Peter, you’ve chosen to respond to a comment I made here; but on Ark’s blog. That’s fine, I can understand if you choose not to respond here.
As I do not respond on Ark’s blog – due to his lack of civility to responders who disagree with him; my alternative is to respond to you here.
Me: “And that’s the whole point and the beauty of how God has set up this whole system: we’re provided with enough evidence, and it’s up to each individual to weigh the evidence presented to them and to decide whether or not they believe it.”
Peter: “This statement has some serious issues because clearly not everyone is presented with the same evidence. Thomas was shown the wounds on the body of the risen Jesus. Paul saw a direct vision from heaven. Most others don’t have such evidence provided.
Further for a person who is born in a non Christian country, the general ‘evidence’ like creation would lead them to believe in their local deity not the Christian God.”
Everyone is presented with some of the same evidences. Every person born into this world has an intuitive knowledge of God. Further, every thinking person from childhood who looks at the sky, clouds, stars, trees, rocks, etc. begin to have the knowledge that there is some being out there beyond their comprehension who is responsible for the vastness, complexity, order of this universe. Some may not know Him by name, that doesn’t mean they don’t know Him.
Clearly, Thomas was shown evidence that others were not shown. This did not prevent the others from believing Jesus’ resurrection even though they were not given the additional evidence that Thomas was given.
Paul saw a direct vision from heaven, but countless others did not get a direct vision from heaven as he did. My point is simply this – we’re all given evidence; some are given more evidence than others as clearly some require more evidence than others.
Something truly fascinating and humbling about Jesus was that He did not reveal Himself to one single person who did not already believe in Him. I can see and understand how this would play out to the skeptical mind, but if one truly knows God (that He is meek and lowly=humble) then this revelation would not come as a surprise… it would be expected.
I watched the video you posted in response to your comments. I think both you and Mr. Loftus show what every person desires – the need to be heard; but also demonstrate what we’re all guilty of. Lyle correctly puts it this way: “Reason is what I believe, those that disagree with me are therefore, unreasonable.”
I have noticed that very reasonable and intelligent men differ widely on a large number of issues. All seem to cling to the idea that their view is reasonable and the other side is unreasonable. This would seem to point to the possibility that the problem may lie in the concept of reason itself. Of course, to examine reason is like asking an eye to see itself. When reason looks at reason, it does so through a dirty lens, and this brings us to the place to begin our investigation of reason.
I hope you will also agree that those of the atheist faith (especially on Ark’s blog) are even more mocking, ridiculing, denigrating to those of the Christian faith. Just ask GMF, yet he has always chosen to take the high ground. I know it’s not easy for him to do so, but he has purposed in his heart to do so, so it makes his choice a bit easier.
The reality is, there is no excuse for any of us to treat each other with ridicule and contempt because we espouse differing views.
Obviously, I disagreed with the majority of the things Mr. Loftus said, and was not surprised that someone who went to cemetery, umm seminary has no clue why God requires atonement for sin.
Would you invite an unrepentant killer to come and live in your home Peter?
I’ll end on the only points I can recall agreeing with: atheism cannot offer the same type of comfort that can only be found in Christ Jesus [I believe he used Christianity] and people are interesting.
But beyond interesting, they’re very complicated. Every living human being is connected, and we must first know and recognize how the things we put out there affects those around us.
None of us have it fully figured out, or are perfect in our walk; however the one who has already left is definitely ahead of the one who’s still at the starting point.
Peter: “So I have got to the point where I really can’t be bothered engaging with people who have a closed mind.”
I think the counter argument could be made that by disengaging because you believe they have a closed mind perhaps shows that you also have a closed mind.
Lyle: If you want to see a circus go to YouTube and watch the intellectuals argue and debate the issues. All claiming to be reasonable and the other side unreasonable.