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:

April 16, 2011

Atheist Standards of Morality - Part 2

Buona sera. In the first installment of this "series" (which may end after Part 3), I used an excerpt from Greg Koulk's "Stand to Reason" radio show/podcast. He was discussing with a caller certain logic fallacies of atheists, and I pointed out that these matched my own experiences fairly well. Now, I am going to expand on that with an excerpt from "Faith and Reason" with Matt Slick.

This excerpt is heavily edited. Well, my parts are. I made some attempts at humor, did some "ummm" things and had some other false starts. Those are distracting, so I edited myself, capice? Matt's comments are intact, however. But since some petty trolls think that all Christians are liars, you can check the source material for yourself here. If your time is valuable and you want the essence of the conversation, it is below and runs for less than 7-1/2 minutes:

By the way, the challenge is still open for atheists who want to call in. He gets calls from various places around the globe, including England and Australia. Don't be afraid. If you're going to be civil, not insulting him or his family, sticking to the topic, take time to actually dialog instead of rant, you won't get spanked.

A Bit of Perspective

"I been hit, and I been down —
but I never carried my cross through town!"
— Resurrection Band

So how was your day?

Let's rock!

If I pay, will you take me away, prove your worth to me?
We've been lied to before - how can we be sure?
What if... what if it hurts to believe?
Oh, anyway, open up your door...
Open up the door and I'm coming in.
I know I'm tired of following sin!
I want to give myself to you, Jesus.
But I got some problems I want to talk to you about now...

Oh, Lightshine!

I been hit and I been down, but I never carried my cross through town!
I don't understand it, oh, and I might not be willing to learn.
Tell me, why did you come,
And why were born where the dogs eat dog, and the pigs get all the corn?

Oh, Lightshine, will you be mine?
Do you understand where I've been?
Twilight carries into night,
If I go there, will you follow me in?

What does it mean for a rebel to dream?
I'm a gambler - how can I win?
Am I in danger?
Don't be a stranger to me!

I used to sit and wonder where I was going,
I used to wonder where it would be,
When the curtain fell and time caught up with me.

Have you heard the satanic symphony?
Have you realised that conductor runs you too, unless you know Jesus?
Oh, when the Father calls, do you stall and stall,
Or will you search for the key and receive the truth?

But if your yoke is easy, and your burden is light,
We can take it one day at a time.
Oh Lord, if you change my heart and you change my life, 
that will surely change my mind!

Oh, Lightshine, will you be mine?
Do you understand where I've been?
Twilight carries into night,
If I go there, will you follow me in?

What does it mean for a rebel to dream?
I'm a gambler - how can I win?
Am I in danger?
Don't be a stranger to me!

"Lightshine" by Resurrection Band, written by Glenn Kaiser
from "Awaiting Your Reply", 1978

April 15, 2011

Sock Puppet — A Confession

Buona sera. Almost from my first day on the Internet (back when we used carrier pigeons, wires and tin cans), people have been bandying about the term "sock puppet". It's a fake online persona (not to be confused with a pseudonym, such as "Stormbringer" or "Cowboy Bob"), generally used for deception.

I get accused of having sock puppet accounts. Also, I have seen other people accused of the same "crime". The most outrageous accusation in this area is that I made up people who hate me, so I can have someone to fight with, which would include making up entire Websites and Weblogs.

Also, on more than one occasion, I would have to create entire sites for people who agree with me on more than one occasion. (People so desperate to attack are downright sick in the head, I promise you.) Mind you, there were times I went to a Weblog and read comments that I wrote but did not recognize ("I wrote that? Hey, that's pretty good!"), as well as reading comments that sounded just like me. Perhaps I posted in my sleep? Nah. 

The criteria people use for accusing me of having a sock puppet account? Similarity of "speech" patterns.

In addition, if someone agrees with or compliments me, it must be me using a fake account; if I receive a comment that agrees with my post, I have been accused of creating the identity for that purpose. Duh! As if it's impossible for someone to actually agree with me. People are so blinded by hate, they want to believe that everyone agrees with them in their belief that the object of their hate must be eradicated. They show their own blithering idiocy by doing this.

Anyway, I figured that I was missing out on some fun. So, I made up a sock puppet that is not linked to me in any way (like my other pseudonyms). This account is "independent". I call it Mr. Stupnya. But I do not understand the popularity of sock puppet accounts, because they make it so difficult to type:

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