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  • Dr. Brown Answers Your Toughest Questions

    December 20, 2013 | 54 Comments

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    Are altar calls mentioned in the Bible? If salvation is by faith alone, how did the Church get this doctrine wrong for so much of its history? Why don’t more pastors preach against sin today? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

     

    Hour 1:      

     

    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Rather than looking at all the wrong things happening in our society, why not look to God who is advancing His Kingdom everyday!

    Hour 2: 

     

     Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There’s a lot of crisis in society, a lot of crisis in our personal lives. The question is, what does the Word say? What does our God say? His ways are ways of life.

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    Other Resources:

    Piers Morgan and the Law of Moses; and Dr. Brown’s Reflections on the Real Kosher Jesus

    A Christian Musician Fired By a Christian Friend for His Moral Stand and Christian Families Fight Back in Philly

    An Interview with a Jewish Professor Wanting to Reclaim Jesus As an Authentic Jew and Then Dr. Brown Explains the Nature of Jewish Objections to Jesus

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    Comments

    54 Responses to “Dr. Brown Answers Your Toughest Questions”

    1. Daniel
      December 20th, 2013 @ 11:14 am

      Dr. Brown, I watched you on the Piers Morgan show regarding Phil Robertson and his comments in GQ. Well done, brother!

      Thank you for so confidently and knowledgeably proclaiming the truth of Scripture and for calling Piers out on his incredible hypocrisy. You showed him well that he was just as guilty of the unfounded charged that he threw at you. He had no other response but to feebly call you “silly.” If only we’d been able to hear the gospel of salvation and healing for sinners, too, but I know it was a bit of mad house. Again, well done, and thank you for your faithfulness.

    2. Josh
      December 20th, 2013 @ 11:19 am

      I want to see this!

    3. Josh
      December 20th, 2013 @ 11:49 am

      It’s so sad to see how people have twisted God’s word to suit homosexuality, but I think we need to recognize that the human heart is desperately wicked and unsaved men and women will find every possible reason to continue in sin even if they go beyond logic. We were warned of persecution for following Christ. What happened to Phil will happen more and more. He lost a lot for Jesus without doing anything wrong. The Angels are still rejoicing. He is a huge example for us all. We should follow it.

    4. Bo
      December 20th, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

      You want to see it, here is the link:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzJj8dQr0JM

      Shalom

    5. Bo
      December 20th, 2013 @ 12:08 pm
    6. Josh
      December 20th, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

      Ha! Stop being silly, Dr. Brown!

    7. Josh
      December 20th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

      An interesting point I was thinking of while watching that debate… Leviticus 18:22 is about homosexuality THEN Leviticus 18:23 is about bestiality. Phil had the order correct.

    8. Sheridan
      December 20th, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

      Why have “gay” organizations and their co-dependent media supporters reacted so angrily to Phil Robertson’s words on homosexuality?

      Gay writer Randy Shilts has won numerous gay awards, including the Stonewall award of the American Library Association for his book, “And The Band Played On” ( http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award/honored#1988 )

      In “And the Band Played On,” Randy Shilts catalogues the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, the dangerous sexual practices utilized by gay men, and how these practices led to the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic in the gay male community.

      Shilts tells how angrily the gay male community reacted when he and others told gay males that their promiscuous, unhealthy lifestyle was to blame for the AIDS epidemic.

      “…with AIDS there was a lot of pressure on writers not to write anything negative about the gay community, not to do anything to indicate the honest truth, which is that the gay community had some role in it. Once the virus got into the community, it didn’t spread by itself.

      We had a community that was virtually engineered to ensure the rapid proliferation of a sexually transmitted disease, and people didn’t really do anything about it.

      About 1983 I started working on AIDS full time here at the [San Francisco] Chronicle, and there’s
      been incredible pressure on me—even to the point of DEATH THREATS —not to report honestly on AIDS. (Contemporary Authors, Vol. 127, pg. 404; emphasis mine)

      Randy Shilts has a striking term for this angry reaction from gays. He calls it:

      “…the desperation of denial: how, when something is so horrible you don’t want to believe it, you want to put it out of your mind and insist it isn’t true, and how you hate the person who says it is.” (“And the Band
      Played On,” pg. 182).

      Unfortunately, the same diseases continue to peak in the gay male community. Gay magazines, newspapers and websites frequently have articles on this problem (see, e.g.,

      http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2011/08/02/cdc-syphilis-rise-among-gay-and-bisexual-men

      http://www.advocate.com/print-issue/advocates/2012/04/19/little-infection-or-superbug

      http://www.advocate.com/health/health-news/2012/12/19/cdc-reports-22-percent-increase-hiv-among-young-gay-men).

      Shilts sees the ongoing problem of sexual promiscuity as inherent to male homosexuality:“Promiscuity was rampant because in an all-male subculture there was nobody to say‘no’—no moderating role like that a woman plays in the heterosexual milieu.” (“And the Band Played On,” pg. 89)

      The whole gay rights movement is about “desperate denial”—trying desperately to deny the inherently dysfunctional nature of homosexuality–and its tragic results: “when something is so horrible you don’t want to believe it, you want to put it out of your mind and insist it isn’t true, and how you hate [Phil Robertson and Michael Brown] who says it is.”

      This post is my edit of part of a study that was emailed to me several years ago.

      In “And the Band Played On,” award-winning gay writer Randy Shilts catalogues the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, and the dangerous sexual practices utilized by gay men, to be found in the gay male community. These practices, combined with incredible promiscuity, are the factors which Shilts says caused the gay male community to be “virtually engineered to ensure the rapid proliferation of a sexually transmitted disease…” Not only the usual diseases, like syphilis or gonorrhea, but hepatitis and the “Gay Bowel Syndrome”—amebiasis, giardiasis and shigellosis—and other diseases were continuously epidemic in the gay male community.

    9. Sheridan
      December 20th, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

      Sorry about the add-on paragraph which I forgot to delete.

    10. Greg Allen
      December 20th, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

      Josh

      >> It’s so sad to see how people have twisted God’s word to suit homosexuality,

      No, we are correcting your misapplication of the bible.

      What’s sad — tragic is the only word for it. — is how this has hurt gays and lesbians.

    11. Greg Allen
      December 20th, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

      I appreciated Dr. Brown’s analysis of Dispensationalism. I was raised in the interpretational tradition but rejected it while in Bible school. A very Dispensationalist Bible school!

      I basically gave up Dispensationalism because I just don’t see it in the bible. It seems like a total overlay to me. Some parts of systematic theology has the same problem.

    12. Josh
      December 20th, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

      Greg, homosexuality is a sin. Bestiality is a sin. Adultery is a sin. God hasn’t changed. We have. Homosexuality is absolutely wrong but the pride men have in it is worse. Is there forgiveness for a sinner who admits no wrongdoing?

    13. Jason Engwer
      December 20th, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      Thank you for your work on Piers Morgan’s program. You did well. It’s so unusual to see Christianity represented so well in the mainstream media. I hope you’ll get more opportunities like that.

    14. Sheridan
      December 21st, 2013 @ 12:44 am

      Cathy Brennan, a lesbian activist, speaks out against gay propaganda.

      “CB: This, to me, speaks more to the fact that the GLBT community as a whole has gone down a path that I quite frankly don’t support.

      They’ve gone down a path of identifying anyone with views that don’t fall in line with them as being hateful, bigoted, harmful.

      And I think that’s dangerous, and here’s why: you have to have radical thought in order to push conversations along.

      And just because something makes you feel bad and hurts your feelings doesn’t make it hateful and it doesn’t make it bigoted.

      Now, upon further analysis, it may in fact turn out to be hateful and bigoted, but there is this knee-jerk reaction and as a gay activist, I was a gay activist for many, many years before finally I have disavowed the gay community. They have no, there is no thoughtfulness or nuance to anything they do, it’s very like ‘you’re with us or you’re against us’.

      But you know, I was also very well trained in ‘this is how you do the activism’. You’re a bigot, you know, if you think homosexuality is a sin you’re a bigot.

      Now, I personally, I’m a homosexual. I don’t think homosexuality’s a sin. Do I think all religious people who worship in churches that preach that homosexuality is a sin, do I think they’re bigots? No. I don’t. I think they’re religious. You know?”

      http://genderidentitywatch.com/2013/10/30/swirl-radio-interviews-cathy-brennan-usa/#more-3189

    15. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 9:09 am

      I do understand compassion Greg and those like-minded have for the gay population, but we are not helping them when we tell them they are not doing anything wrong. We want them to find grace. Even if it hurts their feelings they need to know they’re out of God’s will but there is forgiveness waiting for them. We have all sinned. I used to be addicted to porn, but through Christ I am 100% delivered of it. That didn’t happen until I stopped making excuses for what I was doing. Once I admitted it was fully sinful I was delivered. It’s the same for any sexual sin, but sometimes God works us through something else before he works us through what we think he should. His way always prevails.

    16. Ray
      December 21st, 2013 @ 9:14 am

      I wonder about Christians who have been taken in by the homosexual agenda.

      Do they feel they are persecuted for following Christ because they support and defend homosexuality?

      Do they believe Christ will tell them one day, “Well done…” for doing so?

      What in their opinion does Jesus really look like?

      Are they bringing people to the cross or not?

      What are they saying about the cross?

    17. Ray
      December 21st, 2013 @ 9:23 am

      When someone calls another a bigot because he reminds people of what sin really is, or reminds them of something commonly practiced in a modern world, which is wrong, and reminds them that it is sin, is calling such a one a bigot, righteous?

      See Romans 1:29.

      Is it wicked or good?

      See Romans 1:29.

      Is it malicious or not?

      See Romans 1:29.

      Is it deceitful?

      See Romans 1:29.

      Are they full of understanding when they do so?

      See Romans 1:31.

      If they are indeed right, why do they manifest the fruit of unrighteousness?

      I’ve heard it said that you can always tell a false prophet. You just can’t tell him very much.

      As near as I can tell, false prophets don’t come to the cross and repent of their sins.

    18. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 9:39 am

      It’s because of pride, Ray. We live the length of a flash compared to God yet we want to tell him what we think is right for us. Pride of life is so foolish. We are eternal beings and in our short time on Earth we need to find the narrow path. We can only recognize that path when we are in fellowship with God. We can only fellowship with the Father when we deny ourselves and take up our crosses. In sin there is shame, and shame opens us up to falsehood while we try and rationalize our shame away. If you find yourself making excuses to God, how foolish are you? Do you think so low of him?

    19. Jason Engwer
      December 21st, 2013 @ 9:56 am

      The program description above mentions the following question:

      “If salvation is by faith alone, how did the Church get this doctrine wrong for so much of its history?”

      I may have missed it, but I didn’t notice that question during the show. For those who are interested, here’s an article that gives some examples of belief in justification through faith alone between the time of the apostles and the Reformation:

      http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/12/seeds-of-reformation.html

    20. Van
      December 21st, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      “Greg, homosexuality is a sin. Bestiality is a sin. Adultery is a sin.” According to the Bible which also claims the earth is flat, never moves, sits on a foundation supported by pillars and is orbited by the sun. You people pick and choose what you want to believe, what you want to obey and ignore the rest.

    21. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 10:24 am

      Van, have you read the Bible?

    22. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 10:57 am

      I checked into your claims, Van. In all of those instances the Bible is talking of spiritual things. There is no claim that the earth is flat or has actual corners. It is figurative as are all things spiritual. I don’t except you to understand, Van. You don’t believe in spiritual things.

      “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgements about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 NIV

    23. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 10:57 am

      *expect

    24. Van
      December 21st, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      The tautology in this passage you quoted is absurd when you think about it, but deceptive and powerful for person like you who is fearing and longing for salvation. In essence, it says “We’re right and the world is wrong because we say so and the proof of being of God is whether someone listens to us, while the proof of being wrong is listening to them.”

      This passage is a fine example of the non-rational authoritarianism that comes from Christianity.

    25. Josh
      December 21st, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

      You’re only proving the truth in this passage. You cannot discern things of the Spirit. The whole Bible is foolish to you . That is your place unless the Spirit intervenes to open your eyes. No one here is against you, Van. We would all be happy if you were open to truth and peace that can only be found in Christ. I’m glad you’re reading my posts.

    26. Van
      December 21st, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      There isn’t any truth to the passage in question. It is one of the Bible’s many defenses against free inquiry and critical thinking. It’s a shame you cannot recognize the tactics Christianity and the Bible use to command obedience and discourage doubt. If you could you would surely reject them.

    27. Ray
      December 21st, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

      Van, do you ascribe foolishness to the author of the Scriptures?

    28. Van
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 9:17 am

      The “scriptures” as you call them are nothing but stories, letters and poetry written by men to get other men to follow them blindly. And so you do. I don’t.

    29. Bo
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 9:23 am

      Van,

      Most of the people that post here have tried out the claims of the Bible and found them to be true…not necessarily in a scientific sense but a how living in the real world works sense. We have found the truth. It works. It explains why humanity does what it does and offers hope. Your faith in the imaginary idea that there is no deity offers no hope and does not explain the way humanity is.

      Yours is the tautology. You start with the assumption that anything you cannot investigate with your 5 senses is nonexistent and then proclaim that you have never experienced the Creator with your 5 senses…so one does not exist.

      The Russians, I am told, report that they have not found God in outer space. On the other hand, a good many people in many different times and countries claim to have found God, or been found by God, here on earth. The conclusion some want us to draw from these data is that God does not exist. As a corollary, those who think they have met Him on earth were suffering from a delusion. But other conclusions might be drawn.
      (1) We have not yet gone far enough in space. There had been ships on the Atlantic for a good time before America was discovered.
      (2) God does exist but is locally confined to this planet.
      (3) The Russians did find God in space without knowing it because they lacked the requisite apparatus for detecting Him.
      (4) God does exist but is not an object either located in a particular part of space nor diffused, as we once thought “ether” was, throughout space.
      The first two conclusions do not interest me. The sort of religion for which they could be a defense would be a religion for savages: the belief in a local deity who can be contained in a particular temple, island, or grove. That, in fact, seems to be the sort of religion about which the Russians—or some Russians, and a good many people in the West—are being irreligious. It is not in the least disquieting that no astronauts have discovered a god of that sort. The really disquieting thing would be if they had.
      The third and fourth conclusions are the ones for my money….
      Space travel really has nothing to do with the matter. To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. (Hang it all, we’re in space already; every year we go a huge circular tour in space.) But send a saint up in a spaceship and he’ll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye.

      C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections 167, 171

    30. Ray
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 10:29 am

      Maybe there is within every human being, a little bit of the fear of God, a spark of it anyway. If it will survive, it should grow into a fire.

    31. Bo
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 10:56 am

      An Atheist’s View On Life

      I will live my life according to these beliefs

      God does not exist

      It is just foolish to think

      That there is a God with a cosmic plan

      That an all-powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world

      It’s a comforting thought however

      Is only wishful…thinking

      People can do as they please without eternal consequences

      The idea that

      I am deserving of Hell

      Because of sin

      Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power

      The more you have the happier you will be

      Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose

      In a world with no God

      There is freedom to be who I want to be

      But with God

      Everything is fine

      It is ridiculous to think

      I am lost and in need of saving

      Versus A Christian’s View On Life

      (Now…read from bottom to top to see a different view.)

      http://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/170898-an-atheist%E2%80%99s-view-on-life-versus-a-christian%E2%80%99s-view-on-life/

    32. Jason Engwer
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

      Van,

      Michael Brown has often discussed the evidence for Christianity on his radio program, and he’s published books that address the subject (e.g., the third volume of his Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus series addresses fulfilled prophecy; he was a contributor to a recent book on Jesus’ fulfillment of Isaiah 53). He’s often interviewed scholars who have studied and written about evidential issues, like Michael Licona on Jesus’ resurrection and Craig Keener on modern miracles. Instead of addressing that sort of material, you’re acting as if it doesn’t exist. And you keep making assertions against Christianity without giving us any reason to agree with what you’re claiming. What do you think you’re accomplishing when you ignore Christianity’s best representatives and best arguments and focus, instead, on complaining about the anti-intellectualism of some Christians?

      You objected to a citation of 1 Corinthians 2. Elsewhere in the same document, Paul appeals to the evidential value of the miracles he performed, refers to his own status as an eyewitness of the risen Jesus, cites the testimony of other eyewitnesses, and appeals to the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, for example. The work of the Holy Spirit that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 2 isn’t a substitute for argumentation and evidence. Rather, they go together. In the gospels and Acts, Jesus and the apostles don’t expect the Holy Spirit to do almost all of the persuading work for them while they do next to nothing to reason with people, nor do they go around doing little more than quoting the Bible. Rather, they offer verifiable argumentation and evidence for their claims, such as by performing miracles or by appealing to eyewitness testimony or reasoning with people in other ways. Many of the books of the Bible are works of historiography, Greco-Roman biographies, or part of some other genre that was intended to convey information of an objectively verifiable nature. The sort of anti-intellectualism you’re attributing to Christianity as a whole doesn’t explain the Bible. And it isn’t applicable to the many Christians who take intellectual issues seriously, as the Bible commands them to. A lot of professing Christians are anti-intellectual to a large degree. That’s shameful, and it’s highly destructive. But it isn’t sufficient grounds for dismissing Christianity as a whole.

      You’ve brought up a lot of issues. Regarding cosmology (whether the Bible affirms a flat earth, etc.), there are many articles on that subject in my blog’s archives. (Click on my name above to access the blog. Some of our material is archived in the indexes near the top of the screen, titled “Triablogue Master Index” and “Triablogue Topical Index”.). One of my colleagues there, Steve Hays, has written probably several hundred pages of material on that subject over the years. We’ve also written in depth about the evidence for Christianity and have interacted with many of its critics. I’ve already mentioned Michael Brown’s material and the material of others he’s cited in the past, like Michael Licona’s work on Jesus’ resurrection and Craig Keener’s work on modern miracles. That’s the sort of material you need to interact with. Complaining about the anti-intellectualism of some Christians you encounter in online forums doesn’t accomplish much.

    33. Ray
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

      If the Bible were simply a book written by men to get other men to follow them blindly, why is it that so many men come to complete moral agreement with each other?

      Why is it that each man isn’t about other men following them in particular, as is so common among men?

      For if it were, there would be disagreement and infighting to see who get’s the following.

      Nothing of an agument that says the Bible is simply a book written by men in hopes that other men might follow them makes any sense whatsoever.

      It doesn’t stand to any reason whatsoever. It’s simply nonsense.

      The Bible is a book of consistent moral character, which is in complete 100% moral agreement, with no contradiction whatsover on moral matters, some of them very deep indeed.

      Isn’t that a witness that there was a common spirit among all the writers of it?

      I believe it’s evident that the Bible is it’s own witness speaking of the common spirit, and it does so in so many muli-faceted ways.

      Every book of the Bible honors the same Spirit, rather than men honoring self. It is a book that was written unselfishly. It’s so clearly evident.

      Romans 1:19-21
      Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
      For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

      The book of Ecclesiates for example speaks of and searches out seemingly everything in creation (under the sun) and by examining those things and how they relate to mankind, the knowledge and instruction of God is found, and the foundation of it was declared in it’s conclusion.

    34. Ray
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

      As the Scripture teaches, a wise man’s eyes are in his head, therefore they read and follow the instruction of the Scriptures, while the fool walks in darkness and does not know what it is that he stumbles over.

    35. S. Johnson
      December 22nd, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      It is unfortunate that you did not get more air time. It seems Piers Morgan has a way of confusing people by making all Biblical mandates universal for all people, rather than separating them into categories such as those relevant for Israel as a Theocracy, Ceremonial laws, and moral mandates that are to apply to all people. It would be nice to have someone educate him, as the power of his argument appears to be in making all laws the same. Therefore, if homosexuality laws are to be followed, children who curse their parents should be stoned etc.

      His question about whether you should have more rights then other people, shows again his ignorance. The individual “rights” of a Christian taken to mean that which is allowable in the eyes of God, are given by God not by personal preference. It is not a matter of what we define our rights to be but what God says our rights SHOULD be.

      I have challenged Mr. Morgan on his Facebook page to bring you back for a one on one discussion. I do not hold out high hopes that he will read what I posted, or if he does will take up the challenge. It is far more amusing for him to bully those who are less able to defend their view than you.

    36. Jason Engwer
      December 23rd, 2013 @ 6:38 am

      S. Johnson,

      A good way to make your point about not applying all laws universally is by citing examples that are already accepted by people like Piers Morgan. If a five-year-old is required by his parents to go to bed at 8 P.M., must his parents enforce the same bedtime when their son is fifteen? If he visits his parents when he’s thirty-five, must he still go to bed at 8 P.M.? Are his parents inconsistent hypocrites if they don’t enforce the same bedtime throughout his life, yet they do consistently enforce other standards? What about laws that societies apply to non-citizens, but not to citizens? Or changes in law that occur during wartime? Or legal distinctions we make between felons and non-felons? Individuals, families, and societies frequently apply rules, traditions, and such that are intended to be temporary or only applicable to some people or some situations. Does Piers Morgan think it’s wrongly discriminatory for the government to honor veterans in a way in which it doesn’t honor non-veterans? Must the government spend an equal amount of money on all war memorials, even if one war involved a much larger number of veterans than another war? And so on. Somebody like Piers Morgan couldn’t explain and justify all of these distinctions societies make in a five-second or one-minute sound bite, with other people trying to talk over him half the time. But he’d expect people to understand such distinctions and to make a significant effort to study and consider such factors when evaluating a society like the United States or England. He’d be unconvinced, and probably angry, if somebody took the sort of simplistic approach toward the United States or England that he takes toward Christianity.

    37. Ray
      December 23rd, 2013 @ 7:43 am

      If we would rather have the truth in front of ourselves and ourselves behind the truth, we shouldn’t be found to be thieves and robbers.

    38. Josh
      December 23rd, 2013 @ 9:32 am

      There is a lot on homosexuality being a sin, but I haven’t seen anyone explain why it is against God’s will. We are created in his image to live in this Earthly realm. We differ from the animals because they are not created in his image. They are but flesh while we are flesh, soul, and spirit. You ‘ll hear or read the argument that animals have homosexual tendencies, so why can’t we? It is simple. We are created in God’s image. Since we know good and evil. Since sin has entered the world, since there are forces both man and spiri out to pervert God’s way, we have been told through the scriptures God’s will. What God allows us to do sexually is extremely limited compared to the vast amount of perversion that exists.

      Even if homosexuality wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, by knowing the Father’s holiness , by knowing that whatever he designs it must be done his way or his wrath falls on us, we know we must obey his commands and respect his holiness as much as humanly possible. For those of us who know him and do our best to live our daily lives walking with him it is easy to understand his will for us all.

      Even if you have accepted Christ’s atonement for your sin there is no reason to believe you have forgiveness for a sin you do not recognize as a sin. Maybe this is why the path is narrow. When you know the Son you can know the Father. The more you know the Father, the more you realize how incredibly holy he is. Seeing him face to face in our flesh would mean our immediate physical death. I know God pretty well. I fear only him. I don’t even fear death , and that is one of the most liberating sensations.

    39. Van
      December 24th, 2013 @ 12:47 am

      “Michael Brown has often discussed the evidence for Christianity on his radio program, and he’s published books that address the subject (e.g., the third volume of his Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus series addresses fulfilled prophecy; he was a contributor to a recent book on Jesus’ fulfillment of Isaiah 53). He’s often interviewed scholars who have studied and written about evidential issues, like Michael Licona on Jesus’ resurrection and Craig Keener on modern miracles. Instead of addressing that sort of material, you’re acting as if it doesn’t exist. And you keep making assertions against Christianity without giving us any reason to agree with what you’re claiming. What do you think you’re accomplishing when you ignore Christianity’s best representatives and best arguments and focus, instead, on complaining about the anti-intellectualism of some Christians?”

      > Your best arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. What is more important is that arguments are not evidence. There is no evidence from any sources outside of the Bible that can confirm any of the stories in the Bible or the existence of the major figures described in the Bible. Keener, Brown and Licona use smoke and mirrors to hide this fact from you.

      You objected to a citation of 1 Corinthians 2. Elsewhere in the same document, Paul appeals to the evidential value of the miracles he performed, refers to his own status as an eyewitness of the risen Jesus, cites the testimony of other eyewitnesses, and appeals to the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, for example.

      > Once again we have the only real argument Bible believers have: “The Bible’s true because it says it is.” Using the characters in the Bible to prove it’s true is like siting the testimonies of Lois Lane, Perry White and Jimmy Olson to prove Superman can fly. It’s a ridiculous circular argument that only a Bible believer could fall for. Why don’t we have some witnesses we can verify with sources independent of he Bible? The NT writers wrote their stories to make it seem like Jesus had fulfilled well known prophecies. It was easy to put a prediction that the temple would be destroyed on the lips of Jesus decades after this had already occurred.

      The work of the Holy Spirit that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 2 isn’t a substitute for argumentation and evidence. Rather, they go together. In the gospels and Acts, Jesus and the apostles don’t expect the Holy Spirit to do almost all of the persuading work for them while they do next to nothing to reason with people, nor do they go around doing little more than quoting the Bible. Rather, they offer verifiable argumentation and evidence for their claims, such as by performing miracles or by appealing to eyewitness testimony or reasoning with people in other ways. Many of the books of the Bible are works of historiography, Greco-Roman biographies, or part of some other genre that was intended to convey information of an objectively verifiable nature. The sort of anti-intellectualism you’re attributing to Christianity as a whole doesn’t explain the Bible.

      > The authors of the Bible were not writing stories to be understood as history. When you define these stories as history you are forcing a meaning on them not shared by the authors.

      And it isn’t applicable to the many Christians who take intellectual issues seriously, as the Bible commands them to. A lot of professing Christians are anti-intellectual to a large degree. That’s shameful, and it’s highly destructive. But it isn’t sufficient grounds for dismissing Christianity as a whole.

      > The grounds for dismissing Christianity is the lack of evidence to support the claims this religion and its leaders make.

      You’ve brought up a lot of issues. Regarding cosmology (whether the Bible affirms a flat earth, etc.), there are many articles on that subject in my blog’s archives. (Click on my name above to access the blog. Some of our material is archived in the indexes near the top of the screen, titled “Triablogue Master Index” and “Triablogue Topical Index”.).

      > The consensus in cosmology is that the mass-energy the universe is made of has always existed in one form or another. In other words it was not created. Bible believers claim this is incorrect which is just about as anti-intellectual as you can get.

      One of my colleagues there, Steve Hays, has written probably several hundred pages of material on that subject over the years. We’ve also written in depth about the evidence for Christianity and have interacted with many of its critics. I’ve already mentioned Michael Brown’s material and the material of others he’s cited in the past, like Michael Licona’s work on Jesus’ resurrection and Craig Keener’s work on modern miracles. That’s the sort of material you need to interact with. Complaining about the anti-intellectualism of some Christians you encounter in online forums doesn’t accomplish much.

      > The anti-intellectualism of Christianity comes directly from he Bible itself. “The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden story. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your [big] mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions…. “get smart and I’ll [mess] you over, sayeth the Lord.” Is this not an absolutely anti-intellectual religion?”- Frank Zappa. Your evil religion disparages human knowledge and wisdom and foolishly claims all knowledge comes from your particular God.

      If the Bible were simply a book written by men to get other men to follow them blindly, why is it that so many men come to complete moral agreement with each other?
      Why is it that each man isn’t about other men following them in particular, as is so common among men?

      > If you knew anything about other cultures you would know that is not true. Many of the actions of God described in the Bible are found to be morally wrong an even disgusting by many people even believers. The command not to murder actually means not to murder unless God commands it. Genocide and the murder of women, children, prisoners of war and animals is permitted as long as believers believe their God wills. The Bible claims this has indeed happened many times. So we are NOT in any kind of moral agreement. With God anything is permissible no matter how heinous the crime.

      For if it were, there would be disagreement and infighting to see who get’s the following.
      Nothing of an agument that says the Bible is simply a book written by men in hopes that other men might follow them makes any sense whatsoever.
      It doesn’t stand to any reason whatsoever. It’s simply nonsense.

      > That is hilarious! You prove me correct by believing what you have been told by other people to believe about the Bible!

      The Bible is a book of consistent moral character, which is in complete 100% moral agreement, with no contradiction whatsover on moral matters, some of them very deep indeed.

      > Would you murder someone if you thought God commanded you to? Don’t ignore this question.

      Isn’t that a witness that there was a common spirit among all the writers of it?
      I believe it’s evident that the Bible is it’s own witness speaking of the common spirit, and it does so in so many muli-faceted ways.
      Every book of the Bible honors the same Spirit, rather than men honoring self. It is a book that was written unselfishly. It’s so clearly evident.

      > The Gods of the Old and New Testaments are as different night and day.

      Romans 1:19-21
      Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
      For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

      > That is one of the Bible’s many defenses against free inquiry and critical thinking. The existence of real live atheists proves that passage is false. And since that passage is false then here is no reason to believe anything the Bible says is true ot correct.

      Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
      The book of Ecclesiates for example speaks of and searches out seemingly everything in creation (under the sun) and by examining those things and how they relate to mankind, the knowledge and instruction of God is found, and the foundation of it was declared in it’s conclusion.

      > Declaring something does not make it true. The Bible declares vegetation was on the earth before the sun and moon even existed. You believe in a God that does not understand photosynthesis, which is why you don’t understand it either.

      As the Scripture teaches, a wise man’s eyes are in his head, therefore they read and follow the instruction of the Scriptures, while the fool walks in darkness and does not know what it is that he stumbles over.

      > We have proved the opposite is true.

      It is unfortunate that you did not get more air time. It seems Piers Morgan has a way of confusing people by making all Biblical mandates universal for all people, rather than separating them into categories such as those relevant for Israel as a Theocracy, Ceremonial laws, and moral mandates that are to apply to all people.

      > Piers Morgan trapped Dr. Brown with that loaded question and Dr. Brown proved it with his ridiculous response. This is a matter of the civil rights Dr. Brown does not think gay people should have but for some reason he thinks he deserves.

      It would be nice to have someone educate him, as the power of his argument appears to be in making all laws the same. Therefore, if homosexuality laws are to be followed, children who curse their parents should be stoned etc.

      > If those ceremonial laws have to go then so do the 10 commandments. After all a command to worship only one God has no business being on display in a land founded upon religious freedom and the right to worship any God or no God at all.

      His question about whether you should have more rights then other people, shows again his ignorance. The individual “rights” of a Christian taken to mean that which is allowable in the eyes of God, are given by God not by personal preference. It is not a matter of what we define our rights to be but what God says our rights SHOULD be.

      > That is incorrect. Our rights do not come from God as our slave owning founders proved when they wrote that all men are created equal. We humans gave the slaves their rights. We humans gave women the right to vote and the right to abortions as well, not any God.

      I have challenged Mr. Morgan on his Facebook page to bring you back for a one on one discussion. I do not hold out high hopes that he will read what I posted, or if he does will take up the challenge. It is far more amusing for him to bully those who are less able to defend their view than you.

      > It’s okay for Dr. Brown to bully the people who disagree with him on his show though. Right? Dr. Brown tries to put people on the spot with loaded questions all the time, one of is favorite tactics. It was nice seeing Dr. Brown getting a dose of his own medicine.

    40. Ray
      December 24th, 2013 @ 4:15 am

      Van, If you don’t repent of your self serving and destructive ways, you will burn in hell on the day of judgment of our God.

      The good news is that those who do repent of their sins and come to faith in Christ will be spared from such an end. Not only so, but they will spend eternity with Christ and the entire saved family of God.

    41. Van
      December 24th, 2013 @ 8:55 am

      “Van, If you don’t repent of your self serving and destructive ways, you will burn in hell on the day of judgment of our God.”

      > It never fails. When the Christian sees all of their arguments destroyed they always resort to threats of eternal damnation. This lets us know exactly how and why they were led to believe something that is so obviously a lie. Fear is not a good reason to believe something. Evidence is. You don’t have any.

    42. Jason Engwer
      December 24th, 2013 @ 10:00 am

      Van wrote:

      “Once again we have the only real argument Bible believers have: ‘The Bible’s true because it says it is.’”

      That’s not what I said. You’re misrepresenting the context of my comment. You made claims about what approach the Biblical authors supposedly take toward evidential issues. I cited Paul’s approach toward evidential issues in portions of 1 Corinthians outside of the passage quoted from chapter 2. For you to respond by criticizing me for citing the Bible is nonsensical. Since the subject under discussion was how the Bible authors behaved, what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians is relevant. Your failure to follow the argument doesn’t reflect well on your claim to be so concerned about issues of reason and evidence. So far, you’ve shown yourself to be a highly ignorant and unreasonable person who repeatedly fails to understand even basic logical distinctions and arguments.

      You go on to write:

      “The authors of the Bible were not writing stories to be understood as history. When you define these stories as history you are forcing a meaning on them not shared by the authors.”

      How many New Testament scholars or other scholars with relevant credentials have you read on this subject? Below are some of Craig Keener’s comments on the genre of the gospels. You’ll have to explain to us how you supposedly know that Keener is wrong.

      “Readers throughout most of history understood the Gospels as biographies (Stanton 1989a: 15-17), but after 1915 scholars tried to find some other classification for them, mainly because these scholars compared ancient and modern biography and noticed that the Gospels differed from the latter (Talbert 1977: 2-3; cf. Mack 1988: 16n.6). The current trend, however, is again to recognize the Gospels as ancient biographies. The most complete statement of the question to date comes from a Cambridge monograph by Richard A. Burridge. After carefully defining the criteria for evaluating genre (1992: 109-27) and establishing the characteristic features of Greco-Roman ‘lives’ (128-90), he demonstrates how the canonical Gospels fit this genre (191-239). The trend to regard the Gospels as ancient biography is currently strong enough for British Matthew scholar Graham Stanton to characterize the skepticism of Bultmann and others about the biographical character of the Gospels as ‘surprisingly inaccurate’ (1993: 63; idem 1995: 137)….But though such [ancient] historians did not always write the way we write history today, they were clearly concerned to write history as well as their resources allowed (Jos. Ant. 20.156-57’ Arist. Poetics 9.2-3, 1451b; Diod. Sic. 21.17.1; Dion. Hal. 1.1.2-4; 1.2.1; 1.4.2; cf. Mosley 1965). Although the historical accuracy of biographers varied from one biographer to another, biographers intended biographies to be essentially historical works (see Aune 1988: 125; Witherington 1994:339; cf. Polyb. 8.8)….There apparently were bad historians and biographers who made up stories, but they became objects of criticism for violating accepted standards (cf. Lucian History 12, 24-25)….Matthew and Luke, whose fidelity we can test against some of their sources, rank high among ancient works….Like most Greek-speaking Jewish biographers, Matthew is more interested in interpreting tradition than in creating it….A Gospel writer like Luke was among the most accurate of ancient historians, if we may judge from his use of Mark (see Marshall 1978; idem 1991) and his historiography in Acts (cf., e.g., Sherwin-White 1978; Gill and Gempf 1994). Luke clearly had both written (Lk 1:1) and oral (1:2) sources available, and his literary patron Theophilus already knew much of this Christian tradition (1:4), which would exclude Luke’s widespread invention of new material. Luke undoubtedly researched this material (1:3) during his (on my view) probable sojourn with Paul in Palestine (Acts 21:17; 27:1; on the ‘we-narratives,’ cf., e.g., Maddox 1982: 7). Although Luke writes more in the Greco-Roman historiographic tradition than Matthew does, Matthew’s normally relatively conservative use of Mark likewise suggests a high degree of historical trustworthiness behind his accounts….only historical works, not novels, had historical prologues like that of Luke [Luke 1:1-4] (Aune 1987: 124)…A central character’s ‘great deeds’ generally comprise the bulk of an ancient biographical narrative, and the Gospels fit this prediction (Burridge 1992: 208). In other words, biographies were about someone in particular. Aside from the 42.5 percent of Matthew’s verbs that appear directly in Jesus’ teaching, Jesus himself is the subject of 17.2 percent of Matthew’s verbs; the disciples, 8.8 percent; those to whom Jesus ministers, 4.4 percent; and the religious establishment, 4.4 percent. Even in his absence he often remains the subject of others’ discussions (14:1-2; 26:3-5). Thus, as was common in ancient biographies (and no other genre), at least half of Matthew’s verbs involve the central figure’s ‘words and deeds’ (Burridge 1992: 196-97, 202). The entire point of using this genre is that it focuses on Jesus himself, not simply on early Christian experience (Burridge 1992: 256-58).” (A Commentary On The Gospel Of Matthew [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1999], 17-18, 21-23, 51)

      See also the further discussion in the introduction in the first volume of Keener’s commentary on the gospel of John (The Gospel Of John: A Commentary [Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003]). Keener goes into much more detail than what I outline above, too much to quote here. Here’s a portion of his discussion:

      “The lengths of the canonical gospels suggest not only intention to publish but also the nature of their genre. All four gospels fit the medium-range length (10,000-25,000 words) found in ancient biographies as distinct from many other kinds of works….all four canonical gospels are a far cry from the fanciful metamorphosis stories, divine rapes, and so forth in a compilation like Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Gospels plainly have more historical intention and fewer literary pretensions than such works….Works with a historical prologue like Luke’s (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2) were historical works; novels lacked such fixtures, although occasionally they could include a proem telling why the author made up the story (Longus proem 1-2). In contrast to novels, the Gospels do not present themselves as texts composed primarily for entertainment, but as true accounts of Jesus’ ministry. The excesses of some forms of earlier source and redaction criticism notwithstanding, one would also be hard pressed to find a novel so clearly tied to its sources as Matthew or Luke is! Even John, whose sources are difficult to discern, overlaps enough with the Synoptics in some accounts and clearly in purpose to defy the category of novel….The Gospels are, however, too long for dramas, which maintained a particular length in Mediterranean antiquity. They also include far too much prose narrative for ancient drama….Richard Burridge, after carefully defining the criteria for identifying genre and establishing the characteristic features of Greco-Roman bioi, or lives, shows how both the Synoptics and John fit this genre. So forceful is his work on Gospel genre as biography that one knowledgeable reviewer [Charles Talbert] concludes, ‘This volume ought to end any legitimate denial of the canonical Gospels’ biographical character.’ Arguments concerning the biographical character of the Gospels have thus come full circle: the Gospels, long viewed as biographies until the early twentieth century, now again are widely viewed as biographies….Biographies were essentially historical works; thus the Gospels would have an essentially historical as well as a propagandistic function….[quoting David Aune] ’while biography tended to emphasize encomium, or the one-sided praise of the subject, it was still firmly rooted in historical fact rather than literary fiction. Thus while the Evangelists clearly had an important theological agenda, the very fact that they chose to adapt Greco-Roman biographical conventions to tell the story of Jesus indicates that they were centrally concerned to communicate what they thought really happened.’…had the Gospel writers wished to communicate solely later Christian doctrine and not history, they could have used simpler forms than biography….As readers of the OT, which most Jews viewed as historically true, they must have believed that history itself communicated theology….the Paraclete [in John’s gospel] recalls and interprets history, aiding the witnesses (14:26; 15:26-27).…the features that Acts shares with OT historical works confirms that Luke intended to write history…History [in antiquity] was supposed to be truthful, and [ancient] historians harshly criticized other historians whom they accused of promoting falsehood, especially when they exhibited self-serving agendas.” (7-13, 17, n. 143 on 17, 18)

      Regarding your claim that we “don’t have any” evidence for Christianity, here are some examples of the evidence Craig Keener cites in his recent work on miracles:

      http://www.triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/07/modern-miracle-reports-with-evidence.html

      http://www.triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/07/modern-miracle-reports-with-evidence_15.html

      You don’t know much about these issues, Van. Stop wasting people’s time.

    43. S.Johnson
      December 24th, 2013 @ 10:59 am

      Van-

      I was wondering where you went off to. The pseudonym is different but the song you sing is always the same. You once again go about moralizing about things you seem to believe are absolutely wrong without having a ground for moral absolutes. You attack the God of the Bible as being immoral as part of your argument against God, without telling us where you got your standard of morality by which you judge.

    44. Van
      December 24th, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

      Jason Engwer
      ‘That’s not what I said. You’re misrepresenting the context of my comment. You made claims about what approach the Biblical authors supposedly take toward evidential issues. I cited Paul’s approach toward evidential issues in portions of 1 Corinthians outside of the passage quoted from chapter 2. For you to respond by criticizing me for citing the Bible is nonsensical.”

      > No it isn’t. You’re using the Bible to prove the Bible is true. We really don’t know who wrote the passage in question. I don’t believe that the Paul described in Acts even existed.

      Since the subject under discussion was how the Bible authors behaved, what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians is relevant. Your failure to follow the argument doesn’t reflect well on your claim to be so concerned about issues of reason and evidence. So far, you’ve shown yourself to be a highly ignorant and unreasonable person who repeatedly fails to understand even basic logical distinctions and arguments.

      > You obviously don’t understand MY argument. It goes like this. I need some kind of source independent of the Bible that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this Apostle Paul actually existed. The same goes for Jesus and the rest of the disciples. Unless you can produce such evidence I cannot accept anything you say about any of them.

      People of all religions make the same claims about miraculous healing. What’s so funny about all of them is that you religious people won’t accept miracles and personal experiences from adherents of other religions as proof that their religion is true but you expect other people to accept your miracles as proof that your religion is true. Why should I accept supposed evidence from you that your religion is true when you won’t accept the same kind of evidence from people of other faiths that their religion is true? Your argument that I should read what Christian Bible scholars believe about the Bible suffers from the same flaw. If you wanted to learn about and understand the Koran would you take the words of Muslim Bible scholars as the correct view on the Koran? I doubt it. Yet you expect critics to take the words of believing Christian scholars with a clear and present religious agenda as the correct view of the Bible.

      The gospels are not historical or biographical narratives. Your scholars have conveniently ignored one very obvious fact. Historical narratives don’t include dialog, conversations between people all speaking in complete sentences. Only fictive narratives contain this kind of dialog and in the Bible we not only have people conversing but people conversing with talking animals, angels, demons, Satan and God. Can you name any biographical or historical narratives written like the gospels from antiquity? Of course not. You would not take as historical or biographical any non-Christian writing that contained word for word conversations of people all speaking in complete sentences let alone literature describing the same kinds of miracles that are described in the Bible. In this case as with the other two, once again you expect some kind of preferential treatment. You want your holy book to be given a special pass when it comes to literary criticism, a pass you would not give to any other literature.

      > S. Johnson,
      The most valuable thing for humans is life itself. So morality is based on the value of human life. Whatever preserves, protects or promotes life is therefore good and whatever harms or destroys life is evil. Based on that standard many of the actions attributed to God and His followers in the Bible are evil. So this natural morality is objectively based on the value of human life. On the other hand, divine command morality can be used to make an excuse for the most heinous of crimes, even genocide as the Bible clearly describes. The commandment not to murder actually means not to murder unless God tells you to. In that circumstance the murder of women, children, prisoners of war and even animals is allowed, again as the Bible clearly demonstrates. That is moral relativism in the extreme! Your morality is highly subjective because it supposedly comes from a deity that is not constrained in any way as to what commands He gives and whose motives are beyond human comprehension. So I have turned your argument on its head and shown that it is the Bible believer that has no ground for moral absolutes or really any kind of morals at all. What morals Christians do have they have adopted and learned from and since the rise of secular humanism.

    45. jon
      December 25th, 2013 @ 12:19 am

      Can you have Piers as a guest on your line of fire radio show?

    46. S. Johnson
      December 25th, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

      Van or Boris or Fearless, or whatever you call yourself today,

      Your arguments are not getting any better. It is a category mistake to say since it is wrong for me to take a life, it is wrong for God to take a life. I cannot dig up your rose bushes, but I can do as I like with mine. I did not create life, so I have no right to take life. God created life and so can take it. We all die it is just a matter as to when. And a perfectly righteous judge is in the best position to say when.

      Now as to your “objective” measure of morality, it is seriously flawed. You cannot claim that morals are truly objective and stand beyond and in judgement of all humanity, without a standard that is beyond all humanity. If I steal money from someone who has vast wealth such that it cause them no harm, by your standard that would be moral. If I cheat on my exams to get a degree, it did not hurt the life of another, so it must be ok. Is that what you teach your children?

    47. Van
      December 26th, 2013 @ 8:57 am

      Before you can make your claim you have to prove that there actually IS a standard beyond humanity. And since you have no basis for morality yourself I guess I have to explain to you that when you steal and cheat you are harming yourself. I wouldn’t expect a Bible believer to be able to grasp that concept all by himself. You’re welcome.

    48. Van
      December 26th, 2013 @ 9:06 am

      “We all die it is just a matter as to when. And a perfectly righteous judge is in the best position to say when.”

      What standard do you use to tell whether your perfectly righteous judge is perfectly righteous?

    49. S. Johnson
      December 28th, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      Van–

      That brings us back full circle. Assuming you believe in absolute moral standards (and if you don’t all your moralizing becomes vacuous) then in order to say that God is not righteous, you would need to have a standard beyond Him. If there is a standard beyond God, then He cannot be the first cause of all, for there is something beyond Him. He would no longer be ultimate. But then you need to ask what lies beyond Him to give these moral standards. Since moral standards are prescriptive not descriptive, and are not material, they are a product of mind. In the end you end up back to an ultimate mind which must be God.

      Now here is my question for you. Where does the idea of objective moral standards come from? Is it learned–and therefore not necessarily binding? Is it written in our DNA–and therefore just a product of time and chance? If this is the case then it would seem that, time and chance could happen again, and what we call “good” today our genes may mutate so that it is “evil” in some distant future. And even if such mutation does not take place, since our genes according to your view point are just time and chance filtered through the lens of survival of the fittest, then we should be able to transcend our genes and reject those morals. After all if our morals are nothing but genetic code, then they cannot be binding. Further, if we are all “dancing to our DNA” as Dawkins would have us believe, then we should not blame the rapist and the sadist, for their actions. Not many people would say that the actions of such people were not REALLY immoral, but just a product of our DNA. Not many people would go up to the parents of an abused child and say, “you need to understand, the perpetrator was just dancing to his DNA”. It just doesn’t wash as you yourself seem to intuit with all of the moral standards you inject into your discussions. Even Dawkins is at odds with himself when he speaks of transcending the very DNA he says we must dance to.

      And if our morals came about as the result of the paradigm of survival of the fittest, then what are we to do with altruism. If a man runs into a burning building to save a child, he risks his own survival and those of his children for whom he will not be able to provide if he dies. But from that paradigm, this makes no sense. Interestingly, we all call such a man a “hero” when from a survival paradigm we should call him a fool. Is it credible to say that the majority of people suffer from a “mutant gene” that goes against the survival paradigm, such that they call “fools” heros? Why was not such a gene weeded out from humanity?

      For the theist, all of these problems have a coherent solution.

    50. Van
      January 6th, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

      I’m not an absolutist. That’s your thing. I don’t have to prove anything. Before you can demand I prove there is a standard beyond God first you have to prove there is a God. You people have had centuries to do this and you have failed miserably. As far as modern morals in the West they are derived from Greek and Roman sources, not Christianity. The morals in other cultures have evolved from other traditions. For example in China there is an honor system of morality and it functions just fine.

    51. jon
      January 6th, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      Hmm, Blaise Pascal once answered the pompus French king the same thing that Van has asked.

      “Pascal Give me clear proof of God.”

      Research why this one mathmatician was asked this question by this flamboyant king of the sun.

      Van, in that research may God reach your heart like he did for the French King.

    52. Van
      January 6th, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

      I like Pierre Laplace’s reply to Napoleon Bonaparte who, after reading Laplace’s Celestial Mechanics, which explained the universe in terms of natural causes, observed that it contained no mention of God. “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis.”

    53. jon
      January 6th, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

      Pierre Laplace lived to age 77 was gifted years to remain curious about God. He was curious throughout his life, just like you Van, may God gift you years to rebuff your notion’s of your own hypothesis. Keep reaching up to God, and keep listening to Michael Brown.

    54. Van
      January 7th, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

      I’m curious but not about God. I interested in how people are indoctrinated into your religion and what it does to them. Listening to Dr. Brown sheds some light on that. So I’m not reaching for any God. If there is a God I’m quite sure it isn’t the one you believe in.

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