Monday, April 6, 2009

Secular Liberalism as Consensus

Recently, I got into a lengthy blog debate with liberal secularist writer Damon Linker on the topic of same-sex marriage. It ended, as these things always do, with mutual frustration. Linker decided that I, a traditionalist conservative, believe gay marriage should be illegal because ... I believe it should be illegal. And I reached the same conclusion about his support of same-sex marriage.

To Linker, my argument looks like faith-based special pleading. Likewise, his rationale struck me as little more than emotivism - the idea that something is true because it feels right.

Full Article

Note: I hope to get back to blogging sometime soon. I've been so demolished with school work that I've not had time to do anything else recently.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brits De-Baptising

More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" from the Internet to renounce their Christian faith.

The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming "There's probably* (emphasis mine) no God."

. . .

The bus-side posters that hit London in January sported the message: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Full Article.

*I'm not sure how comforting I would find the assertion that there is probably no God, but whatever... I find it terribly ironic and hilarious when people say that religion, particularly Christianity, is the opiate of the masses.

As Dinesh D'Souza points out in What's So Great About Christianity, it is atheism and atheists that engage in wishful thinking and self-deception convincing themselves that no God exists. If Christianity, for example, were an opiate, why would the peddlers have included the doctrine of Hell? Or the most rigorous, demanding moral standard of any religion?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Francis Schaeffer's Absolute Limits Bible Believing Christians Cannot Compromise.

In his book The Church Before the Watching World, Francis Schaeffer set forth some limits that orthodox, Bible-believing Christians cannot compromise, and cannot cross. He speaks of two types of concepts: 1) Intrinsic Concepts; and 2) those concepts that are true only after the Fall.

Intrinsic Concepts: things as true before the Fall as after the Fall.
  • God exists and He is free. Christianity does not have a deterministic system. God did not create because He had to. God does not need the creation, the way the creation needs him. God is a personal God, but he had personal relationship and communication on the high order of the Trinity. "The persons of the Trinity loved each other and communicated with each other before the creation of all things. God exists, and He did not need to create." (168)
  • "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelations 4:11)
  • God created out of nothing, and the infinity of the Judeo-Christian, personal God is of such a nature that when He created He did not need to put chance back of Himself.
  • The Persons of the Trinity must be kept distinct. There is true unity and diversity, not behind God but in God. This is ontologically true of the Trinity before the creation of all else.
    "Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24). "Let us make man in our own image." (Gen. 1:26)
  • God has a character, and His holiness is part of His character. God's holiness involves moral content. Some thing conform to His nature, and some things do not.
    Of course, this has tremendous ramifications, for the fact that God is holy means something to the individual and it means something to the group. It demands holiness in our personal life and holiness in the church in both life and doctrine. . . . And yet we fall off the opposite cliff if we forget that God is love. (p173).
The Absolute Limits which are true only after the Fall.
    Orthodox Christians believe in the brute fact of the historic, space-time Fall. The historic Fall is not an interpretation; it is a brute fact. There is no room for hermeneutics here, if by hermeneutics we mean explaining away the bruge factness of the Fall. That there was a Fall is not an upper-story statement--that is, it is not in this sense a "theological" or "religious" statement. Rather, it is a historic, space-time, brute fact, propositional statement. (p174).
  • Christ's death and resurrection are historic, space-time brute facts that have already occurred, and the second coming of Christ is a historic, space-time brute fact that will occur in the future. (p174).
  • We must reject the concept of subjectivity with regard to these historical events; but we must also realize that these brute facts are not just theological abstractions or bare propositions. They are to have meaning in our present lives, and they are to be acted upon in our present lives. There is no Christian doctrine that does not have meaning in the existential, moment-by-moment life. (p175)
  • Justification must not be confused with sanctification
  • Justification is once-for-all, and this justification is not to be confused with the moment-by-moment Christian life. Justification is once-for-all, and yet if there are no signs of such a moment-by-moment Christian life, we must question whether or not there has ever been justification. (p176)
  • There is such a thing as absolute right and absolute wrong in systems.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Divinity of Jesus Christ, part 6

This is Part 6 of the apologetic regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ as set forth by Peter Kreeft and Ron Tacelli which I am summarzing here part by part, and lifting large parts of the chapter directly onto here. If I'm inserting my own opinion, or using other sources I will make it clear.

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
Part 4 can be found here.
Part 5 can be found here.

The Main Argument, con't.

The Trilemma: Lord, Liar or Lunatic?

Perhaps Jesus sincerely thought that he was God, but was mistaken. If Jesus was mistaken about who he was, while he could not be considered "morally" bad because he did not intentionally deceive people, he would be considered "mentally" bad. A lunatic may not be wicked, but he is not more trustworthy than a liar.

Either Jesus believed his own claim to be God or he did not. If he did, he was a lunatic. If he did not, he was a liar. Unless, of course, he was (is) God.

Why could he not be either a liar or a lunatic? Because of his character. There are two things everyone admits about Jesus' character: he was wise and he was good. A lunatic and a liar are the opposite of wise and good.

The "divinity complex" is a recognized form of psychopathology. Its character traits are: egotism, narcissism, inflexibility, dullness, predictability, inability to understand and love others as they really are and creatively relate to others. A person exhibiting the attributes of "divinity complex" are essentially people with the polar opposite personality of Jesus. Jesus had the three attributes every human being needs and wants: wisdom, love, and creativity.

"He wisely and cannily saw into people's hearts, behind their words. He solved insolvable problems. He also gave totally to others, including his very life. Finally, he was the most creative, interesting, unpredictable man who ever lived. No one--believer, unbeliever or agnostic--was ever bored by him. The common verb predicated of those who met Jesus was "thaumazo", "To wonder." Lunatics are not wonderful, but jesus was the most wonderful person in history. If that were lunacy, lunacy would be more desirable than sanity.

If, on the other hand, Jesus was a liar, then he had to have been the most clever, cunning, machiavellian, blasphemously wicked satanic deceiver the world has ever known, successfully seducing billions into giving up their eternal souls into his hands. If orthodox Christianity is a lie, it is by far the biggest and baddest lie ever told, and Jesus is the biggest and baddest liar.

But in every way jesus was morally impeccable. He had all the virtues, both soft and hard, tender and tough. Further, he died for his "lie." What would motivate a selfish, evil liar to do that? We have never known anyone who thought Jesus was a deliberate liar. That would be more biarre than calling Mother Teresa a party animal.
Next, I will finish up the remainder of the Trilemma, and then hopefully soon get to the Quadrilemma: Lord, Liar, Lunatic or Myth?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Excerpt from "The Church Before the Watching World"

"Liberalism is unfaithfulness, spiritual adultery toward the divine Bridegroom. We are involved, therefore, in a matter of loyalty, loyalty not only to the creeds, but to the Scripture and beyond that to the divine Bridegroom--the infinite-personal divine Bridegroom who is there in an absolute antithesis to His not being there.

We not only believe in the existence of truth, but we have the truth--a truth that has content and can be verbalized (and then can be lived)--a truth we can share with the twentieth-century world. Do you think our contemporaries will take us seriously if we do not practice truth? Do you think for a moment that the really serious-minded twentieth-century young people--our own youth as they go off to universities, who are taught in the fields of sociology, psychology, philosophy, etc., that all is relative--will take us seriously? In an age that does not believe that truth exists, do you reallyu believe they will take seriously that their fathers are speaking truth and believe in truth? Will their fathers have credibility, if they do not practice antithesis in religious matters?"

-Francis Schaeffer, The Church Before the Watching World