If you have not read Stories Versus Truth, you may want to read that before reading this.
It is the proclamation of the Gospel, not argumentation, that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.
Moral issues are not the first step. Is the person even born again? If they are born again, questions about moral issues or issues that the Bible addresses must be based on what God says through the Bible. Otherwise, they are based purely on human opinion. God really doesn't care at all about human opinion. Human opinion cannot in any way affect spiritual reality.
Even though moral issues are not the first step, the law may be the first step. They may need to hear the law to know that they have failed to meet the demands of the law.
Don't let Satan turn the discussion into a contest. Contests have winners and losers and no one likes to be a loser. Discuss without turning the other person into a loser or turning yourself into the winner.
It’s all in the framing of the subject. Atheists and those who follow the teachings of Athiests, including more than half of the church, will frame that debate in a certain way. They will insist that you cannot base your argument on revelation, particularly the Word of God. However, it's either revelation or imagination. Without revelation we have fabricated stories (evolutionism, old-Earthism, big-bangism, bibilcal-erroism, etc.) that are based on arbitrary assumptions (naturalism, materialism, uniformitarianism) and rationalizations. When you look at the foundation of thought, it has to start somewhere. Is it something you just made up or is it revelation?
NO. Without the Bible, tell me why you believe . . .
Some people say that Paul didn’t appeal to the Bible on Mars Hill when speaking to the ungodly philosophers of that day. However, Paul spoke truths from the Bible. He told them that they could actually find God, Himself, if they were to seek after Him. Jesus quoted Scripture to those who knew Scripture.
So, how do you handle that. Here is one way:
Teacher: No, no. In this class we must use arguments from reason. You cannot quote the Bible because that doesn’t mean anything.
Student: If that’s the case then it only makes sense for every person to give their root premise, the one that cannot be challenged because it comes from an authority that cannot be questioned.
Teacher: That doesn’t make any sense.
Student: I can understand your confusion, and I would be happy to clarify for you. Because of the nature of reason, we give reasons for our statements. Those reasons are called premises.
Teacher: I know that.
Student: Those reasons are subject to challenge. How do we defend them? By giving reasons for the reasons. However, the reasons for those reasons also needed to be defended by giving another level of supporting reasoning. Eventually, all thought must come down to some root or roots--some starting point that supports everything else. The thoughts that are built on those roots cannot possibly be stronger than those roots. It’s no wonder that no one wants to talk about their root premise. However, if we don’t go to that level, every other thought is irrelevant. We can't prove any point without including the root premise; we can only give a deceptive illusion of proving points. So, it is important that everyone admits what their starting point is, their root premise.
Teacher: I don’t think that we can do that in this class.
Student: I have to admit that what you say brings up an interesting problem. If we can’t do that, then any discussion in this class has to remain meaningless. You see, my starting point is revelation from God. He directly speaks to me through the Bible. This is my root premise. Now, you want me to give up my root premise and then begin to argue from your root premise. Isn’t that a way to stack the deck?
Teacher: It’s insane to believe that God speaks to you.
Student: I understand your opinion, and it’s an opinion I’m very used to hearing. However, I have never heard anyone give a rational reason for this opinion that God cannot speak. Basically, you are implying that I am crazy unless I blindly believe your root premise, and you are boldly stating that I am not experiencing what I am experiencing. Perhaps you may be able to provide a rational reason for having the opinion that God cannot or does not speak and that I'm not experiencing what I'm experiencing.
Teacher: Well it’s obvious. Don’t be silly.
Student: It sounds like you're starting with a root premise of Naturalism, that is, God does nothing, and then, from that unproven premise, you're asserting that God can't speak. I guess you would need to state your root premise and give your reason for believing it. I know that it can be very difficult to talk about these things, but summary dismissal doesn’t really prove your point. At the same time, you do have the authority and you don’t need to answer if you don’t want to. However, I’m still curious about your root premise for your statement that "God doesn’t speak." (some caveats about hearing God's Voice)
Teacher: (A long pause to try to collect thoughts) No. I’m fine with talking about this, and I think it’s helpful to the class. Here's the problem with your thinking. No one has ever given any proof that God exists, therefore it is highly unlikely that he or she or it even exists. And I have never known anyone who claims that God speaks to them.
Student: Those are good points and I appreciate your willingness to explore these thoughts. I would like to address the two points that you brought up if that would be OK.
(the student waits for a nod from the teacher)
Student: You said that no one has ever given any proof that God exists. Even if this were true, though my daily experience tells me it's not true, but even if it were true, it would be poor logic since it constitutes a universal negative and an argument from ignorance fallacy. There is no way that anyone could know that a universal negative is accurate except by divine revelation, and that's part of what you are trying to argue against. At the same time, God gives me proof of His existence moment by moment, through His Holy Presence, through the things that He has created, through His answers to my prayers, and through many other things. Furthermore, God says, by revelation, that everyone is aware of His existence and they also know a lot about Him through the things that He has created, but some people don’t want to acknowledge Him. Now, the second point that you made was that you have never known anyone who claims that God speaks to them but I'm not sure what point you were trying to make.
Teacher: Well, only crazy people believe that God speaks to them.
Student: That’s an interesting claim. Obviously you have a reason for making that claim. Do you mind if I ask you what it is?
Teacher: God doesn’t speak to anyone. God is a figment of your imagination.
Student: I don’t mean to be rude by stating the obvious, but to claim the non-existence of God would be a universal negative. When you say that God doesn't speak to anyone, you are claiming to know the inner workings of the minds of thousands upon thousands of people to whom God does speak. This is a claim of being all knowing. I want to be respectful, since I believe that God sets all authority into place, so if this is an uncomfortable conversation for you, then perhaps we shouldn’t be having it. At the same time, I think that you believe that we students shouldn’t be coerced into parroting things that we can’t believe in, and that we should be able to express our reasons for what we believe. What would you like to do?
Teacher: How did we get here? All I asked is that you base your statements on reason. What’s so difficult about that?
Student: That is a fair question and I’m glad you asked that because it goes right to the heart of our discussion. Every statement, belief, premise, or claim has a root premise. If I make any claim, you could ask me to prove it. If I prove it, I’m just making another claim. You could also ask me to prove that claim. And this could go on for some time until we would get down to my root premise. That root premise can be based on something that I believe just because I want to believe it, or it could be based on something that someone else said and I may not know what proof they have of the thing, or it could be divine revelation. Maybe there might be another basis. Can you think of any other possible root premise?
Teacher: Some things are obvious.
Student: Obvious to whom? There is a lot of disagreement in the world over what is obvious. When one thing is obvious to you and another thing is obvious to you, how do we decide which is correct? Would it not make sense for us all to divulge our root premise and why we believe that premise is true? For instance, I may give my root premise as the fact that God revealed such and such to me through the Bible. You on the other hand may give your root premise as the fact that you believe that God doesn’t exist and there is nothing other than that which is natural and material, and You believe that because?
Teacher: Naturalism and materialism are obvious.
Student: Obvious to whom? Do you see the problem? You are asking me to embrace your root premise by telling me that I cannot talk about what the Bible says or what God reveals to me by any means by which He reveals it. You are denying the basis of all of my reasoning before we even start the conversation. Now, I’m admitting that you have the power in this situation, but if our roles were reversed, and I demanded that you could not use Naturalistic or Materialistic arguments to support your views. Would that be right?
Teacher: But Naturalism and Materialism are obvious.
Student: Obvious to whom?
Teacher: To everyone except crazy people.
Student: So you are not prepared to logically defend your belief in Naturalism or Materialism, except to declare them as obvious and to launch personal attacks against anyone who doesn’t believe in them?
If you ever go to the blogs, you will see that Atheists can never bring a rational argument againt any Christian to refuses to leave his or her Foundation, Jesus Christ. Our root premise of all our reasoning is a Person, the Lord, Jesus Christ. Atheists, Evolutionists, Materialists, Naturalists, and Relativists have a big problem dealing with those who stand on the foundation of Jesus Christ and His real Presence, and His Holy Scriptures, and the fact that He speaks through His Scriptures.
Those yield to the pressure and ridicule of the Atheists, Evolutionists, Materialists, Naturalists, or Relativists are usually in a lot of trouble. Though they are Christians, they have stepped off of their foundation, and they will be shown to be fools.
However, Atheists, Evolutionists, Materialists, Naturalists, and Relativists have a problem even given their root premise. As we learn more about science, it becomes obvious that all methods of determining how old the Universe or the Earth are based on circular reasoning. And we know that Evolution violates many known laws of science: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, The Law of Information, and The Law of Biogenesis. Also, the Big Bang story violates The First Law of Thermodynamics, and it has many other problems that force scientists to tell stories about imaginary forms of dark energy and dark matter.
Atheists claim unbelief because they don't want to acknowlege God. As Scripture says: Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is unveiled from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who restrain the truth in poor judgment; 19 Because that which may be known of God is plainly known among them; for God has made it visible it to them. 20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because, when they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish innermost minds were darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up into uncleanness through the desire for forbidden things that is within their own innermost minds, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator Who is blessed into the coming age. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up to vile afflictions of the mind,
Would the student in the conversation above be effective? With the state of the educational system, the student would risk getting an F as retribution. Students need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Last updated: Jun, 2015
Toons & Vids
There are 8 sub-topics of "Questions About Sin"
Is it a Sin to Drink Alcohol in Moderation?
Does Evil Exist?
This is a Very Common Challenge--The Question: If God is good, and God created everything, then why is there evil?
Is it true that once you are born again it is impossible that you could sin?
Accusation: Churches Accused of Being Criminal Organizations Run by Pedophiles
This Scoffer's Question is as Follows: Is Objective Morality a Law the God Must Obey, or Does God Arbitrarily Apply a Morality as a Fiat?
All things are relative
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