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How Not to Debate a Christian Apologist

In an article on Huffington Post (naturally) entitled How to Debate a Christian Apologist, atheist Victor Stenger explains why non-Christians usually do so badly in debates with Christians and then offers a cheat sheet of brief answers to Christian apologetic arguments. The reason why the Christians do so well, according to Stenger, is that they have had years to polish their arguments in their religion classes and churches. The atheists, apparently, don’t have comparable opportunities. This will come as a surprise to Christian students throughout the Western world who have sat under atheists and other skeptical professors routinely spouting off against Christianity even if it entails ignoring the subject matter of the course.

Stenger asserts that Christian debaters use the same tired old arguments even though they have already been soundly refuted (by all those atheists who get tongue-tied in debates, apparently). Rarely do Christian apologists have a new argument, presumably in contrast to atheists who are churning out a new argument against Christianity every week but don’t know what to say when actually talking to a Christian.

Another reason why atheists don’t do well in debates, according to Stenger, is that debates are really about making impressions and not about the substance of what the debaters actually say. In particular, the Christian apologists always seem to have something clever-sounding to say in response to the atheists, whereas the atheists just aren’t very good at that rhetorical game. That’s apparently because they’re too busy in the lab.

To help out the hapless skeptics who venture into debates with wily Christian apologists, Stenger offers some snappy responses to 30 Christian apologetic arguments. He suggests they memorize these comebacks or have them available as notes when they debate. This might work except for something Stenger apparently did not consider: those rascally Christian apologists will read his article and come up with unscientific yet plausible-sounding soundbites to answer the skeptical soundbites. And since the skeptics don’t have the luxury of actually working through the subject matter sufficiently to be able to offer responses on their feet, the Christian apologists will win again.

There is probably little need to refute all of the arguments on Stenger’s cheat sheet here. In most cases, if a Christian apologist uses the argument Stenger tries to rebut, the apologist already knows quite a bit about the subject matter underlying the argument and can easily show that Stenger’s soundbite does not overturn the apologetic argument. Besides, we apologists don’t need to make it easy for Stenger’s debate disciples to know how we would answer all of his arguments. Let them read books like we do. But a few examples will illustrate the point that Stenger’s stingers have no sting.

“Only 7 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the elite of American science, believe in a personal God.”

Assuming that’s true, how does one get into the NAS? Here’s what the National Academy of Sciences website says: “Because membership is achieved by election, there is no membership application process. Although many names are suggested informally, only Academy members may submit formal nominations.” In other words, it’s an exclusive club that decides who may even be considered for membership. According to a 2010 article in Scientific American, about 18,000 American citizens earn PhDs in the sciences or engineering every year. There are only about 2,200 members in the NAS, and no more than 84 new members are inducted each year. Even the geniuses in the NAS can figure out that its membership does not represent an adequately representative sampling of well-trained scientists.

“Of course Galileo and Newton were Christians. Their only other choice was to be burned at the stake. Atheism did not appear openly until the French Enlightenment a century later.”

The implication that Galileo and Newton would have abandoned Christianity in a heartbeat if they had not been afraid of being burned at the stake is as ridiculous as it is insulting. Galileo was a devout Catholic who argued that both science and theology had their rightful places. Newton actually wrote much more about religious subjects than he did science. If Newton had any reservations about Christianity, he could have simply left it alone. Instead, he wrote voluminously and passionately about the Bible and theology. Furthermore, Newton’s papers show that he was unorthodox in some of his theological views, yet he was still sincerely devoted to the Christian religion as he understood it.

“Amino acids were produced spontaneously out of simple ingredients the lab in 1953 by graduate student Stanley Miller after running his experiment for only a week.”

Which proves that intelligence is not needed to make life. Right.

“In fact, an all-powerful, all-knowing, absolutely good God is logically inconsistent with all the pain and suffering in the world. This is the best reason of all for nonbelief.”

Golly, we never heard that one before.

Even the renowned atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie, who had defended the above deductive objection to God’s existence, later admitted that Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga had refuted the objection. “Since this defence is formally possible, and its principle involves no real abandonment of our ordinary view of the opposition between good and evil, we can concede that the problem of evil does not, after all, show that the central doctrines of theism are logically inconsistent with one another” (J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982], 145). Mackie attempted to refine the argument, and theists have responded, but as Stenger states it the argument has been all but abandoned by philosophers.

“Socrates proposed what is called the Euthyphro dilemma: Either (a) God wills us to do what is good because certain acts are good, or (b) an act is good only because God wills it.”

This would be one of those new arguments that atheists keep formulating while Christian apologists are stuck with those tired old claims from ancient authors…oh wait.

“There is absolutely no evidence that the Jesus of the gospels even existed. He is only mentioned in the New Testament, which was written long after his death by people who did not know him.”

Someone once warned, “If you are a non-expert on any subject, you should not say anything about it beyond your competence. Your opponent may call you out on it. I have seen that happen.”

That was Victor Stenger—earlier in the very same article.

By the way, if you don’t know how to answer the above claims about Jesus, you are not yet an Apolo-Jedi. Complete your training you must, before you face Victor.

35 Responses to “How Not to Debate a Christian Apologist”

  1. I will right now write a better piece on how to debate a Christian apologist than Stenger does.

    Step 1: Look at what Stenger does.

    Step 2: Don’t do that.

  2. And how does one go about getting the trainingz? Follow the apologetics track after you become a member of Credo House. http://www.credohouse.org/member

  3. The part I thought was laughable was these voluminous Roman historians living in Jerusalem in the first century. Lol.

  4. Reading that article one has to wonder if they are reading some sort of bizarre comedy. Stenger’s critiques go from irrelevant, to uninformed, to misleading, to downright absurd. Suffice to say there is not a single thing presented by Stenger that is original or that a halfway decent apologist would not be prepared to refute. Ultimately Stenger breaks the first rule of debate – don’t assume your opponents are stupid and are ignorant in regards to the relevant material.

  5. I definitely think these are wonderful points! However, I think we have to be careful as Christians to not “sink to the same level” as atheists, so to speak, and use sarcasm as a way of making our argument-I know many Christians, myself included, who love apologetics but are sometimes turned off by the attitude in which it is used. We have good arguments/responses, so I think we ought to just let them do the work and try to maintain as sincere, genuine, and kind an attitude as possible!:)

    • Caitlin,
      Bingo! I have seen so many Christian apologists and atheists like resort to sarcasm and snark as a way to score points. With atheists, I get it. They may not have chosen a value system that includes kindness and decency, but for Christians to resort to sarcasm and snark (as even the current article does) seems to be, how can we say, defeating the whole aim that is claimed by apologists, i.e. that they are trying to lead the world to Christ. Using sarcasm and snark isn’t a Christian behavior. It’s puffed up, prideful, defensive and self-aggrandizing. All things that I’m pretty sure that Jesus wouldn’t approve of and are definitely going to make Christianity unattractive to would-be converts. (Who wants to join a religion whose representatives behave like first-class ‘jerks’?)

      • Ever read 1 Cor. 4 or 1 Kings 18? Sarcasm was used in many places in the Bible. The modern idea is just that, a modern one, and one the early church fathers would have been baffled at.

        • If those verses help you sleep better at night knowing that you were less kind, understanding and compassionate toward your fellow human beings than you could have been, who am I to argue?

          • Those verses are examples of sarcasm going on in the Bible. It was used incredibly often. What do you think Amos was doing when he referred to the women of Israel as cows of Bashan? What was Jesus doing when he called the Pharisees sons of Hell and whitewashed tombs?

            The reality is, Jesus wouldn’t pass your ethical standard nor would the prophets.

            But hey, if going with the moral climate of the time and imposing your view on Scripture really helps you sleep better at night while the hounds of atheism come through our windows and drag away our children, who am I to argue?

          • btw, it’s also noteworthy that your reply to me was rather sarcastic. Do as you say but not as you do?

          • Nick,
            My reply was not sarcastic, it was very straight-forward. Looking to examples from Scripture to justify bad behavior strikes me as having only one purpose: to help the person who insists on behaving badly sleep better at night. Somehow because an idea is ‘modern’ does not disqualify it from Christian consideration. Ideas like ‘abolishing slavery’ and ‘women’s suffrage’ and ‘children are not property’ are ‘modern’ ideas. They won’t be found in the scripture. Are these ideas plus the idea of decency and communicating to other people in a decent manner not worthy of Christian consideration? How about the idea of not summarily executing homosexuals? A modern idea worth considering in Christendom?

          • PS. I have no hope of keeping Atheists from corrupting my children unless I use maximum sarcasm, snark and ugliness? Being honest here: that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of Christianity and apologetics.

          • Wayne: My reply was not sarcastic, it was very straight-forward.

            Reply: No. It was sarcastic. I don’t fault it for being such. I fault it because it’s a double-standard.

            Wayne: Looking to examples from Scripture to justify bad behavior strikes me as having only one purpose: to help the person who insists on behaving badly sleep better at night.

            Reply: The problem is that first off, you’re begging the question. The question at root is “Is this behavior wrong?” When you start off saying it’s bad behavior, you assume what is the very point under question.

            Second, if I am to observe biblical behavior, then I must see what was done. I see sarcasm used in the Bible so if I condemn all sarcasm, I must condemn my Lord, the prophets, and the apostles. I cannot do that.

            Wayne: Somehow because an idea is ‘modern’ does not disqualify it from Christian consideration.

            Reply: Disqualify it? No. Make it highly questionable? Yes. This idea has led to the tolerance movement. How’s that working out for us? Not so well. It’s all built in the modern self-esteem movement where it’s all about me and how I feel.

            Wayne: Ideas like ‘abolishing slavery’ and ‘women’s suffrage’ and ‘children are not property’ are ‘modern’ ideas.

            Reply: No they’re not. The Christians abolished the slave trade back with Bathilda, wife of Clovis II. It was the Muslims that got it started again. Paul upheld the equality of women in Galatians 3:28, and the early church universally condemned abortion.

            Wayne: They won’t be found in the scripture.

            Reply: All of them find their roots in Scripture. What doesn’t come in Scripture? A ban on sarcasm. You read the Bible and you will never get the idea that the Bible condemned sarcasm.

            Wayne: Are these ideas plus the idea of decency and communicating to other people in a decent manner not worthy of Christian consideration?

            Reply: Begging the question again.

            Wayne: How about the idea of not summarily executing homosexuals? A modern idea worth considering in Christendom?

            Reply: The early church also didn’t do that because they knew they weren’t a theocracy. That’s also indicated in 1 Cor. 5. The man in question did a crime that in Israel would have been worthy of the death penalty. In the New Covenant, he’s excommunicated.

            Try learning some hermeneutics. Okay?

          • Wayne: PS. I have no hope of keeping Atheists from corrupting my children unless I use maximum sarcasm, snark and ugliness? Being honest here: that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of Christianity and apologetics.

            Reply: Many atheists are wolves. They don’t give a rip about truth. They are on attack mode and are waiting to devour your faith and the faith of your children. What’s a good shepherd to do? A good shepherd does not seek to have peace talks with the wolves. A good shepherd drives them away from the flock. It’s not about wolves that I supposedly don’t love. It’s about Christians that I do love.

          • A few followups:
            – Does God love the wolves?
            – Did Christ die for the wolves?
            – How might the Golden Rule spoken by Jesus moderate your stance? Do you believe that other people like being addressed disrespectfully and with sarcasm? Might this be a valid hermeneutical point?
            – How do you think the early Christian community and their conflicts with the First Century Jewish community might have influenced their ‘remembering’ of the Jesus’ verbal lashings in the Gospels? Is it possible that these harsh-sounding sayings imputed to Jesus may have been instead the voice of the late first century Christian community based on their vicious conflicts with the Jewish community after the destruction of the Temple?

          • Wayne: – Does God love the wolves?

            Reply: He sure does. He also loved the canaanites that were killed in the conquest and the Egyptians that were killed when the Red Sea took them over.

            Wayne: – Did Christ die for the wolves?

            Reply: Yes he did. He also died for the Pharisees that He called the sons of Hell and He died for the circumcision crowd that Paul wished would go the whole way and emasculate themselves.

            Wayne: – How might the Golden Rule spoken by Jesus moderate your stance? Do you believe that other people like being addressed disrespectfully and with sarcasm? Might this be a valid hermeneutical point?

            Reply: No. It doesn’t change my stance a bit because I agree with it. Let a wise man rebuke me. It is like oil. You have to ask if Jesus violated the Golden Rule. He called the Pharisees sons of Hell. Did Paul violate it when he spoke about the circumcision crowd and when he spoke about the people of Crete in Titus 1? The question is also not if I like it. I don’t like going to church and being told of my sins and hearing that I need to repent. That is not a pleasant message to hear. But you know what? I need to hear it. You can love someone forever and you can love them straight to the gates of Hell because you’re scared to offend them with the truth.

            Wayne: – How do you think the early Christian community and their conflicts with the First Century Jewish community might have influenced their ‘remembering’ of the Jesus’ verbal lashings in the Gospels? Is it possible that these harsh-sounding sayings imputed to Jesus may have been instead the voice of the late first century Christian community based on their vicious conflicts with the Jewish community after the destruction of the Temple?

            Reply: Sure it’s possible, but you’d need to provide some evidence of it. It’s certainly not the case with the writings of Paul however. It’s a sad reality though that you’re willing to say the text of Scripture is inaccurate in order to support your ethic. I require no such stance. I can accept the Scripture as a whole and find my ethic in there.

          • I have some challenges about your assumptions about Scripture, but I’ll save those for now and go to something more basic. I mean this question in all sincerity without a hint of irony:
            Do you think that sarcasm, insults and snarkiness are necessary elements to refute the points made by atheists? If not, then do you employ those tactics because you simply enjoy using them with other people with whom you disagree? Because it feels good to retaliate instead of turning the other cheek when these tactics have been used on you in a debate? Perhaps some other reason I haven’t listed?

          • Wayne: Do you think that sarcasm, insults and snarkiness are necessary elements to refute the points made by atheists? If not, then do you employ those tactics because you simply enjoy using them with other people with whom you disagree? Because it feels good to retaliate instead of turning the other cheek when these tactics have been used on you in a debate? Perhaps some other reason I haven’t listed?

            Reply: Isn’t this an important question to start off with. Why do you do this? I’ll tell you why.

            Because for one thing, you’re not understanding turn the other cheek. Turn the other cheek was about a private exchange in a private situation. It was also about not a physical assault, but an insult. If a parent tells a student being hit by a bully to turn the other cheek, they’re asking them to become a doormat. What the bully needs it is to have himself knocked out hard.

            So now, all of these exchanges are public exchanges. Why do we do them?

            For one, I’m not trying to reach the atheist and win him to Jesus. Why? He’s not open a lot of the times. If he is open and sincere and willing to read both sides of the argument, we will get along fine. I have numerous atheist friends like this. If he just wants to attack, then no.

            So why do I do it?

            The same reason Jesus and the apostles did. Shaming. I want it to be that the atheist will think twice about what he’s doing next time. I want him to get so embarrassed by his arguments that he doesn’t want to try them out again on anyone else lest the same thing happen again. I want him to be ashamed of his position.

            For the Christians around me, I want them to be emboldened. I want them to see that a strong stance can be taken to the attacks they see all around them. You know what that does? For many of them, it emboldens them to be witnesses. I can tell you numerous people that have hung on to the faith because they saw someone who was capable of making such a strong witness.

            You see, if these people will go after me, they will go after someone who is not capable of defending themselves, like my mother for instance. I am concerned more about the audience watching. I want them to know they need not have any shame in being a Christian, but that the truly shameful position is to hold to terrible arguments for atheism.

  6. The main reason Atheists lose debates with Christian Apologists is the truth will never be defeated by a lie.

  7. Caitlin, I tend to write in a very irenic, dispassionate manner. I reserve humor for special circumstances and use it only where it seems highly appropriate. I would not want to be sarcastic with just any skeptic or unbeliever. However, Stenger is an atheist with a long history of publishing works criticizing Christianity. He passes himself off as an expert and arrogantly denies that Christians can be rational and scientific when they present arguments for their faith. Yet his article is a travesty of misinformation, contradiction, and self-inflicted nonsense. Sometimes the ridiculous deserves ridicule.

    • “Sometimes the ridiculous deserves ridicule”. I missing the source on that quote. Jesus? No. It sounds like a defensive justification of behavior that the Jesus would have no part of.

  8. I don’t think Stenger’s approach is representative of the best arguments atheists have to offer. His performance in his 2010 debate with WLC was one of the worst I’ve seen. His defense of the “Lack of Evidence” Argument (LEA) for atheism doesn’t work, for reasons I’ve outlined here. For my approach to arguing for metaphysical naturalism (which entails atheism), see here.

  9. “Which proves that intelligence is not needed to make life. Right.”

    The amino acids self-assemble naturally, and this has been reproduced many times. All the scientists did was recreate the natural conditions that likely existed on the early earth. They didn’t build the amino acids like little Legos. Your comment is a misunderstanding of the science and shows your ignorance.

  10. The Thinker,

    Naw. A full response to your comments would constitute another blog post. Perhaps not a bad idea. But briefly: (1) The initial conditions supposedly recreated by the Miller-Urey experiments were not the likely natural conditions at the time life originated. The question has remained an open one for sixty years and the validity of such experiments continues to be a matter of debate. (2) Getting some amino acids to assemble is a long, long way from having even the simplest form of life. It is akin to arguing that because naturally occurring cement has been discovered in ancient sediments this proves that the runways at Chicago O’Hare could have formed without intelligent planning.

  11. Robert Mullins March 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Wait, ‘Thinker’….. are you saying that amino acids can ‘self-assemble’ under natural conditions – i.e. that they have an inherent directedness towards an end or set/sequence of effects (teleology)? That, say, when placed under set of conditions X, they are likely to assemble? Isn’t that the very thing that materialism denies of nature – that matter is devoid of all directedness or intentionality (conscious or otherwise)?

  12. @The Thinker.
    lol

  13. @wayne – “sometimes the ridiculous deserves ridicule” – loose translation of Prov. 26:5 – but also heed the warning of Prov. 26:4

  14. Hello, could someone explain the refutation for this one: “Socrates proposed what is called the Euthyphro dilemma: Either (a) God wills us to do what is good because certain acts are good, or (b) an act is good only because God wills it.”

    Actually, also what it’s trying to say. I’m having a lot of trouble understanding the premise(s) let alone the refutation. To me, they both seem to be saying the exactly same thing. And in his article, he says that if the Christian answers “no” to killing babies because God would never ask of that (or something along those lines), then the answer is a). I’m not understanding that and I wouldn’t know how to answer the question either way. Could someone explain it to me?

    • Great question Liam! God indeed *wills* what is good. One might assume then that this proves (b) true (i.e. that *good* and *bad* are arbitrary). The force of the objection is based in the assumption that God is like us. Here’s what I mean. If I were to judge something to be blameworthy purely based on my own whims than I could be rightly called arbitrary. I’m just a man and am subject to error in my judgments. God doesn’t have this weakness. Therefore, if God says something is wrong—even if it’s only based on his nature—it is not arbitrary (as it would be with me). Think about it. If God really is God how could we ascribe the character of arbitrariness to anything he does? If we take the Christian worldview “as we find it” the accusation of arbitrariness isn’t open to us. I hope that helps.

  15. Liam,
    The dilemma is asking these questions:
    – Is some action right or wrong just because God says it is right or wrong?
    – Is some action right or wrong because of some universal law of what is right or wrong that even God cannot change?

    If it’s the first, the presenter of the dilemma argues, then God could say one day that committing genocide is ok and that would make it right, then He could change his mind and say that genocide is wrong and it would then be wrong (and then maybe He could change his mind again). If God says it’s ok, that makes it ok. Just because he says so.

    If it’s the second, then this implies that there is a universal standard that is ‘above God’. That there are universal laws of morality that even God is subject to and cannot change.

    Hope this helps.

  16. How is it possible that two groups of educated, modern people can look at the evidence for the Resurrection claim of Jesus of Nazareth and come to such very different conclusions? How can educated Christians see the evidence for the Resurrection as so overwhelming that it is not worth their time to seriously question it, while educated Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others, find the evidence for this supernatural claim so pathetically poor and down right ridiculous?

    It really is baffling to me.

    Christians have frequently accused me of not believing because I don’t want to believe; that there is some ulterior motive for my deconversion from the Christian religion; that I have rejected the supernatural without sufficient evidence to do so. However, what then is the reason for the non-belief of Jews and Muslims in this supernatural claim? These groups certainly believe in supernatural acts of God. Why do these groups see the evidence for the Resurrection claim as so unconvincing? It can’t be because they don’t believe in the supernatural. Do Christians seriously believe that Jews and Muslims actually do see how strong the evidence is for the Resurrection claim, but, they have conspired to deny it, as they too have an ulterior motive for rejecting it??

    This is my challenge for Christians: Demand the same level of evidence for the Resurrection claim as you would apply to the supernatural claims of any other religion.

    For instance, would you believe a new religion’s claim that their recently deceased prophet flew through the air like a jet airplane just because:

    1. Their holy book points to passages in the Hebrew Bible that appear to “prophesy” about the coming of this flying prophet.

    2. The people who are converting to this new religion are people who do not believe in flying prophets, so for them to believe it, something really spectacular must have occurred to convince them that this prophet did fly.

    3. The founders of this new religion are willing to endure persecution and even death in defense of their claim of a flying prophet.

    4. The new religion spreads rapidly even under intense persecution.

    5. The new religion has the written statement of one deceased man who says he saw the flying prophet himself on a deserted desert highway, and, that someone told him that 500 people, at the same time, in the same place, also saw the flying prophet.

    6. And there is much more similar “evidence” for this religion’s claim of a flying prophet.

    Would all of this “evidence” convince you that this new religion really did have a flying prophet? Seriously dear Christian, what evidence would you require to believe that a modern day man can fly through the air, without any mechanical assistance, at the speed and altitude of a jet airplane?

    THAT is how we non-believers view your claim that a dead and decomposing first century man in Palestine was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god to walk out of his grave, hang out with his friends for forty days, and then levitate into outer space.

    • I cannot speak on the behalf of other people but when I read something like what you’ve written, two things come to mind for the average person:

      a) When asked for evidence, people are asking for a physical kind of evidence such as mummified remains, archaelogical discoveries, or a scientific/mathematical solution/proof. But this discounts philosophical evidence and eye-witness accounts. In the Western world, we tend not to trust eye-witness accounts written down on a piece of parchment from thousands of years ago. So what we are really left with is philosophical evidence. Unfortunately, even this is distrusted – philosophers are usually viewed as people who have a little too much time on their hands. But even today, you need philosophy to work hand-in-hand with subjects such as physics, chemistry, etc. because you need to apply logic and reason to theories, data sets, and experimentation. Yet, it is a strange sort of philosophy. I tend to view it as pseudo-logic and I blame it on the human condition. This isn’t something that can be taught or reasoned. Actually, I don’t think I’ve even done a good job of explaining it. Maybe an example would help…

      If a Christian were asked the following question… can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy that he can’t lift it? What is the correct answer?

      To most people, this is one of those “Ah ha! Gotcha” type of questions when in fact, it isn’t – it’s a poorly constructed question that defies logic and reason. (Ans: No because the definition of omnipotence is all-powerful. To ask a question on whether “all-powerful” is unable to perform a function requires a re-definition of the word “omnipotent.” Exceeds the expectation of reality.)

      I hope that sort of illustrates what I mean.

      b) People don’t seem to have asked the main question. Everyone skirts around the key issue and focuses instead on the peripheral items that only matter once the main question is asked. It’s like the debates around abortion. I’ve talked with so many people on this and almost always without fail, the individuals I speak with always want to talk about all the reasons as opposed to the key issue: is the fetus considered a living being part of the human family? Quite frankly, once this question is answered, then all the reasons will have a place. But people don’t ever seem to want to deal with that main question. In the same manner, the main question that should be asked is, “How did the universe come into existence?” Answer that and everything else will start to fall into place. (Just saying “Big Bang” doesn’t count – what IS the Big Bang then? What came before the Big Bang if anything at all? e.g. concepts such as ex nihilo nil)

      There is actually a c) item. But this one is really for the Christian – sin prevents us from believing. To you, it may mean absolutely nothing but to us, it holds significant value.

      Hope this helps.

  17. I meant to say that two things come to my mind regarding the average person.

  18. Let’s make our discussion easier and for the sake of argument, assume that there is a Creator (or a group of Creators) who created the universe. What evidence do you have that this Creator/Creators is Yahweh/Jesus?

    Secondly, if my “sin” of not believing is the cause of me not seeing the truth, how is it possible for me to ever see this truth, without first shutting off my Creator-given, questioning brain, and just accept what appears to me as nonsensical superstitions to be inerrant fact?? If this is your belief, why bother with discussing evidence with sinful nonbelievers because their sinful state will never allow them to see the real truth that your belief has enabled you to see.

    Why not just tell me that your god will gift me truth if he feels like it. If your god doesn’t feel like gifting truth to me, too bad, I will suffer eternal consequences for HIS decision not to enlighten me.

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