Tag Archives: theology

Q&A: How to Dismantle Christianity

A while ago, I wrote a post called “How to Dismantle Christianity” where I explained why I am a Christian and how, if you were so inclined, you would be able to persuade me to abandon my beliefs. Due to the fact that “apologetics” was a central player in my conversion story, the logical and rational defense of the Christian worldview is not something I stumbled upon after being a Christian for several years.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.46.50 PMA little while after I posted it, @ArchAngelMike had some questions for me (those can be found here). Its been a long time coming (life sorta… happened, you know how it is), but here are my brief answers to Mike’s questions.  For the reader, I’m going to try to make it so that you don’t have to jump back and forth between posts. I hope I’m at least partially successful.

Mike asks a LOT of questions. And these questions come with significant philosophical baggage that needs to be sorted out. As an example, imagine a child asking “how does a plant eat?” There is a lot there to unpack, isn’t there? (Also, I’m not calling AAMike a child) For this reason, this post is probably going to be much, much longer than the posts I usually write. Every single one of these questions could easily be a lengthy blog post in itself.
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Confessions of a Christian Freethinker

What is a freethinker? What is free thought?

For whatever reason, the term freethinker has become associated exclusively with being skeptical of religious claims. No more. No less.
If you are skeptical of religion… then congratulations, my friend; you are thinking freely.
The presumption is that if you look at the world through a critical lens, you will undoubtedly agree with the atheists and conclude that “There’s Probably No God”.

There seems to be something inherently wrong with this idea, and the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that not all atheists are freethinkers, and not all freethinkers are atheists.

Being able to ‘think freely’ shouldn’t commit you to any position. If it did, in what way would it be considered free? Freethinking, it seems to me, is more of an approach to knowledge… an epistemological endeavor. Like skepticism, ‘free thought’ should be thought of as a methodology, not a goal.
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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!

http://www.zazzle.com/real_men_practice_good_biblical_hermeneutics_tshirt-235103064594238396

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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A Conversation with @AADariusz

Twit longer has to be the most annoying things about Twitter. If you can’t say it in a few tweets, then you probably shouldn’t say it at all. But I guess some things are just difficult to say in 140 character, and really, that is why we started this blog in the first place, so let’s get started.

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@AADariusz (Darius from here on out) replied to a tweet I had made pointing out the logical contradiction in a popular internet atheist meme asking someone to prove that an [invisible pink unicorn] doesn’t exist and if someone can do that, they would then employ the same method to prove that God doesn’t exist. Now what was funny about the meme is that it would be impossible for a unicorn to be both pink and invisible at the same time. This would mean that the idea of a unicorn that is of the invisible pink kind would be self contradictory and thus could not possibly exist. The whole meme was self defeating, but what I found odd is that Darius attempted to defend it’s merit. In doing so, he made the claim that the properties of God are self contradictory, a claim he then tried to back up by linking me to the Internet Infidels library of over a dozen arguments. He chose not to defend this assertion himself and then claimed that if I had linked him the hundreds of theistic arguments that he wouldn’t mind knocking them all down. The guy who defended the credibility of a self defeating meme is going to “knock down” Alvin Plantinga’s Ontological argument? Professional philosophers haven’t been able to do it, so how does a layman hold any hope?        Continue reading