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How Would You Define God?
September 10, 2013 pps2006

How Would You Define God?

Posted in Forum Post

GodKurt and I were recently involved in a discussion with some atheists on an atheist’s blog comment thread, which I might add does not seem to be an optimal place for thoughtful interaction. By that I mean comment threads, not atheist blogs necessarily. Before you know it, there are too many people involved, each one trying to pull the conversation in a different direction. It can become mind-boggling to keep up with very quickly. However, one issue that was raised by the atheist was that if we Christians want to discuss God’s existence, we had to first define what we meant by “God”.

Some of the atheist objections were things like “God is a meaningless word” or “God means whatever you want it to mean”. At first glance, the notion that we must define God seemed to me absurd. Surely everyone knows what is meant when someone talks about God, right? Well, this has really got me thinking the past couple of days. Do we as Christians need to define God before we can discuss God?

I’d venture to guess that many atheists use this tactic to stop the conversation from ever progressing beyond mere drivel, and that even if a definition is given then more often than not, you will spend a vast amount of time splitting hairs about the definition than discussing any actual evidences for God. The idea that God is a meaningless word and needs to be defined was a notion that was expressed in the 1920s and ’30s and is known as verificationism or positivism. This ideology died out over 50 years ago due to verificationism not being able to meet it’s own standard. Verificationism couldn’t be verified with the five senses and was therefore self-refuting. William Lane Craig talks more about that here for those who may be interested.

Of course, I think as Christians, we must understand who God is and therefore give a proper definition when asked to do so. It’s also a good idea when discussing God to first define the God you will be providing evidences for. This can be especially helpful when, as Christians, we may only be aguing for the existence of a theistic God, and not the Christian God in particular. This will keep counterarguments against the Chrisitan God, or even a pantheistic or a deistic god to a minimum.

Furthermore, there have been many concepts of a theistic god throughout history and several mischaracterizations of the Christian God in popular culture, especially today. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear nonbelievers refer to God as an invisible old man in the sky, a bearded sky daddy, or as a magic sky fairy. This bearded old man in the sky imagery can be seen on the TV show “The Family Guy” and you can hardly have an internet conversation with an atheist without hearing the term “Sky Daddy”. Unfortunately, there are probably even people who call themselves Christians who hold to these silly and erroneous views of God.

So, what would be the correct way to define God in a classical Christian sense? Richard Swinburne offers a definition of God in his book “The Existence of God”. He defines God as “a person without a body (i.e. a spirit) who necessarily is eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient , perfectly good, and the creator of all things”. I think this is the traditional definition of God in western philosophy and theology.

Another definition that captures the essence of God would be the one William Lane Craig offers in his book “Reasonable Faith”; “a beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful cause of the universe.” I think another exceptional definition is the one offered by St. Anselm and used frequently by William Lane Craig. St. Anselm defined God back in the 11th century as “the greatest conceivable being”. If you could think of anything greater than God, then that would be God.

It’s also important to point out that, at this point, we haven’t made a case for Christianity at all. All we’ve done was define what we mean by God. It still remains to be asked whether such a being actually exist and only after having established that can we move on to discussing whether or not Christianity is true.

Comments (23)

  1. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    Hello Jason, I read your post and had a couple questions to ask you.

    ///as Christians, we may only be aguing for the existence of a theistic God, and not the Christian God in particular.///

    Would you do this without the bible?

    ///Unfortunately, there are probably even people who call themselves Christians who hold to these silly and erroneous views of God.///

    If you aren’t arguing for the Christian God, but for a theistic god, then any name can be attributed to to this being such as “sky daddy” wouldn’t you agree?

    ///It still remains to be asked whether such a being actually exist///

    Is it only probably true that a theistic god exists?

    ///and only after having established that can we move on to discussing whether or not Christianity is true.///

    Is Christianity only probably true?

    ///I discovered Christian apologetics during a period when I struggled with doubt about my own Christian beliefs. After examining my beliefs and other worldviews, I’m more confident than ever with my Christian faith.///

    Last question Jason. Are you a Christian because of the evidence you have discovered?

    1. Kurt Jaros

      Anthony,

      Do you believe that at least some of God’s attributes are able to be seen and understood by all humans? Chiefly I have in mind here the idea of general revelation and especially what we read of in Romans 1:19-20, 28a.

    2. Pps2006

      Anthony, thanks for the questions. I’ll answer them in order.

      1. Yes, keep in mind that I’m coming for the perspective of discussing the existence of God with an atheist. I think a stronger case can be made when Christians don’t refer to the bible. This makes it harder for the atheist to easily dismiss it.

      2. Sure, but when I made that statement I was referring to how some people characterize the Christian God.

    3. Pps2006

      Anthony, thanks for the questions. I’ll answer them in order.

      1. Yes, keep in mind that I’m coming from the perspective discussing the evidence of God with an atheist. I think a stronger case can be made when Christians don’t refer to the bible. This makes it harder for the atheist to easily dismiss it.

      2. Sure, but when I made that statement I was referring to how some people characterize the Christian God. See the previous sentence when I said that there has been “several mischaracterizations of the Christian God in popular culture”.

      3. Yes, I share J.P. Moreland’s view in this regard. There is almost nothing in life that we can have 100% certainty about. In order to believe something, we must merely believe it more than we doubt it. For example, we only need to be 51% sure of anything to believe it. J.P. has said he’s 90-95% sure that God exists. That’s a strong and confident belief. Like him, I’m open to the possiblity that I may be wrong.

      4. I think my answer to number 3 covers number 4.

      5. This question is a little harder to answer. Yes and no. I think there is tremendous value to the evidences for God’s existence and I think we should expect there to be an abundant amount of evidence if Christianity is true which I believe it is. However, I think the witness of the Holy Spirit is also sufficient. That said, I take great comfort in the evidences, especially at times when God seems more hidden/silent.

  2. Pps2006

    Sorry for the first partial post. Stupid phone! I should have waited til I was at a computer to respond. Haha!

  3. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    Hey Jason, thanks for your responses. I know how frustrating phones can be!

    ///I think a stronger case can be made when Christians don’t refer to the bible. This makes it harder for the atheist to easily dismiss it.///

    If you reject the bible, then you’re holding an argument based on the traditions of men above God’s word and doing exactly what the unbeliever, atheist or not, wants you to do. You could convince them of anything you want and prove you don’t need the bible to do it.

    It’s impossible to defend Christianity by giving up Christianity.
    This doesn’t create a stronger case for Christianity at all.

    1 Peter 3:15
    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

    How do you sanctify the LORD in your heart by rejecting the LORD’s word?

    /// There is almost nothing in life that we can have 100% certainty about.///

    Unfortunately the existence of the God of the bible, is not something you’re %100 certain about.
    This means you’re not %100 certain about the resurrection of Christ.

    1 Cor 15:17
    And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

    You are saying that those who say there is no resurrection of the dead could be right.

    ///I’m open to the possiblity that I may be wrong.///

    If you could be wrong, then God is only probable. If God is only probable, then it’s not true that ALL things work for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

    If you claim to have a loving relationship with God, as most Christians do, then how could you be wrong about his existence?
    It’s like saying I love my wife, but I’m not sure that she exists.

    I am a Christian and as a husband and father it’s so important that I always stand on the word of God even while defending it.
    Col 2:8
    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

  4. Pps2006

    Anthony, thanks again for you comments. Clearly, you’re a presuppositionalist and I’m going to be honest, I don’t understand presuppositional apologetics. It just doesn’t make sense to me how someone can argue for a position that you must first presuppose to be true. I certainly don’t think it’s very compelling to the unbeliever and easily dismissed.

    “How do you sanctify the LORD in your heart by rejecting the LORD’s word?”

    You mistaken here because I don’t reject God’s word. I simply don’t think an argument must stem from the bible to be convincing. I would agree with you that the bible is total truth. All truth is God’s truth…even that which is outside the bible, right? So, I think it is a legitimate way to argue and can be tremendously powerful and convincing.

    The rest of your comments seem to imply that you think I’m not a Christian…is that your assertion?

    1. Kurt Jaros

      Jason,
      “All truth is God’s truth”
      Nice usage! I think some presups use this phrase and they don’t quite think of the ramifications of it.

  5. Pps2006

    Here’s how I’d sum up presuppositional apologetics. Maybe I’m wrong, and please correct me if I am, but It appears to be circular. It seems to say…How do we know the bible is true? Well, because the bible says so. This is a circular argument. You must first presuppose the very thing you are trying to prove.

    Don’t misunderstand me because as a Christian I believe this is true, but circular reasoning of this type is not useful in a conversation with an unbeliever and I believe good reasons (outside of the bible) can be given to show the bible is true.

    1. Kurt Jaros

      Jason, it appears to be. And some presups do simply just presuppose it to be true. But it is based off of the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_God

      The problem is, I think this sort of mental exercise from the presups against non-believers is inconsistent with the presups views on Inability.

  6. Kurt Jaros

    The presups believe the positive arguments (cosmological, teleological, etc.) don’t work. It’s funny because they have theological beliefs for thinking that they can’t work. Then you get guys like Greg Bahsen attacking the merits of those arguments instead of recognizing their validity. 😯

    But the presups still provide arguments that they wish their opponents to take seriously (which goes against Inability).

    Then, once they say ‘Well God uses the arguments with his grace,’ then they tread into the Catholic position on the mediation of grace. So that’s funny.

  7. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    ///All truth is God’s truth…even that which is outside the bible, right? ///
    ///Nice usage! I think some presups use this phrase and they don’t quite think of the ramifications of it.///

    Nothing can be true unless the bible is true. It is the disputers of this world that think there is truth outside of the Bible, but there arguments lead to irrationality.

    1 Corinthians 1:20
    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    How do you justify knowing anything that can be true without appealing to the bible?

    ///The rest of your comments seem to imply that you think I’m not a Christian…is that your assertion?///

    No Jason. I was just showing the devastation of denying that God can reveal that he exists so that we can know it with %100 certainty.
    It’s impossible to have a relationship with someone if we don’t know they exist. Much less trust in any promises made by that person.

    ///It appears to be circular. It seems to say…How do we know the bible is true? Well, because the bible says so. This is a circular argument. You must first presuppose the very thing you are trying to prove.///

    Almost. The bible is true because it says so, but without it you couldn’t know anything to be true. This goes out of the vicious circle and becomes virtuous.
    Same with logic.
    The laws of logic exist because without them I couldn’t make this argument for their existence.

    God also makes a virtuously circular argument in his word.
    Hebrews 6:13
    For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

    God’s promise to Abraham is true because he says so and without God you can’t have the promise made to Abraham come true.

    ///The problem is, I think this sort of mental exercise from the presups against non-believers is inconsistent with the presups views on Inability.///

    No. They are able to reason, but their conclusions are irrational. They are always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
    Neither does bible teach that anything other than the gospel is the power of God for salvation for all who believe.

    (Here we are instructed to correct, but it is God that grants repentance.)
    2 Tim 2:25
    in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
    (Some may never be given repentance. Their learning leads to irrationality and never acknowledging the truth.)
    2 Timothy 3:7
    always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
    (We assume the unbeliever’s worldview and show them the absurdity of rejecting the biblical God and this is because they have asked us our reason. 1 Peter 3:15.)
    Proverbs 26:24-25
    24) Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    Lest you also be like him.
    25) Answer a fool according to his folly,
    Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

    The unbeliever is unable to save themselves by their finite and depraved ability to reason. They are dead in their sins. God says the wisdom of this world is foolishness. We should answer the fool according to their folly so they aren’t wise in their own eyes. It is only the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel that men can be changed from inability to ability (salvation).

    ///The presups believe the positive arguments (cosmological, teleological, etc.) don’t work. It’s funny because they have theological beliefs for thinking that they can’t work. Then you get guys like Greg Bahsen attacking the merits of those arguments instead of recognizing their validity.///

    I could use the cosmological argument for a godless big bang theory.

    ///But the presups still provide arguments that they wish their opponents to take seriously (which goes against Inability).///

    It is God that gives repentance (2 Tim 2:25).
    The gospel, not an argument after the traditions of men, is the power of God for salvation for everyone that believes.

    We will take questions from any man serious and give our reason because we are commanded to.
    1 Peter 3:15
    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that askes you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    Anthony Flew was a famous atheist who became Deist after looking at some evidence and not the gospel, but if he didn’t repent and submit to the LORD Jesus Christ, then he’s in hell. He passed in 2010.

    ///Then, once they say ‘Well God uses the arguments with his grace,’ then they tread into the Catholic position on the mediation of grace. So that’s funny.///

    After my explanation, this statement should be viewed as a clear strawman.

    1. Kurt Jaros

      Anthony,
      “How do you justify knowing anything that can be true without appealing to the bible?”

      We don’t need the Bible to tell us the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or that there is a pine tree in my backyard. Those are things that the Bible simply doesn’t address (among many other things). What you appear to be advocating is an extreme, radicalized form of Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura affirms that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority on matters it addresses (and some might say just for issues pertaining to salvation, which is what the Protestants were concerned about over and against the Catholic church). It is not the belief that the Bible alone is the only source for any sort of knowledge (which is what you appear to be advocating).

  8. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    ///We don’t need the Bible to tell us the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or that there is a pine tree in my backyard. Those are things that the Bible simply doesn’t address (among many other things).///

    My question was how do you justify knowing anything to be true without appealing to the bible?

    What you’re saying here is that the distance between the Earth and the Sun cannot be found in any book, chapter or verse in the bible. I wasn’t asking for a biblical reference, rather justification of your knowledge of it. The distance between anything cannot be known if the bible isn’t true.

    In order to measure the distance between the Earth and the sun (science) we need to have universal/immaterial/invariant mathematical laws, universal/immaterial/invariant laws of logic, reliability of our memory, senses and reason and a universe that can be quantified in a way that we can understand it. We also need uniformity in nature when conducting identical experiments under the same conditions in order to get the same results. Without any of this science is impossible. How does a person even begin to make sense of these things?

    Can any of the above exist without God? No. We live in God’s creation.

    Col 1:16-17
    16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    In order to know anything to be true at all you must be omniscient. God has infinite knowledge and exhaustive understanding of his entire creation.

    Col. 2:3-4
    3) All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him.
    4) I am telling you this so no one will DECEIVE YOU with WELL CRAFTED ARGUMENTS.
    Ps 147:5
    He is great in power and his understanding is infinite.
    Pro 1:7
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Since we are made in God’s image and all things, including our cognitive functions, were designed by him and we live in God’s creation, and are morally required to think rationally, then we can have an avenue to truth and certainty. In order to know anything to be true, you must be omniscient OR have revelation from someone who is.

    All of this is dependent on the TRINITARIAN God of scripture and his word in scripture being %100 true.
    The bible must be true in order for us to have justification to do science and rely on our senses to have any amount of certainty that we’re looking at a pine tree in our backyard.

    Something that I didn’t address from Jason that needs pointing out:
    ///I certainly don’t think it’s very compelling to the unbeliever and easily dismissed.///

    Of course not. They are lost in their sin. They must be born again. Answer the unbeliever according to their folly and give them the gospel and if they believe then God saved them. At that point Jesus Christ and his entire bible will be compelling to them like He is to us.

    Your assumption is that, according to the unbelievers presuppositions/beliefs/worldview, he can have knowledge. Empiricists, Rationalists, etc. are self refuting. ALL evidence is interpreted by each persons pressuposed beliefs about the world. But they can’t know anything if the bible wasn’t true.

    Let me remind you what God says about the fool.
    Proverbs 18:2
    A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.
    Pro 12:15
    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
    Psalm 14:1
    It is the fool that said in their heart there is no God. (Muslims, JW’s, Mormons, atheists, etc. are all included because the verse makes refers to the biblical God)

    I can take the cosmological argument and use it for a defense of the godless bigbang theory.
    I can hypothetically assume these false theories of epistemology because the bible is not regarded.

    The common responses I get are easly exposed as absurdity (Pro 26:5), because the evidence that the bible is true is the impossibility of the contrary.
    It doesn’t matter if they appeal to science, the quran, book of mormon or anything else.

    1. Kurt Jaros

      “All of this is dependent on the TRINITARIAN God”

      From everything you wrote prior to that, that statement doesn’t seem to follow. If Islam were true, those things could still be true. Perhaps you could explain for me why it has to be the Christian God.

      “In order to know anything to be true at all you must be omniscient.”
      So you don’t think humans can know anything to be true? Including that the Bible is true? Perhaps you mean to clarify here along the lines of ‘to know with 100% certainty’. Maybe you don’t.

  9. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    If we appeal to the unbelievers reasoning they will be like Anthony Flew and believe in a god subject to their reasoning. This is an idol created after their own image.

  10. Pps2006

    I think I understand what you are saying and in many ways I would agree, but it seems you are saying that no one can be convinced that the bible is true, unless they first accept the bible as true. Well how does one accept the bible as true, if they have had no reasons in their life to even consider it?

    Do you think that no one can come to believe in the true God from arguments outside the bible? I can think of many people where this was the case. The bible is true and many people have come to believe it is true based on arguments that are given that are outside the bible. Many people aren’t even willing to consider the bible because they don’t even think God exists. If we first make a case for God, then we can make a case for the bible and Christianity. I believe God can use this and any means to bring us to him.

    I think our disagreement stems from a deeper difference in theology. In order to hold your view, someone has to hold strongly to a hard Calvinistic (or similar) view of total depravity. Am I correct?

    “I can take the cosmological argument and use it for a defense of the godless bigbang theory..”

    I’d argue there is no such thing as a “godless big bang” theory. The big bang would require God. It’s simply whether or not one chooses to recognize that.

  11. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    I apologize for making my posts so long. I’ll keep them short. Little details can get lost or confusing.

    In order to know anything to be true you must be omniscient (God) OR have revelation from someone who is.

    I put TRINITARIAN in caps on purpose to see if anyone would inquire about it.

    Not only could you ask about Islam, but what about Polytheism also?

    I never have to get this far with a Muslim because they’ve tried to use science as proof of the Quran and claim also that the Quran could be false. That’s easily reduced to a false belief system

    Islam: (one person one being worldviews)
    Allah cannot be personal within himself and is dependent on his creation necessarily. When it is claimed that he is wise good and just, then we define what that means. After creation is gone this type of idol couldn’t exist as described.

  12. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    @Jason
    /// I think I understand what you are saying and in many ways I would agree, but it seems you are saying that no one can be convinced that the bible is true, unless they first accept the bible as true. Well how does one accept the bible as true, if they have had no reasons in their life to even consider it?///

    I like to go door to door in neighborhoods. I start with the gospel Romans 10:14-15. If I get a question, I answer it 1 Pet 3:15.
    Sometimes you have to answer as Pro 26:5 without falling into Pro 26:4.

    (Some people will never accept anything you say about the gospel and they may fall into this category.)
    2 Cor 4:3
    But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    (We hope that the LORD opens their heart)
    Acts 16:14
    One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

    ///Do you think that no one can come to believe in the true God from arguments outside the bible? I can think of many people where this was the case. The bible is true and many people have come to believe it is true based on arguments that are given that are outside the bible.///

    That’s scary! I think many professing Christians say they are, only because of the evidence, but if they don’t have fruits of repentance and follow after Christ, then it’s all in vain. They aren’t Christians at all. That’s why I asked you for your reason for being a Christian. Without the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel a person is lost in their sins.
    Romans 1:16
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, [fn] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

    And if they’re belief is standing only on arguments from men, then they better not watch an atheist video on youtube, because they could be persuaded the other way.

    ///I think our disagreement stems from a deeper difference in theology. In order to hold your view, someone has to hold strongly to a hard Calvinistic (or similar) view of total depravity. Am I correct?///

    I would agree. Along the lines of Ephians 2:1-5
    1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    2) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    4) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

    ///I’d argue there is no such thing as a “godless big bang” theory. The big bang would require God. It’s simply whether or not one chooses to recognize that.///

    I know we can agree that our LORD is the Creator, but this argument can’t get you there. Not even to a deity because you’re only arguing for a “first cause” without the bible. I think Genesis 1:1 is far superior to that argument.

  13. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    Trying to convince people of the truth so that they will repent, is doing it backwards.

    They need to repent so that they can acknowledge the truth. How does that happen?

    2 Timothy 2:25
    in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

  14. Kurt Jaros

    Anthony, I understand we’re coming at this from different frameworks. I think your framework is false. So we’re unlikely to see eye to eye.

    Any time you engage in a conversation with someone, you are attempting to explain for them your view. This means you believe they have the ability to understand you, and the ability to think critically about what you are saying. So in that sense, you are trying to convince people of the truth. God speaks truths to people and demands they repent; this notion is widespread throughout the entire scriptures. I do agree with you that not all people will agree. Some people are close-minded and perhaps more accurately close-willed.

    I think you’ve taken a few verses out of context, or, at the very least, the verses don’t guarantee your interpretation.

    2 Tim 2:25, why think that Paul’s instruction to Timothy was regarding nonbelievers? Most of the instruction we read about is regarding how to shepherd believers. Furthermore, (and I know this doesn’t fit with other notions you have), v26, “havin been taken captive by him to do his will” implies there was a previous state in which they weren’t in the devil’s captivity!

    Acts 16:14, this is clearly a post-conversion heart-opening by God (I’ll put aside the questions pertaining to the problem of religious language and models of divine providence). The previous sentence explicitly states that she “worshiped God.”

    Ephesians 2:1-5,
    My next blog post will focus on this passage. There are three reasons why your interpretation is silly. For starters, people with dead spirits can’t commit wicked actions. Next, Paul also says that we are spiritually blind and spiritual slaves; but that is clearly contradictory if we’re spiritually dead (that is, contradictory on your interpretation of Paul’s figurative language). Lastly, Paul says that we’re dead “in trespasses and sin”; don’t neglect the qualifier. Those things (trespasses and sin) lead to spiritual death. It might be akin to saying, ‘You’re dead in your path,’ ‘you’ve got a target on your back’ or ‘you’re a dead man walking.’ So, the first two reasons I gave illustrate how your interpretation of “spiritually dead” is absurd. The third reason shows your failure to consider the entire phrase, and I offer an alternative that makes sense of it all.

  15. Pps2006

    Anthony, I appreciate your comments and I will consider them thoroughly. As I’ve alluded to earlier, I’m not entirely sure I understand your position so I’m not sure I can continue thoughtfully in this converstation. This is nothing against you but due entirely to my own ignorance in this matter. Also, I will have to investigate closer, but like Kurt, I am concerned that some of those verses you have sited have been taken out of context. Proper hermeneutics is essential when reading the bible…particularly who wrote it and who were they writing to.

    Again, I’ve enjoyed our exchange but I think Kurt is more familar with your position and can discuss with you in greater detail than I.

  16. Wtspa
    Wtspa 4 years ago

    Yes, we definitely have different starting points when it comes to defending the faith. I feel I have addressed the objections in your post with my previous responses already. I can address your post on the scripture when you write it.

    I don’t believe that any man made argument can save anybody. I do believe that nothing other than the gospel is the power of God to save those that believe.

    I deny that we can’t know God exists with %100 certainty, because this is denying that God has the ability to reveal himself so that we can be %100 certain. This is not the God of the bible. Plus, it becomes impossible for his redeemed to have a relationship with him if they could be wrong about his existence. I can’t have a relationship with my wife if I’m not sure she exists.

    Also with this defense of the faith appealing to the inductive principle without the bible there are numerous things in scripture that you can’t know to any degree of certainty without God.

    Prove that humans can walk on the surface of water , that a virgin woman can become pregnant spontaneously, that a donkey can talk, 5 loaves of bread can feed thousands of people, an axe head can float and the most important… That dead people can come to life after 3 days.

    The list goes on and I’m sure you’ve heard those challenges from unbelievers. This can’t be done through empirical evidence or rationalism. Your arguments are based on the self refuting theories of epistemology. Even the cosmological argument is a defense for naturalistic atheism.

    Anyone who says they are Christians because of the evidence and not because of the finished work of Christ and obedience to him, is not a Christian. I’m not implying that you guys aren’t Christians either.

    I appreciate having the chance to discuss these things with you and Jason. I actually found your site when I came across a discussion between you and Scott Oliphint on Youtube.

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