Category Archives: Apologetics

Tribe A, Tribe B, and Morality: An Illustration and A Conversation

There has been a lot of discussion among non-theists regarding how to understand morality.  The subject has long been a vexing one, considering non-theism does not officially have a set of moral codes.  This has troubled them all the more considering that theists often invoke the “moral argument”; namely, that apart from a belief in God, anything goes – or, at a minimum, nothing is inherently right or wrong.  But modern atheists  have been striking back.  Sam Harris has even written a recent book on the subject, defending a god-less morality.  Generally, non-theists appeal to reason, and to cross-cultural norms that match up with one another.  But these arguments only go so far, as we’re about to see.

 An Illustration:

 Tribe A – This tribe is composed of farmers and herders.  They work hard, love their families, and keep to themselves.  Though they might have communication and trade among other tribes, they have no desire to engage them in conflict of any kind.

 Tribe B – This tribe is one of warriors.  They also work hard and love their families.  They trade and communicate with other tribes, but underlying it all is a desire to conquer them.

In the course of time, Tribe B decides to invade Tribe A, even though Tribe A has done nothing to provoke such an attack.  Tribe B levels the village, burning homes, killing the men, raping and forcing into slavery the women and children.  Tribe A is no more.

(There are many questions raised by such an event, but we will deal only with the moral aspects.)

Is what Tribe A did to Tribe B an immoral act?  If so, why?  What is the basis for condemning it?   If Tribe B’s cultural morality allows violent acts against another culture when tribal improvement is to be gained, how can one go against them without invoking a higher standard of morality?  There are only two options here for the one who condemns this act.  Either one must appeal to a transcendent code (i.e., God), or one must consider one’s own morality, or that of one’s culture, as the standard by which others are to be judged.  The former is automatically ruled out for the non-theist.  That leaves the second option.  But taking this approach is also quite problematic.  For it makes one’s own moral code the ultimate standard, making oneself or one’s culture a kind of God on earth.  The non-theist must then answer how he knows that his understanding of moral norms is the correct one.  I’m not aware of any who can do this.

The dynamics of the Tribe B situation effectively nullifies the modern atheistic approach to accounting for morality.  Neither reason, nor universal cultural norms answers the dilemmas raised.  Tribe B can merely answer: “Why should we listen to you?”  There’s not much the non-theist can say it return, but it might go something like what follows.

A Conversation:

Non-theist: What your tribe did to Tribe A was terrible.  I condemn it in the strongest terms.

Tribe B: We don’t agree. Who says it’s wrong anyway?  You?

Non-theist: It’s wrong to kill people and steal things.  Everybody knows that!

Tribe B: We don’t agree.  We have rules for our own tribe that keeps us functioning, but these others tribes . . . we don’t know them, and we care nothing for them.  So if they have things we need, we take them and dispose of the people.  Simple.

Non-theist: How callous!  How can you not see the immorality of killing innocent people!

Tribe B: We’ll ask again: Who says?  We have our cultural norms and you have yours.  Ours allows us to attack other tribes; yours obviously doesn’t.  Our tribe doesn’t give a hoot what other tribes think about morality.  Your culture seems to like imposing your tribal norms on other tribes.  What a strange culture you must live in.

Non-theist: One reason I say it’s wrong is because I don’t want my society to be attacked by barbaric tribes like yours!

Tribe B: So you really don’t care about Tribe A either, do you?  You’re just afraid for your own safety, right?

Non-theist: No, that’s not what I’m saying.  Yes, I don’t want us to be attacked.  But I also believe that attacking any tribe is wrong.

Tribe B: Then give us a reason why it’s wrong.  Your opinion, or your society’s opinion doesn’t matter to us.  Give us a good, solid, reason (opinions and feelings not allowed) why we shouldn’t attack other tribes.

Non-theist: Okay, for one thing, most other tribes agree with us that it is wrong to kill.  Tribes across cultures, across centuries, have concurred.

Tribe B: You are incorrect.  There are – and have been – many, many tribes just like us that condemn killing in their own society, but have no qualms with killing other societies.  Your view only makes sense within a tribe, not tribe to tribe.  Also, even if what you say were true, it doesn’t make our acts good or bad.  It’s still just an opinion, albeit one held by a lot of people – but still just a one viewpoint against another.

Non-theist: Well . . . this kind of behavior is bad for society.

Tribe B: Not for ours.  Tribe A, yeah, but like we said, we didn’t know them and cared nothing for them.

Non-theist: But this kind of violence will lead to a more violent society in yours also.  Violent acts, even against people you don’t know, creates a violent mindset that will likely lead to chaos is your society also.

Tribe B: Who says?  We have rules against violent behavior in our society, and if they are broken, people are punished quite severely.  To be frank, we don’t have a lot of crime, and we get along rather nicely.  Is this the best you can do?  Give another reason.

Non-theist: But I just don’t really feel that killing .  .  .

Tribe B: Then feel away, but we’re done with this conversation.  You’ve convinced us of nothing!

This conversation illustrates the problems non-theists run into when speaking about ethics and morality.  Some are more honest with the implications.  Atheist professor William Provine has stated that if there is no God: “There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans.”  Few non-theists dare to be so blunt, but this is ultimately what their worldview holds.

But I’m not one to defend mere theism.  Just believing God exists doesn’t get one anywhere.  Who is God?  What is he like?  What does he want from me?  Mere theism cannot answer these questions, and so falls into many of the same moral holes as non-theism and agnosticism.  In fact, it is a form of agnosticism.  But God has not left us wondering.  He has revealed himself to us through his word, and his Son, Jesus Christ.  To say the least, what God says is of utmost importance.  He instructs us about what is right and wrong, yes, but also tells us that every person falls far short of these standards.  By the way, this would be my word to Tribe B:

“What you did was wicked in God’s sight.  He is the one who sets standards, not your tribe or any other tribe.  God has said he will judge eternally all those who kill and steal as you have done.  But he is also a God of love, and has given you a way out of this condemnation.  He has sent his one and only Son to take your punishment.  He died in your place, and yet rose again on the third day.  What you must do is trust him, turn from these immoral ways, and follow him.  Walk as he walked.”

This is why true Christianity makes so much sense.  Not only can we unequivocally state that certain behaviors are inherently wrong, we can also go further and speak of redemption and a future restoration.  It is this message that we must proclaim until Jesus returns.

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Christianity and Homosexuality, pt 3: Inconsistent OT interpretation

Question: Why appeal to Leviticus to condemn homosexual practice when you ignore all of the other laws?  Do you pick up sticks on the Sabbath?  Do you wear clothes with different types of fabric?  It seems that Christians are picking and choosing.

This is a very common objection to the traditional Christian view of homosexuality.  On the surface, it seems rather devastating.  On the one hand, if we say that those other Old Testament (OT) rules don’t apply anymore, we seem to be picking and choosing, and opening ourselves up to the accusation of inconsistency and hypocrisy.  On the other hand, if we say those rules do apply, then we are viewed with even more distain since much of the OT laws are quite foreign and offensive to modern ethics.  So there you have it: Game, Set, Match.

Well, not so fast.  The reality is that the church has always had an answer to this objection.  So what I’m going to write is nothing new, and certainly not a modern invention to get out of this dilemma.  But at the outset I need to mention that this issue has led to a bunch of theological discussion regarding the place of the OT law in the life of the Christian; and it is ongoing, and when I say “a bunch” I mean voluminous.  Rather than getting too bogged down in the issues of law and grace, let me state a few things about how Christians answer this challenge.

First, the “offensive” laws are primarily located in the Law of Moses.*  These laws were  given to the children of Israel.  Many of the commandments were geared toward them alone, and this to distinguish them from the surrounding nations.  Therefore, as a whole, the Law of Moses was never intended for all people, let alone for all time.

Second, though the Law of Moses was only intended for Israel, it did contain rules that would have applied to all people.  For instance, “You shall not kill (murder)” is one of the Ten Commandments, yet also a law expected of all people, for all time.  Conversely, a command such as “All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you” (Lev. 11:30) is for Israel, not, say, the Philistines.  So how do we know which is which?  This is where much of the above-mentioned theological discussion rests, but there are some general guidelines that help.  For instance, we get a strong clue from how the Bible speaks of the sins of the nations.  They are condemned for such acts as murder, child sacrifice, idolatry, witchcraft, and various forms of sexual deviancy, including homosexuality.  However, they are not condemned for failing to adhere to many of the other laws: Sabbath keeping, eating unclean creatures, temple worship, cleanliness rules, etc.  What we see from this is a clear indication that there are many laws within the Law of Moses that are normative for all, and many that were only for Israel.  This is why many Christians throughout the centuries have categorized the law into moral, ceremonial, and civil, aspects.**

Additionally, when we look at the New Testament, we find much the same story.  One of the most important theological issues of the new church, and in fact what precipitated the first council, was how the Gentile Christians were to view the Law of Moses.  Were they to be circumcised, for instance?  The answer was, and still is, no.  What we find in the NT are teachings condemning various forms of sin (including homosexuality), but no teaching condemning anyone for not following those laws specific to Israel.***

To summarize:

  • The OT Law of Moses was intended only for the Hebrews.
  • There are moral laws that God intends all people, in all epochs, to follow.
  • The Law of Moses contains many of these moral commands, in addition to many other laws specific only to Israel.
  • Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses “thus abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances” (Eph. 2:15).  Yet if one breaks a moral command, it is still sin.
  • One of the moral laws clearly spelled out in both the OT and NT is the prohibition on homosexual behavior.

There is no inconsistency, no hypocrisy in how Christians view the OT law.  To state again, this has been pretty basic Christian teaching since the beginning.  The objection has never been a particularly difficult one and still isn’t – though to the skeptic it certainly seems to be.

Notes:

* Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; also called the Torah in Judaism and the Pentateuch in Christianity.

** Most scholars today have distanced themselves from categorizing the Law of Moses into “moral,” “civil,” and “ceremonial,” since the Bible doesn’t include these categories and it oversimplifies the nuanced nature of biblical law.  While I understand the reasoning, I don’t have a problem with such categories.  It might be best to shun these distinctions in academic papers, but any meaningful dialogue with non-Christians or lay Christians needs these distinctions.  Otherwise, there is too much complexity, and too little clarity, leading to dead-end discussions.

*** For verses related to this paragraph: Acts 15:1-29; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:1-3, 16-26, 6:15

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20/20 Takes on Heaven

I just finished watching the two-hour 20/20 special, “Heaven: Where is it? How do we get there?”  Honestly, I didn’t expect much, so I wasn’t disappointed in what I got.  What does make me sad is how much distortion and deception there is on this topic.  Actually, it’s more provoking than anything.  It made me want to . . . well . . . blog about it.

In true post-modern style, we were treated to a smorgasbord of ideas from Barbara Walters and company.  Various faiths and non-believers had their say.  Even hell had a short segment at the end.  Very little of biblical truth was presented.  Barbara (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) did interview Joel Osteen.  He managed to state that Jesus was the only way to heaven, so that was good, but so much more needed to be said.  There are a couple of key truths that seem to elude virtually everyone, including an increasing number of Christians.  A lot more could be said, but let’s start with these two . . .

First, there is a tendency to think that heaven is achieved by how good we are.  Most people take this view.  We like to earn things by nature, so why not heaven?  Yet the Bible indicates very clearly that no amount of good works can get us into heaven.  It would be like a serial killer (think Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer) who thinks he should be released from prison because he bought some Girl Scout cookies, or gave some change to a homeless guy.  The problem is that the good deed comes nowhere close to matching the atrocities committed.  In the same way, our sin is presented in the Bible as an atrocity against God, our Creator.  No amount of goodness can cover that amount of rebellion. (cf. Rom. 3:9-20; Eph. 2:9).

Second, most people come at this issue with the idea that heaven is the default destination for themselves and everyone else.  This comes from the idea that we are good by nature.  However, Scripture gives us a totally different picture.  We are by nature rebels and we have sinned repeatedly against a perfectly holy God.  Therefore, the default destination is hell.  As the Paul wrote, we are all “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

The Bible paints a bleak picture of humanity.  To sum it up, we’re not nearly as good as we thought – in fact we’re criminally bad.  And we’re not headed toward a future blissful existence – we’re destined for the due penalty for our sins.  We are doomed.

Well, not quite.  Not everyone.  There is more to this story.  Thankfully!  In the very same passages mentioned above, we also read these beautiful, life-giving verses:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by faith you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6)

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:21-26).

Yes, there is a heaven.  We’re not told exactly where it is.  But we are told how to get there: by faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance of our sins.  In an age of confusion, where every idea gets heard and the only ones viewed with suspicion are those stated with certainty, this truth must be proclaimed.  It is what a dying world desperately needs.

**All Scripture cited from  the English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001.

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Christianity and Homosexuality, pt 2: An alleged inconsistency

Question: Why do churches harp on homosexuality so much?  Aren’t there many other sins they’re ignoring? 

The short answer is, yes and no.  A slightly longer answer is this: society has made homosexuality an issue, and the church has responded in kind to this new normalization.  If the issue was some other deviation, such as adultery or incest, there would be little said about homosexuality, and much said about the other two.

But we need an even longer answer.  It is a common conception that conservative Christians focus too much time and energy on homosexuality.  But this isn’t fully accurate.  Christians have the appearance of being unbalanced in this area for a couple of reasons.  For one, the political aspect of gay marriage and same sex benefits has brought this issue to the forefront.  Most Christians vote, and since they don’t find these ideas good for the country, they bring up the issue to their representatives, and also write and speak about them.  It’s therefore in the news a lot and Christians seem only to be focused on this particular issue.  Secondly, there are the extreme preachers and churches that do indeed put a great deal of time and effort into an anti-homosexual message.  A few have even done outlandish things such as picket the funerals of gay people, and preach sermons about rounding up gays and killing them.  Even though the vast majority of Christians abhor such behavior, and even though only a small percentage of Sunday sermons even mention homosexuality, guess who gets the media attention?  So when a non-Christian or gay rights supporter hears a hate-filled rant from a pulpit, or watches the unbiblical antics of Westboro Baptist with their “God Hates Fags” signs, is it any wonder that they attribute these attitudes to most conservative Christians?

The truth is that the Bible teaches that we all have sinned and fall (continually) short of his glory.  Everyone struggles with sin.  Whether gossip, slander, pride, violence, unjust anger, lust, or the myriad types of sexual perversions – God requires us all to repent.  Not only that, he has called believers in Jesus to teach others that we all must turn from our sins and believe in him.  On the one hand, Christians must call out all sin, including, but never limited to, homosexual behavior, since all sin keeps us from God.  On the other hand, when society experiences a tidal wave shift in thinking on a particular issue – in this case, homosexuality – it is perfectly reasonable, and should be expected, that Christians will respond.  The questions for Christians are: How am I responding?  Humbly or arrogantly?  With love or condescension?  And how much time am I focusing on this?  Is there a lack of balance?

One other thing to keep in mind is the fact that every group has its “black sheep” who make life difficult for everybody else.  There are millions of Christians and thousands of churches.  Just looking at the mathematical odds, of course there are going to be Christians and churches doing and saying outlandish things.  This fact really should go without saying, and I would have liked to have not said it, but I think it is easily forgotten, or at least ignored.  It is simply unreasonable to judge Christianity by the rogues out there who are not in any way representative of the whole.

In summary, our modern culture has made homosexuality an issue by normalizing it more than any previous culture in history.  Anyone who disagrees is often labeled “backward” or a “bigot.”  Society has drawn “first blood” in this issue, and Christians have responded.  Unfortunately, some have answered to fire with fire, and this has raised the ire of the pro-gay movement even more.  Yet it must be understood that the Bible does condemn homosexual acts, and it would be a violation of the Christian’s conscience to sit idly by while others are saying it’s “okay.”  We must call sin, sin, yet do so with gentleness, respect, and humility, knowing that we too are sinners.  To do otherwise would be unloving.

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Book Recommendation: The Forgotten Trinity

About twelve years ago I had a brief struggle with the concept of God’s triunity.  Since many of my previous beliefs had proven less certain (end times views, free will, predestination), when the subject of the Trinity came up, I began to wonder if this was a doctrine worth having.  Was it merely something the church invented?  Is it a useful doctrine at all?

By God’s grace, I came upon a (then) newly released book by James White, The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief.  What I learned was that, not only is the Trinity a biblical concept, it is absolutely essential to Christianity.  White does a tremendous job of explaining how the Trinity became widely recognized, why it’s such an important doctrine, and why we neglect it at our own peril.  The book was exactly what I needed and my faith was strengthened immeasurably by this rich truth.  I memorized his definition of the Trinity and have never forgotten it:

“Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal, coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

There has been something of a backlash in our culture against the whole church establishment.  Many people are looking at new ways of doing things, along with new ways of viewing God and the Bible.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, so long as vital biblical truth is not neglected.  One of those non-negotiables is the Trinity.  Now some might balk at using such a word since it’s not found in Scripture; but the word itself is not what’s important, but rather the concept.  So long as the following truths are accepted, whether or not one uses the term “Trinity” is irrelevant.

  • the Father is fully and eternally God
  • the Son is fully and eternally God
  • the Holy Spirit is fully and eternally God

-yet-

  • the Father is not the Son
  • the Son is not the Holy Spirit
  • the Holy Spirit is not the Father

If we accept these truths, then we have, in essence, accepted the Trinity.  There’s much more to discuss about this important doctrine, such as procession and order within the Trinity, but it’s important to get the basics down first.  James White’s book is a great introduction to the Trinity and I highly recommend it.  If you have doubts about the Trinity, if you want relevant information for use in your discussion with cults, or if you just love theology and want a refresher, read The Forgotten Trinity.

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Answering Christopher Hitchens’ Challenge – Part 2

“Here is my challenge . . . name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any[one] think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first — I have been asking it for some time — awaits a convincing reply. By what right, then, do the faithful assume this irritating mantle of righteousness? They have as much to apologize for as to explain.” Christopher Hitchens, “An Athiest Responds” found here.

Christopher Hitchens

In a previous post, the first challenge was answered.   Though Hitchens clearly sees no need for an answer to the second, there are aspects to it that must be fleshed out.

Challenge Two: Is there a wicked statement or evil action performed by a Christian precisely because of religious faith?

If “religious person” is substituted for “Christian” the answer is indeed obvious, for some religions have as their core teaching some ideas that are repulsive to most people, and which, if acted upon, can make for a rather unpleasant environment.  But let me state again, I’m not an apologist for religion, per se, but rather the historic Christian faith.  Additionally, it is true even with Christians that at times we do things out of religious zeal that ends up being wrong.  Hitchens would be right on that charge.  But he actually proves the Bible’s point on this.  It is not from scriptural commands that we do evil, but because we choose to ignore those commands that evil is done.  Therefore what I would argue is this: there is no wicked statement or evil action performed by a Christian precisely because of a biblical command to do so.

In this challenge Hitchens assume both parties are in complete agreement.  It seems obvious to all that religion has done all kinds of heinous things in the name of God.  But here I want to make a couple of arguments.  First, we must distinguish what God has said and commanded from what man has said and commanded.  Second, Hitchens himself is appealing to a moral law in his use of terms such as “wicked” and “evil.”  If he has a foundation for his moral code, he needs to state it, otherwise it’s just his opinion.

Skeptics such as Hitchens cite two examples that prove to them that Christianity is evil.  One is that Christian history is replete with examples of the church gone wild, killing heretics, burning witches, etc.  Two, the OT is full of Israel’s genocide of whole people groups, as well as commands against women and slaves that make them second class.  These are common arguments made time and time again on message boards and in the media.  Let’s look at both charges.

The church has done much evil.

By now everyone has heard of the horrors committed by the church, such as the inquisition, burning of witches, oppression of women, the crusades, and imperialist missions.  If you didn’t learn of these in school, you’ve surely heard them repeated on TV, radio, and internet message boards.  It’s as if these are the ultimate evils committed in human history.

Well, let me first say that much of the outrage is justified.  The church has perpetrated its share of evil during the centuries.  But my argument is that these atrocities are in direct contradiction of the Bible’s clear teaching.  Therefore, though it can be accurately stated that religion caused evil, it is not correct to say that the Bible has caused evil.

Jesus himself said: “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.”  “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”    “If someone strikes you on the left cheek, turn your other cheek.”  Paul wrote: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”  And Peter wrote: “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (John 18:36, Matt. 5:38,44; Rom. 12:20, 1 Pet. 3:9 ESV).  We see that there is not the slightest hint in the NT that Christians should harm anyone, let alone those who oppose them.  Rather, these verses teach us to be gentle and peaceable to everyone, including our enemies.

Illustration: Stop Sign

If someone barrels through a stop sign and strikes another vehicle, killing other passengers, do we blame the stop sign, or the person who disregarded the sign?  Now suppose this driver had been a staunch advocate of stop signs.  Does this affect our view of the stop sign’s innocence?  Of course not.  The driver, who proves himself a hypocrite in his disobedience, is to blame, and not the command itself.

In the same way the Bible is full of good instructions, many of which have been disobeyed, much to the church’s shame.  But it would be an error to blame the Bible itself for this; rather the rogues who ignore the clear instructions-even when done in God’s name-are to blame, since they are not relying upon the scriptures, but their own flawed wisdom.

The OT is full of evil acts.

The OT is another favorite whipping boy of the atheist and skeptics of all sorts.  A whole slew of verses are said to demonstrate that the God of the OT was some kind of evil tyrant, killing innocent people and commanding bizarre and unnecessary rituals.  To someone like Hitchens, this is ample proof that religion – and biblical religion at that—indeed causes evil.

Several things need be said here.  First, it must be pointed out (and it’s simply amazing to me how few get this) that these commands to the Israelites are not general commands for all time.  In other words, Christians today would be in serious error to assume that God desires them to carry out the same killings and rituals demanded of the Israelites.  This needs pointed out, because it’s often alleged that Christians want to instill OT law back into society, and this (rightly so) causes great fear and anger among non-Christians.  Yes, there are some who think this way, but the vast majority want nothing to do with such an idea.

Second, regarding the killing of life, how can God command such a thing?  Doesn’t this prove that the Bible is full of evil?  This is indeed a hard question, one that theologians and pastors have wrestled with for centuries.  But it can be answered.  We must first realize that God is the author of all life, and he is the sustainer of all things.  As the creator, he has complete rights over his creation to do what he wants.  Remember that God already takes life through old age, disease, accidents, murder and suicide, war, hunger, etc.  If God decided to remove lives through the sword of Israel, how is this worse than if those same lives had been drowned in a flood?

Third, atheists such as Hitchens must appeal to an ethical norm, a higher moral law, in order to discredit the Bible and Christianity.  The problem is that atheism does not allow for a transcendent moral code that can define for all people what is right or what is wrong.  All ethics must be either culturally defined or individually determined.  Often it’s both.  But if either cultural or personal in nature, how is it appropriate to pass moral judgment on another without making a specific culture’s view, or one’s own view, the standard by which others are judged?  This is what I call “the bane of atheism.”  Much more can be explored on this topic and I hope to do a post soon on this topic.

In our examination of Christopher Hitchens’ challenges we find his logic to be flawed.  First, he misunderstands Christian theology and ‘cherry picks’ from Christian history.  Like a politician, he plays to the crowd by exaggerating perceived flaws, then emphasizing them, then condemning it all as dangerous nonsense that should be avoided.  Yet most all biblical and historical scholars understand that both belief and history is complex and must be understood in its own context.  Hitchens simply does not see his error in this – or maybe he does.

Second, Hitchens  fails to see that his worldview cannot supply a moral code to condemn anyone.  This second point cannot be overemphasized.  It is his opinion that Christianity is full of evil and is bad for society.  But he must answer how his view is any better than anyone else’s.  Hitchens cannot do this, so his challenges end up being doomed from the outset.

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two ways to live : : the choice we all face

One of the best sites explaining the Christian gospel in a simple, yet complete way.

two ways to live : : the choice we all face

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