April 22, 2011

Reasons I Believe - Part 2: Prophesy

Buon giorno. Are you having a Good Friday? Originally, I was going to repeat my Good Friday post from last year. Instead, I will link to that here and also expand on it.

One of the strongest evidences for the validity of the Bible and of the Christian faith is the fulfillment of prophesy (see the above link). It is amazing how so many details in the "messianic prophesies" were foretold by prophets hundreds of years before they happened. As an introductory lesson, take a look at Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. Then, compare them with Matthew 26 and 27. Also, compare Zech. 11.12-13 with Matt. 26.14-15 and Matt. 27.3-5.

But those are just some of the "suffering servant" prophesies. Old Testament prophesies of the resurrection were fewer, and it was quite startling that Jesus prophesied his own resurrection!

"Come on, Cowboy Bob! The writers of the Jesus story knew their scriptures and just stuck things in so that they could say, 'Aha! Prophesies fulfilled!'"

I asked around about how to give an answer to such an arrogant, ignorant remark. Greg Koukl of "Stand to Reason" came through for me again (his fabulous answer takes about ten minutes, full three-hour podcast available here):

Again, I hope you'll take the time to check out my article on prophesies from last year. Have a Good Friday.

April 20, 2011

Richard "Daffy" Dawkins is Caught

Dawkins caught in either (a) disinformation or (b) an outright, repeated lie. Also, a man who became a Christian partly because of the vicious atheist Dawkinsites. Read about that, and see the video, here.

April 18, 2011

Reasons I Believe — Part 1: Diversity and Faults

Yes, Lela, I know you like it when I blast some cafone with the thunder and lightning, but I'm putting that on hold for a while. I want to talk to the people without scaring them, capice? Alrightey then.

Buon giorno. Go ahead, sit down. I want to talk to you. Just hear me out, OK? I want to tell you some of the reasons that I believe that the Bible is true and, ultimately, that Jesus is who he said he is.

There have been many times I have come across people who make the charge that the Bible was cranked out by people who wanted to start a religion. (Sometimes, they make the ridiculous claim that it was done to control people, but I won't dignify that with any discussion.) Well, that's kind of difficult. You see, the Bible is based on the word biblos. It is not really a book, but a collection of sixty six books. These were written over a span of centuries by people from diverse cultures and in various walks of life: Fishermen, shepherds, kings, a tax collector, a physician — the prophet Amos was a part-time fig picker. You get the idea, all sorts of people who spoke different languages. That right there shows how absurd it is when ignorant people simply say that it was to create a religion — too many professions, too many languages, too much time, too many cultures.

Get ten of your friends and have them answer questions about difficult, controversial subjects. There is not much chance that they will all agree on the stuff. Yet, the Bible writers, with all of their cultures and professions, were in agreement.

Here's a point that keeps popping up in my Bible reading: The "ring of truth". Be honest with me: Do you really think that if someone was going to create stories out of thin air (or use them to illustrate greater truths), they would put all the flaws of the people in there?
  • Israel saw the power of God in their escape from Egypt, and started worshiping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain talking to God and getting the Ten Commandments
  • Elijah saw God's power (1 Kings 18) and Baal's priests were destroyed. But his life was threatened, so he ran and hid, feeling sorry for himself.
  • Jonah did not want to be God's prophet to Nineveh, he hated them. After the incident with the whale, he preached and they repented — much to Jonah's dismay (Jonah 4)!
  • The disciples of Jesus argued among themselves as to who was the greatest (Mark 9.34)
  • One of Jesus' disciples betrayed him.
  • One of Jesus' disciples denied him.
  • The apostle Paul was a persecutor of the church, and was essentially dragged into the Kingdom kicking and screaming.
  • Paul and Barnabas had a strong disagreement and stopped working together (Acts 15.39-40).
I don't think I need to go on. But all through Biblical history, the flaws of God's people were unvarnished.

That's enough for today. Ciao.

April 17, 2011

Atheist Standards of Morality - Part 3 and a Challenge

Buon giorno. After this article, I'm changing the subject for a while.

I have a challenge for the intelligent, civil atheists. But I have other things to say first because I have to set this up with examples, capice? 

Last time, I provided an audio clip where several problems with Internet atheists were discussed. Some of this problem is of a spiritual nature. On the call that I present below to "Faith and Reason" "Carm Radio" (Matt Slick of CARM), I inadvertently set Matt off a bit. I know he was not exasperated with me personally, but rather, with the concepts that I was bringing forward. In my discussions with many people online, we have seen that the majority of Internet atheists are angry, hateful, dishonest and manipulative. Too bad they lost interest in their Korgi Cards so rapidly, and then wander off to bother other people...

Recently, I had another writer of a Christian Weblog send me a message. He noted that the atheists at Ray Comfort's "Atheist Central" were even more vicious than usual. (One reason that I do not spend much time there anymore is that their moderation is inconsistent. They allow ad hominem attacks despite their posted policies. That makes it almost impossible to have a decent conversation. So, I get them angry in my attempts to shock them into thinking. I fail.) Some cafones are so desperate to hate, so petty, that they will come up with any excuse, no matter how flimsy.

"Yeah, we know, Cowboy Bob. You hate atheists and think we're all bad people!"

Actually, I have had similar comments. When I get hit with misrepresentation and outright dishonesty, I withdraw from the conversation because the other party is either downright stupid or simply dishonest. Or both.

Addendum: One of my atheist trolls has an incomprehensible raving that seems to say that I am making this up, that what follows is a "gimmick". Denial is another aspect of schizophrenia.

There is a public "discussion" forum on Facebook that provided me with some screen shots of their behavior. It is allegedly for Christians and atheists to have discussions, but in reality, it's Christian bashing and trolling at its most typical (profanity warning):

This article has been heavily edited since the original post, links are now missing. Some people do not want the truth of their actions to be known.
I am humbled to be reading the words of such an intellectual and moral giant.

I could keep going, but this is irritating enough. If people actually want intelligent discussions, then show intelligence. Be rational and logical. Show some respect to those to whom you disagree. Personally, when someone starts in on me, I won't kowtow and try to live up to their concept of a "good Christian" when they are being bad atheists — Waitaminnit! There is no atheist standard of morality to make comparisons with! There is a Christian standard of morality (which atheists disunderstand and misrepresent for the sake of manipulation), but no standards of "measurement" for atheists!

Some basic, simple things that I want to have in a discussion, whether it's about religion, the nature of God, the nature of workplace décor, why the kids should be home at a certain hour, whatever: Listen to what I'm saying and hear where I'm coming from. Disagree later, and with some semblance of intelligence, without attacking and ridicule. It makes for a better discussion experience. When I demonstrate your folly, crying to your piranha friends does not help you learn, does not help me learn, does not help the process of discourse. However, it does make me laugh at your childishness.

Now that I've wasted this much time on obstreperous, recalcitrant Internet atheists, I have my aforementioned challenge to the mature, thoughtful, intelligent atheists. Are you ready? Start a "club", or a "guild". Get together and intellectualize the issues, flex your intellectual prowess, have a great time. But have courtesy rules, and "police your own". It would be nice to see this grow, as well. "The comments by this atheist fall short of the standards of the Atheist Guild and do not represent all of us". Do you think it is worth a try, or am I just being silly?

Anyway, here is Matt Slick telling me about wayward atheists, bad logic, manipulation and the need to follow rules. It runs just over ten minutes. (The original, unedited almost-hour-long version is here. I did not need to edit much of my content this time, and I believe I left his untouched.) We never did quite get my exact question answered, but I don't care, it was fun:

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