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Topic: Barna Group Research
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Dec 18, 2007 09:21PM)
Gospel/Christian magicians might find this research interesting:

http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=286

Terry
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 18, 2007 10:24PM)
So it appears that here in the colonies that the Age of Enlightenment was just something that occurred to other people :)
Message: Posted by: The Great Danton (Dec 18, 2007 10:39PM)
It seems a little pointless to me, I mean, it says that born again christians are more likely to take the stories at face value then non-born again christians....duh! Some of the other numbers were interesting, such as the things that more southerners believed then people from other places, etc.

I apologize if I come off as being a jerk here, but these are my thoughts on it.

T.G.D.
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 18, 2007 10:44PM)
This isn't meant as anything but a clarifying question.

I read your sentence, Payne, and I can't figure it out. I don't know if there is an extra word (I am guessing "that") or missing punctuation... I know it is a jab, and probably a humorous one, if I could make out the intent.

What I am wondering is what makes the article that interesting to Gospel Magicians?

Again a serious question.

RevJohn
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 18, 2007 11:34PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-18 23:44, RevJohn wrote:

I read your sentence, Payne, and I can't figure it out. I don't know if there is an extra word (I am guessing "that") or missing punctuation... I know it is a jab, and probably a humorous one, if I could make out the intent.

[/quote]

I guess you'd have to be a Black Adder fan to get it.
Message: Posted by: magicoftomh (Dec 18, 2007 11:38PM)
Thank you for posting this, Terry. As you may remember, I came from a strict Catholic upbringing. Though I am now American Baptist, I have always held the word of the Bible to be true. God makes any "symbolism" crystal clear, and we do not have to interpret truth from fiction.

Onto topic, I have approached my audiences exactly that way. I quote Biblical text, instead of interpreting my own way when presenting an effect.

When quoting Biblical text, I have learned from you, our dear friend Florian, and others that I can edit text, and not overwhelm my audience with TOO much text, while ALWAYS remembering to keep it in CONTEXT. I will do my very best to properly set up a routine with God's Word, without trying to stretch a "well chosen" dit or dat that will fit easily into my routine. I always try to remember what the underlying theme is in the Bible...and that is..."Who is in charge?" It works for me as I read God's Holy Word. It (hopefully)works for me as I present His Word through my magical performances.

But, that theme of "Who Is In Charge?" obviously does not strike home in those who are in the negative end of this survey. As a game show fan, I pray that whenever a survey comes out like this, the participants can tell us the survey says..."DING!"
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Dec 18, 2007 11:46PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-18 23:44, RevJohn wrote:

What I am wondering is what makes the article that interesting to Gospel Magicians?

Again a serious question.

RevJohn
[/quote]

I stated "Gospel/Christian magicians might find this research interesting." Some might not.

I find it interesting because I'm desirous to know, if performing for a church group, what a 2007 audience may think about a biblical event that I refer to.

For example, I perform one effect where I talk about the miracles that Jesus performed. I was interested to see the survey on water to wine and the feeding of the 5,000. I also perform an effect regarding the resurrection. One of the links in the article I directed you to reports the percentages of belief in the resurrection.

I am also interested in what atheists and agnostics believe about these accounts. I'm still trying to figure out the statistic that states, "Only 8% of atheists and agnostics accept the story," when talking about Eve and the Serpent. Maybe Payne can fill us in.

Maybe someone else will be interested in the survey and maybe not, but I'm not sure this thread is any more uninteresting than "Who makes the best TT?" or "Choose: Corinda or Annemann."

Plus, I hadn't seen Payne around here for a while, and I figured this would get a rise out if him! :)

Terry
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Dec 19, 2007 12:01AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-18 23:44, RevJohn wrote:
This isn't meant as anything but a clarifying question.

I read your sentence, Payne, and I can't figure it out. I don't know if there is an extra word (I am guessing "that") or missing punctuation... I know it is a jab, and probably a humorous one, if I could make out the intent.

RevJohn
[/quote]

I have this strange feeling that he's saying at least a certain percentage of Americans aren't quite "enlightened." But I'm still wondering about that 8% atheist and agnostic population that the report speaks of. Maybe they are starting to follow Antony Flew's line of thinking.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Dec 19, 2007 12:31AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 00:34, Payne wrote:
[quote]

I guess you'd have to be a Black Adder fan to get it.
[/quote]
"Tell me, Brother Baldrick, what exactly did God do to the Sodomites?"
"I dunno, but I can't imagine it was worse than what they used to do to each other."

It's funny how Jesus said he spoke in parables, yet others believe the "literal word" of the bible.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 01:33AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 01:01, Terry Holley wrote:

But I'm still wondering about that 8% atheist and agnostic population that the report speaks of. Maybe they are starting to follow Antony Flew's line of thinking.

[/quote]

I'd wager it's a flaw in their data modeling. Atheists should be counted seperately from Agnostics as they are skewing the numbers. I can see where Agnostics might believe that some of the aforesaid mentioned Bible stories are true, however no self respecting Atheist would. There is simply no external data that proves any of them to be literally true. Especially the Old Testiment stuff with it's talking donkeys and impossible arks.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Dec 19, 2007 05:03AM)
I'd wager there are some who are on the fence posts...publicly say one thing, but when given a chance to answer in private, may be searching for real truth. Not much hope when you're an atheist or agnostic...not much hope.

By the way, Barna research is a well respected research group and has customer such as Disney, Visa and many others. I tend to believe that they know what they're doing, having personally met Mr. Barna.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2007 08:26AM)
"It's funny how Jesus said he spoke in parables, yet others believe the "literal word" of the bible"
True, he did speak in parables, however they were clearly presented as object lessons not historical depictions. The events of the Bible are stated as fact & historical depictions. I found the survey interesting because to believe parts of the Bible but not others leaves your faith open to many questions, "hmm if I believe this part isn't true then what else isn't true". The faith that I have is not blind I believe in 100% of the truthfullnes of the bible & God's plan of salvation. I can not speak for others but I know that my faith has carried me through many vallies that I would have been lost in without it.
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Dec 19, 2007 08:38AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 09:26, tboehnlein wrote:
The events of the Bible are stated as fact & historical depictions. [/quote]

LOL!
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 06:03, Terry Owens wrote:
I'd wager there are some who are on the fence posts...publicly say one thing, but when given a chance to answer in private, may be searching for real truth. Not much hope when you're an atheist or agnostic...not much hope.

By the way, Barna research is a well respected research group and has customer such as Disney, Visa and many others. I tend to believe that they know what they're doing, having personally met Mr. Barna.
[/quote]

I would take this survey with a grain of salt. Atheists are still one of the most maligned minorities in the country. There are some regions in the nation where revealing ones non belief can lead to ostrization and physical threats. Therefor when confronted with questions of a religious nature many Atheists will claim a belief in a Deity to avoid possible confrontation. Thus the data on this survey may be skewed a bit. I know for certain if they had asked these same questions up here in the Pacific Northwest they would have gotten a very different result. Being one of the least religious parts of the country I know only a handful of people who regularly go to church or believe that much if any parts of the Bible are literally true.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 09:58AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 09:38, Dan Paulus wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 09:26, tboehnlein wrote:
The events of the Bible are stated as fact & historical depictions. [/quote]

LOL!
[/quote]

Now, now be nice. He is after all right. The Bible states these events as fact and many people believe them to be true. Just as the ancient Greeks one time believed that Homer's Epic was factual history.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2007 10:34AM)
Before you LOL may I suggest you do a bit more research on the subject, you will find that the Bible has more documented historical support then any other document written during its period.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Dec 19, 2007 10:39AM)
Just a reminder, we need to follow Café' rules...The good part about the survey that Terry shared with us, it gives us some insight into who we are reaching out to in our programs.

Thanks for sharing Terry..
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Dec 19, 2007 11:38AM)
That reminds me of the work Bill Hybils does at Willow Creek in Chicago. The unchurched have much to learn.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 11:41AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 12:38, Steven Conner wrote:
That reminds me of the work Bill Hybils does at Willow Creek in Chicago. The unchurched have much to learn.
[/quote]

Or perhaps we have learned too much :)
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2007 12:05PM)
"Or perhaps we have learned too much :)"

or chose not to be open to that which does not meet your personal needs or lifestyle.

Payne not meant to be a personal attack, just MY observation of nonbelievers in general, your comments in this category are generally well meant & expressed honestly.
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Dec 19, 2007 12:24PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 11:34, tboehnlein wrote:
Before you LOL may I suggest you do a bit more research on the subject, you will find that the Bible has more documented historical support then any other document written during its period.
[/quote]

Trust me, I've done A LOT of study. I just came to different conclusions than you.

Payne wrote:
[quote]
Now, now be nice. He is after all right. The Bible states these events as fact and many people believe them to be true. Just as the ancient Greeks one time believed that Homer's Epic was factual history.
[/quote]

You're right Payne, I should be nice. BTW, I live in one of the cities you mention. I don't believe I'd be in harms way, but it can (and has) effected other aspects of my life and the life of my children.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 12:33PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 13:05, tboehnlein wrote:
"Or perhaps we have learned too much :)"

or chose not to be open to that which does not meet your personal needs or lifestyle.

Payne not meant to be a personal attack, just MY observation of nonbelievers in general, your comments in this category are generally well meant & expressed honestly.
[/quote]

Non believers don't have an exclusive on this type of behavior. Theists are just as guilty of going through life with blinders on. Seeing only that which they want to see and refusing to acknowledge any fact they come across that might make them question their personnel belief system.

I would instantly believe in a Deity if anyone could provide reasonable proof as to it's existence. So far no one has presented me with such evidence so I must remain skeptical. If you can present me with a reason as to why I should accept your God over Horus, Zeus or Odin I am willing to evaluate it.

And to assume that I refuse to acknowledge a divine being because I choose to engage in certain "personal needs or lifestyle" is disingenuous at best. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs or engage in any abhorrent behavior. I've been married to the same woman for nearly twenty-five years and am a contributing member of society. Most of my Atheist friends live a very similar lifestyles as well and are not the drugged out, lascivious hedonists you think we must be. We are just like you save for the fact that we don't believe in gods. We don't believe, not so that we can go out and commit immoral acts but simply because we find the evidence for such a being lacking.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2007 02:30PM)
"Non believers don't have an exclusive on this type of behavior. Theists are just as guilty of going through life with blinders on."
Agreed, I have researched & studied plenty also & I have not been able to find evidence to prove to me that there is no GOD, I look at all that is around me & all evidence proves to me that our existence is not by accident, I understand that if the earth's axis was a degree differant our existence would be nill, if we were a fraction further or closer to the sun again we would be nothing, the credibility of the bible is found not in itself but in many external historical sources. A theist that accepts all that is told them w/o searching for the truth does have blinders on & is missing the relationship with God that God wishes us to have, no differant than having a neighbor next door that you never talk too, you can not develope a relationship with someone without asking questions & delving into their life.

"And to assume that I refuse to acknowledge a divine being because I choose to engage in certain "personal needs or lifestyle" is disingenuous at best."

Again I agree a poor choice of words on my part for the discussion, I did not mean to imply that your lifestyle is questionable by any means what I know of you is honorable, I was implying that to acknowledge a divine being is generally based on our own comfort levels and for some even the selection of the deity is made on what behaviors or mores are acceptable to that individual. For me it comes down to this, when I die if I am wrong then no big deal, but if my belief is correct then I would hate to be one that denied his existence & refused the salvation that he offered through his son Jesus.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 19, 2007 03:38PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 15:30, tboehnlein wrote:

I die if I am wrong then no big deal, but if my belief is correct then I would hate to be one that denied his existence & refused the salvation that he offered through his son Jesus.

[/quote]

Assuming you've chosen the correct Deity.

There are all sorts of God's worshipped by multitudes of people all of whom think they've got the right one.
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 19, 2007 04:13PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-19 00:34, Payne wrote:
[quote]
I guess you'd have to be a Black Adder fan to get it.
[/quote]

Actually I am a Black Adder fan. You might find the magazine, "The Wittenburg Door" funny. I enjoy them cause they are one of the few religious magazines that don't take themselves to seriously. Or the website, "Ship of Fools," which again is a very humorous take on the church.

RevJohn
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Dec 21, 2007 02:50PM)
What the Barna goup presents is not relevant to the issue. If we have a creator that spoke the world into existence in the precise manner to support life on earth, then Arks, Axeheads, "a Great Fish" who swallowed Johah, feeding 5000 would be child's play to God. Jesus said, your sins are forgiven and the Pharisees took offense. Jesus then asked, "Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or to heal." Jesus then healed the man.

No, the issue is, can you accept the concept of a creator? If not, there will not be any evidence that is credible. The "PHILOSOPHY of Atheism will not allow any God. So, any contrary evidence to naturalism is explained away--much like saying God did it, but using "Evolutin did it".

On to magic. If we present Gospel magic, we have to believe the Bible tells the truth, including miracles, and use stories just as Jesus did to draw people to God.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 21, 2007 04:06PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-21 15:50, leftytheclown wrote:

No, the issue is, can you accept the concept of a creator? If not, there will not be any evidence that is credible. The "PHILOSOPHY of Atheism will not allow any God. So, any contrary evidence to naturalism is explained away--much like saying God did it, but using "Evolutin did it".

[/quote]

I know many Atheists who would dearly like to believe in a God and several who in fact used to believe in one. So your belief that our "PHILOSOPHY" precludes us from believing in such a being is not at all accurate.

We can accept the concept of a Creator we just have never found compelling evidence that their is one.

One can also believe that there are truths to be found in the Bible without it having to be true. Lessons can be learned from Shakespeare without accepting Macbeth as an actual person. I agree with Thomas Jefferson that all the tales of miracles in the Bible detract from and weaken the message. Much like how Mel Gibson focused on the gruesome final day of Christ's life and forgot all about the message he brought.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Dec 21, 2007 04:27PM)
Wrong Mr. Payne, what Jesus went through to forgive your sins is what the message is about.

That's why it's so important that those of use who do Gospel work, strive to be as professional in our presentation as we can be.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 21, 2007 05:43PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-21 17:27, Terry Owens wrote:

Wrong Mr. Payne, what Jesus went through to forgive your sins is what the message is about.

[/quote]

I always thought that the basic gist of Jesus' message was one of love and forgiveness, you know to love one another as you love yourself. At least that's what I got out of his teachings when I read the Bible. I don't see how being viciously beaten to death does anything to enhance that message.

But then that's why there are a multitude of different denominations isn't it. Everyone has their own idea of what Christ was trying to say.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Dec 21, 2007 07:22PM)
This is not the forum to discuss this, but I would be happy to discus this with you privately
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 21, 2007 07:53PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-21 20:22, Terry Owens wrote:
This is not the forum to discuss this, but I would be happy to discus this with you privately
[/quote]

Thanks for the offer but there's really no need as I'm happy with my life and belief system. I understand where your coming from I just don't see it the same way you do.
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Dec 21, 2007 10:43PM)
Jesus' message was that He was the only way to know God. Our magical effects should reflect this.

And no Payne, it is the atheistic philosophy that precludes God. The materialist statement is: We assume that all matter to include living things come from natural causes. This is a philosophical statement (Not fact)and by definition eliminates any notion of a creator.

Again, the philosophy of Atheism eliminates the need for God, therefore any contraindications, such as no demonstrable evidence of life coming from non-life, has to be explained as "somehow" natural causes did it. To deny so, is to go against the tenets of your faith in materialism. Which makes me wonder why you hang out here so much with us spiritual guys. I know you say you are the loyal opposistion, but I hope it's more like there is more to this spiritualty group and you like it.

As Terry Seabrook (I think) said, "Break a String".
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Dec 22, 2007 08:51AM)
I have heard it said if you can believe the first five words of the (English) Bible, "In the beginning God created," then you can believe the rest of it.

That statement does not set out to prove God; the assumption is He exists and is real.

It takes more faith to believe in evolution than the Creator God who spoke the universe into existence.

Have a great Christmas,

Bobby
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2007 11:01AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 09:51, robwar0100 wrote:

It takes more faith to believe in evolution than the Creator God who spoke the universe into existence.

[/quote]

It's not a either or argument. Evolution doesn't automatically negate the existence of a higher power. Many theists believe that evolution was the mechanism that God used to create life on this planet. Really, the evidence for evolution is overwhelming and we see proof of it's existence everyday in the mutation of viruses. Simply shutting ones eyes and clamping ones hand over ones ears and shouting LA LA La at the top of ons lungs doesn't make evolution go away. To paraphrase a popular slam applied to Atheists by believers, "Only a fool says in his heart that there is no evolution."
Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Dec 22, 2007 12:52PM)
I think we can all agree that micro-evolution exists, that is, variation within a specie (e.g; different types of dogs). Notice I said "within".

Macro-evolution, one specie becoming another different specie, does not exist. We do not see any evidence for this. Macro-evolution requires a tremendous leap of faith. If macro-evolution was true, there would be thousands of transitionary fossil forms available today showing the many changes that took place for one specie to evolve into a completely different specie.

If all the different species evolved from one specie, there would be thousands of thousands of these transitional fossil forms waiting to be discovered. Wouldn't we have found at least ONE by now? We haven't found one yet because they are not there to be found. Evolutionists repeat their mantra, "the evidence for evolution is overwhelming". They hope that constant repetition of that statement will cause everyone to believe it, despite the lack of actual evidence. Please don't just tell me there is overwhelming evidence. Produce the actual evidence.

Natural selection can only work on the genetic information present in the population of organisms; it cannot create new information. For example, since no known reptiles have genes for feathers, no amount of selection will produce a feathered reptile. Mutations in genes can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones.

If you've ever created something, a painting, a sculpture, a model, you know the joy and satisfaction you receive during the process of creating it. We take joy as it develops. We don't open a tube of paint, pick up a brush, and instantly there is a completely finished beautiful painting on the canvas. Our creative nature takes joy in the process of creating something.

I'll bet God, the ultimate Creator, took great pleasure and enjoyment while HE created all things step by step. God created the different species, and genetically programmed them with the ability for variation within their specie.

Professor Louis Bounoure, Director, National Center of Scientific Research states, "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the process of science. It is useless."

In the Foreword to "Origin of Species" (100th edition), Sir Arthur Keith admitted, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Dec 22, 2007 02:58PM)
Hi Payne, the greatest Atheist of our time has even changed his mind. Must be something there.

Antony Flew, Former Atheist - Now Deist, Goes Beyond Deism Saying a Creator Was Involved in the Creation of Life.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2007 03:31PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 15:58, Steven Conner wrote:
Hi Payne, the greatest Atheist of our time has even changed his mind. Must be something there.

Antony Flew, Former Atheist - Now Deist, Goes Beyond Deism Saying a Creator Was Involved in the Creation of Life.
[/quote]

Anthony Flew is hardly the "Greatest Afheist of our time" and he didin't become a Deist. His Ghost Writer apparently put words in Mr. Flews mouth that he never spoke.
The ongoin debate\scandel can be seen in part here.

http://geoffarnold.com/?p=1784

as the article says

"It’s a rather sad tale of an old man in his dotage, allowing himself to be exploited by others, to the point where he allowed his name to be put to a book which he didn’t even write"
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Dec 22, 2007 04:07PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 16:31, Payne wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 15:58, Steven Conner wrote:
Hi Payne, the greatest Atheist of our time has even changed his mind. Must be something there.

Antony Flew, Former Atheist - Now Deist, Goes Beyond Deism Saying a Creator Was Involved in the Creation of Life.
[/quote]

Anthony Flew is hardly the "Greatest Afheist of our time" and he didin't become a Deist. His Ghost Writer apparently put words in Mr. Flews mouth that he never spoke.
The ongoin debate\scandel can be seen in part here.

http://geoffarnold.com/?p=1784

as the article says

"It’s a rather sad tale of an old man in his dotage, allowing himself to be exploited by others, to the point where he allowed his name to be put to a book which he didn’t even write"
[/quote]

This wasn't an article but an interview. You can watch Mr. Flew.

http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT2037
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2007 04:35PM)
Read the article I linked. Mr. Flew is barely cognisant these days and is a shadow of his former self. He can't remember old colleagues or previous events in his life. Not a great choice for a poster child for Atheist conversion.
It's even sad and pathetic how Mt. Strobel is trying to bully the obviously ailing Mr. Flew into acknowledging that there is a personel God of some sort who actually cares about his creation. Fortunately Mr Flew was able to fend off the attack.
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Dec 22, 2007 04:50PM)
There was no attack and there is always excuses. But, I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Dec 22, 2007 04:55PM)
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Dec 22, 2007 05:09PM)
http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/sir-arthur-keith-faq.htm
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2007 07:40PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 17:50, Steven Conner wrote:
I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
[/quote]

Thank you and the same to you and yours.

Be sure to take a moment of time to remember the real reason for the season, Axil Tilt :)
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Dec 23, 2007 03:29PM)
Better for the discusion to refer to the Flew material from a few years ago when he was first re-examining his position:

http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

He may be struggling with his memory now, but I talked to Gary Habermas two years ago about the interview and I have no reason to believe Flew could be described as he is in the "geoffarnold" article.

My recollection of reading the "humanist" sites back then was that they just wanted to dismiss Flew now that he was moving toward the "Aristotelian God." In other words, he was OK prior to his rethinking, but once that happened, there was no reason to listen to him. That thinking tipped off yo me that this worldview appears to heve no room for the supernatural no matter how much I hear it does if evidence is presented.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 23, 2007 07:05PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-23 16:29, Terry Holley wrote:

My recollection of reading the "humanist" sites back then was that they just wanted to dismiss Flew now that he was moving toward the "Aristotelian God." In other words, he was OK prior to his rethinking, but once that happened, there was no reason to listen to him. That thinking tipped off yo me that this worldview appears to heve no room for the supernatural no matter how much I hear it does if evidence is presented.

[/quote]

Flew is allowed to come to his own conclusions based upon his interpretation of the data and his personnel experience. If he wants to believe in a Deistic Force that triggered the whole shebang (well Big Bang actually) that is his choice and right and who am I to not allow him to do so? It's not that we can't or won't accept a supernatural force, it's just we are never presented with any evidence for such a thing. Even Flew fails to offer us up any proof whatsoever and just tells us it's his feeling that there is order in the universe that can't be explained by strictly naturalistic means.

Provide us with verifiable evidence to a supernatural entity or realm and we will believe. So far no one has succeeded in this task.

Anyway I really don't understand this fascination with Flew's supposed conversion. Atheists convert and Believers deconvert everyday. Perhaps it's because there are far more of the latter than the former that believers make such a big deal out of it.
There certainly isn't much of a win with Flew. There really is not much of a difference between a Deist and an Atheist as an Atheist believes there is no God while a Deist believes there was only a God for an instant or two to get things rolling.
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Dec 24, 2007 05:44PM)
Again, if we are going to present any magical effects that promote the Gospel, we need to believe in what we are presenting. That is, Christ was all man and all God. Christ came to redeem us from our disobedience to God. We should celebrate Christmas to recognize God’s greatest gift to us. We have to believe in a divine creator. Otherwise we are merely presenting self-esteem and” do-good-to-others” effects. Jesus wasn’t alone in doing this. His radical comments were that He was God.

Atheists are adept at dodging the issues of a creator. They state evolution does not rule out a creator, but this is not true. The philosophical beliefs of evolution are: All there is, is matter and all things were created by natural causes. There can be no supernatural cause, therefore, no creator. A creator would have to be outside of nature, which is not allowed. Therefore, the concept of God is meaningless and irrational.

Creation is a philosophical belief that all things were created by a self-existent spiritual being and the universe and all that is in it was designed for a purpose. And as created beings, we too have a purpose.

These philosophies clash when it comes to education, establishment of laws, values, morals, and how a society functions. Humanists say it is ok to believe in a god, but as this is irrational, you cannot teach any of it’s concepts in school or allow it to shape public policy. How convenient when they make the rules.

Although evolution is a theory in crisis, humanists want it accepted as fact. They have convinced many courts (not the majority of our population) to rule this way. This allows them to shape our culture and values. There are several “button” issues that are being promoted, but the key issue is that mankind is accountable to no one but themselves for their actions. This is in sharp contrast to those who hold there is a God and that we are responsible to a higher power for our behavior.

Now to the dismay of humanists, many scientists who hold we have a creator, are challenging the assumption that all things must come from natural causes. They state that this is bad science. Science needs to be “open minded”, yet atheistic scientists will not allow any notion that there is intended design. They have closed their minds to any theory that is not their own. Sort of the “not invented here” syndrome. That is why they shape the rules of science to state, ‘all must come from natural causes.

This is not fact, but an assumption. In truth there is very little data to support this belief. Such as the fossil record, lack of any evidence of a-biogenesis, how information preceded life such as DNA/RNA, and many other problems with evolution. When confronted, as I mentioned in an earlier post, they can only say, “evolution did It’. Crick in effect says this as does Hawkings. Oh, and to point out: Viruses may mutate, but they are still viruses. They don’t become germs or mice or anything else. Micro-evolution has nothing to do with Macro-evolution.

The controversy continues.

As magicians sharing the Good News, we are not the light. We can only point to it. Merry Christmas to all and God bless.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 29, 2008 08:36PM)
I thought I'd bring this thread back up since it included a discussion of Antony Flew.

I just started reading Flew's book "There Is A God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind." It's about his "conversion" to deism. Some of you may want to borrow a copy from your local library.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 29, 2008 11:28PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-29 21:36, Terry Holley wrote:
I thought I'd bring this thread back up since it included a discussion of Antony Flew.

I just started reading Flew's book "There Is A God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind." It's about his "conversion" to deism. Some of you may want to borrow a copy from your local library.

Terry
[/quote]

There is hardly any difference between a Deist and an Atheist. An Atheist believes there is no God where as a Deist believes there was a God for just long enough to trigger the first cause.
Flew does not embrace a personal god, any form of afterlife nor Christianity. He also embraces a deistic for philosophical and not scientific reasons.
He's also very old and probably not thinking clearly as well :)
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Apr 30, 2008 09:59AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-30 00:28, Payne wrote:
He also embraces a deistic for philosophical and not scientific reasons.
[/quote]

Serious question, with a bias of course, but do any of us embrace a deity because of scientific reasons? Paul Tillich talks about that gap between faith and reason, that at some point we take a jump.

I have not read the book in question, nor do I plan to, and I agree with Payne on the difference between a believing in a god that turned the handle on the clock, and removed himself to the God incarnate, in the flesh.

But the question of faith is a very interesting question, and what informs our faith. This is also where many denominations come to a parting of the ways. Is faith our choice, or is faith a gift?

Ah, fun conversations!!

RevJohn
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Apr 30, 2008 10:25AM)
Scripture says...Everyone is given a measure of faith.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Apr 30, 2008 06:45PM)
Please allow me to ramble a bit...

Scripture also says that faith is a gift from God, but we must choose to follow Him. God knew who would choose Him and gave them faith? Paradox.?! Omnipotence of God vs will of man? One reason I love believing in the God of scripture is we can't fully understand Him. To me, personally, that reinforces the fact that the bible is true. Scientifically, geographically, prophetically, the bible has never been proven wrong. Still, if I could grasp all of it then I would know it was an invention of man. It's the amazing, mind blowing parts that help me at times to know that it was written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Einstein believed in a deity. He said that at the quantum level things just don't make any sense unless someone is holding it all together. I'm paraphrasing, but it was close to that. He didn't think, unfortunately, that God was personal and concerned with the affairs of man, but he did believe there was an omnipotent force behind the universe. Even Carl Sagan said that when one studies quantum physics, there comes a time when you must decide if you believe in a God or not. So, when it comes to scientific reasons, you can back up your faith with science, I believe, but you ultimately still have to live by faith.

The bible also says that all men know in their hearts that there is a God, they just choose to not believe.

So, to answer your question from a personal perspective RevJohn: No, I don't embrace God because of scientific reasons. I love the fact that man's pathetic, fallible science points to God existence, but I have to stand on the word and say that I ultimately live by faith. When you strip away all the science, archaeology, geology, manuscript evidence, evidence of nature, etc.. that's all I'm left with is my faith. And it's enough.

Be blessed my brothers!