Back in the third century of the church, as I’m sure some of our readers are aware, there was a bishop named Athanasius – his tenacious defense of the doctrine of the Trinity, in opposition to the swiftly growing heresy of Arianism gave rise to the statement “Athanasius contra mundum” – Athanasius against the world. In a sense, this wasn’t quite true – there were other defenders of the Trinity around, but none so prolific, and none who were targeted nearly so heavily as Athanasius, who was ejected from his church five times, and was only vindicated after his death. …Read more
Another difficulty with religious language (and hence, Christianity) that non-religious people have concerns itself with “falsifiability,” or the aspect of any claim which states it must, in principle at least, be capable of subjecting to certain scientific criteria by which it can conceivably be proven false, in order to be considered meaningful. Like Verificationism, Falsificationism assumes an empiricist worldview, and so is subject immediately to some of the criticisms of Verificationism, including for instance, the seeming arbitrariness of the foundational principles undergirding it. Falsificationism was articulated as a way to circumvent the problems inherent in Verificationism. While Karl Popper …Read more
Few things really irk me in this world. There’s waking up, missing church, missing the gym, slow internet connections – to name a couple. One thing in particular that always tends to turn the knob on my internal oven, and I’ve been seeing a lot of it lately, is the insistence by the non-religious that “private religion” is to be kept out of the public realm, or that religion is to be kept out of politics, etc. I understand that, particularly with regard to Christianity, there are some debates on what a Christian body politic would look like, but my …Read more
One of the many problems atheists have with Christianity involves the issue of Verificationism. They may say, “I can’t believe Christianity because it can’t be verified,” and some might include, “…scientifically.” Some may even say, “It’s not true unless it can be verified.” Greg Bahnsen has a chapter in Always Ready entitled, “The Problem of Religious Language,” wherein he deals with both Verificationism and Falsificationism. The summary of the problem is that any religious utterance cannot be considered “meaningful” unless it can be checked against real-world data. Any talk of God, for instance, must correspond to something observable in the …Read more
My brother-in-law went to school with an atheist who excelled in virtually every subject he studied. This particular atheist was a sharp thinker. He was also firm in his atheistic convictions. But he liked to drink. A lot. One night he had a bit too much. By the end of the night he was weeping and crying out about how there has to be a God. Plenty of his friends witnessed the event. They brought it up later. His response was to grumpily tell them not to talk about it.
My old Sunday School teacher had a friend who came …Read more
In our last post we looked at the centrality of the Creator/creature distinction to Christian theology, and to our apologetic. With this post, I’d like to look at the importance of it in regards to objections offered and our response to them. These objections can come in a variety of forms – the so-called problem of evil, the supposed “evil god” objections, objections to Scriptural tenets, or what have you. At bottom, however, I’d advance the theory that they all boil down to a denial of God’s transcendence. Why do I say this?
At bottom, every objection that is offered …Read more
As we spoke about in the last post, there seems to be a strangely persistent notion that emphasizing an actual distinction between the thought of God and man is a mistake. I’d like to add that there is a similar notion, despite lip-service to the concept, that emphasizing the transcendence of God in any sense is likewise considered to be a mistake of some kind. In my experience, this often stems from the fact that men are simply uncomfortable with God being absolutely other – and as such, not to be confused with anything they would be familiar with. While …Read more
Matt Oxley describes himself as a “former Christian helping others work through the battle of a lost faith.” One aspect of his mission is “to promote intelligent discussion.” So he won’t mind my probing a bit concerning his claim, “I’m a former Christian.”
Recall Scripture states, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2.19) Recently a professing Christian cited this verse for Matt. The implication …Read more
Here’s a history of the exchange with atheist Pat Mefford regarding, most notably, the Liar Paradox:
Valuable points were made in the comments by David Byron and B.C. Askins. I will limit my response to addressing Pat’s most recent post http://servileconformist.typepad.com/servile-conformist/2012/12/more-thoughts-on-chris-bolt.html.
My previous reply to Pat on Titus 1.12-13a was not merely “a brief comment” but a refutation of the point Pat has most recently attempted to proffer regarding our exchange. Pat reiterates his earlier claims in his most recent post. He notes, “All we have is the text.” Of …Read more
An atheist visitor to the site, Jnani, wrote the following in a comment:
Meaning is subjective and since we are all subjects, there is plenty of meaning in the universe. It’s only delusional to see meaning where there is none which I would contend the Christian WV does.
I have been interacting with atheists for quite a while now. Their blindness still occasionally amazes me.
“Meaning is subjective.”
Would Jnani apply this claim to itself? Is the meaning of, “Meaning is subjective” merely subjective ? If so, then Jnani’s claim is self-referentially problematic. The meaning of the claim is …Read more