10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

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10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby 24HourNut » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:26 am

Interesting ... how do you feel? Some of the questions are particularly good - like the one on amputees. The general premise is good, I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDHJ4ztnldQ

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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:22 am

Hi, Frank.

I think the person who made this video is making a critical mistake about religion: They're assuming that rationality and logic apply to faith. It doesn't.

My (ex-)girlfriend and I have these kinds of discussions all the time. She's a Ph.D and a Christian, so she's the kind of person this video is talking about. These are the kinds of answers she would give.

Any intelligent Christian knows that God didn't directly create the Bible. It was written by human beings. That's why it's got such barbaric things in it.

As far as why God doesn't heal amputees: The human body can't regenerate limbs. We're not geckos. If there's no biological way for a healing to happen, it doesn't happen. "Miracle" doesn't necessarily mean it's something that can't happen naturally. It just means it's something that's very rare naturally.

Concerning slavery: All modern people who have the least bit of a moral compass abhor slavery, but that doesn't mean that it was always so. The Bible is a cultural document. Most Christians would acknowledge that. There's slavery in the Bible because there was slavery in the ancient world.

Bad things happen to good people because bad things happen to everyone. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you're a Christian, bad things won't happen to you. In fact, there are all kinds of examples in the Bible of horrible things happening to Christians. (Personally, I think it's a more interesting question why good things happen to bad people. That makes less sense, in a Christian universe.)

His questioning of why Jesus' miracles didn't leave behind evidence is almost comical. Asking for evidence of supernatural events that happened 2000+ years ago (if, indeed, they happened) is pretty weak, IMO. What kind of evidence would be acceptable, or even possible? You can use the lack of evidence as a reason to not believe, but there are lots of ways the miracles could've happened and still not left evidence. As the saying goes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Why has Jesus never appeared to you? Oh, I dunno.... Maybe because Jesus isn't a genie? Could that be it, maybe? I mean, seriously... Isn't it just a tad arrogant to think that you could conjure Jesus up, just because you want to? If he exists, I assume he's a little bit too busy to be performing magic shows for your personal amusement.

Concerning the Eucharist: This really depends on your personal take on Christian theology, but I think most Christian sects take the bread and wine of the Eucharist to be purely symbolic gestures. Christ is saying, "These things represent my body and blood, which I sacrificed for you." The Eucharist is basically a memorial meal, not a cannibalism session, just like the different foods at Passover are symbolic.

Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians because there is free will. If two people don't get along and want to split up, God doesn't force the issue.

Whoever created this video obviously never met a Christian apologist.
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby 24HourNut » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:26 pm

Brian wrote:Any intelligent Christian knows that God didn't directly create the Bible. It was written by human beings. That's why it's got such barbaric things in it.


I know many Christians that disagree with you. First, because they feel as though the Bible practically was created by God in the sense that it was directed and issued by him and the content pre-approved so to speak. As for the barbaric nature of it ... they do not attribute that to being man-made or due to some claim that God did not issue it. On the contrary, they claim God most certainly did issue those things and that they only seem barbaric due to our culture ... that God spoke in a language and way for the people at the time to really get. So it has "such barbaric things" because God wanted exactly those things in that way put in there, on purpose. They were divinely inspired and issued into the Bible. Not because God didn't print physically write it. God didn't have to according to them - it's from him in its entirety regardless.


Brian wrote:As far as why God doesn't heal amputees: The human body can't regenerate limbs. We're not geckos. If there's no biological way for a healing to happen, it doesn't happen. "Miracle" doesn't necessarily mean it's something that can't happen naturally. It just means it's something that's very rare naturally.


I am sticking to this one point instead of all of them to save time and drive home the point in a more succinct manner. I know why such healing doesn't happen but the point was, to the person that believes praying and miracles work on illnesses like disease or on the success of a surgery - why NEVER amputees? The question to the miracle and prayer subscribing Christian was "If God will step in reverse cancer or help a surgery along, why not use that same power to help an amputee?"

In other words, how curious that these miracles and prayers always work on something that you can't disprove, but never work on something that would obviously show a real miracle, like help to one of the millions of amputees that pray and need miracles. You have to come up with some BS justification or just uncomfortably excuse it and talk about mysteries. I think that was the point on amputees in the video.
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:56 pm

24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:Any intelligent Christian knows that God didn't directly create the Bible. It was written by human beings. That's why it's got such barbaric things in it.


I know many Christians that disagree with you. First, because they feel as though the Bible practically was created by God in the sense that it was directed and issued by him and the content pre-approved so to speak. As for the barbaric nature of it ... they do not attribute that to being man-made or due to some claim that God did not issue it. On the contrary, they claim God most certainly did issue those things and that they only seem barbaric due to our culture ... that God spoke in a language and way for the people at the time to really get. So it has "such barbaric things" because God wanted exactly those things in that way put in there, on purpose. They were divinely inspired and issued into the Bible. Not because God didn't print physically write it. God didn't have to according to them - it's from him in its entirety regardless.


I know a few people who hold such beliefs. For the most part, I think they're a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But that's not the point. The point is that the reasonable, intelligent people the video is supposedly aimed towards wouldn't (indeed, probably couldn't) have those kinds of beliefs. At most, they believe that God allowed those kinds of things into the Bible to demonstrate theological concepts (e.g., the slavery of the Israelites is later used as an analogy to the slavery that one is under while in his or her sins). The video is supposedly aimed towards intellectuals, so it shouldn't be using the attitudes of country bumpkins as straw men.

24hournut wrote:
Brian wrote:As far as why God doesn't heal amputees: The human body can't regenerate limbs. We're not geckos. If there's no biological way for a healing to happen, it doesn't happen. "Miracle" doesn't necessarily mean it's something that can't happen naturally. It just means it's something that's very rare naturally.


I am sticking to this one point instead of all of them to save time and drive home the point in a more succinct manner. I know why such healing doesn't happen but the point was, to the person that believes praying and miracles work on illnesses like disease or on the success of a surgery - why NEVER amputees? The question to the miracle and prayer subscribing Christian was "If God will step in reverse cancer or help a surgery along, why not use that same power to help an amputee?"

In other words, how curious that these miracles and prayers always work on something that you can't disprove, but never work on something that would obviously show a real miracle, like help to one of the millions of amputees that pray and need miracles. You have to come up with some BS justification or just uncomfortably excuse it and talk about mysteries. I think that was the point on amputees in the video.



My point is that an intellectual Christian wouldn't expect a limb to grow back. There's no mechanism for it in the human body. Would it be a cool way to 100% verify faith healing? Of course. But the fact that amputees don't get healed isn't the massive contradiction you think it is. People who actually study and believe in Christian theology aren't lying awake at night fretting about it, and won't be swayed by it in the video, because there are 2000 years of history that explain such things sufficiently. And those same people recognize that Christianity is about faith, not proof. You can't disprove Christianity because it's a faith. It's not subject to falsification in the first place.
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby 24HourNut » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:13 pm

Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:Any intelligent Christian knows that God didn't directly create the Bible. It was written by human beings. That's why it's got such barbaric things in it.


I know many Christians that disagree with you. First, because they feel as though the Bible practically was created by God in the sense that it was directed and issued by him and the content pre-approved so to speak. As for the barbaric nature of it ... they do not attribute that to being man-made or due to some claim that God did not issue it. On the contrary, they claim God most certainly did issue those things and that they only seem barbaric due to our culture ... that God spoke in a language and way for the people at the time to really get. So it has "such barbaric things" because God wanted exactly those things in that way put in there, on purpose. They were divinely inspired and issued into the Bible. Not because God didn't print physically write it. God didn't have to according to them - it's from him in its entirety regardless.


I know a few people who hold such beliefs. For the most part, I think they're a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But that's not the point. The point is that the reasonable, intelligent people the video is supposedly aimed towards wouldn't (indeed, probably couldn't) have those kinds of beliefs. At most, they believe that God allowed those kinds of things into the Bible to demonstrate theological concepts (e.g., the slavery of the Israelites is later used as an analogy to the slavery that one is under while in his or her sins). The video is supposedly aimed towards intellectuals, so it shouldn't be using the attitudes of country bumpkins as straw men.


Well, most hardcore Christians I know believe what I just said, including some active ones on this site. I think you are assuming it to be a minority position when I don't believe it is. I believe most Christians or most of those who believe the Bible is from God think that all the items in there, harsh or not, were from God.

Brian wrote:
24hournut wrote:
Brian wrote:As far as why God doesn't heal amputees: The human body can't regenerate limbs. We're not geckos. If there's no biological way for a healing to happen, it doesn't happen. "Miracle" doesn't necessarily mean it's something that can't happen naturally. It just means it's something that's very rare naturally.


I am sticking to this one point instead of all of them to save time and drive home the point in a more succinct manner. I know why such healing doesn't happen but the point was, to the person that believes praying and miracles work on illnesses like disease or on the success of a surgery - why NEVER amputees? The question to the miracle and prayer subscribing Christian was "If God will step in reverse cancer or help a surgery along, why not use that same power to help an amputee?"

In other words, how curious that these miracles and prayers always work on something that you can't disprove, but never work on something that would obviously show a real miracle, like help to one of the millions of amputees that pray and need miracles. You have to come up with some BS justification or just uncomfortably excuse it and talk about mysteries. I think that was the point on amputees in the video.



My point is that an intellectual Christian wouldn't expect a limb to grow back. There's no mechanism for it in the human body.


There is no mechanism in the body to do ANYTHING that would take divine intervention or a true miracle to do, Brian. If God can make something supernatural happen by intervening and performing a miracle, a mechanism for allowing it doesn't need to exist and is not by any means the criteria.

Miracle-producing prayers for amputees don't happen for the same reason they don't happen with anything. The point of the video was to point that out and to spotlight the silliness that goes on when people say "so and so made it out of the hospital due to a miracle/prayer." As if all the other kids in there didn't deserve the same miracle for even more prayers, or that the amputee didn't deserve it. You have to start coming up with BS explanations and such.
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:31 pm

24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:I know a few people who hold such beliefs. For the most part, I think they're a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But that's not the point. The point is that the reasonable, intelligent people the video is supposedly aimed towards wouldn't (indeed, probably couldn't) have those kinds of beliefs. At most, they believe that God allowed those kinds of things into the Bible to demonstrate theological concepts (e.g., the slavery of the Israelites is later used as an analogy to the slavery that one is under while in his or her sins). The video is supposedly aimed towards intellectuals, so it shouldn't be using the attitudes of country bumpkins as straw men.


Well, most hardcore Christians I know believe what I just said, including some active ones on this site. I think you are assuming it to be a minority position when I don't believe it is. I believe most Christians or most of those who believe the Bible is from God think that all the items in there, harsh or not, were from God.


I'm not assuming it to be a minority or majority position. What I'm saying instead is that There are intellectual and non-intellectual positions, and the video pretends to be talking to intellectual Christians while putting forth non-intellectual premises that it then knocks down.


Brian wrote:
24hournut wrote:
Brian wrote:As far as why God doesn't heal amputees: The human body can't regenerate limbs. We're not geckos. If there's no biological way for a healing to happen, it doesn't happen. "Miracle" doesn't necessarily mean it's something that can't happen naturally. It just means it's something that's very rare naturally.


I am sticking to this one point instead of all of them to save time and drive home the point in a more succinct manner. I know why such healing doesn't happen but the point was, to the person that believes praying and miracles work on illnesses like disease or on the success of a surgery - why NEVER amputees? The question to the miracle and prayer subscribing Christian was "If God will step in reverse cancer or help a surgery along, why not use that same power to help an amputee?"

In other words, how curious that these miracles and prayers always work on something that you can't disprove, but never work on something that would obviously show a real miracle, like help to one of the millions of amputees that pray and need miracles. You have to come up with some BS justification or just uncomfortably excuse it and talk about mysteries. I think that was the point on amputees in the video.



My point is that an intellectual Christian wouldn't expect a limb to grow back. There's no mechanism for it in the human body.


There is no mechanism in the body to do ANYTHING that would take divine intervention or a true miracle to do, Brian. If God can make something supernatural happen by intervening and performing a miracle, a mechanism for allowing it doesn't need to exist and is not by any means the criteria.[/quote]

What I'm saying is this: An intellectual Christian that really grappled with these issues wouldn't be stumped (no pun intended) by such an argument, because the reasoning in Christian theology is very clear. People pray for cures to cancer because sometimes cancers are cured. They don't pray for limbs to regrow for the same reason they don't pray for their loved ones to be raised from the dead: They know it's not going to happen. If something (either an act of free will or a birth defect) takes your limb, there's (according to the theology) some reason God allowed it to happen, and no point in praying for it to grow back. That's not to say that there aren't Christians who would pray for the limb to grow back, but they're not the ones the video is supposed to be aimed at.

24hournut wrote:Miracle-producing prayers for amputees don't happen for the same reason they don't happen with anything. The point of the video was to point that out and to spotlight the silliness that goes on when people say "so and so made it out of the hospital due to a miracle/prayer." As if all the other kids in there didn't deserve the same miracle for even more prayers, or that the amputee didn't deserve it. You have to start coming up with BS explanations and such.


And that's the problem with the video: It's dishonest. It pretends to be aimed at intellectual Christians, but instead, it's aimed at people with little, if any, understanding of what Christian theology actually says. The video pretends that you're average intelligent Christian is someone who considers Jesus a genie that grants wishes. For intelligent Christians, the universe is a little bit more complex than that.

That's not to say that I believe in any of this. I'm just defending the Christian position because there are a lot of intelligent Christians who I respect, and the video insults their intelligence with juvenile arguments.
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About the things you could not show her."

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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Boba » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:36 pm

Brian wrote:And that's the problem with the video: It's dishonest. It pretends to be aimed at intellectual Christians, but instead, it's aimed at people with little, if any, understanding of what Christian theology actually says. The video pretends that you're average intelligent Christian is someone who considers Jesus a genie that grants wishes. For intelligent Christians, the universe is a little bit more complex than that.

That's not to say that I believe in any of this. I'm just defending the Christian position because there are a lot of intelligent Christians who I respect, and the video insults their intelligence with juvenile arguments.


Great statement Brian! Bravo!!! :salute:
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:56 pm

Boba wrote:
Brian wrote:And that's the problem with the video: It's dishonest. It pretends to be aimed at intellectual Christians, but instead, it's aimed at people with little, if any, understanding of what Christian theology actually says. The video pretends that you're average intelligent Christian is someone who considers Jesus a genie that grants wishes. For intelligent Christians, the universe is a little bit more complex than that.

That's not to say that I believe in any of this. I'm just defending the Christian position because there are a lot of intelligent Christians who I respect, and the video insults their intelligence with juvenile arguments.


Great statement Brian! Bravo!!! :salute:


Thanks, Boba. I try. ;)
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
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About the things you could not show her."

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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby 24HourNut » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:10 pm

Brian, if you want to say that the people who believe God issued the Bible and purposefully included the harsher barbaric stuff are not intellectual Christians or Christians who have Christianity correctly then be my guest! However, I believe that the video was addressing the general Christian view that God issued and stands behind everything in both the OT and NT - death penalties, threats, stoning virgins, and all.
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Re: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Postby Millennium » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:39 pm

24HourNut wrote:Brian, if you want to say that the people who believe God issued the Bible and purposefully included the harsher barbaric stuff are not intellectual Christians or Christians who have Christianity correctly then be my guest! However, I believe that the video was addressing the general Christian view that God issued and stands behind everything in both the OT and NT - death penalties, threats, stoning virgins, and all.




Back to the 1st century again... :WTF:
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