Daily Archives: August 1, 2010
Last year, I was surprised to find that God is Imaginary added three proofs as a bonus. I was able to write answers for all of them in about a day.
As I had suspected, it was very easy to update those bonus sections. Since I had written only about a year ago, they reflect my current theological understandings more than many of the other proofs. They had no comments from skeptic readers that were worth addressing, so they required very little rewriting.
They are now up for your perusal, with comments enabled at the bottom:
I’ve given up on the Josiah Concept Ministries discussion board idea. Although it seems to get plenty of views, only 3 people have signed up for it–including me. Only I’ve started threads, and one other user has responded only to my introductory post. The third user hasn’t even made a single post.
Therefore, as I finish up proofs for God is NOT Imaginary, I will be enabling the built-in comments section from Google Sites. Hopefully this will generate some discussion. The same will be happening over at the Are Christians Deluded? site. As I finish up my counterpoint articles, I will enable the built-in comments.
To help everyone keep up with Are Christians Deluded? and God is NOT Imaginary, I have added the blog feeds in the sidebar.
The reason that I’ve been putting these off is that, in rewriting the proofs, I want to take the time to address the comments I’ve received from the original site. I don’t know why I worried so much. Reviewing the comments thus far from these two proofs, I really haven’t been getting any that are worth addressing. Of course, as I get set to re-do Proof #1 and #2, that may change. Prayer is one of the biggest bones of contention with skeptics and atheists. Perhaps I’ll see some good argumentation there.
One final note: I’ve given up on the Josiah Concept Ministries discussion board idea. Although it seems to get plenty of views, only 3 people have signed up for it–including me. Only I’ve started threads, and one other user has responded only to my introductory post. The third user hasn’t even made a single post.
Therefore, as I finish up proofs, I will be enabling the built-in comments section from Google Sites. Hopefully this will generate some discussion. The same will be happening over at the Are Christians Deluded? site.
Sometimes, first impressions are not always right. I did something that I usually don’t do in regard to people in the course of writing this blog: I let the opinions of others unduly influence my opinion of another blogger. I generally ignore what other people say about a person I’ve just met and form my own opinion. But I never did that with a particular individual that I’ve had the fortune (or misfortune?) of encountering in the past.
The individual of which I speak is Dave Armstrong. I have said of Dave:
Words in English are precise, and are chosen to convey something specific. No convergence was ever meant or implied between the words “vicar” and “disciple.” Dave needs to head to the book store and get himself a copy of On Writing Well by William Zinsser and carefully read the chapters on Simplicity, Clutter, and Words before he constructs his next “paper.” (source)
This pretty much summed up the position I held about Dave. I thought (and still do, in some respects) that his blog posts are unnecessarily long. Conventional wisdom says that a blog post should run 200 to 500 words. After that, your audience tends to lose interest.
However, I’m not one to talk. My posts can reach 1100 words or better on a regular basis. I think that when a person blogs about philosophy or theology, it requires more words than the average blogger since the average reader isn’t as studied in the background of such posts. Therefore, the blogger has to lay the groundwork for why he (or she) thinks what he (or she) does.
That said, I’ve recently started to take a liking to many of Dave’s recent posts. He disagreed with an atheist on YouTube (beginning of series) and constructed a post about the top 10 atheist arguments. He also has a project in the works about Christianity and modern science, trying to explode the atheistic myths that Christianity had nothing to do with the rise of science. More recently, he commented on Anne Rice’s deconversion from Christianity. In that post, Dave said something that I agree with in spirit, though being a Protestant I would understand “Christian authority” differently than Dave:
There are serious lessons to be learned here: along the lines of having an informed, reasonable faith (complete with apologetic knowledge as necessary), and of yielding up our private judgment and personal inclinations to a God and a Church much higher than ourselves. Faith comes ultimately by God’s grace and His grace alone: not our own semi-understandings. Christianity is not “blind faith”; it is a reasonable faith. But there is such a thing as allegiance and obedience to Christian authority, too.
This is rather similar to my expressed sentiments here. I state emphatically that I don’t question Rice’s salvation, for that (as Dave aptly expresses) is a gift from God resting solely on faith in Christ. Rice still expresses faith in Christ; she just refuses to be bound by some of the strictures of doctrine (e.g. being against homosexuality, birth control, feminism, and Democrats). What I question is Anne Rice’s sanctification: whether she has submitted to the authority of God expressed in Scripture. That is something that she must wrestle with, and I pray that God can show her the error of her ways.
In sum, my opinion of Dave has changed drastically. Dave is a capable writer and meticulous researcher. I was very wrong in my initial impressions of him, and for that I apologize.