Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Distinct impressions"

***QUOTE***

TOUCHSTONE SAID:
Steve,

I get the distinct impression now after reading a lot of your posts that you use technical/philosophical language to obscure your arguments. I don't know whether that's a conscious choice or not, but this post is a good example of needlessly ornate forms getting in the way of an idea.

***END-QUOTE***

Touchstone,

I get the distinct impression now after reading a lot of your comments that you use impressionistic language to obscure your poverty of arguments. I don't know whether that's a conscious choice or not, but this comment is a good example of needlessly impressionistic verbiage getting in the way of an idea.

Incidentally, what’s the difference between a distinct impression and an indistinct impression? Or is the distinction—how shall we say—impressionistic?

What the Evangelutionist is really attempting to do is to play both sides of the fence. He is raising an intellectual objection to my position, but he’s also retreating into an anti-intellectual bunker.

At T-blog, we get these schizophrenic objections all the time. On the one hand we’re accused to being too fideistic. On the other hand, we’re accused to being too philosophical.

The interlocutor was the one who framed the question in terms of epistemic *justification*. And he seems, intentionally or not, to be operating with an internalist constraint on knowledge.

That being so, one cannot engage his objection without drawing technical/philosophical distinctions regarding internalist/externalist models of justification:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-intext/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/

I’m responding to the interlocutor on his own level.

***QUOTE***

If my Mormon neighbor comes to me and tells me about his visitation by the Angel Moroni, testifying *explicitly* to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the status of Joseph Smith Jr. as a prophet of God, what would you tell him was actually happening?

***END-QUOTE***

Short answer: I ‘d tell him that he was deluded.

***QUOTE***

Now, with respect to my Mormon friend, you suggested that his experience may be shown to be (i) non-specific or (ii) otherwise disproven.

As far as specificity, go ask your friendly Mormon neighbor, and you'll learn that they specifically have the truth of the Book of Mormon validated by what they claim to be a veridical experience.

***END-QUOTE***

Are you trying to be obtuse?

I don’t have any uniform opinion about the religious experience of Mormons in general since their experience is individual and variable. It all depends on the example.

A Mormon can enjoy a religious experience which has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon.

With respect to the Mormon prayer, I already did a post on that a long time ago, which I mentioned in reply to the interlocutor. So I’ve answered that question before you or he ever asked me about it.

***QUOTE***

Relating that back to your argument that if you have positive knowledge of snow, no ignorance of snow can deny this positive knowledge. So here, the Mormon is saying "I have truth" -- "I have direct knowledge of snow". Since that's the case, it seems you've given the Mormon a powerful defense, as it's own you claim for yourself.

***END-QUOTE***

That’s an argument from analogy minus the argument.

***QUOTE***

As for being falsified elsewhere, on what grounds would the Bible, Qur'an or the Book of Mormon be falsified?

***END-QUOTE***

A couple of issues:

i) The Bible can be falsified iff the Bible is false. But if the Bible is true, then it cannot be falsified.

ii) Both Mormonism and Islam are Christian heresies. As Manata points out, this means that they can be falsified on internal grounds alone—although they can also be falsified on external grounds.

***QUOTE***

I thought the whole point of this was that the external arguements *weren't* conclusive?

***END-QUOTE***

i) And why did you think that was the whole point? The sufficiency or insufficiency of external arguments was never the issue of this particular thread.

Rather, the issue was the sufficiency or insufficiency of religious experience.

Sometimes religious experience is sufficient, but at other times religious experience is insufficient. The latter case is where external arguments come to the fore.

ii) But it also depends on the purpose to which religious experience is being put. Are we talking about religious experience simpliciter, or the *argument* from religious experience?

***QUOTE***

If the external arguments aren't conclusive, then you've got yourself chasing your tail.

***END-QUOTE***

I have no opinion on whether external arguments *in general* are either conclusive or inconclusive. That would all depend on *which* external argument we’re talking about.

***QUOTE***

if "other grounds" exist, and they are experiential, then those experiential evidences have the same doubt cast on them as the experience we began with -- the Muslim's veridical experience viz. Allah and the Qur'an, and the Mormon's veridical experience viz. the Book of Mormon.

***END-QUOTE***

And who equated the “other grounds” with existential arguments? In my discussion, I set the existential arguments in *contrast* to the “other grounds.”

It didn’t take long for the Evangelutionist to revert to form: total incomprehension and misrepresentation of the opposing position.

***QUOTE***

As near as I can tell, then, the argument winds up simply with naked assertions of "other grounds", grounds not specified.

***END-QUOTE***

The first move Touchstone makes is to allege that I use “technical/philosophical language to obscure my arguments.”

Having thus proceeded to strip my arguments of their technical/philosophical qualifications, he then throws up his hands and exclaims them to be “naked assertions”!

One would be hard put to find a better example of a straw man.

***QUOTE***

Rejection on grounds of specificity wouldn't make sense for the Mormon who received a "testimony" of the truth of the Book of Mormon, unless you're prepared to allow that such a "tetimony" might be true.

***END-QUOTE***

Evidently the Evangelutionist is unable to keep more than one idea in his head at a time. Mormonism was not the only example that the interlocutor deployed.

There is no one criterion to apply in every case, because the examples of religious experience are necessarily diverse. Some religions posit different truth-conditions than others. And individual adherents vary in their range of religious experience.

***QUOTE***

But I wonder how you would reject the Mormon's experience as different than your own then. What are these other grounds?

***END-QUOTE***

I’ve already given a detailed answer to that question. The Evangelutionist disregards all of the detailed argumentation, then expresses his puzzlement at the absence of an answer.

Answers are beside the point when dealing with a disputant who lacks the mental discipline to follow an argument.

***QUOTE***

It seems your whole argument would depend on that.

***END-QUOTE***

He didn’t begin to engage my “whole” argument. Instead, he tried to reduce my “whole” argument to a simple-minded caricature.

28 comments:

  1. somebody woke up on the wrong side of John Calvin's bed today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steve,

    Let's keep it simple, then.

    Joe is a devout Mormon, and makes the following statement:

    I, Joe, have received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that the Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet of God. And that further more, all of the past presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been chosen of God as prophets, seers and revelators.

    That's not the Mormon Prayer. This would be a separate kind of revelation. Now, if this is Joe's claim, how does it get dismissed, according to your post? Specifically, how might you dismiss it in a way that doesn't leave Exapologist dismissing *your* testimony on the same grounds?

    Is there a way?


    -Touchstone

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. One way to invalidate Joe's claim might be to begin with defining what a "true prophet" is, Biblically speaking.

    Actually, we needn't go so far. We might simply begin with the Biblical definition of a true Christian. A true prophet is a true Christian, but not every true Christian is a true prophet.

    As far as I understand, Mormons accept the Bible (KJV).

    So, if we argue from the Bible:

    1. What characteristics mark a true Christian?

    2. Does Gordon B. Hinckley exhibit these characteristics?

    Presumably Hinckley would fail the test.

    Therefore we've invalidated Joe's claim that Hinckley is a true prophet as well.

    Joe's experience itself need not be invalidated. But the "truth" Joe received from the experience can be invalidated. And if we've invalidated Joe's truth-claim, then it also (at least partially) undermines Joe's interpretation of his experience.

    At least that's my understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Joe Mormon to Patrick Chan:

    Patrick,

    We don't use the KJV, we use the Joseph Smith Translation (JST). Furthermore, we accept the Bible on insofar as it is "interpreted correctly", with correctly being defined by Joseph Smith Jr. and subsequent LDS Prophets. So according to the Mormons, my revelation is entirely consistent with our scripture.

    Furthermore, President Hinckley is revered by Mormons as a blessed example of a Godly, devout follower of Jesus Christ. He is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, and gentle - all traits we understand to be fruits of the Spirit.

    So, given that, how would my experience be invalidated?

    Furthermore, I don't doubt that my experience was *real* in the sense that a *dream* is real. I'm claiming this was a revelation of absolute truth from the Holy Spirit.

    What's the reason it can't be true, again?

    Thank you,

    Joe Mormon


    -Touchstone

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  6. Dear Joe,

    You said,

    "Furthermore, we accept the Bible on insofar as it is "interpreted correctly", with correctly being defined by Joseph Smith Jr. and subsequent LDS Prophets."

    But what about the sic et non of the prophets?

    For example, Joeseph Smith tells us that the revelation from god told him that Jesus was conceived by teh power fo the holy spirit to Mary, the virgin? Alma 7:10 states,

    10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the cland of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

    But why does the Prophet Brigham young say this?

    "No. He was not conceived by the Holy Ghost. Now, remember this, from this time forth and forever Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses, volume one, page 50 and 51).

    And so why would two prophets interpret the Bible in contradictory ways?

    Seems like we could prove anything:

    1. Jesus was conceived by the holy sprit (Alma/Joeseph Smith).

    2. Either Jesus was conceived by the holy spirit or Mormomism is false.

    3. Jesus was not (Brigham Young).

    4. Therefore, mormonism is false.

    kind regards,

    The Ice Man, Chuck Liddell

    ReplyDelete
  7. We don't use the KJV, we use the Joseph Smith Translation (JST). Furthermore, we accept the Bible on insofar as it is "interpreted correctly", with correctly being defined by Joseph Smith Jr. and subsequent LDS Prophets. So according to the Mormons, my revelation is entirely consistent with our scripture.

    But are your Scriptures consistent with history, archaeology, cosmology, etc.? Are your Scriptures internally consistent with one another? And so on.

    Furthermore, President Hinckley is revered by Mormons as a blessed example of a Godly, devout follower of Jesus Christ. He is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, and gentle - all traits we understand to be fruits of the Spirit.

    Of course, leaving aside for the moment whether these are even genuine "fruits of the Spirit," there's more to being a Christian than exhibiting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness. 1 John would be a good starting point.

    So, given that, how would my experience be invalidated?

    Please see my original comment.

    Furthermore, I don't doubt that my experience was *real* in the sense that a *dream* is real. I'm claiming this was a revelation of absolute truth from the Holy Spirit.

    What's the reason it can't be true, again?


    Again, please see my original comment.

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  8. From Adam Atheist to Patrick Chan,


    Patrick,

    I just bounced over here after reading Exapologist's blog, and your comments have me captivated. When you say:

    But are your Scriptures consistent with history, archaeology, cosmology, etc.? Are your Scriptures internally consistent with one another? And so on.

    I just have to laugh. Are you ready to answer an atheist on those grounds with your Bible? YEC and all? Hah! You'd crumble under your own criteria, should it be put to you. Are you willing to see Christianity fall by the axe you take to the Mormons?

    Should I pull some quotes from Exapologist?

    Sincerely,

    Adam Atheist


    -Touchstone

    ReplyDelete
  9. From Joe Mormon to Chuck Liddell,


    Chuck,

    Are we using the Mormon interpretation of scriptures to assess Mormonism or are we judge by it's critics' understandings? According to our understandings, there's no controversy over Mary's conception. If we are judged by your interpretation, then you are so judged by ours!

    Suffice it to say, your interpretation is likely to fail, and fail badly, at the hands of our Prophet!

    So where does that leave us? Is your indwelling of the Holy Spirit denied by Mormon interpretation? If not, then how does my revelation -- a clear and direct message from God -- get denied by *your* interpretation?

    Or is it just that *you* get to call the rules?

    Sincerely,

    Joe Mormon


    -Touchstone

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are questions Richard Carrier asked on his Blog. I was wondering if the people at Triablogue could answer them, essepcially the first one. And if you have answered these questions already, or very similar ones already, could you provide the link to those posts?

    1. "Why was the death of Jesus so public, but his resurrection so private?"

    2. You seem to trust what the Gospels say is what actually happened. I want to understand why. I have an analogy that I think might help. Suppose I hauled you into court on a murder charge, and the only evidence I had against you was a bunch of letters that described you murdering the victim in vivid detail. Of course you would ask who wrote those letters. I answer, "Joe, Mike, Bob, and Dan." You then ask, "Who are they?" And I answer, "I don't know for sure." That's a dead end, so you would ask, "How do they know any of the things they claim in those letters?" And I answer, "I don't know. They never say exactly where they are getting any of their information." Okay. Imagine that happened to you. Would you conclude that I had a convincing case against you? Do you believe the jury should conclude that you committed the murder those letters describe you committing?"

    3. 1. "In the Book of Acts the Apostles are having vivid and powerful visions and dream communications from God all the time. We hear of similar experiences reported in that era from Jews and pagans, who were also having vivid and powerful visions and dream communications from a variety of gods and angels. Why isn't this happening now? And why was that happening back then, even to pagans and Jews, who weren't seeing or hearing what the Christians were seeing and hearing?"

    4. 3. "The Gospel according to Matthew says (27:52-54) 'the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints who slept rose up and came out of their graves after His resurrection, and went into the Holy City and appeared to many'. Do you believe this happened? If Yes: How could this amazing event have escaped everyone else's notice, even the other evangelists? If No: How could the author of Matthew get away with such a lie?"

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  11. Hi Joe Mormon,

    I like your dodge. I see that you're the Tochstone of the Mormons.

    I thought it was pretty clear that one prophet said one thing while another said another thing.

    One said this: "and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost,"

    And the other said this: "No. He was not conceived by the Holy Ghost."

    Now, I'd be willing to listen to your accout of what's going on. Or, is your "rational apologetic" just to wave your hands, furiously, so that your opponant goes away?


    I mean, if you can refute me by saying "there's no controversy" then I can, just as arbitrarily, say "oh, but there is a controversy."

    So, I guess you don't *really* want to play pretend Mormon.

    C'mon, have you seen Christians argue thus? "There's no contradiction." No, we may *start* by saying that, but we'll offer a resolution.

    So, go back to the drawing board.

    Btw, I like all the "brownie points" you're earning before God by showing how the "mean and arrogant Christians" arguments are not so good.

    FYI, the atheists still won't be converted, even though they glad-hand you and tell you you're so cool. You're like the Football player who smoked weed to show all the "bad kids" that Football players aren't the uptight, boring, stuck-up jocks everyone thought they were. There's plenty of your kind. By senior year, all they do is smoke weed.

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  12. Could you comment on this video interview with Richard Carrier?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CQKxq6gkTc

    ReplyDelete
  13. David Wood has written a response to the book that Richard Carrier discusses in that video:

    http://www.answeringinfidels.com/answering-skeptics/answering-richard-carrier/good-n-senseless-without-god.html

    If you want to find Wood's material on specific topics, you can search within the articles by using Ctrl F on your keyboard. For example, since Carrier mentioned Lee Smolin and black holes, you can search under "Smolin" or "black" in chapter 4 and thereby get to the relevant sections of Wood's response.

    Regarding the questions from Carrier that you've posted, yes, we have addressed those issues or ones closely related to them. There are a lot of relevant posts in the archives. Briefly, I'll make several points in response:

    - The resurrection is significant evidence for Christianity, but not the only evidence.

    - Some of the evidence for the resurrection, such as the empty tomb and the testimony of eyewitnesses, has been highly public. We don't have to see the risen Jesus ourselves in order to trust others who saw Him, as we trust others who saw His death or other historical events.

    - Jesus appeared to hundreds of people, including opponents of Christianity (James, Paul). There may have been other opponents who saw Him as well. The guards at the tomb and Paul's travel companions experienced evidence of the resurrection, even though we don't have any record of their having spoken with the risen Jesus or their having become Christians, for example. They or some of them may have become Christians. We don't know. But we do know that at least some enemies of Christianity saw the risen Jesus and became Christians, and we know that many people in high positions of leadership became Christians after the resurrection (Acts 6:7). We don't know the names of every enemy of Christianity who became a Christian after Jesus' resurrection or the names of every person Jesus appeared to, but we do know that many former enemies became Christians. The objection that Jesus didn't appear to more enemies is questionable, since we don't know who all He appeared to and since a resurrection appearance isn't the only means of leading a person to a reliable conclusion that Jesus rose or that Christianity is true. For example, if the tomb was sealed and guarded as Matthew's gospel describes (http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/guard.html), then the tomb's becoming empty would be significant evidence supporting the resurrection, even without people having seen the risen Jesus themselves.

    - Why should we think that critics wouldn't dismiss Jesus' appearances to other enemies of Christianity in the same manner in which they dismiss the appearances to enemies that we know about? If Jesus appeared to Pontius Pilate or performed a miracle of some other type before the emperor, for example, how do we know that critics wouldn't dismiss those reports in much the same way that they dismiss the experiences of James, Paul, and, later on, Constantine?

    - When people like Richard Carrier have come up with a sufficient naturalistic explanation of the resurrection evidence we have, then we can be concerned about why there isn't more evidence. But since they haven't even come close to a sufficient explanation of what we do have, then objecting that we don't have more evidence doesn't accomplish much.

    - Comparing issues of gospel authorship to a vague claim that documents were written by "Joe, Mike, Bob, and Dan" is fallacious. Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus. Mark and Luke were contemporaries and companions of the apostles. In addition to what we know about the authors, we know that they were writing in a historical genre that had particular expectations associated with it, and we know that their claims were widely accepted by individuals and communities who were contemporaries of Jesus and the apostles. See Richard Bauckham's recently released book Jesus And The Eyewitnesses (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2006), for example.

    - People continue to experience supposedly supernatural dreams, visions, etc. in today's world. And the existence of such experiences in the ancient world isn't inconsistent with Christianity. If a skeptic thinks he has evidence for a non-Christian experience that's comparable to the evidence we have for Jesus' resurrection, and he thinks that the non-Christian experience is evidence against Christianity, then he can make that case. But making vague references to dreams, visions, etc. doesn't accomplish much. We have evidence that can distinguish between Jesus' physical resurrection and non-physical visions, for example, and the existence of non-physical visions as a general category doesn't give us any reason to conclude that the resurrection didn't occur.

    - On the subject of Matthew 27:52-53, see:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/09/presence-of-past.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/09/gospels-as-historical-accounts.html

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  14. Paul Manatasan11/30/2006 7:16 AM

    hhhhmmm....

    This "chuck liddell" sounds really familiar. Who could it be?

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  15. I just think the religion we profess is to a very large extent based upon when and where we were born, and I have some very good initial grounds for thinking this. We gain our control beliefs from the accidents of birth and we then defend these control beliefs.

    I hear people of different religions claiming that the reason people don't see the truth is because they are unenlightened, ignorant, willfully ignorant, deceived be the devil, or that God decrees this state of affairs for gaining glory. But none of them seem to admit what is obvious, based upon solid sociological facts which tell us that what we believe is based upon the accidents of birth, especially when there isn't a mutually agreed upon test to determine which religious faith is correct. We don't choose our religion. We adopt it from the culture we were brought up in. How many Buddhists do we have in America? Not many? Why? How many Christians are there in Turkey? Less than 1%. Why?

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  16. A friend told me of this blogsite a week ago. I have been reading, and growing sad as I see the sin and hate going back and forth between the believers and the non-believers.

    I'd like to invite you to let go of the anger, and to come together in a spirit of inquiry and respect.

    Triablogue writers...you are very talented, and I respect that. I hope we can learn from each other.

    Non-believers and Debunkers...not all Christians will treat you like garbage. I want to show you the love of Christ, that your hearts may be changed.

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  17. Hmmmm, you didn't think that was *really* Chuck Liddell?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well, he *did* talk tough!

    -Touchstone

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  19. God loves you Paul, touchstone, Patrick, Steve, Chuck, Jason, anonymous, and yes, even you John Loftus.

    John, I understand your pain. You are like a little child who is lost, and needs to find his way back home.

    Reminds me of a song by Michael W Smith, "You really need a Savior."

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gentle_S

    Your moniker seems a bit blasphemous.

    Anyway, so are you telling us that the only person God hates is Esau?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mr Manata,

    Why is my moniker blasphemous?

    I represent my Gentle Savior, that is why I picked the name.

    Indeed, the apostle Paul claimed that God hated Esau. But Jesus himself claimed to love all mankind. Therefore, I will go with Jesus said. Paul was making a point about a particular instance, and not saying that God doesn't love everyone.

    Jesus trumps Paul when these things arise.

    That is my understanding and belief, anyway. Do you trust the words of Paul over those of Jesus?

    Agape.

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  22. Gentle:
    ---
    Indeed, the apostle Paul claimed that God hated Esau. But Jesus himself claimed to love all mankind.
    ---

    A) Paul was quoting Malachi 1:1-3a, which says: "The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated." So it wasn't Paul who said it, it was YHWH.

    B) Chapter and verse for the claim Jesus loves all mankind, please.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Calvindude,

    John 3:16

    "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gentle quoted John 3:16, as expected.

    However, there are problems.

    If world means everyone, why does Jesus say, "I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours" in John 17:9?

    Why does Judas (not Judas Ischariot) ask: "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" in John 14:22?

    This is right after Jesus said in verses 16-17: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive."

    John 1:10 says: "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him."

    Now clearly, if all these passages mean every single person, then the interpetation of these passages can only be absurdity.

    But since it is possible that "world" might mean everyone, let's look at John 3:16 again. It says, using your quoted version:

    "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

    Now, on a strictly literal reading, I simply say, "Hmm, so God loves planet Earth." It doesn't say anything there about loving any person.

    But naturally it wouldn't make much sense to take it as meaning the ground upon which we walk given other Scripture. For the same reason, it doesn't make much sense to interpret it as every single person when we have explicit words from YHWH Himself that He hates Esau.

    Secondly, this doesn't even begin to consider what the term "love" means in this context. I love when the Colorado Avalanche wins hockey games; but I love my friends more. I love my family more than I love my friends. My love isn't the same for everyone and everything.

    Isn't it possible that God can love every single person in a limited sense, and then love His Elect with a special love? The same kind of love a true husband would show his wife, even though he loves his parents too?

    In other words, this one verse of yours A) doesn't say what you want it to say (it must be inferred) and B) is restricted from your infered meaning by other explict passages of Scripture.

    So I would challenge you to both exegete this text of Scripture and to read all of Scripture.

    ReplyDelete
  25. calvindude,

    you said above:

    ****

    Isn't it possible that God can love every single person in a limited sense, and then love His Elect with a special love?

    ****

    I don't disagree with this. I think God loved Esau, but hated his sin.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Adam Atheist aka Touchstone:

    But are your Scriptures consistent with history, archaeology, cosmology, etc.? Are your Scriptures internally consistent with one another? And so on.

    I just have to laugh. Are you ready to answer an atheist on those grounds with your Bible? YEC and all? Hah! You'd crumble under your own criteria, should it be put to you. Are you willing to see Christianity fall by the axe you take to the Mormons?


    Leave it to Touchstone as a professing Christian to take the position of an atheist.

    After all, one would presume someone of Touchstone's self-professed erudition and intellectual aptitude would be familiar enough with general Christian apologetics at least to know some of the main arguments Christians might deploy in defense of the Bible.

    But, alas! I guess that's not the case.

    Be that as it may, I'll point Touchstone to F.F. Bruce's The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? for starters.

    Or Bruce Metzger's The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration.

    Reinventing Jesus by Ed Komoszewski et al should furnish him with some food for thought. Steve has posted his review of the book, too.

    He could also browse the internet for articles by mainstream Christian scholars such Darrell Bock, Don Carson, and many others.

    At the very least, he might consider checking out the apologetical work here on Triablogue -- and hopefully without also checking out his brain at the same time. Such as Jason Engwer's writings.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Patrick,

    You said:
    Leave it to Touchstone as a professing Christian to take the position of an atheist.

    I'm not endorsing the atheist or the Mormon position. I'm simply trying to show how hypocritical it is to declare oneself the conquering victor. Chuck Liddell thinks his approach to disproving Mormonism is a *good* one in his hands, but I'd be surprised if he'd think it was a good approach if used against him by Adam Atheist.

    It's just a matter of cutting oneself favors, claiming a tool is valuable to use on critics, but invalid when it's turned against oneself.


    After all, one would presume someone of Touchstone's self-professed erudition and intellectual aptitude would be familiar enough with general Christian apologetics at least to know some of the main arguments Christians might deploy in defense of the Bible.


    Well if I claimed to be erudite, I should definitely ammend my remarks. I'm a college drop-out, not highly educated my any set of institutions. As for intellectual aptitude, that's something for others to judge, not me. I just present my thoughts, and people will assess them as they will.

    As for books on Christian apologetics, I'm certainly aware of their existence, and have read many over the years. There are some very good, compelling arguments to be had, no doubt about. But you must be aware that LDS bookstores have a solid inventory of their own books on apologetics, complete with footnotes and illustrations.

    Do I accept the arguments of LDS apologists as true. No. I'm thoroughly unconvinced. Am I convinced when I read F.F. Bruce? Generally, I'm quite convinced. But I don't suppose that these books by themselves are convincing, else, everyone would be a Christian. These books are an important part of the picture, but just part of the picture, parts that get mixed in with my own reading of scripture, and my own personal/metaphysical experiences.

    I realize that Joe Mormon has similar parts on his side of the equation. He's unconvinced by F.F. Bruce, at least to the extent Bruce disagrees with the LDS Prophets. IN my experience, he doesn't suppose McConkie is going to convince me all by itself, as for him he relies on his interpretations of his scriptures and his own personal/metaphysical experiences.

    We are not both right, Joe Mormon and I. Perhaps neither of us are. But logically, we cannot both be. But that won't be settled in the here and now. He's got his reasons, which I find unconvincing viz. my own. Same goes for him - he's unconvinced by my reasons.

    Loftus thinks we're both nuts. Ismail Islam understands the lot of us to be kufr rejecting Allah and the Prophet Mohammed.

    We lay out our arguments, and the market decides how convincing they are. We don't get to decide how well we've done, the market does -- all those reading and participating in the discussion.

    We'll all know what the real truth of these matters is/was soon enough.

    -Touchstone

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  28. touchstone said:

    "We lay out our arguments, and the market decides how convincing they are. We don't get to decide how well we've done, the market does -- all those reading and participating in the discussion."

    Ha! But what would Paul Manata do with himself (that wasn't sinning!) if he couldn't pat himself on the back and declare victory? Oh, I know, he'd log in as 6 'other' people and pat himself on the back.

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