Tag Archives: Bible

How to Dismantle Christianity

Recently, I was invited onto Chris Webber’s “C-Webb’s Sunday School” podcast to discuss the topic, “Changing Your Mind About God”. You can find the link to that here!
The discussion includes input from both atheists and theists:
– Chris Webb himself (@cwebb619) of C-Webb’s Sunday School
– Me! (@ElijiahT) of both this blog and ThinkLearnLive
– Adam Reakes (@AdamReakes) of The Herd Mentality Podcast
– A Matter of Doubt (@AMatterOfDoubt) of A Matter of Doubt
– Conversion Points Radio (@ConversionRadio) of Conversion Points Radio
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I encourage you to listen to this discussion. I really enjoyed contributing to it, and I enjoyed listening to the contributions of the others. The podcast came out a little while ago, but this is ‘evergreen content’, if you want to use marketing terminology 🙂

That being said, I wrote out my contribution here! Its not verbatim, but its close.
A lot of people ask me why I believe in God, and this explains why.
Enjoy! 🙂

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When Chris first proposed the question, “what would it take to get me to change my belief about god”, I thought it would be a little too much fun to talk about it. After all, epistemology (the study of knowledge) and God are two of my favorite topics to discuss.

However, the more I thought about it… and the more research I did… the more I realized that I’m not entirely sure what would cause me, personally, to change my belief about God.

In general, if someone believes something (lets call it X)… and a defeater is presented for X, there are two options.
They either give up the belief, or provide a defeater for that defeater and maintain the belief. Well, I guess you could ignore the defeater, but lets imagine there is no deliberate cognitive dissonance going on here.
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Upcoming Debate: Is the Bible God’s Word?

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I have been invited onto the Faith and Skepticism Podcast for a live debate where I will be discussing “Is the Bible God’s Word?” with atheist Kile B. Jones. Kile has a much more impressive resume than I do, having a Bachelors of Theology, a Masters of Sacred Theology and is currently a PhD student in Religion. Kile is the director of a super cool organization called “Interview an Atheist at Church Day“. He’s been published in a bunch of philosophical, religious and secular journals, spoken at conferences in the US and in the UK, as well as being the  Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Claremont Journal of Religion.

As for me, I’m in my final undergrad semester! I almost have a degree in biology (with a minor in philosophy). I’ve also taught/discussed apologetics at a few local events (retreats, conferences and church classes). And I contribute to this blog!

If you’re on facebook, here is the event page.
If not:
The discussion will be on Friday, October 25th, 2013.
It will start around 8pm. We’ll be doing it via google hangout and you can watch it live on YouTube! You can also contribute to the conversation via twitter by tagging your tweet with #fasdebate and we’ll address many of the questions as they come in.

I think it’ll be a lot of fun.
You should join us! Faith and Skepticism will provide a link to the debate the day of.
Set your calendar! Tell your friends! I’m looking forward to it.

Here is the video of the debate

Believe It or Not, Atheists Need Hermeneutics Too!

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I’ve recently been in several discussions where I defend what the Bible says against skeptics. Now, you might be thinking, “um… yea, that’s what apologists like you do”, and you’d have a point.

But this is different.
I’m not only defending what the Bible says; I’m defending the idea that the Bible actually says anything at all.
The skeptics aren’t denying that there are words on the page, of course. But they are denying that there is a proper interpretation of those words. They are [apparently] under the impression that the Bible isn’t actually saying anything objective at all, and that all (or most) interpretations are somehow equally valid.

As a side note, I am amused by this. These same skeptics are the ones who point to passages in the Old Testament in an attempt to say that God is behaving immorally. But their arguments rely upon the fact that there is an objectively correct interpretation of scripture.
Consistency, guys. Either the Bible does have an objective meaning, or it doesn’t. You can’t have both.

If the Bible is saying something objectively testable, our goal (and the goal of proper hermeneutics) is to understand what the Bible is actually saying. The Bible claims to be making statements about [historical, spiritual, theological, etc] reality, and can therefore be tested.
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Defining Faith

How often I have run into internet atheists trying to tell me that the definition of faith is “belief despite the evidence”. Now I’m not surprised that they would try and redefine a word that would make things easier for them, like the definition of atheism, but this one is perhaps the most laughable.

So how should a Christian define faith? Well they should go to the Bible, of course and what better passage to go to then Hebrews 11: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” it also goes on to say that “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (NKJV) Now does that sound like the ridiculous caricature presented in the opening paragraph? No. It is the hope and trust that we put in the Lord God Almighty.

So what’s wrong with defining faith as mentioned in the opening paragraph? Well for starters it’s a clear cut case of the strawman fallacy. Not only that, but how many times in your life do you tell people that you have faith in them? If you mean “I believe you despite the evidence”, then I think you should tell them that, and watch their reaction.

The fact is, faith is trust and we Christians put their trust in God. Whether you think that is silly or not is of no consequence. Seeing as how it is us who have faith in God, it is up to us to tell you what we mean when we say it, and not your place to tell us what how we define faith.

 

Phil Lost