Response To An Atheist

The following is a response that I had made to an atheist who commented publicly on one of my posts. When I commented back, it wouldn’t copy and paste the entire response. I repost it in full here. My atheist commentators commentaries are in // brackets. May this be a blessing to everyone.

Thanks for your very interesting response Vel. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

//I’m not your friend.//

Your loss.

//You can call me Vel.//

Very gracious.

//The studies you gave that children see and assume agency, that is not recognizing it, which implies it exists. Still no evidence for your god. The article admits that there is no one god recognized, so again, nothing shows that any god exists…Barret’s studies, again, do not show that there is a god or gods, only that children think there is. That child could be taught that any religion is true with that baseless assumption. And to claim that the children know what they are describiginb as a god is rather funny since children don’t know what morality is, what immortality is, etc. Those are all simply assumptions by a Christian who needs to show his god exists.//

Actually, the evidence I shared demonstrated that from earliest ages, children recognize that there is a supernatural Creator Who is vastly powerful, intelligent, and perhaps morally good. This knowledge is not based upon any particular religion or religious belief or background (as the evidence I pointed out demonstrates).

I would appreciate you trying to deal with the actual evidence that I present.

//It doesn’t matter what you believe, if you have no evidence for your baseless opinions.//

Strange that I have presented several sources of evidence, yet you claim that I have not presented any.

//“Special Revelation” is calimed by other cults too. Funny how not a one of you can show your god exists much less that you get special information from it.//

The difference between those religions and Christianity amounts to the subject of proof. Christianity has an abundance of evidence to draw upon (some of which I have presented).

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at an example of how a man was converted from Islam to Christianity. As he set himself to diligently investigate the facts, what did he find?

“To be a Muslim, one must confess the shahada: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” The best way to assess the truth of the shahada is by investigating the prophetic status of Muhammad and the claim that Allah inspired the Quran. Even though my heart’s deepest desire was to defend the Islamic faith and remain Muslim, the truth became unavoidable: There was no argument I could use to defend Muhammad’s prophetic status, and there was no compelling reason to think the Quran was from God. Once again, it was not just that history did not support the traditional narratives of Islam, but rather that history proved to be entirely incompatible with Islamic origins. When using the same standards to assess the origins of Islam as are used to assess the origins of Christianity, we find a gaping hole in the historical record. The contemporary records of the mid-seventh-century Arabs, supposedly the very earliest Muslims after Muhammad’s time, show that they were not referred to as Muslims and that they never referred to their holy book, never mentioned Muhammad’s name, never referred to Mecca, and did not pray toward Mecca. Given the vast array of records from that time, especially those of the many nations conquered by Arabs, this is not an argument from silence. The contemporary historical record is simply incompatible with the traditional narrative of Islam. Similarly, the history of the Quran is incompatible with the narrative we were taught as Muslims. We had been told that the Quran had never been changed, every letter remaining exactly the same from Muhammad’s time until today. On the contrary, the Quran had been fundamentally altered, being very fluid originally as an oral text and then evolving into a written text that remained in various degrees of flux even to this day. The traditional Islamic narratives of Muhammad and the Quran are fundamentally incompatible with the historical records. These are the pillars of Islamic confidence, and their foundations are ungrounded. This meant that if I wanted to remain Muslim, I would have to do so based on some reason other than objective truth. I could remain Muslim because I liked the Islamic message, because I desired the discipline of sharia, or because I just wanted to keep my family happy. But if there was one thing Islam had taught me, it was that I must submit to God and not to man. That meant following the truth, no matter where it led. Of course, the very reason I had been investigating the case for Islam was to respond to the case for Christianity. Now I had explored every recourse, and I had to be honest with myself and assess for the last time the case for Christianity and the case for Islam. THE EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY OVER ISLAM After thoroughly investigating the truth claims of Islam and Christianity, even while a Muslim, there was no avoiding the obvious truth: The evidence in favor of Christianity was far, far stronger than the evidence for Islam. The three core claims of Christianity, that Jesus died by crucifixion and rose from the dead proving he was God, are very firmly grounded in history. Even though Islam denies these points, I concluded that the historical evidence for Jesus’ death on the cross was as strong as anything historical could be, that his resurrection from the dead was by far the best explanation of the facts surrounding his crucifixion, and that his claiming to be God was the best way to account for the proclamation of the early church. These conclusions were not idiosyncratic but were based on the consensus of scholars across the theological spectrum. 1 In other words, the truth of the Christian message makes the most sense of the historical evidence. By contrast, neither of the core truth claims of Islam, that Muhammad is a prophet and that the Quran is the Word of God, are compelling. Muhammad’s character does not make one think he was a man chosen by God, nor was he prophesied in the Bible. He had no miraculous scientific insights either recorded in hadith or in the Quran. The Quran, for that matter, cannot be shown to be inspired by its literary quality, by fulfilled prophecies, by mathematical patterns, or by miraculous preservation. The traditional Islamic narrative is incompatible with both the history of Christianity and even with its own historical records. To believe in the Islamic account of Christian origins while taking the historical records seriously, we would have to conclude that Jesus was an utterly incompetent Messiah and Allah is a deceptive God. The historical record of Islamic origins makes many scholars wonder whether Muhammad existed, and it makes scholars think the Quran was originally far more fluid and indeed a very different kind of book than it is today. The Islamic narratives of Christian origins, and even of Islamic origins, are incompatible with history. In other words, to believe the truth of Islam is to ignore the historical evidence. As a Muslim, I wanted to base my beliefs not on blind faith, not on what appealed to me, and not even on my family’s heritage. I wanted to ground my faith in reality. If I wanted to take the records of history seriously, I had to abandon my Islamic faith and accept the gospel. But that would come at a tremendous cost, essentially everything I had ever known. Is it worth sacrificing everything for the truth? Is the truth worth dying for?” (Nabeel Qureshi, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? (with Bonus Content): A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity, 289-291 (Kindle Edition): Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

Interesting that the more sincere and earnest that people are to studying the facts, they see the truthfulness of Christianity.

To others who may be reading this exchange, please notice: Vel no doubt believes that he is a champion of atheism, boasting even of having debated Ray Comfort. Please consider the abject lack of evidence for atheism thus far presented. This does not reflect the weakness of the man (assuming that Vel is male). It simply reflects the weakness of atheism in light of the facts. I would like nothing more than to see Vel become a Christian, as well as everyone that I am blessed to interact with.

//“God” only means the Christian imaginary friend. The term “god” doesn’t have to be capitalized. There is no evidence for any god that humans claim exist and worship. No evidence for any omnipotent, omniscient, intelligent entity. Could there be one? Maybe, but with no evidence, no reason to assume so.//

I am glad to hear that you leave open the possibility of there being a God, Vel. By this, you demonstrate some wisdom since often atheism has been the mantra that “I know God does not exist.” Utter foolishness to claim to know this, wouldn’t you agree? Your position may therefore in many ways be seen more along the lines of agnosticism, since the agnostic claims there is not evidence to know if there is a God or not. Indeed, you remind me of that famous and world-renowned (former) atheist we have been discussing, Antony Flew. Several decades ago, he met brother Thomas B.Warren in public debate. Flew defended the proposition, “I Know That God Does Not Exist.” Yet before too long, it was evident that he was merely affirming agnosticism, and not atheism: for there is no case that can be made where the atheist “knows” that God does not exist.

Warren pointed out:

“He persists in claiming that he is involved in what he calls “negative atheism” which seems to amount to nothing more than agnosticism! I warned you in the beginning to see and determine if Dr. Flew would do this. He is in the habit of doing it. He is in the habit of shifting away from a thorough-going atheism in which he affirms, as he has in this debate, “I know that God does not exist,” to merely saying, “I do not believe in God.” But, Dr. Flew, we have no intention of letting you make that kind of shift unless you plainly reject the proposition you signed. It is your responsibility to offer an argument, the conclusion of which is, “I know that God does not exist”! That argument must be sound, it must have true premises, and until this good moment that argument has not been made. He has, it is true, tantalized us with some suggestions of some sort of inconsistency in regard to the concept of God and perhaps some empirical facts in this world. He has further tantalized us with the second point that the question of the existence of God is not testable. Is it not strange that he has a sort of an immune position? When I asked him the first two questions tonight regarding what would have to have occurred, or to occur, in order to prove that your proposition is false, he makes no reply whatsoever. You see, his proposition, his position, is immune from “testing.” When we ask him the status of his falsifiable principle, that is, what would have to happen or to occur to falsify the principle upon which you build your whole case, he is as silent as the stars. There is absolutely nothing he can say about it. He has invented something that applies only to theism.” (Antony Flew, Thomas Warren, Warren-Flew Debate On The Existence Of God, 1103-1113 (Kindle Edition): Glasgow, KY: National Christian Press)

Yet Flew, after a lifetime of studying science and the philosophical arguments for the existence of God, acknowledged that that there is a God. Let’s have his testimony again, for you to carefully consider.

“Moving on now from the parable, it’s time for me to lay my cards on the table, to set out my own views and the reasons that support them. I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science. Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature. But it is not science alone that has guided me. I have also been helped by a renewed study of the classical philosophical arguments. My departure from atheism was not occasioned by any new phenomenon or argument. Over the last two decades, my whole framework of thought has been in a state of migration. This was a consequence of my continuing assessment of the evidence of nature. When I finally came to recognize the existence of a God, it was not a paradigm shift, because my paradigm remains, as Plato in his Republic scripted his Socrates to insist: “We must follow the argument wherever it leads.” (Antony Flew & Roy Abraham Varghese, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 88-89 (Kindle Edition); New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing Inc.)

Since Flew had a bit more time to study on the matter, perhaps you would be wise to carefully consider some of his thoughts? Especially since you yourself have now acknowledged that //maybe// there could be a God?

//So, you claim you believe in multiple gods. How since yours is supposedly the only one per Christianity? Those other gods mentioned are claimed by Christians to be “demons”, etc, but not gods. Per your claim, they are all equal to yours. Now, how does that work since those gods are also creator gods too? You see, I don’t think you believe in other gods at all.//

I am so thankful that you mentioned this Vel! Your comments bring up the importance of context in studying the Bible. As you have claimed that the Bible contradicts itself, this will be a great example for us to study about alleged contradictions.

“Context” is a very important subject when studying any document. Many alleged Bible contradictions may be cleared up by studying the factor of context. Case in point: how we define the word “god” or “gods” has very important ramifications. The word can have many meanings, depending on the context. For example, you are correct that the Bible teaches that there is only one true (eternal) God. We learn this from both Scripture, and from nature (i.e., especially from the cosmological argument).

“We know from the cosmological and divine design (teleological) evidences of the universe that God must be infinite because He created all space, all time and all matter from nothing. Infinite simply means that He is self- existent, non- spatial, immaterial, timeless, personal, unimaginably powerful and supremely intelligent etc. In other words, there is nothing lacking in Him. The fact that God is infinite impliedly rules out all pantheistic religions such as the New Age Movement, Hinduism and some forms of Buddhism that equate God to the universe as we have seen that universe is not infinite as it had a beginning and was designed by another cause. This fact also disproves polytheistic religions (the belief that there are many gods) such as Mormonism, as there logically cannot be more than one omnipresent infinite being. Let me explain more simply: If there was more than one God (e.g. God “A” and God “B”), then to distinguish one from the other they must differ in some way. If God “A” is infinite then God “B” must be less than infinite (i.e. infinite minus something), as the definition of infinite means that God “A” lacks nothing. Therefore, if God “B” is less than infinite he is not God! Therefore, we can only logically conclude that there can only be one Infinite Being or God who is transcendent or outside all time, all space and all matter.” (Paul Ferguson, God And The Atheist: A Lawyer Assesses The Evidence For The Existence Of God, 1133-1144 (Kindle Edition); Greenville,, South Carolina; Ambassador International)

Regarding Scripture and the monotheistic God, we are told:

Isaiah 44:6-Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

However, as you (correctly) point out, the Bible also talks about there being many “gods!”


Not at all.

The Bible teaches that there are many fallen angels and their half human offspring (demons) which are “gods” (Genesis 6:1-4; Psalm 82:1-5; 96:5 (LXX). How does this harmonize with statements that besides Yahweh, “there is no other” god?

As Heiser points out:

“Another misguided strategy is to argue that statements in the Old Testament that have God saying “there is none besides me” mean that no other elohim exist. This isn’t the case. These phrases do not contradict Psalm 82 or others that, for example, say Yahweh is above all elohim or is the “God of gods [ elohim ].” I’ve written a lot on this subject—it was a focus of my doctoral dissertation. 12 These “denial statements,” as they are called by scholars, do not assert that there are no other elohim . In fact, some of them are found in chapters where the reality of other elohim is affirmed. We’ve already seen that Deuteronomy 32:17 refers to elohim that Paul believed existed. Deuteronomy 32:8–9 also refers to the sons of God. Deuteronomy 4:19–20 is a parallel to that passage, and yet Deuteronomy 4:35 says there is no god besides Yahweh. Is Scripture filled with contradictions? No. These “denial statements” do not deny that other elohim exist. Rather, they deny that any elohim compares to Yahweh. They are statements of incomparability. This point is easily illustrated by noticing where else the same denial language shows up in the Bible. Isaiah 47:8 and Zephaniah 2:15 have, respectively, Babylon and Nineveh saying “there is none besides me.” Are we to believe that the point of the phrase is to declare that no other cities exist except Babylon or Nineveh? That would be absurd. The point of the statement is that Babylon and Nineveh considered themselves incomparable , as though no other city could measure up to them. This is precisely the point when these same phrases are used of other gods—they cannot measure up to Yahweh. The Bible does not contradict itself on this point. Those who want to argue that the other elohim do not exist are at odds with the supernatural worldview of the biblical writers.” (Michael S. Heiser, Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview Of The Bible, 571-595 (Kindle Edition); Bellingham, WA; Lexham Press)

Isn’t it amazing how a simple study on basic logic can clear up so many alleged Bible contradictions? Indeed, one scholar who devoted his lifetime to studying alleged Bible contradictions came to this interesting conclusion.

“As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, or science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strengthened by the discovery that almost every problem in Scripture that has ever been discovered by man, from ancient times until now, has been dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the biblical text itself—or else by objective archaeological information. The deductions that may be validly drawn from ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, or Akkadian documents all harmonize with the biblical record; and no properly trained evangelical scholar has anything to fear from the hostile arguments and challenges of humanistic rationalists or detractors of any and every persuasion. There is a good and sufficient answer in Scripture itself to refute every charge that has ever been leveled against it. But this is only to be expected from the kind of book the Bible asserts itself to be, the inscripturation of the infallible, inerrant Word of the Living God.” (Gleason L. Archer Jr., New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, 15 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

//Unfortuantely for you, I know the classical philosophical arguments for your imaginary friend don’t work only for your imaginary friend. And gee, you claim that your god has revealed itself through nature. Again, most, if not all other cults make the same claim and not one of you can show this baseless claim to be true. Show it’s true.//

I have yet to see how you have dealt with any of the arguments that I have presented. Indeed, I have shared testimony after testimony and evidence after evidence affirming the truthfulness of the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments. Your statements that the evidence of God is insufficient is palpably false. However, since you claim to be such an expert on these arguments, maybe you will consider the testimony of some other well-known people that have studied the matter carefully?

The following is from a famous (former) atheist scientist. I encourage you to carefully consider some of these sources.

“There are many Christians with master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide variety of scientific fields. There are many Christians who are Doctors and Dentists, scientists and philosophers.–More Detail For instance, the American Scientific Affiliation is an organization of about 1500 Scientists who are also Christians. Quote: “The American Scientific Affiliation, or ASA, was founded in 1941 as an international network of Christians in the sciences. As scientists, members of the ASA take part in humanity’s exploration of nature, its laws, and how it works. As Christians, ASAers want to know not just how the universe operates and came into being, but why it exists in the first place. Why are we here, and why seemingly alone among all creatures do humans possess the qualities required for scientific research—like curiosity, creativity, and a sense of purpose? When and how did we become this way, and what does that say about our relationship with God? Who are we, really? We in the American Scientific Affiliation believe that God is both the creator of our vast universe and is the source of our ability to pursue knowledge—also, that honest and open studies of both scripture and nature are mutually beneficial in developing a full understanding of human identity and our environment.” Source: (http:// network.asa3. org/? page = ASAAbout , accessed 16nov15)—Christians in Science is an organization of 850 + British scientists, philosophers, theologians, ministers, teachers, and science students, who are Christians. The Christian Medical and Dental Associations have about 17,000 members in the USA (doctors and dentists who are Christians).—The Christian Medical Fellowship is an organization (of Christians in medicine in the UK) with about 4000 UK doctors and 800 UK medical students as members.—The Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDS) is an association of Christian Doctors and Dentists in Canada.—The Christian Medical Association of India is an association of Christian Doctors in India.—The Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia is an association of Christian Doctors and Dentists in Australia.—The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is an organization of Christian lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students.—The Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences is an organization of Christians who are professional mathematicians and computer scientists. Additional Detail The following provides a brief (obviously non-exhaustive) listing of Christians in the sciences. Most of these individuals have higher-education/ graduate-degrees in the sciences. Note: this information below (in this “Additional Detail” section) is excerpted/ adapted from Wikipedia under the creative commons ShareAlike license. Biomedical Sciences Eben Alexander (born 1953): American, Harvard-educated neurosurgeon best known for his book, “Proof of Heaven”, in which he describes his 2008 near death experience.[ 166] In a recent interview, Dr Alexander said: “It’s time for brain science, mind science, physics, cosmology, to move from kindergarten up into first grade and realize we will never truly understand consciousness with that simplistic materialist mindset.” Werner Arber (born 1929): Werner Arber is a Swiss microbiologist and geneticist. Along with American researchers Hamilton Smith and Daniel Nathans, Werner Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction endonucleases. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Arber as President of the Pontifical Academy—the first Protestant to hold that position. Robert J Asher is a palaeontologist and lecturer at the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology and a curator at the University Museum of Zoology. His book ‘Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist’ was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. Dr Asher is also a former Curator of Mammals at the Berlin Natural History Museum and Frick Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History. Robert T. Bakker (born 1945): Paleontologist who was a figure in the “dinosaur Renaissance” and known for the theory some dinosaurs were Warm-blooded. He is also a Pentecostal preacher who advocates theistic evolution and has written on religion. R. J. Berry (born 1934): He is a former president of both the Linnean Society of London and the Christians in Science group. He also wrote God and the Biologist: Personal Exploration of Science and Faith (Apollos 1996) ISBN 0-85111-446-6 He taught at University College London for over 20 years. Derek Burke (born 1930): British academic and molecular biologist. Formerly a vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Professor Burke has been a specialist advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology since 1985. Ben Carson (born 1951): American neurosurgeon. He is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. Francis Collins (born 1950): He is the current director of the National Institutes of Health and former director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute. He has also written on religious matters in articles and the book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Darrel R. Falk (born 1946): Darrel Falk is an American biologist and the former president of the BioLogos Foundation. Charles Foster (born 1962): Charles Foster is a science writer on natural history, evolutionary biology, and theology. A Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Linnean Society of London, Foster has advocated theistic evolution in his book, The Selfless Gene (2009). Keith R Fox, British Professor of Biochemistry at Southampton University. Has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, UK. His research concerns the sequence specific recognition of DNA by small molecules, oligonucleotides and proteins, and the formation of unusual DNA structures. Formerly a chair of “Christians in Science” John Gurdon (born 1933): a British developmental biologist. In 2012, he and Shinya Yamanaka were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells. In an interview with on the subject of working with the Vatican in dialogue, he says “I’m not a Roman Catholic. I’m a Christian, of the Church of England… I’ve never seen the Vatican before, so that’s a new experience, and I’m grateful for it.” Brian Heap (born 1935): Biologist who was Master of St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge and was a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion. William B. Hurlbut: William Hurlbut is a physician and Consulting Professor at the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, Stanford University Medical Center. In addition to teaching at Stanford, Hurlbut served for eight years on the President’s Council on Bioethics and is nationally known for his advocacy of Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT). He is a Christian of no denomination and did three years of post-doctoral study in theology and medical ethics at Stanford. Denis Lamoureux (born 1954): Denis Lamoureux is an evolutionary creationist and holds a professorial chair of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta, Canada—the first of its kind in Canada, and with Phillip E. Johnson, Lamoureux co-authored Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins (1999). Lamoureux has also written Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution (2008). Noella Marcellino (born 1951): American Benedictine nun with a degree in microbiology. Her field of interests include fungi and the effects of decay and putrefaction. Alister McGrath (born 1953): Prolific Anglican theologian who has written on the relationship between science and theology in A Scientific Theology. McGrath holds two doctorates from the University of Oxford, a DPhil in Molecular Biophysics and a Doctor of Divinity in Theology. He has responded to the new atheists in several books, i.e. The Dawkins Delusion?. As of early 2014, McGrath will be the New Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford. Kenneth R. Miller (born 1948): Biology professor at Brown University who wrote Finding Darwin’s God. Simon C. Morris (born 1951): British paleontologist who made his reputation through study of the Burgess Shale fossils. He was the co-winner of a Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal and also won a Lyell Medal. He is active in the Faraday Institute for study of science and religion and is also noted on discussions concerning the idea of theistic evolution. William Newsome (born 1952): Bill Newsome is a neuroscientist at Stanford University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Newsome is the co-chair of the BRAIN Initiative, “a rapid planning effort for a ten-year assault on how the brain works.” Newsome is also a Christian and has written about his faith: “When I discuss religion with my fellow scientists… I realize I am an oddity—a serious Christian and a respected scientist.” Martin Nowak (born 1965): Evolutionary biologist and mathematician best known for evolutionary dynamics. He teaches at Harvard University and is also a member of the Board of Advisers of the Templeton Foundation. Ghillean Prance (born 1937): Noted botanist involved in the Eden Project. He is a former President of Christians in Science. Joan Roughgarden (born 1946): An evolutionary biologist who has taught at Stanford University since 1972. She wrote the book Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist. Mary Higby Schweitzer: paleontologist at North Carolina State University who believes strongly in the synergy of the Christian faith and the truth of empirical science. Chemistry Gerhard Ertl (born 1936): He is a 2007 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. He has said in an interview that “I believe in God. (…) I am a Christian and I try to live as a Christian (…) I read the Bible very often and I try to understand it.” Brian Kobilka (born 1955): He is an American Nobel Prize winner of Chemistry in 2012, and is professor in the departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kobilka attends the Catholic Community at Stanford, California. He also received the Mendel Medal from Villanova University, which it says “honors outstanding pioneering scientists who have demonstrated, by their lives and their standing before the world as scientists, that there is no intrinsic conflict between science and religion.” Henry F. Schaefer, III (born 1944): He wrote Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? ISBN 0-9742975-0-X and is a signatory of A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. He was awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry in 1979. James Tour (born 1959): He is Chao Professor of Chemistry at Rice University, Texas, where he also holds faculty appointments in computer science and materials; recognized as one of the world’s leading nano-engineers. Gained his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. An Evangelical Christian, Tour has written: “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” Physics and Astronomy Stephen Barr (born 1953): Physicist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory and contributed papers to Physical Review as well as Physics Today. He also is a Catholic who writes for First Things and wrote Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. He teaches at the University of Delaware. John D. Barrow (born 1952): English cosmologist who did notable writing on the implications of the Anthropic principle. He is a United Reformed Church member and Christian deist. He won the Templeton Prize in 2006. He once held the position of Gresham Professor of Astronomy. Gerald B. Cleaver (born ????): Professor in the Department of Physics at Baylor University and head of the Early Universe Cosmology and Strings (EUCOS) division of Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research (CASPER). His research specialty is string phenomenology and string model building. He is linked to BioLogos and among his lectures are ““ Faith and the New Cosmology.” Guy Consolmagno (born 1952): American Jesuit astronomer who works at the Vatican Observatory. George Coyne (born 1933): Jesuit astronomer and former director of the Vatican Observatory. Manuel García Doncel, born in 1930, Spanish Jesuit physicist, formerly Professor of Physics at Universidad de Barcelona. George Francis Rayner Ellis (born 1939): Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world’s leading theorists in cosmology. He is an active Quaker and in 2004 he won the Templeton Prize. Pamela L. Gay (born 1973): An American astronomer, educator and writer, best known for her work in astronomical podcasting. Doctor Gay received her PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2002.[ 211] Her position as both a skeptic and Christian has been noted upon. Karl W. Giberson (born 1957): Canadian physicist and evangelical, formerly a physics professor at Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts, Dr Giberson is a prolific author specializing in the creation-evolution debate and who formerly served as vice president of the BioLogos Foundation.[ 213] He has published several books on the relationship between science and religion, such as The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions and Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. Owen Gingerich (born 1930): Mennonite astronomer who went to Goshen College and Harvard. Mr. Gingerich has written about people of faith in science history. J. Richard Gott (born 1947): Gott is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He is known for developing and advocating two cosmological theories with the flavor of science fiction: Time travel and the Doomsday argument. When asked of his religious views in relation to his science, Gott responded that “I’m a Presbyterian. I believe in God; I always thought that was the humble position to take. I like what Einstein said: “God is subtle but not malicious.” I think if you want to know how the universe started, that’s a legitimate question for physics. But if you want to know why it’s here, then you may have to know—to borrow Stephen Hawking’s phrase—the mind of God.” Robert Griffiths (born 1937): A noted American physicist at Carnegie Mellon University. He has written on matters of science and religion. John Hartnett (born 1952): Australian Young Earth Creationist who has a PhD and whose research interests include ultra low-noise radar and ultra high stability cryogenic microwave oscillators. Michał Heller (born 1936): He is a Catholic priest, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion. He also is a mathematical physicist who has written articles on relativistic physics and Noncommutative geometry. His cross-disciplinary book Creative Tension: Essays on Science and Religion came out in 2003. For this work he won a Templeton Prize. Antony Hewish (born 1924): Antony Hewish is a British Radio Astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 (together with Martin Ryle) for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars. He was also awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1969. Hewish is a Christian. Hewish also wrote in his introduction to John Polkinghorne’s 2009 Questions of Truth, “The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is non-intuitive for those unacquainted with physics. Religious belief in God, and Christian belief … may seem strange to common-sense thinking. But when the most elementary physical things behave in this way, we should be prepared to accept that the deepest aspects of our existence go beyond our common-sense understanding.” Colin Humphreys (born 1941): He is a British physicist. He is the former Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science and a current Director of Research at Cambridge University, Professor of Experimental Physics at the Royal Institution in London and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Humphreys also “studies the Bible when not pursuing his day-job as a materials scientist.” Christopher Isham (born 1944): Theoretical physicist who developed HPO formalism. He teaches at Imperial College London. In addition to being a physicist, he is a philosopher and theologian. Ard Louis: A reader in Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford. Prior to his post at Oxford he taught Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University where he was also director of studies in Natural Sciences at Hughes Hall. He has written for The BioLogos Forum. Juan Maldacena (born 1968): Argentine theoretical physicist and string theorist, best known for the most reliable realization of the holographic principle-the AdS/ CFT correspondence. Stephen Meyers (1958–): Physicist and earth science. Meyers wrote Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt. Worked as a geophysicist for the Atlantic Richfield Company. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science in 1991. Director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute and Vice President and Senior Fellow at the DI. Don Page: Canadian theoretical physicist and practicing Evangelical Christian, Dr. Page is known for having published several journal articles with Stephen Hawking. William Daniel Phillips (born 1948): 1997 Nobel laureate in Physics (1997) who is a founding member of The International Society for Science and Religion. Andrew Pinsent (born 1966): Fr. Andrew Pinsent, a Catholic priest, is the Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University. He is also a particle physicist, whose previous work contributed to the DELPHI experiment at CERN. John Polkinghorne (born 1930): British particle physicist and Anglican priest who wrote Science and the Trinity (2004) ISBN 0-300-10445-6. Winner of the 2002 Templeton Prize. Joel Primack (born 1945): An American astrophysicist. A University of California, Santa Cruz, professor, he co-developed the cold dark matter theory that seeks to explain the formation and structure of the universe. Primack has written, “In the last few years astronomy has come together so that we’re now able to tell a coherent story” of how the universe began. This story does not contradict God, but instead enlarges [the idea of] God.” Russell Stannard (born 1931): British particle physicist who has written several books on the relationship between religion and science, such as Science and the Renewal of Belief, Grounds for Reasonable Belief and Doing Away With God?. Walter Thirring (born 1927): Austrian physicist after whom the Thirring model in quantum field theory is named. He is the son of the physicist Hans Thirring, co-discoverer of the Lense-Thirring frame dragging effect in general relativity. He also wrote Cosmic Impressions: Traces of God in the Laws of Nature. Frank J. Tipler (born 1947): Frank Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. His theological and scientific theorizing are not without controversy, but he has some supporters; for instance, Christian theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg has defended his theology, and physicist David Deutsch has incorporated Tipler’s idea of an Omega Point. Jennifer Wiseman: She is Chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. An aerial of the Center is shown. In addition she is a co-discoverer of 114P/ Wiseman-Skiff. In religion is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and on June 16, 2010 became the new director for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Antonino Zichichi (born 1929): Italian nuclear physicist and former President of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. He has worked with the Vatican on relations between the Church and Science. Engineering Fred Brooks (born 1931): is an American computer architect, software engineer, and computer scientist, best known for managing the development of IBM’s System/ 360 family of computers and the OS/ 360 software support package, then later writing candidly about the process in his seminal book The Mythical Man-Month. Brooks has received many awards, including the National Medal of Technology in 1985 and the Turing Award in 1999. Brooks is an evangelical Christian who is active with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and chaired the Executive Committee for the Central Carolina Billy Graham Crusade in 1973. Richard H. Bube (born 1927): He is an emeritus professor of the material sciences at Stanford University. He is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation. Donald Knuth (born 1938): (Lutheran) The Art of Computer Programming and 3: 16 Bible Texts Illuminated (1991), ISBN 0-89579-252-4. Oghogho Ikponmwosa (born 1977): He obtained a Ph.D degree in Electronic and telecommunications from the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State Nigeria and is presently a Lecturer in the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Landmark University Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. He developed empirical models able to predict the Transmission control protocol (TCP) throughput and Round trip time in IEEE 802.11b WLAN Systems based on the observed signal to noise ratio (SNR) in various environments. He is a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a Registered Engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). Others Freeman Dyson (born 1923): He has won the Lorentz Medal, the Max Planck Medal, and the Lewis Thomas Prize. He also ranked 25th in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll. He has won the Templeton Prize and delivered one of the Gifford Lectures. He is famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics. John T. Houghton (born 1931): He is the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and won a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society. He’s also former Vice President of Christians in Science. John Suppe (born 1943): He is a Professor of Geology at National Taiwan University, Geosciences Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written articles like “Thoughts on the Epistemology of Christianity in Light of Science.” Eric Priest (born 1943): An authority on Solar Magnetohydrodynamics who won the George Ellery Hale Prize among others. He has spoken on Christianity and Science at the University of St Andrews and is a member of the Faraday Institute. He is also interested in prayer, meditation, and Christian psychology. Robert J. Wicks (born 1946): Robert Wicks is a clinical psychologist who has written on the intersections of spirituality and psychology. Wicks for more than 30 years has been teaching at universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology, and social work, currently at Loyola University Maryland. In 1996, he was a recipient of The Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy for distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. Mike Hulme (born 1960): Mike Hulme is a professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and is the author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change. He has said of his Christian faith, “I believe because I have not discovered a better explanation of beauty, truth and love than that they emerge in a world created-willed into being-by a God who personifies beauty, truth and love.” Michael Reiss (born 1960): Michael Reiss is a British bioethicist, science educator, and an Anglican priest. He was Director of Education at the Royal Society from 2006 to 2008. Reiss is Professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, where he is Pro-Director of Research and Development. Rosalind Picard (born 1962): Rosalind Picard is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, director and also the founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Things That Think Consortium, and chief scientist and co-founder of Affectiva. Picard was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. John Lennox (born 1945): Mathematician, philosopher of science and pastoral adviser. His works include the mathematical The Theory of Infinite Soluble Groups and the religion-oriented God’s Undertaker–Has Science buried God? He has also debated religion with Richard Dawkins. He teaches at Oxford, so an old map of it is pictured. Justin L. Barrett (born 1971): Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development and Professor of Psychology at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology after being a researcher at Oxford, Barrett is a cognitive scientist specializing in the cognitive science of religion. He has published “Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology” (Templeton Press, 2011). Barrett has been described by the New York Times as ‘an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being,” as he wrote in an e-mail message. “I believe that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.”’ Denis Alexander (born 1945): Director of the Faraday Institute and author of Rebuilding the Matrix–Science and Faith in the 21st Century. He also supervises a research group in cancer and immunology at the Babraham Institute. Raymond Vahan Damadian (1936-) medical practitioner and inventor who created the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Scanning Machine). There was a controversy on why he did not receive the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, given that he had came up with the idea and worked on the development of the MRI.—END of Section (excerpt)” (John M. Kinson, God & Atheist Objections: An ex-Atheist Scientist responds to 130+ Atheist Objections (God & Science Book 11), 1544-1853 (Kindle Edition))

Are these people simply mindless followers of “the cult,” Vel?

//it’s nothing new to have an ignorant Christian who doesn’t know what other Christians have claimed.//

Interesting, considering the testimony that I have shared (both here and previously). There are many former atheists who are now Christians, because they took the time to investigate the evidence.

//Christians don’t honor any law of rationality. You all repeatedly lie that only your version is the right one and have no evidence at all.//

I stand by the case that I have made.

//The cosmological argument is the first cause argument. The first cause doesn’t need to be omnipotent, omniscient, intelligent, eternal, etc at all. It can just be a dumb force. Show that all of your god’s supposed attributes are needed. Surely you can, right?//

Actually, I presented several logical reasons why the first Cause must be omnipotent, omniscient, intelligent, eternal, etc. all. The attributes of God flow logically from His eternal nature. I will have more for you soon on that.

//As we already know, something can come from nothing, thus your false claims about “intuition” already fail.//

So, you are going to argue that there are things which may “come from” nothing?

Name one.

You can’t.

But even if you COULD name one, could you then show an example of how an ENTIRE UNIVERSE CAME INTO EXISTENCE FROM NOTHING?

The simple fact is, the idea of “something coming from nothing” is absurd beyond degree. It is a symbol of desperation that you are clinging to such a fantasy.

William Lane Craig and Paul Copan powerfully illustrate:

“1. Something cannot come from nothing. To claim that something can come into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat! But if you deny premise 1, you’ve got to think that the whole universe just appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. But nobody sincerely believes that things, say, a horse or an Eskimo village, can just pop into being without a cause. 2. If something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn’t come into being from nothing. Think about it: why don’t bicycles and Beethoven and root beer just pop into being from nothing? Why is it only universes that can come into being from nothing? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? There can’t be anything about nothingness that favors universes, for nothingness doesn’t have any properties. Nor can anything constrain nothingness, for there isn’t anything to be constrained! 3. Common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1. Premise 1 is constantly verified and never falsified. It’s hard to understand how any atheist committed to modern science could deny that premise 1 is more plausibly true than false in light of the evidence.” (William Lane Craig & Paul Copan, Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics, 1073-1078 (Kindle Edition): Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group)

To others who are reading this exchange, please notice how Christianity is honoring the laws of thought and of science, and how atheism readily and unashamedly ignores them and tosses them out. The Law of Causality states that every effect must have a sufficient antecedent cause. The universe began to exist (as even Vel is now acknowledging since he is trying to claim that it sprang into existence from nothingness). Christianity honors this by pointing out the rationality that the Eternal Being (God) created the universe. The First Law of Thermodynamics states that the universe could not have created itself, while the Second Law clearly shows us that the universe did INDEED have a beginning (more on that soon). However, atheism has to toss out the laws of thought and science, and then the attack is made that Christians are the ones who are irrational.

In all fairness, who is being irrational?

Thank you Vel, for helping us see this important truth.

//The fact that this universe began is also no evience your god is needed. UInsurprisngly, Jastrow simply lies.//


I would like to see your evidence that Jastrow is lying.

//Thermodyamics fails since we have no idea if the universe is a closed system. Those laws only work in closed systems. The galaxies only show that space expands, no god needed, and the stars do have lifespans, again, no evidence a god is needed for that either. Again, a beginning shows no evidence for your imaginary friend. Blanchard repeats the same lies and ignorance. Nope, nothing shows that “something” had to create the universe. That’s a lie on a theist’s part. It doesn’t have to be supernatural at all. I do love when people reference the lies of D’Souza. Funny how he repeats the same lies as your other two theists. No need for an eternal cause either. Something could exist and cease, still having been the force that caused the universe. No need for beings at all. Your ignorant nonsense leads to the problems you need to fix by pretending your god exists.//

Let’s start with some more about the origin of the universe. Perhaps you would like to consider the following testimony and tell us how all these scientists are simply ignorant (a word you constantly use to describe Christians)?

“In addition to quantum mechanics, scientists of the 20th century made at least one other significant discovery that strengthened belief in the supernatural—the “Big Bang” theory. Up until then, the theory that the universe had an actual “beginning” had not been popular with scientists. 132 For many years, physicists such as Fred Hoyle found the idea of a beginning to be far too much like the Biblical account of creation in Genesis, and argued instead for a “steady state” universe—one that had no beginning. 133 The Big Bang was first hypothesized by Belgian priest and astronomer Georges Lemaitre in 1927, but decades would pass before any “proof” could be found to support it. In 1948, Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman predicted that if the Big Bang had actually occurred there should be detectable background radiation. In the 1960’ s, American scientists Arno Penzias and George W. Wilson detected this background radiation. Now widely accepted, the Big Bang Theory says that the entire universe—matter and energy—unexplainably burst forth from a single infinitesimally small point in space about 14 billion years ago. This event marked the beginning of time. Eventually the laws of physics, such as gravity, caused particles of matter to form into planets, stars, and galaxies. Scientists who believed in creation and the Creator found their position greatly strengthened as a result of the Big Bang Theory’s acceptance. 134 Evidence of the Big Bang’s background radiation caused physicist George Smoot to comment, “If you’re religious, it’s like seeing God.” 135 The big bang creation of the universe is good news for God. It means there was a creation. Gerald Schroeder136 With respect to the Big Bang, astronomers [had previously] resisted the notion that the universe had a beginning, a singularity that smacks all too much in their philosophy of a miraculous event. Many were delighted, however by the congruence between the words of Genesis 1, “Let there be light!” and a hypothesized Big Bang in which the universe began with a mighty burst of energetic photons. Owen Gingerich137 First of all, we have this very solid conclusion that the universe had an origin, the Big Bang. Fifteen billion years ago, the universe began with an unimaginably bright flash of energy from an infinitesimally small point. That implies that before that, there was nothing. I can’t imagine how nature, in this case the universe, could have created itself. And the very fact that the universe had a beginning implies that someone was able to begin it. And it seems to me that had to be outside of nature. And that sounds like God. Francis Collins138 There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing. George Smoot139 God created the universe out of nothing in an act which also brought time into existence. Recent discoveries, such as observations supporting the Big Bang and similar astronomical phenomena, are wholly compatible with this view. Henry Margenau140 Current research in astrophysics seems to indicate that the ultimate origin of the universe may be not only unknown but unknowable. That is, if we assume the Big Bang which present evidence strongly supports, there is no real way to find out what came before the Big Bang. It is surely right to pursue as far as possible the scientific understanding of the origins of the universe, but it is probably wrong to think that we have final answers and that there are no further surprises to come. From a religious point of view, we assume that God did it and hope to find out something about how he did it. Arthur Schawlow141 Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not. Albert Einstein142 The Big Bang seems to point strongly toward a Creator, since .. the question of what came before is left hanging in the air. Francis Collins143 Albert Einstein Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. All the details differ, but the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same, the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy. Robert Jastrow144 Certainly there was something that set it off. Certainly, if you’re religious, I can’t think of a better theory [the Big Bang] of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis. Robert Wilson145 In my mind a conflict between believing in God and believing in the Big Bang theory of the Universe never existed. In fact, just the opposite has occurred. The incredible beauty, wonder, and simplicity of the Universe have helped me to strengthen my belief in God and seek deeper knowledge about this relationship. I believe the Universe evolved by the laws of physics, but I also believe that it was God who originated these laws. Giovanni Fazio146 [God] solves some deeply troubling questions about what came before the Big Bang and why the universe seems to be tuned for us to be here. Francis Collins147 I do not understand how the scientific approach alone, as separated from a religious approach, can explain an origin of all things. It is true that physicists hope to look behind the “Big Bang” and possibly to explain the origin of our universe as, for example, a type of fluctuation. But then, of what is it a fluctuation and how did this in turn begin to exist? In my view, the question of origin seems always left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation if we are to have one. Charles H. Townes148 Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say “supernatural”) plan. Thus the observations of modern science seem to lead to the same conclusions as centuries-old intuition. At the same time, most of our modern scientific intuition seems to be more comfortable with the world as described by the science of yesterday. Arno Penzias149 The big bang, the most cataclysmic event we can imagine, on closer inspection appears finely orchestrated. George Smoot150 The God having the creative force to make the entire observable universe in a dense dot of pure energy is incomprehensible. Owen Gingerich151 There remains the question of how the Big Bang was initiated, but it seems unlikely that science will be able to elucidate this…. the exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine. Vera Kistiakowsky152 The tendency of modern physics is to resolve the whole material universe into waves, and nothing but waves…. These concepts reduce the whole universe to a world of light, potential or existent, so that the whole story of its creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completeness in the six words: ‘God said, Let there be light’. Sir James Jeans153 As to the first cause of the universe, in the context of expansion, this is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete without Him. [God] Edward Milne154 Science raises questions that it can never answer. Why did the big bang eventually lead to conscious beings who question the purpose of life and the existence of the universe? This is where religion is necessary. Antony Hewish155”. (Gordon Leidner, Of God and Dice: Quotes from Eminent Scientists Supporting a Creator, 39-46 (Kindle Edition):

Since you can’t seem to make up your mind regarding whether or not the universe had a beginning (and especially as relates to the laws of thermodynamics), perhaps the testimony of a (former) atheist who also studied this matter thoroughly will be of interest to you.

“As for Michel Onfray, he accuses Christians of being opposed to science, mentioning “the eternity of the universe” in a list of scientific theses rejected by believers: “Is there anything to be said for scientific belief in the eternity of the universe? In multiple universes? (Both Epicurean theses, incidentally . . .) Absolutely not! God created the universe from nothing. Before nothing, there was . . . nothing.”[ 8] I’m not sure who Onfray is thinking of when he tells us that scientists believe in the eternity of the universe because modern science teaches exactly the opposite. The vast majority of scientific evidence points to a beginning of the universe. The standard model is the Big Bang theory, which places the absolute beginning of space and time around 13.7 billion years ago.[ 9] Albert Jacquard explains the consequences of this model: Since the Big Bang has been defined as both the beginning of space and of the objects contained therein, it is also of necessity the beginning of time, which only began to tick away from that moment on. There was therefore no “before.”[ 10] There are many good reasons besides this one to affirm a beginning. Some are scientific (the expansion of the universe, the cosmic microwave background, the second law of thermodynamics), and others are philosophical (the impossibility of having an actually infinite set of moments in the past or the impossibility of crossing over an infinite past to arrive at today). These reasons are convincing, but for a complete defense, I invite you to take a more in-depth look at the philosophical and scientific literature that deals with each of them. For our purposes here, I’ll simply say that the beginning of the universe is at least the standard scientific model, and that when Michel Onfray affirms “the eternity of the universe,” he is the one turning his back on modern science while accusing Christians of living in the Dark Ages. There are also some atheist objections based on a lack of understanding of the argument. Bertrand Russell quips, “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.”[ 11] This proves a lack of understanding of the first premise of the argument. The believer does not claim that everything must have a cause but only “that which begins to exist.” Since God exists outside of time, he does not have a beginning and, hence, he has no need of a cause. Why couldn’t that be the case with the universe? Because it has a beginning! Prosper Alfaric misrepresents the first premise when he says that “all beings, and all movement in general, comes from another and that one from another still.”[ 12] But that is not what the argument says. All beings which begin to exist must “come from another.” These critics are not interacting with the theist’s true argument; they are missing the mark. Jean Meslier asks how God could have caused the universe without preceding it in time: “If time was something that could be created and even if it were created, as our ‘God-lovers’ would have us believe, it certainly could only have been created by a being that preceded it, because if this being did not precede it, how could he have created it?”[ 13] The answer is simple: God precedes the universe logically but not temporally. There is no reason to think it was impossible for God, who exists outside of time, to freely create the universe before time existed. If it seems strange to the atheist that the universe was created without a temporal cause, the atheist scenario is stranger still because there is no cause, either inside or outside of time. So the kalam cosmological argument holds up quite well before its critics, and it supports the existence of a God who created the universe.” (Guillaume Bignon, Confessions of a French Atheist: How God Hijacked My Quest to Disprove the Christian Faith, 184-187 (Kindle Edition): Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers)

To those who may be following along, again please consider: where does the evidence point? How has Vel dealt with the evidences presented? Has he logically evaluated the evidence and refuted the conclusions brought out by these evidences: or has he responded with bitterness, anger, contempt, and arrogance?

To ask is to answer.

//No need for the cause to be whatever you are inventing as “self-sufficiency”. Then you have the baseless garbage about being “perfect” a term you can’t even define.//

The fact that there is an eternal God springs from the nature of the contingent universe, Vel. We know (from the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments) that there is an eternal Being. If there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing, there would be nothing now (since “nothing” cannot produce “something” per the Law of Causality). Yet something does exist right now (i.e., we exist, per the Law of Identity). Therefore, something has always existed (again in line with the Law of Causality, and the First Law of Thermodynamics which states that neither matter nor energy can be self-created or destroyed). But the universe has not always existed (as logic and scientific evidences demonstrate). Therefore, something beyond the universe has always existed.

If this uncaused First Cause had a beginning, then it would simply be another part of the created universe that needs an ultimate explanation. However, this would lead to an infinite regress (i.e., an endless chain of causes and effects without an original Cause), and this would lead to an infinite number of contradictions.

Here is some more testimony for you to consider:

“Actual infinites are sets of numbers to which no increment can be added since, by nature of their infiniteness, the set includes all numbers—there is nothing to add. If this is hard to imagine, there is good reason: actual infinites do not exist and cannot exist in the physical world. If actual infinites did exist in the physical world, we would see absurdities and effects we could not live with, literally. For instance, let’s say you had a CD collection that was infinitely large, and each CD had an infinite number of songs on it. If you listened to one CD, you hear as much music as if you had listened to all of the CDs—an infinite amount—and yet those infinites are of different sizes—a nonsensical notion. Let’s also say that there were only two artists in your CD collection, Bach and the Beatles, and that every other CD was by the Beatles. This would mean that you had as many Beatles CDs as you would Beatles and Bach CDs combined; they would both be an infinite number. But at the same time they would be different sized infinites. And would the number of Beatles CDs be odd or even? It must be one or the other, but to speak of infinity in such a way is irrational.” “Or imagine a racecar driver and his son. The racecar driver is making circuit after circuit on a track a mile long. Meanwhile in the infield, his three-year-old son is on his tricycle going in circles. The son is completing a dozen or so circuits to his dad’s one. But if they had each been going for an infinite amount of time, they would have completed an equal number of circuits! If this makes your brain hurt or is confusing at all, then you are beginning to understand why actual infinites do not exist in the physical world. These examples are not just interesting brainteasers or puzzles. The fact that if X = Y then X cannot also be twelve times greater than Y is extremely important. You would never want to cross a bridge, ride in a car, or live in a house designed by an engineer who didn’t recognize or didn’t care about the absurdities of actual infinites. This demonstration of the non-existence of actual infinites can be applied in two real-world areas, time and causality. The best way to show that time is not infinite, that it had a beginning, is to observe that there is a “now.” If now exists, then time cannot be infinite. To show this, picture the moment “now” as a destination, like a train station. Then picture time as train tracks that are actually infinitely long. If you were a passenger waiting on the train to arrive, how long would you have to wait? The answer is: forever. You can never reach the end of infinity; thus, infinitely long train tracks cannot ever be crossed. There is no end to arrive at, no station. If infinitely long train tracks could be crossed, they would be the equivalent of a one-ended stick, a nonsensical notion. In fact, this is the opposite limitation of potential infinites. Just as potential infinites are finite numbers that can never turn infinite, actual infinites could never reach the end of their infiniteness and turn finite. But there is an end, a “now”; the train did arrive at the station. This means the tracks of time cannot be infinitely long. There cannot be an infinite number of preceding moments prior to the present moment. The past is not an actual infinite. Thus, time had to have a beginning. Time, however, did not cause itself to spring into existence. If it had a beginning, then something initiated it. This is where causality comes into the picture. There is no such thing as an effect that was not caused. You are an effect of the biological process caused by your parents. These words you now read were caused by my typing on a keyboard. The current state of the universe is an effect caused by various astronomical and physical conditions. Note, however, that each of the causes mentioned are also effects. For example, your parents are not only your cause, but they are the effects of their parents who were the effects of their parents, and so on. But, as the non-existence of actual infinites shows, the chain of causes cannot regress forever. The train station in this case is made of present causes; because we have causes now, there must be a beginning to the sequence. Thus, there must be a cause that is not an effect, an uncaused cause, or first cause. Since the universe is an effect, it must have had a cause itself. The Kalam argument tells us that the universe had a beginning and that the beginning was caused by an uncaused cause. At this point there are only two options: either the cause was personal or it was impersonal. Reflection on what this uncaused cause would look like leads us to a conclusion rather quickly. The first cause would require an ability to create. Without this ability nothing could be created. It would also require an intention to create, a will to initiate the universe. Without this will to create, nothing would be created. It would require a non-contingent being, one whose existence depends on nothing but itself. If it was contingent, then it would simply be one more effect in the chain of causes and effects. And it must be transcendent. The cause of the universe must be outside of and apart from the universe. Now add all these things together. What kind of thing relies on nothing for its existence, has the power to create something from nothing, has a will to do it or not do it and has the characteristic of existing outside of the creation? Does this sound like a personal or impersonal being? Personal, of course. Thus, the Kalam argument brings us to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning that was caused by a personal, powerful, transcendent being.” (Doug Powell, olman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics (Holman Quicksource Guides), 594-692 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: Holman Reference)

This is the reason why the Being we know as “God” must be eternal, Vel. And this is how we are able to logically determine the other attributes mentioned previously of the Divine Nature.

//No need for an immaterial god, and funny how this god isn’t immaterial in your bible. This god interacts with matter constantly from Genesis 1 on.//

Vel, the word “immaterial” does not mean “something that interacts with matter.” There is a difference between something which IS immaterial, versus something that INTERACTS with matter.

Luke 24:39-Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

John 4:24-God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

I suspect from your comments that you are a materialist (one who holds to the notion that the physical universe of matter is all that exists). Surely you are aware of how science in the last several decades has done away with the notion of materialism? It is yet another way that atheism falls short.

Let’s have some evidence, shall we?

“There is far more to what Eccles has called The Wonder of Being Human: Our Brain & Our Mind than neural activity in the brain. During most of the last century, materialism was the dominant belief among physical scientists and even neurologists, a prejudice clearly expressed by Lord Adrian: “The final aim of brain research must be to bring behavior within the framework of the physical sciences.” 28 It is not honest science to insist that one’s experiments reach a predetermined result. Adrian was echoing the Manifesto already issued by Carl Ludwig, Emil du-Bois-Reymand, and Hermann von Halmholtz: “All the activities of living material, including consciousness, are ultimately to be explained in terms of physics and chemistry.” 29 Why this prejudiced and unscientific demand? Materialism is the atheist’s last fortress. If that must finally be surrendered, the materialist’s final hope is gone. That surrender to truth and reality could precipitate a burst of discovery and advancement. True science has far too long been hog-tied by the determination not to allow that “Divine Foot in the door.” 30 Atheism and materialism go hand-in-hand, supporting one another in their denial of God. Increasingly, however, toward the end of the last century, even leading physical scientists such as physicists, chemists, physiologists—and especially neurologists—began to see that materialism did not explain the data that was coming in. Inescapably, it all pointed to a nonphysical source of thought. Mind had to be distinct from brain. Chemical and electrical reactions in the brain could not explain the whole person. Eccles pointedly observed, “It is not at all clear how ‘natural selection’ has somehow selected for Bach’s ‘Partitas’ . . . or for a system of justice that will let a thousand guilty men go free lest one innocent man be constrained of his liberties.” After extensive interviews in Europe and America, philosophy-of-science professor John Gliedman wrote: Several leading theorists have arrived at the same startling conclusions: their work suggests a hidden spiritual world, within all of us. . . . From Berkeley to Paris and from London to Princeton, prominent scientists from fields as diverse as neurophysiology and quantum physics are coming out of the closet and admitting they believe in the possibility, at least, of such unscientific entities as the immortal human spirit and divine creation. 31 Materialistic science has nothing to say about the mind (except to deny its existence), which famed neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield described as “outside [and] independent of the brain.” 32 Penfield, during his lifetime known as “the greatest living Canadian,” taught for years at Montreal’s McGill University and the Royal Victoria hospital. Obviously, anything governing human behavior that is outside and independent of the brain must be nonphysical—a scientific conclusion confirmed by many experiments that rankles materialists. Sir John Eccles confirms, with his own research, Penfield’s conclusions. He describes the brain as a machine that a ghost can operate, by which he ordinarily means the human spirit.” (Dave Hunt, Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny: Answering Darwin, Dawkins, and the New Atheists, 4345-4373 (Kindle Edition); Bend, Oregon; The Berean Call)

Are these scientists simply ignorant as well, Vel? Or will you claim that they are simply lying, like you accused Jastrow?

//No evidence that this god is timeless at all. If it were outside of time, then it would have no idea when to do something.Funny how your god repeatedly changes. Yep, time is change, and per your own claim, your god can’t act outside of time.//

God Himself says that in His Nature, He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).

What then of the instances where God is said to “change” in Scripture?

Here, we need another lesson in interpretation and context.

Listen to the words of a former atheist named Josh McDowell:

“One of the characteristics of God is that he is immutable—he is by nature constant, unwavering, and secure and can always be counted on to be right and do right. Samuel told Saul that “he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!” (1 Samuel 15: 29). Yet it seems clear that Abraham’s pleas caused God to change his mind. God is unchanging, yet he seems to change his position. Isn’t this somewhat contradictory? The very essence and character of God is that he is perfectly holy (Isaiah 54: 5), just (Revelation 16: 5), and right (Psalm 119: 137). What God cannot do is go against who he is. He will reward virtue and will not tolerate wrong (see Habakkuk 1: 13). Yet this does not mean that all of God’s responses to his creation are without conditions. Many of his promises and judgments have either an expressed or implied condition. When God was about to send judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham interceded on behalf of his nephew Lot who lived in the city (see Genesis 18: 16-33). And because of Abraham, God would have changed his mind if he could have found ten righteous people in the city. It seems clear that God’s judgment was conditional. God spoke through his prophet Jeremiah and explained how his judgment and blessing were conditioned upon Israel’s response. God said, If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would (Jeremiah 18: 7-10). God changes his response to people and nations conditioned upon their response to him. He created a beautiful world along with humans and said it “was good.” He had a relationship with the first human couple. But when they disobeyed him, he reversed course and separated from them. This change in how he responds to individuals and nations doesn’t contradict his immutability—it rather affirms it. If he would have accepted human evil and said, “Well, humans will be humans, and I’ll just give them a pass,” then he would be denying himself. He is a God of rightness, holiness, and justice. His response to sin is consistent with his immutability and righteous nature. God changing his position isn’t a sign of indecisiveness, as it is with us. It is not even an indication he doesn’t know in advance he is going to change (see Explanation of Genesis 22: 12). Rather God often changes how he responds to us based on our response to him.” (Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell, The Bible Handbook of Difficult Verses: A Complete Guide to Answering the Tough Questions (The McDowell Apologetics Library), 439-1461 (Kindle Edition): Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers)

//Nothing shows that something must be “unimaginably” powerful to create the universe. We simply don’t know.//

Actually, we do.

//Nope, it doesn’t have to be a person at all. No evidence that the universe was a choice.//

You can keep telling yourself that if you choose to. But the facts demonstrate very clearly that the universe was indeed created by a Being (i.e., God) Who chose to create it.

//The teleological argument is simply the design argument and this god of yours, if it was the creator, is a moron.//

The teleological argument is indeed the design argument. It argues very clearly that the universe shows undeniable evidence of design, and (since design implies designer), the universal Designer (i.e, God) exists. You seem to believe that the evidence of design in the universe is not very convincing. Let’s test that (since the Bible reminds us that we need to ‘test all things,’ 1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Here is some evidence for you to consider.

“Still another researcher, Stephen Joseph Williams, delved into this topic in great detail. He began by noting: “Not only is the universe at large apparently fine-tuned to support life, there is an array of features in our more local region of the universe that are also necessary to allow life to survive. The features of a planet, its planetary companions, its moon, its star, and its galaxy must have values falling within narrowly defined ranges (infinitesimally small targets, and all precisely co-ordinated) for physical life of any kind to exist.” (Stephen Joseph Williams, What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should): An Exploration Of The Implications Of Modern Science, Archaeology, History And Philosophy, 60 (Kindle Edition); RFH) He then lists 93 factors universally which must be in place for life to exist here on Earth! But he doesn’t stop there: “Not only is the universe at large apparently fine-tuned to support life, there is an array of features in our more local region of the universe that are also necessary to allow life to survive. The features of a planet, its planetary companions, its moon, its star, and its galaxy must have values falling within narrowly defined ranges (infinitesimally small targets, and all precisely coordinated) for physical life of any kind to exist.” (Stephen Joseph Williams, What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should): An Exploration Of The Implications Of Modern Science, Archaeology, History And Philosophy, 60 (Kindle Edition); RFH) He then proceeds to list a list of 154 “local” conditions which must be met in order for Earth to support life! But that list is constantly growing with the more that we learn from science: “Keep in mind that this list is always growing as new improbabilities are being discovered. According to Dr.’ s Ross and Rana, the improbability increases by about a million times each month!” (Stephen Joseph Williams, What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should): An Exploration Of The Implications Of Modern Science, Archaeology, History And Philosophy, 119-120 (Kindle Edition); RFH) When we consider all of these things, should we conclude that the universe simply came to be with way by chance? Or does the evidence point to a Designer of the universe? “Since the threshold of mathematical impossibility is 1 in 10 to the 50th power (ie: given a 13.73 billion year universe, there is not enough time for anything with this or smaller odds to occur by chance), and the odds of this fine-tuning coming into existence by chance are far, far beyond that, we can rule out chance. Only a transcendent Creator makes sense of this unbelievably complex order in the universe. During the last 35 years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life absolutely depends upon this very delicate and complex balance of initial conditions. It appears that “the deck was stacked” in the substances, constants and quantities of the Big Bang itself, to provide a life-permitting universe. We now know through modern science that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable? Well, the answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimally small as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball due to gravitational attraction. (4) Physicist P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by at least a thousand billion billion zeroes! (5) Davies also calculates that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by merely one part in 10 raised to the 100th power (!) would have prevented a life-permitting universe. (6) As we saw in the previous lists, there are dozens and dozens of such constants and quantities present in the Big Bang which must be exquisitely fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. Moreover, it’s not only each individual quantity or constant which must be finely tuned; their ratios to each other must also be exquisitely finely tuned. Therefore, vast improbability is multiplied by vast improbability, and yet again by vast improbability repeatedly until our minds are simply reeling in vanishingly small odds. There is no plausible physical reason why these constants and quantities should have the values that they do. Reflecting on this, the once-agnostic physicist P.C.W. Davies comments, “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact.” (7) Likewise, British Astrophysicist Sir Frederick Hoyle remarks, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics.” (8) Robert Jastrow, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, refers to this as “the most powerful evidence for the existence of God ever to come out of science.” (9) So, again, the view that Christian theists have historically held, that there is an intelligent Designer of the universe, seems to make so much more sense than the atheistic alternative: that the universe, when it popped into being, without cause, out of nothing, just happened to be, by chance, fine-tuned for intelligent life with a mind-numbingly unlikely precision and delicacy. To call the odds against this fine-tuning occurring by chance “astronomical” would be a wild understatement.” (Stephen Joseph Williams, What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should): An Exploration Of The Implications Of Modern Science, Archaeology, History And Philosophy, 121-124 (Kindle Edition); RFH)”. (Mark Tabata, Old Apologetics for a New Age: Volume One: The Existence of God, 43-46 (Kindle Edition): Charleston, AR: Cobb Publishing)

Still want to say that God is a moron?

I was thinking of what you said about DNA. Assuming you believe in the theory of macroevolution (a logical assumption since you reject God and special creation), have you considered the mathematical likelihood of human DNA evolving by chance (even given the eons of time that would need to be granted for Darwin’s theory)?

Let’s look at some evidence.

“DNA—containing the code for this first living cell—is very complex and does not naturally occur. In fact, the chance of you being able to jump high enough to reach the moon is greater than the chance that DNA would form by chance.” (Joe White with Nicholas Comminellis, Darwin’s Demise: Why Evolution Can’t Take The Heat, 428 (Kindle Edition): Green Forest, AR: Master Books)

If you want to prove that DND could have just evolved by chance, Vel, all you need to do is jump from the Earth to the moon.

I’ll be waiting on your proof.

//As I’ve shown the cosmological argument never gets to your petty god at all, and logical and scientific evidence demonstrates that. And let’s watch the christain fail with his ignorance: No sign of intelligence in “constants”. We simply don’t know how far they could be different, not even Stephen Hawking could know. But nice appeal to authority logical fallacy. Penrose did not demonstrate that at all, and since we know that the laws of physics aren’t random, no need to be astonished by that. Still no god needed. Dyson had nothing to support his claims, just a baseless assumption.//

Friends, notice again what we have constantly seen from Vel’s comments. The atheist has no way to deal with the actual evidences that God exists: he can only resort to bitterness, misinterpretation, and slander of others.

//There is no finetuning, since if this god wanted everything perfect for humans why choose a constant that makes our sun give us cancer?//

As I pointed out, God’s Word clearly teaches us about the fact that we live in a world of suffering and death because of mankind’s sin against God.

//It’s always great fun when Christian try to get Einstein to agree with their lies. He did not believe in your god. Mark. He was at best a deist, and there is still no evidence for supernatural nonsense.//

Did I ever claim that Einstein was a Christian, Vel? Einstein was definitely not a Christian: but he was an intelligent scientist capable of recognizing what a child can see, and which you stubbornly refuse to accept. There is a God.

//Yep, I mentioned DNA, and surprise, DNA fails often.//

In harmony with the facts that I presented in examining the sin-caused suffering in our world, Vel.

//Ray Comfort is a known liar.//


//I debated him myself. Funny how he never put that video upon his youtube channel.//

So now we have your claim that you debated Ray Comfort, and yet he (for some reason) decided not to share that video on his YouTube channel?

Funny indeed. No doubt he was intimidated by your impressive arguments for atheism.

//Yep, there is a lot of information DNA. So?//

Well, when is the last time you saw an informational code that didn’t have a designer, Vel?

You want us to believe that the universe just popped into existence out of nothingness, and now we are to believe that the DNA code just also somehow showed up?

Tell you what. Let’s ask an expert on DNA and statistical analysis the facts of the matter, shall we?

“It is, in principle, possible to use quintets of binary codes, resulting in an average of 5 bits per word, but the replication process requires an even number of symbols. We can thus exclude ternary code (n = 3) and quinary code (n = 5). The next candidate is binary code (No. 2), but it needs too much storage material in relation to No. 4 (a quaternary code using triplets), five symbols versus three implies a surplus of 67%. At this stage, we have only two remaining candidates out of the large number of possibilities, namely No. 4 and No. 6. And our choice falls on No. 4, which is a combination of triplets from a quaternary code having four different letters. Although No. 4 has the disadvantage of requiring 50% more material than No. 6, it has advantages which more than compensate for this disadvantage, namely:–With six different symbols, the recognition and translation requirements become disproportionately much more complex than with four letters, and thus requires much more material for these purposes.–In the case of No. 4, the information content of a word is 6 bits per word, as against 5.17 bits per word for No. 6. The resulting redundancy is thus greater, and this ensures greater accuracy for the transfer of information. Conclusion: The coding system used for living beings is optimal from an engineering standpoint. This fact strengthens the argument that it was a case of purposeful design rather than fortuitous chance.” (Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, 111-112 (Kindle Edition): Grand Forest, AR: Master Books)

Here is some more for us to consider, Vel. Since we know that life is dependent upon DNA, please address this.

“Louis Pasteur proved experimentally over a century ago that non-life cannot produce life, that dead objects cannot produce living ones, that each organism requires parents, and that only parents produce the new life. It has been universally held, since Pasteur, that life always arises from life of the same kind. This is the law of biogenesis. The vast majority of the world’s most respected and honored scientists recognize this law. Many of these totally reject the theory of spontaneous generation. Others continue to grapple with their own inconsistencies. Spontaneous generation is said to have been a random, chance event, with no outside, purposeful influence. Let’s examine what “chance” looks like. If you flip a coin, the probability of heads is one in two. Rolling a six on a die has the probability of one in six. Rolling nine straight sixes would be one chance in ten million. Who would bet $ 100 that you could roll 50 straight sixes (probability of 1 in 1039) or flip a hundred straight “heads” on a coin (probability of 1 in 1030)? British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle calculated the probability of spontaneous generation: The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is 1 to a number with 40,000 noughts after it (1040,000)…. It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence. 22 Sir Fred Hoyle further explains his position, using the example of a Rubik’s cube: At all events, anyone, even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik’s cube will concede the near impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cubic faces at random. Now imagine 1050 (that’s a number 1 with 50 zeros after it) blind people, each with a scrambled Rubik’s cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling at just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the earth is evidently nonsense of a high order. 23 Sir Fredrick Hoyle vividly illustrates the probability of spontaneous generation like this: Supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing a tornado could sweep through a junkyard filled with airplane parts and form a Boeing 747.24 Professor Harold Morowitz puts the chance of spontaneous generation as being much less than even that of Sir Fredrick Hoyle: The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 to 10340,000,000. This number is 1 to 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering, since there are only supposed to be approximately 1080 electrons in the whole universe! 25 To further illustrate, this is approximately the same ridiculous probability that an entire high school gym filled with dice could instantly explode and every one of the dice would land on the number one! The renowned atheist of the latter 20th century, Dr. Carl Sagan, estimated that the mathematical probability of the simplest form of life emerging from non-living matter has the unbelievable odds of one chance in ten to the two billionth power (a 1 followed by two billion zeros after it)—even less probability than predicted by Sir Hoyle or Dr. Morowitz. The enormity of this figure is revealed by the fact that it would take 6,000 books of 300 pages each just to write the number! 26 Just how likely is an event like this? Dr. Emile Borel, who discovered the laws of probability, says: The occurrence of any event where the chances are beyond one in ten followed by 50 zeros is an event which we can state with certainty will never happen, no matter how much time is allotted and no matter how many conceivable opportunities could exist for the event to take place. 27 Dr. Emile Borel explains, in essence, that anything with a chance of less than 1 in 1050 would never happen, no matter how much time there is. So how could an event with a probability of 1 in 10 to the two billionth power ever happen? It is absolutely, emphatically impossible! Distinguished chemist and physicist Dr. John Grebe explains how remote is the possibility that functional DNA itself—let alone a functioning cell—could randomly come together on its own: The 15,000 or more atoms of the individual sub-assemblies of a single DNA molecule, if left to chance as required by the evolutionary theory, would go together in any of 1087 (1 in 10 to the 87th power) different ways. 28 In other words, there are trillions times trillions times trillions of different ways that a single gene could have come together. Yet only one way would lead to a functional DNA molecule. Evolutionists claim the universe is about five billion years old. There are less than 1017 seconds in 20 billion years. Therefore, even if a trial and error combination occurred every second from the beginning of time until today, the odds still appear hopelessly high against the natural assembly of even this single molecule. Take 1070 combinations: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 minus 100,000,000, 000,000,000 seconds that a single DNA molecule could be formed by mere chance, and the remaining “odds” are 1 in 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999, 999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,900,000,000,000,000,000. This means that the odds of a single functional DNA molecule coming together at random are about the same odds that you could fill a billion universes with golf balls and put a small red dot on the bottom of one ball and somehow a blindfolded baby could find that ball while rummaging through the hundred billion galaxies on the very first try. Pierre-Paul Grassé of the University of Paris and past-president of the French Academy of Science, echoes this view: To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded supposition which I believe to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts. 29 Dr. Wilder-Smith, a chemist and former evolutionist, concludes: It is emphatically the case that life could not arise spontaneously in a primeval soup of any kind. 30 And Dr. Wilder-Smith goes on to say, Furthermore, no geological evidence indicates an organic soup ever existed on this planet. We may therefore with fairness call this scenario “the myth of the pre-biotic soup.” 31 Michael Denton, Ph.D., a noted molecular biologist, agrees: Considering the way the pre-biotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence. 32 Dr. Denton also says, The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle. 33 Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine likewise declared: The idea of spontaneous generation of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred. 34 According to Monod, another Nobel Prize winner and biochemist at the University of Paris, the possibility of life arising spontaneously “was virtually zero.” 35”. (Joe White with Nicholas Comminellis, Darwin’s Demise: Why Evolution Can’t Take The Heat, 434-515 (Kindle Edition): Green Forest, AR: Master Books)

//Collins is unfortunately a Christian who needs to find a job for his god. Again, yep, there is a lot of information, and this information often screws up. So much for a “perfect designer”. It’s nothing new that Clinton was just an ignorant president, no god needed for DNA. All Collins has is appeal to popularity fallacies when he goes on about people believing in “some form of belief in God”.//

I did not appeal to Collins as a Christian. Instead, I referred to him as the head of the Human Genome Project whose studies of DNA have been a powerful evidence that there is a God.

Indeed, the world-renowned (former) atheist, Antony Flew, discussed DNA as well.

“In the video of the symposium, the announcer suggested that of all the great discoveries of modern science, the greatest was God. In this symposium, when asked if recent work on the origin of life pointed to the activity of a creative Intelligence, I said: Yes, I now think it does… almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together. It’s the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together. The meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute. It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence. This statement represented a major change of course for me, but it was nevertheless consistent with the principle I have embraced since the beginning of my philosophical life—of following the argument no matter where it leads.” (Antony Flew, Roy Abraham Varghese, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 74-75 (Kindle Edition): New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers)

//Unfortuantely, nope, your cult doesn’t have “excellent answers”. The bible isnt’ the “proven word of god” far from it, but nice lie.//

As we will see in more detail, there are many evidences that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.

//So, if the universe was perfect in the beginning, you can’t know how this god made DNA originally and can’t claim it is from a designer as it is now.//

Just because I do not know how a computer-with all its’ amazing chips and parts-is able to operate, does not mean that I can’t tell someone had not designed it. Design implies designer.

But per your argument, we should just see cars popping into existence out of nothingness, correct?

Just because I do not know how an automobile, with all of its’ amazing parts, is able to function, this does not mean that I can’t know that someone has clearly designed it!

Design implies designer, Vel.

To our friends who may be reading this discussion, please note again the desperation of the atheist position. The evidence of God’s existence is clearly all around us-and within us! Yet because the atheist refuses to accept the conclusion (i.e., that there is a God), he will abandon logic and reason and embrace science fiction.

According to the atheist:

Somehow…the universe just popped into existence out of nothingness;

Somehow….we can have the amazingly complex DNA code…and yet there is no Designer to it;

Somehow….the universe is fine tuned for life….but somehow there was no God Who made it!

Per atheism:

You have effects without a sufficient cause:

You have design without a designer:

You have morality without a moral lawgiver.

And yet Christians are the ones that often are accused of being irrational.

//DNA has changed per your made up nonsense, so your claim that DNA is evidence for your god fails miserably.//

The fact that DNA is able to change is not a disproof of God. Rather, it shows again His amazing Genius in creating a code of life that is able to live and adapt in a fallen world. Have you ever considered the fact that DNA’s ability to adapt is itself one of the great evidences of design?

//Funny how there is no free will in your bible, Mark. As soon as this god interferes, free will is gone, and per your bible, it interferes a lot. This god also mind controlslpeople so it has excuses to commit genocide, and both paul and jesus say that this god has already chosen who it will allow to believe in it, damning all of the rest for no fault of their own. Your excuse fail.//

Again, we see many other examples of how you misunderstand Scripture, Vel. The Bible very clearly teaches that angelkind and humankind have freewill (cf. Genesis 2:15-17; Isaiah 1:18; John 5:40; Romans 11:19-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 2 Peter 2:1-5). I have dealt with Calvinism elsewhere, demonstrating its’ misrepresentation of Scripture. The only ones who will be in Hell-and the only ones who will stay there-are those who refuse to humble themselves before God and submit to His Word (Matthew 8:11-12).

//So, the teological argument fails too with the invocation of a “fallen world” by your other nonsense.//

I thank you for presenting the other side of the argument, and will leave it to others to decide if the teleological argument falls short. Personally, I believe it is very clear that the teleological argument (along with the cosmological and moral arguments) are an impenetrable demonstration of the truthfulness of God’s existence, and of the rationality of Christianity.

//The moral argument fails as I have described already, dear. There is no evidence of any moral law written anywhere, so you again have no evidence for your false claims. Funny how moral standards aren’t identical at all. You simply lie about that, Mark. How nice of you.//

What is strange is that I presented testimony which very clearly demonstrates that there are moral absolutes. I even gave several examples of this, which you have basically ignored. However, because I believe in giving a rational defense of Christianity, I will present some more for you to consider.

“Interestingly, a part of the common moral sense is that there is a common moral sense. It is not only a recurring theme in philosophy, but a tradition in most cultures and a presupposition of both Jewish and Christian scriptures. Philosophers call this common sense the “natural” law to convey the idea that it is somehow rooted in how things really are. Chinese wisdom traditions call it the Tao; Indian, the dharma or rita. The Talmud says it was given to the “sons” or descendants of Noah, which means all of us. Abraham was so sure of it that he dared to debate with God. Saint Paul said that when Gentiles do by nature what the law requires, they show that its works are “written on their hearts”. 2”. (J Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, 473-478 (Kindle Edition): San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press)

//Posting Lewis’ lies don’t help yours, Mark. Funny how all of those cultures had those laws long before any ignorance from your cult was invented, including your god. They are alike since only certain laws will help civilization thrive, no god needed. Again, you and lewis simply make nonsense up.//

Again, you are helping make my case for me Vel. These laws “written on the heart” bear witness to the existence of God, even apart from His revelation through His Son, Jesus, and the Bible. Thank you for your assistance with that point. Calling Lewis a liar does not make him one.

//Funny how there is no evidence for near death experiences being supernatural at all, and gee, no being of light shown to exist beyond a brain phenomenon. No feeling of magical lo e or compassion eaither, and certainly not in your cult and its bible, where obedience and punishment are the only things that are important. Unfortunately, the claim “all religions baseically teach the same things” is also a lie.//

Regarding near death experiences, there is indeed much more to them that the lie of materialism can account for. Providing one example, Lee Strobel documents the testimony of another very famous neurosurgeon and (former) atheist. He held to the materialistic belief that you do, Vel.

Please consider:

“As a Harvard neurosurgeon and an agnostic, Eben Alexander believed we are just our brains, nothing more. “If you don’t have a working brain, you can’t be conscious,” he said. “This is because the brain is the machine that produces consciousness in the first place. When the machine breaks down, consciousness stops . . . Pull the plug and the TV goes dead. The show is over, no matter how much you might have been enjoying it.” 1 In short, no afterlife, no heaven, no existence of any kind beyond the grave. Then came November 10, 2008, when a rare brain infection crashed his entire neocortex, the part of the brain that makes us human. “During my coma my brain wasn’t working improperly—it wasn’t working at all,” he would say later. 2 While his brain wasn’t functioning, he still found himself fully conscious, but now in a “brilliant, vibrant, ecstatic, stunning” new world3—a place fueled by an exhilarating sense of unconditional love. There he encountered the face of a beautiful girl who gazed at him with an enigmatic smile. He had no idea who she was, but she radiated a beautiful love toward him. Miraculously, the physician emerged fully healed from his near-death experience. He had been adopted as a baby, and after reconnecting with his birth family, he was sent a photograph—it was a picture of a sister named Betsy whom he had never known anything about and who had died years earlier. 4 The photo floored him. This was the girl with the mysterious smile who had exuded such love to him in the world beyond. “My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness, that human experience continues beyond the grave,” he now declares. “More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us.” 5”. (Lee Strobel, The Case for Heaven: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death, 49-50 (Kindle Edition): Zondervan)

//It’s a shame that cultists lie so incompetently, and try to claim that their god is the source of what must be the gods of Sumeria. Right?//

I think our discussion so far has certainly demonstrated truth from lies.

//it is not surprising to see you try to make excuses for your ignorant and vicious god. It’s even better when you simply say it exists when you have no evidence at all. If this god falls short of the standard of morality, then it isn’t the god you claim exists, Mark. You claim it is just and fair, and surprise, the bible shows it isn’t. Your morality is entirely subjective and christains are sycophants who try to excuse their vicious god for what it supposedly does. It’s great that you return right to “but but the universe is evidence for my god” sine your lies about morals fail. And now you admit that morality is indeed subjective, not objective, with your claim that now morality is “dependent upon the motivations and identity of the agent in question” Yep, that’s exactly what I said. Your morality is a cesspool of nothing more than might equals right.//

I see that you did not address my point that I made with my illustration. The fact is, the administrator of an action may sometimes have bearing on the overall morality of said action. You did not like the example I used of a stranger discipline someone else’s children, because it demonstrated that some things may be morally permissible for one person to do, and not for another.

I will give you another example. Just the other day, I read about a police officer who was arrested for involving himself in a car chase for someone outside of his jurisdiction. A police officer giving chase to an (alleged) criminal is morally justifiable: yet some police officers did not have that moral right (in that situation).

You see, we recognize and use this principle every day that we live. There are some things that would be perfectly moral for God to do, that would not be morally right for people to do, for the simple reason that God has a sovereign ownership over this creation which He has made. You mentioned children in the Bible who have died before as a result of God’s punishments towards sinful men. No denial there. Yet God has the right to take life, just as He has the right to give it.

//Of course you believe your imaginary friend is morally perfect, and will say and lie anything to keep that belief, no matter what. Yep, you try the usual lie of what god actively does and what it allows, trying to yet again have your ignorant and vicious god while lying that it is just and fair. Yep, a person choking is this god’s fault if you want to claim that the teleological argument is true. It either did design the human body or it didn’t. As I have said before, Christians can’t agree on what morality their god wants, dear, and thus your clalim of a child raised in a home where morality and compassion are taught and embraced is meaningless sine you have no idea what is “moral”. As we know, there is no morality on a child’s heart, we know that from the unfortunate stories of feral children. Funny how they don’t magically know your god or its supposed morals.//

Strange that the evidence which I have presented clearly demonstrates that there is indeed a moral code and a realization in the hearts of children that there is a God. I am still waiting for you to address it.

You are having a very difficult time with the Bible teaching of a sinful world and its’ connection to suffering, aren’t you? Let me introduce an illustration that will hopefully help.

“To help understand Creation and the Fall, the image of three iron rings suspended from a magnet is helpful. The magnet symbolizes God; the first ring, the soul; the middle ring, the body; and the bottom ring, nature. As long as the soul stays in touch with God, the magnetic life keeps flowing through the whole chain, from divine life to soul life, body life and nature life. The three rings stay harmonized, united, magnetized. But when the soul freely declares its independence from God, when the first iron ring separates from the magnet, the inevitable consequence is that the whole chain of rings is demagnetized and falls apart. When the soul is separated from God, the body is separated from the soul-that is, it dies-and also from nature-that is, it suffers. For the soul’s authority over the body is a delegated authority, as is humanity’s authority over nature. When God the delegator is rejected, so is the authority he delegated. If you rebel against the king, his ministers will no longer serve you. Thus both suffering and sin are traced to man, not God.” (Peter Kreeft, Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions, 135 (Kindle Edition): Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press)

This illustration does a remarkable job exemplifying the truth of the Bible regarding the sinful world of mankind, and the suffering that we endure due to mankind’s choice to rebel against God.

//Christians try to lie and claim that their imaginary friend hasn’t just watched the world uncaringly. It has done nothing at all. All you have is a ridicuolous myth, of a god, that failed in eden, failed in the flood, failed in exodus, and finally decided it needed a blood sacrifice by torture to make itself happy. No salvation, nothing can be shown as true. You just make up excuses why this god does nothing to actually help people, like keeping its followers from being hacked to death by machetes, starving, etc.//

My friend (for my part), what Jesus did at Calvary provides the greatest Answer of God to evil, pain, and suffering. I like the way that Timothy Keller explains it:

“The death of Jesus was qualitatively different from any other death. The physical pain was nothing compared to the spiritual experience of cosmic abandonment. 10 Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture, and imprisonment. On the cross he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power exceeds ours. In his death, God suffers in love, identifying with the abandoned and godforsaken. 11 Why did he do it? The Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission for creation. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us. Let’s see where this has brought us. If we again ask the question: “Why does God allow evil and suffering to continue?” and we look at the cross of Jesus, we still do not know what the answer is. However, we now know what the answer isn’t. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he was willing to take it on himself. Albert Camus understood this when he wrote: [Christ] the god-man suffers too, with patience. Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies. The night on Golgotha is so important in the history of man only because, in its shadows, the divinity ostensibly abandoned its traditional privilege, and lived through to the end, despair included, the agony of death. Thus is explained the “Lama sabachthani” and the frightful doubt of Christ in agony. 12 So, if we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth. We can know that God is truly Immanuel—God with us—even in our worst sufferings.” (Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, 28-29 (Kindle Edition): New York, NY: Penguin Books)

The Son of God came into this world for sinners like you and me, Vel. He went to the cross to pay the debt that we couldn’t pay, and to show that He understands the trials that we face in this world. THAT is Divine love for you. Not just words, or logical arguments: but a perfect Life and terrible willing death of the Son of God, for you and me.

//Repeating lies from Lee Strobel and Kreeft don’t make them true. This imaginary god never was harmed at all and never did ont thing to help anyone. God doesn’t exist so yep, god is not finished since it has done nothing. No evidence of this god working in this world at all, as usual.//

No lies, just inconvenient truth for you.

//And funny how that second coming has been 2000+ years of lies by Christians like you. All you have is the typical lies and false promises of any fraud. “Someday it will happen! Honest!” And it never ever does.//

Funny that the Apostle Peter said there would be people who deny the Second Coming, just like you are doing. They are also said to be ‘willfully ignorant’ of the Judgment of God in the Flood.

2 Peter 3:1-13-Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2  that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3  knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4  and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5  For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6  by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7  But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

You know, Vel, you remind me of how several atheists that I have worked with have been willing to acknowledge that they reject God because of their anger that God has the right to judge them. You have provided no intellectual evidences to demonstrate the claims of atheism: and your arguments against the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments have been readily refutable. Yet what I have found in our exchange thus far is a great deal of bitterness against the God that you claim you don’t believe in.

Could it be that you have an axe to grind with the God of creation?

Many atheists throughout time have been willing to admit that they were angered by God were willing to admit that they rejected Him because of their philosophical issues and not logical reasons.

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently [I] assumed it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…. The philosopher… is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do…. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.” (Aldous Huxley, “Confessions of a Professed Atheist,” Report: Perspective on the News (Vol. 3, June 1966): 19)


“Writing in Nature as long ago as 1929, biologist D. M. S. Watson brazenly conceded, ‘The theory of evolution itself [is] a theory universally accepted, not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative is special creation, which is clearly incredible’113 (emphasis added). The palaeontologist L. T. More, of the University of Chicago, has said much the same thing: ‘Our faith in the idea of evolution depends upon our reluctance to accept the antagonistic doctrine of special creation.’114 So has the eminent British anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith: ‘Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable’115 (emphasis added).” (John Blanchard, Does God Believe In Atheists? 2383-2394 (Kindle Edition); Carlisle, PA; EP Books USA)

You know, Vel, one of my favorite books is written by a former atheist who came to realize that his arguments against God were more rooted in sad events that took place in his life.

“Where was God when Dad started to fall in love with another woman? Was he distracted? Where was “the One who can part the sea” when the two of them held hands for the first time? Where was the Almighty when Mom prayed for things to get better? “Great is Thy faithfulness?” Hardly. Great is thy neglect, great is thy cosmic indifference. Great is thy absence….For the first time, I realized that my deconstruction of faith hadn’t been the rational and clinical pursuit I believed it to be. When I opened Genesis, I wasn’t just looking for answers: I had a bone to pick. I’d wanted answers for Dad, sure, but I’d also expected answers for myself. I’d expected God to justify Himself to me, but God had failed to do that. Instead, He bowed His head and died.” (Mike McHargue, Finding God In The Waves: How I Lost My Faith And Found It Again Through Science, 105-106 (Kindle Edition); New York; Convergent Books)

Fortunately, McHargue came to realize that there is a God, even though he does not identity as a Christian (as far as I know).

“Over three years after losing my faith, I had finally arrived at an answer to the question “How do you know God is real?” I know God is real because I see the work of God via telescopes, space probes, and particle accelerators. Instead of fighting science or trying to filter science through my understanding of God, I discovered that you can begin by accepting scientific evidence—and, therefore, scientific accounts of how our universe came to be—and still see the face of God.” (Mike McHargue, Finding God In The Waves: How I Lost My Faith And Found It Again Through Science, 149 (Kindle Edition); New York; Convergent Books)

Could it be that your rejection of God is not based on intellect?

Could it be something else?

//Yep, famous atheist isn’t “world renowned”, and again flew was a deist at best who thought your ignorance was wrong. Funny how the AP was simply wrong. Nice to know you never read Flew’s own words. It’s nothing surprising that your fellow Christian also found the need to lie about Flew too.//

In what way did I lie about Flew? Do we need some more testimony from him? Perhaps you should reconsider the title of his book, “There IS A God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.”

//So, you accept that Flew was sure that your god doesn’t exist, just some vague power. Great, since you claim to believe the facts.//

I would be happy to share his words with you again, if you need them Vel. Flew clearly acknowledged that there is a God.

//Again, nice lies that you clearly demonstrated anything at all, Mark. The cosmological argument never gets to your god. The teleological argument never gets to your god. The moral argument never gets to your god. Christians don’t agree on what morals this god wants, so again, you simply lie.//

I stand by the case that I have presented. Indeed, Vel, I invite you to carefully consider the links that I am about to present. This invitation is also for anyone else who is reading this discussion. You will find a plethora of evidence that demonstrates that the Bible is the Word of God, and numerous evidences regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible.

//The bible is not unified at all, contradicting itself repeatedly, and having the ignorance of the humans who wrote it.//

Please consider:

//The bible writers had no scientific foreknowledge at all, no more than the greeks at that time had.//

Please consider:

//No archaeology confirms the essential events of the Bible. No creation, no flood, no exodus, no jesus. And yep, it does mention real people and places. So does any modern thriller or comic book.//

Please consider:

//No evidence that jesus existed much less that he resurrected magically. The NT gospels contradict each other hilariously, and nope, no hostile jewish witnesses until hundreds of years later. Funny how not one jew noticed those dead jews wandering around Jerusalem during that particular Passover.

The Greek and roman historians only mention Christians and what they believed, dear. They never said that what they believed was true. You lie incompetently again. You might want to read the actual documents, rathe than the lies Christians make up about them.//

Actually Vel, I presented numerous evidences regarding the historicity of Jesus for you to consider. You did not touch upon the facts at all. I will share some more medicine for you here shortly. And your statement demonstrates that you don’t understand the accuracy of first century Roman historians. Consider Tacitus, for example.

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures of a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. (Tacitus-Annals, 15.44)

Reading of the historical accuracy of this account, we learn:

First, he makes his statement about the death of Christ as a historical fact, not as something someone else said was true. Second, as mentioned in the previous chapter, both Justin and Tertullian challenged their readers to go read for themselves the official secular documents substantiating certain details of Jesus’ life. Third, being a Roman senator, Tacitus certainly must have had access to the best records available in the Roman Empire at the time. Fourth, in Annals 4.10, where Tacitus refutes a particular rumor, he says that he has reported from “the most numerous and trustworthy authorities.” In 4.57 he says, “I have followed the majority of historians.” Fifth, Tacitus is careful to record conflicts in his sources. In 15.38 he speaks of conflicting versions as to the source of the great fire of Rome. Sixth, Tacitus does not quote his sources uncritically. In Annals 4.57 he questions the majority report of the historians. In 15.53 he considers Pliny’s statement absurd, and in 13.20 he notes Fabius Rusticus’ bias. B. Walker comments that Tacitus “was a persistent skeptic towards popular rumor, even when a rumor coincided with his own prejudices” and cites Annals 2.68 as an example. Seventh, Tacitus hedges his opinion when others do not. Eighth, Tacitus distinguishes between rumor and fact by using expressions such as, “Some have put it on record”; or “As the general account goes.” He also uses terms such as “It is said” and “They say” when he does not want to vouch for a statement’s reliability. Maurice Goguel, former Professor of Theology in the University of Paris, notes that the absence of words such as “it is said” in Annals 15.44 (the passage about Christ) should cause us to believe that Tacitus’ source was a document. He states: “One fact is certain, and that is, Tacitus knew of a document, which was neither Jewish nor Christian, which connected Christianity with the Christ crucified by Pontius Pilate. Finally, even if Tacitus had made no independent statement at all about the person of Christ, he still records the fact that men and women living thirty years after Jesus was crucified were willing to die for their belief that Jesus had lived just thirty years earlier.” (Josh McDowell, He Walked Among Us: Evidence For The Historical Jesus, 50-51; Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers)

//Gary Habermas is also a well known liar. I’ve also corresponded with him. Funny how ol’ Gary refuses to produce the list he claims he has of scholars who agree with him. There are no 45 sources for the life of jesus. All he has are as I stated above, reports of the cult of Christianity, the mention of a few real places and people in the bible. He tries the lie that “we believe other ancient things with less information so why not his imaginary messiah” and that fails since the existence of Alexander, etc don’t matter if they aren’t exactly right in history. This cult’s harmful nonsense is suported by these lies about a historical jesus when there is none at all, and no god to claim as the source of these harmful lies. Mentions of a fictional character don’t make it true, especially when there is no other evidence for it.//

Your proof that Habermas is a liar?

I have read Habermas’s book which I quoted, and he actually lists every reference that he cites!

Let’s consider some of “ol Gary’s” credentials, shall we?

“Habermas—bearded, straight-talking, rough-hewn—is also a fighter, an academic pit bull who looks more like a nightclub bouncer than an ivory tower intellectual. Armed with razor-sharp arguments and historical evidence to back them up, he’s not afraid to come out swinging. Antony Flew, one of the leading philosophical atheists in the world, found that out when he tangled with Habermas in a major debate on the topic “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” The results were decidedly one-sided. Of the five independent philosophers from various colleges and universities who served as judges of the debate’s content, four concluded that Habermas had won. One called the contest a draw. None cast a ballot for Flew. Commented one judge, “I was surprised (shocked might be a more accurate word) to see how weak Flew’s own approach was…. I was left with this conclusion: Since the case against the resurrection was no stronger than that presented by Antony Flew, I would think it was time I began to take the resurrection seriously.” 3 One of five other professional debate judges who evaluated the contestants’ argumentation techniques (again Habermas was the victor) felt compelled to write, “I conclude that the historical evidence, though flawed, is strong enough to lead reasonable minds to conclude that Christ did indeed rise from the dead…. Habermas does end up providing ‘highly probable evidence’ for the historicity of the resurrection ‘with no plausible naturalistic evidence against it.’ Habermas, therefore, in my opinion, wins the debate.” 4 After earning a doctorate from Michigan State University, where he wrote his dissertation on the Resurrection, Habermas received a doctor of divinity degree from Emmanuel College in Oxford, England. He has authored seven books dealing with Jesus rising from the dead, including The Resurrection of Jesus: A Rational Inquiry; The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic; The Historical Jesus; and Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate, which was based on his debate with Flew. Among his other books are Dealing with Doubt and (with J. P. Moreland) Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality. In addition, he coedited In Defense of Miracles and contributed to Jesus under Fire and Living Your Faith: Closing the Gap between Mind and Heart. His one hundred articles have appeared in popular publications (such as the Saturday Evening Post), scholarly journals (including Faith and Philosophy and Religious Studies), and reference books (for example, The Baker Dictionary of Theology). He’s also the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. I don’t mean to suggest by my earlier description that Habermas is unnecessarily combative; he’s friendly and self-effacing in casual conversations. I just wouldn’t want to be on the other side of a hockey puck—or an argument—from him. He has an innate radar that helps him zero in on his opponent’s vulnerable points. He also has a tender side, which I would discover—quite unexpectedly—before our interview was over.” (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, 3733-3758 (Kindle Edition): Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

So who is the liar here, Vel?

How about some more historical evidence, Vel?

How about some of the following for you to consider? Lee Strobel was himself a former atheist, till he started carefully studying the facts.

“I’ll admit it: I was ambushed by the amount and quality of the evidence that Jesus is the unique Son of God. As I sat at my desk that Sunday afternoon, I shook my head in amazement. I had seen defendants carted off to the death chamber on much less convincing proof! The cumulative facts and data pointed unmistakably toward a conclusion that I wasn’t entirely comfortable in reaching. Frankly, I had wanted to believe that the deification of Jesus was the result of legendary development in which well-meaning but misguided people slowly turned a wise sage into the mythological Son of God. That seemed safe and reassuring; after all, a roving apocalyptic preacher from the first century could make no demands on me. But while I went into my investigation thinking that this legendary explanation was intuitively obvious, I emerged convinced it was totally without basis. What clinched it for me was the famous study by A. N. Sherwin-White, the great classical historian from Oxford University, which William Lane Craig alluded to in our interview. Sherwin-White meticulously examined the rate at which legend accrued in the ancient world. His conclusion: not even two full generations was enough time for legend to develop and to wipe out a solid core of historical truth. 1 Now consider the case of Jesus. Historically speaking, the news of his empty tomb, the eyewitness accounts of his post-Resurrection appearances, and the conviction that he was indeed God’s unique Son emerged virtually instantaneously. The 1 Corinthians 15 creed, affirming Jesus’ death for our sins and listing his post-Resurrection appearances to named eyewitnesses, was already being recited by Christians as soon as twenty-four months after the Crucifixion. Mark’s account of the empty tomb was drawn from material that dates back to within a few years of the event itself. The gospels, attesting to Jesus’ teachings, miracles, and resurrection, were circulating within the lifetimes of Jesus’ contemporaries, who would have been only too glad to set the record straight if there had been embellishment or falsehood. The most primitive Christian hymns affirm Jesus’ divine nature. Blomberg summed it up this way: “ Within the first two years after his death, then, significant numbers of Jesus’ followers seem to have formulated a doctrine of the atonement, were convinced that he had been raised from the dead in bodily form, associated Jesus with God, and believed they found support for all these convictions in the Old Testament.” 2 Concluded William Lane Craig, “The time span necessary for significant accrual of legend concerning the events of the gospels would place us in the second century A.D., just the time in fact when the legendary apocryphal gospels were born. These are the legendary accounts sought by the critics.” 3 There was simply nowhere near enough time for mythology to thoroughly corrupt the historical record of Jesus, especially in the midst of eyewitnesses who still had personal knowledge of him. When German theologian Julius Müller in 1844 challenged anyone to find a single example of legend developing that fast anywhere in history, the response from the scholars of his day—and to the present time—was resounding silence. 4 On November 8, 1981, I realized that my biggest objection to Jesus also had been quieted by the evidence of history. I found myself chuckling at how the tables had been turned. In light of the convincing facts I had learned during my investigation, in the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!” (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, 4384-4413 (Kindle Edition): Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

How about some testimony from another famous (former) atheist by the name of J. Wallace?

Wallace applied his expertise as a homicide detective to investigate the Gospels. He believed when he started his investigation that they were not reliable. After all, surely the NT Gospels “contradict each other hilariously,” right?

“My friends knew me as an angry atheist, a skeptic who thoughtfully dissected Christians and the Christian worldview, yet I suddenly found myself reading the Gospels to hear what Jesus had to say. Something about the Gospels caught my attention, more as an investigator than as someone interested in the ancient philosophy of an imaginary sage. By this time in my life, I had already served as a patrol officer and a member of the Gang Detail, the Metro Team (investigating street narcotics), the SWAT Team, and the Crime Impact Team (investigating career criminals). I had interviewed hundreds (if not thousands) of eyewitnesses and suspects. I had become familiar with the nature of eyewitness statements, and I understood how testimony was evaluated in a court of law. Something about the Gospels struck me as more than mythological storytelling. The Gospels actually appeared to be ancient eyewitness accounts. I conducted so many interviews and had such success getting suspects to “cop-out” that my department sent me to a number of investigative schools to refine my skills; I was eventually trained in Forensic Statement Analysis (FSA). By carefully employing this methodology and scrutinizing a suspect’s choice of pronouns, use of tensed language, compression or expansion of time (along with many other linguistic tendencies), I was typically able to determine if he or she committed the crime, and I could often establish the time of day when the crime actually occurred! If this technique could provide me with such incredible insight into the statements of suspects and witnesses, why couldn’t it be used to investigate the claims of the Gospels? I began to use FSA as I studied the gospel of Mark. Within a month, and in spite of my deep skepticism and hesitation, I concluded that Mark’s gospel was the eyewitness account of the apostle Peter. I was beginning to move from a belief that Jesus was a wise teacher to a belief in what He said about Himself. I began a journey from casual assent to committed trust, from belief that to belief in. In my current assignment, I investigate cold-case murders. Unlike other lesser crimes, an unsolved homicide is never closed; time doesn’t run out on a murder investigation. My particular agency has dozens of unsolved murders that remain open, waiting for someone to take the time to reexamine them. There are many similarities between investigating cold cases and investigating the claims of Christianity. Cold-case homicides are events from the distant past for which there is often little or no forensic evidence. These kinds of cases are sometimes solved on the basis of eyewitness testimony, even though many years have passed between the point of the crime and the point of the investigation. While there may not be any surviving eyewitnesses to the actual murder, there are often witnesses available who can help puzzle together the events leading up to the crime or the behavior of a suspect following the crime. These witnesses can be evaluated in a number of ways to confirm their reliability. In the end, a strong “circumstantial” case can usually be made by collecting witness statements and verifying these observations with what little forensic evidence is available. By taking this approach, I have arrested and successfully prosecuted a number of cold-case suspects who thought they had gotten away with murder. Christianity makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little or no forensic evidence. Like cold cases, the truth about what happened can be discovered by examining the statements of eyewitnesses and comparing them with what little additional evidence is accessible to us. If the eyewitnesses can be evaluated (and their statements can be verified by what we have available), an equally strong circumstantial case can be made for the claims of the New Testament. But are there any reliable eyewitness statements in existence to corroborate in the first place? This became the most important question I had to answer in my personal investigation of Christianity. Were the gospel narratives eyewitness accounts, or were they only moralistic mythologies? Were the Gospels reliable, or were they filled with untrustworthy, supernatural absurdities? The most important questions I could ask about Christianity just so happened to fall within my area of expertise.” (J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, 16-18 (Kindle Edition): Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook)


“I decided to investigate the claims of Christianity (to see if they could be defended) before I ever decided to call myself a Christian. My investigation (some of which I described in section 2) led me to conclude that the Gospels were reliable.” ((J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, 255 (Kindle Edition): Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook)

Wallace tells us in another work especially about what we can learn about Jesus from ancient non-Christian sources:

“The pastor’s words piqued my curiosity. How could he—or anyone else—think Jesus was the smartest man in human history? 1 Why did he believe Jesus was God? Why would someone foolish enough to claim this about himself matter to anyone, let alone me? I purchased a small pew Bible to find out. I spent less than seven dollars; I saw no point in wasting money to answer these simple questions. I began to read through the Gospels and found Jesus’s teachings admirable in several ways. He preached a high, counterintuitive moral standard. His concern for the disadvantaged was extraordinary. His love of the disaffected was remarkable. He called his followers to live a life of love, sacrifice, and service. The New Testament recorded the life and teaching of Jesus, along with his miracles, death, and resurrection. I didn’t think any of it was true. Why would someone trust this ancient collection of carefully crafted myths? This tale of a miracle-working Jesus who thought he was God might have been impressive to ancient sheepherders and farmers, but why would anyone raised in the twentieth century (or beyond) believe it? Why would anyone think this ancient, fictional character matters? I spent the next six to eight months trying to determine if the Gospels were anything more than irrelevant fiction. I investigated the claims of the Gospels using every tool I possessed as a detective. I tested the Gospels as eyewitness accounts, investigated the history of early Christianity, evaluated the nuanced differences among the New Testament texts, and applied forensic statement analysis to the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I’ve written about this analysis in Cold-Case Christianity, but there was another important aspect of my investigation I’ve never written about, until now: I also investigated Jesus as if he were a person of interest in a no-body homicide case…“The case for Jesus can be investigated in a similar way. As in the Hayes case, we don’t have Jesus’s body, and we don’t have a “crime scene” to provide us with physical evidence. Despite these limitations, we can still make a case for the historicity and deity of Jesus. We can do it without a body—and without any evidence from the New Testament. You read that correctly. The more I investigated the existence and deity of Jesus, the more I realized the Bible wasn’t the only available source of information. I didn’t need the evidence provided by the Gospels to know the truth about Jesus. If some evil regime had destroyed every Christian Bible before I was born—if there hadn’t been a single New Testament manuscript to testify about the life or deity of Jesus—I would still have been able to determine the truth about him. If I had investigated the case for Jesus like a no-body homicide cold case, I would have discovered everything I needed to know.” (J. Warner Wallace, Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World that Rejects the Bible, 16-17 (Kindle Edition): Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Reflective)

Amazing how that lines up so well with what Habermas learned, isn’t it?

Regarding the alleged contradictions in the New Testament, Wallace deals with this subject in detail. Here is part of what he says:

“As we discussed in chapter 4, one of the most important tasks for a detective is to listen carefully when multiple eyewitnesses provide a statement about what they observed at the scene of a crime. It’s my job to assemble the complete picture of what happened at the scene. No single witness is likely to have seen every detail, so I must piece together the accounts, allowing the observations of one eyewitness to fill in the gaps that may exist in the observations of another eyewitness. That’s why it’s so important for eyewitnesses to be separated before they are interviewed. True, reliable eyewitness accounts are never completely parallel and identical. Instead, they are different pieces of the same puzzle, unintentionally supporting and complementing each other to provide all the details related to what really happened…When I first read through the Gospels forensically, comparing those places where two or more gospel writers were describing the same event, I was immediately struck by the inadvertent support that each writer provided for the other. The accounts puzzled together just the way one would expect from independent eyewitnesses. When one gospel eyewitness described an event and left out a detail that raised a question, this question was unintentionally answered by another gospel writer (who, by the way, often left out a detail that was provided by the first gospel writer)…As a cold-case detective, I’ve experienced something similar to this a number of times. Often, questions an eyewitness raises at the time of the crime are left unanswered until we locate an additional witness years later. This is a common characteristic of true, reliable eyewitness accounts.” (J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, 183-187 (Kindle Edition): Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook).

The evidence is more than sufficient.

//Yep, I am indeed correct when cultists like you aren’t any better than anyone else, and your god doesn’t take care of you at all despite the promises in your bible. You are indeed fallible humans, each making up a god in your own image. Funny how you can’t support your lies about how your god blesses everyone. You have to blame the victim to excuse your god’s failure. Nothing shows that existence, health, etc come from your imaginary friend, dear. You can’t show it exists at all. You simply lie and claim it does. Funny how this god had no patience for those it supposedly performed genocide on. Or gee, does your god change, dear?//

Every good thing that you have in life is a gift from God, Vel, whether you acknowledge and thank Him or not. It is His mercy that has allowed you so much time to repent.

//No one died for me, dear. I’m responsible for my own actions. I am not some greedy cowardly christain like you who needs a scapegoat.//

Someone DID die for you, Vel. His name is Yeshua (Jesus), the Son of God. If you think that you can get by on your own goodness, then you are mistaken. The holiness of God combined with His compassion brought Jesus into this world to provide atonement for sinners like you and me.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21-For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15  and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16  Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

There is a place called Hell, and rebellious unsaved sinners will be sent there. God doesn’t want you to go there, but you will if you reject Jesus. Please don’t turn away from His offer of mercy.

Mark 16:15-16-And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

//Funny how your jesus did promise that they would have an easy go of things, and yep, your bible continually contradicts itself. Funny how it doesn’t provide all you need or protect you from all evil. As I pointed out, the speech about the lilies and Psalm 91 show all of those other verses you’ve quoted as contradictions.//

Jesus never taught that we would have an easy go of things in this world, Vel. Our treasures are laid up for us in Heaven as Christ’s people (Matthew 6:19-21). Jesus said that following Him is like taking up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). We are warned very clearly that we will often have tribulation (John 16:33) and difficult times in this life (Romans 8:31-39). Your references to Psalm 91 are another example of how you don’t understand the difference between a “contradiction” and a “difficulty.” It also demonstrates that you fail to recognize that the Bible uses more than literal language.

//You can’t show any peace, and funny how Christians hate each other more than anyone else when it comes to the various sects.//

The peace that we have as Christians is first and foremost a peace that comes from knowing that God has saved us and is with His people, even in their hardships (Acts 2:38-41; Hebrews 13:5), and that He is working in us, in our circumstances, through us, to bring about good (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). It is a peace that comes from knowing that as God’s people, we are going to win in the end (Revelation 2:10). Enemies of Jesus have been trying to destroy His church for two thousand years, yet we are still here. We will be here to the end (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 28:18-20).

Sadly, denominationalism has been a cause of unbelief, as Jesus said would happen (John 17:20-21). The answer is for humanity to humble itself and come to God through Jesus (Revelation 22:17).

//No hell exists at all, so no need for your “salvation”. No heaven, so no eternal life. No evidence of this god being with people at all, through trials or not.//

Hell is real, Vel. If it is the case that the Bible is the Word of God, and if it is the Bible teaches that Hell is real, then Hell is real. It is the case that the Bible is the Word of God (plenty of evidence presented for you of this fact), and it is the case that the Bible that Hell is real (cf. Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:43-49; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Therefore, Hell is real. Your rejection of the facts does not invalidate the truthfulness of those facts.

//All you have is a set of lies to excuse your god yet again, Mark, that somehow “good” will come out of evil, a fairy tale told to ignorant children.

and gee, which of you self-professed christains are “part of God’s church”. You certainly don’t agree on that at all. Unsurprisingly, Christians don’t receive any blessings at all. Unsurprisingly you try toexcuse the splintering in your cult, and gee, poor impotent god who can’t do anything yet again. The Church of christ is just one more set of liars insisting that only they have the ‘right” version, and again, funny how not a one of you can show this to be the case. The early church was splintered too, so your claim of some golden age where you all agreed is shown by Paul himself to be a lie, when he takes a tantrum and tries to curse any other christains than his version.//

The church is not perfect, Vel. God is still working on us. The church of Christ is a group of imperfect people in need of the perfect Savior and the work of His Spirit in sanctifying us (Romans 8:12-13). The members of God’s church are those believers in Jesus’ Christ identity as the Son of God Who died for us, was buried, and arose again the third day (John 8:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8), are willing to repent of their sin as they confess Him as the Son of God (Luke 13:3; Acts 8:35-37), and are willing to be baptized into Christ (Acts 2:28; 22:16). God adds those saved individuals to His church (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13).

//ROFL. No, Mark, you don’t have any ablity at all. Jesus promises that his true believers will have any prayer answered, without excuse or exception and answered quickly. We have in James that any true blieever will be able to heal injuries and illnesses. Not one of you liars can. Here are some of the verses where you christains fail.//

I am so thankful that you brought up these verses, Vel. They demonstrate again how easily alleged Bible contradictions are dealt with.

//“22 Jesus answered them, ‘Have[b] faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received[c] it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11//

The Bible, like other literature, utilizes various forms of literature that are not always designed to be taken literally. The language of Jesus here is a perfect example.

//“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news[d] to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands,[e] and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’” Mark 16//.

As I have dealt with elsewhere, Mark 16:17-18 applied to the Twelve Apostles of Mark 16:9-14. These promises were not for every Christian. Indeed, the Apostle Paul reminds us that miraculous gifts such as this were temporary (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).

That is not to say that God does not work in the world of man today, even in miraculous fashion, in answer to prayer.

For example:

“A physician picked up Craig Keener’s two-volume book on miracles with one goal in mind: to reinforce his highly skeptical worldview. “I was ready to ‘see through’ yet another theologian who didn’t know much about psychosomatic illnesses, temporary improvements with no long-term follow-up, incorrect medical diagnoses, conversion disorders, faked cures, self-deception, and the like,” he said. But he admitted, “I was blindsided.” After plowing through the philosophical chapters, he came across the thousands of case studies that form the core of Keener’s book—reports of extraordinary healings and other incredible events backed up by eyewitnesses and, in many cases, clear-cut corroborating evidence. “I read them with the critical eye of a skeptic having many years of medical practice under the belt,” the doctor said. Many reports weren’t sufficiently documented to convince him. In other instances, he could envision alternative, naturalistic explanations to account for what happened. But not in all cases. “Not by a long shot,” he said. “I found [hundreds of case studies] to be stunning. They couldn’t just be dismissed with a knowing answer and a cheery wave of the hand. With respect to my worldview, I had had the chair pulled out from underneath me.” 1 Such is the persuasive power of the evidence for many miraculous claims. It’s even enough to win over, well, Keener himself…. My mind flashed to a professor I had interviewed at a highly respected public university. He told me in detail how he had been incredibly healed of a brain tumor after praying to Jesus. But he wouldn’t allow me to publish his story. Why? “I’m up for tenure,” he said. “I’m afraid my colleagues would skewer me.” Nevertheless, Keener told me he “tried to maintain intellectual honesty” in his research and to “follow the clues wherever they led.” And where did those clues take him? “Everywhere I looked, I came across miracle claims that better fit a supernatural explanation than a naturalistic conclusion. Pretty soon, there was a tidal wave of examples.” “Such as?” “Such as . . . ,” he repeated, eager to take up the challenge. Keener mentally scrolled through examples from the case studies he had encountered, and he began speaking in a tone that was at once urgent and earnest. “Cataracts and goiters—instantly and visibly healed,” he said. “Paralytics suddenly able to walk. Multiple sclerosis radically cured. Broken bones suddenly mended. Hearing for the deaf. Sight for the blind. Voices restored. Burns disappearing. Massive hemorrhaging stopped. Failing kidneys cured. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis—gone. Life given back to the dead, even after several hours. “I have accounts from around the world—China, Mozambique, the Philippines, Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Indonesia, South Korea, and other countries. Multiple and independent eyewitnesses with reputations for integrity, including physicians. Names, dates, medical documentation in many cases. There’s even a peer-reviewed scientific study confirming the healing of the deaf. “And the timing is usually the most dramatic element—instantaneous results right after prayers to Jesus. Lots of cancer healings too—malignant brain tumors and reticulum-cell sarcoma, for example—but I didn’t include most of those in the book, since I knew people would write them off as spontaneous remissions. Still, when the remission happens so quickly and completely after specific prayers, that’s very suspicious.” “And your conclusion from all of this is—what?” “That apart from some sort of divine intervention, many of these phenomena seem inexplicable. In other words, a lot of these cases better fit a supernatural explanation than a natural one….. “I knew Keener could go on for hours talking about the cases he unearthed in his admittedly limited survey of miraculous claims. For example, he has accumulated 350 reports just of people who have been healed of blindness. Here are several cases taken at random from his book: • A welder named David Dominong suffered extensive third-and fourth-degree burns when he was electrocuted in October 2002. Hospitalized for more than five weeks, he was told it could be five years until he would be able to walk again. He was confined to a wheelchair and considering amputation when he received prayer and was promptly able to walk and run without assistance. • Dr. Alex Abraham testified to the case of Kuldeep Singh, who had intractable epilepsy to the point where he would lose consciousness during frequent seizures. Ever since Pastor Jarnail Singh prayed that God would heal him fifteen years ago, he has had no more seizures or treatment. Abraham, a neurologist, said the abrupt, permanent, and complete healing of epilepsy this severe is highly unusual. • Matthew Dawson was hospitalized in Australia with confirmed meningitis in April 2007. He was told he would have to remain under hospital care for weeks or months. But he was abruptly healed at the exact moment his father, on another continent, offered prayers for him. • Mirtha Venero Boza, a medical doctor in Cuba, reports that her baby granddaughter’s hand was severely burned by a hot iron, resulting in swelling and skin peeling off. Less than half an hour after prayer, however, the hand was completely healed without medical intervention, as if it had never been burned. • Cambridge University professor John Polkinghorne, one of the world’s foremost scholars on the intersection of science and faith, provides the account of a woman whose left leg was paralyzed in an injury. Doctors gave up trying to treat her, saying she would be an invalid for life. In 1980, she reluctantly agreed to prayer from an Anglican priest. Though she had no expectation of healing, she had a vision in which she was commanded to rise and walk. Said Polkinghorne, who has doctorates in both science and theology, “From that moment, she was able to walk, jump, and bend down, completely without pain.” • Physician John White reports that a woman with a confirmed diagnosis of tuberculosis of the cervical spine had been unable to walk, but she was instantaneously healed after prayer. He said her doctor “was bewildered to find there was no evidence of disease in her body.” Said Keener, “Her illness was certain, her cure permanent, and the witness virtually incontrovertible.” Not only was White the doctor who prayed for her, but he later married her. • Joy Wahnefried, a student at Taylor University in Indiana, suffered from vertical heterophoria, where one eye viewed images at a higher level than the other. This triggered debilitating migraines that could last up to a week. A professor and students prayed for her during three consecutive prayer meetings, and Joy was suddenly healed—her eyesight now 20/ 20 and her incurable medical condition gone. Her eye doctor said she “can’t explain it” and has never seen anything like it in four thousand patients. Keener, who has copies of her before-and-after medical reports, confirmed that she no longer even needs corrective lenses. • A grapefruit-sized flesh-eating ulcer, with the wound going to the bone, was boring through the calf muscle of a seventy-year-old Florida man. After treatments failed, doctors declared the wound incurable and amputation was scheduled. However, one physician laid his hands on the oozing wound and prayed for healing. Recovery began immediately; within four days, the ulcer was melting away and new skin forming. By the following week, the leg was restored to normal. The doctor’s opinion: “It can’t happen on its own. Impossible.” The patient’s wife summed it up: “God’s real. God healed his leg.” 10 • University professor Robert Larmer reports that Mary Ellen Fitch was hospitalized with hepatitis B. She was turning yellow; her abdomen bulged with her swollen liver. She was told she would remain in the hospital for months. After a week, though, she had a deep experience with God and committed her condition to him. The next morning, her blood tests were normal. Bewildered doctors repeatedly tested her, with the same results. Years have now passed, and she remains healed. 11 • The director of a clinic for voice and swallowing disorders reports the case of a fifty-two-year-old man who suffered a severe brain stem stroke in the region of the medulla. Strokes in this location irreversibly damage the ability to swallow. After prayer, though, the man regained his ability to eat and swallow normally. The patient told the startled experts, “I know, it’s a miracle.” This was the only such recovery the clinic’s director had seen in fifteen years.” (Lee Strobel, The Case for Miracles: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Supernatural, 95-113 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan)

//“7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7//

God answers this prayer for His people every day, Vel. When we keep asking, seeking, and knocking (notice the continual tense of the verbs here that are evident from the Greek, implying repetition), the Lord does answer.

//“1 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[e] for anything, I will do it.” John 14. “ 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “ John 15//

This was spoken to the Twelve Apostles, Vel.

Remember: context, context.

//“13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.” James 5. And still failing with the praying, Mark. You must not be a true believer per your god.//

This was spoken to others in the first century who received miraculous gifts through the laying on of the Apostles hands (see Acts 8:14-19; 2 Timothy 1:6).

Again, context.

Vel, I have enjoyed our discussion. I am praying for you, and hope that we can continue our discourse. Thank you for doing such an interesting job presenting atheism. I hope that you will one day turn your life to Christ and become a member of His church (Acts 2:37-47).

To everyone else who is reading this exchange, thank you for taking time to consider. Vel has done an admirable job representing atheism. What you are seeing is the weakness of the system, not the weakness of the man.

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