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Don't Stop With Questions

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  • Don't Stop With Questions

    Do you really want to know?

    Link

    -------

    Do some skeptics really want answers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Have you ever seen a meme like this?

    Now I fully agree that reality is interesting and we should not be content with ignorance. Unfortunately, the idea is that religions treat questions as something hideous to encounter and science loves the questions. Also, if you are someone who is scientific, you will want to go and find out the answers.

    Now never mind that something like this never defines science or religion, but I can’t expect a meme to do something like that. I do have something to say on the idea I see that leads me to think that many skeptics do not truly have a scientific mindset. Anyone can raise a question, but how many questions are raised that one goes out and seeks the answers?

    For instance, let’s consider a question in science. Many readers of my blog know I take no stance on evolution. I do not argue for it and I do not argue against it. My interpretation of Scripture doesn’t change depending on the question or does any doctrine of Christianity I hold to.

    Yet if I had one question, it would be this. In reproduction, the whole of the male and female systems are essential and have to work together in order to produce a new life. I really don’t know how it is that these could develop independently. I can understand how some body systems could perhaps be formed by gradual steps. This one I don’t see.

    At the same time, I know I am not studied in the sciences and so I don’t use that as a reason to disavow evolution entirely and say it’s nonsense. Some I have interacted with who do hold to evolution have presented real research done on this question which I appreciate. I honestly haven’t had the chance to do any of that yet since not too much hangs on this question to me. Before I said yes or no entirely to evolution, I would need to spend a lot of time in study and really, I have other things I want to study more.

    Yet it would be a problem if I raised the question and said, “I see no answer to this question and I am not bothering to do the research and I will decide without doing that.” However, I think too many people do this with religion, and not just Christianity, but any religion. Of course, my main emphasis is on Christianity, but if you are fair to any worldview, the same applies.

    Every worldview is complex. You are talking about how all of reality works. There will be hard questions and no, not every answer can fit into the Twitter character limit. Some questions require longer and more in-depth answers.

    This is not just the way it is for religious worldviews. Theists have a lot of hard questions for atheists and atheists being honest will admit that these are real questions that need real answers if their worldviews are going to hold. The same applies for Christianity and any theistic worldview.

    Anyone can raise a question, but if someone raises a question and says that question is keeping them from that position and is not seeking an answer to that question, I have to wonder if it is really an honest question. One such example against Christianity is the problem of evil. I really consider this a more simplistic way to try to eliminate Christianity. However, it does appeal to emotions which can easily override reason.

    For one thing, everyone has to answer this question. This is our world together and we all have to deal with it. A skeptic could say that’s just the byproduct of a world of chaos, but at that point, someone like G.K. Chesterton would ask how the problem of pleasure is dealt with. Why is there so much that is good in this world? For some reason, this is not usually considered a problem, but it is.

    Not only do we have to deal with evil, somehow we have to ask if there is any hope. Now a skeptic could freely agree and say “I agree that Christianity can provide hope for those suffering in an afterdeath, but there’s no way to prove that.” Sure. There isn’t, but this is about consistency. Is the Christian answer coherent and can it provide hope? Yes. That doesn’t mean it’s true, but it does mean it is consistent. (And no, just because an answer involves God does not mean that it is incoherent)

    Anyone can raise the objection, but go and read the best defenses of the problem of evil, people like Alvin Plantinga and Clay Jones. See what they have to say. Maybe you won’t be convinced, but you can at least know what they think.

    In the same way, whatever your question is, try to read the best that you can of what you’re questioning. Contrary to what you may think, Christians at least have been asking questions of themselves. If you go and read some of the early church fathers or later thinkers like Aquinas and Augustine, you would be tempted to think they were answering questions we are asking today. You could even say we were sometimes answering questions that weren’t even being asked. I seriously doubt in Aquinas’s day some people were questioning if God even existed, but lo and behold, his five ways are still used today.

    Again, anyone can ask a question. Going and getting an answer is something different. It may require work and time, but if you care about a truth like that enough to a central question, it should be worth it.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    Support my Patreon here.

  • #2
    There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
    https://biblehub.com/romans/3-11.htm

    All the Apologetics won't help in the world because the people who bring up these questions use them to say, "no".

    How many Christians can do a Bible study? How many have the tools or could call all their friends and have one?
    I've been to bible studies, someone grabs my notes and says,"Can I take it home and read it?" They talk the whole time at Bible studies and I don't get to share. They take my notes home that I worked five hours on and they don't bring it back, they don't know what happened to it, etc.

    Go to some of these teenage sites and watch their bible studies. I could name a few artists that have forums. They don't study the Bible. They don't get anything productive done.

    "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
    https://biblehub.com/acts/8-31.htm

    Until you are a Christian, a lot of these verses don't mean anything to a lot of people because they can't be fully understood without revelation. You have a book with thousands of years of compressed history in there.

    Its kind of like the fisherman after Jesus died. What did they do after Jesus died? They went back to their boats. They went fishing.

    Its kind of like your screen saver. What does your computer do when its not doing anything? The screen saver comes on.

    How many friends do I have who email me every day with the Bible? None. I email a few people and I don't hear back. Would love to have people share with me each day what they learned. I learn all of the time. I could share all of the time.

    I've met a lot of people who say one thing at Bible studies and do another. People are unpredictably changeable. They are fickle.

    Here is the deal. Until you put your hand to the plow and encounter revelation from God, you won't be encouraged until God meets you and helps you along but the disappointing thing is how many people who are still asleep who won't listen or who don't listen. If God meets you there and illuminates the word, you believe what you are doing has purpose. Its the dead people I encounter who believe it has no purpose. How did the people in Acts cooperate and repent and change and today people can't after you share the word with them? Its because they aren't walking with God. In my situation, it seems as though God only goes my way if I go His way.

    Comment


    • #3
      If I re-wrote the parable of the sower, it might go something like this. The sower went to sow and the soil was on his X-box and didn't want to do anything with the word deposited to him so God didn't illuminate it, reveal it or inspire the person because the person did not respond to the light.

      We're vessels and when we are obedient, God works alongside of us and that also helps add inspiration because we can get inspiration from the spirit.

      Without someone being willing they dry up and the seed dies. Without someone being willing, the light doesn't go on. Without someone being willing, God can't use that person and they sit on the shelf until God gets their attention or they are willing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Apologetics saved my life. Stupid fundy atheist teens jas me doubting in high school a bit, so I d8d my research and am convinced of the truth of the gospel.
        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
          Apologetics saved my life. Stupid fundy atheist teens jas me doubting in high school a bit, so I d8d my research and am convinced of the truth of the gospel.
          John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

          John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

          Men agape (love) darkness and they can ask questions but it is always to ask one more argument and to make up excuses to say "no" because their answer is already "no". I've debated a long time and when you go down that route, all you get are arguments because their minds are not limited to making up excuses and arguments. When you go down that road, you aren't doing what Jesus said which is to go into all the world and to preach the gospel. Are you going to be able to teach the books of a Bible as if I am reading a commentary and the answer is "no" because you wasted all of your time on it. I've had many pastors who just say they don't have time and who will not help.

          I can't prove everything and "faith" is required of people. If God wanted proof for everything, He would have written the encyclopedia of proofs. That is not to say we can't do some but:

          Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

          When I started doing evangelism, I did it on electronic bulletin boards in 1986-87 and I met all kinds of opposition. I've been kicked off almost every single Bulletin Board System including Christian ones. There are also people running Christian bulletin boards who are Unitarians and also Satan's workers because I've seen naked and porno avatars. There are people who devote their time to bringing down Christian groups and organizations.

          We had a show of hands in a megachurch asking how many people were saved or knew someone saved by apologetic and only one hand came up in a church that had four aisles down below and a balcony.

          We have a whole ministry of Churches trying to entertain goats instead of feed the sheep in churches. The Christians are thrown out and the emphasis is on having a church or a message board full of goats. Christians are persecuted. Goats are fed entertainment and I see Christians lying to them to keep them because they are holding down the truth in unrighteousness. I could name the message boards and tell you their sins and their problems but you would probably get sued.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chuckz View Post

            John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

            John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

            Men agape (love) darkness and they can ask questions but it is always to ask one more argument and to make up excuses to say "no" because their answer is already "no". I've debated a long time and when you go down that route, all you get are arguments because their minds are not limited to making up excuses and arguments. When you go down that road, you aren't doing what Jesus said which is to go into all the world and to preach the gospel. Are you going to be able to teach the books of a Bible as if I am reading a commentary and the answer is "no" because you wasted all of your time on it. I've had many pastors who just say they don't have time and who will not help.

            I can't prove everything and "faith" is required of people. If God wanted proof for everything, He would have written the encyclopedia of proofs. That is not to say we can't do some but:

            Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

            When I started doing evangelism, I did it on electronic bulletin boards in 1986-87 and I met all kinds of opposition. I've been kicked off almost every single Bulletin Board System including Christian ones. There are also people running Christian bulletin boards who are Unitarians and also Satan's workers because I've seen naked and porno avatars. There are people who devote their time to bringing down Christian groups and organizations.

            We had a show of hands in a megachurch asking how many people were saved or knew someone saved by apologetic and only one hand came up in a church that had four aisles down below and a balcony.

            We have a whole ministry of Churches trying to entertain goats instead of feed the sheep in churches. The Christians are thrown out and the emphasis is on having a church or a message board full of goats. Christians are persecuted. Goats are fed entertainment and I see Christians lying to them to keep them because they are holding down the truth in unrighteousness. I could name the message boards and tell you their sins and their problems but you would probably get sued.
            How do you compare your remarks to Paul's in Romans 1 where he says that we will be without excuse for rejecting God given the proof He provided through His creation?

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • #7
              Faith is loyalty and trust based on evidence. It ain't blind.
              If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm not rejecting anything and I'm not Paul who can make those arguments.

                I can tell you who to argue with online and see if you get anywhere but I'm not allowed to advertise on this site. I know people online with science degrees or science backgrounds who will argue anything you throw at them including books by Christian scientists. Some of the biggest atheists are probably Jewish scientists because they can't believe because of the Holocaust.

                From my experience, Christians get caught up in it and end up short circuiting their brains, start believing what atheists tell them and then we have a problem of regressing instead of progressing.

                A lot of Christians have also been wrong on some of their assumptions and alleged plagiarism in Christian Apologetic books.

                The money that the scientific community throws into research is more than what a Church puts into research. The government does not give the church grant money to go into research to fight evolution. We're talking about a small group of people trying to fight billions of dollars in research and all of the millions of dollars of research.

                I bought all of the books that I could muster. My last pastor could not give me a bibliography of books to counter what the public school system threw at us.
                Last edited by Chuckz; 03-09-2021, 09:00 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                  Faith is loyalty and trust based on evidence. It ain't blind.
                  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.-KJV

                  Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. (biblehub.com)


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                    Faith is loyalty and trust based on evidence. It ain't blind.
                    The problem is that faith lent its hand to evangelicals believing QAnon and conspiracy theories.

                    Most people don't know what conspiracy theories came from QAnon. The last election was blatant lies and as a result 100,000 people in my state changed political parties.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                      Faith is loyalty and trust based on evidence. It ain't blind.
                      Is evidence proof?

                      There have been 7 or 8 revolutions in science and it doesn't prove anything. Are you moving sitting at your computer? What is your focal points?
                      I'm sitting still but the earth rotates at 1,000 miles per hour. Do you see the evidence? No. You have the wrong focal point.

                      Newtonian Physics is correct enough to put a man on the moon but totally false when it comes to Einsteinian Physics.

                      People were looking at string theory to get a theory of the universe and they want the equation to be one inch long but they haven't found it.

                      God is outside our understanding and if you can understand Him, you know as much as He does. You can't prove what He knows because then you would be god.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know of a Christian brother who attributed his conversion and faith in Jesus to apologetics. And if that's what God used, Praise the Lord. No doubt that can strengthen the faith of many believers. Let's not limit God on how He works or what He wants to use.

                        My case was different. By the time I turned 18, I was a confirmed atheist. Not the militant type, just kept it to myself. Then I came into contact with Christian classmates, attended their youth group activities and even their church and Sunday School. They used apologetics, Christian evidences, and arguments to try to convince me that there was a God. Even now looking back at it as a Christian for 53 years, much of their arguments were pure nonsense. But despite their logic, the Lord was impacting me with the simple preaching of His word, through the pulpit, pastor, youth pastor, shortwave radio broadcasts over radio station HCJB in Ecuador, and elsewhere, I finally caved in. It wasn't my choice; it was the conviction of the Holy Spirit that there is a God and that I had rebelled against Him. It took several months of bombardment before I finally surrendered.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Faber View Post
                          I know of a Christian brother who attributed his conversion and faith in Jesus to apologetics. And if that's what God used, Praise the Lord. No doubt that can strengthen the faith of many believers. Let's not limit God on how He works or what He wants to use.

                          My case was different. By the time I turned 18, I was a confirmed atheist. Not the militant type, just kept it to myself. Then I came into contact with Christian classmates, attended their youth group activities and even their church and Sunday School. They used apologetics, Christian evidences, and arguments to try to convince me that there was a God. Even now looking back at it as a Christian for 53 years, much of their arguments were pure nonsense. But despite their logic, the Lord was impacting me with the simple preaching of His word, through the pulpit, pastor, youth pastor, shortwave radio broadcasts over radio station HCJB in Ecuador, and elsewhere, I finally caved in. It wasn't my choice; it was the conviction of the Holy Spirit that there is a God and that I had rebelled against Him. It took several months of bombardment before I finally surrendered.
                          And I believe that the key is the Holy Spirit -- whatever means He uses is what counts.

                          Without going into great detail, we had been training our youth to do door to door evangelism.

                          On one of those door-knocking experiences where one of our young ladies was "up to bat", she knocked on the door, and did EVERYTHING wrong, according to our training.
                          When the lady answered the door, Lindy just stood there and began reading the Four Spiritual Laws to her, word for word, through the screen door, us standing out on the porch.

                          I kept thinking, "I'll step in and salvage this any minute", because she was doing everything wrong.
                          When she got to the part where she asked the lady if she wanted to pray and receive Jesus as her savior, the woman was crying big tears and said "yes, I really would".

                          She got saved 'through the screen door'. And subsequently became a very vibrant member of our church community.

                          Note to self --- Share Jesus in the Power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                            Faith is loyalty and trust based on evidence. It ain't blind.
                            Looks like a good place to post something I had written earlier about what Christians mean by faith, specifically in contrast to the concept of blind faith






                            You are confusing having faith for what is known as "blind faith" or blind acceptance. They are not synonyms.

                            An actual definition for the type of faith we talk about can be found in an old edition of Noah Webster's Dictionary

                            FAITH: 3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Caesar.





                            The "blind faith" concept that atheists always assume that we mean is actually not biblical. Pistis, the Greek word translated as "faith," actually is defined as a conviction based on the facts. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6) We couldn't please God unless our minds can accurately discern the facts.

                            Our faith is based upon the evidence provided. Paul praised the people of Berea in northern Greece because they "received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (Acts 17:11). For looking at the evidence and seeing for themselves that it was true -- not accepting it blindly.

                            Paul even explicitly told us that we should check to see if something is true or not which is the exact opposite of blind faith.

                            Scripture Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:21


                            but test everything; hold fast what is good.

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            Likewise John gives very similar advice - to test things to see if they are true or not and not to blindly accept what you're told

                            Scripture Verse: 1 John 4:1


                            Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            In fact Proverbs 14:15 demonstrates that the Bible argues directly against blind faith when it informs us that "The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps."

                            Christ offered evidence that He had Risen and didn't demand blind acceptance:

                            Scripture Verse: Luke 24:38-39

                            And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            And as Paul explains, the material body of the resurrected Son of God is what Christianity hinges on. If Christ has not really raised from the dead, then faith is in vain.

                            Scripture Verse: I Cor. 15:13-14

                            But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            And as Peter puts it

                            Scripture Verse: II Peter 1:16

                            For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            This is what we Christians mean by having faith. A faith that is rooted in reality and truth, and not blind faith.

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              When the lady answered the door, Lindy just stood there and began reading the Four Spiritual Laws to her, word for word, through the screen door, us standing out on the porch.
                              Was she able to talk through the screen door without straining her voice?

                              Comment

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