Cross Examination: A New Series

Today, I’m launching my new series called “Cross Examination: Is Debunking Christianity Possible?” The purpose of this series is for the examination of my own faith.

Bible

As I said before, in this series, I will delve into the questions about Christianity that both drive people from the church (as on ExChristian.net), and those questions that keep people from ever entering the church in the first place.  There was one person, in a comment on ExChristian.net, that said, “only someone who has nothing to say could drag this out for a whole year.  Try 52 minutes… and you’re done!”

Contrary to this person’s opinion, there is much debate over the existence of God, the accuracy of the Bible, and the morality of the Bible (just to name a few controversies).  And, just because Sam Harris or William Lane Craig says something on their blog, or in a book, doesn’t make it the truth.  I prefer to read widely, and from each corner of the debate.  This will take some time.

Here’s the approach that I will take to my study: I will begin with general topics, and move toward more specific topics.  For example, today’s post is on how we can know truth.  It’s a philosophical principle, and not one directly related to Christianity, but the implications of how one handles truth are foundational to how one views the Bible and Christianity.  From the general principles, I will move to the more specific debates.

Here are some books that I intend to read in the course of my study (many of them have been recommended to me by members of ExChristian.net):

I realize that there are people on ExChristian.net who have done a lot of reading about these issues, and I’m happy to host any criticisms that they might have.  In fact, if you have an opposing viewpoint that you would like to air, I am willing to post your thoughts on my website for everyone to read!  You can contact me through the “Contact Me” link, and include your thoughts and email address.  Here are the guidelines for things that I will post:

  • They must be between 500-1,000 words
  • Your post must be original and not previously published either on the Web or in print.
  • They must not be mere rants or personal (ad hominem) attacks.  They must add to the discussion or debate, and must  be well-written.  I reserve the right to reject a post if I have to make too many edits for it to be readable.
  • They must be related to something on which I’ve already posted.  If you have thoughts about something I have NOT posted, you can suggest a topic to me via the Contact Me page.
  • I will likely copyedit your post for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.  If I make substantive changes (unlikely), I will email the post back to you for your approval before posting.

If you would like to see any of the precursor posts to this series, here’s a list:

  • Pious_Ted

    Bob,

    If you are going to invest the time to read those books, I would suggest including ‘Why I Became an Atheist’ by John W. Loftus.

    I think there should also be something by Bart Ehrman in the list.  ‘Forged’ is a popular book by him.

    If you do carefully read each of those books with an open mind, I believe you are about to embrace cognitive dissonance on a grand scale.

    Best wishes on your spiritual journey.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Thanks, Ted. I’ll add these to my list.

    • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

      So, by stating …”If you do carefully read each of those books with an open mind, I believe you are about to embrace cognitive dissonance on a grand scale.”… Are you saying that if he does not come to the same conclusions after reading those books as you did that he did not in fact read it carefully or with an open mind? I am not attempting to trap you, but I am trying to establish up front that he (Bob) may come to his own conclusions, if he does, it won’t be because he wasn’t open minded…Agreed?

      • Anonymous

        “Are you saying that if he does not come to the same conclusions after reading those books as you did that he did not in fact read it carefully or with an open mind?” ~ Broc 

        For the record, this is nearly the same question I asked Bob upon his visit to the Ex-christian site:

        Me, to Bob: I see the term “open mind” a  few times. My question then becomes, is it possible to have an “open mind”, but yet, find the evidence[for Christianity], and/or, what you “dealt with in an earlier post” unconvincing? Yes or no?

        He never gave a definitive “yes” or “no”, but his response alluded to a “no”, as seen in bold, here:

        “The term ‘open mind’ is used in this sense: I believe many people come into contact with some Christians (whether they be doctrinally ill-informed, or just jerks) that turn them off to Christianity. This emotional reaction can be powerful, and can make them WANT to disprove Christianity. When you have an ‘open mind’, you don’t approach Christianity with an ‘I must disprove them’ mentality. I believe (and this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong) that most, if not all, of the intellectual objections to Christian can be satisfactorily answered.” ~ Bob

        It should be pointed out that Bob left several pointed questions put to him unanswered, and many of these questions were directly related to the “intellectual objections” to Christianity. IOW, if there are satisfactory answers to these objections, he didn’t give any.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Jordan, I agree that there are significant intellectual objections to
          Christianity, and I acknowledged in my post that these are things that
          people object to in Christianity (see my post, “What’s Wrong With
          Christianity?”).

          As I said in my post about truth today, there are certain things that are
          mutually exclusive, one of them being the existence of God. God cannot both
          exist and not exist. Now, I acknowledge that I come from a background of
          faith. But, I’m approaching this with an open mind. I’m not going to
          immerse myself in either Christian apologetics books or atheistic apologetic
          books. I will read both with a critical eye, and see where it leads me.

          It’s futile to say, at this point, that one conclusion or the other proves
          that I have a closed mind.

          If you have suggestions on books that I should read, Jordan, please feel
          free to recommend them to me. I’m happy to pursue all viewpoints.

          • Anonymous

            I see it’s in reply to me, but who’s “Jordan”?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sorry. It has been corrected.

        • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

          I did not go over to “ex-Christian.net” so I was not aware of the that discussion, however given the excerpts you have shown, I have a slightly different take on it than Bob, which isn’t surprising considering that he even said it was just his opinion; My take is all this debate and discussion is actually centered around is the Christian faith justifiable? Is it a reasonable faith to have? Not scientifically “proving or disproving” Atheist beliefs or Christian beliefs, but does your belief system hold water? Perhaps I have made an incorrect observation, if so, I know everyone’s comments will let me know about it. 
           
          As to the questions asked and not answered, there were A LOT of “questions” I mean some post had like a 30 point bulletin board which is why he has started an entire series of blog post…an effort to answer most if not all of those questions.  If you feel there was something specific you wanted an answer to I will try to find an answer for you, but please be concise, I don’t have the time to write a novel on Atheist questions.

          • Anonymous

            “I did not go over to ‘ex-Christian.net’ so I was not aware of the that discussion”
            I was simply making an observation; I was not in anyway suggesting that anyone here (aside from Bob) should have known about “that discussion”.

            “I have a slightly different take on it than Bob, which isn’t surprising considering that he even said it was just his opinion;”

            I’m perfectly aware of this, since I generally make it a habit of reading anything I happen to quote. In any case, if Bob “could be wrong” about there being satisfactory answers “to most, if not all” of the “intellectual objections”, etc, then it seems to me that that would have been an opportune time to find out…i.e..stick around and address one or two of the tough questions posed to him. But like I said, that’s just me. 

            “My take is all this debate and discussion is actually centered around is the Christian faith justifiable?”

            What is “justifiable” may differ from person-to-person(subjective). The question is, is one’s “justification” based on evidence that is objective? A Mormon’s beliefs are obviously “justifiable” to them, or else they wouldn’t be Mormons. Whether there’s objective evidence for what they deem “justifiable”, is another ball of wax.

            “Not scientifically ‘proving or disproving’ Atheist beliefs or Christian beliefs, but does your belief system hold water?”

            A position of neutrality doesn’t need “proving”, scientifically, or otherwise. You are attempting to put naturalism and supernaturalism on equal grounds. Atheism is a perfectly reasonable response to a claim, namely, a supernatural claim. It is NOT “a belief”..e.g.. “Atheist beliefs”, etc…it is lack of belief. 

            “If you feel there was something specific you wanted an answer to I will try to find an answer for you, but please be concise, I don’t have the time to write a novel on Atheist questions.”

            Forgive me, but just a brief interaction with you on another thread doesn’t leave me hopeful that we can make progress. I think you let it fizzle out after one or two exchanges.  There were barely enough words to constitute a “foreword”, let alone a “novel”.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            “i.e..stick around and address one or two of the tough questions posed to him. But like I said, that’s just me. “
            He is answering the questions in a series of blog post, I am sorry if that isn’t to your liking, however that is why I asked if you had something specific you wanted answered.

            It is NOT “a belief”..e.g.. “Atheist beliefs”, etc…it is lack of belief.Listen you can call it Atheist beliefs, or a belief system or a lack of belief or whatever, that is just arguing semantics, you believe there is no god. I don’t really care about nitpicking words. 

             
            …”Atheism is a perfectly reasonable response to a claim, namely, a supernatural claim.”
            I can not speak to how “reasonable” a claim of Atheism really is depending on whether you simply do not believe in Christianity or of any god.  You can frame the argument that Atheism is “reasonable” but I find it just as unreasonable as you probably find Christianity. 
             

            “…but just a brief interaction with you on another thread doesn’t leave me hopeful that we can make progress.”
             Ok, np just thought I would ask.

          • Anonymous

            “He is answering the questions in a series of blog post, I am sorry if that isn’t to your liking, however that is why I asked if you had something specific you wanted answered.”

            Then perhaps he’ll address the specific objections raised to him, there, in his “series”. So far, he doesn’t have a good track-record of framing non-believer’s objections accurately. In any event, he has an open invitation to come back to where he came to address my objections.

            “Listen you can call it Atheist beliefs, or a belief system or a lack of belief or whatever, that is just arguing semantics, you believe there is no god. I don’t really care about nitpicking words.”

            Well then, unfortunately for you, I guess, that words in the human language have meaning. ‘ Bummer. 

            In any case, no… I do NOT “believe there is no god”. If you cannot (OR will not) concede the two statements, “I have no belief in God”…and…  “I believe there is no God!”, have different implications and meanings, then I’m afraid conversation w/you will be pointless. It’s not the first time a Theist/Atheist exchange has come to a halt because of one’s ignorance of the other’s position, and it won’t be the last.

            “I can not speak to how ‘reasonable’ a claim of Atheism really is depending on whether you simply do not believe in Christianity or of any god. You can frame the argument that Atheism is ‘reasonable’ but I find it just as unreasonable as you probably find Christianity. “

            I don’t want to bore or tax you with word-meanings, but an “Atheist”, by definition,  disbelieves in all god..i.e..your “God”; his “God”; her “God”, the next guy’s “God”. We don’t discriminate.  

            Here’s what I find interesting, though: If there is a list of one hundred gods, all who have been claimed to exist throughout history by collective billions, and yet, one of those gods is “Yahweh”, you would no doubt find it “reasonable” that I disbelieve in 99% of the list, since you disbelieve in that percentage, yourself. Yet, you (might) find it “unreasonable” that I disbelieve in one extra god. I find that simply astonishing(if true). Not-to-mention, you would be 99% “Atheist”, and only 1% Theist. Oh, boy!

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            This made me laugh…its to your point.

            http://youtu.be/d0A4_bwCaX0 

          • Anonymous

            Yes, I’m a fan. It makes the point well.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            …I do NOT “believe there is no god”.
            So is that atheist speak for you believe in a god just not the Christian god/any organized religion? I am perfecting fine with understanding nuance or debating issues, just not pettifogging an issue with semantics. I would prefer an open discussion vs. an argument when each sides is trying to “score points,”

          • Anonymous

            Previously, me..…I do NOT “believe there is no god”.

            Again, the question was, do you understand the distinction between the above, and if I say, “I don’t have a belief in God”? A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice. 

            “So is that atheist speak for you believe in a god just not the Christian god/any organized religion?

            So, is that Christianese for, “I don’t want to (or can’t) answer your question”

            ?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            “…So, is that Christianese for, “I don’t want to (or can’t) answer your question”? LOL…NICE
             Yes I recognize the difference however my questions were an attempt to identify what type of atheist you are, besides a godless heathen I mean, j/k.
             

            “…Would you want to understand an Atheist’s position, if you could? Yes, or no?”
            You talk as if Atheism is some difficult concept to grasp I understand Atheism just fine, I simply do not agree with the conclusion you draw.

          • Anonymous

            “Yes I recognize the difference however my questions were an attempt to identify what type of atheist you are, besides a godless heathen I mean, j/k.” 

            Thanks for tagging the humor to clarify that you were ‘just kidding’. Sadly, many of your Christian constituents believe precisely that….that people who don’t believe in “God” are heathens who cannot be moral. Absurd. 

            In any event, since you recognize the distinction, I am the type of Atheist who, while I recognize that invisible, conscious beings cannot be falsified, I do not harbor a belief in such “things”, especially those whose attributes contradict….e.g..the Xian biblegod. In fact, I am every bit as sure that said character does not exist, as I am that “married bachelors” do not exist.

            Previously, me: …Would you want to understand an Atheist’s position, if you could? Yes, or no?

            you respond: “You talk as if Atheism is some difficult concept to grasp I understand Atheism just fine[…]”

            Really? I’m not convinced.  Previously, you asserted: “you believe there is no god”

            To recap, I’m an Atheist, and I do not take the position that,  “there is no god”. Maybe ‘Poseidon’ actually sits at the bottom of the ocean, undetected. I certainly cannot “disprove” it, and neither can you.

            “[…] I simply do not agree with the conclusion you draw.”

            Disagree all you’d like. Say it from the highest mountain top. The burden of proof lies squarely in your lap if you want me to “draw” a different “conclusion”. That said, we can procede and attempt to find some common ground, or we can call it off. I’m presumably going to get what I “deserve” in the end, anyway, right?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            “…that people who don’t believe in “God” are heathens who cannot be moral.”
            Yes, by man’s standards certainly Atheist can be good “moral” people. By man’s standards Atheist can be great parents and everything else.  That arrogance of “religious” types is not biblical, in fact, Christians should be the most humbled because we SHOULD see the before and after of God in our lives and understand the helplessness that unsaved people have to deal with.  We are not perfect ourselves and struggle everyday to live out God’s standard in our lives.
             
             
            “I am the type of Atheist who, while I recognize that invisible, conscious beings cannot be falsified.  I do not harbor a belief in such “things”, especially those whose attributes contradict..e.g..the Xian bible god. In fact, I am every bit as sure that said character does not exist, as I am that “married bachelors” do not exist.”
            You were so close…I followed you through until you said on one hand being cannot be falsified by then go on to say that you have made up your mind that the god of the Bible does not exist.  How do you marry these two contradictory ideas?
             
             
            “The burden of proof lies squarely in your lap if you want me to “draw” a different “conclusion”
            I will not debate who has the burden of proof…there is no 2+2=4 proof that will ever be available to you, even if Jesus tomb was found and DNA test were done and everything was published there will still be questions unanswered, there will still be a need for faith, until the triumphal return of Jesus Christ, however at that point it will be too late.

          • Anonymous

            “Yes, by man’s standards certainly Atheist can be good ‘moral’ people. By man’s standards Atheist can be great parents and everything else.”

            Gee, thanks, I feel so ‘blessed’ to have your seal of approval.

            But back to reality, I would argue that “man’s standard” is BETTER than your biblegod’s “standard”, and here’s why: If I witnessed my child in grave danger –  for instance, being mugged and beaten by some thugs – I wouldn’t stand by and watch with arms folded, worrying about whether I might be infringing upon those poor, poor thug’s “freewill”. No, like any good and MORAL parent, my child’s safety comes *before* the thug’s “freewill”. In fact, this is how sane people know that “man’s standard” of what is “good” is better than that of “God”. We, you included if you have kids, are BETTER parents than “God”.

            “That arrogance of “religious” types is not biblical, in fact, Christians should be the most humbled because we SHOULD see the before and after of God in our lives and understand the helplessness that unsaved people have to deal with.”

            Then I guess you’re the “religious” type, too, because you have no frickin’ idea how arrogant you sound right now. Calling your fellow human beings “unsaved” is one thing, calling them helpless? Tell me how I am “helpless”, and please provide a demonstrable example—-mind you, you don’t know jack-squat about me, so this should interesting.

            “We are not perfect ourselves and struggle everyday to live out God’s standard in our lives.”

            Yes, and it’s interesting to me why “Christians” struggle so much when they presumably have an indwelling “Holy Spirit” living right there inside of them, one who is supposedly “guiding” them 24/7 in everyday life.

            “You were so close…I followed you through until you said on one hand being cannot be falsified by then go on to say that you have made up your mind that the god of the Bible does not exist.  How do you marry these two contradictory ideas?”

            They’re not at all “contradictory”, and very simply, this is how I “marry” them: 

            Perhaps a generic, incomprehensible, unknowable, invisible being exists somewhere out there in the cosmos. I certainly cannot disprove such a being, simply because of his/her/it being undefined and unknowable, etc. On the other hand, your object of worship, the Xian biblegod, is no such “God”. It most certainly has been assigned very specific attributes by the redactors of the bible. At least four of which include, “omniscience”,  “omnipotence”, “timelessness”, “omnipresence”.  The former two and the latter two are mutually exclusive.

            “I will not debate who has the burden of proof…”

            There’s nothing to “debate”.

            “there is no 2+2=4 proof that will ever be available to you[…]”

            I’m not looking for a “proof”; I’m looking for some evidence, excluding anecdotal and revelation,  both of which can make any religion “true”.

            “even if Jesus tomb was found and DNA test were done and everything was published there will still be questions unanswered, there will still be a need for faith […]”

            If you’re conceding that it boils down to “faith”, then all discussion about “proofs” and such is pointless.

            “until the triumphal return of Jesus Christ, however at that point it will be too late.”

            Yes, yes…”too late”. Now, Broc, is that a “yes” to my previous question about getting what “deserve”? 

            Here, I’ll even make it easy for you. Multiple choice:

            a) yes

            b) no

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            we are getting squeezed….back to top

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            its actally got posted below

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    I think that the most difficult thing about this series is going to be establishing an idea like “truth” and then having that idea actual carry over to the subsequent blog posts which come after it; because you will be building a foundation first and then going more specific.  It will become very tiresome to rehash the exact same debates over and over. Do you foresee this issue as well? If so, will comments be more subject to blog author (Bob) discretion, or how will this problem be handled?

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    “…I wouldn’t stand by and watch with arms folded worrying about whether I might be infringing upon those poor, poor thug’s “freewill…”
    So as an example that god either A.) Does not exist or B.) Is not moral, you put out an example of sin.  Even though god hates sin, does not tolerate sin and it was mankind who brought sin into the world by disobeying the first of god’s instructions to them. You use it as an example against god. Wow, so much to try and set straight.  God’s design for our world was the perfect, the world you and I truly want, a world without evil. God created the world that way and placed man in the world; all we had to do was not screw it up.  Mankind screwed up the world by going against god and there was fallout from that point on, you cant unring that bell. Sin created barrier between man and god.   Until man puts god in the correct perspective he will struggle to understand the happenings around us.  Bob posted a blog about this however it is not all inclusive. http://bobewoldt.com/problem-of-evil/
     
     
    …”Calling your fellow human beings “unsaved” is one thing, calling them helpless? Tell me how I am “helpless”, and please provide a demonstrable example—-mind you, you don’t know jack-squat about me, so this should be interesting…”
    I am sorry if I upset you, would you prefer “non-believer” it was not my intension to belittle you.  Regarding the term helpless, sure I could provide examples but if they are simply going to anger you further perhaps it would be better if I did not. 
     
     
    “…it’s interesting to me why “Christians” struggle so much when they presumably have an indwelling “Holy Spirit” living right there inside of them…”
    The Holy Spirit isn’t a body snatcher, when you become a Christian you do not turn into a “god robot”, you are still a man with desires and emotions.  The same temptations you dealt with before you deal with as a Christian.  You still sin, sometimes unintentional, sometimes intentionally but god should always be in your life, working on you, making you better.  Being a Christian does not magically make you a better person.  It is about submitting to god and allowing him to make changes in you.
     
    “…If you’re conceding that it boils down to “faith”, then all discussion about “proofs” and such is pointless…”
    I have no problem conceding that faith is a part of belief in god. Unfortunately Atheist believe “faith” to be a unfounded, unreasonable, illogical, weak crutch that Christian use far too often.  Fundamentally we view faith in very different ways. 
     
    “…is that a “yes” to my previous question about getting what I “deserve”?…
    Yes of course there will be judgment, but it is not be mine to give.  I will not say what you deserve and do not deserve, that is not my place. However since you do not have any belief in god this judgment shouldn’t really worry you.  

    • Anonymous

      “So as an example that god either A.) Does not exist or B.) Is not moral, you put out an example of sin.”

      Yes, I did use that as an example, and frankly, I’m really amazed that this would trouble you. After all, “sin” is the leading apologetic(excuse) that Christians use when attempting to “square-up” the  “problem of evil”. And let’s have a look at the thread’s title, too.  It’s “Cross Examination”? Remember? 

      “Even though god hates sin, does not tolerate sin[…]'”

      No, god evidently does tolerate it. We’re all “sinners” living in a “sinful” and fallen world, right? Yes, if nothing else, the world is worse than it was. And yet, “God” hasn’t drowned the entire planet like he (supposedly) did back in the day when he was all miffed about “sin”. Why do you suppose that is? It’s been several thousand years, and the world’s supposed “Savior” hasn’t come to fix things. Gee, idk,  if I couldn’t “tolerate” something; if I was thoroughly disgusted by something, I wouldn’t wait thousands of years to do something about it. But again, that’s just me.

       “and it was mankind who brought sin into the world by disobeying the first of god’s instructions to them.”

      There are several problems with your apologetic, problems that make it thoroughly unconvincing. I’ll deal with just two: 

      1) The supposed first two human prototypes, “Adam & Eve”, had not eaten from the supposed “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” before they were led into temptation by the, uh, talking snake. Thus, they had zero frame of reference for “right” behavior, and “wrong” behavior. They would not have known it was “wrong” to disobey “Yahweh” any more than a two yr-old would know it’s “wrong” to disobey daddy.  Therefore, you have a blatant chronology error on your hands.

      2)  You say “mankind” did things like brought “sin” into the world and disobeyed, yadda, yadda, when it was only two people who made that fatally poor decision. Okay, if two people can make a wrong decision on my behalf(and the rest of humankind),  then you should be able to decide to accept Jesus into your heart on my behalf. Will that work?  If not, why not?…..please reconcile the blatant double-standard. Why can someone do something wrong on my behalf, but someone cannot do something right on my behalf. Listening.

      “[…]so much to try and set straight.

      “God” is (allegedly) guiding you. The words should come easily, and they should make sense…. well, if you and “God” expect me to be convinced by them. If you don’t expect that, the fine. Stop responding.

      “God’s design for our world was the perfect, the world you and I truly want, a world without evil. God created the world that way and placed man in the world; all we had to do was not screw it up.”

      Again, who is “WE”?[capitalization added] ***Please try to follow, will you? This decision to eat the bad, bad piece of fruit happened before I even existed.  You are making an utter mockery of “freewill”. 

      And until you get back to me, there’s yet another glaring problem: If “God” so, so wanted “a world without evil”, then he should have/could have just created “Heaven”, and bypassed the bad, unwanted stuff. Undoubtedly, this is where you’ll play your “freewill” card, and if so, I beg of you to rip that card up and put it where it belongs..i.e..in the trash. Broc, if people can exist in location “A”(heaven) without “evil”, while retaining their “freewill”, then logic says that people can exist in location “B”(earth) without “evil”, while retaining their “freewill”.

      “Mankind screwed up the world by going against god and there was fallout from that point on, you cant unring that bell.”

      Two people =/= “Mankind”. Your premise is fallacious(not to mention, patently absurd)

      “Until man puts god in the correct perspective he will struggle to understand the happenings around us.”

      Until Xians proffer some good reasons to believe in the nonsensical propositions put forth in their bibles, they will struggle to understand why there are nonbelievers.

      “The Holy Spirit isn’t a body snatcher, when you become a Christian you do not turn into a ‘god robot’, you are still a man with desires and emotions. The same temptations you dealt with before you deal with as a Christian.”

      Then it would follow that if you are a “Disciple of God”, a “New Creation”, a “True Christian”, etc., etc., but yet, you still have “desires” or “emotions” that might be frowned upon by “God”, then those desires and emotions will be removed when you get to “heaven”. Right? ” Sounds an awful lot like a “god robot” to me.

      “I have no problem conceding that faith is a part of belief in god. Unfortunately Atheist believe ‘faith’ to be a unfounded, unreasonable, illogical, weak crutch that Christian use far too often.”

      The plural of “Christian” would be “Christians”, right? Right, as is more than one “Atheist” would be “Atheists“. 

      Knit-picking aside, Muslims have no problem conceding that  “faith” is part of their belief in “Allah”. As a Christian, don’t you believe that their “faith” is things like “unfounded” and “unreasonable”? Yes, or no?

      “Yes of course there will be judgment[….]”

      Notice, I did not ask you whether or not “there will be judgment”.

      “[…] but it is not be mine to give.”

      Notice, I did NOT ask you if it was yours to give.

      “I will not say what you deserve and do not deserve, that is not my place.”

      Ah, the typical answer I get…i.e..pass the buck. Fine. I’ll ask the question another way. ‘K? 

       **If “God” says I deserve “hell”, and if “God” is “Perfectly Just”, and if you believe that  “God is Perfect” in every conceivable way, then do you believe that my going to “Hell” is a “good” and “just” sentence?

      a) yes

      b) no

      “However since you do not have any belief in god this judgment shouldn’t really worry you.”

      You’re right, I’m not worried about “hell”. BTW, you can call what it is. No need for watered-down euphemisms like “judgment”. In any case, while I’m not worried, I am slightly mystified when Christians who profess that “God” is “Righteous” and “Just” and “Perfect” in every possible way, will not get on board when it comes to nonbelievers going to “hell”. There’s a perfectly good (and obvious) reason for this. Regardless, I’ll give benefit of doubt and look for an answer to this** question, above.

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        “…No, god evidently does tolerate it…”
        Once again you do not have the correct perspective, when saying god does not tolerate sin, what that is saying , is that man can not have a relationship with god until that sin is dealt within…Not that since sin exists it is god’s responsibility…no the relationship that god had with man was broke by sin..yours, mine, everyones. That relationship can not be restored until the sin is dealt with.  i.e. Jesus death, the perfect sacrifice for sin and for all those who accept Jesus as their savior, god accepts that (Christ death) as payment for our sin and no longer counts it(our sin) against us.  It is ONLY through Jesus that our relationship with god can be restored.
         
         
        “…God” hasn’t drowned the entire planet like he (supposedly) did back in the day when he was all miffed about “sin”. Why do you suppose that is…”
        Quick answer: Because He (god) promised not to (Genesis 9:11)
         
         
        “… There are several problems with your apologetic, problems that make it thoroughly unconvincing…”
        1.       First of all, I do not know if this tree had magically powers to grant knowledge or if it was simply the act of disobedience itself that created that knowledge of good and evil; however man knew what good was because they had been doing good until the point of sin.  However did not know wrong/evil/sin until they had done it and eaten the fruit/fig/apple whatever.  This is not an error, a child do not need to know how to disobey to know how to obey.
        2.       Adam and Eve did not sin FOR YOU, however by committing the first sin they were no longer perfect hence the offspring were no longer perfect either. That sin nature which they created was pasted down to every descendent (mankind).  The sin of Adam and Eve isn’t held against you, you own sin will be held against you…that’s about as clear as mud huh…sorry
         
         
        “…God” is (allegedly) guiding you. The words should come easily, and they should make sense…. well, if you and “God” expect me to be convinced by them. If you don’t expect that, the fine. Stop responding.”
        I believe I have covered this I am not a god robot and I have tried my best to answer the questions you do have with the limited knowledge I have gained, however if your intention is to only attack my beliefs with no intent of accepting them or having an open mind, which is the way you are coming across; Yes you are correct this dialog may not have the purpose I thought it would. 
         
        “…Two people =/= “Mankind…”
        You seemed to be very bothered by Adam and Eve and the thought of original sin, so lets put that behind us.  Let make a fantasy land where you and I were born perfect.  Let just deal with you and me. Since birth you have sinned.  You are a sinner, just as I have sinned and am a sinner. WE are not acceptable by god as we are because of our sin, however because god loves us, HE created a way for us to become redeemed from sin.  You see that, not tolerating sin, however still loving us.  I have accepted Jesus as my savior, because of the Jesus becomes my advocate to god.  Those who do not accept Jesus have no advocate, they get held accountable. 
         
         
        “…those desires and emotions will be removed when you get to “heaven”. Right? ” Sounds an awful lot like a “god robot” to me…”
        I have no idea “how” heaven will work…I have never been, but I am looking forward to finding out.  (Did your head just explode…lol)
         
         
        “…Muslims have no problem conceding that “faith” is part of their belief in “Allah”. As a Christian, don’t you believe that their “faith” is things like “unfounded” and “unreasonable”? Yes, or no?…”
        Islam and Christianity have many things in common, however one believes that you can do enough good works to earn salvation and the other recognizes a savior in Jesus.  So while the similarities are high the differences are glaring.  I know I did not answer your question, I don’t find it necessary to answer on opinion of Islam considering the topic at hand. 

        “…Notice, I did not ask you whether or not “there will be judgment”…”
        You were inquiring about “getting what I deserve” and whether you acknowledge it or not you were referring to god’s judgment on you, so I do not believe my use of the word was out of place.
         
         
        “If “God” says I deserve “hell”, and if “God” is “Perfectly Just”, and if you believe that “God is Perfect” in every conceivable way, then do you believe that my going to “Hell” is a “good” and “just” sentence?”
        I do not know and can never know what you “deserve”; however speaking biblical, there is only one way, truth and life and no one goes to father but through Jesus.  I am sure you have had enough bible knowledge to understand what that means.

        • Anonymous

          “[…] when saying god does not tolerate sin, what that is saying , is that man can not have a relationship with god until that sin is dealt within…”

          Irrelevant conclusion. Yes, I understand this part—-“sinful”, wretched “man” cannot have a “relationship with god” until/unless “sin is dealt with”. Fine. That stipulation, however, doesn’t address the point I raised, and that is that “God”, who you argue “CANNOT TOLERATE SIN”[capitalization, mine], has been tolerating it for TWO
          THOUSAND-plus, years. In fact, there is more “sin” and there are more “sinners”
          inhabiting the earth right now than back when your “God” decided that drowning
          the earth was the only way to deal with “sin”.  And yes, I know that you think “God”
          is dealing with “sin” another way, as seen here…..

          “Jesus death, the perfect sacrifice for sin and for all those who accept Jesus as their savior, god accepts that (Christ death) as payment for our sin and no longer counts it(our sin) against us.” ~ Broc

          Let’s see….”Jesus death, the perfect sacrifice”.  So, you are PRO-blood sacrifice, are you?  Do you have any idea how barbaric those words sound? A blood sacrifice, all so that an ALL-powerful “God” could forgive some lowly humans and so that Broc and his church buddies can run around their church and feel “blessed” about it? From the outside looking in, that is pathetic. But my opinion aside, the fact that “sin” has been paid for by a blood sacrifice doesn’t do anything at all about removing the “sin” that biblegod so cannot tolerate. Certain elect are “forgiven”, yes, but they are still “sinners”. The earth is rampant with “sin”, and I am to believe that “God” cannot tolerate it. I’m sorry, you’ll have to do better.
           
          “It is ONLY through Jesus that our relationship with god can be restored.

          Splendid—begging the question, but nice. Okay, have my “sins” been paid for, or not?

          a) yes

          b) no

          “Quick answer: Because He (god) promised not to (Genesis 9:11)”

          Quick logical conclusion:  “God” would rather be tolerant of “sin” and “sinners” than change his mind. That right there shows you just how much he “does not tolerate sin”. But that was really nice of him to promise not to drown us again. I’m glad you find comfort in that.

          “First of all, I do not know if this tree had magically powers to grant knowledge or if it was simply the act of disobedience itself that created that knowledge of good and evil; however man knew what good was because they had been doing good until the point of sin”

          I can appreciate your effort, but your revised argument still suffers from the same problem: A & E could not have known that they were “doing good”, because they had no frame of reference. Read your bible, and pay attention to the sequence of events.

          “This is not an error, a child do
          not need to know how to disobey to know how to obey.”

          You are wrong. A child either knows what it means to “obey”, or he or she does not know. If he or she does know, then he or she knows when/if he or she is “disobeying”. If he or she doesn’t know what it means to “obey”, then he or she doesn’t know what it means to “disobey”. Nowhere in the sequence of events in the garden does it say the newly created beings were taught what it means to “obey”. If your argument is that they were “made in God’s image”, and thus, they knew what “obey” meant, then it’s logical to conclude that they never would have disobeyed inthe first place, since “God” is “perfect” and therefore cannot create imperfection.

           You can’t have it both ways. They were either created perfect, or they were created imperfect.

          “Adam and Eve did not sin FOR YOU, however by committing the first sin they were no longer perfect hence the offspring were no longer perfect either”

          That is patently preposterous. There is not one scrap of evidence that making “good” or “bad” decisions is  passed on from generation to generation. Was Jeffrey Dahmer’s mom a canniblistic killer? Were Bonnie and Clyde’s cousins bank robbers? Again, preposterous, and yet, you wonder why people can’t believe this stuff. But since you believe it, let me ask you this: 

          Had Adam & Co. NOT eaten the magical, mystical fruit, would they and the rest of mankind be “inherently good”..i.e..never capable of making an imperfect choice? 

          a) yes

          b) no

          “I believe I have covered this I am not a god robot […]”

          Let’s review: You said [paraphrased]… Christians STILL have all the desires and emotions of everyone else(implying, the same emotions/desires as we “unsaved” folk). Well, if that is true, you’ll either go to heaven with those desires/emotions, or they’ll be removed. If the latter – if those emotions/desires are removed and you are unable to give into temptation(or if temptation is removed) – that is no different than a robot being programmed to never give into temptation. Best of luck w/that.  

          “and I have tried my best to answer the questions you do have with the limited knowledge I have gained”

          I appreciate your taking the time to engage. I’m merely saying that I find your answers to my questions very wanting. If nothing else, maybe fence-sitters can see the exchange and judge for themselves who makes more sense. 

          ” however if your intention is to only attack my beliefs with no intent of accepting them or having an open mind”

          There’s that term “open mind” yet one more time.  Is it possible that I can find your arguments unconvincing and still be open-minded? Or is Atheism and “open-mindedness” mutually exclusive?

          “which is the way you are coming across”

          Aside from reconverting, what can I do to “come across” in a way you find acceptable? I find your arguments unconvincing, just as I do all Xian apologetics.  I know you can’t see it, but I really find some of what you say offensive, too. For instance, the bit about “helplessness” was/is highly offensive.

          “Yes you are correct this dialog
          may not have the purpose I thought it would. “

          Sure it can have purpose. Again, if nothing else, lurking Christians who may be experiencing doubt can decide if they want to pursue that doubt, or simply sweep it under the carpet and justhave more “faith”. 

          “Let make a fantasy land where you and I were born perfect.  Let just deal with you and me. Since birth you have sinned.”

          I’m sorry, I cannot entertain your fantasy land. Here’s why:   “born perfect”/”Since birth you have sinned”. How you expect me to believe such things, I have no clue. 

          If I was BORN “perfect”, then at whatever point I was able to be imperfect, that is the precise moment it should be obvious that I wasn’t “perfect” to begin with.  Let’s try this:  “God” is “perfect”, right? “God” has freewill, right? And yet, isn’t it true that “God” is unable to be “imperfect”? 

          “WE are not acceptable by god as we are because of our sin, however because god loves us, HE created a way for us to become redeemed from sin.”

          IOW, we are pardoned from the “sin” that “God cannot tolerate”.  So, how do you square this up with “Justice”? The “sins” of believers are “redeemed, but yet,  the “sins” of NON-believers MUST. BE. PUNISHED. You call that “Justice”? I call it favoritism.

          “I have no idea ‘how’ heaven will work…I have never been, but I am looking forward to finding out.  (Did your head just explode…lol)”

          No, my head didn’t explode, but a light went on:  you are unsure of how “heaven” will work, but yet, so confident that it will. Amazing.

          “I don’t find it necessary to answer on opinion of Islam considering the topic at hand.”

          Frankly, I’ve never seen so much squirming to get out answering questions. The topic is “Christianity”, and that, according to you, requires “faith” to believe it’s true. Assuming that  “faith” is a reliable method to “know” something, I’m trying to figure out why it’s so “off topic” to discuss the “faith” of opposing religions. Until/unless you say
          otherwise, the implication is this:  Faith is reliable as long as it’s used for Christianity. Otherwise, it’s not reliable.

          “You were inquiring about ‘getting what I deserve’ and whether you acknowledge it or not you were referring to god’s judgment on you, so I do not believe my use of the word was out of place.”

          No, actually, I was talking about my final sentencing(hell), NOT the process by which I’ll get that sentencing(God’s judgment). 

          On a second attempt, I asked: If “God” says I deserve “hell”, and if “God” is “Perfectly Just”, and if you believe that “God is Perfect” in every conceivable way, then do you believe that my going to “Hell” is a “good” and “just” sentence?”

          You respond: “I do not know […]”

          You don’t know your own opinion on this subject? That’s strange, because you have an opinion about everything else concerning “God”.

          you continue…“and [I] can never know what you ‘deserve’;”

          If “God” is “Perfect”, how could whatever he says be “unjust” and/or something you wouldn’t support? You support the Perfect Righteousness of “God”, don’t you?

          a) yes

          b) no 

           “however speaking biblical, there is only one way, truth and life and no one goes to father but through Jesus.”

          Speaking biblical, snakes talk. IOW, you are begging the question, as well as dodging another.

          ” I am sure you have had enough bible knowledge to understand what that means.’

          Yes, it means I don’t have a good answer for you, so I’ll regurgitate some
          other scripture
          .

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Well, this will be my last reply, I did not want you to think that I “rage-quit” (gamer term) on you.  This dialog has not been what I was hoping it would be, or that which I stated I wanted it to be
            …If you feel there was something specific you wanted an answer to I will try to find an answer for you, but please be concise, I don’t have the time to write a novel on Atheist questions…
            …not pettifogging an issue with semantics. I would prefer an open discussion vs. an argument when each sides is trying to “score points”…

            My response:
            “…Irrelevant conclusion…”
            No it is not an irrelevant conclusion, and it does address the EXACT point of sin in this world.  If you do not agree with god’s design of how sin is being dealt with in the world that is what is irrelevant.  Also we are using the word “tolerate” in two different ways…You are meaning that god has continued to allow sin to exist…which he has a plan for (Book of Revelation) in contrast I am using the word to explain how god views sin in relation to sinners and being held accountable. 
             

            “…you are PRO-blood sacrifice…”
            You obviously do not much understand of Christianity or do you seem to be capable of having this discussion with any level of respect for my beliefs.  Jesus death was not needed because blood was required, Jesus death of a byproduct of the wrath God the Father had poor out on Jesus as punishment for the sins of world which he had taken upon himself. 
             

            “…Okay, have my “sins” been paid for, or not?…”
            Yes, your sins have been paid for but to get the benefit of that sin being paid for you must believe in the one who took that sin upon himself, Jesus. Like I have said before Jesus is your advocate to god. You can not claim Jesus paid my sins if you don’t believe in him. 
             

            “…”God” would rather have a world of “sin” and “sinners” than change his mind and start from scratch (like he did once, already)…”
            For god to flood the world again, would mean he broke his promise to man…which he can not do (yes there are things god can not do) God can not act outside of his own character b/c to do so would mean he is not god (I know you would have had a field day is this one).  As for sin in the world again there is a plan in motion for that (again book of Revelation) and by the way  as far as time goes I do not think time is the same for god considering he is eternal, 2,000 years for a god that has literally been around FOREVER, really is NOT that long. 
             

            “…If your argument is that they were “made in God’s image”, and thus, they knew what “obey” meant, then it’s logical to conclude that they never would have disobeyed in the first place…”
            No its not “logical” because there was no disobedience before that point there was ONLY obedience, since words not ideas or intent seem to matter so much to you I will put it this way.  Adam and Eve were blameless before sin, without fault.  Adam and Eve were created perfect (without sin) but were capable of imperfection (committing sin).  After sin they were no longer without fault and the relationship between god and man was broken due to the barrier of sin.  This should cover your question about capable of sin also. 
             

            “…For instance, the bit about “helplessness” was/is highly offensive…”
            Again I apologize that you find the terminology offensive.  I do not wish to offend however when discussing believers and non-believers apart of that is the discussion regarding man’s inability on h is own to overcome to sin. 
             

            “…If I was BORN “perfect”, then at whatever point I was able to be imperfect…”
            Again we are using the same word but not in the same way this confusion seem to be a difference in how biblical talk almost has its own vernacular versus secular meanings, I guess I had not noticed that before now.  As I mentioned above the being born “perfect” is not a reflection of infallibility but a reference to being without sin (blameless before god).  I hope that clears up your confusion.
             

            “…I’m merely saying that I find your answers to my questions very wanting…”
            Well if you really wanted to know more there is at least one place where you would find them…lol, Listen a study of the bible would do a lot to help you find some answer that you are seeking but you probably won’t find what you are looking for on your own. Seek out a local non-denominational church and look to attend a “small group”. Most churches have them. 
             

             “…You call that “Justice”? I call it favoritism…”
            We are all start in the same place, condemned to eternal separation from god.  Yes god would be “just” to save no one from hell, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of god.  However for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as there savior (and advocate to god) their sins are forgiven and they are blameless in god’s eye because the punishment for their sin have already been paid for, in contrast to non-believers who do not accept Jesus as savior (and advocate to god) they do not receive the gift of atonement.
             

            “…you are unsure of how “heaven” will work, but yet, so confident that it will…”
            As I stated above, it is not that hard to believe in. God has promised heaven to those who believe, god can not break his promises because god can not act outside of his own character, pretty simple stuff.
             

            “…I’m trying to figure out why it’s so “off topic” to discuss the “faith” of opposing religions…”
            Its off topic because the topic at hand is Christianity not Islam, second while I have experience in the Muslim community both here states side and overseas (Iraq, UAE, Kuwait), I do not see the need to list my reasons to discredit a religion simply because I do not believe it to be “the truth”, if you were Muslim then the topic would be germane to our discussion, however you are not, so it is not.
             

            “…If “God” is “Perfect”, how could whatever he says be “unjust” and/or something you wouldn’t support? You support the Perfect Righteousness of “God”, don’t you?…”
            You are right, in my attempt to not judge you and where you soul would be going I failed to provide you with the truth.  The reason for my hesitation was I can not know your heart and whether or not you have accept Jesus as savior or not so I can not know what you deserve that is not my role, that is god’s.  I apologize for my mistake and I will answer your question to the best of abilities. Believers and non-believers will be judged by god and everyone who did not accept Jesus Christ as savior will be condemned to hell, those accepted Jesus as savior will be allowed entrance to heaven. 
             

            “…Yes, it means I don’t have a good answer for you, so I’ll regurgitate some other scripture…”
            It is the only answer to your question, the only way into heaven and avoid hell is to accept Jesus sacrifice on the cross, accept him as your savior, and accept there is NO OTHER WAY.  Jesus said.. I am the way, the truth, and the life no one come to father except through me.  John 14:6
             
             
            Unfortunately I have not been able to provide you with the answer you claim to be seeking, am I am sure you will still have more now, I hope in time you do find them. 

          • Anonymous

            “Well, this will be my last reply, I did not want you to think that I ‘rage-quit’ (gamer term) on you.” ~ Broc
            Fair enough, and trust me, I don’t for one minute think that’s the reason you’re bowing out of the discussion.

            You quote a previous stipulation….

            Broc: “If you feel there was something specific you wanted an answer to I will try to find an answer for you, but please be concise, I don’t have the time to write a novel on Atheist questions…”I’ve asked very concise, pointed questions, and in most cases, they were even multiple choice…i.e…yes/no questions, but you continually either, equivocate, obfuscate, or ignore them altogether. This isn’t my opinion; it’s plain fact, and the readership here can see that it’s fact for themselves by a cursory review.  “No it is not an irrelevant conclusion, and it does address the EXACT point of sin in this world.  If you do not agree with god’s design of how sin is being dealt with in the world that is what is irrelevant.”

            More blatant dishonesty. The specific subject at hand is/was to what degree the Xian biblegod  tolerates “sin”. You say not at all….

             “god cannot tolerate sin” ~ Broc 

            Whether I agree or disagree with “how sin is being dealt with” IS irrelevant.  What IS relevant, is that “sin” is still prevalent, and it is and has been rampant, ever since the world was repopulated after biblegod first took care of  “sin” by drowning everybody. Hello, Broc?… you said, yourself, that believers still have all of the sinful “desires and emotions” that nonbelievers have. I’ll be happy to provide the verbatim quote if need be.

            And BTW, let the record show that I simply do not care one iota if  “God” has provided a way to be pardoned or excused from “sin”, whether it be by having his offspring killed in a blood sacrifice, or some other way. Do. not. care. The point is, “sin” stills exists, and it has existed for TWO-THOUSAND years. I’m sorry, but that scenario patently suggests that “God” has been tolerating “sin”. It would be totally ridiculous for me to say, “I just cannot tolerate people letting their dogs sh*t in my yard!!!!”, but then turn around forgive people for letting them curb their dogs in my yard, *provided* a payment is made, or a gift is given…. or even more stupid, demand a blood sacrifice.

            Case in point: If I hate dog feces in my yard so much, then I ELIMINATE it altogether. I don’t make excuses or pardons for why I’ll keep allowing it. To do the latter is to TOLERATE it. Period

            “You obviously do not much understand of Christianity or do you seem to be capable of having this discussion with any level of respect for my beliefs”

            You’re right—I don’t “understand” your beliefs, as I usually do not understand anything that doesn’t doesn’t stand up to critical thought. And you’re right again, I don’t respect your beliefs, but I support your right to believe whatever-the-heck you want to believe. That said, the tenets OF Christianity disgust me. An innocent man has to DIE, so that an omnipotent being can “forgive” some lowly humans? Please.

            Previously, me: Okay, have my “sins” been paid for, or not?
            You answer…“Yes, your sins have been paid for but[SNIP]”

            If there is a “but”, then any reasonable person knows there surely is a stipulation to follow. Let’s have a look….

            wait for it…

            wait for it… 

            “[ but] to get the benefit of that sin being paid for you must believe in the one who took that sin upon himself, Jesus.”

            And there it is, folks. The fact that your “sins” have been paid for is utterly meaningless, *UNLESS*, you do X, Y, and Z, in this case, believe that the offer and the one making the offer are real, in which case, you’d have to believe “Christianity” is true, in which case, if you are currently UNABLE to honestly believe it’s “True”, you’d have to be a phonie.

            Does “God” accept phonies? Yes or no? Anyone?

            “Like I have said before Jesus is your advocate to god.”

            Prove it.

            “You can not claim Jesus paid my sins if you don’t believe in him.”

            This is where you and your bible-believing constituents are missing a crucial point/fact: I cannot simply CHOOSE to believe that which I find UN-believable in the first place. If you expect me to “just have faith” in that which I find UN-believable, then I’d find myself having “faith” myriad religious philosophies, since I find them ALL unbelievable. I cannot make it any more concise. 

            “For god to flood the world again, would mean he broke his promise to man…which he can not do (yes there are things god can not do) God can not act outside of his own character b/c to do so would mean he is not god (I know you would have had a field day is this one)”

            True, I can have a field day with this. Now, why do you suppose that is? Could it be because you are making nonsensical, unconvincing excuses for “God”, AKA, offering apologetics? Could it be you offer a false dilemma?? I say, “yes”, to both. 

            Broc,

            “God” does not need to “act outside of his own character” nor break “his promise to man” to cleanse the world of “sinners”. If “God”, who can presumably create an entire universe by just thinking about it, wanted to cleanse the world of “sinners”, there are myriad ways to accomplish this, NONE of which would require him to “act outside of his own character” or break any “promises”. To start with, we know that people is certainly not “outside of his character”, right? Right, since “God” (supposedly) drown the entire planet before. I would then contend that “God” could just snap his cosmic fingers and have everyone drop dead of a heart attack. Again, that’s just ONE way he could do it.  In conclusion, your argument, above, fails. 

            “No its not ‘logical’ because there was no disobedience before that point there was ONLY obedience[..]”

            So, the world was created “perfect” from the onset, but in that world people couldn’t disobey because “there was no disobedience”??? Really?  So, a world in which there is NO freewill to disobey is “perfect”, then? Very interesting, Broc…you must really enjoy shooting yourself in the foot.

            “[…] since words not ideas or intent seem to matter so much to you[SNIP]”

            This is hysterical.  You are the one who said you didn’t care about simple word meanings! Hello pot?…meet kettle!

            “I will put it this way.  Adam and Eve were blameless before sin, without fault.

            Yes, they were “perfect”, but yet, they didn’t have the “freewill” to disobey, as evidenced when you say….

            “there was no disobedience before that point” ~ Broc

            And strangely, “God” is “perfect”, too, but yet, he has unlimited “freewill”. Yup, ‘got it.

            “Adam and Eve were created perfect (without sin) but were capable of imperfection (committing sin).”

            You are evidently highly confused about what you believe. Either that, or just outright dishonest. You are contradicting yourself right and left. You JUST GOT DONE SAYING….. “there was no disobedience before that point”. So, you are more or less saying, “there was no disobedience before they disobeyed”. I’m sorry, but that is redundant, nonsensical rubbish.

            Furthermore, if “Adam & Eve” were “perfect”(as you say), but yet, they were “capable of imperfection”(as you say), then it would follow that “God” is “capable of imperfection”, too. Oh, the irony—it stings.  

            “After sin they were no longer without fault and the relationship between god and man was broken due to the barrier of sin.  This should cover your question about capable of sin also.”

            It covers no such thing. The amount of contradictory nonsense you just spouted is astounding. Really, it is. But again, I know that your being a victim of religious indoctrination, you must defend your doctrine at all costs. Been there; done that; all better now.

            “Listen a study of the bible would do a lot to help you find some answer that you are seeking but you probably won’t find what you are looking for on your own. Seek out a local non-denominational church and look to attend a “small group”. Most churches have them.”

            The more you speak(type), the more I sense a very young person with limited education. And I don’t mean it as a criticism. Listen to yourself—-you are actually recommending that I don’t investigate on my own, but yet, that is precisely how skepticism works best…i.e..investigating *independently*.  Going to “church” to see if I find Christianity to be true would be like me going to a bigfoot convention to see if “Bigfoot” exists, or going to a UFology convention to see if ETs exist! LOL! Loco, I say!

            Previously, me:  You call that “Justice”? I call it favoritism
            You respond…**We are all start in the same place, condemned to eternal separation from god.”

            Yes, ‘got it….we are BORN condemned. And again, you can water it down all you’d like, but you fool know one–we all know that you mean “hell”. And FYI, your bible makes clear that “hell” is a physical place of fire and torment, a place where the unsaved suffer their “second death”.

            “Yes god would be “just” to save no one from hell, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of god. However for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as there savior (and advocate to god) their sins are forgiven and they are blameless in god’s eye because the punishment for their sin have already been paid for, in contrast to non-believers who do not accept Jesus as savior (and advocate to god) they do not receive the gift of atonement.’ 

            Yes, I fully understand how your doctrine works, thanks. The problem is that you haven’t overcome the fact that “God” cannot be both “merciful” *and* “just”. If we are ALL born deserving of “hell”, as you make  clear here**, above, but yet, “Jesus as savior” pardons that death sentence and grants clemency to those who meet certain conditions, then “justice” has been subverted. 

            You cannot have it both ways(albeit, I know that won’t stop you from trying)

            “As I stated above, it is not that hard to believe in. God has promised heaven to those who believe, god can not break his promises because god can not act outside of his own character, pretty simple stuff.” 

            Yes, it’s simple if…..

            a) you’re a simpleton

            and/or 

            b) you think “faith” trumps logic and reason

            and/or

            c) you can force yourself to believe something that you don’t believe in the first place

            BTW, I’m a limited, mere mortal being, and I can think of a more moral way for “God” to get his will met. Ready? “God”  could have simply created only those whom he knew would be believers, as those people still would have retained the illusion of “freewill”, which, BTW,  is all you’ve got anyway if “God” knows the future. This way, no one gets tortured with fire, no one’s freewill is tampered with,  and believers get their “just” reward. ‘Pretty simple stuff.

            “It’s off topic because the topic at hand is Christianity not Islam[…]”

            And I reiterate—it was YOU who brought “faith” into the discussion, and since Islam is also a religion of “faith”, it is pertinent to the discussion.

            “[…]I do not see the need to list my reasons to discredit a religion simply because ***I do not believe it to be ‘the truth’, if you were Muslim then the topic would be germane to our discussion, however you are not, so it is not.”

            Nice dodge. Here’s the real reason you won’t address the question: You know that if you argue that “faith” is a good, reliable way to hold your Xian beliefs, then it should follow that “faith” would be a good, reliable way to hold other beliefs, in the case of my question, Islam. But yet, since you concede here***, above, that Islam is NOT true, then that would bring “faith” under fire for for its reliability. No brainer.

            “You are right, in my attempt to not judge you and where you soul would be going I failed to provide you with the truth.”

            Okay, a little progress. You admit one failure, out of dozens. It’s a start.

            “The reason for my hesitation was I can not know your heart and whether or not you have accept Jesus as savior or not so I can not know what you deserve that is not my role, that is god’s.”</b.

            Sadly, you are instantly back to your old ways. I did NOT ask you if you could "know" my "heart". And you already KNOW that "Atheists" do not believe in "God"/gods, in which case, you (should) know that I have not accepted Jesus, yadda, yadda. Again, my question was if you think I, as an Atheist, deserve to go to "hell". For crying out loud, you don't need to BE "God" to give your opinion on the matter. Furthermore, if you believe "God" is perfectly "Righteous"; perfectly "Just" in ALL matters, then it would follow that you should be perfectly comfortable admitting that "hell" is precisely what I deserve. But you can't. There's a reason for that. In any event, if you'd care to get honest, the question still stands. But I'm not hopeful. 

            “It is the only answer to your question, the only way into heaven and avoid hell is to accept Jesus sacrifice on the cross, accept him as your savior, and accept there is NO OTHER WAY.  Jesus said.. I am the way, the truth, and the life no one come to father except through me.  John 14:6”

            Notice, I did not…..

            a) ask you how to “avoid hell”

            b) ask you what “the only way to heaven” is

            c) ask you if there if there is any “OTHER WAY” to avoid hell

            My question was concise and to the point. I won’t repeat it and fall into your apologetic tail-chasing. The writing is on the wall. But if you do decide to respond, would mind terribly disclosing your age? This will let me know if I want to waste anymore time. Thanks. All the best.

              

             

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