Friday, December 30, 2011

A dose of Calvinistic compatibilism for the day

1 Chronicles 10:
1Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 5And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died. 6Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together. 7And when all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them.

13So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Announcement: Upcoming formal debate with Muslim Saaib Ahmed

It is my pleasure to introduce my second formal debate, in which I will affirm, defend, and conclusively demonstrate the resolution, namely:

Resolved: The Bible is the Word of God.

Denying the resolution is Saaib Ahmed, a Kashmiri Muslim, of (edit: That blog is defunct as of 01Jan2012, and his blog can be found at as of 03Jan2012) (2nd edit: Saaib apparently is having trouble deciding which blog he wants to use. is now valid again, and the other one is defunct).  I would like to thank Saaib for challenging me to a debate and appreciate his willingness and courage to engage. Debating in other than one’s native tongue is a challenge in and of itself, so I invite our readers to take that into account and to extend him grace if his English expression should lack clarity or precision. Hopefully, such instances will be few.
The structure is a little unusual in my experience, but it is a result of extensive negotiation.

My opening: 2000 words maximum, due 03 Jan 2012.
Saaib's rebuttal/opening: 3500 max, due 08 Jan 2012.
My rebuttal: 2000 max, due 13 Jan 2012.
Saaib's rebuttal: 1500 max, due 17 Jan 2012.
My rebuttal: 1000 max, due 22 Jan 2012.

I will ask Saaib the first cross-examination question 23 Jan, and he answers 24 Jan.
Saaib asks me his first cross-examination question 24 Jan, and I answer 25 Jan.
Then I ask 25 Jan and he answers 26 Jan.
Then he asks 26 Jan and I answer 27 Jan.
Each question must be framed in 300 words max and each answer in 1000 maximum.

Final statements: 3000 words max. Posted simultaneously 31 Jan.

I plan to post all the content here, and I believe he will be posting his on his Facebook page, though I am unsure which. Given that Facebook sometimes suffers from limited profile visibility, I will post all the content here.
Comments will be disabled for all the debate posts, but each will contain a link to one single comment thread where anyone may comment on the thread. Do not expect me to re-debate the topics of the debate in that thread, however.

Thank you, and may the Lord Jesus Christ bless this debate and use it for His glory in every way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And the Word became flesh...

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So, I'm a huge fan of Joel Osteen

A FB friend and acquaintance tweeted this status:
“@JoelOsteen: You are God’s most prized possession. When He made you He stepped back and said, “That was good.” He made you the way you are on purpose.”

Our conversation follows:

Me: He made us good, yes, but we're not any good now b/c of the Fall and our massive sin. Let's not forget that.

Chad: So the ultimate price paid by Jesus Christ has no value in the equation?

Me: Of course! Didn't He die BECAUSE of our sin? BECAUSE we are no good?

Me: Rom 4:25He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Chad: Rhology doesn't that sacrifice make us good in Gods eyes?

Chad: Your views come across very negative and pessimistic and legalistic. More in similarity to those of the pharisees of Jesus' day and not of Jesus himself.

Me: No, His sacrifice JUSTIFIES us. We remain evil on the inside though our hearts are new creations. Our sin natures remain.
So, when God made *Adam*, yes, He stepped back and said "Very good." None of us are Adam, however. Our hearts are, as Jeremiah said:
Jer 17:9“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

Is it *I* who am being negative and pessimistic? Or is it God Himself? This is something you have to ask yourself, and I pray you will do so with consideration and prayer.
There is a reason why God revealed the Law, isn't there?
Didn't He do it to reveal sin?
Romans 3:10as it is written,
19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Look especially at v20!

Romans 5:18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel is great because our sin is great.
If our sin is negligible, why did Jesus die on the Cross? Joel Osteen eviscerates the Gospel. He makes it into a small life upgrade. He deceives those who need to know the Gospel!

And as for legalistic, the Pharisees added humans tradition (Mark 7) to the Word of God, in order to lay heavy burdens on men (Matthew 23) and appear more righteous than they really were. It doesn't mean "negative" or "remembering the right place of the Law".
Rather, it would seem that maybe you need to be reminded of the Law's proper place?

I pray you will accept this as not the word of Rhology, but as the Word of God, which I've merely quoted here.

Me: Why did Jesus, then, say in Luke 13:
1Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7“And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8“And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

Or, again, in Luke 18:19:
Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Jesus knew well the heart of men - it is evil. He came to seek and save that which is lost, and that's us. It's barely half the truth to say that "God made you good!" That's far from the most important part of what we need to tell people.

Chad: Wow. You are really well versed on the condemning scriptures. That's where I am going to leave this conversation. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. And he fulfilled the law in the way that it was truly designed to be.

Chad: Sure we all still have to decide daily to die to ourselves and pick up our cross daily.

Me: Those "condemning Scriptures" exist for a reason. Do you deal with them? I don't know, so I'm asking. What role do they play in your theology, and in your evangelism?

The same Jesus Who said John 3:16 also said John 3:17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

The same Jesus Who came to save also warns: John 3:36“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Wrath. For what? For sin. Joel Osteen has forgotten the main part of the Gospel - why Jesus had to die and what our problem is. Without that, the Gospel is meaningless. Which means Osteen's Gospel is meaningless and we must reject him for what he is - a non-pastor teaching meaningless fluff.

If you disagree, please tell me why. I have no desire to win a debate. I want you to come into the fullness of what it means to be a servant of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

David learns about Jesus

Rhology said...

There are material bodies in heaven?

No. At this time there is A material body, singular, in heaven.

So there’s an actual, human-shaped body named “Jesus” somewhere in heaven?

No. There's an actual being who is 100% God and 100% man named Jesus somewhere in heaven.

It has flesh and blood and a penis?

He has flesh and bones and a penis, yes. Don't know about the blood part.

How does this work?

It is supernatural. I don't know how it works, but God is all-powerful.

Where is this physical body hanging out?

Heaven. Didn't you just ask that?

How is this body kept alive?

Jesus' body is immortal.

What does it eat?


Men die. Human bodies die

What experience do you have with immortal resurrected bodies, such that you can make such confident assertions on the topic?

If the physical body known as Jesus is still alive after 2000 years, then this ain’t a man.

Please let me know how you know this, and why anyone should believe you and not Jesus.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ludicrous Islamic objections, part 2

 Loool! Is jesus is the beginning and is the end? I dnt think so!
bcoz if jesus propesied to die for the sin of mankind, since in the beggining, why that jesus cried and shows his little disappointment! MY GOD! MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? If a son and the father had an agreement that jesus, will come to die for the sins of mankind since the creation of the world. Why jesus didnt come b4 the prophets, noah or moses? Why it wasn't jesus who bring the law? Why moses?

 All these "why" questions show that you are a man-centered idolater, Shantal. You think God has some obligation to explain Himself to you?

 lol hahaha! God and jesus made an agreement since the beggining that jesus will come to die for the sin of mankind. when the time came, jesus cried out with aloud voices saying MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? He is disappointed. Hahaha Rhology he dont need to explain himself to me, i know already that jesus was'nt God. Bcoz God would never forsaked His chosen one. God would never let His chosen one to hurt or even died without glory. Remember moses? How God protect Him and people of israel from the wickedness of pharaoh. Then now u r telling me that jesus is God? Or son of God to die for the sinners, who disbelieve him, who mocked him, and killed him. Where in OT that God humble Himself? Clearly we see that God would never humble himself, to kill himself for the sinners. Read again Exodus God said, "FOR I, THE LORD YOUR GOD, AM A JEALOUS GOD, PUNISHING THE OFFSPRING OF THOSE WHO HATE ME, AND SHOWING MERCY TO THOUSANDS OF THOSE LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. is this God and jesus r one?

 Do you mean *The Father* and Jesus? If so, that's correct.
I know that you don't really care about the truth, Shantal, but for the benefit of others, when Jesus cried out on the cross, He was quoting Psalm 22. Read it, I recommend it. It's a messianic psalm. He was expressing that His mission was complete, that He had atoned for the sin of His people.
And if God doesn't forsake his holy ones in Islam, why did he let Mohammed die from poison from a Jewish woman? Your arguments are foolish. I hope you will repent someday soon.

God did not humble HImself in the OT, that's the point. He did in the NEW Testament - read Philippians 2.

And yes, Jesus is God. He punishes ALL sin. The question is simple: Will Jesus bear your punishment and atone for your sin, or will YOU bear your punishment?
We've alraedy talked about that. You think Allah ignores sin. I'm telling you God does not ignore even one sin, not even the smallest. It will ALL be punished.

so why then he dies for forgiveness of sin? Lol! U all confusing ur ownself, and just pretending, and accept to be hypocrite!!! Lol and for ur info, he didn't die same time the woman give him poison unless the revelation finished and then he died natural death. Moses died natural death. And only jesus not! And dnt u not understand the verse? I will repeat it for you, "For I, the Lord your God, am a JEALOUS GOD, PUNISHING THE OFFSPRING OF THOSE WHO HATE ME, and showing MERCY to thousands of those that love me and KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. Meaning GOD SHOWS HIS MERCY ONLY TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD AND FOR THOSE WHO OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS in other words the believers, the obedient. He will punish the nonbelievers, and the disobedient..
but NT God is not like that! NT GOD forgive people sin, He ignore the sinners, those who disbelieve, and those who disobeyed... in other words christianity is giving the sinners the chance to commit more sin as long as people believe that jesus died for them.

You might have a point if there weren't thousands of other verses in the Bible, Shantal. As it is, you pose a very shallow objection. Would it be so hard to think a little?

The OT God forgave ppl too. Because of the atonement. You are quite ignorant of the Bible. I recommend you read it

 Thats it! Rhology, u get the point. OT God forgive individual people, he forgive those who r sincirely repented, those who ask for forgiveness. Not to those who disbelieve or who disobeyed... but NT God forgive all the world sin. Means whether obeyers and disobeyers, believers and disbelievers(idolaters) r forgiven. Is'nt it unfair for those who Godfearing people those who obey God to forgive those who intentionally did sin?

God in the OT forgave ppl BECAUSE OF FUTURE ATONEMENT. Read Hebrews.
And in the NT God specifies that He will forgive THE REPENTANT. Those who do not repent will have zero forgiveness. They will have wrath and anger.

Christopher Hitchens is no longer an atheist

Story here.

In related news, Jesus Christ is alive.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ludicrous Islamic objections, probably part 1

I am part of a Facebook group involving numerous Muslims, and sometimes their objections are just so amazing that I have to tell someone about them.



Luke3:23. And Jesus (God) happened to be about 30 years when he began his ministry to preach. Who being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli.

1. So does it mean that some men knew when God clocked 30?
2. If the holy ghost inspired luke (the writer), he didn't know the exact age of God. Yet the holy ghost is God, jesus is God, the father is God.
3. God (jesus) waited for billions of years before coming to earth, and he waited for 30 years after getting to earth before he preached a single word. For the first 30 years of God's life, what was he doing? Nothing.


‎1. Some men knew when JESUS turned 30 years of age.
2. Or His exact age is irrelevant. If He'd provided the age in microseconds, you'd complain that He was too specific and it's suspicious. Your problem is that your heart is corrupt.
3. Prove Jesus was doing nothing those 1st 30 years. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Utilitarian ethics, abortion, and abolitionism

Frequent commenter AD Graham on the Abolitionist Society blog left some interesting comments on a post that deals with the question of the justifiability of aborting babies that have Downs Syndrome.
They begin here.
I respond:

With respect to AD Graham's system here:

Section 1:
my system takes into account is whether a decision a) is done with consideration of utilitarian consequences and b) is done with reasonable consideration of the relevant information.

I have a few objections. How much is reasonable? Does his system define it? If so, is that not circular? If not, how is his system helpful?
How is it possible to define the good/bad value of the consequences without a circular appeal to his ethical system? 

the goal of utilitarian ethics is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain in order to obtain lives with more pleasure than pain. 

How does he know that maximising pleasure and minimising pain are good things?

if a disease is awful enough to preclude any possibility of a pleasurable life

How does anyone have any "relevant information", as he put it, about the future of a given human being? Citing averages and previous occurrences does nothing to inform us about the future.

While Down syndrome children do not live a life of anguish, they may still be candidates for abortion in a utilitarian system

Candidates for abortion. He makes it sound like they're lining up to sign up to be forcibly dismembered. 
Speaking for myself, I don't appreciate his treating me like I'm a child. I recommend he tell it like it is so we can all be assured he is actually giving this issue the consideration it merits.

Utilitarian ethics require the practitioner

I pause here to note that "utilitarian ethics" don't 'require' anything. They have no authority; one can choose to accept them as DESCRIPTIVE...or not. Without any consequence. 
Contrast that with the God of the universe creating all that exists, with moral laws and their due punishments in place and clearly communicated to mankind. All that, versus AD Graham and his sort of obscure ethical hypothesising, talking about 'requirements' without authority.

While giving birth to a baby with Down does not harm anyone, it does curb the parents ability to care for others.

A naked assertion, bereft of argument.
And even with an argument, AD Graham would still need to let us know how he knows that's a bad thing. How he measures pain and pleasure such that we can know they're being maximised and minimised. What instrumentation he uses to perform the analysis. How he makes sure his analyses have statistical significance. 
Yes, that would require omniscience, so that puts him in a difficult spot. How can he know that he has sufficient relevant information so as to enable him to perform the "reasonable consideration" he recommends? 

People with Down’s are not able to reciprocate this level of care. 

A cold, heartless statement if ever there were one. AD Graham has committed a Freudian slip. It's doubtful whether he really cares about maximising pleasure/minimising pain. He really just wants it to be OK to put people to death that he thinks it's OK to put to death. Where is his detailed analysis of the question to demonstrate that he's got this nailed down? 

I am saying that they are not able to provide support to the lives of others in the same way.

AD Graham needs to clarify here. How does he know that reciprocation of love and help must be of exactly the same kind? What is his argument to that effect? Does he consistently apply this argumentation to all other arenas, not just Downs syndrome people?

people with Down syndrome often provide an inefficient benefit to society

It should be coming clear to anyone that AD Graham has a very physicalistic view of the value of people. People have value insofar as they can do tasks that AD Graham finds valuable. 
What's to stop AD Graham from taking that even further and attempting to create the ubermensch, the perfect superman? I mean, if it's ethically justified, we shouldn't even ask "why not?"; we should do it. By his ethic, why would we not be led to precisely that conclusion? Is not efficient benefit to society a virtue? If one is not efficient, AD Graham says other more efficient benefiters are justified in killing them.

(i)f the opportunity arose in which one could painlessly terminate this life in favor of a more efficient life

Another example demonstrating that AD Graham is so far not engaging the topic seriously enough. 
1) A huge number, if not the majority, if not the vast majority, of abortions are performed without anesthesia.
2) And they're carried out in violent ways. We put dogs down with sedative injections. Human babies get their heads ripped off by scissors, or their skin scalded by chemical weapons.
3) Even if anesthesia were applied, how could we know that it worked on the babies? We can't ask them. Probably better off not killing them, no?
4) Since abortions are very, very rarely painless, wouldn't that mean that killing 53 million babies would be MAXIMISING PAIN? And that AD Graham should thus be an abolitionist?

How does AD Graham know that the pain of the death of the child does not outweigh the avoidance of pain from his life lived with Downs?
Does AD Graham take into account the large number of women who experience difficult psychological and emotional problems post-abortion b/c of their abortions in judging his maximise pleasure/minimise pain matrix? How, where, and when? 

Thursday, December 01, 2011


David said:
there is a need for legislation to protect gays from discrimination

I'm doubtful of this; that's the thing.
To be clear, if I meet a gay person dressed -ahem- flamboyantly, I have every desire to treat them with the love of Christ. Violence is not an option, and it's not attractive to me either.
That said, if a person were to come to an interview for a serious job dressed flamboyantly, I'd treat that the same way as I'd treat someone who came in with a T-shirt and sandals - this person isn't treating the interview or opportunity seriously. S/he better be WAY more qualified than any other applicant if s/he wants to be considered for the hire.

That's why I've been asking "How would the interviewer know to ask?" about the interviewEE's preferred manner of sex? Was it b/c the homosexual person dressed in such a way as to warrant the asking? I've been in many job interviews and not once has any question ever approached a question about sexual preference. Don't know if I've even been asked if I'm married.

As for the legislation you claim is necessary, it seems to me the inverse is also necessary but I don't see anyone clamoring for it. It's far more politically correct to be loud-and-proud homosexual than to be loud-and-proud hetero. When's the last Hetero Pride March you heard of? When's the last time anyone suggested proclaiming "Heterosexual History Month"?  If we are to celebrate historical achievements by remarkable people, why bring up their sexual orientation at all?  What difference does one's sexual orientation make in a great invention or discovery?  Who among us speaks in the following way: "Albert Einstein, a great mind and influential scientist, who was also heterosexual, is the originator of the theory of relativity"?

We don't need anti-discrimination legislation to protect gay people. We need regular laws to protect them from unprovoked violence just like everyone else is protected from unprovoked violence. If gays are targeted by people for violence, from where I stand there's at least a solid argument to be made that some of that is due to homosexuals' demanding super rights and that they not only be tolerated but fully accepted for whatever perverse things they want to do in public, such as parade down a street naked and wave sex toys around.
Where is the "Missionary Position Pride Parade" where people who prefer missionary position sex march around proclaiming their preferred manner of sexual expression? It's not there. So many of the most visible homosexuals are most visible b/c they insist on flaunting their sexual preferences in public, and not everyone is OK with that. Not everyone prefers to peacefully share the Good News of Jesus with homosexuals like I do. Some prefer violence against the Other. In that case, the answer for the Other is to prioritise carefully. For what reason is s/he spending all this time and energy flaunting his/her sexual preference all over the place?

Do you have any problem with protecting against discrimination after the hiring?

Is open discussion of whether employees prefer to watch porn during sex or prefer sex doggie-style acceptable within the workplace?
How precisely would it become known that the hypothetical homosexual person is in fact homosexual? Are you asking what if s/he flaunts it? Should we also introduce anti-discrimination legislation that guarantees that anyone can talk about anything at any time in any workplace without any adverse consequences?

If he can do the job, then hire him. This seems like a trivial reason to deny employment.

Precisely my point. His preferred manner of sexual expression shouldn't enter into the question at all, and that includes both sides of the equation. Why would the prospective employer ask? Why would the prospective employee tell?