Dr. Brown Addresses the Beliefs of the Younger Generation and Talks with Rabbi Shmuley about “Hating the Sinner.”

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In the first hour, Dr. Brown will share his interaction with a college-aged Christian, also looking at the major belief trends among the under-30’s. In the second hour, Dr. Brown will speak with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach concerning his recent article on hating the sinner along with the sin. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at  (866) 348 7884  with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: I appreciate the stand that we must have against evil and God is a God of justice.  At the same time let us not think that we are so righteous and good in ourselves that we did not need infinite mercy from God.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We must look deep at the problems in the younger generation and the separation from the older generation.  The solution will begin with us, each of us going to God; it’s going to take a moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution!

 

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Other Resources:

When Our Moral Outrage Exposes Our Moral Stupor

The Separation of Church and State; and The Pressure on Young People Today

Dr. Brown Interviews Rabbi Shmuley on Faith, Suffering, and Natural Disasters and Takes Your Calls

30 Comments
  1. Redefining marriage

    Is it not the responsibility of the religious to redefine marriage for our younger generation?
    Marriage needs a revolution of consecration entering into the sacred confines of the very definition
    Of consecration.
    Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious.
    The word “consecration” literally means “to associate with the sacred”. Persons, places, or things can be consecrated,
    And the term is used in various ways by different groups. A synonym for to consecrate is to sanctify;
    an antonym is to desecrate.
    Society today has desecrated marriage, it is the responsibility of G_ds people on earth to edify and consecrate this institution.
    My question for your guest today is what are we going to do to take back marriage and make it sacred again? And by the way I actually agreed with Botek Shmuley in his past debate with Dr. Brown that our society has created the desecration of marriage- however, how do we bring it back to a sacred under G_d’s institution again?

  2. jon,

    I don’t know. I think we are on the verge of another dark age. We can’t continue to live like this, with the apathy, the gratification of our senses, our love of violence, as well as our personal peace and affluence, and expect to build a foundation for society. When this happened in ancient Rome, the society collapsed into a dark age.

    In order for a union to be sacred, you have to believe more than the naturalistic, materialistic assumptions of our society. You also have to believe that man has inherent value such that the way you treat him means something. Yet, these are things that are imposed on us by brute force by the current and novel understanding of “separation of church and state.” Anyone who dare opposes it is labeled as wanting a “theocracy,” all the while, those so labeling are imposing a secular theocracy onto our society. It is deceptive, but that is the root of our problem.

    You can’t build a society on secularism. Every society that has tried has failed. Yet, we continue to insist that we must. Nothing is sacred in a secular society. It all reduces down to a matter of preference and personal peace. When that happens, society cannot exist. It is very dangerous, but it seems like no one cares. We may end up having to have another dark age in order for people to really come out of their stubborn rebellion against God, and realize the depth to which they have fallen.

  3. I would have to disagree with the statement, “You can’t build a society on secularism.”

    What Christians often mean by this is, “I would like for my specific brand of religion to be made law without any deviation from my own point of view.”

    You would not feel the same if the religion in charge were Islam, Hinduism, or even Mormonism. If they were, you’d be calling for religious freedom like they did back in 1776.

    Also, it is a peculiar thing to say that we are entering another dark age when the first “dark age” was one in which Christian ideology was in charge.

    Of course you will say that wasn’t Christian–that was Catholic–but what do you base your beliefs on? You may say “Sola Scriptura,” but which scriptures?

    The ones you traditionally hold to be inspired? Or the book of Enoch, the Didache, or any of the others that were not traditionally supported by the traditional leaders (I tried to fit it in again, but I was laying it on too thick as it is).

  4. It didn’t hear Dr. Brown or the callers mention the hypocrisy of the church as one of the reasons youth are turning-off to organized Christianity. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard a non-believer accuse the church of hypocrisy.

    The most glaring, of course, are the pedophilia scandals in the Roman Catholic church but we evangelicals have had our own string of scandals from Jimmy Swaggart up until today, with no sign of slowing.

    When we Christians blame the schools or “liberals,” rather than humbly acknowledging the beams in our eyes, we just fuel this perception of hypocrisy.

  5. re Greg’s question above.

    The english version of not writting the unspeakable name of the almighty. Showing the highest degree of respect to the almighty. If i was typing the names of the god’s of the phillistines i would not capitalise, and would type the whole word.

    For the G_d of Israel, and the G_d of the universe, i want to show my humility for how i communicate his name.

  6. Adam wrote:
    >>You can’t build a society on secularism. Every society that has tried has failed. Yet, we continue to insist that we must

    I assume you are referring to the communist, officially atheistic, countries that failed spectacularly. But there are many countries that don’t have an official state religion which show no sign of crashing.

    Or are you talking generally about “society”?

    If that’s the case, I’m not sure who you are talking about. Some of the most non-secular societies (Muslim, Jewish, Hindu) seem to have non-stop religious strife.

    In any regard, what are proposing? That America officially adopt Christianity? If so, which denomination?

  7. Jon,

    Thanks.

    It seems something like the tradition of Jews spelling “YHWH” for Yahweh or Muslims saying “The Prophet” for Muhammad.

    As for me, I think it _how_ one uses the name of “G_d” that is respectful or dis-respectful, rather than just the act of using it.

  8. Jon,

    PS: I’m not saying your are wrong. Even though I don’t fully understand it, I’m fine with it.

  9. Greg’s question

    In any regard, what are proposing? That America officially adopt Christianity? If so, which denomination?

    i vote for any denomination expect for the bummper sticker slogan COEXIST –

    interfaith is just not going to work-

    only a Judean/christian approach will work, however secular society will never go for it!
    it will take a messiah coming back to establish the only coexist possible.

  10. david,

    I would have to disagree with the statement, “You can’t build a society on secularism.”

    What Christians often mean by this is, “I would like for my specific brand of religion to be made law without any deviation from my own point of view.”

    You would not feel the same if the religion in charge were Islam, Hinduism, or even Mormonism. If they were, you’d be calling for religious freedom like they did back in 1776.

    Actually, I never said “my specific brand of religion to be made law without any deviation from my own point of view.” What I meant is that people return *willingly* to the Christian consensus, because that is what the desire, not necessarily to Presbyterianism [my denomination] or Lutheranism, or some other brand of Christianity, but to the conservative, evangelical version as a whole. What people need to realize is that society is simply impossible without that Christian consensus. What I am looking for is for people to realize that, and return to the consensus before the rise of humanism.

    BTW, there is a religion in charge of our society right now: It is secular humanism. We *are* calling for religious freedom, because of the fact that it is being forced upon us by brute tyranny. It was not argued; a couple of nutball judges simply say “this is what the separation of church and state means,” and everyone then has to comply. *That* is the greatest example of “my specific brand of religion to be made law without any deviation from my own point of view” that I have ever heard of.

    Also, it is a peculiar thing to say that we are entering another dark age when the first “dark age” was one in which Christian ideology was in charge.

    Wow, talk about an oversimplification. Yes, there was a Christian consensus to society, but that was because the humanism of the old world had totally failed. With the breakdown in society, people accepted Christianity to unify them. And it largely worked, and provided a base to society, even during the times of uncertainty. However, after a while, the Christian message became distorted. Not only do you have the rise of the papacy, and the equality of the teachings of the Church with scripture, but you also have the addition of Aristotilian philosophy, neo-platonic philosophy, stoicism, etc.

    Of course you will say that wasn’t Christian–that was Catholic–but what do you base your beliefs on? You may say “Sola Scriptura,” but which scriptures?

    The ones you traditionally hold to be inspired? Or the book of Enoch, the Didache, or any of the others that were not traditionally supported by the traditional leaders (I tried to fit it in again, but I was laying it on too thick as it is).

    As I have written before, what is being confused here is the notion of *revelation* with our *recognition* of that revelation. I think the answer to the question of canon is God’s covenant relationship with us. God has voluntarily condescended to us, and it is in that condescension that he has led us to the books he wants us to have. It must be stressed that because this is related to his covenant, it is for his purposes, and not the purpose of the church or anyone else. Dr. James White is certainly right when he says, “The foundation of the certainty of our knowledge of the canon is based upon God’s purposes in giving Scripture, not upon the alleged authority of any ecclesiastical body.”

    In other words, our certainty of the canon is based upon God’s covenant relationship with his people to accomplish his purposes through and in them. Because God has a purpose he wants to accomplish in his people, he has lead his people to have what he wanted them to have. That is something, I would say, that is perfectly Biblical, and does not depend upon vesting some infallibility in the writings of the early church fathers. Thus, our knowledge of the canon does not depend upon the infallibility of the church, but the infallibility of God and his providence. The church [not the Roman Church] came to the correct canon, not because it is infallible, and not because it could not have erred using the methodology it did, but because God had a purpose in leading his people to what he wanted them to have.

  11. The rabbi’s position is not extreme by the world’s standard, but the thing about God is that he’s always seemed extreme from our human perspective. I can see to some degree where he is coming from. The problem about extreme sinners (i.e. mass murderers, etc) is that they really are culpable when our society sometimes wants to see them as victims (who knows why? Possibly choosing a narrative in which you can easily assume a higher moral ground). It’s the common sense idea that the root cause of crime is criminals! However, I think he makes a big error when bringing the question of redemption into this. Wouldn’t Saul have fit into this category? If not for God’s grace, I would agree that he couldn’t be saved, but God’s grace made him a new, redeemed person, Paul. The whole point of redemption is that we are being saved from SOMETHING! What is that thing? It’s sin. Not simply being a victim of circumstance that shaped the person onto a monster (blaming poverty, ignorance, or the devil, etc.), but an important part of sin is that you really are culpable! God’s grace saves us from our sin, real sin. And what about when Jesus says that hating your brother is like murder? I think he was saying that the line that gets crossed was a lot closer than we’d like to think. but then how could anyone be redeemed? We couldn’t except for the grace of God.

    I think the real problem with this narrative that ‘victimizes’ the perpetrator is not that we say that the person can be redeemed, but that people do not want to admit that people really can be that evil in their hearts.

    Lastly, I’d like to point out that you asked the rabbi for reasons from the scripture, and he kept making appeals to emotion. In sum, I can respect his position, but perhaps it’s limited by human perception. God may see things much more clearly than humans do by nature, and I think that’s the point of being rational.

  12. Dr. Brown,

    I didn’t hear the whole show and know that you have have acknowledged, before, the hypocrisy of the church.

    I heard about half the show and felt like the focus was off of the real reasons youth are turning off the church.

  13. Jon,

    Do you really disagree with “co-exist”?

    Even of you disagree with someone, you needn’t fight with them.

    Do you really think that religious wars further Christianity? The Crusades are a shame we haven’t outlived.

  14. What about the Ethiopian church? Don’t they have as much of God as you? Maybe they have more, given the fact that they include so many more books in their Bible.

    And aside from the circular reasoning you use to validate your canon, I’d ask you about your statement that Christianity is necessary for society.

    Weren’t there plenty of non-christian cultures existing happily before they were touched by missionaries (by happily, I mean they existed quite well–not that everyone was happy). Whole continents in fact. Maybe every culture before Christianity became a religion?

    Secular humanism is definitely a belief system, but it is a belief system that ridicules instead of riots. Make fun of Muhammad and people lose their heads. Make fun of Jesus and you get a rather luke-warm protest. What’s the difference? I warrant that it isn’t the inherent rationality that Christianity produces (history tells otherwise), but the taint of secular humanism.

    Secular humanism lets you believe what you want to believe, even if you are called silly names behind your back.

  15. re Greg,

    Jon,
    Do you really disagree with “co-exist”?

    Yes I do disagree with co exist with every ounce of my being.
    It is politically labeled to look like candy, but it is poison.
    Can one coexist with cancer? Can we coexist with disease in our bodies and live
    A healthy life that we were designed for?
    Greg, I am not advocating for a war- I would love to coexist – I do believe that the Christian side of things have been content with coexisting and has not stood up to evil. We have coexisted with abortion for over 40 yrs, and now the harvest of marriage is coming due as a ruined institution. We have coexisted in our lives of secular materialism and now the few children who are born are not motivated to serve a living G_d. we have coexisted with so much violence and sex on 500 channels of television we do not read the word. Can the bible coexist with modern society ? can the politics of today coexist with the teachings of Jesus 2000 years ago? We will need to have a revolution ( peaceful) but G_dly change in our attitudes, and not coexist with the evil overgrowing our society.

  16. Can I ask what the topic was or when the caller called about the email saying she was the one who left the Catholic Church over homosexual issues and went back to church?

  17. Greg what do you believe about the coexist bumper sticker?

    I think the program today was about loving the sinner- we need to love the person
    Not the sin. We do not want to live out of harmony with G_d , his ways and our mission in life
    Is to bring the light into a dark world.
    That bumper sticker and philosophy may not be in harmony with G_ds plan.

  18. david,

    What about the Ethiopian church? Don’t they have as much of God as you? Maybe they have more, given the fact that they include so many more books in their Bible.

    And aside from the circular reasoning you use to validate your canon, I’d ask you about your statement that Christianity is necessary for society.

    Of course, the kind of circularity I am talking about is not the a therefore a begging of the question. What I am talking about is epistemic circularity. Let us say someone says “If something is true, it must be logical.” Let us say someone else says, “I wish to challenge that.” To which the first person replies, “Do you wish to challenge it with true premises or false premises?” The second person replies “True premises.” The first person then replies, “Well, then, if it is true, it must be logical.”

    The problem is, when you get to the foundation of a person’s worldview, that is where they begin their reasoning. For me, I take both the scriptures and what they say about themselves as a package deal, because that is the foundation of my worldview. So, if you are talking about circularity, then everyone is circular in that sense.

    So, then, it all depends upon what circle you want to be in. The problem in running society is manifold for a system that begins with merely the secular world. First of all, how does one make sense out of universal abstractions such as the laws of logic or ethics? These things are not secular, because they are universal, and hence, not finite, and because they are abstract, and hence, not material. A secular worldview, based upon the particulars of the secula, has to find some way of getting up to universals such as the laws of logic and ethics. However, to speak of a finte infinite material abstraction is to speak of nonsense.

    That is why secular societies end up in moral decadence, because there is no way to decide why some people should do some things as opposed to other things. It results in authoritarianism to try to keep the society together for a while, and then that authoritarianism breaks into chaos.

    There are many other problems as well. For example, if you are going to have scientific advancement, then there needs to be the assurance that there is uniformity in nature such that we can expect the future to be like the past. Not that everything is uniform, but the fact that these uniformities do exist between the past and the future. The question is, however, if we assume a secular worldview, then how do we know that the future is like the past? How do you know that, when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste tonight that toothpaste will come spurting out the tube the same way it always has in the past? If you say, “Because it has always been that way in the past,” then you beg the question, since you are using the principle of induction in order to prove it.

    Even probability doesn’t work at this point, because simply saying that we can’t know that the future is like the past, but that we can say that it is very probable that the future is like the past is still begging the question, because that assumes a uniform high probability between the future and the past, which again, assumes uniformity between the future and the past.

    Such a big deal is this problem that I remember reading one philosopher of science saying that this problem basically relegates the scientific method to another religion.

    One could also point to the dignity of man. In a secular society, why should man have more dignity than a cow? Why is it right to eat a hamburger, and not a human burger? Why would it be wrong for someone to say that your race is the weaker race, and then engage in the systematic genocide of your race, much the way the Jews were killed in Nazi Germany? What prevents people from being manipulated, drugged, or even wiped out if it is presented as societally beneficial?

    So, secularism, taken to its logical conclusion, destroys logic, ethics, science, and human dignity. Imagine a society where logic, ethics, science, and human dignity are in decay. Actually, we don’t have to. We are living in it. And all of these things are the consistent logical conclusion of secularism. As Cornelius Van Til used to say, the proof of the truth of Christianity is in this, that without the truth of Christianity, you can’t prove anything.

    Weren’t there plenty of non-christian cultures existing happily before they were touched by missionaries (by happily, I mean they existed quite well–not that everyone was happy). Whole continents in fact. Maybe every culture before Christianity became a religion?

    Really? Barbarian societies where people engaged in cannibalism? Societies of gross sexual perversion, gross violence between waring nomads, not to mention some of the pagan rituals where these spirits enter their bodies and cause them to jerk back and forth which is just downright disturbing. No, in fact, most of these societies had to live this way, be cause they had no foundation for ethics. The others that did reject the Christian message died out much like our own society is dying.

    Also, from although different branches of Christianity may answer this differently, as a Presbyterian, I would say that Christianity did not “become a religion.” The God of the Hebrew Bible is the same as the God of the New Testament. We have the same faith as is found since the time of Adam and Even in the garden. The difference is in the progressive nature of God’s revelation, not the difference in religion. Hence, we have one covenant from Adam and Eve clear through until today.

    Secular humanism is definitely a belief system, but it is a belief system that ridicules instead of riots. Make fun of Muhammad and people lose their heads. Make fun of Jesus and you get a rather luke-warm protest. What’s the difference? I warrant that it isn’t the inherent rationality that Christianity produces (history tells otherwise), but the taint of secular humanism.

    Wow, I guess we can completely forget about men like the apostle Paul, Jerome, Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards. These are some of the greatest minds ever to live, and, interestingly enough, Jonathan Edwards is still considered by many to be the greatest mind America has ever produced.

    Finally, it is interesting that you would think that this is due to some taint of secular humanism, since secular humanism has no foundation for ethics whatsoever, and usually ends up in moral decay, but, be that as it may, I would point out that Christians were a persecuted minority for the first 300 years of the Christian church, and yet, Christians never once engage in suicide bombings, never once sought to assassinate anyone, or anything of the sort. The way they spread Christianity to the world is through the gospel. That was the way Christ told us to spread our message [Matthew 28:18-20].

    I would actually say that it is the other way around. It is only the small spark of Christianity left that is keeping this society from the kind of moral chaos I am talking about. It is the taint of Christianity left in the society that is keeping secular humanism from being taken to its logical conclusion. Remember, the twentieth century is secular humanism’s golden age, and, during that time period, you have more people killed than all of the other centuries AD put together by a few million. Not only does the logic of secularism lead here, it also has born itself out in history.

    Secular humanism lets you believe what you want to believe, even if you are called silly names behind your back.

    So, what if I believe that I should not provide services for a “gay” couple, because I also believe homosexuality is wrong, and doing so would be showing support for something I think is wrong? Doesn’t matter; by force of law, I will be compelled to. What if I believe society should not be run on the basis of secular humanism? I will be forced to accept a secular humanistic society anyway, and, in this case, on the basis of an oligarchy of judges. What if I don’t believe my tax dollars should go to support groups like Planned Parenthood, because I believe that what they do is evil? What if I am an employer, and I don’t believe I should provide a certain contraceptive because I believe it is an abortifacient? This is freedom to believe?

    No, secular humanism is nothing but a false gospel which leads only to slavery. Only Christ can set us free, and if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed.

  19. re Adams comment

    No, secular humanism is nothing but a false gospel which leads only to slavery.

    this is what the religious (islam) know about our society as they are waiting to establish a law over the non religious that live in north america without any god to trust in only the life style of live and let live.

  20. Adam,

    I want to thank you for the time you took to respond; I really do appreciate it.

    Yet, in the end the epistemic circularity argument seems to boil down to “I believe it because I believe it.”

    Which, in the end, is the Catholic argument about tradition. Protestant tradition teaches us the canon is complete and non-apocryphal; a different church has a different tradition.

    And the argument about the deviancy of societies without Christianity is hugely overblown. So is your argument about Christians refraining from the persecution of others within their first 300 years; of course they didn’t kill people, they were a powerless minority–but look what happened when they became the majority.

    Your tax objection is interesting based on Jesus’ response to the Pharisees about his tax dollars. The system that Jesus said to freely support through taxes was oppressive/homosexual/imperialistic, etc.

    I don’t have a clue what you mean about the intelligence of some adherents to Christianity. There are brilliant people of every religion.

    If we’re talking about WWI and WWII and the high death counts of the 20th century, I’d have to remind you that Hitler wasn’t a secular humanist. Neither was the Kaiser before him. Sure, Stalin and Lenin were full blown nihilists (almost) but again, I think you overstate your point.

    And, come on…the scientific method is just another religious creed? Really? You’re typing on a machine only made possible by the scientific method.

    In the end, it’s all a wrangling of words. All of it’s philosophical tit-for-tat.

    If you want people to believe, give them objective proof of God. Where are all those Elijah’s of God calling down the lightning? Please don’t tell me about hearts changed and lives redeemed.

    Where are those attesting signs and miracles the Apostles performed?

  21. David,

    You already believe in much that you have never seen or experienced.

    It is time for you to ask the Creator of the universe to reveal Himself to you instead of standing on the faulty foundation of supposed science and intellectualism.

    If you say you are trying to hear the songs being broadcast by the nearest radio station but you refuse to turn your receiver on, should we not think that you are dishonest or insane? Turn on the “radio” and listen to the Spirit of YHWH, or stop ranting about us not proving Him to you. Turn your heart on and pay attention the song that is always being broadcast.

    Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    Shalom

  22. Yet, in the end the epistemic circularity argument seems to boil down to “I believe it because I believe it.”

    Which, in the end, is the Catholic argument about tradition. Protestant tradition teaches us the canon is complete and non-apocryphal; a different church has a different tradition.

    I don’t think you are understanding what I am saying. I am not saying it is right because it is epistemically circular; I am saying that we all have certain presuppositions to which we will go no further. Yes, for the Roman Catholic, it is the church, and for the Protestant, it is the Bible. The question is which set of presuppositions can provide the precondition for the intelligibility of reality. In other words, which set of presuppositions, when adopted, can make sense of the way things are?

    One of the problems with the RC argument for the apocrypha is that it was rejected by the Jews, and rejected by multiple church fathers and doctors of their own church clear up until the time of the reformation. In fact, Cardinal Cajatan, the Cardinal who was sent to interrogate Martin Luther, rejected the apocrypha. Even [Pope] Gregory the Great rejected the apocrypha. In fact, when Trent finally declared the books of the canon in April of 1546, they contradicted earlier councils they were allegedly citing, because they thought that the arrangement of the books in the Latin Vulgate was the same as in the Septuagint which the councils of Hippo and Carthage were using. Hence, if you accept the premise of the church as the foundation, you can’t make sense even out of your own history.

    The problem is that church and the secular society are both finite. They, likewise, cannot make sense out of the very universals we are talking about. However, if you do presuppose very simply that the Bible is the word of God, then you can make sense of these things historically and Biblically.

    And the argument about the deviancy of societies without Christianity is hugely overblown. So is your argument about Christians refraining from the persecution of others within their first 300 years; of course they didn’t kill people, they were a powerless minority–but look what happened when they became the majority.

    Islam is a minority right now, and they are still blowing things up. Doesn’t matter. In fact, you can tell a lot about a religion when they undergo persecution. Yes, power can corrupt even the best of men, and people can profess things they don’t really believe all for political expediency. However, there is one crucial difference and that is that, in a society with the Christian consensus, not only are there checks and balances in the government itself because of this, there is a standard upon which to say to your rulers “You are wrong, because you are contradicting what God has said.” If the Bible is the final authority even in law, then there is a correction even to rulers who get out of control. If it is just a matter of what the people think, then ethics become societally relative.

    Your tax objection is interesting based on Jesus’ response to the Pharisees about his tax dollars. The system that Jesus said to freely support through taxes was oppressive/homosexual/imperialistic, etc.

    Actually, Jesus’ statement is being misunderstood at this point. Jesus did say that we are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. However, in so doing, notice, he is not calling for a violent revolution to overthrow Rome. Also, notice that he doesn’t say that Caesar is right to demand this tax. However, he then goes on to say something crucial, and that is “render unto God the things that are God’s.” Obviously, the statement is meant to be directed at Caesar as well. That is, Caesar himself is to render unto God the respect for God that he deserves, which includes obedience to God’s word, including the phrase “You shall not steal.” Yes, in so far as is possible, live at peace with all men. However, all men must render unto God the things that are God’s including the state.

    If we’re talking about WWI and WWII and the high death counts of the 20th century, I’d have to remind you that Hitler wasn’t a secular humanist. Neither was the Kaiser before him. Sure, Stalin and Lenin were full blown nihilists (almost) but again, I think you overstate your point.

    Actually, go read the private letters of Adolf Hitler. It seems like Hitler used religion to try to gain acceptance. However, he stated that Naziism was the state religion:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1699/was-hitler-a-christian

    And, again, it would be one thing if this were not the logical conclusion of a system that includes only the particulars. How is the finite secular ever going to get up to universals? Better yet, how can a person logically argue from the way things are to the way they should be? It is simply illogical to say “This is the way things are; therefore, this is the way they should be.” Hence, if all you are left with is the particulars, how is it not a matter of what each individual thinks?

    And, come on…the scientific method is just another religious creed? Really? You’re typing on a machine only made possible by the scientific method.

    In the end, it’s all a wrangling of words. All of it’s philosophical tit-for-tat.

    I never said that the principle of induction was not true. What I said was that secular humanism has no way to account for it. For example, if someone says that air does not exist, and I point out that he couldn’t be breathing if air does not exist, would it be acceptable for him to say, “Oh no, you are wrong, because I am breathing!” Yes, I agree, we can expect the future to be like the past, and therefore conduct experiments and build computers. However, the question is, if you limit yourself to the secular, then what basis do you have for assuming that? If there is no basis, most people just stop caring. That is why I do believe that our academic performance in science right now is horrible. If you take a secular approach to reality, then is there really any logical basis to assume the principle of induction? That is the problem.

    If you want people to believe, give them objective proof of God. Where are all those Elijah’s of God calling down the lightning? Please don’t tell me about hearts changed and lives redeemed.

    Where are those attesting signs and miracles the Apostles performed?

    Actually, the Bible presents a very different picture. It is not that man needs more evidence; it is that man *does* know that the God of the scriptures exist, but that he is supressing that truth in unrighteousness:

    Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations

    Hence, from our perspective, there are no atheists, no secularists, no Hindus, no Buddhists, and yes, no Muslims. All people know this God the Bible talks about, and yet they supress that truth.

    In fact, so great is sin, that Jesus even said that people would not believe, even if a man rises from the dead [Luke 16:31]. In fact, the men of Jesus’ day saw all of his miracles, and yet ended up crucifying him. Even if I had the ability to demand of God that he do something, eventually it would be explained away, much like the people of Jesus’ day did. Hence, the issue is not having enough evidence. The issue is sin itself.

    Given this diagnosis of the problem, the issue is not that people need to come to know these truths. It is, instead that they know them, and are suppressing that truth. And we can see that in the fact that they engage in ethical reasoning, that they use the laws of logic, that they engage in scientific research, and believe that man has dignity. Yet, those things only make sense if you start at the same presuppositions that I do.

    You see, the issue is not the evidence, but the background interpretation of the evidence. Can you, or anyone else who, I would say, is suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, consistently interpret the world by beginning from something other than the God of the Bible? What I am arguing is, “No they cannot.” And worse, not only can they not do so, as they become more and more consistent with their presuppositions, the society crumbles as these things are taken away.

    I hope that helps. Sometimes engaging in a discussion like this online causes some miscommunication and misunderstanding, and it can take a while to flesh out what people believe. I hope this was a little more perspicuous than my last post!

  23. Regarding “co-exist”

    Jesus calls us to love our neighbor. That’s co-existing.

    Jesus calls us to do good to our enemies. That’s co-existing.

    Jesus tells us the the meek shall inherit the earth. That’s co-existing.

    Co-existing is not compromising your own moral understanding of the Bible. But does mean living peaceably with those who have a different understanding.

    We live in a culture that love a fight and I believe we have brought that culture into the church and justify it with “Christian” demagoguery. A little humility and tolerance is in order.

  24. Sure Greg, we have and are coexisting as christian’s- however will society allow us to coexist if we do not adopt the societies norms? will we lose our jobs if we disagree with secular views? will radio programs be allowed to offer G_ds view of how things are to be? i will coexist – but will the other side?
    i do not think G_ds way can coeist outside of holiness. are we just fooling ourselves with this modern day philosophy?

  25. Rabbi intergalactic Shmuley asked where in the Bible it tells us to love the enemies of God. I know he does not accept the New Testament, but Romans 5:10: For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
    God loved His enemies enough to send His Son.
    The other thing that he said that bothered me,especially from a rabbi, was that he said that there are those who have rubbed off the image of God from off themselves. I do not think that any sin does that. What makes Hitler so vile is that he is human as well. If he did not have the image of God we could hate him like an animal, but even then God has compassion on all He has made.

  26. Regarding Hamas being outside the possibility of redemption, I submit Zechariah 14:16.

    It speaks of what’s left of the AntiChrist army which came against Jerusalem keeping the feast of tabernacles. If a whole bunch of mujahideen coming to the temple to keep sukkoth is not a good enough example. I don’t know what is.

  27. David Roberts,
    The antichrist will have many enemies, and it says that one ruler will be able to turn him away from his land – isn’t it possible that not every person will be part of his army?

  28. It seems very convenient to ask someone to believe something and then to tell them not to expect any objective proof of truth.

    Christianity might as well be called the first self-improvement fad if that were the case.

    “Believe and you will see the glory of God” is a promise, no?

    “Lay hands on the sick and they will recover” is an obligation God laid on himself. A promise, perhaps?

    If those things don’t happen, doesn’t that reflect on the nature of the one who promised?

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