We all like to think that we base our views on evidence, but sometimes evidence gets in the way of a good argument. Here are 8 good ways to avoid evidence (with examples).
1. Don’t bother to check
There are things we all know, and there’s no need to check the evidence before we present the facts.
There’s a small example of this in John Loftus’ latest book, Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails. In a chapter on witch hunts, John apparently discusses the medieval instrument of torture, the iron maiden. Trouble is, historians tell us this is probably an anachronism – there are no reliable reports of iron maidens in medieval times (some stories are considered to have been faked), and the first iron maidens were apparently built only about 200 years ago.
This is only a minor matter, and John could easily have used some other device as his example, but it does throw his historical research into doubt. (By the way, I looked at more than a dozen internet articles and several books, which don’t all agree, before coming to these conclusions.)
I must confess I have almost fallen into this mistake several times while writing this blog. I write in some “facts” that I “know” and then later remember to check them, only to find my memory wasn’t fully correct, and I have to edit it a little before I post it.
2. Just ignore it
If the evidence doesn’t support what you want to say, just ignore it. Your opponents may not know about it and you might easily get away with it.
This tactic seems to have been used by Richard Carrier in a discussion of the so-called fine tuning of the universe in a chapter of a book (coincidentally, another book edited by John Loftus). Carrier made a number of confident statements about the conclusions of scientists and I daresay his readers probably accepted what he said.
Unfortunately, cosmologist Luke Barnes contested the facts, referencing about 200 scientific papers by some of the world’s most eminent cosmologists, showing that Carrier’s understanding was incorrect (as a subsequent review by JJ Lowder demonstrated).
3. Be selective
If the majority of experts disagree with you, just quote the one or two who go against the consensus. It sounds impressive and your opponents amy not realise what you are doing.
Those who disbelieve in climate change can quote the few scientists who share their disbelief, and ignore the vast majority who accept the science. Likewise christians who disbelieve in evolution can quote the few scientists who share their doubts and ignore the rest.
And you don’t have to go far to find sceptics these days who argue that Jesus probably didn’t exist. For example, the late Christopher Hitchens spoke of “the highly questionable existence of Jesus” and Richard Dawkins has written in similar negative way, at one time using as his reference Professor GA Wells. Many other sceptics reference Robert Price or Richard Carrier to support their views.
They fail to point out though, that Wells was a Professor of German, not history, and Price and Carrier are just about the only published scholars who hold that view, while the overwhelming consensus of historians is quite different. Eminent historian (and agnostic) EP Sanders sums up the consensus: “There are no substantial doubts about the general course of Jesus’ life”
The fine-tuning argument also often suffers from the same tactic. Disbelievers in fine-tuning often quote the writings of the late Victor Stenger, even though his ideas have been systematically refuted in Luke Barnes’ paper, which cites 200 papers.
4. Misinterpret the evidence
It is easy to misinterpret evidence, whether deliberately or accidentally. You can sound like you have done your research, and unless someone has read the same sources, you might get away with it.
It happened on this blog a while back, in comments on a discussion of the archaeological evidence for Nazareth. A commenter referenced the writings of ancient historian Josephus and said: “Josephus lists 204 Galilean towns ….. Bit odd that he wouldn’t mention [Nazareth]”.
Unfortunately, checking the source paper showed that Josephus only stated that there were 204 towns, while naming only 35 (17%). That “fact” is often quoted, but the evidence is different. It is no surprise that Josephus didn’t name the small village of Nazareth.
5. Poison the well
One of the best ways to dismiss evidence you don’t like is to disparage the expert who has provided the evidence. If the expert is an atheist when you are a christian, or vice versa, you merely have to claim that this has distorted their scholarship. Even better, claim they are biased even when you don’t actually know what they believe.
Don’t worry that this is a libel against eminent scholars who publish in peer reviewed journals – “all’s fair in love and war”. And don’t worry that your side is as likely to be biased as the opposing side.
The internet debate over whether Jesus existed is full of this. Those who like to quote Richard Carrier’s or Robert Price’s very sceptical views often accuse the remaining scholars of being “apologists”, even though they include non-believers like Maurice Casey, Michael Grant and Bart Ehrman, and a Jew (Geza Vermes).
6. Disparage those who disagree with you
A similar tactic works with those you are discussing with. Call them delusional or blind, biased or a faith-head. Mock them, particularly if you are in the majority in that particular discussion.
Of course mockery proves nothing, and is no substitute for an evidence-based argument, but those who agree with you probably won’t care, and those who disagree will likely get sick of it soon enough.
Richard Carrier’s argument with Luke Barnes provides an example of this too. He dismisses Barnes with “Barnes is something of a kook. He claims to be responding to arguments he doesn’t even articulate correctly or even appear to understand”, even though Barnes is the expert, citing experts and judged by JJ Lowder to have made a persuasive case (see #2 above).
7. Make an excuse to withdraw from the argument
If you are struggling to defend your view in an argument, particularly if your opponent seems to have the evidence on their side, beat a hasty retreat. Say that you are sick of the topic, or, better still, can’t be bothered with someone so obstinate and blind to the facts.
This tactic was used in two of the discussions I’ve referenced above.
- Richard Carrier terminated his discussion with Luke Barnes (#2 & # 6 above) with: “I’m not going to continue spending time on this conversation. You have consistently failed to correctly grasp anyone’s argument you aim to argue against. And you make only strange and irrelevant arguments against them. This is a waste of anyone’s time.”
- The discussion about Nazareth (#4 above) ended with the commenter who misquoted the evidence saying: “I’m pretty bored of this subject”.
8. Speak confidently
If you can speak or write fluently, you can sound confident and get away without being limited by the evidence. Christopher Hitchens wrote “Religion poisons everything”, Richard Dawkins suggested christians are “delusional, and Stephen Weinberg said “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion”. They sound confident and authoritative, but they ignore what science has found.
For science has found that religious faith has many positive benefits for health and wellbeing, and historians have found that religion is not a major cause of wars as sometimes claimed. David Sloan Wilson, who has researched this subject, criticised Dawkins for being unscientific.
Keep your eyes open
If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find these tactics being used, whether deliberately or unwittingly I cannot say. But of course, to recognise them, you’ll need to check the evidence for yourself.
Most of the examples I have used here involve non-believers, because those are the examples I have most commonly come across being used against me, and because sceptics tend to put great emphasis on their claim to be evidence based.
But I don’t claim only unbelievers avoid the evidence. I am quite aware that christians can use the same tactics, and I disagree just as much with that.
I led a debate on Evolution and Darwin vs Creation and God a few weeks ago. The debator told the audience that the first five books of the Bible were a MYTH. He said that there was never any Abraham, Isaac, Jabob, Moses, Noah, the ark, etc. He is a college professor and this is the garbage that they teach in school. Please keep in mind that Jesus said, in the Book of John, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” If Abraham never existed, then Jesus was a liar. He said that there was no thing as Noah’s ark or even Noah. I proceeded to tell him in the audience that Noah’s ark was not only found but on Mt. Ararat where the Bible said it came to rest. Not only that, but they bore into the ark and found animal remains. Lately, they have been allowed to excavate instide and they found huge stalls that the animals were kept in. Anybody can say that …never was, but as you said in this article, all anybody has to do is ignore and disclaim, but it is real. This is why our kids come out of college as non-believers. Be blessed and stay ever-faithful to the one and only truth, the Bible!
Hi David, I appreciate your interest and your enthusiasm, but I think you are actually ignoring some evidence yourself here.
Thanks for the comment about mine. You say that I am missing some evidence here. What might that be? What is the subject or topic that you are referring to? Please give me some proof that would prove your stance or opinion on whatever topic you are talking about. Thanks and be blessed! Dave
Great post. To be honest, I did notice that all your examples went one way, so I appreciate your disclaimer at the end. Norman Geisler and Lee Strobel are two Christian writers that come to mind who are often guilty of the same tactics.
Not to butt in to your conversation with unkleE too much, but are you saying you believe the claims you made about Noah’s ark, or that you were just making outrageous claims to match those of your opponent?
Also, while I agree that the professor you were debating may have overstated things just a bit, he doesn’t seem far off. As I understand it, the evidence currently points to characters like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses as being more mythical than historical. I think this is what unkleE was likely referencing.
The archaeology and historical records of Egypt, the Levant, and the Sinai peninsula run counter to the earliest Bible stories in many respects. And it’s pretty evident that the Noah story is based on the earlier Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. As you may know, there’s no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood, either. Any historical roots in the Gilgamesh story likely come from a regional flood. Here’s an article about it, if you’re interested (from a Christian website):
I don’t really want to get into an argument with you. I think Nate has summed up what I was thinking. If you are interested in evidence, then looking for yourself is much better than my telling you.
Thanks for understanding. This post started with my reading or being involved in discussions with unbelievers who say they are evidence-based but appear not to be. But the post grew in the writing and ended up with double the number of ways and more than double the examples, that I started with. It was then that I realised that had mainly addressed one side, so I made the disclaimer. I have on occasions past written about both christians and atheists who think illogically.
I haven’t read Geisler, but I have read Strobel. I have appreciated his books, but it is clear he doesn’t present the two sides evenly. For some purposes I think that is acceptable, but for others I don’t, so I rarely quote from any of his stuff.
Thanks for your comment.
Interesting read. Thanks.
Good morning to y’all! I see two issues here:
1) You say that people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc. were probably myths, but this is exactly why God made sure we have a GREAT DEAL OF LINEAGE called דורות or dorot in Hebrew, which means generations or lineage. You see it all through the Bible. In the Old Testament or the Tanakh, you have the book of Numbers which goes on and on with numbers and names of people to make sure we have an accurate and actual listing of the names, families, and clans that these REAL people came from. If you notice, God does the same thing in the very beginning of the New Testament, in the first chapter of the Book of Matthew for that very same reason, so you “naysayers” have the records right there in front of you. You have the very same thing in the Bood of Luke, chapter 3! Yes, God knew way back then that there would be people who said that these men were only myths, so He made sure we have an accurate record of these names and lineage, JUST FOR YOU!
2) You say there is no flood? Well, why, then is there a FLOOD RECORD in all the great civilizations on the earth!? Why are there sea shells on the tops of the mountain, all of them, all over the world? You know, you make claims that are just plain nonsense, and you actually believe them without checking out the data; this includes Noah’s ark! It’s there, on Mr. Ararat, with the same measurements, with animal remains inside, and so much more!
So why do people try to discredit the Bible? The answer is because they do not want to follow God’s commandments. If you say, “There is no God,” then of course, you don’t have to follow his commandments, if He never was in the first place! By the way, God’s commandments are simply rules or laws that God gave us, the Creator of all, to help us live the right way, and so we can all get along with each other in peace and harmony. That’s all! Have a blessed day, and thanks for the posts! Dave
Thanks for sharing with us. Like I said, I’m not interested in having an argument with you, so I will try to explain without arguing.
1. I don’t say those people were “probably myths”. I say the early OT reads like myth, appears to be supported by very limited historical and scientific evidence, and therefore we don’t know how much of those stories is myth and how much is historical. I don’t see any reason why God couldn’t use myth and legend to communicate just as he uses poetry and parable.
2. For a christian to understand the Old Testament, we need to first understand the New. And in the New (1) the two genealogies you mention are not consistent, and are apparently stylised (Matthew’s grouping suggests this) and (2) when Jesus and the apostles quoted or referenced the Old Testament, they didn’t do it in a literal way. So again we don’t know how much of those OT genealogies are historical (nor how complete they are) and how much was legendary.
3. I have done little reading on the subject, but I don’t believe there is evidence of a single worldwide flood, and the DNA, fossil and dating evidence suggests the human and other populations we see today couldn’t have come from a world only 6000-10,000 years old. To believe the entire story of Noah is historical requires us to ignore evidence from science and history. I don’t feel any need to do that, but if you believe the Bible requires you to take a literal view, then I don’t wish to argue with you. But you must understand that your comments are not believable to me (or I presume to Nate) because they ignore evidence.
4. My motivation in taking these views is not to avoid God’s commandments. I am a christian who accepts the teachings of Jesus because I believe him to be the son of God. While Nate doesn’t believe that, I believe he has stopped believing in God and Jesus for honest reasons, even though I think he is sadly mistaken.
You are very welcome to continue to post here, and I appreciate and enjoy your enthusiastic manner. But I suggest it may be best not to impute motives to people when you don’t actually know what motivates them. Thanks, and best wishes to you!
I don’t want to overrun unkleE’s blog, so unkleE, please tell me if you’d rather we didn’t hash all this out in your comments.
That being said, thanks for the reply Dave.
1) Yes, the Bible does provide detailed genealogies. However, the Book of Mormon also contains genealogies. So does Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Furthermore, the genealogies in the Bible are a bit problematic themselves, since the genealogy of Christ is given differently in Matthew, Luke, and Chronicles. They all differ enough to raise some questions about their accuracy.
2) The Noah’s ark claim seems to just be a hoax. Even Snopes has an article about it (here), where they mention that even AnswersInGenesis views this as fake.
Virtually every culture on earth has experienced a flood in its history — some of them quite major — so it’s not surprising that ancient cultures might contain flood myths. Especially those who are close enough to influence one another.
It’s also not surprising that animal remains may have been found on the site, considering animals have long lived in the region. And wouldn’t animal remains in the ark actually be a little problematic anyway? The ark was to save all the animals, and the Bible is specific about how many should be brought on board. If some had died, wouldn’t that have caused a problem? And if it’s claimed that they were brought as a food source, then things get even more difficult for the flood story, as it was already a stretch to believe that all those species of animals could have fit in the first place.
Finally, seashells on mountains actually match what we know about plate tectonics and the great age of the earth.
A number of Christians (like Peter Enns, whom unkleE has written about before) view these stories as symbolic. They don’t necessarily have to be true to give value. There’s a lot more information out there, if you’re interested.
Sorry, I forgot to add one thing. I want to echo unkleE’s point about motivations. While unkleE and I disagree on a number of things, I think we’re very similar in our motivations. He is a Christian — so it’s obvious that he’s not rebelling against God. He simply holds his particular beliefs because he believes they are the correct ones.
While I am an atheist, my journey to atheism has nothing to do with rebellion against God. I was a devout Christian for many years, and I live just as morally now as I did then. I only stopped believing because I came to think that Christianity is a false religion. I could be mistaken about that, but I can assure you that it’s an honest mistake that has come from much study and a desire to know the truth, not from any desire to rebel against moral authority.
Dear uncleE, Thanks so much for your detailed response. I will break this post down in the 4 categories that you posted in your response to me, above:
1) You say that the Bible might not be a myth, BUT there is very limited historic and scientific evidence that supports the Bible.
MY ANSWER: Below you gave the issue of geneology, and I will address that below. I ask everyone to give me a specific topic or verse where you think the Bible is a myth or that it is not true, and I will be glad to explain to you the best I can that the Bible is perfect and inerrant. If you look on my website “afreetickettoheaven.com” and go to the HISTORICAL PROOF page, you will see a very small amount of proof that I dug up. I had similar questions and I wanted to have it down to reference for just such instances. The proof is stagering, to the point where the Bible has never ever been proven wrong. It never has been nor will ever be, because it is the Word of God.
2) You site the geneologies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 and you say that they are different.
MY ANSWER: Yes, they are different, and rightfully so, for the simple reason that the geneologies in Matthew are those of Joseph, and the geneologies in Luke are of Mary. They are both from the tribe of Judah, which is also prophesied!
I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions from anyone, so please keep writing. I live and love to explain the truth in the Word to the world around us, so we can all understand that there is only one truth, and that is the Word of God. When anyone writes in future posts, please be kind enough to give me the chapter and verse in question so we can both be on thee same page, literally. Thanks!
Please do not simply say that the Bible is a myth or there is no proof. Please state something concrete, such as Noah and the flood, which I will address below.
3) It was said on your post that there is no proof of a worldwide flood.
MY ANSWER: Now that is a concrete issue or topic, which is exactly what I was asking for, so thank you for that! There are sea shells on the highest mountain peaks all over the world. There are sand banks on the high hills of Massachusetts where I lived, thousands of feet above SEA LEVEL. There are lots and lots of sea shells in the sand in the deserts of Arizona where we lived for sixteen years. There are FLOOD STORIES in all the major civilizations on the world at the time of THE FLOOOD, thousands of years ago.
As I said before, anyone can say that there was no flood, no Noah, and no ark on Mt. Ararat, but as I said before, there is a national park in Turkey, today, that is built around Noah’s ark. It is exactly 450 feet long, as the Bible says; it is made out of gofer wood, exactly as the Bible said. They have dug into the ark and now actually been allowed to go into the ark, and they found these big rooms or stalls where the animals lived; there were animal remains, hair, teeth, etc. there. There are many videos, pictures, and domumentaries on this. As I said, anyone can say that it never existed, but there is proof. So what is their agenda one must ask. The only agenda I can see is that they are trying to make the Bible out to b a lie or a myth, when in fact they just show how foolish they are! and they prove that God is and these stories are true. Our whole civilization is based on God and this truth.
YOUR QUESTION: How can the earth be only six to ten thousand years old.
MY ANSWER: I have seen many videos and scientific explanations on this. There are no links between the species because they were all created at the same time. Evolution is impossible for this reason alone! The whole theory falls apart if there are no links, and there are none. Please feel free to question this, because I have done a lot of homework on this and I will be happy to share my findings with you.
It all makes sense if God did in fact creat everything roughly 6000 years ago. All the fossils, dead remains of previous life on earth, many of which are now extinct, were all created at the same time. There are no links. Yes, animals such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. did change and adapt to their environment, but they remained dogs, cats, and birds. They did not evolve into something else. If they did, then there would be no dogs, cats, or birds today. They would have evolved and we would be what is now left or that which is evolved into, but they are all still here. Again, the theory of evolution is self-destructive, here, for that very reason. There are even single celled organisms today, that they say everything evolved from. If they evolved from them into some higher life form, then they would no longer exist, BUT THEY DO!
YOU SAY: To believe in Noah is to ignore evidence.
MY ANSWER: It is just and totally the congrary, though, isn’t it! Yes, there is Noah’s ark. There are historical reports of a world-wide flood in all the great world civilizations at the time when the flood happened! (Again, I say that anyone can say there is no evidence, but just go to my website again and look in the HISTORICAL PROOF and find the story of the flood.
Yes, it takes time to dig deeply, and I have. I am 67, and I just love to study and find evidence of the truth in the Bible. I live for that, because I believe in the Bible, the Word of God, Jesus, God the Creator, and the Holy Spirit that lives in us and blesses us. Yes, the proof is there. Again, you can simply say that it is false or a myth, but now it is up to each and every one of us to dig deep and take the time as I have.
Our eternal lives depend on this one and only truth. If the Bible is a myth, then we have no way of forgiveness of sin. If we are not forgiven, through the blood of Jesus on the cross, then we have no hope of eternal life in Heaven with God. I have some good news, and I have some bad news: the good news is that we all live forever. The bad news is that without the forgiveness of Jesus, we still live forever all right, but it will be in Hell for all eternity. If you want to see how the Bible describes Heaven and Hell, just go to the HEAVEN OR HELL page on my website and make an informed decision as to where you would like to spend the rest of eternity! Please feel free to contact me and ask away.
4) You said that you believe in Jesus (uncleE) and you accept his teachings.
MY ANSWER: That is great, but we have to accept all of the Bible and not just pick and choose what we want to believe. If we pick and choose, then we are making our own “god.” Jesus spoke about Noah in Matthew 12:40 and 1 Peter 3:18. Jesus also said, in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” So why is this important? First of all, it proves that Abraham was a real man, and Jesus was there! Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
MY COMMENT: You said that it was not right of me to say that people don’t believe in God, because they don’t want to keep his commandments. I am sorry if I implied that this was a generality and that it applied to everyone; it surely does not, of course. It does apply to some though. I was talking to a couple of young men in Phoenix one day, and one of them asked, “Do I have to give up sex with anyone I want, drugs, alcohol, etc.” I told him that God and the Holy Spirit will help you get rid of these sins, if you want Him to, and yes, this does not please God. He said that he was not ready to commit to God or Jesus, then because of that.
IN CLOSING: God loves and adores each and every one of us! He gave his Son on the cross to forgive all our sins. Jesus came to shed his blood for the forgiveness of ALL OUR SINS, every one of them, and to be an example of how to live. A great way to see how Jesus lived and what He said can be found on my website, also. There are two pages that tell you What Did Jesus Do And Say, and What Did Paul Do And Say (WDJD&S, WDPD&S). If we all lived the loving life of Jesus, and helped others as He did, what an awesome life we would all have and what a loving and peaceful world we would all have to live in!
BE BLESSED AND WRITE SOON. Shalom – peace – שלום
Your comment was specifically addressed to unkleE, but I can’t help but weigh in just a bit myself. Hope that’s okay! 🙂
I’m not going to address the Noah’s ark thing, because I feel like I’ve responded to that already.
A couple of things about evolution. I’m afraid it simply isn’t true that there are no links between species. It’s very difficult to cover this kind of thing briefly, so let me just lay out some basic points and encourage you to do some heavier research on them to see the many layers of evidence. First of all, it’s important to know that we have many lines of evidence pointing to a very old earth.
Tree rings: First, dendrochronology is the $10 word for the study of tree rings. As you likely know, trees grow from the inside out, and each year, they add new layers of growth. Depending on rainfall, the size of the rings vary. Trees in the same forest will have the same basic pattern of rings. Since trees begin their lives at different times, it’s possible to chop two trees down in the same forest and determine which is older, even if they have the same number of rings, because you can match the patterns together to see which began first. That’s a simple example, but the same basic process has been done many times over with very old trees, and even fossils of trees, to put together an unbroken chain pattern that reaches back over 11,000 years. That already comes close to doubling the amount of time one can get from the Old Testament.
Ice Cores: Arctic ice is laid down layer by layer, in much the same way that trees grow rings. And because of the composition of each layer (the amount of oxygen, nitrogen, etc), scientists are able to establish the same kinds of annual patterns that can be compared with one another. So using a very similar process to dendrochronology, ice cores show an earth that’s at least 150,000 years old.
Radiometric Dating: Radiometric dating is an extremely important tool for determining the age of things. Most people are familiar with carbon dating, but that’s only one kind of radiometric dating. Carbon dating is accurate up to about 50,000 years, because after that period, there’s no more carbon-14 left in a sample to measure. However, other methods, like potassium-argon dating can measure much longer ranges (K-Ar dating runs from about 100,000 years to the billions). It’s one of the tools scientists have used to discover that our planet is about 4.5 billion years old.
Speed of Light: As you probably know, light travels at a specific speed. It’s a fact that some of the stars we see from our planet are millions of light-years away from us. In other words, we would not be able to see their light unless there had been millions and millions of years in which that light could travel to us.
This is not all the evidence that points to an old earth / universe, but it’s a quick sampling of what I think are some of the strongest pieces of evidence. As you can see, it doesn’t come just by whim, or by one or two things. It’s many different areas of science that all point to the same thing, and there is no scientific evidence pointing in the other way. If the god of the Bible is real, and if he really did create the earth only 6000-odd years ago, then he set things up so the earth would look far older. Why would he be so misleading?
Finally, just a couple of quick things. There are definitely “missing links,” even from ape to human, so I recommend doing some research there. Your explanation that one genealogy is through Joseph and the other through Mary is a little problematic, since both say they’re through Joseph (Matt 1:15-16; Luke 3:23).
Hi, Nate – November 6 post:
In Genesis, one day 1 through 3, there is no sun, moon, or stars yet. The days could have been longer, since the word for day in Hebrew, “yom”, can mean a long period of time, eons, or epochs, etc. Yes, I have seen the programs on the ice cores.
I have also heard the evidence of light traveling millions of years to get her, so, the universe must be at least that many millions of years old. The Bible does not have all the answers to science and science does not have all the answers to creation.
The important thing is that there had to be a Creator to have creation! Will we ever get it all? I seriously doubt it! We have enough to know that God had to be the Creator of it all. We might not know how old the universe is or how old the earth is, or our solar system, or our galaxy!
You asked, “Why is God misleading.” I don’t think He is misleading, but I believe that God gave us enough to understand that there has to be a Creator and that He loved us enough to send his Son to die for us on the cross to forgive all our sins.
I do not think we are able to comprehend how God can be eternal or how everything came to be. I do not believe that this is the reason for the Bible in the first place. The Bible simply tells us that God created in stages or days. It also says that God promised us a Messiah and Savior from the beginning. I believe Jesus, God in the flesh, was there with Adam and Eve walking in the Garden, with Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and many more times.
Judaism was a male-dominant society, and this is why there is so much emphasis on the male side of the families. We all know that Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive. This was prophecied hundreds of years previous to this in Isaiah 7:14, where God told Isaiah, “A virgin shall give birth to a child and his name shall be called Emanuel or God is with us.” This was a very special, one of a kind miracle and sign that God gave to us through the prophet Isaiah.
Here is some information that I dug up on the lineage of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. I hope it makes sense to you and those reading.
The genealogy in Matt. 1:1f is traced through Joseph, Jesus’ legal (though not natural) father, and it establishes His claim and right to the throne of David (v. 6). The genealogy in Luke 3:23-38 is evidently that of Mary, though some believe it is also Joseph’s, by assuming that Matthan (Matt 1:15) and Matthat (Luke 3:24) were the same person and Jacob (Matt 1:16) and Eli (Luke 3:23) were brothers (one being Joseph’s father and the other his uncle). See note on Luke 3:23.
Many conservative scholars have taken this view because of the many differences in the names between the two accounts. The biggest difference is that after David, many of the names are different. It would seem best to explain the difference by viewing Luke’s genealogy as tracing the physical ancestors of Christ through Mary, while Matthew’s genealogy traces the kingly line of Christ through Joseph.
The following is the comment from The Bible Knowledge Commentary:
In addition Luke’s and Matthew’s lists from David to Shealtiel (during the time of the Exile) differ. That is because the lists trace different lines. Luke traced David’s line through Nathan, whereas Matthew traced it through Solomon. Following Shealtiel’s son, Zerubbabel, the lists once again differ until both lists unite at Joseph whom, Luke noted, was “thought” to be the father of Jesus. Little doubt exists that Matthew’s genealogy traced the kingly line of David—the royal legal line. The question is, What is the significance of Luke’s genealogy? Two main possibilities exist.
1. Luke was tracing the line of Mary. Many interpreters argue that Luke was giving the genealogy of Mary, showing that she also was in the line of David and that therefore Jesus was qualified as the Messiah not only through Joseph (since he was the oldest legal heir) but also through Mary.
2. Luke was tracing the actual line of Joseph. This view maintains that the legal line and the actual line of David through which Jesus came met at Joseph, the supposed father of Jesus. In this view Jacob, Joseph’s uncle, would have died childless and therefore Joseph would have been the closest living heir. Thus Joseph and then Jesus would have been brought into the royal line.
Both views have problems which are difficult to answer, not the least of which is the fact that the two genealogies meet at Shealtiel and Zerubbabel and then split a second time only to come together at Joseph and Jesus. (Cf. comments on Matt. 1:12.) Regardless of one’s view it is important to note an important aspect of the theology Luke expressed in his genealogy. He related Jesus not only to Abraham but all the way back to Adam and to God. This is an indication of the universal offer of salvation, which is common to his Gospel—that Jesus came to save all people—Gentiles as well as the nation of Israel (cf. Luke 2:32).
Luke 3:23 says, “And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli.” Many believe that Luke is saying that Jesus was the grandson of Eli or Heli through Mary. Eli was Mary’s father and Jesus’ grandfather. By contrast, Joseph was son of Jacob according to Matthew.
There is another argument that comes from the theme, purpose, and audience of the two gospels. Matthew was written to the Jews to prove that Jesus was in the legal line of David by adoption through Joseph. However, this was not Luke’s purpose. Luke was writing to show and emphasize the humanity of Christ. He was writing to Gentiles or Greeks to show Jesus’ involvement with the needs of men. In keeping with this focus, we might naturally expect Luke, the doctor, to present the genealogy of Jesus through Mary, the source of his true humanity.”
Thanks for your posts everyone. I hope I have answered some questions for you to your liking.
Thanks for the reply, and thanks especially for how cordial all your comments are!
I appreciate your rundown of all the scenarios that try to explain the differences in the genealogies. I guess the biggest problem is that the Bible doesn’t offer any of these. They are simply supposition, yet any of them would have easily solved the apparent problem had they been used.
One of them, the notion that Mary wasn’t specified because of the role of women in Jewish culture, seems especially false. After all, the gospel of Matthew, which seems more geared to the Jews than any other gospel, mentions Rahab in its genealogy, and she was a harlot!
Even the source you quoted from mentioned the additional difficulty of explaining not only why the genealogies diverge, but how they could possibly come back together around Zerubbabel and Shealtiel.
There’s another explanation for these issues that I find much more likely, and it’s that the writers of Matthew and Luke had different sources for their genealogies (Matthew’s seems to have been created from the one in Chronicles), and each of them had no idea about the other, or that their writings would ever be meshed together. Incidentally, this explanation also fits the other differences we have, like Matthew’s and Luke’s contradictory birth narratives.
As to the creation account in Genesis, even if we allow those 6 days to stand for unknown periods of time, we still have the issue that the Bible only gives us 6000 – 10,000 years of human history, but archaeology, anthropology, and radiometric dating gives us at least 100,000 years of human remains, dwellings, art, and tools. Its just very hard to reconcile anything close to a literal account of the Old Testament with what we’ve learned from science.
Finally, I disagree that we can be certain of a creator. I don’t know what caused the Big Bang or what started evolution, but I see no reason to assume it required anything supernatural.
Btw, one thing I meant to mention in my last comment is that your assertion that evolution would mean we’d no longer have single-celled organisms, etc is just not accurate. I don’t mean that disparagingly, but there’s a lot of misinformation about evolution out there. I strongly recommend checking out Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne. It’s a great, very accessible place to start.
Disclaimer: I honestly can’t comprehend why anybody would see Iron Maiden as a horrific instrument of torture. It’s one of the finest of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Seeing Carrier mentioned at 7 gave me quite a chuckle. He really does that very often when he comes across an opponent he can’t rebut. But in fairness, internet debates can be tedious when an interlocutor keeps dragging on. Of course, there are good and bad ways to drop out.
To be fair, I’m probably a bit guilty of 5 when I rail against minimalists regarding the Monarchic period – although in their case, the consensus is against them.
But is Sanders really an agnostic? I had the impression that he is a liberal Protestant.
Hi David, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong end of the stick on a few matters.
1. It is Nate who is the atheist, not me.
2. I don’t believe and didn’t say what you think when you say” “You say that the Bible might not be a myth, BUT there is very limited historic and scientific evidence that supports the Bible.” I said something like that about the early parts of the Old Testament. So it is a misreading to think I said that the whole Bible is myth.
For the rest, I don’t think it is worth discussing. Most of what you are saying is not supported by the consensus of experts working in the fields of history, archaeology and biology. As Nate said, you appear not to understand what evolutionary science actually teaches.
Like I said before, if you prefer to believe people who say something different to the experts, I am not all that interested in arguing because I think it is clear already that we wouldn’t reach agreement. I think you are choosing evidence to support what you believe the Bible teaches and ignoring the rest. That is your choice but it is not mine.
I appreciate your friendliness but I don’t want to argue with a “brother” about matters which would not be helpful. Thanks.
Hi IN, nice to hear from you again.
Yes, I agree we cannot continue internet arguments forever. I often withdraw from arguments because I think they have run their course (as I’m doing with David here). But withdrawing because your have no defence against the facts but don’t want to admit it, is another matter. It is always arguable whether that is happening, but in the case of Richard Carrier vs Luke Barnes, JJ Lowder’s review and summary is clearly fair, and is devastating for Carrier, because it shows Carrier has no defence against the facts.
You accuse yourself about #5, but I cannot ever recall you being anything other than courteous.
I’ve heard another scholar (can’t remember who now) say Sanders is an agnostic, but the only statement I’ve read from Sanders himself is that he’s a “secularized Protestant” (I think his family was liberal Protestant as you say), which seems consistent with agnosticism.
Hi Nate, I just wanted to clarify. You have apologised a couple of times for making comments. Please know that you are always welcome. You noted with appreciation that David’s comments are cordial, which I agree with, but so are yours, always. I am always happy to have comments, whether I agree or disagree, provided they are courteous. Thanks.
I will be glad tell you a little about myself and what my main focus is in life.
I try to live my life as Jesus did, a Jew, who kept the law, all that applies to us today (some only apply to women). I try to be “holy” as God and Jesus is holy. The law does not forgive sin or save me, even if I did keep every single last one of them. It is the blood of our Lord, Jesus, on the cross that wipes away all my sin. Yes, I try to keep the law because of what Jesus did and said. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” This is one of the simplest and most profound statements that Jesus ever made. The law, Torah, teaching, is there for us to learn from and live by. When I sin, which I still do, I ask for forgiveness and I try even harder to please God and Jesus by doing what He said to do,namely, to love God and neighbor as self. It’s such a simple plan.
I am a Messianic rabbi and servant of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. I minister to those in prison, and have done so now for 24 years. I give a gospel message at the soup kitchen in town every Tuesday morning. My wife and I have a free lunch ministry every Monday through Friday, noon to 1 P.M. downtown. We sing, pass out free sandwiches, chips and water. We pass out free Bibles and literature. I give a brief sermon daily and pass out Communion, the real body and blood of our Lord every time we meet. We have a Bible study every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 P.M. and a Sabbath service every Friday night from 7 to 9. I teach a Hebrew class in our home on Saturday morning from 10 to 11. We then have a Bible study from 11 to around 1 P.M. At 4 P.M. I have a weekly broadcast on a local Christian radio station. We have recently started a nursing home ministry with our congregation on Sunday afternoon for an your and a half. I atttend a Baptist chuch on Sunday morning, sing in the choir, and help where I can. I visit and write people in prison. I visit people in the hospital. I help the homeless that we meet at the lunch ministry so they can help themselves; we don’t give a handout buy a hand up. Other than that, I don’t do very much at all! I’m retired, I mean refired, now. I am 67 and loving life. I love to watch God work miracles in and through me including physical healings at times. It is all the power of God that flows through me in the form of the Holy Spirit. I am nothing without the Holy Spirit, but I am a servant and totally blessed by and of God to help those around me. It blesses me to be a blessing. I have been evangelizing for more than 35 years now and thousands have come to the Lord as the result of the witness that I give. It is not I who save, but God in me. I am powerless without Him, but powerful when He uses me. As I said, I am so blessed. I have been an ordained Messianic rabbi now for over two years. Messianic means that as a Jew, I believe that our Messiah has come and is coming again. In the meantime, my primary goal is to fill Heaven and God’s Kingdom here and now.
In short, yes, there is a God! He is awesome and has created everything. He still works miracles and He still heals people. I am living proof of that, personally, since I had four ruptured discs and was going around school in a wheelchair for a while, but people prayed for me and laid hands and anointed me, and I was totally healed. The doctors could understand it, but I do. Yes, there is a God!
Thanks for listening and asking. I hope this helped you to know me a little better. Shalom, peace, and be blessed!
Messianic rabbi (Matthew 23:8), David H. Winer (phone: 910-301-7608)
Matthew 7:21 Only those who do the will of our Father will enter Heaven. (Help the needy, please).
“For lack of knowledge, my people perish” (Hosea 4:6). Bible study is Tuesday at 7 P.M.
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath (day 7) and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it not by going on your own way and not doing as you please and speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord.” (Isaiah 58:13-14)
Personal website THE JEWISH MESSIAH at: http://afreetickettoheaven.com
Facebook: House of Joy in the Lord
Servant of Servants
Messianic Jewish Believer in Yeshua
“You can’t get burned out if you stay on fire.”
If we spend enough time talking to God, we won’t be able to stop talking about Him!
Response to Nate – November 8, 2014
Below is one of the documents that I presented at the debate on Darwin and Evolution vs. God and Creation:
Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species Page 323
“Intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory (of evolution).”
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can’t be created or destroyed, but it can be changed. The law forms the basis of the principle of conservation of energy. This means that anything that uses energy is changing the energy from one kind of energy to another. For example, exercise changes energy from food into kinetic (motion) energy. Energy cannot be created and never goes away; it just changes its form.
2nd law of Thermodynamics: “ENTROPY”. As things age, or get older, they wear out and become less ordered.
MY COMMENT: Why in the world did Darwin even try convince people that his “theory” was worth the paper he wrote it on for one? For another, why did the world even consider this worth pursuing if even Darwin didn’t think it was viable?
Response, again, to Nate – November 8, 2014 post:
I watched the 48 minute YouTube video and according to the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, Evolution can’t even be considered! These are laws, mind you, and not just theories!
The first law of thermodynamics says that matter cannot be created or destroyed, yet here we are. No matter how you cut it, at one point in time, there had to be nothing. The “Big Bang” theory says that everything came from nothing, the size of a pinhead, exploded and made perfect order. How can something, everything in our universe, come from nothing, if it brakes the very first and foremost law of science today?!
The second law of thermodynamics is that of “entropy”, which says that over time, things decay and become more chaotic. Here again, evolution breaks this law also! Instead of everything becoming more orderly, evolving, becoming smarter and more orderly regarding speciation and the vast aray of life on earth, it should be decaying, being less than it was, and dying off instead of evolving into more and more complex life forms.
Science demands observable evidence, but there are still no links between species, and to think that we all have the same common ancester – flowers, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, etc. That is what the movie said that is ridiculous to say the least! How in the world could a one-celled orgamism, which divides to reproduce, change into species with male and female productive organs? How did this one-celled organism have the brains to make these changes? How did something without a brain, without nerves, without a digestive system, etc., etc., etc. know enough to produce all this? This one-celled organism had the intelligence to make something far more intelligent than itself? Are you kidding, really.
One thing that I noticed in the Youtube video was that evolution demands no God. God has no place in evolution. They say that God did not create, but there was a big bang. They say that God did not create the many millions upon millions of life forms or species, but they all came from this one-celled organism. This one-celled organism came from electricity and amino acids which made the primordial goop, which then evolved into all these life forms. Evolution demands atheism. That my dear friends is what this is really all about, isn’t it! Just listen to the “experts” which slam the existence of God and creation and see for yourself!
In my next post, I will now go on to the positive about God and proof that God is! Thanks and be blessed.
So, how can we prove that God exists, anyway?
For me, being brought up in the Jewish faith, it was prophecy that did it for me to believe that explained how Jesus had to be our Messiah and God that God promised would come. Jesus came exactly as God told us He would! There are over 360 prophecies in the Bible about the coming of our Messiah. You can see them on my website, http://www.afreetickettoheaven.com, on the PROPHECY PAGE.
God told us that many things would happen, including the return on Israel as a nation, and it did. A lot of prophecy is written in the past tense, mind you. Isn’t that odd?! Wouldn’t you think it would be written in the future tense! The reason for this is that once God prophecies that it will happen it has to happen, because God is eternal and does not work in time as we do. He can see into the future, and when He says it will happen, it has already happened in his mind. Prophecy, all of it, every single last one, has to come true. Hundreds have and will continue to, including the end of the world, the temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem, and many more.
So, what other proof do we have that God exists. Jesus has to be the main key. God told us that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and his name would be called Im-onu-El or Emmanuel in English, which means God is with us, in Isaiah 7:14. In Isaiah 9:6, God tells us that a child will be born, a human person, and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Eternal Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Then this child is born to us, in Bethlehem, found in Micah 5:2. All these are prophecied hundreds of years before Jesus came. Daniel 9:24-27 is the major one for me, telling us that the Messiah will come in 490 years. Jesus came exactly on time. The reason our calendar year is 2014, is because that was when He was born!
So, is that all you got? No way! Just look at the person of Jesus! He healed the blind, the lame, the leprous, the deaf, the mute, and brought many back to life from the grave or who were dead. Only one person has ever done this. That means that He is very special, and that only God could do this.
So, is that all? No way! He still lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. He still heals us today. He healed me! I ruptured four discs in my back and was going around school in a wheelchair. Friends layed hands, and prayed over me. I got better and better, very quickly. The doctor simply could not understand it!
So is that all? No way! Jesus told us that we could heal as He did, and we can. A thirty-five year old man asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior about a year ago. Shortly after, he started having severe headaches. He went into the hospital and they did MRI’s and found that he had brain cancer the size of a baseball. We laid hands on him, anointed him with oil, and prayed over him, as Jesus told us to do. The headaches got better and better. We prayed more and asked Jesus to totally heal him, and He did. The headaches disappeard, he went back into the hospital to get checked out, and the found that he was totally clear of that cancer! Praise the Lord!
So, is that all? Are you getting this by now? Can you see where I am in my life? Can you see what God does? Can you see that He still works miracles in us and heals us! He does! He is amazing. No, God is not dead; He is very much alive.
Is that all? Well, I could go on and on. In closing, I have seen drug adicts totally change, and alcoholics. I have seen marriages mend and lives changed! I have seen people become so calm and peaceful and fulfilled in their lives, once they put their faith in God and Jesus.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If evolutionists are right and there is no God, then you have nothing to worry about. If there is a God and you reject Him, Jesus told us that those who have rejected him are condemned (to Hell) already. It’s your choice. Your choice is setting you up for all eternity! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in Jesus! The love and the peace are amazing! Every day is a great day for me, because I am totally sold out on God and Jesus. I have the Holy Spirit of God in me. I see miracles all the time, at least weekly, as I am out serving Him, our community, and those in need where we live; what a great life!
I have some good news and some bad news for you: you WILL LIVE FOREVER! The bad news might be that if you reject God, you will live forever, but in a very very hot place where you will burn forever (I’m not talking about Phoenix, Arizona either!) It is your choice. In closing, to see how God and the Bible describe Heaven and Hell, please go to my website and go to thee Heaven or Hell page.
I spend so much time doing this and writing to you, because my main goal in life is to save YOUR soul! I want to fill Heaven and cheat Satan and Hell of your soul. Please please please give Jesus and God a chance. It has been over 42 years for me now, and I have never regretted it, ever. I can honestly say that my dear friends. Be blessed and remember that God and I love you very much and we care deeply for you. Jesus cared so much that He gave his life for you on the cross. God cared so much that He gave his only son up to die that horrible death for you. Now that’s love. Shalom – peace – שלום.
I really do encourage you to read up a bit more on evolution. The points your bringing against it really just show a misunderstanding of the subject. Again, I hope that doesn’t come off as offensive, because I don’t mean it that way. I used to be just as dismissive of the theory as you are, but I found out I had been wrong.
First of all, archaeology has progressed significantly since Darwin’s time. It’s a mark of the accuracy of his theory that we have discovered so many intermediate fossils since 1859.
Plus, it’s important to understand that almost every fossil is an “intermediate” fossil, because of the incredible amount of time it takes for large changes to be seen. No species has ever given birth to another. It’s only after a population has gone through several generations that the last generation and the first have enough differences to be considered different species.
The 2nd law of thermodynamics causes no problems for evolution, because it applies to closed systems. The earth is not a closed system. Among other things, the constant energy of the sun means the earth is an open system.
Seriously, evolution is backed up by virtually every branch of science. You’re not going to get very far against it from a scientific perspective. If you insist on holding on to a fairly literal reading of Genesis, you’re better off using something like “last Thursdayism” which is the idea that God created everything a relatively short time ago, but made it as though it had already been here for an incredible amount of time. That causes some other problems, but it at least explains why science would tell us that the universe is vastly older than the Bible would claim.
Also, your questions about how male and female could happen in evolution, etc, all have answers. Again, please just do some research. Do you really think this theory could be accepted by almost 100% of scientists if it had all of these problems? I’m afraid you’ve been misled by some very faulty information, my friend.
I’m afraid we’re going to disagree on virtually everything you said in your last comment.
I’ve spent some time studying the various prophecies in the Bible as well, and I’m not convinced that any of them are accurate. The virgin birth prophecy is probably one of the worst. In fact, Isaiah seems to think it was fulfilled in chapter 8 of his book, and the writer of Matthew just appropriated it. After all, it was supposed to be a sign for Judah’s king that the forces he was worried about wouldn’t be a problem by the time the prophesied child was old enough to say “my father.” If this referenced Jesus, who came 700 years later, how would it have helped the king? Plus, Isaiah uses the word for “young woman,” not “virgin.”
The Daniel 9 prophecy requires all kinds of funky math to get anywhere close to the time of Jesus. Not very convincing. Then you have prophecies like Ezekiel’s prophecy of Tyre (Ezek 26) that seem to have failed.
None of it really makes a strong case.
Hell has a number of problems too. First of all, it’s not talked about till the time of Jesus, which seems really odd if it were real. It also brings up a number of moral and philosophical issues that are very hard to rationalize with a loving, merciful god.
Finally, Pascal’s Wager (nothing to lose if you believe in God; everything to lose by rejecting him) is anfalse choice. First, a “better safe than sorry” approach isn’t real faith and probably isn’t satisfactory to God. Second, there are many more choices than just the Christian god and non-belief. Christianity has a number of different sects that aren’t inclusive, and there are an amazing numbrr of gods to choose from other than Christianity.
At this point, I think we should see if unkleE is okay with us continuing this kind of conversation here. If not, you’re welcome to comment on my own blog. I’ve written about many of the things we’ve talked about here, so feel free to check those out, if you like.
And if unkleEis still cool with us continuing things here, that works for me too. I just don’t want to take the blog in a direction he’s mot comfortable with.
But thanks for the kind email putting me at ease, Eric. I really appreciate it. 🙂
I am happy for you to continue, though I think it will be a frustrating conversation for both of you, as you are working from totally different bases. Nate, you are writing from a belief that the Bible has serious inaccuracies or non-literal sections, and we can generally trust modern science and history. Dave you believe the Bible is accurate in every detail and if science and history disagree, they are wrong.
So it seems to me that you will inevitably talk past each other and nothing either of you say can be accepted by the other because you have a different standard of where truth can be found.
But I am quite happy for you to continue as long as you both feel it is worth it. I will watch and comment perhaps occasionally.
First off, thanks for writing still.
I do not honestly see ANY intermediate links between one specie and another, in all the literature and all the movies I see!
Frankly, for me, at this point, I see a definite pattern with Evolutionists, and that distresses me more than anything that they present, and that is THAT THEY DENY GOD! The question has to be, “Why?” Should one have anything to do with the other? Could God create in the first place and then have things evolve from one to the other? I see lots and lots of micro-evolution, and I have no problem with that whatsoever! God created and then within a specie, they adapt to their environment, but they NEVER EVER CHANGE FROM ONE SPECIE TO ANOTHER. Do you agree with that? I want to make sure we are talking about the same thing here.
Isn’t it funny that the name of this blog or site is “is there a god?” You will notice that they can’t even admit that there is a “God” with a capital G. As you can see, they are saying that, by doing that, that they are saying that there is no God, but maybe a god, which God says there are none of, by the way!
You will also notice in everything that you read about the big bang or evolution, that NOBODY even tries to explain how all this matter came into existence. The big bang theorists say that there was a big bang and everything came into existence as the result of this event, but NOBODY ever says where it came from or Who created it, do they??????????????
You will also notice that the evolutionists say that everything evolved from that one-celled organism, yes, and if they are brave enough they will also say that life came from lightning and amino acids which combined to produce life, BUT THEY MISS ONE THING AGAIN, don’t they! They have no answer whatsoever which explains how the lightning got here, how the world got here from nothing, and how all these proteins just magically came together to form DNA, NOBODY! Why is that? They do not know how and they will never admit the obvious – CREATION demands CREATOR. A painting demands a painter. A watch demands a watch maker. It’s very simple logic.
If you can answer these questions about how did all the matter come into existence to make the big bang or where did all the material come from to make the lightning, the protein, the amino acids, and even that incredible one-celled organism which still exists in the same state that it did years and years ago, please tell me. If you or anyone else can answer these questions, you will be the first!
The question is can anybody anwer these. The answer is a resounding NO. That is your proof my dear friends, and you are my dear friends. I love you all, and I care for every soul in this entire world, and that is exactly why I take so much time to answer and explain to everyone. Your eternal life is the most precious gift you have.
In closing, I have to say this, “I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that you will all live forever. The potential bad news is that if you do not accept God’s gift to you, his Son’s blood on the cross to forgive all your sins, yes, you will still live forever but not in Heaven, but Hell. Please go to my website, afreetickettoheaven.com, and go to the HEAVEN OR HELL page and see what each is like, and then make your final decision. You have until the day you die, and then your fate is forever sealed, and I mean FOR EVER!”
May the love and the peace of Jesus our Lord and God the Father always be with all of you, every single last one of you. Please remember that you have until you breathe your last here on this earth. God will always forgive, and all you have to do is accept that free gift that Jesus has for YOU!
Shalom – שלום – peace!
Well, I do on occasion suggest parallels with Mythicism. But all right, it’s not like I am trying to discredit an entire subject.
I don’t know how good his information is, but Charlesworth once called him a liberal Christian.
I appreciate the comment, but I think (as unkleE predicted) that we’re reaching a point where further discussion will likely be fruitless. I’m familiar with the points you’re making; I simply find them unconvincing. And I do encourage you to do some further research into evolution if it’s something you’re truly interested in. But thanks again for the conversation. I wish you all the best. 🙂
I found the post interesting, but it was ironic that it implies a criticism of ” Make an excuse to withdraw from the argument” whereas that is exactly what has happened in the comments above. 🙂 Sometimes we simply have to agree that further discussion is pointless.
Hi Phil, yes that irony wasn’t lost on me. I am a great believer in knowing when to stop. But sometimes one person stops because they have no answer rather than because they have said all they want to say.
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