October 7, 2018

Craig Kott was a friend of mine at the non-denominational, evangelical Arminian church that I used to attend (1980-1982, 1986-1989). His words will be in blue.
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I agree that there must be some fundamental philosophical difference between us which is causing us to see things so differently . . .

Good. On that, at least, we are in full agreement.

Let me make this plain: the requirement that I must DO ANYTHING (whether it’s lighting candles before St. Dionysus, or eating Jesus’ flesh, or walking through a door) to contribute to my own salvation takes away from the very reason that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross.

Does it follow, then, that if you can’t “DO ANYTHING” whatsoever to attain salvation, that you likewise can’t “DO” anything to lose it? So then, do you believe in eternal security (I don’t know)? You’re not a Calvinist, that I’m aware of………

I do believe in eternal security, but I can’t actually admit it, because then I’d be committing the sin of pride, and I’d be in jeopardy of losing my salvation.

EXCELLENT Christian humor! Worthy of the Wittenberg Door [a satirical evangelical magazine]. And there is a profound truth to be had underneath it all, too. Amidst all the esoteric, technical, theoretical, hair-splitting, abstract arguments about this stuff, the simply-ascertained fact remains that every Christian must follow Jesus with all their “heart, soul, strength, and mind,” and perform good works and be righteous.

Let the theologians grapple with the proper place of these things in the schema of salvation. They get paid for it. As for us common folk, we are commanded to love Jesus and our fellow man (as Jesus loved us), and that should be sufficient. We are to be disciples, not philosophers.

And does this absolute prohibition of “DO ANYTHING” include such things as the altar call, sinner’s prayer, joining of a fellowship, public confession of repentance, renunciation of former sinful activities, etc.?

I’ve known people who thought that these things were salvation (they depended on that act, rather than Jesus), so I’d have to say they were deeds that I would exclude.

Ah, but you can’t argue from exceptions to the rule. That is not very compelling logic. Assuming they fully know in Whom they utterly depend, then what? These things are still free acts of the will, thus DOING something.

I was referring to any case where one person could tell another exactly what they had to DO. You could tell someone what to confess (the words), but that wouldn’t really be confession, would it?

Repentance and a heartfelt commitment to Christ and Christianity involves many acts. One must stop having immoral sex, and that is doing something. Or ditch drugs, and that is doing something. Or stop cheating on income tax returns, and that is doing something, etc.

It seems you would have a deuce of a time proving to me that such activities are not “doing” anything (after all, even changing one’s mind or will is “DOING” something, unless we be automatons, even if God causes it, as we Catholics agree). They certainly ARE “DOING” something, thank you. And baptism is included in that, whether one adopts the non-sacramental Baptist position or not.

Regardless of what one believes takes place with the water, you still DID something. You went up into the warm hot tub (if yours was like mine in 1982) and DID get submerged in it (I DID even give a little speech, too). And you were commanded to DO so by Jesus. And communion (whatever one believes) is included as well. Jesus commanded it, and we DO it.

We do it, but our “doing it” doesn’t improve our faith, it merely proves it.

I understand the position, but it is a distinction without a difference, in my opinion. Both Catholics and Protestants of all stripes agree that baptism is necessary (except the Salvation Army). So the practical result is the same, in the lives of committed Christians: faith is present, and also the act of baptism, whether of the individual of the age of reason, or else by the parents acting in the infants’ stead.

Am I missing something? Do you not get trapped by your own logic at some point here? Not trying to be contentious…..I’m sincerely curious and hope you will elaborate so that I can really understand this. Protestants can make all the abstractions they want about all these “DO’s” not being part of salvation / justification, but only sanctification, etc., but the fact remains that we are commanded to DO these things, and most Christians DO them.

If you want to take away absolutely all human action and participation in personal salvation, I think your position can only logically reduce to Calvinism, so that there is a distinct tension in your system if you are Arminian.

Christians are told to do them, the lost do not become Christians by doing them; that is my point.

But this agrees with Catholic theology, as it describes Pelagianism, which we condemned more than 1450 years ago. Our point is that faith and works go hand in hand, and ought not to be separated, NOT that one is saved by any work. Again, there is no practical difference between this and “orthodox” evangelical Protestantism, which holds that good works will inevitably follow in the life of any person who is “saved” or of the Elect (whichever paradigm is preferred).

So I can’t see how the end result is any different. Christians of all types are far more concerned with orthodoxy than they are with orthopraxis, but the biblical view places equal emphasis on both, in my opinion.

It was because I COULD NOT save myself that I found that I must trust that God would save me himself; Christ fulfilled the obligation that I could not keep. To say that I must now do something (again, we are speaking in terms of salvation here) is to say that somehow Jesus didn’t do enough.

No, not at all. It is saying that the work which only He could do needs to be appropriated to you by means of your freely given consent (even though he initiates that as well – e.g., Phil 2:13). Otherwise God becomes the author of evil, since there is no human free will to assent to follow God and accept His work for us, thus the ones who end up in hell are there because of God’s express decree, and it couldn’t have been otherwise. As soon as free will is accepted, the “DO” comes in with it. There is no way out of this, as far as I can see.

And I know that YOU know that this is the Protestant position. Didn’t you argue with Catholics many years ago and say the same things as I am now? Maybe you should get out some of your old apologetics papers to help you remember the Protestant arguments.

Cute! :-) I did say a lot of this, but when I started becoming acquainted with the counter-arguments, I had to give them up as inadequate. But on free will, at least, I haven’t changed. And that’s what I’m saying requires you to admit that you do indeed have to DO something in order to appropriate God’s freely-given, gratuitous salvific grace to yourself.

Now, if you find that the above places me among some OTHER heresy, then I proudly don that hat.

Calvinism? :-)

Repentance, submission and faith are all inward, not external acts; so I disagree.

So what! They are still doing something. And they are doing it irregardless of whether God is the cause of those actions or not (which He is). The whole point is that we cooperate with God’s grace, because the “do” resides in the will, not mere externality or “physicality.” When one decides within himself to give up a particular sin, that is one of the most consequential acts he could do. I fail to understand how you could deny this is doing something. Reducing “acts” to the external is an almost Pharisaical way of looking at the human will and human responsibility.

Mark 6:5-6 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

Non sequitur; the point being that He used His hands…….[sacramentalism and physicality].

….and what they received was dependent on their FAITH.

Which is beside the point. I am affirming both faith AND sacramentalism. There is no dichotomy or contradiction inherent in my position at all. You are denying sacramentalism and grace conveyed by matter, and you can’t do that simply by pointing out that faith happened to be present in any given instance.

Related reading:

“If You Died Tonight”: Debate w Matt Slick of CARM [5-22-03]

Paul vs. Calvin: “Doers of the Law” Will be Justified [2004]

John Wesley (Founder of Methodism), Denied “Faith Alone”? [10-20-05]

Church Fathers vs. the “Reformation Pillar” of “Faith Alone” [10-24-07]

Final Judgment & Works (Not Faith): 50 Passages [2-10-08]

Catholic-Protestant Common Ground (Esp. Re Good Works) [4-8-08]

“Working Out” Salvation & Protestant Soteriology (vs. Ken Temple) [4-9-08]

St. Paul on Grace, Faith, & Works (50 Passages) [8-6-08]

Bible on Participation in Our Own Salvation (Always Enabled by God’s Grace) [1-3-10]

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(originally 1996)

Photo credit: Christ and the Rich Young Ruler (1889), by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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September 1, 2018

This is a follow-up dialogue with my friend, atheist Anthrotheist, concerning my recent article, “Seidensticker Folly #13: God Hasta Prove He Exists!” Seidensticker stated (as recorded in that paper):

Let’s make clear what compelling evidence for God would look like. This wouldn’t simply be the clouds parting one day just as you wondered if God existed. It wouldn’t be unexpectedly coming across a photo of a beloved relative who had died. I’m talking about something really compelling—something like everyone in the world having the same dream the same night in which God simply and clearly summarizes his plan. Could that be dismissed as alien technology or mind-control drugs rather than God? Perhaps, but this evidence would be vastly more compelling than the feeble arguments apologists are saddled with today.

Anthrotheist’s words will be in blue.

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I’m trying to pin down the dream example’s basic premises, as they apply to evidence of God’s existence. The best I can come up with is:

1. The event is (mostly) universal. Everyone in the world has the same dream on the same night, which means that at least a large part of half the world had the dream at the same time (given that the other half would hear about it before their day was over).

2. The event is unprecedented. Presumably, the dream plays out in exactly the same manner (thus being the exact same dream) all over the world. It doesn’t fit any particular cultural expectations nor resemble any particular history, legend, or fable.

3. The event is consistent across cultures. Similar to number two, but more how it is interpreted; while the meaning (and certainly the portent) of the dream will vary depending on the culture, the dream itself is independently identical everywhere. It’s like everyone in a room can come up with different explanations for why there is a giant cat walking around, but everyone is definitely seeing the same tiger.

4. The event has God at its center. There’s no cloud of symbolism or metaphor, no obtuse and cryptic language employed; as Bob said, “…God simply and clearly summarizes his plan.” There’s no way to mistake God for something or someone else, and there’s nothing obfuscating the message (at least its transmission, there can always be confusion in its reception).

Taken together, it would defy scientific explanation. No drug, technology, technique, illness, nor combination of any or all of those things is sufficient to explain the phenomenon. It’s certainly possible to rationalize it, ignore it, or deny it, but that would be rarer outliers. Over time, if nothing else similar happened ever again and no amount of investigation produced any reasonable explanation, it is easy to imagine that people would wonder less about it as they moved on with their day-to-day lives. The next generation, who never experienced it, would have all the stories and passions from the people who were there when it happened. A hundred years later, there would be records of it. It would be hard to deny that it happened, given it’s world-wide scope, but it would be easier as time passed to discredit it as being any particular God, and without any repeat of it perhaps even being from a God at all.

The points Bob probably intended to counter seem clear. Christianity emerged in one tiny part of the world, and nowhere else on Earth are the same stories told. Christianity emerged from existing cultures and religions, with many of its stories closely resembling older legends familiar to the area (but again, unheard of elsewhere in the world). All the world religions have similar histories, and all of them have followers that have subjective experiences of their god(s). This example would fairly well defy any of them, including but not exclusive to Christianity.

Well, I can agree that if this actually happened, it would be compelling for a lot of people (even ultra-skeptic / hyper-rationalist Bob, who suggested it!). I’m interested in the deeper questions, though (and I think we could potentially have some interesting dialogue concerning these matters):

1) What is an objective measure by which one can determine that “x amount of evidence” is sufficient for Person A (ostensibly atheist) or, all people, to believe in God’s existence? On what [objective / rational] basis is such a claim made?

2) If that question is answered, how does the person who holds it apply it (logically and epistemologically) to all other human beings?

3) How do two people even have a rational discussion about how much evidence — and what sort — is required to believe in God? What are the criteria or framework within which such a discussion takes place?

These are mainly rhetorical questions and perhaps ultimately unanswerable (at least in certain senses) for those on either side, but I think they indicate the complexity of this issue. It’s not simple or easy at all. I think you are the sort of atheist who can have (and is willing to have) this conversation, because you don’t come around mocking and condescending and assuming that the Christian is an idiot, who has no legitimate reasons whatsoever for his or her views.

As I noted in my earlier paper, Christians believe that God has indeed already sufficiently revealed Himself, so that speculations about what He “must” or “ought to” do, from atheists, are a bit comical and beside the point, from our perspective. These proposals presuppose that God hasn’t revealed Himself at all, or insufficiently for all people, or for thinking / more educated people, etc. We think He has, through and in what He has made (tied in — for thinking, philosophically astute Christians — to the teleological and cosmological arguments):

Romans 1:19-20 (RSV) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  [20] Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. . . .

Now, of course, the atheist says, “who cares about that? It’s just the Bible saying what we would expect it to say; but it’s circular reasoning to cite the Bible to prove the Bible . . .” For my part, I’m not trying to prove the point at the moment, so I’m not engaged in circular reasoning or begging the question. I’m simply reporting (sociologically) what Christians believe. We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired revelation, on many other grounds, and so we accept what it teaches, including this passage.

How we would flesh out Romans 1 philosophically would be to utilize the teleological and cosmological arguments. But I’d like to highlight the thought in Romans 1 in particular. Is it true that the thinking person can simply view the universe and the marvels of science and have a rational basis for thinking that it suggests God or some sort of Higher Power (either personal or impersonal) or “organizing / creative principle” (or whatever way one would like to describe it)? I submit that some very great minds (and not Christian minds) have indeed had that reaction.

David Hume was a deist (not an atheist: as is wrongly assumed by many). It is thought that he dismantled the teleological argument. But many good Hume scholars maintain that he disposed of merely one form of it: not all forms. He appears to offer support for my contention, from Romans 1, that the observable world bears witness to God’s existence:

The order of the universe proves an omnipotent mind. (Treatise, 633n)

Wherever I see order, I infer from experience that there, there hath been Design and Contrivance . . . the same principle obliges me to infer an infinitely perfect Architect from the Infinite Art and Contrivance which is displayed in the whole fabric of the  universe. (Letters, 25-26)

The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion . . .

Were men led into the apprehension of invisible, intelligent power by a contemplation of the works of nature, they could never possibly entertain any conception but of one single being, who bestowed existence and order on this vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to one regular plan or connected system . . .

All things of the universe are evidently of a piece. Every thing is adjusted to every thing. One design prevails throughout the whole. And this uniformity leads the mind to acknowledge one author. (Natural History of Religion, 1757, edited by H. E. Root, London: 1956, 21, 26)

That is a philosophical argument (not a religious / theological one), tying into scientific observation, from a non-Christian philosopher of great repute, in general, and among atheists. And it precisely (rather spectacularly, I would say) backs up what St. Paul states, in the Bible, in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans.

As my second corroborating example, I submit Albert Einstein, who was some sort of pantheist (“God is everything”) or panentheist (“God is in everything”) — assuredly not an atheist –, but who backs up to a significant degree, the thought that Paul expresses in Romans 1 and that Christians believe (in faith, but backed up by philosophy). I’ve collected many of his statements concerning religion and the marvels of the universe. Here are several of those (further detailed source information is provided in that paper):

My comprehension of God comes from the deeply felt conviction of a superior intelligence that reveals itself in the knowable world. In common terms, one can describe it as ‘pantheistic’ (Spinoza). (1923)

My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we can comprehend about the knowable world. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. (1927)

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious. (1927)

I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, . . . (1929)

A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms — it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and this sense alone, I am a deeply religious man. . . . Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, . . . (1930)

I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. (1930)

[E]veryone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe — a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, . . . (1936)

Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can’t hear the music of the spheres. (1941)

In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. (c. 1941)

My feeling is insofar religious as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as “laws of nature.” It is this consciousness and humility I miss in the Freethinker mentality. (1954)

[see also, Chapter Ten of my book, Science and Christianity: Close Partners or Mortal Enemies? (2010, 301 pages) ]

This is essentially what we Christians are contending, in using Romans 1 as a starting-point for our thought. Hume and Einstein back it up: it’s rational to look out at the universe and conclude that it suggests (and beyond that: basically proves) that God (or something beyond mere matter) exists. The teleological argument is not dead at all. I would say, to the contrary, that it is more compelling than ever, based on our increasingly detailed observations of the wonders of the universe. I opined, in my paper about Einstein’s religious views:

If even rigorous philosophical and scientific minds like David Hume and Einstein look at the universe and immediately sees some sort of Intelligence behind it (though not the Christian God), surely there is something to even Paul’s assertion of the “plainness” of God’s existence, in Romans 1. . . .

Now, I would ask an atheist: whence comes Einstein’s “deeply felt conviction”? Is it a philosophical reason or the end result of a syllogism? He simply has it. It is an intuitive or instinctive feeling or “knowledge” or “sense of wonder at the incredible, mind-boggling marvels of the universe”. Atheists don’t possess this intuition, but my point is that it is not utterly implausible or unable to be held by even the most rigorous, “non-dogmatic” intellects, such as Einstein and Hume. And the atheist has to account for that fact somehow, it seems to me.

And, following such thought, this is why we think it is unnecessary for some extraordinary demonstration to take place, in order for God to prove that He exists, to the satisfaction of every atheist. He already has done so. Why atheists have somehow missed it, is the mystery for us: not why God hasn’t done something that there is no need for Him to do.

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Photo credit: NASA image from the Hubble Space Telescope (4-23-12). Star-forming region 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs. The nebula is located in the neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, and is one of the largest star-forming regions located close to the Milky Way. At the center of 30 Doradus, thousands of massive stars are blowing off material and producing intense radiation along with powerful winds. The Chandra X-ray Observatory detects gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by these stellar winds and also by supernova explosions. These X-rays, colored blue in this composite image, come from shock fronts–similar to sonic booms–formed by this high-energy stellar activity. The Hubble data in the composite image, colored green, reveals the light from these massive stars along with different stages of star birth, including embryonic stars a few thousand years old still wrapped in cocoons of dark gas. Infrared emission data from Spitzer, seen in red, shows cooler gas and dust that have giant bubbles carved into them. These bubbles are sculpted by the same searing radiation and strong winds that comes from the massive stars at the center of 30 Doradus. [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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December 7, 2007

Cover (555 x 833, 253K)

Footsteps that Echo Forever: My Holy Land Pilgrimage (Nov. 2014, 165 pages)

[click on the book title for book and purchase info.]

[cover photograph taken by Margie Prox Sindelar in Caesarea Philippi, on 23 October 2014]

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THE MESSIAH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
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The Messiah: Jewish / Old Testament Conceptions [1982; revised somewhat on 2-19-00]
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RELATIONSHIP OF OLD AND NEW COVENANTS / JEWS AND CHRISTIANS / DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE: JUDAISM TO CHRISTIANITY
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Apostles and Synagogue and Temple Worship [3-25-07; slight editing and minor additions on 8-8-16]
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Jewish Belief in Purgatory By the Time of Jesus (Paul Hoffer) [9-20-11; posted to Facebook on 2-17-17]
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Why is Melchizedek So Important? [National Catholic Register, 1-15-18]
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MY PILGRIMAGE TO ISRAEL (2014)
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Signs in Jerusalem: How God Can Speak to You Through ‘Coincidence’ [my visit to the Pool of Siloam, Seton Magazine, 12-17-14]
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I Was Blessed to Visit Bethlehem in 2014. What Joy! [National Catholic Register, 12-31-17; originally 12-26-14]
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Visiting Golgotha in Jerusalem is a Sublime Experience [National Catholic Register, 3-21-18]
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ALLEGED OLD TESTAMENT CONTRADICTIONS AND ETHICAL DIFFICULTIES 
 
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Old Earth, Flood Geology, Local Flood, & Uniformitarianism (vs. Kevin Rice) [5-25-04; many defunct links removed and new ones added: 5-10-17]

Biblical Flat Earth (?) Cosmology: Dialogue w Atheist (vs. Matthew Green) [9-11-06]

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Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? (vs. Ed Babinski) [9-17-06]
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God “Hardening Hearts”: How Do We Interpret That? [12-18-08; expanded on 1-4-17]

Genesis Contradictory (?) Creation Accounts & Hebrew Time: + Refutation of a Clueless Atheist “Biblical Contradiction” [5-11-17]

Does God Ever Judge People by Sending Disease? [10-30-17]

Seidensticker Folly #10: Slavery in the Old Testament [8-20-18]

Seidensticker Folly #19: Torah & OT Teach Polytheism? [9-18-18]

Seidensticker Folly #20: An Evolving God in the OT? (God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, & Omnipresence in Early Bible Books & Ancient Jewish Understanding) [9-18-18]

Old Testament Sacrifices: Killing Animals to be Saved? [8-17-19]

Loftus Atheist Error #8: Ancient Jews, “Body” of God, & Polytheism [9-10-19]

Loftus Atheist Error #10: Prophet Jeremiah vs. Mosaic Law? [9-11-19]

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OLD TESTAMENT: GENERAL 
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Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]
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“Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” [Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine, 11-24-14]
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Patterns of Evidence: Exodus: Superb Pop Archaeology [12-23-15]

The Genesis Creation Accounts and Hebrew Time [National Catholic Register, 7-2-17]

New Testament Evidence for Noah’s Existence [National Catholic Register, 3-11-18]

Modernism vs. History in Genesis & Biblical Inspiration [7-23-18]

Seidensticker Folly #5: Has Archaeology Disproven the Exodus? [8-15-18]

Seidensticker Folly #16: Two Sets of Ten Commandments? [9-10-18]

Seidensticker Folly #19: Torah & OT Teach Polytheism? [9-18-18]

Seidensticker Folly #20: An Evolving God in the OT? (God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, & Omnipresence in Early Bible Books & Ancient Jewish Understanding) [9-18-18]

Orthodox Interpretation of Genesis and the Serpent [National Catholic Register, 11-19-18]

Salvation and Eternal Afterlife in the Old Testament [8-31-19]

Loftus Atheist Error #8: Ancient Jews, “Body” of God, & Polytheism [9-10-19]

Salvation and Immortality Are Not Just New Testament Ideas [National Catholic Register, 9-23-19]

C. S. Lewis Roundly Mocked the Documentary Hypothesis [10-6-19]

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ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS 
Updated on 6 October 2019.

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November 9, 2006

Maxwell

Engraving of the great Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) by G. J. Stodart from a photograph by Fergus of Greenock. Maxwell was a devout Presbyterian, and formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as manifestations of the same phenomenon. His discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics. His contributions to the science are considered by many to be of the same magnitude as those of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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PHILOSOPHY 

 
GENERAL / EPISTEMOLOGY / PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
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Dialogue on God’s Middle Knowledge & Foreknowledge (vs. Dr. Alexander Pruss) [1997]
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Did Jesus Use “Socratic Method” in His Teaching? [National Catholic Register, 4-29-19]
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THE PROBLEM OF EVIL / SUFFERING
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Christian Replies to the Argument From Evil (Free Will Defense): Is God Malevolent, Weak, or Non-Existent Because of the Existence of Evil and Suffering? [2002]

Dialogue on “Natural Evil” (Diseases, Hurricanes, Drought, etc.) [2-15-04]

Replies to the Problem of Evil as Set Forth by Atheists [10-10-06]

The Problem of Evil: Dialogue with an Atheist (vs. “drunken tune”) [10-11-06]

Dialogue w Atheist John Loftus on the Problem of Evil [10-11-06]

“Logical” Problem of Evil: Alvin Plantinga’s Decisive Refutation [10-12-06]

Reply to Agnostic Ed Babinski’s “Emotional” Argument from Evil [10-23-06]

“Strong” Logical Argument from Evil Against God: RIP? [11-26-06]

“How Can God Order the Massacre of Innocents?” (Amalekites, etc.) [11-10-07]

The World’s Shortest Free Will Defense (FWD) Argument Against the Problem of Evil [Facebook, 3-24-08]

Why Did a Perfect God Create an Imperfect World? [8-18-15]

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EDUCATION / HOMESCHOOLING
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Homeschooling: Response to Kevin Johnson’s Criticisms [7-12-05]

On Homeschooling & Dilapidated Public Education [1-3-09]   

 

THEISTIC ARGUMENTS
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THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (BIG BANG, ETC.)
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A Variation of the First Way of Thomas Aquinas (+ Part II / Part III) (Dr. Dennis Bonnette) [1982]

How “Creation” Implies God (Dr. Dennis Bonnette) [1985]

 

Atheism: the Faith of “Atomism” [8-19-15]

Cosmological Argument for God (Resources) [10-23-15]

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THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (DESIGN) 
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*
*
*
*
THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
*
*
*
*
MISCELLANEOUS
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
SCIENCE
*
GALILEO
*
EARLY MODERN SCIENCE AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO RELIGION
 
*

Astrology: Philip Melanchthon’s Enthusiastic Espousal [5-21-06]

Did St. Thomas Aquinas Accept Astrology? [5-30-06]

16th-17th Century Astronomers Loved Astrology (+ Part Two) [5-25-06]

Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Philip Melanchthon Wax Astronomical and Geocentric, Oppose Copernicus [2-5-09]

Christianity: Crucial to the Origin of Science [8-1-10]

Scientific & Empiricist Church Fathers: To Augustine (d. 430) [2010]

Christian Influence on Science: Master List of Scores of Bibliographical and Internet Resources (Links) [8-4-10]

33 Empiricist Christian Thinkers Before 1000 AD [8-5-10]

23 Catholic Medieval Proto-Scientists: 12th-13th Centuries [2010]

Who Killed Lavoisier: “Father of Chemistry”? [8-13-10]

Christians or Theists Founded 115 Scientific Fields [8-20-10]

John Calvin Assumes a Non-Spherical Earth & Severely Mocks Plato for Believing that the Earth is a Globe [9-4-12]

St. Augustine: Astrology is Absurd [9-4-15]

Catholics & Science #1: Hermann of Reichenau [10-21-15]

Catholics & Science #2: Adelard of Bath [10-21-15]

Science and Christianity (Copious Resources) [11-3-15]

Dialogue with an Agnostic on Catholicism and Science [9-12-16]

A List of 244 Priest-Scientists (Angelo Stagnaro, National Catholic Register, 11-29-16)

A Short List of [152] Lay Catholic Scientists (Angelo Stagnaro, National Catholic Register, 12-30-16)

Science, Logic, & Math Start with Unfalsifiable Axioms [1-6-18]

Rebuttal of Seidensticker’s Anti-Christian Science “History” [8-11-18]

Exclusive Empirical Epistemology?: Dialogue w Atheist [2-25-19]

*

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE / SCIENTIFIC METHOD

*
*
*
Albert Einstein’s “Cosmic Religion”: In His Own Words [originally 2-17-03; expanded greatly on 8-26-10]
*

Atheist French, Soviet, & Chinese Executions of Scientists [10-22-15]
*
Cause of the Big Bang: Atheist Geologist Challenged [4-21-17]

Is Christianity Unfalsifiable? Is Empiricism the Only True Knowledge? [5-6-17]

Science, Logic, & Math Start with Unfalsifiable Axioms [1-6-18]

Science: “only discipline that tells us new things about reality” [???]: Scientism or Near-Scientism as a Very Common Shortcoming of Atheist Epistemology [8-9-18]

Rebuttal of Seidensticker’s Anti-Christian Science “History” [8-11-18]

Seidensticker Folly #14: Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

Miracles, Materialism, & Premises: Dialogue w Atheist [2-20-19]

Miracles & Scientific Method: Dialogue with Atheist[2-22-19]

Exclusive Empirical Epistemology?: Dialogue w Atheist [2-25-19]

*

BIBLE, CHRISTIANITY, AND SCIENCE ISSUES

*
*
Old Earth, Flood Geology, Local Flood, & Uniformitarianism (vs. Kevin Rice) [5-25-04; many defunct links removed and new ones added: 5-10-17]
*
*
Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? (vs. Ed Babinski) [9-17-06]
*
*
Did Darwin Prove Genesis a Fairy Tale? (Dr. Dennis Bonnette) [2007]
*
Must Human Evolution Contradict Genesis?  (Dr. Dennis Bonnette) [2007]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Modern Biology and Original Sin (+ Part 2) (Dr. Edward Feser) [9-23-11]

Defending the Literal, Historical Adam of the Genesis Account (vs. Eric S. Giunta) [9-25-11]

Dr. Dennis Bonnette Debunks the Argument Against Adam and Eve from Molecular Biologists [4-19-12, at Internet Archive]

Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]

Time to Abandon the Genesis Story? [Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, 7-10-14]

Origin of the Human Species (3rd edition, 2014, by Dr. Dennis Bonnette)

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si: A Beautiful and Profoundly Wise Statement of Christian Environmentalism and Theology of Creation [6-18-15]

Critique of Chris Ferrara’s Radical Reactionary Hit-Piece in Opposition to Pope Francis’ Christian Environmentalism [6-20-15]

Noah’s Flood & Catholicism: Basic Facts [8-18-15]

Adam & Eve & Original Sin: Disproven by Science? [9-7-15]

Only Ignoramuses Believe in Adam & Eve? [9-9-15]

Do Carnivores on the Ark Disprove Christianity? [9-10-15]

Dialogue with an Atheist on Evolution [9-17-15]

Simultaneously Dumb & Smart Christians, Atheists, & Scientists [10-9-15]

My Claims Regarding Piltdown Man & the Scopes Trial Twisted [10-10-15]

Science and Christianity (Copious Resources) [11-3-15]

A List of 244 Priest-Scientists (Angelo Stagnaro, National Catholic Register, 11-29-16)

Is Christianity Unfalsifiable? Is Empiricism the Only True Knowledge? [5-6-17]

Genesis Contradictory (?) Creation Accounts & Hebrew Time: + Refutation of a Clueless Atheist “Biblical Contradiction” [5-11-17]

Dialogue with Philosopher Dr. Lydia McGrew on Adam and Eve and the Polygenism vs. Monogenism Genetics Issue [Facebook, 5-11-17]

Atheists & Inherent “Omnipotent” Creative Qualities of Godless Matter [7-26-17]

Richard Dawkins: D- Grade for Science & Christianity [5-23-18]

Modernism vs. History in Genesis & Biblical Inspiration [7-23-18]

Science: “only discipline that tells us new things about reality” [???]: Scientism or Near-Scientism as a Very Common Shortcoming of Atheist Epistemology [8-9-18]

Scripture, Science, Genesis, & Evolutionary Theory: Mini-Dialogue with an Atheist [8-14-18; rev. 2-18-19]

Seidensticker Folly #8: Physics Has Disproven Souls? [8-16-18]

Seidensticker Folly #14: Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

Seidensticker Folly #21: Atheist “Bible Science” Absurdities [9-25-18]

Seidensticker Folly #23: Atheist “Bible Science” Inanities, Pt. 2 [10-2-18]

Miracles, Materialism, & Premises: Dialogue w Atheist [2-20-19]

Miracles & Scientific Method: Dialogue with Atheist [2-22-19]

The Genesis Flood Why the Bible Says It Must be Local (Rich Deem, Evidence for God)

Dialogue with Atheist: Are Christians “Unscientific”? [5-27-19]

Loftus Atheist Error #7: Christian Influence on Science [9-9-19]

Loftus Atheist Error #9: Bible Espouses Mythical Animals? [9-10-19]

The Bible and Mythical Animals [National Catholic Register, 10-9-19]

*

CLIMATE CHANGE / GLOBAL WARMING ISSUE
*
*
*
*
*
THE KOOKY FUNDAMENTALIST REVIVAL OF GEOCENTRISM
*
(comprehensive website run by David Palm)
*
*
Does the Church Support Robert Sungenis’ Novel Theories? (Jonathan Field) (+ Part Two) [11-8-10, at Internet Archive]
*

My Refusal to Wrangle With Robert Sungenis Over Geocentrism and a Supposedly 10,000-Year-Old, Non-Rotating Earth [11-15-10, at Internet Archive]

Robert Sungenis’ Responses to My Critiques Regarding God’s Characteristics and Geocentrism (with My Replies) [11-19-10, at Internet Archive]

Geocentrism: Not at All an Infallible Dogma of the Catholic Church (David Palm and “Jordanes”) [11-20-10, at Internet Archive]

Response (in Words and Actions) to the Vehement Criticisms of Geocentrists “johnmartin” and “juscot” [12-10-10, at Internet Archive]

Cardinal Newman on Galileo and the Alleged Dogmatic Status of Geocentrism [Facebook, 6-16-11]

Formal Science Education of Rick DeLano, Producer of the Geocentrist Film, The Principle [1-11-14]

Actress Kate Mulgrew Says she Was Duped Regarding her Narration of the Geocentrist Film, The Principle [Karl Keating article and Facebook discussion and media links, 4-8-14]

My 5-Star Amazon Review of Karl Keating’s The New Geocentrists (+ Facebook discussion) [2-11-15]

MIRACLES 
 
*
Biblical and Historical Evidences for Raising the Dead [9-24-07; revised for National Catholic Register, 2-8-19]
*
*
*
*
*
My oldest son Paul was healed of serious back and neck problems [You Tube video testimony linked on Facebook, 8-28-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
 
[For related reading, see: Atheism, Agnosticism, and Secularism Page]

Last updated on 12 October 2019.

***

November 9, 2006

Stalin2
Portrait of young Joseph Stalin (1878-1953): one of history’s most famous and notorious atheists (I’m not sayin’ all atheists are like him!), from the Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia. Photo by Adam Jones (6-4-15). He was responsible for some 20 million deaths, according to historian Robert Conquest [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]
***
 
GENERAL
*
*
*
Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Clarifications Regarding My Atheist Reductio Paper (referring to the immediately preceding, vastly misunderstood satirical piece) [8-20-15]
*
Dialogue with an Atheist on First Premises (vs. Ben McGrew) [9-17-15]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND THE “PROBLEM OF GOOD”
*
The “Problem of Good”: Great Dialogue with an Atheist (vs. Mike Hardie) (+ Part Two) [this is my favorite debate ever, with anyone] [6-5-01]
*
Problem of Evil: Treatise on the Most Serious Objection (Is God Malevolent, Weak, or Non-Existent Because of the Existence of Evil and Suffering?) [2002]
*
*
The Problem of Evil: Dialogue with an Atheist (vs. “drunken tune”) [10-11-06]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
[see more in the “Problem of Evil” section of my Philosophy & Science web page]
*
LIBBY ANNE
*
*
“ANTHROTHEIST”
*
*
*
*
*
*
ED BABINSKI
*
*
*
STEVE CONIFER
*
*
JON CURRY
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
“DAGOODS”
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
RICHARD DAWKINS [THE GOD DELUSION]
*
*
*
DR. TED DRANGE
*
JD EVELAND
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
“GUSBOVONA”
*
*
*
“HELENINEDINBURGH”
*
JOHN LOFTUS [DEBUNKING CHRISTIANITY BLOG]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
DR. DAVID MADISON
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
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*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
JONATHAN MS PEARCE
DR. JAN SCHREURS
*
Dialogue w Agnostic: Relativist vs. Absolute Morality (vs. Dr. Jan Schreurs) [June 1999]
*
Isaac and Abraham’s Agony: Dialogue with Agnostic (vs. Dr. Jan Schreurs) [June 1999]
*
BOB SEIDENSTICKER [CROSS EXAMINED BLOG]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
SUSAN STRANDBERG
*
*
EXTENSIVE COLLECTIONS OF SCHOLARLY LINKS DEALING WITH THE QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES OF ATHEISTS 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
CHRISTIANITY, ATHEISM, SCIENCE, AND PHILOSOPHY
*
*
Old Earth, Flood Geology, Local Flood, & Uniformitarianism (vs. Kevin Rice) [5-25-04; many defunct links removed and new ones added: 5-10-17]
*
*
Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? (vs. Ed Babinski) [9-17-06]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Only Ignoramuses Believe in Adam & Eve? [9-9-15]

Dialogue with an Atheist on Evolution [9-17-15]

Simultaneously Dumb & Smart Christians, Atheists, & Scientists [10-9-15]

God, Empiricism, & Atheist Demands for “Evidence” [10-9-15]

My Claims Regarding Piltdown Man & the Scopes Trial Twisted [10-10-15]

On Whether Atheism is Inherently More Rational and Scientific, and Less Dogmatic and Axiomatic Than Christianity [10-27-15]

Dogmatic Materialist Scientists vs. Intelligent Design [10-29-15]

Science and Christianity (Copious Resources) [11-3-15]

Exchanges with Atheists on Ultimate Origins [11-19-15]

Cause of the Big Bang: Atheist Geologist Challenged [4-21-17]

Empiricism: Only Valid & Objective Knowledge? Two Atheists “Reply” [7-18-17]

Reason, Science, & Logic Not the Exclusive Possessions of Atheists (+ Double Standards in How Christian Conversions are Treated, Compared to the Often Chilly Reception of Critiques of Atheist Deconversion Stories / Atheist “Exegesis” of the “Doubting Thomas” Passage) [7-24-17]

Atheists & Inherent “Omnipotent” Creative Qualities of Godless Matter [7-26-17]

Science, Logic, & Math Start with Unfalsifiable Axioms [1-6-18]

Richard Dawkins: D- Grade for Science & Christianity [5-23-18]

Dialogue w Atheist on the Origin of the Universe [6-23-18]

Dialogue with an Atheist on “God of the Gaps” [6-24-18]

Reply to a Condescending Agnostic Re Science [6-25-18]

Science: “only discipline that tells us new things about reality” [???]: Scientism or Near-Scientism as a Very Common Shortcoming of Atheist Epistemology [8-9-18]

Rebuttal of Seidensticker’s Anti-Christian Science “History” [8-11-18]

Scripture, Science, Genesis, & Evolutionary Theory: Mini-Dialogue with an Atheist [8-14-18; rev. 2-18-19]

Seidensticker Folly #8: Physics Has Disproven Souls? [8-16-18]

Seidensticker Folly #14: Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

Dialogue w Agnostic on Proof for Miracles (Lourdes) [9-9-18]

Seidensticker Folly #21: Atheist “Bible Science” Absurdities [9-25-18]

Miracles, Materialism, & Premises: Dialogue w Atheist [2-20-19]

Miracles & Scientific Method: Dialogue with Atheist [2-22-19]

Exclusive Empirical Epistemology?: Dialogue w Atheist [2-25-19]

Theistic Argument from Longing or Beauty, & Einstein [3-27-08; rev. 3-14-19]

Short Reply to Jeffrey Taylor’s Article, “How Does an Atheist Disprove God?” [Facebook, 4-12-19]

Dialogue with Atheist: Are Christians “Unscientific”? [5-27-19]

*
ANTI-THEISM AND THE SUB-GROUP OF “ANGRY ATHEISTS”
*
*
*
*
*
*
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*
MIRACLES
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
COMMON GROUND / CONCILIATORY APPROACHES 
*

Secular Humanism & Christianity: Seeking Common Ground (with Sue Strandberg) [5-25-01]

Are Atheists “Evil”? Multiple Causes of Atheist Disbelief and the Possibility of Salvation [2-17-03]

God is Merciful to All! (Fake “Church Sign” About the Possibility of Atheist Salvation) [Facebook, 12-4-06]

16 Atheists / Agnostics & Me (At a Meeting) [11-24-10]

Should We Ignore Atheists or Charitably Dialogue? [7-21-10 and 1-7-11]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
GOD (ATHEIST OBSESSION WITH THE SUPPOSEDLY NONEXISTENT) 
 
*
*
*
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ABORTION / ANIMAL RIGHTS 
*
*
*
*
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SEX, MARRIAGE, AND WOMEN
*
*
*
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*
*
*
SECULARISM AND SOCIETY
*
*
*
*
“THE BUTCHER AND THE HOG”: THE ATHEIST APPROACH TO THE BIBLE
 
[see also related papers in the “Alleged Biblical Contradictions” section of The Bible, Tradition, Canon, & Sola Scriptura Index Page, and under “Bob Seidensticker” above]
*
*
Old Earth, Flood Geology, Local Flood, & Uniformitarianism (vs. Kevin Rice) [5-25-04; rev. 5-10-17]
*
*
Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? (vs. Ed Babinski) [9-17-06]
*
*
Death of Judas: Alleged Bible Contradictions Debunked (vs. Dave Van Allen and Dr. Jim Arvo) [9-27-07]
*
*
*
*

“Butcher & Hog”: On Relentless Biblical Skepticism [9-21-15]

Manuscript Evidence: New Testament vs. Plato, Etc. [10-10-15]

Review of The Book of Non-Contradiction (Phillip Campbell) [5-9-17]

Genesis Contradictory (?) Creation Accounts & Hebrew Time: + Refutation of a Clueless Atheist “Biblical Contradiction” [5-11-17]

Alleged “Bible Contradictions”: Most Are Actually Not So [6-8-17]

Dialogue with an Atheist on Bible Difficulties, Plausibility Structures, & Deconversion [6-10-17]

Why We Should Fully Expect Many “Bible Difficulties” [7-17-17]

Cardinal Newman and Reformed Theologian Berkouwer on the Essential Silliness of Thinking that Bible Interpretation Would be Easy for One and All (No “Difficulties”), Merely Because the Bible is an Inspired, Divine Revelation [Facebook, 7-20-17]

Atheist “Refutes” Sermon on the Mount (Or Does He?) [National Catholic Register, 7-23-17]

Atheist Botched Biblical Exegesis: Example #4,974 [7-23-17; expanded on 7-3-18]

Reason, Science, & Logic Not the Exclusive Possessions of Atheists (+ Double Standards in How Christian Conversions are Treated, Compared to the Often Chilly Reception of Critiques of Atheist Deconversion Stories / Atheist “Exegesis” of the “Doubting Thomas” Passage) [7-24-17]

Richard Dawkins’ “Bible Whoppers” Are the “Delusion” [5-25-18]

Biblical Interpretation & Clarity: Dialogue w an Atheist [5-26-18]

Atheist vs. Christian Ignorance of the Bible: A Brief Observation [7-5-18]

Atheist Inventions of Many Bogus “Bible Contradictions” [National Catholic Register, 9-4-18]

Bible “Contradictions” & Plausibility (Dialogue w Atheist) [12-17-18]

Atheist Lectures Me on the Dead Sea Scrolls; Steps In It [Facebook, 12-20-18]

Reply to Flimsy Atheist Biblical “Exegesis” #145,298 [4-5-19]

Seidensticker Folly #32: Sophistically Redefining “Contradiction” [4-20-19]

Did God Immorally “Murder” King David’s Innocent Child? (God’s Providence and Permissive Will, and Hebrew Non-Literal Anthropomorphism) [5-6-19]

Dialogue w Atheist on Biblical Exegesis & Christian Ignorance [5-26-19]

Seidensticker Folly #33: Clueless Re Biblical Anthropopathism [7-24-19]

Jesus Said He Was God: Reply to Ex-Christian Atheist [7-30-19]

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #1: Hating One’s Family? [8-1-19]

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #2: Weird & Fictional Mark 16? [8-3-19]

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #3: Nature & Time of 2nd Coming [8-3-19]

The Remarkable Arrogance and Folly of the Atheist Biblical “Exegete” (Example from Dr. David Madison) [Facebook, 8-15-19]

Biblical Hyperbole, Masturbation, & Intransigent Atheists [9-3-19]

[see also numerous related posts in the “Bob Seidensticker” / “Dr. David Madison” / “Jonathan MS Pearce” / “PROF MTH” sections above, near the top]

*

ATHEIST “DECONVERSIONS”

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*
*
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*
*
*
*
FAMOUS ATHEISTS (REAL AND IMAGINED) 
*
*

Exchange: Definitions of Deism & Atheism / Twain the Atheist? [4-24-14]

 
[For much related reading, see: Philosophy, Science, and Christianity Page]

Last updated on 9 October 2019.
***
November 9, 2006

Gender
Image by “OpenClipArtVectors” [Pixabay / CC0 public domain]
*****
SEXUALITY (GENERAL) 
*
*

Christian Sexual Views and Support from Sociology (Discussions About Christian Sexual Morality and Marriage with Atheists) [12-8-06]

Q & A: Catholic View on Sexual Morality & Contraception [1-1-08]

Condoms as a Solution to AIDS & Other STDs? [6-1-09]

Bestiality: Anti-Christian Morals Reductio? [12-21-15]

Catholic Sexuality: A “Nutshell” Explanation [12-29-15]

Catholic Sexuality: Dialogue with an Agnostic [12-30-15]

Dialogue on NFP: Anti-Sex and Anti-Pleasure? [1-23-17]

Dialogue on Rebecca Bratten Weiss’ Teaching on Sexuality [9-20-17]

Dialogues on the Sexual Revolution & Weinstein’s Victims [10-14-17]

Epstein and Weinstein: The Fruit of the Sexual Revolution [11-4-17; rev. 7-19-19]

I Condemned Society-Wide Sexual Coercion in 2007 [11-17-17]

Dialogue on Roy Moore: Sex, Facts, Ruined Lives, & Law [11-17-17]

Does President Trump = Frankenweinstein? [11-20-17]

Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]

Seidensticker Folly #6: God Has “No Problem with Rape”? [8-15-18]

Sex, Lies, & Videotape (“Discussion” w Angry Atheist) [2-15-19]

Mini-Debate on Libertarianism and Laws About Sex [3-7-19]

 

PREMARITAL / EXTRAMARITAL SEX / COHABITATION

Is Premarital Sex Morally Wrong? Why? (A Dialogue) [3-18-00]

Does St. Paul Sanction Premarital Sex (1 Cor 7:36)? [11-21-09]

Catholic Virginity: “Anti-Sex” Viewpoint? [11-6-15]

Dialogues on the Sexual Revolution & Weinstein’s Victims [10-14-17]

Pope Francis: Pro-Marriage & Contra “Marital Skepticism” [1-29-18]

Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]

 

RADICAL FEMINISM AND FEMALE “PRIESTS”  

*
*
*
*
DEACONESSES
*
*

Dialogue with a Traditionalist Regarding Deaconesses [5-13-16]

*

MEN, WOMEN, MASCULINITY, FEMININITY, SEXISM, GENDER, MARRIAGE, FAMILY 

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
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*
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Cussing Women, Chivalry, Etc. (+ very extensive and vigorous Facebook discussion) [8-24-16]
*
*
A Thought on Marriage Vows [Facebook, 4-26-17]
*
*
*
Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
DIVORCE
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
ANNULMENT

*
*
*
Annulments are Fundamentally Different from Divorce [National Catholic Register, 4-6-17]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: GENERAL 
*

The Church Opposes Homosexual Acts, Not Homosexuals [7-16-08]

“Forced” Morality & Ubiquitous “Bigotry” [6-9-16]

My Supposed “Conflation” of LGBTQ Rights & Pedophilia [6-14-16]

Orlando, “Homophobia”, Terrorism, & Slander [6-23-16]

Defense of Bishop Barron (Rubin Interview): Did He Do Anything Wrong? Was it a Missed Opportunity (Particularly Regarding the “Gay Marriage” Issue)? (+ Facebook discussion) [2-13-17]

“Hated by All”, Catholic Evangelism, & the Fullness of Truth: Is it Possible for an Orthodox, Morally Traditional Catholic, Who Shares the “Unabridged” Catholic Message, to be Rapturously Loved and Liked by One and All Radically Secularist Leftists and Atheists? [2-13-17]

Lawler vs. Pope Francis #2: Homosexuality & “Judging” [1-2-18]

Is the Catholic Church “Against” Gay Priests? [8-24-18]

*
HOMOSEXUALITY: DEBATES
*
*
*
*
Dialogue with a Homosexual [3-15-07, at Internet Archive]
*
*
Debate on Catholicism & Homosexuality (vs. a Lawyer) [11-3-16]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: TEACHING OF THE BIBLE
*
*
*
*
Does the Bible Condemn Homosexual Sex? [9-17-06; expanded on 8-27-18]
*
How Did Jesus View Active Homosexuality? [National Catholic Register, 9-16-19]
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: HEALTH RISKS
*
The Health Risks of Gay Sex (John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D.; see also my Facebook cross-posting and discussion) [5-25-15]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: SAME-SEX “MARRIAGE”
*
*
BATHROOM CONTROVERSIES
*
*
*
MASTURBATION 
*
Masturbation: Thoughts on Why it is as Wrong as it Ever Was [3-14-04 and 9-7-05; abridged, edited, and slightly modified on 8-14-19]
*

Masturbation Remains a Grave Sin (Debate w Steve Hays) [1-6-07; links added on 8-13-19]

Martin Luther Condemns Masturbation (“Secret Sin”) [6-2-10]

Masturbation Reference in Sermon on the Mount? [10-18-11]

Masturbation: Gravely Disordered According to Catholicism [8-16-19]

Biblical Hyperbole, Masturbation, & Intransigent Atheists [9-3-19]

 
Last updated: 19 September 2019. 
***

November 9, 2006

Hell5
 Gila National Forest, New Mexico (May 2012). Photo by Kari Greer [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]
*****
  Hell and Sheol (Hades) / Damnation & Reprobation
 ***

Biblical Evidence for an Eternal Hell [1998]

Jewish and Old Testament Views of Hell and Eternal Punishment [4-14-04]

Dialogue w Agnostic on Basic Differences and Hell [5-17-05]

Replies to Some Skeptical Objections to the Christian Doctrine of Hell (“Religion Is Lies” website) [5-24-06]

Biblical Annihilationism or Universalism? (w Atheist Ted Drange) [9-30-06]

Dialogue w Atheists on Hell & Whether God is Just [12-5-06]

Dialogue on Sheol / Hades (Limbo of the Fathers) and Luke 16 (the Rich Man and Lazarus) with a Baptist (vs. “Grubb”) [2-28-08]

“The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail” Against the Church [11-11-08]

Hell: Dialogue with a Philosophy Graduate Student [12-26-08]

Dialogue: Hell & God’s Justice, Part II [1-2-09]

Purgatory is the Waiting Room for Heaven [4-25-09]

Luke 23:43 (Thief on the Cross): “Paradise” = Sheol, Not Heaven, According to Many Reputable Protestant Scholars [5-25-09]

Our Prayers and Souls Ending Up in Heaven or Hell [3-26-14]

Can Hell Actually be Defended? My Shot … [10-7-15]

Atheism & Atheology (Copious Resources, including on hell) [11-5-15]

A Defense of Hell: Philosophical Explanations of its Plausibility, Necessity, and Factuality [12-10-15]

Exchanges with an Atheist on Hell & Skepticism [12-17-15]

Did Jesus Descend to Hell, Sheol, or Paradise After His Death? [National Catholic Register, 4-17-17]

How to Annihilate Three Skeptical Fallacies Regarding Hell [National Catholic Register, 6-10-17]

Lawler vs. Pope Francis #3: The Pope Annihilated Hell? [1-2-18]

Pope Francis, Hell, Phil Lawler, Lies, Damned Lies, . . . [3-30-18]

Hell as a Deterrent: Analogy to Our Legal Systems [10-3-18]

Taylor Marshall’s Whopper: Pope Francis Denies Hellfire? [6-7-19]

Salvation and Eternal Afterlife in the Old Testament [8-31-19]

Salvation and Immortality Are Not Just New Testament Ideas [National Catholic Register, 9-23-19]

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Universalism / “Hoping All Will be Saved”
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Dialogue on Hell & the “Possibility” of Universalism [May 2004]

Biblical Annihilationism or Universalism? (w Atheist Ted Drange) [9-30-06]

Did Pope St. John Paul II Teach Universalism? [4-26-11]

Did Julian of Norwich Teach Universalism & Deny Hell? [3-24-14]

Analysis of “Hoping All Will be Saved” / …Hell is Empty” [8-20-15]

Book of Revelation Annihilates Universalism [8-31-15]

Universalism is Annihilated by the Book of Revelation [National Catholic Register, 6-23-19]

Did Hans Urs von Balthasar Teach that Everyone Will Certainly be Saved? (Mark Brumley, The Catholic World Report, 21 Nov. 2013)

 

The Devil (Satan) and Demons

***

The Stupidity and Idiocy of the Devil (Dialogue) [2-23-97 and 4-10-97]

Unbiblical Antipathy to Miracles & Exorcism (vs. Calvin #53) [12-22-09]

The Devil’s Stupidity & Vanity [3-4-16]

Screwtape on the Neutralization of Effective Apologetics and Divine Callings (National Catholic Register, 2-5-17) [see also, the original 20% longer Facebook version] [1-25-17]

“Withstand”! Satan Exploits Errors & Falsehood for His Nefarious Ends [3-4-17]

Satan is Highly Intelligent—and an Arrogant Idiot   [National Catholic Register, 11-27-17]

Are We Allowed to Rebuke and/or Mock the Devil? [11-30-17]

Satan Referenced 24 Times in Gaudete et Exsultate [4-9-18]

Christians & the Stupidity of Satan (vs. Insulting Humanist) [11-9-18]

7 Takes on Satan’s Persecutions and the Balanced Christian Life [National Catholic Register, 11-24-18]
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Judgment / Second Coming

Judgment of Nations: A Collection of Biblical Passages [9-21-01]

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Judgment of Nations: Biblical Commentary and Reflections [9-21-01]

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Last Things (Eschatology) / Prophecies

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Heaven / Souls / Resurrection / Limbo

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Last updated on 6 October 2019.
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November 8, 2006

Schleiermacher
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834), the “Father of Modern Liberal Theology” [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
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General

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Humanae Vitae: August 1968 & the “Progressive” Revolt (Cardinal James Francis Stafford) [7-29-08]
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Conscience Must be Formed in Harmony with the Church (Proof from Scripture & the Catechism of the Catholic Church) [7-19-09] 
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Christological Heresy

 
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Trashing the Bible / Theologically Liberal or Skeptical Exegesis
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Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
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Defending the Historical Adam of Genesis (vs. Eric S. Giunta) [9-25-11]
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Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]
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New Testament Proofs of Noah’s Historical Existence (Seton Magazine article, 22 April 2014)
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“Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” (Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine, 11-24-14)
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Implications for Ecclesiology?
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Modernist Skeptical Historiography 

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Last Updated: 6 October 2019.
 
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November 8, 2006

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Inquisition and Crusades
 
 
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Were 50 Million People Really Killed in the Inquisition? [National Catholic Register, 5-30-18]
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The Inquisition, as Medieval Catholics Would View It [National Catholic Register, 7-31-19]
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EXTERNAL LINKS
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The Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church

My statement: I would remind Catholics (and non-Catholic Christian allies) who are despairing over this dreadful scandal to recall that all great reform movements in the Catholic Church followed times of great immorality within its ranks (we Catholics being sinners and in constant need of God’s grace, mercy, and help, along with everyone else). The terrible revelations now being exposed can potentially be a huge wake-up call to reform seminaries, Catholic educational institutions, and the priesthood from the inroads of theological modernism, false psychological thinking, “political correctness,” heterodox, compromised teaching on sexuality, and relativist, non-traditional ethics and morality in general. Those scourges are the ultimate and long-term cause of these tragic events, and no informed Catholic that I know has ever denied that the Church (i.e., with regard to the beliefs and behavior of many of its members, not in its teachings) is suffering from a modernist crisis. I would note in passing that the fashionable, wrongheaded, agenda-driven calls for a married or female clergy have little to do with the current problem, and cannot resolve it, since upwards of 90% of the sexually-abused were teenage males. The problem obviously is something other than celibacy itself, or Clintonian urges towards heterosexual promiscuity. Having believed for a long time (based on historical hindsight) that spiritual and ecclesiological revival is coming in the 21st century, I think this unutterably tragic scandal can and will – by God’s grace and mass repentance — eventually be instrumental in leading to a great movement for reform, orthodoxy, and revival (Romans 8:28). The laity will likely play a large part in the coming revival, as they often have in the past.
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“With all that is going on in the church today, I wouldn’t dwell on this non-sequitur.” [i.e., the issue of whether we should call priests “Father”] [Facebook, 8-13-18]
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LEAVING (OR WANTING TO LEAVE) THE CHURCH DUE TO SEXUAL AND OTHER SINS AMONG THE CLERGY
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The Sex Scandals Are Not a Reason to Reject Catholicism [National Catholic Register, 8-24-18]
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EXTERNAL LINKS
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Benedict and Clergy Sexual Abuse: Decisive and Aggressive Action (Judy Roberts; National Catholic Register,  5 March 2013)

The Myth of Pedophile Priests (Fr. Dwight Longenecker, 22 March 2010)

“The Myth of the Pedophile Priest”: A Researcher Puts Scandals in Context (Philip Jenkins, 3 March 2002)

The Sex-Abuse Crisis: What are Christians Doing About It? (David Manthei, 1 Dec. 2014)

“Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy,” by Richard Fitzgibbons & Dale O’Leary (The Linacre Quarterly, 2011) (+ my extensive commentary in the Facebook combox: 8-18-18]
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“Bishop Morlino: ‘Homosexual Subculture’ a Source of Devastation in the Church” (Catholic News Agency / National Catholic Register, 8-19-18) [+ extensive Facebook discussion and related links]
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Is Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Related to Homosexual Priests? (Matthew E. Bunson, National Catholic Register, 11-2-18)
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Sex Abuse Scandals: Catholic, Protestant and Secular – You May Be Surprised (Steve Ray, 3 Dec. 2018)

“Sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests” (U. S. Dept. of Education study)

The Root Cause of the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal (Dr. Michael Liccione, Mind & Spirit, five-part analysis, 2-18-19)

Benedict XVI essay: “The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse” (Catholic News Agency, 4-10-19)

“Serbia Rocked by Orthodox Church Sex Scandal” [article, + Facebook discussion on the general issue, 4-29-13]

For why do they sit at the gate, and what do they watch for, if it be not for this, that so soon as any bishop or clergyman or monk or nun has fallen, they may have ground for believing, and boasting, and maintaining that all are the same as the one that has fallen, but that all cannot be convicted and unmasked? Yet these very men do not straightway cast forth their wives, or bring accusation against their mothers, if some married woman has been discovered to be an adulteress. But the moment that any crime is either falsely alleged or actually proved against any one who makes a profession of piety, these men are incessant and unwearied in their efforts to make this charge be believed against all religious men. (St. Augustine: Epistle 78 [6]: to the Church at Hippo [404 A.D.] )

Sinners in the Church

Thomas Howard on the Sins of the Catholic Church [Facebook, 1991]
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Sins and Sinners in the Catholic Church [1998]

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Paganism, Slavery, & Other Real or Imagined Scandals (like Halloween)

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The Joys of Halloween and the “Baptizing” of Pagan Customs (with Rod Bennett and Mark Shea) [Facebook, 11-1-06; expanded: 10-31-16]
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EXTERNAL LINKS
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Did the Church Ever Support Slavery? (Steve Weidenkopf, Catholic Answers Magazine, 9-18-17)


The Galileo Controversy

[See: Philosophy, Science, and Christianity Page]

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Pope Pius XII and the Nazi Holocaust / Persecution of Jews / Anti-Semitism


Last updated on 2 September 2019.
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Photo credit: photograph by LunarSeaArt  (2-26-17) [Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons license]

November 8, 2006

Trinity2

Basic minimal (equilateral triangular) version of the “Shield of the Trinity” or “Scutum Fidei” diagram of traditional Christian symbolism [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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CHRISTOLOGY / JESUS CHRIST
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Jesus is God: Hundreds of Biblical Proofs (RSV edition) [1982; rev. 2012]
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50 Biblical Proofs That Jesus is God [National Catholic Register, 2-12-17]
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Can the Prayers of Jesus Go Unanswered? [National Catholic Register, 6-10-19]
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EVENTS IN JESUS’ LIFE
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The Passion of the Christ: Review and Reflections [2-29-04; abridged and edited on 4-10-17]
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Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
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Was Christ Actually Born Dec. 25? [National Catholic Register, 12-18-18]

The Bethlehem Nativity, Babe Ruth, and History [National Catholic Register, 1-1-19]

Are the Two Genealogies of Christ Contradictory? [National Catholic Register, 1-5-19]

Seidensticker Folly #31: Jesus’ Burial Spices Contradiction? [4-20-19]

Jesus Didn’t Always Turn the Other Cheek (Proverbs) [7-6-19]

What Does “Turn the Other Cheek” Mean? [National Catholic Register, 7-20-19]

Caiaphas’ Unjust Accusation of Jesus as a Blasphemer [8-2-19]

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #3: Nature & Time of 2nd Coming [8-3-19]

Why Jesus Was So Unpopular (Parallel with Socrates) [8-17-19]

Did Jesus Teach His Disciples to Hate Their Families? [National Catholic Register, 8-17-19]

David Madison vs. the Gospel of Mark #8: Ch. 9 (“Mean” Jesus) [8-19-19]

David Madison vs. the Gospel of Mark #10: Chapter 11 (Two Donkeys? / Fig Tree / Moneychangers) [8-20-19]

Why Did Jesus Cleanse the Temple (Moneychangers)? [9-1-19]

Why Jesus Opposed the Moneychangers in the Temple [National Catholic Register, 9-26-19]

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JESUS AND MARY
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YOUNG MESSIAH FILM (2016) / KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS
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TRINITARIANISM / THE HOLY TRINITY / THE HOLY SPIRIT
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Filioque: Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue (William Klimon) [July 1997]
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50 Biblical Evidences for the Holy Trinity [National Catholic Register, 11-14-16]
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THEOLOGY PROPER (THEOLOGY OF GOD) / GOD’S ATTRIBUTES AND NATURE 
Dialogue w Mormon Apologist: God & Doctrinal Development (vs. Dr. Barry Bickmore) (+ Part Two) [12-22-01]
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Is God in Time? (vs. John W. Loftus) [11-30-06]
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Thoughts on the Level of Our “Comprehension” of God (St. John Chrysostom) (dialogue with Deacon Steven D. Greydanus) [Facebook, 9-14-17]
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Seidensticker Folly #20: An Evolving God in the OT? (God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, & Omnipresence in Early Bible Books & Ancient Jewish Understanding) [9-18-18]
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Does God Ever Actively Prevent Repentance? [National Catholic Register, 9-1-19]
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GOD AS JUDGE
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Judgment of Nations: A Collection of Biblical Passages [9-21-01]

Judgment of Nations: Biblical Commentary and Reflections [9-21-01]

Reflections on Judgment and Sufficient Knowledge for Salvation [6-7-02]

Reply to a Calvinist: Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart (vs. Colin Smith) [10-14-06]

Dialogue w Atheists on Hell & Whether God is Just [12-5-06]

God’s Judgment of Humans (Sometimes, Entire Nations) [2-16-07]

“How Can God Order the Massacre of Innocents?” (Amalekites, etc.) [11-10-07]

Final Judgment & Works (Not Faith): 50 Passages [2-10-08]

Origen (c. 185 – c. 254 ) on Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook, 2-27-08]

Did Moses (and God) Sin In Judging the Midianites (Numbers 31)? [5-21-08]

God “Hardening Hearts”: How Do We Interpret That? [12-18-08]

St. Paul: Two-Faced Re Unbelief? (Romans 1 “vs.” Epistles) [7-5-10]

God’s “Punishing” of Descendants: Unjust? [7-8-10]

Dialogue on Faith and Works and the Relation of Each to the Final Judgment (vs. Bethany Kerr) [10-10-13]

Final Judgment Always Has to Do with Works and Never with “Faith Alone” [9-5-14]

Israel as God’s Agent of Judgment [9-28-14]

Final Judgment is Not a Matter of “Faith Alone” At All [National Catholic Register, 10-7-16]

Exposition on the Scriptural Relationship Between Grace, Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook , 3-15-17]

Does God Ever Judge People by Sending Disease? [10-30-17]

Is God an Unjust Judge? Dialogue with an Atheist [10-30-17]

God’s Judgment of Sin: Analogies for an Atheist Inquirer [9-6-18]

Seidensticker Folly #17: “to the third and fourth generations”? [9-11-18]

Does God Punish to the Fourth Generation? [National Catholic Register, 10-1-18]

No OT Judgment = No 2nd Coming & Last Judgment [10-8-18]

Did God Immorally “Murder” King David’s Innocent Child? (God’s Providence and Permissive Will, and Hebrew Non-Literal Anthropomorphism) [5-6-19]

Madison vs. Jesus #9: Clueless Re Rebellion & Judgment [8-7-19]

David Madison vs. Paul and Romans #11: Chapter 11 (“Scary” & “Vindictive” Yahweh? / Endless Stupefied Insults of God / Judgment Explained Yet Again) [8-30-19]

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THEISTIC ARGUMENTS
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My Opinion on “Proofs for God’s Existence” Summarized in Two Sentences [Facebook, 6-18-18]

Seidensticker Folly #13: God Hasta Prove He Exists! [8-29-18]

Dialogue: Has God Demonstrated His Existence (Romans 1)? [9-1-18]

Seidensticker Folly #14: Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

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Last updated: 6 October 2019.

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