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An Experiment for Brave Christians

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posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 05:05 PM
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here's how it goes, buy "The God Delusion" and read it with an open mind. see what happens and share your experience. it's out in paperback and is only 460ish pages.

if you don't want to take up this challenge, i'd like to see why.

conversely, brave atheists could just read "The Bible" with an open mind and share their experiences to make the experiment equitable.

[edit on 3/31/08 by madnessinmysoul]




posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 05:32 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Atheists such as the author of the book you mention often come round to faith in Christ, eventually. C.S. Lewis was a prime example. As a professor of literature at Cambridge University, he took some convincing.


Raised in a church-going family in the Church of Ireland, Lewis became an atheist at the age of 15. He remained an atheist until 31 years old.
His separation from Christianity began when he started to view his religion as a chore and as a duty; around this time he also gained an interest in the occult as his studies expanded to include such topics.


Source: en.wikipedia.org...

He didn't want to accept the Gospel at all, and used whatever arguments he could to avoid it:


He fought greatly up to the moment of his conversion noting, "I came into Christianity kicking and screaming." He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy:
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. (Lewis 1966)


Source: en.wikipedia.org...

The biggest problem for atheists is that they have to find a way to explain away Jesus Christ. The details of his life were foretold over the course of millenia in the Old Testament Scriptures, and he fulfilled all of them to the letter, in their hundreds. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and controlled the wind and the waves with a word. (The apostles were petrified when they saw this: "...What kind of man is this?-Even the winds and the sea obey Him!" Matthew 8:27) He knew what people were thinking, and he foretold the future, near and far (throughout the Gospels). Thomas, the famous doubter, saw Christ risen from the dead, heard Him speaking, and said "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:28) Not an easy thing for a Jewish person to say to a man...

Not many people will read the whole Bible before answering this thread!!! John's Gospel chapters 19 and 20 might be a good starting point, however.

Another place worth a look-in might be "Does God Believe in Atheists?" by John Blanchard, available from Amazon, etc.

Ultimately, however, while self-proclaimed atheists do turn to Christ, those who have come to sincere faith in Christ, and experienced the transformation it brings, NEVER turn away from it. Superficial hangers-on do, but those who have truly accepted Christ's claims about himself, and have begun following his teaching in total sincerity find that there is nothing this world offers that can compare to the peace of sins forgiven, and the hope of eternal life with Christ, according to his promise.

Evidence that Biblical Christianity reflects reality does emerge in near-death experiences - see this video, for example:

www.belowtopsecret.com...

however the Christian faith ultimately relies on faith in what Christ and the apostles and prophets wrote. So go ahead, read a Gospel.

Meantime I intend to have a look at the book suggested. I can't claim to read it with an entirely open mind, however. I used to believe what the author believes, but then spent about three years studying the Bible, very reluctant to accept its claims, as I was a notoriously violent person who didn't believe I could live as a Christian, even if it was true. I was gobsmacked by it. After an additional quarter of a century of studying it virtually every day, I can't get away from the fact that it has transformed my thinking as well as my behaviour. And there isn't a single argument from an atheist that I haven't seen it answer...



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 06:12 AM
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This is a lousy attempt to lour people away from God... The way you word this, as a challenge, is more or less like trying to temp someone into doing something... Although I'd like to take you up on your challenge I at the same time realize the temptation... Thanks anyway... It was temptation that gave us our mortality...

If you had said this was a good book you read I might of checked it out... :shk:



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 08:02 AM
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Just tossing this out for consideration since it seems to pertain to this topic. It takes more faith to believe 1 author from recent years versus 40 authors over the course of 1500 years.

I will not read the book. I don't need to read it. I know who God is. I see no reason to spend that kind of time reading something that most likely doesn't say anything I haven't heard before in the many debates I have witnessed about theology. I also don't feel the need to spend that kind of time reading something that is attempting to destroy my religion.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 11:52 AM
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zombie mann would you happen to post on a1wrestling?

anyways I would read it because I have (because of God) strong faith so I know and believe God is real so this book would not phase me...

peace.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought
Atheists such as the author of the book you mention often come round to faith in Christ, eventually. C.S. Lewis was a prime example. As a professor of literature at Cambridge University, he took some convincing.


any many who have religion come round to atheism, so that's really not an argument.



The biggest problem for atheists is that they have to find a way to explain away Jesus Christ.


...is this even on the topic at all?



The details of his life were foretold over the course of millenia in the Old Testament Scriptures, and he fulfilled all of them to the letter, in their hundreds.


it kind of would have been a helluva lot more impressive if he didn't have any knowledge of the book...
or if there was substantial historical evidence to support his existence.



He healed the sick, raised the dead, and controlled the wind and the waves with a word. (The apostles were petrified when they saw this: "...What kind of man is this?-Even the winds and the sea obey Him!" Matthew 8:27)


thor killed giants and controlled the storms with a hammer
zeus could shapeshift and fling lightning bolts
etc etc.
each religion has a figure that can do really cool things, but until you find evidence outside those religious texts that proves that these miraculous things happened, it's just myth.



He knew what people were thinking, and he foretold the future, near and far (throughout the Gospels). Thomas, the famous doubter, saw Christ risen from the dead, heard Him speaking, and said "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:28) Not an easy thing for a Jewish person to say to a man...


odd...how can you foretell the future when we have free will? doesn't make much sense to me...
anyway, you're still derailing my topic.



Not many people will read the whole Bible before answering this thread!!! John's Gospel chapters 19 and 20 might be a good starting point, however.


...i've read it thrice over. 3 different versions of it too.



Another place worth a look-in might be "Does God Believe in Atheists?" by John Blanchard, available from Amazon, etc.


again, off topic.



Ultimately, however, while self-proclaimed atheists do turn to Christ, those who have come to sincere faith in Christ, and experienced the transformation it brings, NEVER turn away from it. Superficial hangers-on do, but those who have truly accepted Christ's claims about himself, and have begun following his teaching in total sincerity find that there is nothing this world offers that can compare to the peace of sins forgiven, and the hope of eternal life with Christ, according to his promise.


that's kind of a bullhockey argument. they aren't real christians if they become atheists, but they're real atheists if they become christians.

quite the offensive double standard.



Meantime I intend to have a look at the book suggested. I can't claim to read it with an entirely open mind, however. I used to believe what the author believes, but then spent about three years studying the Bible, very reluctant to accept its claims, as I was a notoriously violent person who didn't believe I could live as a Christian, even if it was true. I was gobsmacked by it. After an additional quarter of a century of studying it virtually every day, I can't get away from the fact that it has transformed my thinking as well as my behaviour. And there isn't a single argument from an atheist that I haven't seen it answer...


here's a question that the bible can't answer: why does god exist?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Dude, i read stuff worse than the God Delusion. hahahaha



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:52 PM
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An Experiment for Brave Atheists

Hey madness, I'll do you one better though.

Go put yourself in a dangerous situation that could get you killed, and try....Just TRY not to say a last prayer before you kiss your ass goodbye. hahaha


"There are no atheists in foxholes"


[edit on 2-4-2008 by thehumbleone]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
or if there was substantial historical evidence to support his existence.


Hmm... Does that mean you're interested in taking me up on reading Evidence That Demands a Verdict?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



...i've read it thrice over. 3 different versions of it too


As someone once said: "There is non so blind as those that will not see". Reading the Bible does not guarantee believing it. A person's response depends on whether they are honestly seeking to know God.

Jesus said: "My teaching isn't mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or I am speaking on my own". (John 7:16&17)

Intellectual or philosophical debate is not what the Bible is about. Those that read it at this level just don't get it. It's too simple for them. It takes too much humility for them to accept a book that presents itself as the words of God at the level of: "This is your Maker, I wish to speak with you. You don't know me, but I know you - your every thought and intent of the heart are visible to me, as are your actions. You, and all your fellow men are in dire need of renewal within the heart, because it is corrupt. I have sent my representatives throughout the ages to communicate the Good News that your corruption can be healed and forgiven, and last of all I sent my one dear Son. Listen to them. Hear Him, and return to Me.

Many people reacted to God's Son by agreeing to His crucifixion. Those who hate His teaching today maintain the same attitude. "Away with him - we won't have this man to rule over us!" (Luke 19:14) It makes no difference whether you believe. Beyond the grave "Every knee shall bow... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". (Philippians 2:10-11)

As Jesus prayed: "I praise You Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and have revealed them to infants." (Luke 10:21)

Better to be safe and blessed on the side of the truth than hard-hearted on the side of the intellectuals! Their day is brief. Eternity is long...



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by JesusisTruth

zombie mann would you happen to post on a1wrestling?


Nope thats not me. I post on very few forums. My time is fairly limited so I am selective about where I post.

Pause4thought,

I could not have said it better myself.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


So basically "The God Delusion" is your bible eh?
That is the message between the lines of your post at least.

But hey at least your obliquely admitting you follow a religion. (finally)


[edit on 2-4-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Regarding Christ's fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophesies you said:


it kind of would have been a helluva lot more impressive if he didn't have any knowledge of the book...


I'll ignore the mocking tone and simply state the obvious reply: a vast swathe of them referred to the circumstances of his birth, what others would do to him (in exquisite detail, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 - and some of his enemies knew the Scriptures, but still couldn't help fulfilling them*), and what their attitude to him would be despite his miraculous supernatural abilities.


or if there was substantial historical evidence to support his existence.


Would you consider his claims more deeply if you had the evidence? I wonder... If you really want to see it good places to start are the book junglejake suggested: "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" or one I have suggested elsewhere:

www.belowtopsecret.com...

which also covers that issue.

Sorry I'm a bit short of time to reply to your other points at present. Others here are well capable and welcome to do so, though!

*PS Stick that in your pipe and smoke it when thinking about free will.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by WraothAscendant
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


So basically "The God Delusion" is your bible eh?
That is the message between the lines of your post at least.


...no the message between the lines is a challenge for people to actually be open minded and think freely instead of simply saying "no, you're tempting blah blah blah"



But hey at least your obliquely admitting you follow a religion. (finally)


again, bald isn't a hair color
not collecting stamps isn't a hobby
atheism is not a religion
and this post is a troll


Originally posted by pause4thought
As someone once said: "There is non so blind as those that will not see". Reading the Bible does not guarantee believing it. A person's response depends on whether they are honestly seeking to know God.


ok, you haven't been on here for long but i read it all 3 times with that intention in mind. the first time i read it to strengthen my faith...seems like it did quite the opposite
the second time i read it to recover my lapsed faith
again, it drove me further away from belief
the third time i read it thinking "no, i must be fooling myself here, god is real etc"

still, no dice.



Intellectual or philosophical debate is not what the Bible is about. Those that read it at this level just don't get it. It's too simple for them.


that's not because the bible is special, that's because it was written by simple people.

and there are parts of it i don't get because there disgustingly barbaric.



It takes too much humility for them to accept a book that presents itself as the words of God at the level of: "This is your Maker, I wish to speak with you. You don't know me, but I know you - your every thought and intent of the heart are visible to me, as are your actions. You, and all your fellow men are in dire need of renewal within the heart, because it is corrupt. I have sent my representatives throughout the ages to communicate the Good News that your corruption can be healed and forgiven, and last of all I sent my one dear Son. Listen to them. Hear Him, and return to Me.


emphasis added to a very, very common myth about atheists, that we're not humble...but i've yet to see how we're particularly proud

and there are so many, many fallacious things in that statement...

1: predestination. either god is omniscient or we have free will

2: problem of evil/corruption. either god wishes to prevent evil and cannot and is thus not omnipotent or god is able but not willing and thus either malevolent or benign or god is both able and willing (but then there wouldn't be suffering/evil/corruption) or god is neither willing or able (but then why would we call it god?)

3: each deity has sent down representatives
3a: why haven't we had any in any recent time?

4: why didn't god send his son to the population center of the world (rome) instead of a backwater town in a fairly sparsely populated area?



Many people reacted to God's Son by agreeing to His crucifixion.


and the majority of the world's population never heard about him...



Those who hate His teaching today maintain the same attitude.


here's something funny...a lot of atheists don't disagree with all of the stuff jesus said. many, including richard dawkins, maintain that they are "atheists for jesus"
that is, atheists that agree with many of the moral teachings of jesus.



"Away with him - we won't have this man to rule over us!" (Luke 19:14)


well, i do have to disagree with jesus on many things...particularly that whole "faith is a greater virtue than reason" thing...so yea, away with him, he isn't elected so he won't rule over us.



*snip preaching*




Better to be safe and blessed on the side of the truth than hard-hearted on the side of the intellectuals! Their day is brief. Eternity is long...


i'm regularly taken aback by statements of arrogance such as this.

the "intellectuals" whose "day(s)" are "brief" have helped improve your standard of living and have furthered progress of knowledge and equality. more than any other group...and that's the thanks they get?


Originally posted by thehumbleone
An Experiment for Brave Atheists

Hey madness, I'll do you one better though.

Go put yourself in a dangerous situation that could get you killed, and try....Just TRY not to say a last prayer before you kiss your ass goodbye. hahaha


i'm sorry, but this is just idiotic. i'm trying to encourage the open exchange of ideas and see how people from a christian background respond to the arguments in the god delusion. you're trying to make a highly bigoted joke.

and honestly, i've been in danger a few times since i stopped believing in deities...a few times things could have ended up deadly...still don't believe in god and haven't uttered a prayer ...ok, i did pray a few times with some people just out of respect to their cultural traditions and they understood that.



"There are no atheists in foxholes"


...oh really?
en.wikipedia.org...
www.atheistfoxholes.org...

there are some atheists that would like to sit you down in their foxhole and have a word with you.


Originally posted by junglejake
Hmm... Does that mean you're interested in taking me up on reading Evidence That Demands a Verdict?


first, i must applaud you for actually being on topic...unlike pretty much every other post here... (as a mod, could you do something about this?)

secondly, if you read a book of equivalent atheist merit, sure. i'd recommend either the god delusion, god is not great, or breaking the spell.
...however, it's going to be a bit tough to get my hands on a copy of it over here.

however, if the argument in the book draws from the bible in any other way than saying "historical evidence says x, so does bible" i'm going to be a bit let down by the circular logic. ...also, if it uses the "fulfilled prophecies" argument, which is also a circular argument, i'll be very sad that you made me read it.

 


now, people, can we actually get on topic?



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Regarding Christ's fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophesies you said:


it kind of would have been a helluva lot more impressive if he didn't have any knowledge of the book...


I'll ignore the mocking tone and simply state the obvious reply: a vast swathe of them referred to the circumstances of his birth, what others would do to him (in exquisite detail, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 - and some of his enemies knew the Scriptures, but still couldn't help fulfilling them*), and what their attitude to him would be despite his miraculous supernatural abilities.


it doesn't change that it's a circular argument

read book B
character J from book B fulfills prophecy 1 that's earlier in book B

now, if someone documented that character J (Jesus) fulfilled a prophecy in another source, i'd be more inclined to believe the "hundreds of fulfilled prophecies" argument.



Would you consider his claims more deeply if you had the evidence?


yes and no. the moral teachings wouldn't hold any more or less weight, but the others might.



I wonder... If you really want to see it good places to start are the book junglejake suggested: "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" or one I have suggested elsewhere:


alrighty...but i don't think that apologetics are going to convince me... i'd prefer academic work.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul


i'm sorry, but this is just idiotic. i'm trying to encourage the open exchange of ideas and see how people from a christian background respond to the arguments in the god delusion. you're trying to make a highly bigoted joke.

and honestly, i've been in danger a few times since i stopped believing in deities...a few times things could have ended up deadly...still don't believe in god and haven't uttered a prayer ...ok, i did pray a few times with some people just out of respect to their cultural traditions and they understood that.


Why would they care about the stupid book? Nobody is gonna change their beliefs unless they want to. Reading a book isn't gonna do crap unless the person already has some doubts about what they believe.

Lmao, it probably wasn't real danger. If it was you'd have been crying out to some god. It's easy to deny it after the fact, just like those guys with that silly website you linked.

So the moral to the story is, get out of your parents basement and find something better to do in life than sit on the computer and bug Deists.

it's really silly, I still don't get what you're trying to accomplish.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 




...no the message between the lines is a challenge for people to actually be open minded and think freely instead of simply saying "no, you're tempting blah blah blah"


Rrrrrriiiiiiggggghhhhhhhhtttttttttt...........
Considering the fact your statement is very similar to Christians when they are trying to get someone to read the bible. All you have to do is switch words.




again, bald isn't a hair color
not collecting stamps isn't a hobby
atheism is not a religion
and this post is a troll


1) Your analogy is silly it best. Bald as a hair color?

Considering even a bald person has a hair color encoded in their DNA.


2) Yet you don't have groups forming for the pursuit of ending stamp collecting.

3) Yep it sure is. Even some adherents of your particular belief set disagree with you.

LoL!
Once again.
If a group forms to answer a spiritual question and actively works on spreading their spiritual message it's a religion.
Sure you answer the spiritual question with a no but your still answering it and forming a group in support of your answer.

If someone didn't truly think the question was worth answering why would they even answer? Much use the label of "atheist"?

And then every time you post to one of those Christian's thread you must be trolling if you want to use my statements as a definition.

[edit on 2-4-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



i do have to disagree with jesus on many things...particularly that whole "faith is a greater virtue than reason" thing...so yea, away with him, he isn't elected so he won't rule over us.


I rest my case as to your attitude when it comes to listening to what Jesus said.

Incidentally, reason is not bad, but for some people their belief that their own reasoning is necessarily above the teaching of another prevents them from listening. It takes an attitude of humility to read and listen with a mind-set that the speaker may, in fact, be so far ahead of me in his wisdom and understanding of God and man, that I can't grasp it because my thinking has been dulled by the influence of sin, i.e. spiritual blindness, and that I may therefore have to ask God on my knees for light as I read.

Sometimes only the physician is aware that someone requires help. Sometimes that someone is offended when they are told they need help. That is the issue with Bible study: the words of God only become plain with the help of the Spirit of God, as only He can waft away the mist that covers the human heart in its perception of God and even of itself, (as a sinful heart). Deep knowledge of self is so profound only God can reveal it to you. Only then will you hunger and thirst for righteousness, as Jesus taught. Only then will you understand him and believe his words.

Only the blind who have had their eyes opened can grasp the magnitude of their former condition. Not arrogance, but the testimony of those who have experienced it.


the "intellectuals" whose "day(s)" are "brief" have helped improve your standard of living and have furthered progress of knowledge and equality. more than any other group...and that's the thanks they get?


Improvements in living conditions aren't bad either (-many of the major changes were the result of social movements with their roots in Christianity anyway). Quite the contrary. The statement you are referring to at the end of my last post about siding with Christ rather than worldly thinkers, (because they only have a brief lifetime) referred specifically to their denial of the reality of God. What is more, their blindness to God, if they remain in it, precludes them from enjoying His kingdom, which is eternal.

From this perspective "progress of knowledge and equality" is a fleeting success if those that enjoy it are deceived into thinking this present world is all there is, and end up spending eternity wishing they had spent their time in this life preparing for the next.

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Jesus, Mark 8:36)

Incidentally, your statement: "He won't rule over us" is a reminder that no-one is forced into Heaven. You may spend eternity where Christ doesn't rule if you prefer.

Oh the darkness of the human heart. It mocks cosmic reconciliation, and embraces rejection.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by ElectricUncleSam
It was temptation that gave us our mortality...



So you honestly believe that before said temptation, we were immortal?
Heres a book to read if you can find it. It is called the Jesus Paper. Good book. Not an atheist book, just a good book. Lots of history in it. Just like the bible. It is a historical book due to its age but it is by no means history.

Common sense is so rare that it should be a super-power.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by WraothAscendant
 


ok, whatever, i don't care

just stick to the damn topic or go back under the bridge.

reply to post by pause4thought
 


also off topic

reply to post by thehumbleone
 


not responding to the off topic parts, but the point isn't changing someone's beliefs, it's seeing how someone with those beliefs reacts to the arguments presented in the book.

i don't care about influencing things here or there. that's why i even offered that atheists read the bible and present their reaction.

this is just about both sides getting a better understanding of each other



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