I am having trouble believing

Hi, I am relatively new here, but I came here trying to find reconciling the evidence for Christ and science and faith but everything I see (I know this foolish) a well respected christian thinker like William Craig or Francis Collins get criticism from people like Jonathan M.S Pearce or Jerry Coyne, The New Atheist and The author of God the Failed Hypothesis I have a strong fear that rushes over me. I can’t help with this war in my mind that if read their post or books that I will lose my faith for good it becomes very hard. I know I can’t just run away and not face but guess I am worried that I am not prepared, think anyone can help me?

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I guess for me one good place to start is what are you hoping science shows you concerning your faith? Are you hoping to see science supporting creationism, or that evolution requires clear tinkering by some kind of creator, or are you hoping to find reasons to have faith outside of what is verifiable by science?

Hello again, Redblade.

Yeah … there is a current crop of new atheists whose books talk a tough apologetic and threaten to dismantle the faith of any readers, and throw religion into the dustbins of history. Even if you don’t choose to delve into those books yourself, at least take comfort in this: there are a lot of other at least equally smart people who have read those works and have identified them for the hollow philosophical bluster that they are. The only “faith” that’s going to be threatened is that which has tied itself to certain scientific propositions that are demonstrably false, or those (often the same people) who have bought into the fundamentalist line of thought that the only truth propositions worth caring about are the empirical ones and that all other truth must be shunted aside as irrelevant and un-useful at best. If you have been hopelessly ensnared into those atheistic fundamentalisms, then such books will indeed be dangerous to that particular faith of yours, such as it is.

But there are plenty of Christians here who can help you address and see through any or all the challenges these authors throw at Christian faith. Some of those challenges are needed and deserved, but those criticisms that are warranted, we freely make and face here as well. Faith can be sharpened from the inside - it doesn’t take self-appointed faith-outsiders to point out problems and hypocrisies to believers, though we should and do listen to anybody regarding such things because - why shouldn’t we? That which we care about we wish to protect from falsehood and wickedness. There is plenty to shake up your faith here too, but more in the spirit of culling away what is weak or false so that what is strong can remain and be strengthened. The more militant new atheists only aim to tear down so as to rebuild a new faith in their brand of Scientism. Not all atheists are like that, though. Many hang out here and freely share in our commitment to pursuit of truth and helping us do just that. So as always, whenever we paint with a broad brush, we need to allow that our generalizations are in many ways wrong since every individual is complicated. Not all Christians give you good advice (not by a long shot these days, sadly!), and not all “non-believers” are dangerous or unhelpful.

If you do venture into such works as what you mention, just bring their arguments here into more helpful lights for inspection.

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For starters The Ressurection debunked on Pathoes by Jonathan M.S Pearce, Also I have good things about secular thinkers David Berlinski and Jonathan Haidt. Baron Martin Rees also seems helpful

I would say make sure to read both Craig and Coyne, and think through the flaws and merits on both sides. Main thing is to seek the truth, wherever it may lead.

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I can see a few flaws I believe. For example the “contradictions” he mentions are not true because the are different takes on the same person. The second is saying that writers wrote them for propaganda purposes don’t sound likely since they would have put their lives in danger and seeing their leader die isn’t very motivating. P.S just call me Noah

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Why don’t you bring those arguments here and see what we think of them? I haven’t seen arguments either way that I have found very convincing. I read Dawkins’ book but not these others you mention.

Ultimately the bottom line of these new atheists tends to be a matter of shifting the burden of proof which is rather lame. Burden of proof is ALWAYS on those who would have you accept their point of view and not simply on anyone who deviates from some so called default position.

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There is no rule that says only Christians are right about stuff. A thinking Christian should be able to interact with good scholarship from any perspective or worldview and incorporate the truth they bring to light and the good ideas they have with their own worldview.

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Same here and nor would I expect to. That being the case @Redblade_Flame, why read those sorts of things at all? I’ve seen a couple videos but I find debate bores me to tears. Just knowing that the participants are deliberately making the most one sided case they can makes it ridiculous. Shifting the burden of proof is just one way the ‘conversation’ is spoiled. The popular one on the other side is sneaking in premises, often in disguise. What happens here is so much more worthy of our attention.

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Actually I don’t watch debates, especially philsopcial discussions which alot of the time is just spewing analogies at each other

Your only true help will come straight from the Father and the Son. God gave us Jesus to deliver us from sin and ignorance of Him (the Father). It is Gods desire to reveal Himself to us so that we would know Him. Read below what Jesus said.

John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you . 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

If you separate yourself from sin and seek God with all your being, then He has promised you will find Him. As Jesus said above, 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”.

God foretold of Jesus coming, death and resurrection. Jesus came, taught the way of the Kingdom of Heaven, died and rose from the dead according to the very Word of God. Place all your hope and confidence in the Father and the Son and you will have peace. As Jesus said, “my peace I give you”. Seek God with confidence by calling out to Him, reading the scriptures and obeying Jesus and you will know Him, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. He will fill you with His Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth. What more could you desire?

Philosophy isn’t about debates. That’s down the hall, look for the sign that says Rhetoric. Completely different subject.

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I always enjoy watching debates myself. I feel it’s the perfect way to see two sides eagerly defended and see how they counter argue in the second+ rounds. It allows me to get a clearer picture of any holes in my beliefs.

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Redblade. This too will pass. You moved me by your open vulnerability. I agree with every rational critique of all apologetics. Yet I have a vestige of faith and desperately desire more. Apologetics will not increase your faith, it will erode it, as it has done. Craig is not well respected except by those of his persuasion. Collins is. I’ll search for criticism that you mention. We can deconstruct it.

I never liked Craig’s Calvinistic style but thought he was on to something with his Kalam Cosmological Argument. Until I realised he wasn’t. Eternity demolishes it. I frustrated a brilliant atheist friend by completely agreeing with him and yet still holding my flickering little candle despite him actually helping that demolition and worse - he eroded evidence for Christ successfully, the worst I’d ever encountered, I’ve shared that before here. Yet I found a flaw in my friend’s thinking, which remains most gratifying. But don’t get your hopes up! It didn’t let the light back in, but every thinker has their limitations.

If you have an itch to scratch, then do it among equals. Here. You are not alone. But what are you doing to fulfil the commands of Christ? What are you doing to bring about universal social justice? The devils believe and tremble (not that I believe in them any more, how can I?). Believing is meaningless without action. Plenty of people here and elsewhere have all manner of strong beliefs. Very troubling beliefs. Me historically. I don’t envy any of them. They are bound by them and think they are free.

You are in the terrifyingly new territory of existential angst, of La Nausée, with all of the tsunami of cognitive dissonance that keep on coming. Welcome : ) And thank you. You actually fuel my candle. Oxygenate it. Make me want to trim the wick. I actually want to find a way to give you a sip of water, a breath of air, a glimmer of light, in my weakness and ignorance. You actually make me want to act, to help. But I’ve got nothing to offer but flickering faith itself. We all need to walk naked together in our fear and serve each other in any way we can. I reach out under the same umbrella of doubt and longing. That’s what I come here for, believe it or not, to find a way of being vulnerable together. Acknowledging the fierce, unflinching light of reason that burns away dead faith. That we might find living faith together.

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I’ll check out the Patheos debunk. A fine publication. Berlinski is not a secular thinker. He’s deeply flawed, as bad as any big name apologist. Haidt is 99.99…% perfect. Martin Rees is a good man. A churchgoer who doesn’t believe in God. I like that.

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Wow! Pearce is awesome! He’s a Brit! No wonder. I know I’ll agree with everything he says! He thinks like me, but better, which isn’t difficult. He loves demolishing Craig, which is no bad thing. And other non-sense like free will!

But I can’t find a piece on the Resurrection?

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Just search Jonathan M.S Pearce Resurrcetion

Also are you saying the universe is eternal?

Then you have no problem sorting through the distortion on both sides and interpolating where the truth lies between them. Fair enough. Lots of people enjoy debates so it is probably just my quirk.

Yeah. Read him. He’s a laugh isn’t he? Nothing I didn’t already know and haven’t done for decades. What’s the problem? I want to believe it’s true, that incarnation happens. That God does this on every inhabited world of the infinity from eternity. Nothing of what Pearce says, and on matters of fact he is perfectly, absolutely, 110% correct, can touch that. How could it? The humanity of the texts, the confusion, the ignorance, the agendas, the unknowns (like the authors decades and even centuries after the events described to them orally, and their editors) make them more valid. Not less.

Paul was writing to thriving churches of Jesus’ contemporaries within less than 20 years of the events they believed.

Yeah, I can believe that we made it all up, we’re that smart. The time was right. But. I love it, don’t you? It truly is the greatest story ever told. And it’s all we’re ever going to get until we die. And it’s enough isn’t it? It’s enough to motivate us to pursue peace through universal social justice if our morality isn’t up to that otherwise. If we need a reason to seek for equality of outcome for all. The Kingdom. And there might, just might, be transcendent icing on that cake. All thanks to God in Christ.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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