/ a proponent of Young Earth Creationism, Philip?

        Regards
        Ark

      8. “So any organised and well funded military campaigns, fully sanctioned by the Church with the express objective of slaughtering fellow Christians over doctrinal disputes is not, in your view, a war?”
        I would not consider such to be a war any more than I would consider terrorist attacks to be a war. That is, although the semantic range of the word “war” could include such things, without qualification or suitable context, calling such things “war” I think would be misleading.

        “What would you call it then, Philip? A local spat or a tiff?”
        ‘Murder’ comes to mind.

        “If you can put aside any Wiki Bias for a few moments here is a good article you might care to read.”
        I came across that article when looking at the one I cited, but it didn’t seem all that relevant. I’m not saying that there is nothing relevant in it, but for the most part it didn’t address the point we are discussing. And why should I put aside its bias anyway?

        “It covers all kinds of war, including Christian justification for genocide.”
        And yet genocide or variations only get mentioned three times (excluding the contents, heading, and reference), once relating that Cromwell (not the church nor Christians generally) used a biblical passage as justification of genocide, a single professor (who may not even be a Christian for all I know) who finds sentiment for genocide in one passage in the Bible, and a statement that the holocaust caused many Christians to reflect on genocide. That’s very weak support for your claim of “Christian justification for genocide”.

        “In actual fact it is the perfect description.”
        I said that it’s not “really” an appropriate term. Yes, it may be technically correct, but it has strong connotations of a cult, which is an incorrect connotation, and, it appears, is loved by atheists because of that connotation.

        “Really? How about non-trinitarian sects such as the Christadelphians?”
        I was not arguing that there are NO disagreements over different understandings of the Bible. My point was that a large proportion of the differences are not over that, but over other matters, such as church government. My comment that you quoted was specifically with regard to the example I gave about church government.

        “How have OEC’s compromised with the secular view?
        By believing in evolution and/or deep time.

        “We are talking about evidence, Philip, surely? And it is this evidence which has forced believers to reinterpret the text?”
        No, it’s the explanation surrounding the evidence that has caused some to reinterpret the text, as I talk more about below.

        so-called science?”
        Yes. I have mentioned this to you previously, and also mentioned it here.

        “Surely this should be scientific view”
        It’s held by scientists, but on the basis of a philosophy that rejects the biblical account, not on the basis of empirical evidence. James Hutton decided that “the present is the key to the past”, i.e. that we should explain the world on the basis of processes we observe happening today. That is a rejection of the biblical account that there have been processes in the past (e.g. the global flood) that we don’t see happening today. This concept, known as uniformitarianism, was populated by Charles Lyell, who was trying to separate geology from the biblical account, i.e he was trying to explain things only through natural processes. If the science is done on the basis of an anti-biblical philosophy (naturalism) rather than just hard evidence, is it really appropriate to call it “science”?

        “Are you in any way defending/ a proponent of Young Earth Creationism, Philip?”
        I thought that would have been clear from previous conversations I’ve had with you, but yes, that is what the evidence supports, so that is what I believe.

      9. “Are you in any way defending/ a proponent of Young Earth Creationism, Philip?”

        I thought that would have been clear from previous conversations I’ve had with you, but yes, that is what the evidence supports, so that is what I believe.

        No, the scientific evidence does not support a YEC perspective.
        Ask Francis Collins. Devout Christian he may be yet I suspect he might just be a tad more clued-up that Ken Ham.

        I strongly recommend you investigate the writings of Jonny Scaramanga.
        He was schooled in YEC through ACE in the UK and did his PHD on the subject.

        As an aside, I always smile when I discover I am in conversation with any YEC. I suppose it is the shortened version of my blog name. ”Ark”.

        Anyway, an enlightening chat.

        Regards.
        Ark.

      10. Apologies. I forgot to add that, I reread the links you provided and although there were allusions to you being YEC you did not specifically admit that you were, even when I openly suggested you might be.
        In fact, in one of the threads, my last comment still remains unanswered.

        That said, thanks for clearing up any misunderstanding on my part regarding your YEC beliefs .

        Regards
        Ark.

      11. “No, the scientific evidence does not support a YEC perspective.”
        I have already explained why the supposed scientific perspective is actually a naturalistic perspective, although I probably haven’t cited any scientific evidence supporting the biblical creationist view.

        “Ask Francis Collins. Devout Christian he may be yet I suspect he might just be a tad more clued-up that Ken Ham.”
        Collins is a scientist, Ham is not. So if you’re talking scientific qualifications, you’d be right. However, that doesn’t mean that he understands the naturalistic nature of much science better than Ken, nor that he understands the Bible better than Ken Ham. Or many other people for that matter—Ken is simply one among many.

        But then if you want to talk about qualifications, I could mention plenty of highly-qualified creationary scientists too, who would strongly disagree with Francis Collins.

        I’ve just looked up Scaramanga, and found nothing but bitterness, with little actual rational argument.
        I strongly recommend you read the book “In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation” as a balance to Scaramanga.

        I didn’t claim that I explicitly said that I was a biblical creationist. I just said that I though it would have been clear.

        “…in one of the threads, my last comment still remains unanswered.”
        Oh? I must have missed that. I thought one of mine to you remained unanswered. Perhaps a different thread.

  10. Correction to my comment to Prof PT of 22 Feb 5:35

    Second number 9 (yes, I know) should read …reformed without being formed!

  11. Wouldn’t you know it (and I did, as do others) there is a much lauded, revered by atheist, site, dedicated to scripture and its relevant, up to date application, that is Jesus prophetic, parable of the sower.
    And wouldn’t you know it, there is much evidence, even on here, that the nature of atheists is to worship…self,; genuflecting to self and to each other with a finite, closed material world omniscience, omnipotence and technological omnipresence worship.

  12. You’re buying Douglas: Lagavulin, please. It’s years since I had one. If that’s too much of a stretch Aldi’s Highland malt is good too.
    Cheers.

  13. I’ve just looked up Scaramanga, and found nothing but bitterness, with little actual rational argument./blockquote>

    Under the circumstances of being schooled through ACE why wouldn’t he be bitter?

    In case you missed it. He did his PHD on ACE.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel reasonably confident that mainstream universities do not entertain a PHD thesis without rational argument and evidence.

    This is one reason why YEC is not entertained by secular scientists ( oir mainstream Christianity for that matter) – no evidence and no rational arguments.

    Here’s an excellent article regarding his PHD thesis that Scaramanga posted a while back.

    One particular respondent and former ACE student caught my eye.
    I hope David will not mind me posting it here?

    Jon Jones‏:
    Reading Dr. @JonnyScaramanga’s Ph.D. paper on the religious school whose curriculum I followed. It’s a masterwork.

    I relate so deeply. I was homeschooled my whole life and my only formal education was through this particular program, ACE.

    I’ve never had the context or education to be able to clearly describe the cognitively biased horrors my Christian education forced upon me.

    It’s part fascination and relief; fascination that someone else understands what I’ve experienced, and relief that I’m not the only one.

    The worst thing in the world is to believe in your heart that you’re the only person a bad thing has happened to and no one will understand

    1. “Under the circumstances of being schooled through ACE why wouldn’t he be bitter?”
      That’s begging the question. ACE is widely used and from what I can tell is quite good.

      “In case you missed it. He did his PHD on ACE.”
      I saw you mention that.

      “Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel reasonably confident that mainstream universities do not entertain a PHD thesis without rational argument and evidence.”
      I’m not in that field, but given the bias shown by universities nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are wrong. I’ll comment more below.

      “This is one reason why YEC is not entertained by secular scientists ( or mainstream Christianity for that matter) – no evidence and no rational arguments.”
      That is has no evidence and no rational arguments is simply false. And one way of showing that is to point out that many scientists have become creationists because they found the evidence convincing.
      Also, you are not correct about mainstream Christianity. There is a fair bit of support within mainstream Christianity.

      “Here’s an excellent article…”
      Was there meant to be a link there?

      I Googled the Tweet from Jon Jones, and found it had a link to the PhD thesis. I skimmed about the first third of it before I gave up. The basic theme was “ACE actually teaches Christian values (how dare they!) and teaches in a different way to other system (which begs the question of which is the better way) and here are a lot of other people who don’t like it either. Yeah, sure, he’s done a lot of research into things like indoctrination and confirmation bias, but the conclusions are themselves biased.

      For example, he says “Social pressure, including peer pressure, can be important to the maintenance of indoctrinatory systems. In a school system where most or all of the student body as well as the staff subscribe to the same belief system, the core beliefs will be difficult to challenge.”
      Yeah? So why doesn’t that apply to government school systems too? Because government (secular) school=good and Christian schools=bad. The bias is obvious to a discerning reader.

      1. “Under the circumstances of being schooled through ACE why wouldn’t he be bitter?”

        That’s begging the question. ACE is widely used and from what I can tell is quite good.

        Based on the evidence of their curriculum and the testimonials from those who have left your view of them being ‘’quite good’’ is trite. And surely any education system, and especially if it for children, should strive to be excellent, not merely ‘’quite good’’.
        For example: they teach kids that evolution is false and the Loch Ness monster is fact! As a Scot, I’m sure even David would shake his head at this rubbish! Thank goodness this piece of nonsense was eventually removed from European text books, but it took until 2013!

        You could also read the Wiki article as a start (there are plenty of referenced articles) – if you can get by your personnel distaste.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Christian_Education

        I consider these examples to be telling, and so should you.

        As of January 2017 there are 26 schools using the ACE curriculum registered in the United Kingdom. In October 2016 ten schools graded by British parliamentary education inspectors OFSTED were revisited following concerns of mistreatment raised in British press, nine of which were subsequently re-graded as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by the watchdog.[32] In 2018 a further ACE school in London was rated ‘inadequate’ for failing to teach adequate science and for not teaching children to ″develop the skills to collect and evaluate scientific evidence.’’

        As of 2019, applicants who completed their Grade 12 or equivalent at the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) School of Tomorrow may no longer be accepted to study at the University of South Africa.

        Here is the link I missed posting.
        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/2017/07/13/accelerated-christian-education-survivors-respond-phd-research/

      2. “Oh, dear…. so you don’t know how dinosaur fossils are dated, do you Philip?”
        I DO know, and I also know that the dating methods are based on naturalistic presuppositions, have been shown to not be reliable, and have been shown to not be accepted as reliable by mainstream scientists.

        “Based on the evidence of their curriculum and the testimonials from those who have left your view of them being ‘’quite good’’ is trite.”
        What about all the students who have found it very useful? You’re citing a few disgruntled people as though they are the norm.

        “And surely any education system, and especially if it for children, should strive to be excellent, not merely ‘’quite good’’.”
        Now you’re picking on my cautious approval. I’m not saying that it’s not excellent; I’m just being cautious in my comments. Further, I wouldn’t call government schools that teach students that evolution is a fact, that there are multiple genders, etc. even as “quite good”, so even “quite good” makes it better than government schools.

        “For example: they teach kids that evolution is false…”
        It IS false, but thanks for confirming my point that the criticism is ideological. I have already pointed out to you how origins science is done in a naturalistic way, i.e. it rules out the supernatural a priori.

        “…and the Loch Ness monster is fact!”
        A lot of people have thought it to be a fact in the past. I agree that they should have been more proactive in removing that, but that’s not a big enough issue to condemn the whole course.

        “You could also read the Wiki article … if you can get by your personnel distaste.”
        Since when does “personnel (sic) distaste” equal bias. Because that’s what Wikipedia is, biased, so on a topic like that I’d take what they say with a grain of salt. Sure, they might have plenty of references, but I also know (from experience) that they are biased about their selection of references.

        “I consider these examples to be telling, and so should you.”
        Why should I? You seem to presume that the inspectors and/or OFSTED are themselves impartial, but why assume that? Especially given that one of the concerns was “for failing to teach adequate science”, which could well be because they teach creation.

        “Here is the link I missed posting.”
        An “excellent” article? You have low standards. It’s little more than four people giving favourable feedback to Scaramanga on his paper.

      3. Oops, my first sentence in reply to Ark was actually to a different post in a different thread.

  14. I DO know, and I also know that the dating methods are based on naturalistic presuppositions, have been shown to not be reliable, and have been shown to not be accepted as reliable by mainstream scientists.

    Then please enlighten us and tell us how such fossils are dated.
    Oh, and you can link to, or name some of these mainstream scientists that reject such methodology.?
    Thanks.

    Since when does “personnel (sic) distaste” equal bias.

    So, this suggests you didn’t bother to follow up, then?

    but that’s not a big enough issue to condemn the whole course.

    It is enough according to the government body that investigated it and condemned it.
    If you can’t provide evidence of 6000 year old earth or evidence that humans and dinosaurs co-existed then you are indoctrinating children with scientific lies.
    Exactly what A.C.E does.

    You have low standards. It’s little more than four people giving favourable feedback to Scaramanga on his paper.

    From someone who accuses Wiki shows anti-Christian bias this is funny.

    1. “Then please enlighten us and tell us how such fossils are dated.”
      You know how they are dated. The issue is not how, but whether those methods give accurate and reliable results.

      “Oh, and you can link to, or name some of these mainstream scientists that reject such methodology.?”
      I didn’t say that they reject the methodology. I said that they don’t consider it reliable.
      Example 1:
      Fossils of a man and a woman were found in dry Lake Mungo in New South Wales. The woman was carbon dated to around 25,000 years. The man, found five years later, could not be carbon dated but was dated by Jim Bowler on other grounds to around 30,000 years. Alan Thorne didn’t agree with the date, and used three other dating methods to come up with a date of around 62,000 years. But a number of scientists disagreed, and Bowler did more tests and came up with a date of around 40,000 years. If the scientists consider the dates reliable, whey did they question and change them?
      Example 2:
      Hominod fossils were found in the KBS tuff in northern Kenya. Fitch and Miller used potassium-argon dating to come up with an age of 212 to 230 million years. But even they didn’t agree with this figure, because fossils in lower layers were considered to be two to five million years old. So clearly they didn’t consider the method reliable.
      So they did more tests using argon-argon dating, and got an age of 2.6 million years. In fact by this times the material had been dated five different times by four different methods, and that date seem settled.
      However, then Richard Leakey discovered a skull under the dated layer, which he therefore estimated to be 2.9 million years old. But others were not convinced, so they decided to have another go at the dating. They case up with a date of around 1.7 million years. Why didn’t they believe the 2.6 million year date? Why wouldn’t they if they thought that the methods were reliable?
      So why did anyone retest and come up with new dates if they consider the methods reliable? And why did the methods give so many different dates?
      Example 3:
      At a symposium on the prehistory of the Nile Valley, Professor Brew summarised a common attitude of archaeologists towards carbon dating: “If a C14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a foot-note. And if it is completely ‘out of date’, we just drop it.”

      “So, this suggests you didn’t bother to follow up, then?”
      I did have a quick look at the article.

      “It is enough according to the government body that investigated it and condemned it.”
      Most such government bodies are opposed to creationism, so that’s just an example of their bias.

      “If you can’t provide evidence of 6000 year old earth…”
      But I can. The problem is that you’ll reject it out of hand. And you can’t provide evidence of a 4.5 billion-year-old earth that is not based on naturalistic presuppositions, so you’re in no better a boat.

      “…or evidence that humans and dinosaurs co-existed…”
      I’ve already mentioned some and you’re rejected it because, well, it comes from a source that you don’t agree with.

      “From someone who accuses Wiki shows anti-Christian bias this is funny.”
      I fail to see the connection. And of course Wikipedia (a) says that you shouldn’t rely on Wikipedia, (b) does not even have being truthful as a goal, and (c) like you, actively discriminates against creationist sources.

  15. @ Philip
    I thought I would ask one further question, with David’s leave?

    As you reject evolution, when you are ill or suffer some other form of trauma that would usually require intervention from a medical professional, be it your local GP or hospital, do you avail yourself of the latest medical technology or do you pray instead and then seek the intervention of your local priest or pastor ?

    1. Ark,
      This shows your utter ignorance of the viewpoint that you argue so vehemently against, as well as your ignorance of the history of science.
      I do not reject science. I reject evolution. The history of science is littered with scientists who disagreed with their fellow scientists. Galileo famously disagreed with the scientists of his time. Sir Fred Hoyle, who coined the term “Big Bang”, was opposed to the Big Bang and remained a follower of the Steady State model. Halton Arp was an astronomer who had some radical ideas about the formation of galaxies, rejected by most of his peers. But in none of those cases were they accused of rejecting science itself.

      So why do you think that rejecting evolution means rejecting science? The concept itself is bizarre.

      But secondly, it was creationists such as Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Ray, Steno, and so many others who founded science as we know it. Creationists are not anti-science! And they founded it because of their Christian views, including that God was a law-making God who would have made laws for the operation of his creation (i.e. the laws of nature), that nature was distinct from God and open to investigation (contrary to some religious views), that He made us in His image, and therefore rational and capable of studying (contrary to atheism that says that we are the result of a series of accidents with no intention to be rational beings), that Adam would have had a lot of knowledge that he lost at the Fall, which with investigation could be rediscovered (again contrary to the atheist view), etc.

      Agnostic scientist Paul Davies said (my emphasis):

      In the ensuing three hundred years, the theological dimension of science has faded [note that science began with a “theological dimension”]. People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature- the laws of physics – are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they come from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is rational basis to physical existence manifested as lawlike order in nature that is at least part comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological world view.

      He’s not the only one to make comments like that. Numerous other have also, and I’ve even heard Richard Dawkins acknowledge that it was Christianity that gave us science.

      Science is a product of Christianity, not atheism. Public hospitals are also a product of Christianity. I should be asking you whether you would visit a doctor or hospital when you were sick, given that you’d be making use of Christian enterprises if you did so. Or would you wait for a random mutation to fix the problem?

      1. Odd then, how the science you apparently cherish, is very quickly shown the door when it does not comport with your biblical view of the world.
        The age of Dinosaur fossils for example.

      2. “Grab yourself a coffee and read.”
        I don’t like coffee, but perhaps you might like to grab one while you read my reply and its links! 🙂

        “Odd then, how the science you apparently cherish, is very quickly shown the door when it does not comport with your biblical view of the world. The age of Dinosaur fossils for example.”
        Okay, there is one thing that I haven’t explained yet. There are two types of science—operational science and historical science. With operational science we can observe, measure, test, and repeat experiments to study the thing we are interested in. With historical science, we cannot observe (it’s in the past), we cannot measure or test the past, and we cannot repeat the past. So historical science is much more speculative. Also, the Christian view (remember, the view of those who founded modern science) is that God created things, including laws by which those things operate. So although God could intervene at any time (and does on rare occasions which we refer to as miracles), the normal operation of His creation is according to the laws He put in place, and not to Him individually controlling every action and reaction.
        So when we observe something happening, we expect it to be operating according to those laws of nature. But how they began is a different matter entirely. We see this in everyday life. An electric drill operates according to the laws of physics, including those to do with electromagnetism, friction, etc. But those laws did not create the drill. Drills do not occur naturally. They are created by intelligent beings. My point here is that there is a difference between how something operates and how it began. Operational science studies the former, and historical science the latter.

        So I accept the scientific method. And (as a general rule) I accept the results of operational science. However, what I reject is the conclusions of historical science that are based on naturalistic assumptions, i.e. assumptions that rule out supernatural explanations a priori.

        And I note that you didn’t answer my question about making use of Christian institutions (hospitals and science) when you are sick rather than waiting for a mutation to fix the problem.

        “How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease. … Not a god or creationism in sight.”
        And that is part of the problem. The paper does not compare evolutionary and creationary explanations to see which fit the data best. Evolution is assumed. So you’re using it to argue for a conclusion that it starts by assuming, which is a circular argument. More on this at the end.

        What that therefore doesn’t take into account is that many of the examples it provides might be equally explainable as the result of creation. But it doesn’t examine that. A phenomenon that can be explained by two different models is useless for supporting one model over the other. See How to think (not what to think)

        Another problem is that it doesn’t define evolution. Some people define evolution as “change over time” or as a “change in allele frequencies”. But if that’s all evolution was, all creationists are actually evolutionists! Evolution is not simply change, nor is it speciation, nor is it natural selection. Creationists accept all those things. See Who’s really pushing ‘bad science’? Evolution is the common ancestry of all living things, which necessarily requires going from very simple things to far more complex things. The creationary view is that things started of well-designed, and (as a result of the Fall) have deteriorated since. So both evolutionists and creationists accept change, even change in complexity. But a downhill change is what creationists expect, and an overall uphill change is what evolution requires. I’ll come back to that point.

        Another problem with the paper is the degree of speculation (or story-telling). For example, see the words I’ve bolded in this sentence: “A recent study suggested that the human ability to transfer capital—from energy to knowledge—across generations, coupled with the accumulation of knowledge throughout lifetime, with the transferable capital peaking later in life than in other primates, may have been the driver of selection for longevity…”. Yep, good hard evidence for evolution there!

        I said that evolution was simply assumed. Following this sentence: “Many symptoms can be explained as demonstrations of evolved defence processes that have become inappropriate or excessive, and thus potentially harmful to the individual.”, the rest of the paragraph explaining this said nothing at all about evolution!

        “Similarly, evolutionary models allow us to understand the process by which viral threats emerge. Phylogenetic analysis has helped us reconstruct the … genetic origins of the H1N1 influenza pandemic”
        In fact, creationary scientists have shown that the human H1N1 influenza virus of 1917 /18devolved (i.e. a downhill change) to the point that it became extinct in 2009, due to genetic meltdown from too many mutations (you know, that mechanism that’s supposed to drive the novelty of evolution and add complexity). See A new look at an old virus: patterns of mutation accumulation in the human H1N1 influenza virus since 1918. That’s an example, by the way, of creationist research in a mainstream science journal, the sort of thing the anticreationists say doesn’t exist.

        “Many features of human anatomy associated with potential pathology represent the consequences of our evolutionary history. A well-known example is the appendix: while it evolved to improve digestion for the vegetarian diet of earlier members of our clade, it has no function in human digestion…”
        That’s a cleverly-worded (if not deceptively-worded) statement! The appendix is “well-known” as an example of a “vestigial organ”, an evolutionary left-over, something that once served a purpose, but no longer does (the questionable wording is the reference to no function “in human digestion”). And yet, it has been known for decades now that the appendix does have a function/purpose (or more than one), as a backup repository of good gut bacteria, in case something destroys the good bacteria in the intestines. In fact there were once more than 100 such vestigial organs, but everyone has since been found to have a purpose, contrary to the expectations of evolutionists.

        “Back pain and spinal problems can be understood in terms of the compromises made some 6 million years ago, when human ancestors adopted an upright posture…”
        On the contrary, treatments developed on that assumption have proved to be harmful. See Back problems: how Darwinism misled researchers and Standing upright for creation

        Evolutionist Philip Skell wrote: “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No. … I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.”
        He went on to make a comment that could well summarise the paper you linked to: “The efforts mentioned there are not experimental biology; they are attempts to explain already authenticated phenomena in Darwinian terms…”

  16. Evolution is assumed

    No it is not and this shows you didn’t bother reading it, or did not understand it.
    In the same manner that you dismiss paleontology and reject how dinosaur fossils are dated.
    Or perhaps you simply do not understand how radiometric dating works?

    i.e. assumptions that rule out supernatural explanations a priori.

    Wrong. Science does not ”do” theology.
    When you can demonstrate , with evidence a miracle scientists will no doubt investigate and of course subject it to the scientific method, which ironically you claim you support.

    It is the creationist who presumes as their worldview is based on biblical text, and YECs simply believe that the bible is the absolute word of god and adopt a literal interpretation.

    The thought of Noah having over a 1000 dinosaur species on his boat would even baffle Fred Flintstone.

    So until you can explain exactly how your god created everything then I’m afraid creationists will just have to get by on faith.

    At least someone like Francis Collins has the integrity to know where to draw the line.

    And I note that you didn’t answer my question about making use of Christian institutions (hospitals and science) when you are sick rather than waiting for a mutation to fix the problem.

    You are correct, I did not.

    1. “No it is not and this shows you didn’t bother reading it, or did not understand it.”
      It is correct that I didn’t read every one of the more than 9000 words, but I didn’t see anything to show that they were producing evidence for evolution. Perhaps you can quote me the relevant part(s)? Have you read the links I provided, which were much shorter?

      “In the same manner that you dismiss paleontology and reject how dinosaur fossils are dated.”
      We haven’t discussed palaeontology per se, so that appears to be presumption.
      And as for not reading something, it seems that you didn’t read what I wrote. I said that I didn’t dispute how dinosaur fossils are dated. I rejected whether that dating was accurate and reliable, and gave you some evidence of its unreliability, which you’ve completely ignored.

      “Or perhaps you simply do not understand how radiometric dating works?”
      On the contrary, it’s because I do understand how it works that I understand its shortcomings, which, I repeat, I have given you evidence of which you’ve ignored.

      “Wrong. Science does not ”do” theology.”
      How does not doing theology (which I never claimed) refute that it rules out supernatural explanations a priori?

      “When you can demonstrate , with evidence a miracle scientists will no doubt investigate and of course subject it to the scientific method,…”
      I never claimed to be able to do that. A miracle, by definition, is an exception to the norm, and science involves repeatability. Further, unless you have advanced knowledge of a miracle, you’re extremely unlikely to be able to observe, measure, or test the miracle. So miracles are, almost by definition, outside the scope of science. That is simply a red herring, because we weren’t discussing that.

      “…which ironically you claim you support.”
      Claim? As I’ve pointed out, science was founded by creationists. Why would you doubt me that I support it? The real question is, do you support it given that it is a Christian/creationist enterprise? And if so, why?

      “It is the creationist who presumes as their worldview is based on biblical text,…”
      And it is secular scientists who also presume, as their worldview is based on naturalism, as I have explained, but you also seem to want to ignore (or is outright denial the way you address that?).

      “…YECs simply believe that the bible is the absolute word of god and adopt a literal interpretation.”
      You say that as though there is something inherently wrong with that, but if the Bible IS the absolute word of God, and the creation narrative was intended to be taken literally (which the literary evidence supports), then you haven’t explained how that is something bad.

      “The thought of Noah having over a 1000 dinosaur species on his boat would even baffle Fred Flintstone.”
      And yet again, you show evidence of being ignorant of what the creationary view actually is, which does not include having over 1000 dinosaur species on the ark. Given that I’ve pointed out such ignorance before, why don’t you attempt to rectify that? If I argued that evolution must be wrong because we know that gorillas don’t give birth to humans, you’d rightly wonder why I was arguing against something that I clearly don’t understand. That is precisely the sort of thing that you are doing.

      “So until you can explain exactly how your god created everything then I’m afraid creationists will just have to get by on faith.”
      Yes, there is some of that involved too. On both sides. Secular science can’t explain the Big Bang (how nothing exploded without cause and became everything), the origin of the first stars (gas expands, not contracts), the origin of genetic information (agnostic scientist Paul Davies says that the laws of physics can’t explain it), and so much more, so the secular scientists have to get by on faith (in naturalism) too.

      “At least someone like Francis Collins has the integrity to know where to draw the line.”
      And yet you’ve not shown his views being based on integrity. Rather, it seems, he has “integrity” because he agrees with you on some things. That’s not what integrity is.

      “You are correct, I did not.”
      Because you didn’t want to admit that evolution wouldn’t do it for you and you’d prefer the Christian institutions, which are, after all, the result of intelligence, not chance?

      Seeing you brought up accepting things on faith, and given your previous avoidance of the evidence of soft dinosaur tissue, not to mention your false accusation that creationists don’t have evidence, I just read today of new research (published last October) into further examples of soft tissue. The authors admitted, that “The identification of still-soft tissues and cellular structures in a suite of Mesozoic fossils and claims of endogenous proteins preserved within these materials, is controversial because it challenged both conventional wisdom and theoretical kinetics, which preclude the persistence of proteins over geological time scales. Data supporting endogeneity have been viewed with scepticism, in part because no mechanisms have been identified that could reasonably contribute to such preservation.”
      To summarise, the evidence is that soft tissue cannot last that long. Further, they have failed to find evidence of a mechanism to preserve the soft tissue that long. So the evidence supports the creationary view, but they cling to the evolutionary ages by blind faith, contrary to the evidence. You know, that evidence that you claimed doesn’t exist.

      So how about addressing the multiple claims that I have made and the multiple points that I have provided evidence for, instead of simply denying things and moving on to other topics (e.g. the number of dinosaurs on the ark), when you’ve failed to address other things I’ve said.

      1. So how about addressing the multiple claims that I have made and the multiple points that I have provided evidence for,

        Nope … because they are exactly what you have stated claims , and contain no verifiable or falsifiable evidence. The simple fact you do not agree with radiometric dating demonstrates why you don’t understand it – or it’s relevance to other areas of science and simply refuse to acknowledge it; no doubt because it conflicts with your literal reading/understanding of the bible.
        Thus no amount of back and forth with a YEC will ever make you see differently.
        This is what indoctrination does to people.

        I imagine this is why you also have issues with the speed of light and the age of the universe.

  17. @Philip.
    I’ve had a rethink …

    As you are almost certainly going to dismiss even for the biologos article ( and everything else connected to the Theory of evolution) instead of discussing evolution let’s rather focus exclusively on your YEC beliefs?

    To this end, why not simply skip right to offering those reading along a comprehensive exposition on the Theory of Creationism?

    Then, with David’s leave, we can discuss this rather.
    Off you go …
    The floor is yours.

    Regards
    Ark.

  18. “Nope … because they are exactly what you have stated claims , and contain no verifiable or falsifiable evidence.”
    Soft dinosaur is not verifiable or falsifiable?

    That the creationary view is that Noah did not have over 1000 dinosaur species on the ark is not verifiable or falsifiable?

    That science works on methodological naturalism is not verifiable or falsifiable?

    Sorry, but your claim that I haven’t given anything verifiable or falsifiable is complete nonsense.

    “The simple fact you do not agree with radiometric dating demonstrates why you don’t understand it…”
    A nonsense bit of logic. Anything I understand I will necessarily agree with? What sort of logic is that? If I wanted to employ that sort of logic, I could say that the simple fact that you do not agree with the Bible demonstrates that you don’t understand it.

    “Thus no amount of back and forth with a YEC will ever make you see differently. This is what indoctrination does to people.”
    Thus no amount of back and forth with an evolutionist will ever make you see differently. This is what indoctrination does to people.
    See, I can make those sorts of comments too, but it doesn’t prove anything. And my comment has more weight, as you have only ever learned one view, whereas I have looked extensively at both sides of the issue, having read Darwin, Dawkins, and many anti-creationist and pro-evolutions web articles, science magazines, etc.

    “I imagine this is why you also have issues with the speed of light and the age of the universe.”
    What issues do you imagine that I have with the speed of light?

    “Read this. It is an evangelical Christian site…”
    Founded by Francis Collins, who you’ve already tried to get me to read.

    “As you are almost certainly going to dismiss even for the biologos article ( and everything else connected to the Theory of evolution)…”
    Mischaracterising me again. I don’t simply “dismiss”—I answer. You dismiss.

    “To this end, why not simply skip right to offering those reading along a comprehensive exposition on the Theory of Creationism?”
    Is this an admission that you really don’t understand the view that you so vehemently argue against?
    It is of course a very big subject (bigger than biological evolution, as it also covers the philosophy of science, cosmology, geology, etc.), so it would take books to cover it, not a few comments from me. So may I suggest, if you actually are interested, that you read the Creation Answers Book? It’s probably one of the best overviews available, and is available free online, so you don’t even have to spend money on it (although you can buy a printed or ebook version if you’d like). It is available here (click the “Chapter x” links).

    1. Here’s my best offer. The theory of Evolution can be described in a paragraph.

      Let’s see you outline the theory of creationism in the same.

      1. So previously you asked for a “comprehensive exposition on the Theory of Creationism?”, but now all you want is a single paragraph? Why the changed? Not actually interested in the details?

        Here it is in a single sentence in the words of the Creator Himself*:

        … in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.

        *—well, via translators, as He didn’t record it in English.

      2. Because the details are all based on this ….

        … in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.

        And this is why any attempt at an intellectual conversation with a YEC is doomed from the get go.

        Cheers and take care.
        Ark

      3. “Because the details are all based on this …”
        It was those details that gave rise to modern science. So what is wrong with it being based on that?

        “And this is why any attempt at an intellectual conversation with a YEC is doomed from the get go.”
        Sorry, but that’s a complete non-sequitur. Because you like birds my birthday is in June. Sorry, but that makes no sense.

        It also flies in the face of reality, in which creationists succeed in doing clearly intellectual things, such as invent MRI, build the world’s most accurate clocks, help build satellites, design the world’s most sophisticated computer model of plate tectonics, etc. As such, it sounds more like an insult than a reason.

      4. Then tell us why YEC is not recognised and is not taught at state schools or universities?

      5. Sure. Because people don’t want Christianity to be true, and creation provided evidence for Christianity. Prominent atheist (in the early 20th century) Aldous Huxley wrote:

        I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.’…

        Prominent current atheist Thomas Nagel wrote:

        I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about human life, including everything about the human mind …. This is a somewhat ridiculous situation …. [I]t is just as irrational to be influenced in one’s beliefs by the hope that God does not exist as by the hope that God does exist.

        Non-Christian lawyer-turned-doctor James Hutton in the late 18th century invented the notion that in geology the present is the key to the past, a view known as uniformitarianism. This principle says that we should explain the history of geology by means of the processes we see happening today. This implicitly ruled out unique past events such as Noah’s Flood.
        The idea was taken up and popularised by another non-Christian lawyer, Charles Lyell, who saw it as his mission to “free the science from Moses”, writing a three-volume work, Principles of Geology, which was in turn read by Charles Darwin, about whom Richard Dawkins said that he “made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”

        As I’ve explained before, mainstream science now works on the principle of methodological naturalism that says that only natural explanations are allowed, even if the evidence better supports a non-natural one. Creationism is therefore deemed to be unscientific, so only evolution is taught in schools and universities, brainwashing people into thinking that evolution is the only scientific view, and the alternative view is suppressed as much as they can get away with. Whenever creationists have tried to get equal time (or even some) time for views that challenge evolution, they are taken to court and stopped, in the U.S., on the fallacious “separation of church and state” basis (which was intended to stop the state controlling the church organisation, not to stop the state supporting Christianity, the way it has been misinterpreted).

        In other words, the atheists are winning the propaganda war. This has nothing to do with the evidence. But since the 1960s, the creationists have been fighting back, and producing lots of good, solid, information to support their view, and not a few scientists (and others) have become creationists on the basis of the evidence. One recent leading atheist, Antony Flew, stopped being an atheist (although didn’t become a Christian, let alone a creationist) because the evidence for design in nature convinced him that there must be an intelligence behind it. Such is the strength of the evidence for those willing to look at it with an open mind.

      6. A philosopher and an 18th century doctor. Well done! Not a single biologist.
        So, old and dated anecdotal opinion, but no evidence – which is why Creationism and especially YEC is not taught in state schools or universities.

        Thank you.

        Perhaps one day you will understand why Christians such as Francis Collins and NT Wright distance themselves from this form of unsubstantiated and somewhat perverse pseudo science.

      7. Not a single biologist.

        So Darwin and Dawkins were/are not biologists? Odd. But that’s rather beside the point. You asked “why”, and I told you why—that it was for philosophical reasons. It seems that you were assuming evidential reaons, and when that was not the case, you simply ignored the real reason. But this has been the point all along. Creation is not rejected for evidential reasons, but for philosophical reasons.

        A philosopher and an 18th century doctor. Well done!

        That’s false, in the sense that there was more than that:
        * Non-Christian lawyer-turned-doctor James Hutton. Despite being an 18th century doctor, he is the originator of the philosophy upon which deep time is based. You simply waved him away.
        * Non-Christian lawyer Charles Lyell. He was the one who heavily promoted Hutton’s philosophy and demonstrated motive. Again, very relevant, but you completely ignored him.
        * Biologist Charles Darwin: Followed Lyell’s motive, but you completely ignored him.
        * Atheist biologist Richard Dawkins: Showed how evolution was important for atheism, but you completely ignored him.
        * Prominent atheist Aldous Huxley: Clear evidence of motive, but you completely ignored him too.
        * Prominent current atheist Thomas Nagel: Again, clear evidence of motive, and evidence that the motive is still current. But you waved him away without good reason.
        * Methodological naturalism: Shows that the philosophy of evolutionary science, not the evidence, is the key factor. But you have ignored that, as you have before when I’ve mentioned it.
        * Recent leading atheist Antony Flew: Showed how the evidence is not supportive of naturalism. But you ignored him.

        So, old and dated anecdotal opinion, but no evidence…

        False. I gave evidence of motive, including modern/current motive. You rejected that out of hand because you were expecting something else.

  19. Sorry, I didn’t see a single rebuttal of Darwin or Dawkins.

    I gave evidence of motive,

    Ah … yes. the global conspiracy against Christians and YEC s in particular by almost the entire scientific community.

    Ooh, they are a sneaky bunch, those secular scientists.

    Oh … wait a moment . Come to think of it, Francis Collins, one of the leading geneticists of the modern era and largely responsible for the Human Genome Project is a devout Christian!
    But that can’t be right, surely? Even the late Christopher Hitchens, atheist and arch anti-theist held Collins in the highest esteem.

    Darn it. If only God would come back and sort it all out for us, right?

    1. “Sorry, I didn’t see a single rebuttal of Darwin or Dawkins.”
      Huh? Why would I be rebutting them?

      “Ah … yes. the global conspiracy against Christians and YEC s in particular by almost the entire scientific community.”
      No, I never mentioned a conspiracy. You either invented that or you read into my comments what you wanted to. What I mentioned was motives.
      So do you think methodological naturalism is a conspiracy?
      Do you accept that it’s real?
      If your answers are no and yes respectively, they why aren’t you addressing that? If you think that the second answer is no, why aren’t you challenging that?

      1. ….even if the evidence better supports a non-natural one.

        Can you give an example.

        I did not say you mentioned a global conspiracy, but you inferred one – your ”motives”- which are not backed by evidence, and are merely claims.

        Why would I consider methodological naturalism a global conspiracy? What a ridiculous thing to suggest.
        Is the scientific method a global conspiracy? No, of course not.

      2. “Can you give an example.”
        I could give you many, but you’d dispute each one as to which view they “better” support. But this is the consequence of methodological naturalism (MN), as I have already pointed out.

        “I did not say you mentioned a global conspiracy, but you inferred one – your ”motives”- which are not backed by evidence, and are merely claims.”
        What sort of “evidence” would you expect of motives? Surely, the best evidence of motives would be admissions from the people with those motives, and I have already given you that. So no, you completely wrong there.

        “Why would I consider methodological naturalism a global conspiracy? What a ridiculous thing to suggest.”
        I was just wanting to exclude possibilities. The logic, which you seem to be missing, is this:
        1) Creationists claim that their views are not given a fair hearing for because of a bias against the creation view.
        2) One evidence of this bias is the principle of MN.
        3) You claimed that I was inferring global conspiracy.
        4) Therefore, logically, it would seem that either a) you were claiming that MN was a global conspiracy, or b) you were disputing that MN exists.

        It seems, however, that you accept the reality of MN. Which means that you should accept that this makes mainstream science biased against creation. So given that that’s what I was explaining to you, you jumping to the conclusion that I was claiming a global conspiracy is simply baseless.

        “Is the scientific method a global conspiracy?”
        It seems that you consider the bias of MN as an integral part of the scientific method. But that’s simply false. The scientific method involves observation, measurement, testing, repeatability, etc. It does not require—in fact it’s antithetical to—a priori exclusion of particular explanations. But that is precisely the consequences of adopting MN, which was not originally part of mainstream science (so is not integral to it), which, as I have explained, was invented on the basis of a Christian worldview and which still relies on that worldview.

        You have done what many critics of creation do. You have gone from (a) disputing that there is any bias against creation, to (b) attempting to justify that bias as legitimate. And all without admitting that you have changed position.

Leave a Reply to Mike17 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: