December 10, 2009

Lacking the Faith Blogspot

I stumbled upon some "debating" going on at evangelist Ray Comfort's blog, Atheism Central, which sparked interest in me both to listen and to fight against the claims of atheism, agnosticism, anti-theism, as well as any other form of non-Christian religion.

The comment moderation over there was too slow for me, and the debating turned into mostly fault-finding and name-calling, but mostly just complaints against Ray Comfort himself. So I started this blog, Lacking the Faith, to discuss the issues between Biblical Christianity and non-Christian or anti-Christian arguments against it.

Non-Christians, atheists, non-religious, people of other religions, etc. are all welcome here and can comment, ask questions, share information and debate or whatever. I only hope to keep the name-calling and fault-finding and such to a minimum if it should arise.

I'm not a follower of Ray Comfort, though I am grateful for his ministry and the teaching he provides Christians concerning evangelism. I don't agree with all his methods, but nevertheless agree with his love for the gospel of Christ and the ministry of spreading that gospel to the American people, as well as to those of every nation.

I was saved during my college years by the grace of God as it came to me through faith in Christ when I was reading the Bible. The Holy Spirit caused me to be born again and to know God the Father through His Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. I lack the faith of any other belief system than the truth of Christ found in the Christian Bible.

Anyone wishing to talk is welcome. I want to hear the opposite side's views, minus the obscenity. I hope to be convincing in return, Lord willing.

9 comments:

Mintz said...

Hi Penn.

I'm just testing really, but I will comment on your contributions to Ray's blog when I find the time.

In the meantime, can you please answer a few questions which will help me understand your position.

1. Are you a Young Earth Creationist, or and Old Earth Creationist, or something else, or don't know?

2. What is your opinion of Answers in Genesis, The Institute for Creation Research, the Discovery Institute and Creation Science Evangelism.

3. What do you think the mission of Ray Comfort's blog "Atheist Central" is?

4. On the "Statement of Faith" page on the Answers in Genesis website(http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith) it states:


By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.


Do you agree with this? Or would you agree that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that if certain verifiable evidence contradicts the Bible, the evidence must be correct and the Bible incorrect?


Regards

Mintz

Dr Benway said...

My dad once said. "Stay out of Churches son. The only thing they have a key to is the bathroom."

Mintz said...

Are you unable to answer these questions?


Regards

Mintz

Penn Tomassetti said...

Mintz,

You could say as far as answering the points you asked, yes I'm unable due to time and other responsibilities at the moment. It doesn't mean I'm unwilling to answer them.

For what reasons would you like me to answer your questions? I'm looking for motives here. I'll try to reply after I get an answer to this question.

Thanks,
Penn

Mintz said...

People who call themselves Christians represent a range of views. In order to not misrepresent your views it would be helpful to understand what they are before beginning any discussion.

I should of course allow you to know my views for the same reasons. I call myself an atheist. I do not believe that there are any gods, or supernatural entities, I do not believe in an afterlife or anything that might be described as a soul. I do not believe that the claims made by Christians, Muslims, Jews or other theists with regard to these matters are credible. I do not believe that the Bible represents much more than an historical curiosity. I do not believe that it offers any form of moral guidance and I respond to quotes from the Bible much as you might with quotes from the Bhagavad Gita. I do not believe in curses, magic, witchcraft, ghosts, spiritualism, premonition, precognition, telekinesis or anything that cannot be supported by evidence, or is postulated without describing a potential naturalistic method for its effect or existence (this therefore includes things such as homeopathy, dowsing, phrenology, reiki and other pseudo-scientific pursuits).

My issues with Ray Comfort are not with regard to his belief in a supernatural entity but with his deep mistrust and persistent misrepresentations of science in general and in particular the validity of the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. It is this area (rather than purely theological matters) that interests me, but I was raised as a Roman Catholic and have some knowledge of theological arguments.

I first became aware of Ray Comfort when someone came to the door of our house trying to interest us in Christianity. My wife, who is also an atheist answered the door. After a brief discussion the man at the door handed my wife a pamphlet called "The Atheist Test" which contained the now infamous banana analogy. When my wife showed this tract to me I was surprised because I was aware of the history of the cultivation of the banana and the author of this tract was either unaware of its history or was being dishonest, the rest of this tract also contained more faulty reasoning. It was perhaps the first time in a very long time that I had bothered to look at any material offered to support the argument for the existence of God and I thought it pitifully weak. About a year after this person came to the door I was in discussion with my wife's Christian/creationist uncle and was reminded of this pamphlet. After discovering more about Mr. Comfort, his ministry (mainly through YouTube), I began commenting occasionally on his blog.

I live in the United Kingdom and although there are fundamentalist/evangelical Christians over here it is much less mainstream than in the United States. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8409310.stm for a recent comment by the Archbishop of Canterbury (the chief cleric in the Church of England) which might put the position of Religion in contemporary British life in to context.

Regards

Mintz

Penn Tomassetti said...

Mintz said...

I'm just testing really, but I will comment on your contributions to Ray's blog when I find the time.
That's fine, if you have time for that. I probably won't have time to answer everything, because this is a busy time of year.

1. Are you a Young Earth Creationist, or and Old Earth Creationist, or something else, or don't know?
I believe the earth is young.

2. What is your opinion of Answers in Genesis, The Institute for Creation Research, the Discovery Institute and Creation Science Evangelism.
I'm more familiar with Answers in Genesis than with those others. From what I've read, I found some articles helpful to me concerning evolution and other topics. I linked to Answers in Genesis on my As It Is Written blog, so there's an idea of what I think about it.

3. What do you think the mission of Ray Comfort's blog "Atheist Central" is?
I would have to find out what his mission statement says, if he has one on there. I go there to read the responses he gets and sometimes interact, too.

4. On the "Statement of Faith" page on the Answers in Genesis website(http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith) it states:
By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.
Do you agree with this? Or would you agree that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that if certain verifiable evidence contradicts the Bible, the evidence must be correct and the Bible incorrect?

Now that I read the entire statement from the link you provided, I agree with it as I understand it so far. Just to be clear, I don't believe my faith in the Biblical God rests on my choosing, but that it is a supernatural gift. While I believe faith is reasonable, I do not believe it rests on human wisdom or natural reason as its basis because of sinful tendencies that corrupt natural human thought. Understand sin and its affects plays a huge role in how I view human relations. This will likely sound confusing to you if you do not have a Biblical background, but that's my attempt to explain it for now. As I read the above statement, this part strikes me as most agreeable: "Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information." That statement carries a lot of weight in how I understand things. It is my belief that the natural world and the Bible are not in contradiction, but that the human understanding of the natural world can be wrong, as well as human interpretation of the Bible. So my personal position on this is the result of believing that the Bible is the Word of God and not of men. It is no surprise to me that non-Christians find this ridiculous, but that is not the only belief that is unintelligible to what the Bible refers to as "the natural man" (2 Corinthians 2:14). So I hope that helps explain my position in a helpful way to you. There's obviously more to it than this, but at least you get the idea.

I read that article from BBC you linked me to. I have a question about the UK: From your perspective, do you observe a level of mental, political and perhaps other forms of hostility against the Christian's in your country? I'm just curious about what the secular attitude is toward those "of faith".

Hope this helps.
God bless.

Penn Tomassetti said...

From your perspective, do you observe a level of mental, political and perhaps other forms of hostility against the Christian's in your country? I'm just curious about what the secular attitude is toward those "of faith".

Another word that could be substituted for hostility would be intolerance. Could you say there is any noticeable level of intellectual, social and/or political intolerance of Christians in your country, or in the type of secular society that is growing in your country? Particularly of those Christians who believe the Bible is infallible and inerrant?

Again, I'm only wondering if it is something you might notice going on at all. Thanks.

Penn Tomassetti said...

BTW, thank you for sharing that information about yourself. It really makes a difference to know a little about the person I'm writing to. I appreciate you taking the time for that.

And also...

"intolerance of Christians in your country"

That should've said "against" Christians.

Thanks.

Steve Finnell said...

Jesus is the answer-no question about it