On this very blog, we have a clear example of the Unforgivable Sin. In fact, the clearest ever offered here. Alex said this:
It needs to be mentioned that the definition of nature is what science can measure and the reason we call your god’s being and doings supernatural is that when we measure, there is no god there, only natural explanations such as physics and chemistry. (source)
The Unforgivable Sin, from Mark 3:22-30 or Matthew 12:22-32, is the denial of the Spirit moving in our world. It is through the movement of the Spirit that we can see evidence of God acting in our world.
So, a little context. I deny the categories of natural and supernatural. Alex is saying that when we measure the doings of God, we find no God, just natural movements.
The first problem is that our instruments aren’t going to measure or detect God, who exists outside of the time and space we know how to measure. Instead, what we’re going to see are the effects that God creates, which are accomplished by the Holy Spirit. This is the evidence of God.
Denying that what we have seen is the movement of the Spirit is the Unforgivable Sin.
For example, Alex looks at biochemistry. The amazing complexity and well-oiled interactions of the various systems of our bodies, the ability of our bodies to obtain the raw ingredients our cells need to produce energy in the foods we eat and the drinks we consume all bear evident marks of design. The well-defined stages of growth humans go through, the inherent curiosity to learn and flourish, shared ability to define morality, to know what is is not what ought to be; these are the hallmarks of a being who can impart these things to us.
Alex, however, looks a this design and says, “Nah, random mutation acted on by natural selection — not a personal, intelligent force — created this.”
And that, my friends, is the Unforgivable Sin in a nutshell. The Pharisees saw the work of the Spirit in Christ as he drove out demons and cured disease, and they attributed it to Satan. Alex sees the work of God in chemistry and biology and attributes it to chance and natural laws. Both deny the Spirit’s efficacy, and both have severe eternal consequences.
Presuppositions can work against our understanding in ways that aren’t usually apparent. Let’s look at one such case.
The presupposition: Uniformitarianism. This is the thought that everything as we observe it now is exactly how it worked in the past. The sedimentary layers in rock are read this way, assuming they were uniformly laid down at regular intervals. So upper layers are new, lower layers are old (sometimes much older). All due to processes that have never changed since eons past, operating in the same way in the same amounts of time.
This is a contention of naturalism, and is not strictly held by theists. There are a few exceptions. Anything existing by necessity, such as God himself or mathematical constructs, won’t change (even after the Fall). The quantity of “two” is always “two” no matter what numbering system you use to designate it on paper, and equations will always retain certain patterns and properties. Though a hexadecimal system will differ slightly from a decimal system, and a binary system from the other two, evident patterns will still emerge in all of them (following from the base number of the system). The Lord doesn’t change, either; he isn’t blown about by the wind.
The second exception would be universal laws. These are built into the fabric of reality and thus remain unchanged through time. This includes moral laws–if it’s wrong to sacrifice a child now, it’s always been wrong to sacrifice a child. Since some cultures practiced that, it means that moral epistemology sometimes must catch up to moral ontology.
According to the Bible, there are differences between things at the outset of creation verses and things as they stand now, due in a large part to the Fall of Man. After the Fall, some rules changed (as punishment) and creation took on new ways of functioning. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been a while, but I’m now returning to the rewrite of my refutation of God is Imaginary. After reading some of my original disproofs, I’m happy to be doing the rewrite because some of my original apologetics were terrible. I’ve grown as an apologist, I’m proud to say.
Like anything, it’s a learning curve.
I have no set schedule for completing the proofs. I hope to also tackle Why Won’t God Heal Amputees in the near future as well.
What I’ve done so far:
- Proof #3: Look at all the Historical Gods
- Proof #4: Think About Science
- Proof #8: Think About Near Death Experiences
- Proof #10: Watch the Offering Plate
- Proof #21: Examine Jesus’ Core Message
- Proof #28: Notice How Many Gods You Reject
- Proof #30: Examine God’s Sexism
- Proof #34: Examine Your Health Insurance Policy
- Proof #50: Ask Jesus to Appear
And, co-author Dr. Joshua Rasmussen has put up his first article:
I’m probably going to edit that article a bit this week, since Dr. Rasmussen makes some points that I would like to expand on.