Rhetoric from secular philosophers: a losing cause

Phillip Johnson is a Christian who toured universities, and challenged evolutionists with thought-provoking questions on philosophy, science, and religion. This came from his visit to Ohio State University in the 1990s:

This philosopher [in the crowd] correctly argued that the absence of a natural explanation did not always prevent us from holding rationally that such an explanation exists nevertheless. He pointed out that a bridge in the area had been destroyed by unknown, and unknowable, natural causes. “Should we attribute such destruction to God?” he asked with a rhetorical flourish. “Would you want to ride on a bridge built by creationists, who simply sat on their hands and believed?”

In asking this question the philosopher ignored the fact, however, that the investigators of the bridge disaster had already eliminated intelligent causation as the cause of the collapse. They were justified in looking for natural causes, because intelligent ones had been eliminated.

But it was his final rhetorical question that had been the sound bite, sending titters through the ranks of the Talk.Origins crowd. Johnson turned to the philosopher and calmly said, “I would prefer a bridge built by someone who can recognize intelligent design.” The crowd, quiet and listening intently up to this point, erupted in laughter, cheering, and applause.

This was the exchange of the evening for most—and it was the secularist who had played the rhetorical card and lost.

Source

Reynolds, J.M. (1995). Que Res Vitas? Phil Johnson Takes His Case to the East. Available http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/pjlect.htm. Last accessed 25th Apr 2016.

Games played by atheists: the omnipotence paradox

You might be a fundamentalist atheist if:

6. You think questions like, “Can God create a rock so big that He cannot lift it?” and, “Can God will Himself out of existence?” are perfect examples of how to disprove God’s omnipotence and ultimately how to disprove God. When someone proves to you the false logic behind the questions (i.e. pitting God’s omnipotence against itself), you desperately try to defend the questions, but then give up and go to a different Christian site to ask them.

Quote source

GakuesiDon (n.d.). You Might be a Fundamentalist Atheist if…Available http://www.tektoonics.com/test/parody/fundyath.html. Last accessed 25 Apr 2016.

Humans trump animals (no matter your worldview)

In the biblical view of creation, the needs of human beings surpass the needs of any other creature or plant…

There is also a great deal of inconsistency in the “equality of rights” position advocated by environmentalists and conservationists. They do not appear to realize that their view of nature as a beautiful and harmonious utopia apart from the interference of mankind, bares no resemblance to actual reality. As Tennyson described it in his poem In Memoriam, nature is “red in tooth and claw”—a place where one creature tears another apart or eats another alive.

If human beings are just another animal species, they would be entitled to act in the same way that many other animal species act—by hunting other species for no other reason than to ensure their own survival. Indeed, if human beings were no better than lions or leopards, then an individual human being would have as much right to the fur of a mink as a lion has to the flesh of a gazelle.

Quote source

Kulikovsky, A. (2009). Creation, preservation and dominion: part 2. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/creation-preservation-and-dominion-part-2. Last accessed 25th Apr 2016.

Does good exegesis require training in geology?

The same geologist [Wayne U. Ault] goes on to say: “It is very significant that Christian geologists have not praised The Genesis Flood as have other Christians.” But what does that imply? That only Christian geologists possess the key of knowledge by which every Biblical truth must be judged?

Should every large church and every Christian institution of higher learning have a geologist on its staff in order to expedite the all-important task of expounding those many portions of Scripture that deal with origins and pre-Abrahamic history? In addition to the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27), persistent prayer (Psalm 119:18), and interpretive skill that come through a patient comparison of Scripture with Scripture (Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16, 2 Timothy 2:15), must all true Bible students add one additional qualification, namely official approval from professional geologists for all interpretations that touch on pre-Abrahamic history?

Few Christian geologists seem to have though through the full implications of such a development. We would, first of all, need to provide for all Christians a new “amplified version” of some of the most familiar statements of our Lord, so that they might read as follows:

Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, nor the general consensus of mid-twentieth century geological opinion concerning earth history (Matthew 22:29 “amplified”)

Quote source

Whitcomb, J.C. (1973). The World that Perished. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, pp. 106-107

The home is for blessed (and bustling) growth

When it comes to the controversy over college grads wanting to stay home and have babies, I have had to laugh at some of the assertions made by the other side (that these women are not really saying what they said or can’t really mean it), and I have had to shake my head at some of the conclusions drawn by feminists…

When I see things like the survey of college coeds, I am encouraged to know that a generation of daycare babies and latchkey kids are deciding they won’t do the same thing to their children. I hope they stick to their guns in the face of feminist ridicule and increasing cultural rejection of the home as “invisible” and therefore unrewarding, unchallenging, and backwards.

Anyone who would assert such a thing has never lived in a busy household with five children of varying ages who adore reading, love to learn new things, and keep their parents constantly on their toes. Anyone who would claim the home is a stifling atmosphere where women wither on the vine has never grown up in a hospitable house where people are invited in constantly, cramming the place to the ceiling with lively conversation, heartfelt confession, real forgiveness, and constant opportunities for growth and learning.

Quote source

Chancey, J. (2005). “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”. Ladies Against Feminism. Available http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/LAF_Theme_Articles_13/Meanwhile_back_at_the_ranch_22471002247.shtml. Last accessed 25th Apr 2016.

Administering justice upon all disobedience

Today is the centenary of R.J. Rushdoony’s birth. In that case, I’m going to quote from Charles Darwin and Gina Liggett. As if! Of course I’m going to quote from Rushdoony:

Thus, the first step in the [cultural] mandate is to bring men the word of God and for God to regenerate them.

The second step is to demolish every kind of theory, humanistic, evolutionary, idolatrous or otherwise, and every kind of rampart or opposition to the dominion of God in Christ. The world and men must be brought into captivity to Christ, under the dominion of the Kingdom of God and the law of that kingdom.

Third, this requires that, like Paul, we court-marital or “administer justice upon all disobedience” in every area of life where we encounter it.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. The Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ, p. 725

No excuses for blasphemy

I always hate it when people utter a certain three-word expression, with the initials of OMG. Half an hour ago, I came across this commentary from John Calvin, on Leviticus 24:11-14:

This circumstance is also worthy of remark, that, although the blasphemy had escaped him in a quarrel, punishment was still inflicted upon him; and assuredly it is a frivolous subterfuge to require that blasphemies should be pardoned on the ground that they have been uttered in anger; for nothing is more intolerable than that our wrath should vent itself upon God, when we are angry with one of our fellow-creatures.

Still it is usual, when a person is accused of blasphemy, to lay the blame on the ebullition of passion, as if God were to endure the penalty whenever we are provoked.

Quote source

Calvin, J. (n.d.) Harmony of the Law, Volume 4. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Available http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom06.ii.xvii.html. Last accessed 20th Apr 2016.