Tag Archives: evidence for God’s existence

Evolutionists denying presuppositions of evolution

clip_image002

(image courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

I engage in some blogging on Christian forums. This is where I meet people who deny their evolutionary presuppositions. You need to go back further in this thread to pick up on where I started the my input. Begin on p. 295. By the nature of blogging, there are some rough narrative statements as I challenge an evolutionist, Bugey.

Evolution

Bugey,[1]

Don’t you have a presupposition that plant, animal and human life developed by survival of the fittest? That is, don’t you have an evolutionary premise to describe the origin of the earth and the universe? Do you presume macroevolution?

I don’t presume anything. I accept the Theory of Evolution as the best explanation of the biodiversity of life on this planet, sure – but that’s because of the evidence in support of it, not because I presupposed it then looked for reasons to support it afterwards… there’s a reason Evolution is taught in science classes almost universally all over the world.

Atheism

My response as OzSpen was:

As for faith/belief of atheism, it entails some of these dimensions articulated in:

clip_image004Critique arguments for God’s existence;
clip_image004[1]The problem of evil;
clip_image004[2]Morality and religion;
clip_image004[3]Miracles;
clip_image004[4]The motivations of belief, etc.

I don’t accept this. I’ve never read this book and reading the synopsis, it’s clear it’s a collection of writings, thoughts, ideas and arguments that non-believers have posited throughout the ages, but there’s nothing in this that required atheists to ‘believe’ or ‘accept’ these points, positions or arguments to be true in order to be atheists.

If anything, it might be a primer for someone who doesn’t understand atheism (or has recently become one/considered becoming one) to grasp the basics, or to understand the history of atheists before they were considered such a thing, but it’s not doctrine or required belief and you’re mistaken for thinking it is.

OzSpen (that’s me) said:

I could discuss other presuppositional beliefs such as

clip_image006 The nature of God/gods/no god;

clip_image006[1] You believe in a material universe that conforms to naturalistic laws and principles;

clip_image006[2] This life is the only life we will ever have;

clip_image006[3] The power of science, reason and rationality for understanding that overcomes superstition of religion;

clip_image006[4] etc.

Do you have any of these presuppositional beliefs?
Bugey:

Oz,

Well, not sure I would call it ‘presuppositional belief’ – after all, does a newborn baby presuppose it can’t talk or is that just the way it is? Anyhow, let me address what I can:

clip_image008 I have no idea of the nature of God(s) and have a myriad of different characteristics explained to me, none of which there seems to be evidence for – but I’m always open to it.

clip_image008[1] All the working models we have (as in collective human knowledge) are based on the natural laws and principles and is therefore meaningful in that we get results that are useful and technology that works because of it. This applies across all sciences and human endeavours of a scientific nature.

clip_image008[2] I have no idea what comes after this life although all the evidence we have indicates that we cease to exist once we undergo brain death. Everything we know about consciousness and mind seems to be intrinsically tied to the physical brain. Things that affect our brain directly affect our mind. We also have no examples of disembodied minds, or spirits (…whatever they are). Of course, would love to know about it if you have anything…

clip_image008[3] Critical thinking and rational discourse is (sic) something I’ve found to be invaluable in creating working models of the reality I experience. I don’t disparage peoples personal beliefs, unless I believe it to lead to irrational decisions that could be detrimental to the person carrying the belief, or the people in their care or that they’re responsible for. Anti-vaxxers who have children are prime examples…

OzSpen responded: This is where you are trying to kid me that you ‘don’t presume anything’, but still ‘accept the theory of evolution’.[2]
What is a theory?

It is “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Oxford dictionaries online 2017. s.v. theory).

So a theory is a supposition, not a proof with evidence. Therefore, you do have a presupposition that the theory of evolution is true ‘as the best explanation of the biodiversity of life on this planet’. It has not been proven. If it had been, it would not be called a ‘theory’ but evidence.
A theory can’t be ‘the best explanation’ until it is tested and the evidence is found to support it. The testing of it also needs the ability to falsify it.
Your analogy about the new born baby doesn’t hold water.

I recommend the reading of two books by the same author, Michael Denton, written 30 years apart. They are:

clip_image010Michael Denton 1985. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Bethesda: Adler & Adler (image courtesy Wikipedia).

clip_image012Michael Denton 2016. Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis, Seattle: Discovery Institute Press.

Evolution in the classroom

Yes, there is a reason why evolution is taught nearly universally in the classroom. It’s the promotion of dogma without evidence for macroevolution. It comes with lots of fancy dresses to try to ‘prove’ evolution but it is really bluff. However, the younger youth don’t understand what you are trying to do in the classroom. It also means the God factor of the Creator God is denied and can’t be brought into the classroom because “it’s not science.”

I know it is like this in university classrooms. I heard it from doctoral lecturers and when I challenged what he was teaching and that it wasn’t fact. He said in the class before my peers: “That’s bull shit” and he didn’t abbreviate. He later apologised to me in private for what he said but never apologised in class.

You stated:

I have no idea of the nature of God(s) and have a myriad of different characteristics explained to me, none of which there seems to be evidence for – but I’m always open to it.

Evidence for God’s existence

You do have evidence, but you won’t accept it. God doesn’t believe in atheists. This is what he thinks about the evidence of His existence that you reject. I didn’t invent this. It is God’s estimate of your ability or inability to see God’s attributes in creation and what causes your blindness to them. With this evidence, you are ‘without excuse’ before God:

clip_image014(image of ‘fishing at sunrise,” PublicDomainPictures)

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them (
Romans 1:18-32 NIV, emphasis added).

Secularists suppress the truth of God

You have the evidence of God’s existence and his eternal power and divine nature right before you every day you live, but you turn God away. Why? Take a read of verse of Romans 1:18: ‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness’.

That’s what all secularists, humanists, agnostics and atheists do, including you.
If you are ‘always open’ to the evidence, read that section of
Romans 1 again and again and get the understanding of why God does not believe in atheists and that they will be ‘without excuse’ when they face God in judgment. His existence is screaming at us all in creation every day we live.

Consider the beauty of a rose, the power of God to produce fruit on trees, and the power to sustain life of every person on the planet by producing the atmospheres (mostly oxygen) that we breathe.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Atmosphere_gas_proportions.png

(images courtesy Wikipedia)

Bugey, your presuppositions are too embedded to allow you – at the moment – to consider God’s view of the evidence for himself and the creation of the universe.

Bugey responded with this lengthy post (accompanied by my responses):[4]

OzSpen said:

This is where you are trying to kid me that you ‘don’t presume anything’, but still ‘accept the theory of evolution’.

Well, not kidding as I’ve explained to you already, I accept it as the best explanation of the biodiversity of life on this planet. Feel free to show me any other model and the evidence in support of it that produces actual real-world results we can use.

OzSpen said:

What is a theory? It is “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’ (Oxford dictionaries online 2017. s v theory).

So a theory is a supposition, not a proof with evidence.

Well, it’s a model built on observation and evidence – otherwise it wouldn’t have been a scientific theory in the first place. You do know what a Scientific Theory is, right? It certainly isn’t a supposition without evidence… that’s just blinkered nonsense.

OzSpen said:

Therefore, you do have a presupposition that the theory of evolution is true ‘as the best explanation of the biodiversity of life on this planet’. It has not been proven. If it had been, it would not be called a ‘theory’.

Bugey: Whoa! Wait! How did the definition suddenly have a ‘Pre’ supposition attached to it? Where did that come from? Also, it seems you don’t know what a ‘Theory’ is as it relates to Science. In science, a ‘Theory’ is a well-established model of some aspect about reality; a Theory generally explains a body of facts, observations and can comprise of laws, formulas and conditions that apply; it provides an explanatory framework we can then use to make useful predictions about further observations and discoveries that the Theory would apply to – and I’ll touch on this in a sec. In short, there is no higher position an idea can hold in science than a Scientific Theory. It literally is the pinnacle of Science.

OzSpen said:

A theory can’t be ‘the best explanation’ until it is tested and the evidence is found to support it. The testing of it also needs the ability to falsify it.

Bugey: the Theory of Evolution is probably the most well-tested theory in all of science. We know more about Evolution than we do about Atoms, Gravity, the Big Bang and Germs.
Here are some (of the many) predictions made by the Theory of Evolution (from
Evolution myths: Evolution is not predictive):

Old age planet
Nevertheless, although evolution’s predictive power might appear limited, the theory can be and is used to make
predictions at all sorts of levels. Darwin realised that the Earth must be very old for there to have been enough time for all the life on it to evolve. It has turned out to be even older than he thought.
He also predicted that
transitional fossils would be discovered, and millions (trillions if you count microfossils) have been. Researchers have even been able to predict the age and kind of rocks in which certain transitional fossils should occur, as with the half-fish, half-amphibian Tiktaalik.
Or take the
famous peppered moth, which evolved black colouration to adapt to pollution-stained trees during industrialisation in Britain. Remove the pollution and the light strain should once again predominate, which is just what is happening.
Bugged by bugs
Perhaps the
most striking prediction in biology was made in 1975 by entomologist Richard Alexander. After studying the evolution of eusocial insects such as termites, he predicted that some burrowing rodents in the tropics might have evolved the same eusocial system – as later proved to be the case with the naked mole-rat.
Evolutionary theory can and increasingly is being put to
more practical use. For instance, if you genetically engineer crops to produce a pesticide, it is clear that resistant insect strains are likely to evolve. What is less obvious is that you can slow this process by growing regular plants alongside the GM ones, as was predicted and has turned out to be the case.
Many researchers developing treatments for infectious diseases now try to consider
how resistance could evolve and find ways to prevent it, for instance by giving certain drugs in combination. This slows the evolution of resistance because pathogens have to acquire several mutations to survive the treatment.
Most predictions relate to very specific aspects of evolutionary theory. If a eusocial mammal like the naked mole-rat had not been found, for instance, it would have proved only that Alexander’s ideas about the evolution of eusocial behaviour were probably wrong, not that there is anything wrong with the wider theory. However, some broad predictions – including the age of Earth, the existence of transitional fossils and the common origin of life – are crucial tests of the basic theory (see
Evolution cannot be disproved).?

If you want to see falsifiable tests for Evolution, continue on to read Evolution myths: Evolution cannot be disproved – I won’t copy/paste it all here… but in short, a falsification would be any of the following:

matte-red-arrow-small Human fossils found in the same layer as Dinosaurs.

matte-red-arrow-small Precambrian Rabbit fossil.

matte-red-arrow-small a feathered mammal, or a bird with mammary glands.

matte-red-arrow-small Any naturally occurring living organism (humans included) that don’t fit neatly in their place in the tree of life according to their evolved traits (i.e. all features are a subset modification of the features they are descended from)

matte-red-arrow-smalletc.

OzSpen said: Your analogy about the new born baby doesn’t hold water.

Bugey: Why? It’s one thing to assert it doesn’t, another thing to explain why. Do you disagree the baby doesn’t communicate by default, or do you think it had to presuppose it didn’t first? How is that different from a potential believer that may take up any number of religions available to them that isn’t Christianity, or perhaps not take one up at all until there’s an appropriate amount of evidence to indicate the correct religion to take up?

OzSpen said:

Yes, there is a reason why evolution is taught nearly universally in the classroom. It’s the promotion of dogma without evidence for macroevolution. It comes with lots of fancy dresses to try to ‘prove’ evolution but it is really bluff, but the younger youth don’t get what you are trying to do in the classroom. It also means the God factor of the Creator God is denied and can’t be brought into the classroom.

Bugey: No God is denied at all – it’s just that the topic of God doesn’t fall under the subject of Science – unless you have some method by which God could be scientifically considered? Anyway, as discussed above, there is no Dogma, there’s actually Evidence and testable predictions that make the Theory practical and useful. Do you deny vaccines exist? Do you deny that we can determine your relatedness to any other human (and for that matter any other life form on this planet) through your DNA? Do you deny we have made tremendous strides in farming and food production than ever before in human history?

Evidence for God’s existence

OzSpen said:

You do, but you won’t accept it. God doesn’t believe in atheists. This is what he thinks about the evidence of His existence that you reject. I didn’t invent this. It is God’s estimate of your ability or inability to see God’s attributes in creation and what causes your blindness to them. With this evidence, you are ‘without excuse’ before God:

Bugey: Okay, well why don’t I know this? Why hasn’t God made this known to me? there’s been more than ample time to make himself known to me before this (40+ years of open and honest inquiry before I took a scientific view of all religions…) – am I not important to him? Why would he give me a thinking apparatus and let me think otherwise with it if he wanted to have a personal relationship with me?

OzSpen said:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them (
Romans 1:18-32 NIV, emphasis added).

You have the evidence of God’s existence and his eternal power and divine nature right before you every day you live, but you you turn God away. Why? Take a read of verse 18.
That’s what all secularists, humanists, agnostics and atheists do, including yourself.

Bugey: Okay, who wrote this and how do you know? Why should this writing mean anything to anyone without (sic) knowing where it came from? Here’s the thing – the Theory of Evolution is backed by Evidence and practical use. What evidence do you have for these writings being authored by God, and of what practical use does it have in reality?

OzSpen said:

If you are ‘always open’ to the evidence, read that section of Romans 1 again and again and get the understanding of why God does not believe in atheists and that they will be ‘without excuse’ when they face God in judgment. His existence is screaming at us all in creation.

Bugey: I’ve read it many, many times. I’ve also read the Qur’An/Hadeef (though not in Arabic) and the Hindu Vedas. I’ve also looked into the Egyptian Religions from wence (sic) pretty much all middle east and european (sic) religions descended from, including the Abrahamic religions.

OzSpen said: “Bugey, your presuppositions are too embedded to allow you – at the moment – to consider God’s view of the evidence for himself and the creation of the universe.”

Bugey: Are you saying God isn’t powerful enough to prove he’s real even by personal revelation? I don’t accept your unsupported assertion that I have presuppositions and you certainly haven’t offered any evidence for it besides your own presupposition that your bible is written by a God, so is it that you aren’t taking this seriously, are you just trolling me to be funny?

Bugeyedcreepy said:[5]

Well, not kidding as I’ve explained to you already, I accept it as the best explanation of the biodiversity of life on this planet. Feel free to show me any other model and the evidence in support of it that produces actual real-world results we can use.

That was my error in not stating that science does not have the standard definition of ‘theory’, which is, ‘A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.’ (Oxford dictionaries online 2017. s v theory).

Science’s meaning of ‘theory’ is: ‘A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses’ (source).

Well, it’s a model built on observation and evidence – otherwise it wouldn’t have been a scientific theory in the first place. You do know what a Scientific Theory is, right? It certainly isn’t a supposition without evidence… that’s just blinkered nonsense.

Evolution can’t be based on observation of evolutionary processes for macroevolution as they happened. You and I were not there to see the dinosaurs and humans deposited in the same layers of rock.

Whoa! Wait! How did the definition suddenly have a ‘Pre’supposition attached to it? Where did that come from?

OzSpen: Your presupposition is that you only interpret the evidence in creation from an evolutionary perspective. You do not consider the evidence from historical science, as found in Scripture. By the way, historical science also is science. You say,

the Theory of Evolution is probably the most well-tested theory in all of science. We know more about Evolution than we do about Atoms, Gravity, the Big Bang and Germs.

So what? That doesn’t prove that it is correct when you censor other information that doesn’t fit within science’s worldviews. You say,

I’ve also looked into the Egyptian Religions from wence (sic) pretty much all middle east and european (sic) religions descended from, including the Abrahamic religions.

There you have more of your presuppositions. The evidence of the reliable Scriptures contradicts that view.

If you want to see falsifiable tests for Evolution, continue on to read Evolution myths: Evolution cannot be disproved – I won’t copy/paste it all here… but in short, a falsification would be any of the following:

clip_image018 Human fossils found in the same layer as Dinosaurs.

clip_image018[1] Precambrian Rabbit fossil.

See what you’ve done with your evolutionary presuppositions!

Human fossils can be found in the same layer as dinosaurs but that doesn’t have to be the best explanation. Ever heard of evidence uncovered in support of the destruction of every living thing on the earth through Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6).

clip_image020

Full size interpretation of Noah’s Ark in Dordrecht, The Netherlands (Wikipedia)

clip_image018 Even your use of ‘Precambrian’ is an evolutionary view (see Origin of life, Precambrian evolution).

Bugey: No God is denied at all – it’s just that the topic of God doesn’t fall under the subject of Science – unless you have some method by which God could be scientifically considered? Anyway, as discussed above, there is no Dogma, there’s actually Evidence and testable predictions that make the Theory practical and useful.

OzSpen: Your claim is that evolution is ‘a model built on observation and evidence – otherwise it wouldn’t have been a scientific theory in the first place’.
God has given you some of the evidence in
Romans 1:18-32. Your mind is closed to that information you can investigate in creation. Why? It because of your naturalistic presuppositions!!
You can’t accept that criteria used to test the reliability of any document, including the writings of The Australian newspaper of 30 years ago, Captain Cook’s journals, and those criteria find the New Testament to be reliable.

If we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds we’d have to reject every ancient work of antiquity and declare null and void every piece of historical information from written sources prior to the beginning of the second millennium A.D. (Is the New Testament text reliable? Greg Koukl).?

Bugey:

Okay, well why don’t I know this? Why hasn’t God made this known to me? there’s been more than ample time to make himself known to me before this (40+ years of open and honest inquiry before I took a scientific view of all religions…) – am I not important to him? Why would he give me a thinking apparatus and let me think otherwise with it if he wanted to have a personal relationship with me?

OzSpen: You DO know this information about God’s creation as he has revealed it to you in Scripture and creation. But you are not open to receive it. God is not going to hit you with a bolt of Canberra lightning (I used to pastor a church in the ACT) to make you sit up and take notice of God’s existence.
What did Jesus say about the evidence? In the story he told about the rich man and Lazarus, one experiencing blessedness and the other torment, this is recorded:

‘He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’ (Luke 16:31).?

If you won’t believe the evidence for God in creation, and the evidence in a reliable Bible, you won’t be convinced even if God would raise someone from the dead – or you were hit by a lightning bolt. Or, if I continue to reason with you. Wouldn’t you agree that at this present time you are NOT open to consider the evidence in Scripture? If that is so, why do you come onto a Christian forum to spread your evolutionary message?
All human beings who reject the reliable evidence in Scripture do so because of what
Romans 1:18 states, ‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness’ (NIV)

Bugey:

Okay, who wrote this and how do you know? Why should this writing mean anything to anyone without knowing where it came from? Here’s the thing – the Theory of Evolution is backed by Evidence and practical use. What evidence do you have for these writings being authored by God, and of what practical use does it have in reality?

OzSpen: Are you a textual critic who has investigated why the Bible, both OT and NT, is a book of reliable, trustworthy, credible documents? Many have written advanced doctorates on this topic. I did it myself. I have a PhD in New Testament in which I investigated a dimension of the historical Jesus – 482pp dissertation.
The NT’s and OT’s reliability are based on evidence – not evolutionary evidence – but textual evidence. You have given me standard throw-away lines from atheists. Take a read of F. F. Bruce,
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
I don’t expect you to be open to that evidence because of your presuppositional bias to reject such evidence. You haven’t demonstrated that you are open to ALL of the evidence. You appear to be open only to evolutionary scientific evidence and not historical science that investigates the truthfulness of any historical document.

Bugey:

Are you saying God isn’t powerful enough to prove he’s real? even by personal revelation? I don’t accept your unsupported assertion that I have presuppositions and you certainly haven’t offered any evidence for it besides your own presupposition that your bible is written by a God, so is it that you aren’t taking this seriously, are you just trolling me to be funny?

OzSpen: He has already proven he’s real in creation and through the death and resurrection of Jesus. You’ll know about his reality in a very different way at his Second Coming. See: What will happen when Jesus comes again?

I pray that you will be open to ALL of the evidence and not listen to your selective hearing and reading.

Bungle_Bear replied:[6]

OzSpen said:

There is another one of your presuppositions. The evidence of the reliable Scriptures contradicts that view.

Bugey: And here is the most enormous presupposition – you presuppose that the Bible is the word of god. Once we drop that presupposition and look solely at evidence we find the Bible to be less than convincing.

OzSpen: God has given you some of the evidence in Romans 1:18-32. Your mind is closed to that information that you can investigate in creation. Why? Your naturalistic presuppositions!!

Whose presupposition is it that the Bible is the word of God?

If we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds we’d have to reject every ancient work of antiquity and declare null and void every piece of historical information from written sources prior to the beginning of the second millennium A.D. (Is the New Testament text reliable? Greg Koukl).?

Bugey: Nonsense. The problem with NT is that there are no other texts or physical evidence supporting them. Most texts we consider reliable have multiple verifying sources. Mr Koukl is relying on false equivalence to make this statement.

Are you a textual critic who has investigated why the Bible, both OT and NT, is a book of reliable, trustworthy, credible documents? Many have written advanced doctorates on this topic. I did it myself. I have a PhD in New Testament in which I investigated a dimension of the historical Jesus – 482pp dissertation.

Other than the Bible, what documentary evidence did you use?

The NT’s and OT’s reliability are based on evidence – not evolutionary evidence – but textual evidence. You have given me standard throw-away lines from atheists. Take a read of F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

There is nothing in that book to indicate the documents are anything other than stories. The whole argument appears to be “the documents were written between 20 and 70 years after Jesus death, therefore they must be accurate.”

I don’t expect you to be open to that evidence because of your presuppositional bias to reject such evidence. You haven’t demonstrated that you are open to ALL of the evidence. You appear to be open only to evolutionary scientific evidence and not historical science that investigates the truthfulness of any historical document.

Please provide evidence for the truthfulness of the NT documents.

Bungle,[7]
Whose presupposition is it that the Bible is the word of God?

Why are you repeating your question to try to uncover your FALSE understanding of my views?
clip_image021OzSpen: Other than the Bible, what documentary evidence did you use?

In this question, you assume 2 errors:

  1. Documentary evidence outside of the Bible is needed to confirm its authenticity.
  2. The Bible’s documentary evidence is fake and is of no use in determining the trustworthiness of the Bible documents.

Is it true that these are your assumptions? You say:

Nonsense. The problem with NT is that there are no other texts or physical evidence supporting them. Most texts we consider reliable have multiple verifying sources. Mr Koukl is relying on false equivalence to make this statement.

Sadly, this demonstrates the ‘nonsense’ you are promoting here. You don’t want to acknowledge that texts and physical evidence outside of the Bible exist that affirm the authenticity of OT and NT.
There are three primary tests that historians use to determine the historical veracity of a document:

In his book, Introduction in Research in English Literary History, C. Sanders sets forth three tests of reliability employed in general historiography and literary criticism. These tests are:

clip_image023 Bibliographical (i.e., the textual tradition from the original document to the copies and manuscripts of that document we possess today);

clip_image023[1] Internal evidence (what the document claims for itself);

clip_image023[2] External evidence (how the document squares or aligns itself with facts, dates, persons from its own contemporary world).

I have attempted to unravel this evidence in these 4 articles:

clip_image025 Can you trust the Bible? Part 1

clip_image025[1] Can you trust the Bible? Part 2

clip_image025[2] Can you trust the Bible? Part 3

clip_image025[3] Can you trust the Bible? Part 4

It might be noteworthy to mention that Sanders is a professor of military history, not a theologian. He uses these three tests of reliability in his own study of historical military events (Dr Patrick Zukeran, Understanding Archaeology).?

It is you who is creating your own dilemma. You are demonstrating you are not a textual critic who understands the rules/criteria for determining reliability of any historical document. You stated:

There is nothing in that book [by F. F. Bruce] to indicate the documents are anything other than stories. The whole argument appears to be “the documents were written between 20 and 70 years after Jesus death, therefore they must be accurate.”

Here you claim that F.F. Bruce’s book, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable, is demonstrating ‘The whole argument appears to be “the documents were written between 20 and 70 years after Jesus’ death, therefore they must be accurate’
That is bunk and it is not the evidence provided by the Professor of New Testament at Manchester University in the UK, the late F F Bruce, in that book.

Please provide evidence for the truthfulness of the NT documents. I already have, but you are not listening. Your anti-biblical presuppositions are standing in the way of your being able to examine the bibliographical and archaeological evidence objectively.

What did you do in your post?

  1. You misrepresented my view and so created a straw man logical fallacy.
  2. You demonstrated you don’t understand the criteria for determining the accuracy of any historical document, including the OT and NT.
  3. I provided the evidence, but your atheistic presuppositions are a barrier to being open to ALL the evidence.

See my articles:

clip_image025[4] Can Jesus Christ’s resurrection be investigated as history?

 

clip_image025[5] Evidence for the afterlife

clip_image025[6] Evidence for Jesus: Testing the transmission evidence

 

clip_image025[7] The Bible’s support for inerrancy of the originals

clip_image027



Notes:

[1] Christian Forums.com 2017. proving evolution as just a “theory” (online), Bugeyedcreepy#5923. Available at: https://www.christianforums.com/threads/proving-evolution-as-just-a-theory.8028023/page-297#post-72111097 (Accessed 10 April 2018)..

[2] OzSpen, ibid., 5930.

[3] “What’s in the air?” https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/air-quality/whats-in-the-air.

[4] Bugseyed, ibid,, #5946.

[5] OzSpen, ibid., #5963.

[6] Bungle_Bear, ibid., #5971.

[7] OzSpen, ibid., #6038.

Copyright © 2021 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 19 June 2021.