Why Does the Bible Have No Recipe for Soap?

Why does the Bible not have a recipe for soap?The Bible has a detailed description of the priestly costume in Exodus 28. Aaron and his priestly descendants certainly looked fabulous, but if the Bible can spend an entire chapter on this, why not a method for making something useful, like soap?

It’s not hard to make. Imagine if the following recipe were a quote from the Bible (give it a King James tone if that makes it sound more authentic):

Pack a wooden bucket with ashes. Pour in boiling water. Make a small hole near the bottom so the water can be collected in a pot as it drips out. The liquid is caustic, so don’t let it touch skin or metal. Pour the liquid back into the ashes until it is strong enough to dissolve a chicken feather.

Boil this liquid until most of the water is gone. Add rendered fat from cattle or other animals and stir while cooking until it thickens. Pour into molds and let it harden.

There are lots of tricks to making soap properly, but a priesthood could’ve easily perfected the technique.

With this, the Bible could then add the basics of health care—when and how to use this soap, how water is purified by boiling (really purified, not just ritually), how latrines should be built and sited, how to avoid polluting the water supply, how to avoid spreading disease, and so on. Other ideas to improve society come to mind—low-tech ways to pump water, spin fiber, make metal alloys, and so on—but health seems to be a fundamental one to start with.

Several passages have been advanced to argue that the Bible did refer to soap. The word is used in Mal. 3:2 and Jer. 2:22, but that word means ashes or soapy plant. In Job 9:30, the word isn’t soap but “snow water” (that is, pure water). Num. 19:1–12 is argued to be a recipe for soap here, though it’s clearly just a ritual. None of these are soap as we would understand it, as defined by the recipe above.

Another attempt to salvage the Bible argues that its odd dietary rules (no pork or shellfish, no mixing of meat and dairy, etc.) are healthy, but these rules are arbitrary when seen from a modern standpoint. Sure, avoiding pork means that you can’t get sick from eating poorly cooked pork, but can’t you still get sick from eating tainted meat from other animals? An analysis by Mary Douglas (discussed here) makes much more sense out of the ritual prohibitions.

Let’s consider the Bible’s health advice and consider two possibilities.

  • An infinitely loving God created us but just didn’t give a hoot about the health of his creation. He could’ve made healthy practices mandatory rituals, but he didn’t. However, he did care enough about making his priests look sharp to devote an entire chapter to their costumes.
  • The Old Testament was just written by ordinary men and reflects their ordinary knowledge and interests.

Which seems likelier?

Man once surrendering his reason,
has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous,
and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.
— Thomas Jefferson

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • .

    at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if I found an article that said : clearly God doens’t exist because if he did and were a loving God, he would’ve given the ISraelites the recipe for manna so they could have as much as they wanted instead of whatver puny serving he game them

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I don’t find that quite as compelling as the lack of health fundamentals in the Bible.

      • http://paulonbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ PaulOnBooks

        If they’d had excess manna, they might have tried to wash with it. See – the existence of God proved through Intelligent Catering.

  • .

    at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if I found an article that said : clearly God doens’t exist because if he did and were a loving God, he would’ve given the ISraelites the recipe for manna so they could have as much as they wanted instead of whatver puny serving he gave them

  • http://paulonbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ PaulOnBooks

    The Bible doesn’t have instructions on how to use a washing machine either. Then again, it’s written by men for men so perhaps that’s not relevant :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      No, the Bible doesn’t have washing machine instructions. That kinda makes sense, since those instructions would’ve been pointless.

      A recipe for soap, however, would’ve been exactly what a loving god would’ve given his creation.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    I’m tired; I read the title subject as soup, not soap. My immediate reaction was, that’s something women concoct! It’s beneath the bible to mention it! But come to think of it, that might apply to soap, too. More stuff that was the province of women, and therefore unimportant by definition.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I’m not sure if you’re agreeing with my position or not.

      • Karen the rock whisperer

        I do agree with your position, in general. I’m mostly being snarky, but suggesting that the bible is clearly written by men for men. No deities involved.

        • MNb

          “suggesting that …..”
          You suggested the obvious, but also something that isn’t mentioned often enough. It makes this ridiculous in my eyes:

          http://www.theologynetwork.org/theology-of-everything/an-overview-of-feminist-theology.htm

        • Karen the rock whisperer

          I skimmed the article; I’ll go back to read later. But this caught my eye:

          “The foundation of Western culture is rational (‘straight line’, logical) discourse. This is denounced as ‘male’ thinking. Subjective experience and opinion is the valid means of self expression. Some argue that all previous thinking (including the Christian tradition, and the Bible) is infused with ‘sexism’ and has to be challenged: if a student questions this, she/he may be told that it is because she/he is ‘sexist’ and needs to be re-educated.”

          I’m a scientist; thinking rationally is one of my goals, because it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Practice improves it. I have a really hard time swallowing that this is “male” thinking. OTOH, the bible is full of stuff based on subjective experience and opinion, and that’s pretty much why I reject it.

        • MNb

          I even have a hard time accepting that it’s the foundation of western culture.
          At one hand it’s only the foundation of science and perhaps philosophy.
          At the other hand it’s not exclusively western. In India and China peope were pretty good at math for instance.

        • TheNuszAbides

          my inner idealist likes to think that if we could just clear up the smothering heap of ‘just-so’ attributions (gender essentialism, unmoved-mover-grounder-of-goodness-with-personality and so on) that humanity has been crawling around under for, well, recorded history at least, we’d cut it out with the wars and finally start making progress at a respectable clip.

  • Teresa

    http://www.apologeticspress.org/
    type “soap” in the search box.
    A recipe for soap found in the Bible. My prayers are with you. It must be difficult to not know who designed you and the world you live in. May the one true God draw you to Him and give you understanding and clarity.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It’s interesting that the article “God’s Soap Recipe” doesn’t even give the Bible reference so that you can look up and verify that the claims are accurate. They’re not. If you’re actually interested, read how you actually make soap in this post and then see that Numbers 19 (I’ll give the reference even if they’re embarrassed to) is no such thing.

      It must be difficult to not know who designed you and the world you live in.

      Give science a try. Reality feels pretty good.

      • Rick

        The linked article gives Numbers 19 as the reference.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I see it now. Thanks for the correction.

    • TheNuszAbides

      May the one true God draw you to Him and give you understanding and clarity.

      may False Goddessette 12-B continue to pull the wool over your eyes and inspire you to waste your energy on empty, unfalsifiable attributions.

  • Drew White

    Do you love (or want to love) the character of the God of the
    Bible? If not, quite possibly no evidence will convince you of him. As far as
    the conversation for soap goes, allow me to talk about it. The fact that we don’t
    get a Country Living exrcerpt recipe of soap does not disprove the God of the
    Bible. However, I would also like to say that I think you misclassify your
    definition of soap. Soap at it’s core is lye from plant and other ashes. This
    is part of the recipe today, and it is also what primitive tribes like the
    Masaai in Weston Price’s Nutrition and
    Physical Degeneration, would put on cuts to keep them from getting
    infected. Lye is antibacterial and it does clean the body. I know of a native
    american that said that she and her ancestors cleaned their hair with wood
    ashes. Therefore what Jeremiah 2:22 says if evidence of this. And as far as the
    question of God is concerned, is the problem of evidence the only problem, or
    is it also the question of why anger Is often in the hearts of those wanting to
    deny him? If everyone could see God clearly, everyone would love him. It is
    only lies in our head that cloud our ability to see him. As long as one wants
    to do what God calls sin, that person may choose to hate
    God against all
    evidence and logic.

    • Greg G.

      Do you love (or want to love) the character of the God of the
      Bible?

      Why would somebody want to do that?

      The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
        –Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

      • Drew White

        Those views are based on lies and misinterpretations. That is not the character of God. Dawkins does not see him clearly. If you spoke with me about exact examples, that argument cannot be sustained. I have experienced God, and much of what is in the Bible. I have large proof for him and his character (which usually means nothing to those who hate him). If you could see how beautiful he is and what he wants for you it would shock you to the core.

        • Greg G.

          Those views are based on lies and misinterpretations. That is not the character of God.

          That is the character of Old Testament God. New Testament God is kinder and gentler. Marcion had it right in the early second century that Old Testament God is incompatible with the newer ideas about God.

          I have experienced God, and much of what is in the Bible.

          How did you distinguish this experience from an imagined event?

        • Pofarmer

          What the hell does “Experiencing much of what is in the Bible.” even mean?

        • Greg G.

          I have experienced a lot of Psalm 77 where the writer complained that miracles didn’t happen like they did in the old days.

        • Pofarmer

          Pretty sure that’s not what he meant, but I know what you mean.

        • Michael Neville

          According to your propaganda, i.e. the Old Testament, your god is a sadistic, narcissistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old. He kills people just because he can. He orders genocide and rape and condones slavery. But don’t sweat it. Most gods are like that.

        • Drew White

          Do you wish to have a conversation with me, or declare to me what I should believe? Does the opinion one has of another constitute absolute truth?

        • Michael Neville

          I’m not telling you what to believe. I’m telling you what I believe. If you think I’m wrong then we can discuss it. If you just want to whine that I have a different opinion than you then you can fuck off. Your choice.

        • Drew White

          I truly wish the best for you, in love. That is what the bible teaches. Is ” If you just want to whine that I have a different opinion than you then you can **** off.” a statement made in love? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

        • Michael Neville

          We’re adults here. If you want to tell me to fuck off then you can use the word fuck.

          As I said before, I told you want I believe. If you want to have an adult conversation then we can do it. If you want to throw platitudes or tone troll me then you can fuck off.

          I try to love my neighbor as myself (incidentally the Golden Rule is found in the sermons of Buddha and the Analects of Confucius, both of which predate Jesus by about 500 years). That includes telling him, you in this case, when you’re acting childish and even getting your attention by using foul language.

          Now that we’ve got that out of the way, why do you disregard the god of the Old Testament, Yahweh? Read Exodus. Pharaoh won’t let the Hebrews leave like Moses wants. But why is Pharaoh acting this way? Because Yahweh “hardened his heart” (Ex 9:12). That’s right, Yahweh set Pharaoh up to fail. So Egypt undergoes ten plagues including the first borns’ deaths. Yahweh kills children because Pharaoh won’t listen to a political lobbyist because he’s forced not to listen. Does that sound like love to you?

          By the way, most Biblical scholars and Egyptologists consider Exodus to be fiction. Basically a small country, Israel, was saying that their god was a bigger badass than the gods of the local superpower. There’s no evidence that Hebrews were slaves in Egypt at any time.

        • Drew White

          Alright.
          I will take the time to articulate my argument (eventually I will write many
          books). There are three large problems that Atheists seem to have with the God
          of the Old Testament (God is just as exacting of others in the New Testament by
          the way): 1. He didn’t prioritize things rightly 2. He didn’t do things the way
          I would do them 3. He actions are unjust. I’ll address these. As far as Exodus
          9:12 is concerned, I’ll start with that. Love is only possible with free will.
          If we don’t have free will, then we are robots incapable of love. God will not
          force himself on someone who does not want him. He does not violate our free
          will. If I choose evil and sinful deeds and I hate God, God will withdraw his
          spirit from me in the same way that a friend will spend less time with you if
          you avoid him/her. God caused Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened because the Pharaoh
          willed for it to be so. Otherwise Pharaoh wouldn’t have a free will, he
          would be a robot of God. Love is the main theme of the Bible, and without free
          will it cannot exist. As far as the other objection, No one knows everything
          (not even a small amount of all attainable knowledge, especially on the origin
          of the universe and life, and the reasoning behind why a construction of moral
          absolutes should be what it is), therefore saying that God did things in the
          wrong priority or not the way you would do them isn’t a very convincing
          argument. The third argument of God not being just is to an extent similar. However,
          here is the catch that I think Atheists don’t understand with the old
          testament. Jesus was God. God loved us so much that he came down himself to
          take the punishment for our sin so that we could inherit eternal life. If God
          let us sin and do evil without punishment he wouldn’t be just. If someone is
          let off for murder in a human court with irrefutable evidence that they did it,
          it is unjust. Since heaven is a place where sin cannot enter, only those who
          are perfect can enter. None of us are perfect, and no religion can account for
          this. No distinguishing of our desires or amount of good deeds can make us
          perfect. Only Christ can. Therefore, Christ had to come down and make atonement
          for our sin. Before I go on, I would like to make a quick side-note of
          something some people seem to forget. Truth is not only made by evidence. It is
          also made by logical consistency. Your worldview has to make sense without any
          contradictions within itself. You can have a ton of evidence for your view, but
          if it contradicts itself it cannot be true. There is much evidence for Christianity,
          and its logical consistency is the greatest of any worldview. Anyway, back to Christ
          and the old testament. God is able to move the atonement of blood from us to
          some other blood because he loves us and does not want us to perish. We still
          of course suffer short term and earthly suffering for these things, but God
          does not want to be separated from us forever and believes that we are more
          important than animals, being that we are created in his image (we are also not
          animals as evolution would have us believe because evolution does not fit the
          definition of science – observation and experiment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu5Kb_VpyBI).
          This I suppose is similar to paying someone’s fine in a courtroom. The idea
          then follows that God had to provide Jesus for this sacrifice or else we cannot
          return to our relationship with him and go to heaven. Imagine if Jesus grew up
          with the Canaanites who reveled in sin and sacrificed their children to idols.
          Imagine if they were the parents of Jesus Christ. The reason God gave the law
          of Moses to the Israelites was to prepare a society to be able to raise Jesus Christ.
          He gave them strange laws in order to distance them from evil and idolatrous practices
          of those around them. This ties together here: God knows the future and we do
          not. If I kill a man who is in the act of killing my son, I am justified. If I
          as God knew all these things before this man was older than infancy, and I knew
          that he would never submit to what is right, he would sacrifice his children to
          idols, he would kill my son AND he would keep Jesus from fulfilling his needed
          duty, then it becomes a different story. Without Jesus we all fall. God had to
          protect Jesus’ ability to save us without violating our free will. He has an
          infinite amount of variables to juggle in the equation of life. This universe
          might not be perfect, but it is the only universe where love is possible – the highest
          ethic. This is also why the violence of the old testament ceased more or less
          with Christ. He redeemed us, and no one needed to protect his coming any
          further. We don’t know enough to condemn God of doing wrong, killing someone is
          justified in certain instances of self-defense (especially knowing the future)!
          By the way, you cannot even use the arguments of unjust actions to disprove the
          existence of God without violating logical consistency! This is because you
          must have a way to distinguish between absolute good and evil which you can’t
          do without a moral law from God! Otherwise morality is an opinion, (as many
          believe) from random processes set ahead by evolution. If this way true, why
          should we believe our thoughts are moral in the first place! Lastly, the lack
          of evidence for slavery does not disprove the Bible. This instance is true
          without that evidence. I have much evidence scientifically for the bible as
          well as every other way. I will write a book on it, so that I don’t have to
          write one here. If we get rid of everything that is claimed to be science that
          is not observable in the present and testable through experiment, then nothing
          that remains disagrees with the Bible. This includes getting rid of Darwinian evolution,
          the big bang, radio carbon dating, tree ring dating, and uniformitarianism
          (that rock layers and ice cores happen one per year). Anyway, I hope you
          learned more about my worldview, and I hope that you will be respectful in your
          responses to me being that I took the time to completely write it out for you.
          Have a nice day Michael, God bless you.

        • Drew White

          Sorry about the funky organization.

        • Michael Neville

          I had a high school English teacher who kept saying: “If you make something difficult to read then people won’t read it.” You can clean up your long post by taking the extraneous line returns out. Also remember that paragraphs are your friends.

          EDITED to turn one sentence into English.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          paragraphs are your friends.

          Damn. You beat me to it.

        • Michael Neville

          God caused Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened because the Pharaoh willed for it to be so.

          That does not make sense. If Pharaoh had a “hard heart” then Yahweh wouldn’t have had to harden it for him. That’s not an explanation, it’s an excuse and a very weak one at that.

          What about the free will of the children that Yahweh supposedly killed? Don’t they get a vote about whether or not they should live? Do you think their parents were overjoyed that their eldest was killed because Yahweh was in smiting mode? That’s the thing apologists always forget when you trot out “God doesn’t interfere because of free will”. You neglect the point that the victims’ free will desires not to be victimized is violated.

          As for the “the ways of God are mysterious” excuse, that’s also pretty weak. Your god was a real asshole to allow six million Jews, six to seven million Slavs, three million Soviet POWs, and about one million others (homosexuals, Roma, disabled, religious minorities, etc.) to be killed in the Holocaust because of “mysterious ways”. That doesn’t seem loving to me.

          As for “Jesus atoned for our sins” that’s silly. Yes, I mean silly. First of all, Jesus didn’t die. He spent an unpleasant afternoon hanging around the cross and then, a day and a half later, he’s good to go again. What’s the sacrifice?

          Besides, even if, arguendo, we accept that Jesus died, so what? People die all the time, sometimes in very gruesome ways. After the Romans put down the Spartacus Revolt, aka Third Servile War, six thousand slaves were crucified along the Apian Way from Rome to Capua (that’s 120 miles or 200 km). Most of them took more than an afternoon to die.

          But, you say, Jesus is a god. Prove it. All we have is Christians’ word for that, something that Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc. would deny.

          Besides if Yahweh needs to forgive humanity for being humans, all he has to do is forgive us. I’ve forgiven people for serious insults and injuries they’ve made to me, so why does Yahweh need a sacrifice?

          I’m not going to respond to the rest of your longwinded screed except to say that promoting creationism is not going to win you any points with me. Around the year 400, Augustine of Hippo considered the literal interpretation of Genesis and he rejected it for many reasons. I’ll give you three of them:

          1. You believe that God created the universe and that people wrote the Bible. Augustine argued that preferring a human produced book over God’s universe is disrespectful to God.

          2. If there’s a discrepancy between your interpretation of the Bible and God’s universe, the problem is most likely with your interpretation, not with God’s work.

          3. Quite often a non-believer will know something about the world and the universe, their origins and how they work. If a Christian tells the non-believer something he knows is wrong and cites the Bible as authority, he will consider the Christian a fool and the Bible a collection of myths and fables with nothing relevant to say on any subject including redemption. Congratulations, fool, you’ve just shot yourself in the foot.

        • MNb

          “saying that God did things in the wrong priority or not the way you would do them isn’t a very convincing argument.”
          It’s not an argument for or against the existence of god at all. It’s an ethical judgment. That you feel obliged to defend a piece of shit like described in your own Holy Book does tell us something about your character though – I don’t trust your “love” for a split second.

          “Since heaven is a place where sin cannot enter, only those who are perfect can enter.”
          So there is no free will in Heaven. Why bother then about free will on Earth?

          “evolution does not fit the definition of science – observation and experiment”
          You’re bearing false testimony, hence you’re not perfect, hence you won’t go to heaven.
          Evolution has been observed – notably speciation.
          Lab experiments on evolution have been done as well.
          Apparently your god has forgotten to bless you.

        • MNb

          “That is what the bible teaches.”
          Except when you’re a Canaanite, Amalekite, witch, false prophet, homosexual, fortune teller or unbeliever (2 Chr 15:13) of course (the list is not complete). Then your god orders our death. Assuming that you don’t wish to be executed there your love of your neighbor as yourself is gone, ‘cuz god.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Dan Barker’s latest book goes through Dawkins’ list one at a time, giving biblical citations of when God does exactly that.

          You’re convicted by your own holy book.

        • MNb

          Then please explain to us ignorants how this

          Isa 14:32 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.”

          and this

          Eze 9:5-7 “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity (underlined by MNb): Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.”

          does not make your god an evil character.
          I mean, even Heinrich Himmler showed some pity when he witnessed jewish women being executed by Einsatzgruppen.

    • Michael Neville

      As long as one wants to do what God calls sin, that person may choose to hate God against all evidence and logic.

      We don’t hate your god. Do you hate Sauron, Valdemort or Iago? Of course not, they’re fictitious characters. So we don’t hate your god because he’s also a fictitious character. It would be silly to hate someone who doesn’t exist.

      As for sin, it’s also imaginary. The only sin is described by Esmeralda Weatherwax in Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum:

      And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.

      An imaginary critter cannot be sinned against so there are no sins against the gods. If you pretend otherwise then you have to show with (here’s the word you goddists hate) evidence that your god exists. For centuries people have been trying to show that various gods exist. They have failed to do so. Hint: the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible is not evidence.

      • Drew White

        Where is your moral reference point for that definition of sin? How can you say that that definition of sin applies to everyone as absolute truth and is not just your opinion? How can you say that your opinion is worth more and more correct than the opinions of others? Does might make right?

        • Greg G.

          Sin: a concept invented by ancient priests to fool hard-working, superstitious people into thinking they were making their imaginary gods angry so that the people would sacrifice goods that the priests could use.

          The definition of sin doesn’t need a moral reference as it is a religious concept. You could apply it to wrongs against other people who actually exist, and that definition would work. The idea that if a person harms another person and it’s OK because the person claims that a god forgave him is ridiculous.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Remember that time you loaned me $20 and I couldn’t pay you back? I asked God for forgiveness instead. How lucky for me–God forgave me.

          And everyone was happy.

          (Though I notice you haven’t loaned me money anymore…)

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I remember that $200 I loaned you. You said you would pay me back the $2000 last month. You better pay me my $20000 by the end of next month or I will have to do another round up.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I still have my prayer pillow and am not afraid to use it. Don’t push me.

        • Michael Neville

          Humans are social animals. We evolved morality to help us live together in groups. All groups have morality. The problem is that different groups have different ideas on what is or is not moral behavior. Catholic bishops and certain fundamentalist Protestants have the opinion that contraception is immoral, most other people have a different opinion. Pacifists hold that all killing is immoral, soldiers disagree. Intelligent, rational, well-meaning people have completely differing views on the morality of abortion.

          How can you say that that definition of sin applies to everyone as absolute truth and is not just your opinion?

          But it is my opinion. The only people who claim to know absolute truth are politicians and the religious. I am not so conceited as to think my opinion is a “truth”, let alone an absolute one. That sort of arrogance I leave to ideologues and religious fanatics.

          How can you say that your opinion is worth more and more correct than the opinions of others?

          Since I don’t say that (and I would appreciate it if you did not put words in my mouth) then your question is moot.

          Does might make right?

          According to the Bible Yahweh thinks so. He gets pissed off at people and kills them because he can. He’s unhappy with humanity and so floods the Earth, killing everyone except one family. He’s annoyed at Sodom and Gomorrah (if you think sodomy is bad be glad you don’t know about gomorrahy) and nukes both cities. Lot’s wife looks in the wrong direction and ZAPPO! she’s a pillar of salt.

          Not being a sadistic, narcissistic bully like your god I don’t think might makes right.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Are you saying that absolute/objective morality exists? I’ve never seen any evidence of it–just shared morality.

        • Drew White

          A worldview without absolute morality does not hold logical consistency, it contradicts itself. A worldview- even if it has a fair amount of evidence – cannot be true if it contradicts itself. Without objective morality you have no reference point to condemn the actions of anyone else, especially since you also told me that you do not believe that consensus majority decides truth or morality. If you are interested in considering this point, you could search videos with Ravi Zacharias on youtube.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ravi Zacharias is an idiot. I’ve never seen anything interesting from him, live or on video. But thanks for the suggestion.

          You make a point that I find startling—that absolute morality exists. Please show me. For starters, what is the absolutely correct response to abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and other moral problems of our day?

          Note, however, that most people give examples of shared morality (we all agree that torture is wrong, say) or visceral morality (we really, really feel that something is wrong). Don’t bother giving examples in these categories, since natural explanations are fine here—no need for absolute morality.

          One final thought: if absolute morality exists, it’s useless unless we can reliably access it. I assume you’re claiming this as well? I’ll need proof of this, too.

        • Joe

          A worldview without absolute morality does not hold logical consistency, it contradicts itself

          No it does not.

    • TheNuszAbides

      Soap at it’s core is lye from plant and other ashes. This
      is part of the recipe today, and it is also what primitive tribes … would put on cuts to keep them from getting
      infected.

      but the LORD, rather than making such things a scriptural priority, apparently preferred that somebody write down his explicit instructions about where not to leave poop. for such persuasive reasons, too!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Well, yeah. God may have created it, but poop is still gross.

        • TheNuszAbides

          we’re stuck with being intelligently designed to poop, without being designed to habitually deposit it in an agreeable space.

      • Greg G.

        That was inspired by the parasites of humans. It turns out that leaving the turds in the sun kills the parasites but burying the turds allows the parasites to live until another host comes by.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Do you love (or want to love) the character of the God of the
      Bible?

      No. Have you read the Old Testament?? He’s a dick.

      If not, quite possibly no evidence will convince you of him.

      What does “He’s a dick” have to do with believing in someone/something’s existence? Lots of bad people exist; I have no problem believing that.

      The fact that we don’t
      get a Country Living exrcerpt recipe of soap does not disprove the God of the
      Bible.

      Never said that it did. I said that this is yet one more area where we’d expect something if God exists . . . but don’t see it. Why then believe?

      is the problem of evidence the only problem

      For believing in his existence? Of course! If there’s scant evidence, why should I believe??

      If everyone could see God clearly, everyone would love him.

      You forgot to preface that with “If God exists and . . .”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Drew White: Why’d you delete your other comment? I realize it needed paragraph breaks, but deleting it seems excessive.

      eventually I will write many
      books

      You’re very optimistic.

      Love is only possible with free will.
      If we don’t have free will, then we are robots incapable of love. God will not
      force himself on someone who does not want him.

      Did you violate me by making your existence known? No. Why then can’t God show himself?

      Because he doesn’t exist.

      If I choose evil and sinful deeds and I hate God

      You’re imperfect because God made you so. Blame him.

      God caused Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened because the Pharaoh
      willed for it to be so.

      Read your Bible.

      therefore saying that God did things in the
      wrong priority or not the way you would do them isn’t a very convincing
      argument.

      It’s the only argument we can make. When you say, “Here’s a god who’s (1) loving and (2) demands genocide and supports slavery,” I must evaluate that argument as best as I can. The buck stops here.

      And that argument is flawed. Therefore, I reject your claim. What else can I do?

      God loved us so much that he came down himself to
      take the punishment for our sin so that we could inherit eternal life.

      Yeah. Tell him I said thanks.

      We sin because we’re imperfect. We’re imperfect because God made us that way.

      If God needs to forgive us, he could just forgive us. That’s how you do it. That’s even how God does it elsewhere in the Bible. The crucifixion story is nuts.

      If God
      let us sin and do evil without punishment he wouldn’t be just.

      So punishment in hell forever is just?

      There is much evidence for Christianity

      You’ve provided none. And I’ve seen none.

      God is able to move the atonement of blood from us to
      some other blood because he loves us and does not want us to perish.

      Get out of Bronze Age thinking. God is make-believe. If he wanted to forgive us, he could just do so. He’s God, remember?

      we are also not
      animals as evolution would have us believe because evolution does not fit the
      definition of science – observation and experiment

      It’s the consensus view. Deal with it.

      This I suppose is similar to paying someone’s fine in a courtroom.

      Not really. Suppose Mr. X is wrongly convicted of a crime and serves 10 years in prison. After he’s done, they realize that he was wrongly convicted and that Mr. Y was the actual perpetrator. Your logic says that that’s OK because Justice has gotten its 10 years out of someone. But our form of justice says that Mr. X’s 10 years count for nothing (that’s an injustice that we can’t really fix) and that justice hasn’t been served.

      Imagine if Jesus grew up
      with the Canaanites who reveled in sin and sacrificed their children to idols.

      Oh, but God is so much better, right? He just murdered everyone. That’ll teach those Canaanites!

      • Drew White

        I didn’t delete my other comment, it is below on this feed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There’s a comment of yours with no content. It’s gone, for some reason. I was trying to figure out why.

      • Drew White

        One against like 10. I’m fine with that. I count you all as friends and not adversaries anyway. You and others are always welcome to talk to me about any other things as a friend, not just this topic. I am glad to have the opportunity to talk to you Mr. Seidensticker as well as others. I have a question for you. Do you believe that a majority consensus decides truth and morality? If so, what is your opinion on murdering human beings in their mother’s womb? If you do not oppose it and think (like one other I know of) that it is our right/privilege to do so, then how do you rectify the view that you think God is unjust for (while knowing the future) choosing when someone’s life would end, when many decide it is our moral right to do so ourselves?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There was a lot of material in that last comment. You just gonna ignore it?

          I have a question for you. Do you believe that a majority consensus decides truth and morality?

          1. No.

          2. When I mentioned consensus, I was referring to just the scientific consensus.

          If so, what is your opinion on murdering human beings in their mother’s womb?

          I’ve never heard of such a thing. But you’re not confusing abortion with that, are you?

          then how do you rectify the view that you think God is unjust for (while knowing the future) choosing when someone’s life would end, when many decide it is our moral right to do so ourselves?

          God is A-OK with killing women, children, and unborn fetuses. He ordered it in the Canaanite genocide, and he did it himself in the Flood. Further, he spontaneously aborts half of all pregnancies.

          God isn’t your ally on an anti-abortion argument.

        • Drew White

          I suppose I have one point left to
          make here. The old testament is hard to understand. We don’t know the circumstances and details behind God’s actions. What earthly judge would condemn someone without knowing any of the circumstances or motives of an
          action? Someone killing another person being the only evidence without details would not warrant a conviction. Was it in self-defense, hatred, to protect the life of a family member, national defense/security, other things?

          When I first came to the Gospel (without a starting bias only wanting to believe what is true) I started with
          great advice from someone else. They said, read the gospel of Christ first. I did and it changed my life into something unbelievably incredible. Something so
          incredible that I thank God for it every day of my life. My life wouldn’t be 1/100th of what it is today, even after reading over 7000 books (on a huge variation of topics) and learning a huge amount of different skills.

          It is through the Gospel and the new testament that we can see the old testament clearly (especially since we are not ancient Israelites). When I first read the old testament I was shocked, I will admit. However, instead of immediately passing judgement, I decided to research more. As I did, I understood it a lot more after having read the whole new testament, nd I learned that many can read in things into the scriptures that are not
          there. If anyone wanted to seriously look at Christianity, I think the new
          testament (and the Gospel) is where to start. Also, Psychology and
          communication books say that emotions are contagious. That is why anger can be
          exhaustive to be around, and usually dissolves friendships. It also clouds
          judgement. Try doing an intense math problem while being furious. Anyway, have
          a nice night. Lastly, as a note, the reason some of my posts are organized weirdly
          is because disqus can have a huge lag typing, and then it reformats my posts
          from Microsoft word. Just a note.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The old testament is hard to understand.

          You mean like the part where God kills everyone or when he condones slavery? No, that’s all quite clear.

          We don’t know the circumstances and details behind God’s actions.

          Not really, but let’s forget that. No one says, “Well, God’s a complete SOB in the Old Testament as far as I can see, but since I can’t prove that he’s fiction or that he didn’t have good reasons, I’m obliged to believe that he does exist and that he does have good reasons.”

          What earthly judge would condemn someone without knowing any of the circumstances or motives of an
          action?

          Not the question. We’re given the God hypothesis, and we must evaluate it. It doesn’t hold up; therefore, we must reject it.

          It is through the Gospel and the new testament that we can see the old testament clearly (especially since we are not ancient Israelites).

          When reading the OT, we should ask ourselves how the original hearers would’ve interpreted it. And that’s usually not too hard.

          I learned that many can read in things into the scriptures that are not
          there.

          I’m surprised. I agree with you here. But are you sure this isn’t a problem for you?

          the reason some of my posts are organized weirdly
          is because disqus can have a huge lag typing, and then it reformats my posts
          from Microsoft word. Just a note.

          I often use Word and Outlook to type comments and then paste that into the Disqus reply. It always looks good.

        • Drew White

          With all do respect Mr. Seidensticker, you just totally contradicted yourself. To me this shows that you choose to believe what you believe not on the basis of logical consistency of your worldview or because of evidence, but because for some unstated reason you do not want to accept the Bible. You admitted that we don’t know the circumstances or motives behind God’s actions, and you said that there is no point in assuming he has good reasons. Then is there any point in assuming that he has bad reasons? You also did not disagree with the statement that no judge (my point being no person) would condemn another without knowing the circumstances and motives of their actions.

          God says in the Bible that everyone knows that he exists, but many fight against him because people hate to be told what they do is wrong. That is why they killed Jesus. He proved to them in a life of perfection, that they did wrong and had wrong thoughts. If you stopped fighting against God, you would realize that he had perfectly just reasons, that he loves you, you would reach fulfillment from his word, and that everything good is from him. I have experienced many of these things for sure supernaturally outside of apologetics, and I can attest to them from prayer and other things. As I mature in his word, I will continue to experience more.

          It is the maturity in the holy spirit and the way God answers our prayers (outside of other knowledge) that we have absolute proof of his existence, being that nothing (as in the lack of something) cannot answer prayers in a ridiculously specific and probability-wise impossible manner consistently, in a way that displays foreknowledge of the future. If you want proof of this, pray, ask God to reveal himself to you, and be willing to consider his character. Then further prayer, searching the scriptures, and communicating to other believers can find the rest.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I see no contradiction.

          for some unstated reason you do not want to accept the Bible.

          I don’t accept Christian claims for God because of lack of evidence. Is there any better reason?

          You admitted that we don’t know the circumstances or motives behind God’s actions, and you said that there is no point in assuming he has good reasons.

          I don’t know God’s motives for sure. Maybe he has good reasons that we don’t understand, but how is that relevant? He hasn’t bothered to help us understand, so we’re stuck with what we’ve got.

          Is that a good reason to believe claims for God’s existence? Of course not.

          God says in the Bible that everyone knows that he exists

          I assume you mean Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.”

          People are without excuse? Give us good evidence, and that will be true.

          Yet one more reason to reject the Bible.

          but many fight against him because people hate to be told what they do is wrong.

          It’s lack of evidence that’s the problem. Not a hard concept.

          If you stopped fighting against God, you would realize that he had perfectly just reasons, that he loves you, you would reach fulfillment from his word, and that everything good is from him.

          If he loved me, he’d give me evidence of his existence!

          And what about you? Are you fighting against Allah? Or Xenu? Or any other god? Maybe you need to stop fighting and accept those religions’ claims.

          If you want proof of this, pray, ask God to reveal himself to you, and be willing to consider his character.

          I know how this would turn out. I pray, I get nothing, and then you have some song and dance to allow you to maintain your God belief. Right?

          I’ve read stories of people falling away from Christianity, pleading with God to reveal himself. Nothing. Don’t ask me to pray when he clearly doesn’t answer the prayers of people who really, really want to believe.

        • Drew White

          I could take the time to compose a long list of evidence and testimonies, but i feel as if many here would solely laugh at me, mock me, and not take me seriously. If you would ever like to talk to me in the future or be contacted when I publish my book on multi-discipline evidence on God (especially as I grow in the spirit) let me know through disqus. Otherwise have a nice night and God bless.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No need to give us testimonies. I imagine we’ve all heard plenty. It doesn’t count as evidence. Note also that people in other religions have their own testimonies that we’d both likely be skeptical of.

          When you publish your book, come back to this blog and let us know in a comment.

          I write long comments, and you respond to very little. Is that because you have no answer?

        • Drew White

          Well I did say testimonies and evidence. I have both. If one doesn’t believe testimonies, how would one completely study history? If I have a verifiable testimony of a miracle(s) unexplained by science when I commanded something in the name of Jesus, is that not evidence of God? Of course, the Bible says those who deny the Bible would deny miracles as well. I could imagine as much as far as being accused of movie editing or sleight of hand.

          Many atheists don’t seem to realize that miracles are a measure of our relationship to the holy spirit, and that to those who aren’t mature in the spirit (which is a huge amount of those -even christians- led by false teachings) won’t necessarily expect miracles all the time, or much at all (Jesus himself grew in this relationship by fasting 40 days before miracles). It isn’t a read a page in the Bible and then watch someone’s limb grow back any more than it is take a young child who knows no math, show them a math book and expect a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem from them filling only a single page (or less than Fermat’s claim) in a couple minutes.

          Thank you for your invitation when I finish my book. As per your request, I will make sure to let you know about it. Sometimes I don’t write long responses to all of the questions in comments I get because I feel like I have answered some of those questions already from the comments in this section, either in that specific comment or otherwise. I mean cut me some slack, I have like twelve different people here to respond to. I can also say that you have been rather respectful of me personally in your responses. Thank you. Have a nice night.

        • Drew White

          Also to answer one of your points lastly, Arguments from other religions are not persuasive to me. I do not believe in any God but The God of Israel, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the trinity. I believe that Christianity is the only logically consistent worldview, is supported by evidence (which I’ll catalogue in my upcoming book), and extremely relevant to my life experiences based even on probability and statistics (my college studies). I believe that no religious worldview -including atheism and agnosticism- can match up to those claims of Christianity to the truth.

          You may disagree with me on these claims, but this is the conclusion I have come to after over 7000 books and 7 years of devouring diverse information in order to find what is true. This is why the arguments of other religions mean very little to me. I oppose the horrors of radical Islam and the lack of charity in Hinduism just as much as some atheists do, I’m sure. I of course have a goal to read their books (even possibly in their own languages). We can oppose lies the greatest if we know all about them. That I think is why everyone should approach learning everything with a loving attitude with the only motive of finding out what is true with a will to only do what is right.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I do not believe in any God but The God of Israel, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the trinity.

          Curiously, the Trinity isn’t in the Bible. If you went back in time and asked Paul to explain it to you, what do you think he’d say? There’s nothing in his epistles to give any clue that he had a Trinitarian view.

          I believe that Christianity is the only logically consistent worldview, is supported by evidence,

          The supernatural explanation is the most ridiculous explanation possible. Of course, it could be right. But the evidence necessary for that would be huge. So far, I’ve seen very, very little. Conclusion: Christianity is made up, just like the rest.

          I believe that no religious worldview -including atheism and agnosticism- can match up to those claims of Christianity to the truth.

          You like to read. I’ve got 5 years of posts here. Many posts argue against Christianity or for atheism. Maybe they’ll cover ideas that are new to you.

          this is the conclusion I have come to after over 7000 books and 7 years of devouring diverse information in order to find what is true.

          1000 books per year? 3 per day? That’s a little hard to devour.

          This is why the arguments of other religions mean very little to me.

          Why? If you haven’t studied them, maybe you’re missing out.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well I did say testimonies and evidence. I have both.

          OK, give us evidence.

          If I have a verifiable testimony of a miracle(s) unexplained by science when I commanded something in the name of Jesus, is that not evidence of God?

          It might be. Are there natural explanations as well? They take precedence.

          Doesn’t it surprise you that after millennia of God working miracles, the evidence is still so vague? It’s like you won’t find it unless you’re determined to find it.

          those who aren’t mature in the spirit (which is a huge amount of those -even christians- led by false teachings) won’t necessarily expect miracles all the time, or much at all

          Which is what you’d say if God and miracles didn’t exist.

          (Jesus himself grew in this relationship by fasting 40 days before miracles).

          Because Jesus was just an ordinary man? It’s hard seeing how this would work for a person of the Trinity.

          It isn’t a read a page in the Bible and then watch someone’s limb grow back any more than it is take a young child who knows no math, show them a math book and expect a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem from them filling only a single page (or less than Fermat’s claim) in a couple minutes.

          Learning math isn’t magic. God regrowing a limb is. Why don’t we see this?

          Sometimes I don’t write long responses to all of the questions in comments I get because I feel like I have answered some of those questions already

          I don’t think you have. I’ve made many challenges to your position that haven’t been rebutted. Too many Christians want to ignore the arguments of theirs that don’t work without either improving them or abandoning them. Like you, I appreciate honesty in the people I dialogue with.

        • Drew White

          Alright, if you want me to be blatantly honest, I will. There are many questions that I am asked that I think contradict either their previous statement or themselves so badly that no response of mine will do anything or add anything to the conversation. To me it signals a will to believe something, but not a justifiable reason. All I do in those situations is pray for someone. For instance, I met a man who was an atheist and was going for a PHD in economics, who was very well read and told me that he thought that, “he knows that we cannot attain knowledge.” After he disagreed with my view that the statement contradicted itself, I had nothing left to say. What could I say? Atheists also in many cases misunderstand scripture so bad that they poke holes in places that are not scripturally inaccurate if one reads everything with a sole will to understand.

          By the way, I know of a PHD evolutionary biologist with a masters degree in Geology who for forty years taught science in schools. He said atheist was too weak of a word for him, he was anti-christian and would tell kids who challenged him that they were poor ignorant Christians. After seeing (by being there) mount saint helen’s eruption in 1980 that proved that all of our geology (that we think takes millions of years including horizontal rock layers) can be done in as little as eight hours, and after seven more years of depression and struggle, he came to Christ. He said stalactites, coal, fossils, and a whole host of other things can be made in weeks or less. When a previous student of his drove 3 days just to find out if it was true that this man (rick oliver – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu5Kb_VpyBI) was a christian, She asked him “why didn’t you see it all these years?” He said, “because i wasn’t looking for the evidence.”

          What evidence would convince you? Archaeology? The fact the science (when defined properly and not based on unprovable assumptions) doesn’t refute the Bible? My supernatural experience of Bible quotes before I knew what they were saying? Prayers answered through direct words or circumstances that answered my prayers perfectly beyond probability? Healing miracles? The fact that I studied marriage and relationship counseling and everything that was shown to work well in psychology was in the Gospel of Christ? The logical consistency of Christianity? The fact that the spirit world exists, cultures before could tap into it, and that God said he let everyone believe whatever they wanted before Christ? The fact that other religions and spiritual beliefs do not contradict the Bible? Even the Bible says that miracles can be explained by good and bad spirits, and that people who tap into any spirits can have strange things happen.

          If I gave you more evidence of this, would you “be looking for it,” or immediately wonder how to ignore it based on starting point biases? Who will believe miracles and evidence if he does not want to? I trust people I have heard from (certain people I have learned to trust) about other religions. I will also check the claims myself. As far as I am concerned that is responsible. You also misunderstand scripture. The holy spirit takes time to perfect us in his perfect image of him. Without doing so, we cannot have miraculous signs of a huge nature seemingly flow through us. Anyway, here are some things to chew on if you are interested. I will return with my book.

          (David Berlinski is an atheist an scientist who uses many probability arguments by the way; is the multiverse theory empirical?)

          https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jason+lisle
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e1woYu1HbU
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EeOvWdHGaM
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwiUsOTC7ms
          https://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310209307
          https://www.amazon.com/DREAMS-VISIONS-Jesus-Awakening-Muslim/dp/0849947200/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490702864&sr=1-1&keywords=visions+jesus
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-GM6JCvKMg
          https://answersingenesis.org/
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XIDykeZplU
          Also, as a testimony (for those who believe in history or witnesses at court cases as evidence) I experienced the king james version (closest to the ancient Greek) of John 7:38 after baptism 3 months before I realized what it was saying. I had these sensations in my body while not understanding them.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2sMJMXDiH4
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NjVHG_-Hos
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kclpf68TRI0
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59mRZ1Vj8ZU
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKAnY1ULEWc
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkFNS1U3FmM
          https://www.gotquestions.org/ A Great Resource for Questions (I don’t necessarily agree with their view on miracles though)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzotFAOCZ7M
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGSH979kbPQ
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6M1b36KbHs
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shyI-aQaXD0&list=PL6-cVj-ZRivqKeqAklhYfFFmmAdvwcnCT
          http://www.icr.org/article/why-does-nearly-every-culture-have-tradition-globa/
          http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html
          https://www.amazon.com/Eternity-Their-Hearts-Don-Richardson/dp/0764215582
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkwCl0ymTfg

          God gave us enough evidence to know that he is true to the highest amount of probability, and through relationship with him, the probability of his existence through his communication (to believers who want him) is moved to 100%. I went through this before. Also, Archaeology can show that the old testament was written before the new testament. Historians Tacitus, and many others (many secular historians of all persuasions as well) verified Christ’s crucifixion, and many verified his resurrection I understand, I am looking into more evidence of it now. All of these things were predicted in writings hundreds of years before. The fact that the Bible could fit together perfectly from so many authors even when some did not have access to the scriptures is mind boggling. If with a loving and and open heart one “looks for” the evidence, one will realize that nothing contradicts it, and that we really are without excuse. Everything I study proves this to be true. By the way, I read really fast, I learned from speed reading books. Sometimes I only read a quarter of a book because that quarter is all I am interested in. I still count that as learning from the book. Maybe I am closer to 5 or 6 thousand, I don’t know, I lost track.

          You may refuse to admit the legitimacy of this evidence, but at least I gave it to you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          After seeing (by being there) mount saint helen’s eruption in 1980 that proved that all of our geology (that we think takes millions of years including horizontal rock layers) can be done in as little as eight hours, and after seven more years of depression and struggle, he came to Christ.

          Millions of years of rock layers can be done in as little as eight hours? But what St. Helens did in 8 hours wasn’t rock! I’ve been to the Creation museum near St. Helens. The guy who runs it is nice enough, but he was similarly excited to see the water cuts in the ash that were made in just a few years. He figured that they were just like the Grand Canyon, just smaller. He ignored the fact that the little canyons weren’t rock.

          So, no: it took millions of years for the Grand Canyon, and similar rock canyons will also take a long time.

          He said stalactites, coal, fossils, and a whole host of other things can be made in weeks or less.

          Which is idiotic. Show me conventional science textbooks saying this and I’ll believe you.

          The fact the science (when defined properly and not based on unprovable assumptions) doesn’t refute the Bible?

          I demolish those claims in these posts:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/the-bibles-confused-relationship-with-science/
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/yet-more-on-the-bibles-confused-relationship-with-science/

          My supernatural experience of Bible quotes before I knew what they were saying?

          Your personal experience might be convincing to you, but obviously it means little to me. Turn it from anecdote into established scientific fact, and I’m listening.

          The logical consistency of Christianity?

          What does this mean?

          The fact that the spirit world exists

          Except that there is no good evidence that it does.

          God said he let everyone believe whatever they wanted before Christ?

          God was pretty petulant in the OT. False idols were a big no-no. I do agree with you that we find polytheism in the Bible (the first commandment being an example), but there’s also a lot against worship of other gods. Consider the story of the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

          The fact that other religions and spiritual beliefs do not contradict the Bible?

          Practicing Hindus can be considered devout Christians?

          Who will believe miracles and evidence if he does not want to?

          Who would believe the sun exists if he didn’t want to?

          here are some things to chew on if you are interested.

          A woman gets out of her wheelchair? Yeah, so what? A Youtube video is poor evidence of anything important, and it wasn’t like she couldn’t walk beforehand.

          I’m not going to watch all these videos, but if you have a short one that does a good job of covering the intellectual arguments for Christianity that you think I’d find convincing, point that out.

          God gave us enough evidence to know that he is true to the highest amount of probability

          He’s hidden. He’s up in heaven right now watching TV. Why can’t he hang out with us so that we’d know that he exists? Vague shadows aren’t enough.

          many verified his resurrection I understand, I am looking into more evidence of it now

          Give me an actual argument. Specifically, why verified the resurrection and how?

          All of these things were predicted in writings hundreds of years before.

          I’ve researched the obvious ones—Isaiah 7, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Daniel—and there’s nothing there. You need to research this yourself rather than just telling me what apologists have said.

          If with a loving and and open heart one “looks for” the evidence, one will realize that nothing contradicts it, and that we really are without excuse.

          What’s the point of the open heart? What does one’s attitude have any relevance? If it’s good evidence, it should convince someone with an open mind.

        • Greg G.

          You admitted that we don’t know the circumstances or motives behind God’s actions, and you said that there is no point in assuming he has good reasons. Then is there any point in assuming that he has bad reasons?

          We don’t have to assume his reasons. If he does bad things, like allowing unnecessary suffering, he is either malevolent or he is not omnipotent. He cannot have a good reason to allow unnecessary suffering. If it has some purpose, then it is logically possible to achieve that purpose. If it is logically possible to do that purpose, then he could achieve that purpose directly without the suffering. If he cannot do that, then he is not both omnipotent and benevolent.

        • Zeta

          Drew White: “That is why they killed Jesus. He proved to them in a life of perfection, that they did wrong and had wrong thoughts.

          I wonder whether you still remember 1 Peter 1:20: ““He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

          Even before the universe was created, your god had already decided to sacrifice himself as his own son to save humans (yet to be created billions of years in the future, or a few thousand years depending on who you speak to) from he himself. So killing Jesus temporarily was already on your god’s grand agenda. Don’t blame others; they were just like chess pieces faithfully acting out his moves. Could they disobey your god’s hidden plan? It makes no sense talking about free will here.

          Ludicrous and hypocritical! How can any right-thinking person believe in such nonsense?

        • Zeta

          Drew White: “God says in the Bible that everyone knows that he exists,

          Of course, the bible says that he exists. Have you ever looked at the origin and evolution of your god? BobS has a recent article which you should read:

          “Combat Myth: The Curious Story of Yahweh and the Gods Who Preceded Him”
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/02/combat-myth-the-curious-story-of-yahweh-and-the-gods-who-preceded-him-2/
          See Item: “4. Israelite myth: Yahweh defeats Leviathan”

          From a recent comment of mine on another atheist blog (apologies to those who have read it):

          It is easy to see that he is a god who was completely made-up by ancient people. Let me quote some passages from the Wikipedia page on Yahweh:

          1. “In the oldest biblical literature he is a typical ancient Near Eastern “divine warrior” who leads the heavenly army against Israel’s enemies;[6] he later became the main god of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and of Judah,[7] and over time the royal court and temple promoted Yahweh as the god of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses.”

          2. “A widely accepted hypothesis is that traders brought Yahweh to Israel along the caravan routes between Egypt and Canaan, the Kenite hypothesis, named after one of the groups involved.”

          3. “El and his sons made up the Assembly of the Gods, each member of which had a human nation under his care, and a textual variant of Deuteronomy 32:8–9 describes the sons of El, including Yahweh, each receiving his own people:” [Note: Yahweh was allocated Israel by his daddy Elyon and he lived on Mount Sinai.]

          Based on the above, would you believe that he is a real god? Since Yahweh was invented by ancient people, Jesus cannot be real also since they are supposedly one and the same.

        • adam

          “If so, what is your opinion on murdering human beings in their mother’s womb?”

          It it is good enough for God, it must be love.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/399c1022fd17d83255a20fac5966c628aa950fa0fd4a935be54e8b676bde95e7.jpg

    • MNb

      “is the problem of evidence the only problem, or is it also the question of why anger Is often in the hearts of those wanting to deny him?”
      It’s also that the concept of god doesn’t make any sense – neither does sin.

    • adam

      “Do you love (or want to love) the character of the God of the
      Bible? ”

      No, I dont love or want to love the character of Hitler, but I have no problem believing he is real

      “If not, quite possibly no evidence will convince you of him.”

      So much for YOUR “Gods” power.

      “If everyone could see God clearly, everyone would love him.”

      Not if the bible is accurate:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7bf2c5903bd31c63ade7c2254ddea26df3b1fa938214c6c4db160ffe36546367.jpg

    • Joe

      Do you love (or want to love) the character of the God of the
      Bible? If not, quite possibly no evidence will convince you of him.

      I believe in lots of things I don’t love. Malaria, for example.

      is the problem of evidence the only problem

      Yes. What other problems could there be?

  • TheNuszAbides

    Or do you suddenly not feel responsible for what your cobelievers
    believe or how they get indoctrinated by your fanatical compatriots?
    Doesn’t look too well on your own faith – perhaps you don’t take it too
    seriously after all.

    this needs a catchy backdrop so it can go into Adam’s repertoire.