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Thor, Zeus, Orbiting Teapots and the Error of Equivocation

Two of the most common errors modern web atheists commit are the CATEGORY ERROR and the ERROR of EQUIVOCATION.

CATEGORY ERROR an error in logic in which one category of a thing is presented as belonging to another category. 

Ex - Comparing rocks to snails, animate with inanimate, skyscrapers to trucks, God to fairies, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, orbiting teapots, ...

ERROR of EQUIVOCATION a logical error wherein a word is used with different definitions in the same context while the different definition has not been signaled.

Ex - The sugar industry once advertised with the claim that 'Sugar is an essential component of the body...a key material in all sorts of metabolic processes,' neglecting to mention that they're using 2 very different definitions of "sugar" - glucose vs sucrose. Equivocation is a common trick in advertising.

Whenever anyone says something like, "Thor is a claim, Zeus is a claim, your god is a claim. These claims are equal." This is glaring error of both category and equivocation, failing to grasp the difference between basic categories and concepts.

Many atheists have used the infamous "invisible pink unicorns", others the "invisible purple dragon in their basement", still others use "magical fairy pixies" or the most overused example of all, the Flying Spaghetti Monster! 

ALL such instances - essentially comparing a material, temporal, time-space-limited, impotent imaginary creature or object with the immaterial, eternal, self-existent, omnipotent, omniscient entity called "God" are nothing but category and equivocation errors - visible to any half decent logician on sight.

Philosopher David Bentley Hart wrote: 

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 11:41 -- john_hendryx

Dear Atheist Friends (and Other Skeptics)

Dear atheist friends,

If there is one thing I know for certain it is that I am not better than you. My purpose here is not to try to convince you that I am morally superior to you. Clearly, I am not. Neither am I the least bit interested in promoting my tribe. You are not our enemy. I am just like you. No, we are all, by nature, captives, blind beggars, and when God found me, He must have sought for the most vile creature he could find. And, in spite of me, He loosed my chains and opened my blind eyes to behold His glory. And I can testify that there is nothing more beautiful.

My purpose, when I challenge your atheism, materialism, or philosophical naturalism, is not to ridicule you, but because I deeply care about your welfare both now and for eternity. I do this by showing from your own words, that you hold an inconsistent, incoherent, irrational view that does not correspond to the real world we live in. That there is a conflict within you when you hold multiple contradictory beliefs at the same time, and for which you use a defense mechanism to suppress the reality of those contradictions. These may seem like fighting words to you, and if they do, it is only because I am fighting and pleading for your soul before God. I don't care at all to merely win an argument with you, but rather to bring another blind beggar to Christ so that he might open your eyes too.

I understand completely that Christianity sounds foolish to your ears. I know. The gospel is foolishness and a stumbling block to both Jews and Gentiles (1 Cor 1:23-24). But let me be a fool for Christ and ridiculed by you if there be but one of you whom God would have mercy, break the chains and, in Christ, set free from captivity.

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 11:03 -- john_hendryx

Cognitive Dissonance


 

Cognitive dissonance is a state of conflict occurring within a person when they hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time. The conflict produces feelings of discomfort which the individual seeks to relieve by convincing himself they do not exist, or by adopting some other type of defensive maneuver to suppress the reality of the contradiction.

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 15:38 -- john_hendryx

Why does the Bible ask people to repent and believe if they are unable to respond?

Question:

Why does the Bible ask people to repent and believe if they are unable to respond?

Answer:

That's an important question... As R. C. Sproul once said, "God is not going to negotiate His holiness to accomodate us".  As fallen creatures God does not lower the bar of his holiness  He still requires of us to obey his comands perfectly, even though we are morally incapable to do so. Our inability does not alleviate responsibility, including our responsibility to obey the command to believe. Fact is, fallen men are unable because they are unwilling. By nature they are hostile to Christ.

Perhaps think of it like a farmer planting crops. He casts seed after plowing up the fallow ground, but nothing will happen to the seed unless the blessing of rain come down from above. The seed is not sufficient to produce life by itself without the proper conditions. Likewise, we cast the seed of the gospel into the hearts of men, but unless the Holy Spirit plows up the fallow ground of their hearts and "germinate" the seed of the gospel, no fruit will come forth. We call men to repent and believe, but their hearts are willful and hard. Only the Holy Spirit can disarm the hostility and quicken them to life (John 6:63, 65). We plant and water but God causes the growth. (1 Cor 3:6) Only as the Spirit gives us a new heart do we see the truth, beauty and excellency of Christ in the gospel.

God calls all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel but they reject the message...but to those who are inwardly called through the message, salvation.

Paul said,

"we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." -1 Cor 1:23-24

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 13:09 -- john_hendryx

Secularism: Road to Nowhere

When I was a college freshman before I was a Christian, a friend of mine and I were on some mind altering substance and we decided to take a drive. He was driving towards the mountains.

I said, "let's take this road."

He asked, "where does it go?."

I answered "nowhere"

He replied, "I like that place." And so we went.

Funny as that is, that was a pretty good picture of my life at the time. The Cheshire cat likewise once famously said to Alice, "If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there."

The secular world is a lot like this. They dont know where we are from, why we are here or where we are going. But they want to take us all along for the ride. They dont know our telos or destination. The thing is if you dont know the destination, purpose of life, or why we are here, how can you know the right way to go? We just make up the rules for others as we go along? It's like we are being driven by someone who is not quite right in the mind to nowhere. And in real life, that is not good.

Jesus once said,, "My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but [to the skeptics Jesus said] you do not know where I come from or where I am going." (John 8:14). In the early church, Christianity was often called "The Way". This is partly because Jesus declared of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 12:35 -- john_hendryx

Slavery and the Idols of our Culture

An overwhelming number of our country's social problems are directly or indirectly realted to the idol of sex. You have abortion (millions dead), pornography (objectifying women), human trafficking (slavery), STDs, sex outside the covenant of marriage, perversions, the gnostic belief that our body is not core to our identity, and that is just scratching the surface. Our culture somehow is under the delusion it is promoting freedom in these things, but they are, in truth, creating a society which is under slavery of the worst kind. To call these sins out is, therefore, to desecrate the idols of our culture. Yet because we love those who are trapped in the bonds of sin we must speak and never give in to the fear of man. And you know, people do not easily let go from clinging to their idols.

The gospel is the only remedy. There is no law, no therapy, no will power that is powerful enough to wean people off their beloved idols. They are powerless, of themselves (as we were), to break their chains. Only Christ has the power to set them free from their cruel bondage. And in Christ we are free indeed. Love your neighbor by giving him the keys to freedom. Don't hold back. Declare the gospel. Counter-intuitive as it may be, it is through the weakness of preaching alone that the chains fall off. 

Sex is beautiful creation of God. Lord forgive us for disfiguring your good purpose in it. 

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:35 -- john_hendryx

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

PRINTABLE PDF

THE GOSPEL IS A MESSAGE ABOUT:

1. GOD


1. Is. 6:1-5, 5:16; Rev.4:8-11. God is Holy.


2. Dan. 4:35; Ps. 135:6. God is Sovereign.


3. 1 Jn. 4:8,16. God is Love.


4. Heb. 12:29. God is a Consuming Fire.


5. Gen. 17:1; Jer. 32:17; Is. 43:13; Amos 9:2-3. God is Omnipotent.


6. Ps. 139:1-6; Rom. 11:33-36. God is Omniscient


7. Jer. 23:23-24; Ps. 139:7-12. God is Omnipresent


8 Ps. 145:17. God Is Righteous.


9. Ex. 34:6-7. God is Merciful.


10. Rev. 29:11-15. God is a Judge.


11. Jn. 4:23-24. God is a Spirit.


12. 1 Jn. 5:7; 2 Cor.13:14; I Pet. 1:2. God is one God revealed in three distinct persons; Father, Son, & Holy Spirit (trinity, not modalism).

13. Jn. 1:1-3, 14,18, 10:30-33, 17:5, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rm. 9:5; Phi. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-17, 2:9; I Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:1-12; II Pet. 1:1; Rev. 1:8. Jesus is God--YHWH.

 

2. SIN


1. Gem. 2:15-17. Adam and Eve's disobedience resulted in spiritual and physical death.


2. Rom. 6:23. The wages of sin is death.


3. Dt. 6:4-5. However, before sin entered the world man's purpose was to serve God and glorify Him.


4. Matt. 22:34-40. Therefore, man is now living in an abnormal condition.


5. Rom. 3:10, 5:6-9; Lk. 5:31,32 There is none righteous, no not one!


6. Rom. 3:23. Everyone, without exception, is a sinner.


7. Rom 5:12. Adam's sin nature is inherited by all mankind.


8. Is. 64:6-7. God views our good deeds as “filthy rags.”


9. Eph. 2:8-9. God rejects our good works.


Ps. 51:5, 58:3. We are sinners from birth.


11. Jn. 3:19. Sinners love their sin.

 

Sat, 09/07/2019 - 10:17 -- john_hendryx

Sinners Before an Infinitely Holy God

The following is a negative response by a visitor to the Christian belief that those who trust in their morality will end up in hell - that good morality is not what makes a Christian.

Visitor:
I don’t accept a belief system [like yours] that preaches equality. So even if I am a better human being I might deserve less in an afterlife? 

Response:
No one is good before an infinitely holy God. Anyone trying to approach the Sun would be instantly burned. How much more sinners trying to approach an infinitely holy God, apart from Christ. 

If, because of our foolish decision, we end up stranded on an island and need to get back home 1000s of miles away. Consider: some people can't swim at all, others may be able to swim several miles. One is clearly a better swimmer than all the rest, but compared to the 1000s of miles necessary, the distance is negligible. I may swim one mile, the best swimmer 30 miles, but that only scratches the surface of the length needed for anyone to get home. 

In that hypothetical example, I would be the worst swimmer in the group. The scum of humanity. But, in His mercy, God scrapped me off the bottom of the barrel. And His mercy keeps me off, none owing to myself. If there is hope for someone like me then there is hope for anyone. 

When the prodigal son returned to his father after squandering everything, seeing him far off, the father ran to embrace him, then put the best robe on him and threw a party. But the older brother was angry with the father and refused to go in and celebrate, thinking he was more deserving. Self righteousness, it turns out, is just as much a sin as the other.

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 09:34 -- john_hendryx

How Do You Know All Things Can Be Explained by Natural Causes?

Atheist: A supernatural explanation of the universe is wrong because it cannot be explained by natural causes.

Response: Your assertion reveals an a priori commitment to naturalism. You conclude that all things must be explained by natural causes by assuming that all things must be explained by natural causes. This is a viciously circular argument - an arbitrary assertion, and as such, it is irrational. Why dismiss the possibility of creation? Any philosophy which arbitrarily (without justification) does away with ideas which are potentially true is poor philosophy.

Everyone has ultimate presuppositions which undergird their thinking but only the biblical explanation makes sense of the data of the real world we live in. The naturalistic explanation cannot account for things which underly the world, including logic, morality, free agency, meaning and the uniformity of the cosmos. The atheist uses all these things on a daily basis, of course, but cannot account for them. In fact, when held consistently, his view contradicts them. He is forced to behave AS IF these things have a basis, which is another way of saying he must pretend. On the other hand, the biblical view can account for all of them.

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 16:25 -- john_hendryx

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