Posts Tagged ‘Hostility towards Christianity’

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I’ve been reading D.A. Carson’s book The Intolerance of Tolerance. It’s a very insightful book with a multitude if poignant examples of the agenda at work when “tolerance” is used as a club to beat dissent to death.

It wasn’t too many years ago that the secularists (who were in the minority), accused the religious communities of being intolerant. My how the fortunes have turned!

We’ve allowed the word tolerance to be redefined and turned in its ear. Instead of the historic definition of tolerate:

“Allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference:”

Or, to

“Accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance:”

from the

“early 16th century (in the sense ‘endure (pain)’): from Latin tolerat- ‘endured’, from the verb tolerare.” (1)

Carson says that this definition is

“becoming obsolete, but it still surfaces today when we say that a patient has a remarkable ability to tolerate pain.” (2)

He gives another another older definition:

“Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is similar: “1. to allow; permit; not interfere with.” (2)

Notice what happens when the subtleties of changing definitions creep in:

“This shift from “accepting the existence of different views” to “acceptance of different views,” from recognizing other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices to accepting the differing views of other people, is subtle in form, but massive in substance. To accept that a different or opposing position exists and deserves the right to exist is one thing; to accept the position itself means that one is no longer opposing it…We move from allowing the free expression of contrary opinions to the acceptance of all opinions; we leap from permitting the articulation of beliefs and claims with which we do not agree to asserting that all beliefs and claims are equally valid. Thus we slide from the old tolerance to the new.” (2)

Now, it seems, Christians are called intolerant for not accepting other views as equally valid. Do you see the irony of this redefinition of tolerance? This redefinition actually results in intolerance of any but the accepted belief that all religious or non-religious views are equally valid. It’s a self-refuting argument.

Carson quotes Terry Eagleton in The Illusions of Postmodernism:

“For all its vaunted openness to the Other, postmodernism can be quite as exclusive and censorious as the orthodoxies it opposes. One may, by and large, speak of human culture but not human nature, gender but not class, the body but not biology, jouissance but not justice, post-colonialism but not the petty bourgeoisie. It is thoroughly orthodox heterodoxy, which like any imaginary form of identity needs its bogeyman and straw targets to stay in business.” (3)

He goes on to declare that

“In the name of inclusion (because, after all, we are tolerant), we may end up with exclusion (proving we are intolerant).” (4)

That’s the absurdity of where we are as a culture.

I leave you with one other quote from the Christian Mom Thoughts blog I found interesting:

“Tolerance is the most misused word today. By definition, tolerance simply means to bear with ideas other than your own. Most people who throw the word around, however, treat it as though it means to agree with or accept those other ideas. To agree with all ideas is the ultimate nod to relative truth. Christians, however, should treat all people with respect, but stand firm that we believe only Christianity is true. Believing in absolute truth is not intolerant.”

– Natasha Crain

via http://christianmomthoughts.com/what-is-the-difference-between-absolute-and-relative-truth/

1. “Definition of tolerate in English:.” tolerate: definition of tolerate in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US). Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

2. Carson, D. A.. “Introduction: The Changing Face of Tolerance.” The Intolerance of Tolerance. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2012. Loc. 44-56. Kindle file.

3. Carson, D. A.. “Introduction: The Changing Face of Tolerance.” The Intolerance of Tolerance. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2012. Loc. 923 of 2278. Kindle file.

4. Carson, D. A.. “Introduction: The Changing Face of Tolerance.” The Intolerance of Tolerance. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2012. Loc. 926 of 2278. Kindle file.

simul justus et peccator,

Eric Adams

SeatedBuddhaGandhara2ndCentury

SeatedBuddhaGandhara2ndCentury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Some historical humility from skeptics would be nice.

 

“Well, in any case, it’s an interesting parallel to the questions and controversies over the “historical Jesus.”  There are, it would seem “historical Buddha” inquiries as well.  But the story also offers a reason and basis for gaining some perspective.  In the case of Jesus, we’re not entirely sure what year he was born (arguments typically ranging between ca. 4-7 BCE), or what year precisely to date his execution (between 28-34 CE; see Helen Bond’s brief discussion of the matter on the CSCO blog site here).  In the case of Gautama, it appears that scholars dispute which century in which to place him.  Neither left writings, and around each one a massive trans-local religious movement developed.  In the case of Jesus, our earliest known accounts were written ca. 40+ years after his death (the four familiar Gospels).  In the case of Gautama, the oldest biographical source is a poem,  Buddhacarita, dated to the 2nd century CE (i.e., approximately 600 years after the time when most scholars think Gautama died).”

via On Getting Some Perspective: The “Historical Buddha” | Larry Hurtado’s Blog.

 

 

 

simul iustus et peccator, 

 

 

 

Eric Adams 

 

Rossville, GA 

 

godsguy12@comcast.net 

 

christianreasons@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

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A good piece by Matt Slick over at CARM:

“Unfortunately, many who assume that belief in God is a mental disorder assume that their own position, atheism, is automatically the right position to hold. They commit the fallacy of begging the question. That is, they assume their position is true and the argue from it without any defense of their position. Atheism cannot be shown to be the right intellectual position to hold regarding whether or not God exists. Even when an atheist hides behind the intellectually vacuous “I lack belief in God” position, atheism, along with his materialistic worldview, cannot account for our existence, absolute morality, or information structures found in DNA.”– Matt Slick, CARM

via Is Belief in God a Mental Disorder?

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric “crazy-nutso” Adams

It is a shame when liars try to come across as the vanguards of liberty. Not only is our nation Biblically illiterate, it is also Constitutionally illiterate, and totalitarian forces would love to strip every right that religious-minded folks have. They are not satisfied to have their voice heard, they want to silence any opposing voice. That is exactly the reason many of our founding fathers fled Europe in the first place; yet here we are again. Pray for your nation, friends, and family while you can. First they will force us to contain our views to our places of worship, then they will outlaw the places of worship…but probably only Christians.

“It’s in the title of the bill, lawmakers said, the \”Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.\” They further noted that no church or clergy will be forced to solemnize any same-sex marriage or rent their parish or fellowship halls for any type of same-sex wedding recognition.

It’s all good, lawmakers assured faith groups and religious organizations. Your religious freedom is secure.

Where have we heard that before?

How about three years ago, when Illinois lawmakers promised during floor debate on civil unions legislation that no faith-based social service organizations would be affected. But within six months of civil unions becoming law, all Catholic Charities in the state were pushed out of their longtime mission of caring for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. The state refused to renew contracts for foster care and adoption services because of Charities\’ religious belief of not placing children with unmarried couples, be they heterosexual or homosexual.

We know better this time. We know our religious freedom is not protected. And when we asked for more protection, our pleas for fairness were rebuffed and spurned.”

via RealClearReligion – The End of Religious Liberty in the Landof Lincoln.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently heard this demonstrated on a podcast of Fighting For The Faith, where Chris Rosebrough interviewed Joseph Atwill Of Covert Messiah. If you enter into a conversation with an disciple of naturalism, understand they will not accept your evidence, since they refuse to admit the possibility of the miraculous, including prophecies. The best you can do is what Chris does in this podcast-point out that they are suppressing truth, and have an a priori assumption about the supernatural, and share the Gospel with them. Don’t try to win an argument. Trust the Holy Spirit in His Word, and pray.

“When visiting with Dan Wallace earlier this year, Greg Koukl and I asked him about the skepticism on the part of people like Bart Ehrman related to early dating. We asked Wallace if there was some specific manuscript evidence that inclined people to deny the early dating of the Gospel accounts. Wallace said there was no such evidence. We then asked why people continued to deny the early dating if, in fact, we were continuing to find early fragments and there was no contrary manuscript evidence. It turns out that the late dating of the gospels is due primarily to a denial of supernaturalism.

One of the primary reasons why skeptics date the gospels later than 70AD is the fact that Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in the gospel accounts (i.e. Matthew 23). Secular history records that the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, fulfilling this alleged prediction by Jesus. In order to avoid the accurate prophesy from Jesus, skeptics argue that the gospel must have been written after the temple was destroyed. After all, how could Jesus possess the supernatural power of prophecy if nothing supernatural exists? The philosophical naturalism of the secular historian prevents him from accepting the possibility of accurate prophecy.

The gospels also contain many descriptions of miracles. The philosophical naturalist must also deny the truthfulness of these supernatural accounts. Skeptics, therefore, date the gospel accounts very late, arguing that eyewitnesses to these events were already dead and unavailable to deny the claims. It turns out that the presupposition of philosophical naturalism is at work in the minds of those who would deny the early dating of the gospels. When this presuppositional bias is removed, the remaining evidence confirms that the gospels were written in the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses.”

via There’s No Good Reason to Deny the Early Dating of the Gospels | Cold Case Christianity.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric

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“What has been the reaction from other scholars to Wells? R. Joseph Hoffmann is correct to call Wells “the most articulate contemporary defender of the non-historicity thesis.” Wells does write in a calm, scholarly tone, in contrast to many others who have advanced this hypothesis. However, Richard France’s conclusion on his method is also correct: “[Wells] always selects from the range of New Testament studies those extreme positions which best suit his thesis, and then weaves them together into a total account with which none of those from whom he quoted would agree.”Van Voorst continues:France’s conclusion is widely shared, as most New Testament scholars do not address Wells’s arguments at all, and those who do address them do not go into much depth. Although Wells has been probably the most able advocate of the nonhistoricity theory, he has not been persuasive and is now almost a lone voice for it. The theory of Jesus’ nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question.”

via Apologetics-Worldview.

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Dawkins: Debates Make us Look Bad

It would be refreshing indeed, if these folks would apply the same logic to Dawkins’ hatred of Christianity… but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

IMHO, they’re just afraid of Islamic retaliation. After all, vengeance and jihad are not the norm for your average Baptist, Lutheran, or Presbyterian, they’re fair game…but not Islam.

“And here’s whats really awful: he’s failing as a scientist. It might be true that Islam is holding back scientific and other achievement among Muslims. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it were. But you don’t get to simply assert it, because there are far too many other variables. Islamic countries are themselves usually poorer than Western ones and far poorer than the average Trinity alumnus. Their standards of public health are lower, nutrition, education, everything. Does the average Muslim do worse in the Nobel prize stakes than the average similarly deprived Christian or atheist or Hindu? I don’t know. You need to do proper analysis, statistical regression, to work that out. Whats worse, Dawkins knows that Dawkins may believe that he is criticizing only the religion, and its effects on the people who hold it, rather than the people themselves “don’t hate the player, hate the game”, but his gleeful hurling of rhetorical stick-bombs doesn’t make that sort of distinction. Is he being racist? Maybe not, depending on how narrowly you define it. But whatever he’s being, it’s not nice, and it certainly isn’t advancing the various causes of secularism, atheism or everyone just bloody getting along.”

via Please be quiet, Richard Dawkins, Im begging, as a fan – Telegraph Blogs.

On the bright side, it is just a little gratifying to see Islam take it on the chin, and not be treated with kid gloves. Yet the hypocrisy of this author just smells of fear.

Later…

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
godsguy12@comcast.net
christianreasons@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/xianreasons