12.20.2008

Intuitive Know

A bit of an exploration on "Knowing" on Jesus Creed.

"Knowing II" also.

12.05.2008

A Reasonable Faith?

CNN Reports -- "An atheist sign criticizing Christianity that was erected alongside a Nativity scene was taken from the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington, Friday and later found in a ditch."

Some excerpts to note and then my thoughts to follow...



"I thought it would be safe," Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told CNN. "It's always a shock when your sign is censored or stolen or mutilated. It's not something you get used to."

"The incident will not stifle the group's message, Gaylor said, adding that a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building's Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, "Thou shalt not steal." "

"I guess they don't follow their own commandments," Gaylor said. "There's nothing out there with the atheist point of view, and now there is such a firestorm that we have the audacity to exist. And then [whoever took the sign] stifles our speech."

"Dan Barker, a former evangelical preacher and co-founder of the group, said it was important for atheists to see their viewpoints validated alongside everyone else's.

Barker said the display is especially important given that 25 percent of Washington state residents are unaffiliated with religion or do not believe in God. (A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found 23 percent of Washingtonians said they were unaffiliated with a religion and 7 percent said they didn't believe in God.)

"It's not that we are trying to coerce anyone; in a way our sign is a signal of protest," Barker said. "If there can be a Nativity scene saying that we are all going to hell if we don't bow down to Jesus, we should be at the table to share our views."

He said if anything, it's the Nativity scene that is the intrusion.

"Most people think December is for Christians and view our signs as an intrusion, when actually it's the other way around," he said. "People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the holiday from all of us humans." "


Here are my thoughts on this...

I agree that this sign should never of have been taken, stolen. I am not even going to address the anti-Christ attitude of would-be followers of Christ. Stealing is wrong. Period. "Everyone knows" this right? The celebrating atheists here know this, and they are calling the thief or thieves out on the matter...in ole King James, "thou shalt not steal!"

Obviously I am not an atheist. I am a theist. A mono-theist. My belief in the God revealed through Israel and to Gentiles through the person of Christ and the text of scripture informs my moral sensibilities. My sense of right and wrong is affirmed and confirmed by the fact that I am a created being after the image of a God whose being is the source of all that is just and right.

However, as an atheist where is the ground or justification for complaining or even raising your voice and crying, "This is unjust!"? Does the atheist even have a 'reason' to do so? Yes, the atheist can say that our sense of morality is
simply social and cultural conventions and sentiments. And to some degree this is true.

But if this is all it is, then lets follow this logic even more to it's inevitable outcome. If we are creatures that simply are informed by our culture and also create our culture (Which I affirm and do not deny. But I must add that who we are is not limited to simply this phenomena alone. As I said before there are transcendental and fixed realities about our reality - created.) then at any given point I will assert myself and "do what I will"

Since there is no God there is no standard of morality and all social conventions however extended in time and established they are via governments and political constitutions I am justified to toss your sign into the ditch or toilet, tear down your nativity scene, rape your sons and daughters and steal from you and jack your economy up. Any complaining is worthless really. Whose to say goes but the mob? Only the strong survive, right? Until then I will do as I want and it really doesn't matter till you can stop it. You will either have to kill me or detain me in prison. But it really doesn't matter because there is no essence to reality or meaning to life. There is nothing but bare bones and brute facts.

Where does this all end up going for humanity?

"I guess they don't follow their commandments...," One individual in the report states. What does this mean? Can an atheist even really be saying this? You have no commandment except "the cannons of reason" which you simply want to celebrate besides a nativity scene. You have no warrant for your morality as an atheist. The atheistic appeal to tolerance and saying that the hardening of hearts and the enslavement of minds is nothing but the manifestation of a "commandment" that an atheist follows and affirms. Where's your warrant for this? And the atheist assumes that they follow their ethical and moral moorings to a 't'?

I must add that no one is always consistent with their moral convictions. Any honest and self aware follower of Christ will testify to living functionally-atheistic at times. Our lives will manifest still our 'will to power' and control. The Genesis narrative of the serpent and the demise of humanity with Adam and Eve, points to what is essentially at the heart of man is to want to "be as god's knowing good and evil". We all simply want to assert ourselves at the expense of others. Control Control Control....my belly is my god.

This atheistic faith is 'unreasonable' and irrational-rationality. "May reason prevail".......then let us be honest and recognize the inevitability of the narcissism and nihilism that this essentially gives birth too, or should I say is birthed from? No faith has all the answers to all questions for sure. But the atheistic premise cannot even provide a justification for justification except for the appeal to mob consensus and the will to power under the "do as I will" self-deification.

We will not become complete and total nihilists in the strictest sense of the word. If we're honest with ourselves we cannot help from being moral beings...although we are still very messed up, distorted and inconsistent. We will always affirm morality.

Granting the atheistic premise removes morality as an absolute fixture. An atheist wants the cake and eat it also. The atheist throws a baby out with the bath-water.

We all have a fixed judicial sentiment. Period. Atheists cannot make 'reasonable' sense of this. This judicial sentiment only confirms that we are made after the image of God.

What are your thoughts....anyone.

The God I don't Understand

Jesuscreed recently began this thread, "Hard Questions for the Bible"

The topic of discussion comes from Christopher Wright's new book, "The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith"

What is great about this discussion is the specific topic that it is initially engaging. The Old Testaments account of Israel and the conquest of Canaan. This is a portion of the biblical text that has always disturbed me the most. I have never given myself the opportunity to reflect and think through this account. I have read Lee Strobel's chapter on this issue in his book "The Case for Faith" so I appreciated that Wright was hitting this. I think Wright provides a fresh and engaging study on theological issues in a hermeneutically humble way.

I too agree with McKight and Wright that

"there is a palpable dissatisfaction with our mind's capacity to grasp the magnitude of sin, of God's control of history, and of how God's redemptive work is accomplished."


There never are easy answers.