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Harold Camping’s New Year’s Resolutions

Oh well—two out of three ain’t bad.

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Bob Calvan

    Wonder why Bob mentions unbelievers to Christians? Harold Camping is no different than any atheist, agnostic, or any cult organization? Like I keep saying there are only two groups of people in the word..The sheep and the goats.. So why do I want to see the “news years resolutions” of a goat?
    Sorry Bob that blog was a waste of time and irrelevant.

    Are you running out of material? Better call Dan Barker. LOL

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Harold Camping calls himself a Christian. That’s good enough for me. What you think of him isn’t particularly relevant. “Christianity” is clearly a lot of things to different people.

  • Rick T

    Have to agree with Bob Calvan. This is “clear thinking about Christianity?” This is an exploration of “intellectual arguments in favor of Christianity (Christian apologetics) from an atheist perspective and [an attempt to critique] Christianity’s actions in society.” This is all you’ve got?

    If so, we are witnessing the defeat of atheism as it is expressed in this blog.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bold talk! Back it up with cogent arguments.

      Here I am, apparently pitching you softballs. Hit a few out of the park.

      • Rick T

        We frequently do, but you ignore the answers, move the goalposts and keep pitching. You pitch a lot of stuff. Can’t keep up with you. Exhausted. Doing the best we can to point out the biggest errors. Sorry if you don’t agree that we hit the pitches. Matter of interpretation and opinion, I suspect.

  • Bob Calvan

    Rick T

    Amen!

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob S. said:

    ” Harold Camping calls himself a Christian. That’s good enough for me…”

    Well, there you go folks. We can see the research Bob S. goes through. If some says they are a Christian Bob S. accepts that with “Faith”! There is no biblical evidence to support Bob S.” faith” statement. Christianity is defined by the Bible. Harold Camping is the antithesis of the Bible. Does Bob research this? Nope he accepts with blind “FAITH” that if Mr. Camping claims to be a Christian he must be.

    Bob said:

    “…. What you think of him isn’t particularly relevant. “Christianity” is clearly a lot of things to different people.”

    Christianity maybe a lot of things to a lot of people but that is irrelevant. The Bible ( the book for Christians) explains what true Christianity is. And the Bible tells us of all the false counterfeit look alike’s of true Christianity. We are warned many false teachers, antichrist’s will come to delude the church. ( Which Harold Camping said is of the devil, and we are not to attend church) And we are taught how to discern false teachers and antichrist’s.

    But Bob by blind ignorant faith says, if someone claims to be a Christian that’s good enough for him. That is why most of his blogs are bogus. Because his arguments do not represent Biblical Christianity…And there is no other forms of Christianity then Biblical Christianity. And Bob does not research what he blog’s to see if the argument he proposes is even what Christians believe. That shows no scholarship and laziness.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      If some says they are a Christian Bob S. accepts that with “Faith”!

      You use the word “faith” in a harsh way. And I thought faith was a good thing!

      So we’ve got different groups of Christians, some of which are saying the other groups aren’t truly Christians. And you think I have any interest in judging which are correct?

      As a rule, when Christians fight among themselves for which is holier than which, I just sit back and watch the show.

      The Bible ( the book for Christians) explains what true Christianity is.

      Right. One well-read scholar says that Christianity is this and another says it’s that. The Bible is a marionette that you can make say just about whatever you want it to say.

      But Bob by blind ignorant faith …

      There’s that negative use of the word again! Watch out–people will get the impression that you don’t like faith.

      Because his arguments do not represent Biblical Christianity

      My suggestion: when I lampoon a nutty Christian, agree with me! Can I hear an Amen, brother?!

  • Bob Calvan

    What Bob does is build a Christian straw man and attacks it. When it has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity. And comes up with inconsistent agruments that are the opposite of what Chrsitianity teaches. As Rick T so many times has pointed out.

    As Dr. James White says ” An inconsistent argument is the sign of a failed argument.”

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Huh? My attack on Harold Camping is inconsistent?

      (1) Show this inconsistency.

      (2) I thought you agreed with my argument that Harold Camping is a nut.

      (3) And I’m still waiting for the Amen. Don’t you agree with my points against Brother Camping?

      • Rick T

        We already gave you one. Did you forget? (“Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” “Camping is a what job.” Can we be done now?)

        We already stipulated that he is a nut. So why do you act as if he is just the same as mainstream Christianity by bringing him us in your blog, which as I pointed out above, is supposed to be “clear thinking about Christianity.” Bringing him into the mix in this forum makes it appear you think he is the same as Billy Graham or Rick Warren. He is not. So don’t bring him up as if he is.

        Otherwise, consider renaming your blog. “Sloppy thinking about anything with a Christian label.” Or we can simply liken your clear thinking to that of Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin.

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob S said:

    “..So we’ve got different groups of Christians, some of which are saying the other groups aren’t truly Christians. And you think I have any interest in judging which are correct?

    As a rule, when Christians fight among themselves for which is holier than which, I just sit back and watch the show…”

    You are avoiding the point or maybe you just don’t get it? There are essentials to the Christian faith. Yes you have Christians, and Scholars, and theologians, and apologist who disagree on views of soteriology, eschatology, the doctrines of man, and church government. But they all agree on the essentials of the Christian faith..They are all true born-again believers. they are all brothers in Christ. These are what we call “In house debates”.. I am sure my beloved brother Rick T and I would disagree on certain doctrinal views but that does not matter as we are brothers in Christ and agree on the essentials. That is how we know we are Christians.

    Where you fail by your lazy research is you lump those who reject the essentials of Christianity, and throw them under the umbrella of Christianity. You are calling those who are apostate, false teachers, and cults, Christians? That is why your blog is a joke.

    You do not take the time to research if these people are Christians. Rick T and I have asked you many times to do this. But you slough it off. That is why you have credibility. Very disappointing.

    Bob Said:

    “…Right. One well-read scholar says that Christianity is this and another says it’s that. The Bible is a marionette that you can make say just about whatever you want it to say.”

    Yes, we may have different views from Scholars..An example may be on the book of Revelation..Some may take a Preterits view, some take a Historical view, some take a futuristic view. But all are Godly Christian men who hold to the essentials of salvation and Christianity.

    The Gospel message is very simple and clear. And the fruits that those who are born again are very clear.

    So again stop throwing heretics, cults, apostates, false teachers under the Christian umbrella.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C:

      You are avoiding the point or maybe you just don’t get it? There are essentials to the Christian faith.

      Well, I suppose one of us doesn’t get it!

      When one person says, “I am a Christian because I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ,” you think I’m going to challenge that? I have no interest in critiquing what “Christian” means. When people say they’re Christian, I’ll accept that.

      they all agree on the essentials of the Christian faith..They are all true born-again believers.

      You must be born again to be a true Christian? So most “Christians” aren’t really Christian?

      You do not take the time to research if these people are Christians.

      Nor will I. I have no interest in this question. You seem to imagine that this disqualifies my blog from making any observation about Christianity, but critiquing some who fails Bob Calvan’s Christianity test doesn’t bother me. You can stop whining about this now.

      Yes, we may have different views from Scholars..An example may be on the book of Revelation..Some may take a Preterits view, some take a Historical view, some take a futuristic view. But all are Godly Christian men who hold to the essentials of salvation and Christianity.

      They’re all “godly Christian men” … except for those who aren’t. Not every scholar will fit your narrow definition of Christianity.

      • Rick T

        Bob,

        You have done enough research on this to know better than your talking points above would indicate. You know that there are crackpots like Phelps and Camping that are well outside the mainstream of classical Christianity. You know that there are literally thousands of churches and organizations such as Billy Graham’s and Chuck Colson’s, and denominations such as Presbyterians, Baptists and so on. There are also millions of Christian believers in the underground churches throughout the world who are living for their faith in a genuine Jesus as described in the Bible, and expressed by the Graham-type legitimate leaders.

        There is also what I would consider a second tier in terms of biblical orthodoxy such as the Catholic Church, the many varieties of Eastern and other “Orthodox” branches which hold to more tradition and less Biblically accurate beliefs.

        Both the classical and second tier categories are worlds apart from the crackpots. For you to claim to have a blog which addresses “clear thinking on Christianity,” while claiming to take Camping and others at face value without using your knowledge is simply disingenuous. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to write in a way which clearly indicates you can discern the differences. Otherwise, you are the crackpot. You can do better. You ought to do so.

        Stop the Saturday Night Live sort of attempts at comedic disdain for reality and get serious about the discussion. This sort of dismissal based on sound bites does not add to your credibility. Don’t be afraid to argue on the merits. You are capable of making serious claims, but your shallow thinking in response to the responses you get is wearying thin.

        I have your book but am finishing another before I read it. I am hoping it contains more sophisticated responses to issues than your blog has contained of late. I will send you a review when I have read it.

        Rick

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Rick:

        You know that there are crackpots like Phelps and Camping that are well outside the mainstream of classical Christianity.

        Yes, they are outside. But today’s outsiders might be tomorrow’s insiders. Joseph Smith’s argument was pretty nutty, but he seems to have hit on something. And then there was that Martin Luther guy–started in the mainstream but branched out with his own revolutionary ideas.

        There are also millions of Christian believers in the underground churches throughout the world who are living for their faith in a genuine Jesus as described in the Bible, and expressed by the Graham-type legitimate leaders.

        Are the various flavors of Catholics Christian? If not, then you argue that only a minority of people who say they are Christian are actually Christian. What is an outsider to make of that?

        For you to claim to have a blog which addresses “clear thinking on Christianity,” while claiming to take Camping and others at face value without using your knowledge is simply disingenuous.

        Is this a serious concern? Out of close to 100 posts, I have 5 largely or peripherally associated with Harold Camping, and I’ve mentioned Fred Phelps once. You don’t want me focusing on extreme Christians and I don’t. High five! Sounds like we’re on the same page.

        If more nutty Christians come forward with end of the world predictions, you bet I’ll write about that. Yes, I realize that Rick T doesn’t buy into that, but that was never my argument. I (occasionally) put forward these nutjobs to show what Christian thinking can do.

        And (I repeat myself), if these guys are an embarrassment for attempting to cloak themselves in the same religion as you, pile on! Instead of complaining that I’m talking about them, agree that they’re an illogical blight within society.

      • Retro

        Rick wrote: You know that there are literally thousands of churches and organizations such as Billy Graham’s and Chuck Colson’s, and denominations such as Presbyterians, Baptists and so on.

        You know that all the Protestant denominations have existed for less than 500 years.

        You know that your brand of “born again” Evangelical Christianity has existed for even less time. Evangelicalism only gained popularity in the United States during the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century. This is the same time period that produced many other denominations such as Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and so on…

        Calling the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church “second tier” shows how shallow your thinking is. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination, and the Eastern Orthodox is the second largest, and both predate your Protestant denomination by over 1,500 years.

        With this much change and diversity in the history of Christianity, your argument that there is a “mainstream of classical Christianity” is simply disingenuous.

        • Rick T

          Retro,

          I made it clear that “second tier” was simply my characterization based on their fidelity to Biblical accuracy. Evangelicalism is the same now as traditional Christianity has been understood by generations following the apostles. It isn’t new. The same teachings can be tracked historically all the way through the thinking that led to the reformation and current day folks we would call evangelical. (See Kenneth Latourette’s extensive 7-volume history of Christianity to verify this if you doubt it is true. But don’t dismiss the claim without doing research to prove the assertion false.)

          To characterize my overview as disingenuous suggests I was not sincere nor accurate. Show me where that is the case. Protestant denominations and “evangelicals” are simply modern labels for taking what the first century writers described and trying to live out those principles. This theological thread goes back 2,000 years.

          Catholicism is different. There is nowhere in scripture any mandate for worship of Mary, praying to saints, selling indulgences, nor confessing through a priest rather than praying through Christ. I don’t think there’s any disingenuous commentary there.

          Even if “evangelicalism” was new in some aspects (which it isn’t), simply because Mormonism or JW are older by a few years doesn’t make them equally valid. What makes truth true is fidelity to actual truth. In this case, Evangelicalism’s fidelity to the first century church and the dissimilarity of Mormonism and JW would be a stark comparison.

          Grouping aberrant extreme examples in with mainstream Christianity (as Bob chooses to do)—THAT is disingenuous and you know it. And your comments don’t change anything about that. You’re simply voting in favor of Bob’s position. Truth isn’t decided by votes, however. Neither should your relationship with God be so determined.

          Rick

      • Retro

        I made it clear that “second tier” was simply my characterization based on their fidelity to Biblical accuracy.

        I understand your argument well, as I once would have said the exact same thing.

        Of course many other denominations say the exact same thing, and back it up with the Bible.

        The problem comes in when you think you know what the Bible is actually saying. It’s almost impossible to read it without seeing it as backing your own denomination.

        But don’t dismiss the claim without doing research to prove the assertion false.

        What would it take to prove you wrong? You’ll say that your interpretation of the Bible is correct. If I show you a verse that disagrees or contradicts what you believe, you’ll say that non-believers can’t understand or correctly interpret the Bible just as Bob Calvan has done. (And, I might add, just as the Catholic Church did, and John Calvin did, and all the other Christian denominations do when they are in the majority.)

        Show me where that is the case. Protestant denominations and “evangelicals” are simply modern labels for taking what the first century writers described and trying to live out those principles. This theological thread goes back 2,000 years.

        This is certainly a big claim. As you mentioned, you don’t consider Catholicism to be true Christianity. You also reject most other Christian denominations. So far, it seems that this is a very thin theological thread that has generally been a small minority.

        I have found and downloaded “The First Five Centuries A History Of The Expansion Of Christianity” by Kenneth Scott Latourette, and will look through it as I find the time. On page 45, Latourette writes that “The stream which flowed from primitive Christianity early divided into many different channels. As it increased in volume the courses through which it ran became more numerous and its waters took on varied colours from the soils that it traversed.” Again, it seems that this theological thread quickly became a small minority.

        Evangelicalism’s fidelity to the first century church…

        The first century church was divided on several issues, this is clearly seen in the New Testament. It is recorded that even Peter and Paul disagreed.

        So who do you go with? The guy that actually lived and talked with the physical Jesus, or the guy that only seen Jesus as a flash of light and a vision in a trance?

        • Rick T

          Retro,

          Here is an example of why it is difficult to have conversations with folks like you and Bob. You said, ” As you mentioned, you don’t consider Catholicism to be true Christianity. You also reject most other Christian denominations.”

          I didn’t say either of those things, which you then proceeded to argue against. I said Catholicism is not as accurate in following the Bible as evangelical churches, and gave four specific examples. I didn’t say they weren’t true Christianity. That may or may not be my position, but you can’t say that is what I said. As for rejecting protestant denominations, that didn’t even come up. You manufactured it.

          I don’t see much point in answering a refutation of an argument I didn’t make, do you?

          Rick

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Retro:

        So who do you go with? The guy that actually lived and talked with the physical Jesus, or the guy that only seen Jesus as a flash of light and a vision in a trance?

        The more I read about early sects of Christianity, the more I’d like to know. With that caveat that I’m no expert, I’m amazed at the diversity within the early church. The Ebionites (like Peter), the Marcionites, the Gnostics, or what Ehrman calls the proto-orthodox church (Paul)–that’s a lot of variety. My understanding is that if we imagine the difference between the Catholic and Baptist sects to be like French vs. Italian, the difference between these early churches was more like French vs. Chinese.

        At best, Rick can try to claim that he’s following the authentic teachings of the sect that (by good luck) happened to win. Indeed, the earliest (pre-Pauline) church would seem to be what’s now called the Ebionites–basically Judaism 2.0–and I doubt Rick is following that particularly well.

      • Retro

        Rick T said: That may or may not be my position, but you can’t say that is what I said…
        …I don’t see much point in answering a refutation of an argument I didn’t make, do you?

        I wish you’d make an actual argument, or simply state what your position may be, or may not be. You talk about “mainstream Christianity” and “accuracy in following the Bible”, but you fail to give any kind of meaningful definition.

        I really do wish that it’d be like what we see in the paintings, and all the true-Christians would simply have halos.

        Or another alternative could be something like the story of Ananias and Sapphira, and anyone falsely claiming to be a true Christian would just simply fall over dead, …or maybe burst into flames, …or maybe some bears could maul them to death.

        Many things could work. Just something that we could objectively use to separate the true Christians from the false ones.

        • Rick T

          To Retro and Bob,

          You seem hung up on religious language rather than the simple nature of Christianity. You want a definition concerning Catholics and others—fine. It has nothing to do with Catholicism or any protestant denomination. The definition of a Christian is one who simply places all trust in the payment of Christ to be substituted for what he owes to God because of his personal failings (sins). If he does this, he or she is a Christian, plain and simple. There are Catholics, Mormons, Protestants and others who do trust in this way. There are also Catholics, Mormons, Protestents and others who get hung up on doing enough good to outweigh the bad, or whatever else they might trust to get them to a restored relationship with God. But only through trust in the payment of Christ can they be restored to this fellowship and be promised eternal relationship to continue.

          Sorry if this wasn’t made clear. Since you are blogging about “clear thinking about Christianity,” my assumption was that you understood this and were simply arguing about the existence of God, etc. If you haven’t heard this simple truth, it is throughout the New Testament as well as clearly foreshadowed in the Old. Nearly every place in the New Testament where the word “believe” is used, it refers to a Greek word (pisteuo—i suspect a root of the word “epistemology”) which is best translated as the conscious act of placing trust in something. So when Jesus said to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3;16) He is saying that Nicodemus (and “whoever” reads those words) that he needs to place trust in himself (Jesus). This is extremely consistent every place the word is used.

          You can join us. No entry fee. No annoying church to join, though you may find you want to do so. No denominational hassle. Just place trust in the payment Christ already completed. (He said, “It is finished,” remember?)

          Rick

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Rick T:

        I didn’t say either of those things, which you then proceeded to argue against.

        Lighten up. In email/blog/forum conversations, one can take a very slow and methodical approach, checking assumptions or ideas one at a time, or one can make assumptions and then comment as if that assumption were true. The latter is much faster. If, as sometimes happens, the assumption is wrong, the person with the knowledge to correct it does so. Quick and easy.

        I said Catholicism is not as accurate in following the Bible as evangelical churches, and gave four specific examples. I didn’t say they weren’t true Christianity.

        Tell us then: what do you think about the various kinds of Catholicism? Are they Christians?

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Rick T:

        The definition of a Christian is one who simply places all trust in the payment of Christ to be substituted for what he owes to God because of his personal failings (sins).

        Sounds reasonable. My guess is that Bob C has a much narrower definition.

        As you know, my own working definition for Christian is: “someone who claims to be a Christian.” My interest is in Christianity’s impact on society, and this definition highlights those people who would be acting in the name of Christianity. As a result, I don’t much care for the specifics of other definitions.

    • Retro

      .

      Bob C wrote: But they all agree on the essentials of the Christian faith..They are all true born-again believers. they are all brothers in Christ.

      You do realize that the Greek phrase translated as born “again” in John 3 could mean “again”, or “from above”. (This only works in the Greek language, and it seems very odd that Jesus would be speaking to a Jewish rabbi in Greek.)

      As the story tells us, Nicodemus picked the wrong meaning, and missed what Jesus was actually teaching. Instead of calling yourself a “born again” Christian, you should more correctly call yourself a “born from above” Christian.

      BTW, you failed to respond to my earlier post, so I’ll repost it here:

      Bob C wrote: That is an unbiblical view..We are all made in the image of God..And God is not worthless.

      Yes we are all sinners ( we have broken God’s laws) but we are not worthless.

      Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

      So then, the Bible does indeed say we are worthless.

  • Bob Calvan

    I menat to say ” No Creadibility.. ” In the above post..

  • Bob Calvan

    Retro asked:

    “…You do realize that the Greek phrase translated as born “again” in John 3 could mean “again”, or “from above”. (This only works in the Greek language, and it seems very odd that Jesus would be speaking to a Jewish rabbi in Greek.)

    Yes, the better translation is “Born from above”. Yes when Jesus told Nicodemus the only way to be saved ( become a Christian) is to be “Born from above”. Nicodemus could not understand how a person could be reborn? Jesus was telling us that there is a physical birth and a spiritual birth.. And being born from above is the sovereign act of God..As the Spirit gives us spiritual life to those with faith.

    Retro asked:

    “…As the story tells us, Nicodemus picked the wrong meaning, and missed what Jesus was actually teaching. Instead of calling yourself a “born again” Christian, you should more correctly call yourself a “born from above” Christian…”

    It does not matter if a believer says he is born from above or born again. Point is only true believers are born from above or born again. And you must be born again to be a Christian. As Jesus affirms. That is one of the essentials of the Christian faith I was speaking of.

    Have you ever heard this saying? The Christian is born twice, and dies once. And the rest of mankind is born once and dies twice? That is a true statement.

    Bob asked:

    “..You must be born again to be a true Christian? So most “Christians” aren’t really Christian…’

    Don’t know where you got that? Please explain where that comes from? But unless one is born again they can not be Christians. The only way to become a Christian is from the Spiritual birth. Yes, Bob a supernatural event. Man can not make himself be born again. As man had no control of his physical birth , man has no control of his spiritual birth..Salvation is of the Lord!

    • Retro

      Bob Calvan wrote: Point is only true believers are born from above or born again.

      And my only real point was that it’s interesting that the wrong meaning of the Greek word is the one that gets used today. I guess it’s probably because “born from above Christian” just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easy.

      Don’t know where you got that? Please explain where that comes from? But unless one is born again they can not be Christians.

      He got it from you saying that some people, like Harold Camping, are not true Christians. And what about guys who have a more mainstream doctrine, like Ted Haggard? Honestly, did you think Haggard was a true Christian before you learned of his scandal?

      Explain to us exactly how you determine who’s been born again, and who hasn’t.

      They have become unprofitable This word in Hebrew means to become “putrid” and “offensive,” like fruit that is spoiled. it is applied to moral subjects, it means to become corrupt and useless.

      Ok then, I stand corrected.

      From now on, rather than saying the Bible calls humans “worthless”, I’ll use the more appropriate terms.

      From now on I’ll simply say the Bible says humans are putrid, corrupt, and/or useless.

      They are of no value in regard to works of righteousness. Not as humans created in the image of God.

      Well however you wish to define it, the majority of humans created in the image of God will be thrown into Hell.

      I’ll ask again, please provide a link to a video that has your stamp of approval as the “correct” Christian message so we can better understand what exactly it is that you do believe.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C:

      Don’t know where you got that? Please explain where that comes from?

      Most people who call themselves Christians weren’t born again in a way that would satisfy you. So, from your standpoint, most “Christians” aren’t really Christian. Is that right?

  • Bob Calvan

    Retro asked:

    “…BTW, you failed to respond to my earlier post, so I’ll repost it here:

    Bob C wrote: That is an unbiblical view..We are all made in the image of God..And God is not worthless.

    Yes we are all sinners ( we have broken God’s laws) but we are not worthless.

    Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

    So then, the Bible does indeed say we are worthless…..”

    Well, Actually the word Worthless is a poor translation of the GREEK If you notice most Bible’s translate the Greek correctly as ” useless”,unprofitable, or corrupt.

    New International Version (©1984)
    All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
    New Living Translation (©2007)
    All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
    “They have all turned away together, and they have been rejected, and there is not one who does good, not even one.”

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    Everyone has turned away. Together they have become rotten to the core. No one does anything good, not even one person.

    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.

    American King James Version
    They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.

    American Standard Version
    They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one.

    Darby Bible Translation
    All have gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable; there is not one that practises goodness, there is not so much as one:

    English Revised Version
    They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one:

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Weymouth New Testament
    All have turned aside from the right path; they have every one of them become corrupt. There is no one who does what is right–no, not so much as one.”

    World English Bible
    They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, no, not, so much as one.”

    Young’s Literal Translation
    All did go out of the way, together they became unprofitable, there is none doing good, there is not even one.

    They are together become unprofitable (ἅμα ἠχρειώθησαν)

    The Hebrew of the Psalm means have become corrupt. The Greek word is to become useless.

    And either way Romans 3 :12 says :

    They have become unprofitable This word in Hebrew means to become “putrid” and “offensive,” like fruit that is spoiled. it is applied to moral subjects, it means to become corrupt and useless. They are of no value in regard to works of righteousness. Not as humans created in the image of God.

  • Bob Calvan

    http://youtu.be/gJEPtqBdifU

    Retro asked:

    “.I’ll ask again, please provide a link to a video that has your stamp of approval as the “correct” Christian message so we can better understand what exactly it is that you do believe.”

    Here is one Video that has my stamp of approval. This message is to all those who claim to be a Christian.. And is a good message for everyone else.. If you want another short video let me know.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      “God’s wrath is coming. Are you ready?”

      “You are a vile, filthy, hell-deserving wretched son or daughter of Adam!”

      Sounds like Jonathan Edwards. What fun!

  • Retro

    Rick said: The definition of a Christian is one who simply places all trust in the payment of Christ to be substituted for what he owes to God because of his personal failings (sins). If he does this, he or she is a Christian, plain and simple. There are Catholics, Mormons, Protestants and others who do trust in this way.

    Thank you for the definition.

    I apologize for assuming you and Bob Calvan believed the same thing.

    Since you are blogging about “clear thinking about Christianity,” my assumption was that you understood this and were simply arguing about the existence of God, etc.

    I can’t speak for Bob S, but the main thing I’m against is the exploitation of people. If religion is actually beneficial to someone, then I’m inclined to let it be. Too many times however, religion is used to persuade people to give time and money they don’t have, to preachers and politicians who don’t deserve it.

    Surely, nothing can surpass the ultimate exploitation of the threat of eternal conscious torment in Hell.

    IMO, I think it’s better to share with your fellow finite humans who can be helped or harmed, than it is to sacrifice to an infinite God that can’t be harmed. This to me is the root of all morality.

    So again Rick, I apologize for making assumptions.

    • Rick T

      Retro,

      Thanks for your comments. Bob S likes us to add applause when we agree with the other side, and I clearly agree with most of what you wrote.

      I fully agree that exploitation is abhorrent, and when it comes in the guise of a “pastor,” it is even worse. We are never instructed to go into debt to give to the cause of Christianity. We are instructed to pay off debt and give out of gratitude to worthy causes.

      But consider this. There is an absolute truth. We are all discussing what the nature of that truth really IS. Consider that if part of that truth is that we can be assured of eternal relationship with the creator of the universe, then it is worth knowing how that works. If it is also the case that the opposite is also true, and there are things we can do which would prevent that restoration, that part of truth would also be worth knowing. Those of us who are Christians in a Biblical sense have determined that Jesus IS the son of God, that his death on the cross DID pay for the payment I owe God, and that there is hope. You and Bob tend to focus on fear side of the puzzle. But there is a hope side that outweighs it.

      I don’t fully understand how finite actions can result in infinite consequences, either good or bad. But I do trust that God will work out the details according to His infinite justice and goodness, and that in the end, He will be shown to be the ultimate GOOD in all that is true.

      It will be interesting to see it work out, will it not?

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Rick T:

        I don’t fully understand how finite actions can result in infinite consequences, either good or bad. But I do trust that God will work out the details according to His infinite justice and goodness, and that in the end, He will be shown to be the ultimate GOOD in all that is true.

        In any other situation, when you’ve got a logical disconnect as dramatic as this, instead of trying to patch together a rationalization to maintain your belief, you’d question the hypothesis. Isn’t that what you’d want biologists to do with evidence that doesn’t support evolution?

        • Rick T

          Bob,

          Reference your comment: “In any other situation, when you’ve got a logical disconnect as dramatic as this, instead of trying to patch together a rationalization to maintain your belief, you’d question the hypothesis. Isn’t that what you’d want biologists to do with evidence that doesn’t support evolution?”

          Yes, I DO wish biologists would deal with evidence that counters evolution. Fortunately, contrary to your understanding, many do just that. As for my “dramatic logical disconnect,” I characterized it as a less than complete grasp, much less serious than your mischaracterization of my statement.

          If you want to talk about a dramatic logical disconnect, consider information content in DNA, an attribute you illogically assign to time, random chance, and the god of natural selection.

          The hundreds of data points affirming the Bible as true are not overcome by incomplete understanding on some difficult questions.

          Rick

      • Retro

        Rick: You and Bob tend to focus on fear side of the puzzle. But there is a hope side that outweighs it.

        So what exactly is your belief about Hell? What happens to those who haven’t paid God what they owe Him?

        Can you see how for some people, the idea that a debt can be owed or paid to an infinite being makes no logical sense? If God is truly infinite, there is nothing you could do to take away or add to Him.

        My sense of morality demands that the level of responsibility is also equally matched to the level of authority. Those with the most power and ability to change or prevent things should be most accountable for their actions or inactions. Religion (and politics) seems to always turn this upside down.

        I do understand how many people can simply focus on the hope side, but it doesn’t actually negate the fear side. I know the Bible the Bibles says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” However, the Bible also says, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (I won’t even bother to quote any atrocities from the Old Testament.)

        All I know for sure is that as a human father, I want my daughter to become my equal. In fact, I want my daughter to surpass me. I don’t keep a list of mistakes. I also don’t expect that she’ll pay me back what it cost to raise her once she has a career. What kind of father would want their children to be perpetual inferiors?

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Retro:

        Can you see how for some people, the idea that a debt can be owed or paid to an infinite being makes no logical sense? If God is truly infinite, there is nothing you could do to take away or add to Him.

        Imagining that you can injure or hurt God is like imagining that Superman would be injured by your punch. Imagining that you can insult or blaspheme God is like imagining that a Sage would be insulted by whatever you can come up with.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Rick T:

        Yes, I DO wish biologists would deal with evidence that counters evolution. Fortunately, contrary to your understanding, many do just that.

        You’re correct–this is indeed contrary to my understanding. I can think of only two biologists who are largely or partly in the ID/Creationism camp. But this is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. Show me the rest of these biologists of which I’m unaware.

        If you want to talk about a dramatic logical disconnect, consider information content in DNA, an attribute you illogically assign to time, random chance, and the god of natural selection.

        It’s not me who assigns things (logically or not) but science. I trust the science, like you do.

  • Rick T

    Bob,

    Reference your comment, “As you know, my own working definition for Christian is: ‘someone who claims to be a Christian.’ ”

    You are, of course, free to make up a definition. But wouldn’t it be better to have a valid source for where you use that definition, so that it means the same thing to other people? Seems like as familiar as you are with the Bible, that might be a reasonable source for you to use for your definitions where the terms are so clearly defined.

    Reference your comment, “My interest is in Christianity’s impact on society, and this definition highlights those people who would be acting in the name of Christianity. As a result, I don’t much care for the specifics of other definitions.”

    The fact you don’t much care for the actual definition used by Christians who adhere to the text from which the term originated is instructive. Might I suggest you refer to your brand of Christians as “Secular Christians,” or “self-styled Christians,” or “so-called Christians.” Otherwise you force responders to redefine over and over what they are talking about while you can dismiss their comments if they apply differently to your uniquely used definition. Makes it confusing, no?

    Reference your comment: “Lighten up. In email/blog/forum conversations, one can take a very slow and methodical approach, checking assumptions or ideas one at a time, or one can make assumptions and then comment as if that assumption were true. The latter is much faster. If, as sometimes happens, the assumption is wrong, the person with the knowledge to correct it does so. Quick and easy.”

    So if a responder to your blog carefully and methodically words something, and someone disagrees, we should lighten up and ignore it? That would make your blog pretty much irrelevant, since no one can take anything seriously. Sounds like you are discouraging participation from anyone who actually fact checks, thinks carefully before writing, etc. Yet the way you and others pounce on the smallest misstatement and twist less than perfectly worded arguments suggests you treat posts differently if it suits your purpose. To encourage only those who make assumptions and comment without research would defeat your purpose, it seems to me. That would make commenting quick, easy, and meaningless.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Rick T:

      But wouldn’t it be better to have a valid source for where you use that definition, so that it means the same thing to other people?

      Sure! Do you have one that all people who call themselves “Christian” will agree with? I know of no such definition.

      Makes it confusing, no?

      No. I’m missing your point. This is clearly important to you, but I don’t see why.

      I comment on what William Lane Craig, Greg Koukl, Alvin Plantinga, and Lee Strobel say as well as Harold Camping. Each man is different, and if the topic is Christianity, I don’t see why it makes absolutely no sense to comment on Camping as well.

      Is it OK to comment on Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins, and other atheists?

      So if a responder to your blog carefully and methodically words something, and someone disagrees, we should lighten up and ignore it?

      You can if you want to, but since this isn’t what I suggested, I’m not sure why you bring it up.

      If someone says, “Given that you think X, you’re wrong for reason Y” but you don’t think X, the easy solution is to respond, “Hold on–I don’t think X!” rather than weave a long and elaborate essay about straw men and hurt feelings.

      Yet the way you and others pounce on the smallest misstatement and twist less than perfectly worded arguments suggests you treat posts differently if it suits your purpose.

      Since I make many misstatements myself, such an environment would be self-defeating. I don’t recall misstatements being pounced upon, perhaps because misstatements aren’t that big a deal IMO. You choose words poorly or make a typo–big deal. Make the correction and move on.

      If your point is simply that we should be charitable about others’ mistakes (since next time it may well be us), I agree!

  • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

    Hey, gang:

    Just a random comment. Everyone’s been pretty clear in their comments when they refer to a previous comment, but if you’d like more tools for doing it pretty, my post on HTML can help.

    Unfortunately, you can’t go back and change a comment, so if you make a mistake, it’ll be there forever. Like an Old Testament prophet, I alone have that power. But an HTML mistake isn’t a big deal. We all make them as we learn the language.


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