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Dialoguing with an Agnostic – An Introduction and Pt. 1

May 27, 2009

searching-man

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32

Inspired by my good friend Demian Farnworth,  I decided to seek out some people in my life that might not claim to be Christians and get some perspective on why they do not believe.

My friend Chris has agreed to answer some questions about where he is at with respect to belief (I refuse to use the word religion – I hate that word).  First off let me express my gratitude to Chris for being so willing and open to share what he believes in a very public manner.

I have posed some questions to Chris about where he as at with respect to God, belief, and the like. He answered those questions and we are going to analyze some of his responses and see if we can answer some of his questions. Let’s get to it.

1)What is your understanding of what the Gospel is and why do you not believe it?

I have a decent understanding of it, and it’s not that I don’t believe it.  It comes down more to the fact that I am the type of person that likes to have proof of something before I blindly follow it.  I am aware of a lot of the stories in The Bible and can, to an extent, understand the messages they are trying to put across.  I just believe that some of it seems a little far fetched.

Response:  I would say that many people don’t have the proof that God doesn’t exist, but they blindly follow that assumption.  For example, would I be wrong in saying that it seems a little far fetched to assume that at the Big Bang existence, time, space, matter, energy, and the like just came into being without any cause? That there was nothing and then “Bang” there was something.  That it had no cause (although nothing has no cause). To me, that sounds like a blind belief that lacks proof.

Although Chris is an agnostic and not an atheist. He is discrediting the Bible and what it has to say about God on account that some of what says seems a little far fetched.  So the question is: Is the Bible reliable?  Anne Rice set out to answer that very question.  Anne Rice was the author of Interview with the Vampire and her books have sold nearly 100 million copies world wide.  She was raised a Catholic but lost her faith, married and became an atheist.  However, in October of 2004 Rice announced in a Newsweek article that she would “write only for the Lord.” and that she had returned to Christianity.  Here is what she had to say about the idea that the Biblical documents we have aren’t historically reliable.

Some books were no more then assumptions piled on assumptions…Conclusions were reached on little or no data at all…The whole case for the nondivine Jesus who stumbled into Jerusalem and somehow got crucified…that whole picture which had floated around the liberal circles I frequented as an atheist for thirty years–that case was not made.  Not only was it not made, I discovered in this field some of the worst and most biased scholarship I’d ever read.

What do you think? Part II coming soon…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsey permalink
    May 27, 2009 11:03 PM

    Nathan, this is a really good idea! I love it! I believe you can’t defend your religion if you don’t know of the beliefs of others! Keep posting!

  2. Bear permalink
    May 28, 2009 2:34 PM

    Nathan,

    You were right when you were discussing the big bang theory about following blindly. Maybe you will get to this in part II, but what parts of the bible does he think are far fetched. His he reading the bible literally like in Matthew 18:8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.”

    Hopefully he is not reading versus like this one and thinking that you literally need to cut your hand off if it causes you to sin.

    I think this is a great exploration and I am sure materials from the objection series at Coram Deo will be helpful.

  3. Eric permalink
    May 31, 2009 3:28 PM

    Nathan,

    I don’t disagree with you in principle, but I do have to take point with your Big Bang argument. There is a great deal of physics evidence for the Big Bang, it is not a blind faith situation (I do not know enough about physics to go into it, but in my astronomy class we learned some about it and it seems like just about every astronomer feels its pretty likely). I don’t think it’s fair to characterize it in this manner with your own (and my own) limited knowledge behind the physical forces at work here. Why there existed an infinitely dense point that suddenly exploded is a valid question, one that I feel points to the existence of God. The comparison, though, rings hollow to me. Just thought I’d let you know I sometimes read this.

  4. nbliss16 permalink
    May 31, 2009 3:54 PM

    Eric,

    Thanks for the comment. Keep them coming.

    Actually, I have done some reading on the matter (I would not have written that had I not). My point was to say that it takes faith to also assume that the Big Bang had no cause. Here is what British physicist PCW Davies (who is not a christian) would say about the origin of the Big Bang:

    “The coming into being of the Universe as discussed in modern science is not just a matter of imposing so sort of organization on a previous incoherent state, but the LITERAL coming into being of all physical things FROM NOTHING”

    You can see the quote yourself from Dr. William Lane Craig as cited in his debate with atheist Austin Dacey here:

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BA8DC00322DBB639&search_query=william+lane+craig+austin+dacey

    (The quote is in the 2nd clip about 1 minute into his argument)

    If you would like a quotation, all of Dr. Craig’s work is cited on his website http://www.resonablefaith.org. Also, according to my atheist friend Luke Muehlhauser, Dr. Craig has never lost a debate on the topic “Does God Exist?” You can find the article I wrote about that topic in my blog archive.

    Hope that helps…

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