Seeking those more advanced than I, to find flaws


#1

Friendly request to have this website and it’s message KINDLY torn apart on PURELY rational and evidence-based grounds. www.doesgodexist.org
This is my go-to website for a majority of my own theological understanding. I hold no ill-will towards it or it’s creator, in any way, but I would very much like to know if it can stand up to the evidence.
Consider this me stepping outside my comfort zone and challenging my own views to see if they can be kept.


#2

Why on earth do you look to BioLogos to do this for you? I think they have their hands full as it is.


#3

Obviously because they seem to have a different approach to many things. I’m after a different perspective. I am not an adherent to Biologos. I cannot do it myself.


(Christy Hemphill) #4

Asking “what do you think about this?” is the kind of thing people do on discussion forums.

It’s not like he’s asking Deb Haarsma to personally do research for him. It seems like plenty of forum users have free time for YouTube and blogs of all varieties and might enjoy this kind of thing.


#5

He wants it kindly torn apart, for starters.


#6

Perhaps my wording was too strong. Just after fresh minds on possible errors. The ‘tearing apart’ was basically a ‘don’t hold back’ if you find anything…


#7

Looks like the site’s security certificate has been revoked and that is never a good sign.


(Randy) #8

I was able to get on it from my phone. He is a former atheist trying to find evidence to believe. I don’t see any reason on the surface to disagree with him. More power to him, though I have not read more deeply


#9

I don’t even like connecting to these questionable sites.


(Christy Hemphill) #10

Can we please try to be a community of grace here? This is not a “questionable site.” You won’t get computer cooties from looking at it.

From the preface of a Creationist book dedicated to countering John Clayton’s dangerous teaching:

The man is a self-taught apologist and former physics teacher with an M.S. from Notre Dame. It doesn’t look like he is doing anything much different than Josh McDowell (though it seems he would consider himself a theistic evolutionist) or Lee Strobel or watered down William Lane Craig.

It looks like it very much follows a natural theology approach to Christian apologetics. Benjamin is asking what is wrong with that approach. I assume people would have different takes on that question depending on how useful they feel natural theology and science based apologetics are for Christians. I used to say that I had never met anyone who was argued into Christianity, but Benjamin claims he was, so I may have to change my story on that point.

If you all don’t want to help the guy out, go discuss elsewhere, but it’s pretty rude to just disparage a source people claim is central to their entire belief system without even looking at it.


(Randy) #11

Sounds like a good guy.


(Christy Hemphill) #12

I didn’t get any notice when I went there on Chrome. The correspondence course has a https address. https://www.doesgodexist.org/Courses/2009-Course/Intermediate-Lesson_1.html

The guy who runs the site is clearly an older gentleman. He first published his testimony six years before I was born. He has a facebook page. He’s making an effort to stay technologically up to date, but the website looks like it was designed in the nineties. You guys sure are a critical bunch except what you were asked to criticize; the arguments.


#13

So why would anybody wish to have it torn apart?


(Christy Hemphill) #14

How dependent are most of the arguments on scientific arguments for design?

People usually have a lot of opinions about that if it is the case.

It seems Clayton’s approach comes at science from the idea that scientific evidence supports the integrity of the Bible. This is similar to the approach taken by old earth creationist organizations like Reasons to Believe.

There was a book recently published about a dialogue between RTB and BioLogos which would outline the differences in the approach to the Bible.

Also you might find articles on the BioLogos site about concordism bring out the differences in approach.


(Christy Hemphill) #15

Critical thinkers want to have their arguments exposed to counter-arguments to see if they hold up.


(Randy) #16

Yes, that’s the impression I got form @Truth_Seeker. Sorry, @Truth_Seeker, that you have found difficult situations in Australia. You can find them anywhere. You indicate concern that there have been people living double lives (morally? or scientifically?) and also teaching about people riding on dinosaurs–. So, are you concerned that it’s hard to meld science and Christianity?

One thing I found in my YEC church (which does believe in dinosaurs and humans in the same time, I think) was that they really do believe in God and find themselves morally responsible to live godly, compassionate lives. There certainly is a maturity that isn’t dependent on science understanding. I don’t even agree with my pastor in many theological ways, but know that we are both looking to God as the minister of both judgement and grace.

There were lots of Australian missionaries on our field–from Perth to NSW and Tasmania. We even had some Kiwis (they were a little difficult for me to understand sometimes, but their Pavlova was wonderful!). Maybe you can give is some more insights into Australian thinking. I was recently reading online at one of their YEC sites at https://creation.com/, which used to be affiliated with Ken Ham.


#17

I’m concerned that many people who COULD become Christians do not due to the way the ‘churches’ handle both scripture and science. Not to forget the cliques and back stabbing… Without getting too personal, I truly believe someone very close to me could have been a very different person had they not been made bitter and angry by the goings on at the ‘church’ they attended. It has left me quite bitter myself. I am sure my own life would have turned out significantly happier from their change.

I’ve found myself unable to stand with any congregation where I live as I do not want to be counted amongst the troubles. I once tried to change the minds of others. I learned it is futile. But if certain people are going to damage faith in God due to their beliefs and behaviour, I wont be apart of it.


(Randy) #18

That sounds really tough. I don’t know your situation, exactly. I do run into backstabbing everywhere, not just in religious scenes–but maybe we are more disappointed by that because there is such an expectation for love and peace. Splits in churches seem to occur once they reach a critical mass (100 or 200 people). I attend a Baptist church, and there’s a reason that people joke “there is no such thing as a Second Baptist Church”–they’re so independent, it’s like herding cats.

There’s the story of the Dutchman who was marooned on a desert island. Someone rescued him after a couple years,. Being a very industrious Dutchman, however, he had done a lot of work on the island, and had to show it off to someone before he left (I am mostly Dutch, so I can critique us!). he showed his rescuer his nice house, a barn, and even a church, with a cross on a steeple. The rescuer was impressed. However, turning to the Dutchman, he observed, “But I thought you said you were all alone on this island. How come there are 2 buildings with steeples and crosses? The Dutchman responded, " Oh, yes, I was the only one here, but I found I didn’t agree with my pastor.”

Devotion to God can change us. There’s the story of Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner who starred in “Chariots of Fire.” Those that observed him when he was in a concentration camp in China, among other missionaries held by the Japanese reported that despite very difficult circumstances, he remained godly and generous, in contrast even to other clergy and Christians; and influenced the skeptic toward faith–even when he died of a brain tumor http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/Mprevite/EricLiddell/txt_Liddell.htm

I met a missionary kid in Africa as an adult who had known Eric Liddell as a child in China. He said that Liddell was very kind, but never even told anyone about his Olympic exploits–so the Chinese didn’t know of them. I expect that he wanted to emphasize Christ first in his life.

I am probably as bad as anyone else at bad thoughts, but I can at least admire those who have run a good race. :slight_smile:


#19

I hope you realize that even if every single sentence on this website is riddled with errors, it would have no bearing on God’s existence (or non-existence). Don’t be like the man who built his house upon the sand.

I found the dung beetle argument to be silly:

“The Designer has not left out any detail in creating a self-sustaining world. To suggest that these beetles came about by pure chance because there was a ready food source, is not plausible. How long would it take a herd of elephants to totally cover the ground around a waterhole with waste? Could dung beetles evolve in that amount of time, even if they came from other beetles? Chance does not explain this system. Disgusting as it may be, it really is a Dandy Design.”


(Christy Hemphill) #20

Look at this:

Seems like Mr. Clayton was an evolutionary creationist before it was cool.