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The C.S. Lewis you never knew
C.S. Lewis has become a virtual Christian saint, but his life wasn't as tidy as his public image.
December 1st, 2013
06:00 AM ET

The C.S. Lewis you never knew

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - He looked like a “red-faced pork butcher in shabby tweeds,” lived secretly with a woman for years and was so turned on by S&M that he once asked people at a party whether he could spank them.

We’re talking, of course, about C.S. Lewis, the Christian icon and author of classics such as “Mere Christianity” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

It’s tempting to remember Lewis only as the self-assured defender of Christianity who never met an argument he couldn't demolish. His death 50 years ago, on November 22, 1963, was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He has since become a patron saint of American evangelicals.

But the actual man whom friends called “Jack” had a “horrible” personal life, thought he had failed as a defender of Christianity and spent so much time in pubs that his publishers initially struggled selling him to a religious audience, scholars say.

“American publishers worried about offending their more puritanical readers because it seemed impossible to get a dust jacket picture of Jack without a pint or a cigarette,” says Michael Tomko, a literature professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

There are three other parts of Lewis’ life that clash with his image as well:

1. His religious books made him poor

No modern Christian author sells like Lewis. The cumulative sales of his Christian books for adults - not including the Christian allegory and children's fantasy "The Chronicles of Narnia" - now approach 10 million copies, according to HarperOne publishers. “Mere Christianity” sold more than 150,000 copies over the past year alone. Perhaps the only publishing parallel to Lewis' works would be “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, a mythology written by Lewis’ close friend and fellow Christian J.R.R. Tolkien.

But Lewis never got rich from his Christian classics, says Michael Maudlin, executive editor at HarperOne.

“His books left him poor,” Maudlin said. “He had all of this money coming in, but he didn’t take those royalties.”

Lewis vowed to donate all the money he made from his books on Christianity, Maudlin says. He got big tax bills for his Christian books but struggled to pay them because he had given the money away.

Lewis refused to renounce his vow even though his money worries persisted throughout his life, Maudlin says.

“He is a man whose number one anxiety in life was poverty,” Maudlin said. “Because his dad overspent, money was always a worry. He didn’t fix things in his home because he and his brother worried about poverty.”

Lewis’ financial worries stalked him until the end, says Alister McGrath, author of the acclaimed new book “C.S. Lewis: A Life.”

Lewis’ health began to fail near the end of his life, so he wanted to hire a private secretary to help tend to his affairs. His income, though, was so spotty that he told his potential secretary that he didn’t know whether he could pay him, McGrath writes.

Lewis was more worried about losing his teaching salary from the University of Cambridge than his book royalties, says McGrath, a professor at King's College London.

“Lewis was convinced that his books would cease to be popular and thus generate little in the way of income,” McGrath said.

2. He felt like a failure as a Christian communicator

"Brilliant" is one of the most common words used to describe Lewis. He seemed to have read everything, and he could easily write in several genres: children’s fantasy, science fiction, Christian apologetics and autobiography.

“He had an almost photographic memory,” Maudlin said. “He could recite the passage and page of a line from a book on medieval poetry.”

Lewis was not so adept in the ordinary world. He never learned to drive or type because he was too clumsy. And he was a shabby dresser who lived in a house that was falling apart.

He even began to doubt his ability to defend Christianity.

Lewis' breakthrough came as a Christian apologist, one who publicly defends and explains Christianity by invoking logic. He delivered a series of talks on Christianity for BBC radio during World War II that made him famous (you can hear some of those talks on YouTube). His fame crossed the Atlantic in 1947 when he made the cover of Time magazine.

But just as his fame peaked in the 1940s, Lewis began to doubt his persuasive powers, McGrath says.

Debating Christianity in public became “draining” for Lewis, McGrath says. At a 1945 lecture on Christian apologetics, according to McGrath, Lewis said, “Nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate.”

Lewis then lost a highly publicized debate to Elizabeth Anscombe, a young Catholic philosopher who pointed out inconsistencies in his reasoning. They clashed over passages in his book “Miracles,” which he later revised. Lewis’ confidence was shaken further when he realized that his argumentative powers had little effect on some of his closest friends and relatives, who remained hostile to Christianity, McGrath says.

Lewis thought that he had “failed as an apologist towards those who were closest to him,” McGrath writes. “How could Lewis maintain a profile as a public apologist with any integrity in the light of such private failures?”

When the BBC asked Lewis to participate in a discussion on the evidence of religious faith, he declined: “Like the old fangless snake in 'The Jungle Book,' I’ve largely lost my dialectical power.”

Some contend that even Lewis’ faith failed him.

He lost love not long after finding it late in his life: Joy Davidman was an American writer who befriended Lewis by letter and eventually became his wife. She died of cancer at 45 with Lewis at her bedside. Their love affair was depicted in the 1993 film “Shadowlands.”

Lewis had written about God and suffering in a book entitled “The Problem of Pain.” But when he wrote about losing his wife in “A Grief Observed,” he was a different man, says Ivan Strenski, a religious studies professor at the University of California, Riverside.

“The cocky self-confidence is totally destroyed,” Strenski said. “The confident, modern interpreter of Christianity is gone. He’s really a shattered Christian.”

3. He had a "horrible" personal life

When the University of St. Andrews in Scotland awarded Lewis an honorary degree in 1945, Lewis gloomily joked that he preferred getting a “case of Scotch whiskey.”

Lewis needed some escape at the time. His personal life was a wreck. The man who seemed like the embodiment of self-control and virtue in his books had a personal life complicated by dysfunction and deceit.

Lewis’ personal struggles began early. His beloved mother, Flora, died when he was 9; he never really got along with his father, Albert; and he was sent away to a miserable boarding school where a schoolmaster was literally declared insane.

“It was horrible," Maudlin said of Lewis’ personal life.

Then Lewis experienced another horror – trench warfare in World War I - but he rarely talked about the experience.  Nor did he talk much about the promise he made during the war to his fellow soldier and friend Paddy Moore.

Lewis assured Moore that he would take care of his mother if Paddy didn’t survive the war. Moore was killed, and Lewis fulfilled his vow after returning home. Lewis moved in with Paddy’s mother, Janie Moore, and helped raise her daughter, Maureen.

Lewis’ relationship with Janie Moore is still mystery. Some scholars say they became lovers; others say she was more like his mother. Lewis, though, hid the relationship from his father and his colleagues at Oxford University.

“There was an attraction between the two of them from the very beginning,” said Warren Rochelle, an English professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

“When he first met her, she was 45, almost the exact age when Lewis’ mother died, and it’s clear from correspondence that they found each other attractive and engaging,” Rochelle said.

Lewis had another complicated relationship at home with his brother Warren, or “Warnie," an alcoholic who moved in with Lewis and Janie Moore. Warnie couldn’t stand her.

As Janie Moore grew older, she lapsed into dementia. The demands of caring for an alcoholic brother and a disabled woman proved so difficult for Lewis that he was hospitalized for exhaustion at one point. Yet Lewis took care of Janie Moore and her daughter even as she presumably stopped being his lover, scholars say.

“She gave him stability, a family and a mother figure,” Rochelle said. “She gave him a lover for a while, but no one can prove it.”

Lewis’ sexual proclivities also clash with the images of the reserved Englishman who touted the virtues of abstinence before marriage in “Mere Christianity.”

Lewis displayed an interest in sadomasochism during his youth. He read the writings of the Marquis de Sade; once became drunk at a party and begged people to allow him to whip them; and signed three letters to friend Arthur Greeves with the closing “lover of the whip,” according to McGrath’s biography.

Lewis befriended Greeves during childhood, and the two remained close throughout his life. Greeves was gay, but that didn’t seem to bother Lewis.

“Lewis was aware of Greeves’ homosexuality and made it clear that this would not be a problem within their friendship,” McGrath said. “He also made it clear that he didn’t share Greeves’ orientation.”

Despite Lewis' personal hardships, those who've studied him say his kindness was as impressive as his intellect.

Lewis didn’t try to hide from a public that sought his counsel after he became famous. He made no attempt to conceal his phone number. He rose at daybreak to answer letters from people seeking spiritual advice.

He even made personal visits.  A priest once wrote Lewis that he didn’t know whether he believed in a loving God anymore. Lewis met the man and spent an afternoon talking to him about his problem, wrote A.N. Wilson, author of, “C.S. Lewis: A Biography.”

“The priest, who had expected the author of 'The Problem of Pain' to look pale and ethereal, was astonished by the red-faced pork butcher in shabby tweeds whom he actually encountered,” Wilson wrote.

Lewis is still surprising people 50 years later. His ability to reach people long after his death is astonishing, some say.

“It’s odd that someone has been so popular for so long,” Maudlin said. “Lewis’ books are still in front of the bookstore. We grew up with him, so we lose touch with how unusual that is.”

The Christian icon whose image we see in bookstores may first seem distant. He spoke and dressed like a prim Englishman from another time. But his life was messy, contradictory and tarnished by thwarted dreams.

Perhaps Lewis still speaks to us because we when we look closer at his life, he’s really not that unusual.

We see ourselves.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Books • Christianity • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,513 Responses)
  1. T.C.Benjamin

    What baseless commentary on the life of one of the best interpreters of the Christian Faith! these days one goes to any extent to get cheap publicity. A pity.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Why is it baseless? What did the author get wrong?

      December 3, 2013 at 7:10 am |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    Lewis wrote some good fantasy stories ... the same as the authors of the bible.

    December 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • francine

      like the flood

      December 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Robert Brown

    We now have natural proposals for the universe & life. This leads to claims of no evidence for God.

    Believers see creation as evidence for God, but many did not come to faith because of creation. Most come to faith by spiritual experiences with a spiritual being.

    Is it possible to provide natural evidence for a spiritual being?

    December 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • AE

      I'm glad today I've opened up to receiving spiritual help. I never used to give the spiritual side of life a fair hearing. I looked at all the human defects of religious people and used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation.

      Not until I learned to honestly look at myself... and my defects... did I see the need I had for spiritual help. I was just as bad as the religious people I claimed to be better than. In fact, I claimed they were arrogant, but I was the arrogant one.

      Humility is a great spiritual principle to seek out. It helped me find God.

      December 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • One one

      What exactly does "spiritual" mean? What is its definition? Is it really any different from thinking, imagination, fantasy, or make believe ?

      December 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Spiritual is things of the spirit. The spirit of God is the third person of God, the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. The spirit of a person is what gives them life. If you have ever seen a dead person, you know they are missing something. They are missing their spirit and soul. When a person is born again, their soul is sealed by Gods Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit dwells within them. The Holy Spirit communicates with their spirit.

        December 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Glanderthustraramanadanawanachandra

          Spirit is of me and from me. I am the golden shitbombing dove of the noon sun, and you will be as seagull feces slowly sinking and breaking up in the uncalm sea. Verily I say unto you, when you die, you will be dead like 10,000 doorknobs. Thus spoke the all knowing one to you in your pathetic mortal misery. I crap prodigiously on your head.

          December 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • EvolvedDNA

          Robert.. sounds like bafflegab to me

          December 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert is good at bafflegab. not as good as rainy, but then rainy is an allstar at self congratuatory useless tripe

          December 4, 2013 at 6:11 am |
        • Lisa

          Robert
          Life is what's missing from a dead person. If this "spirit" thing were as obvious as you say it is the job of declaring a person dead ought to be a piece of cake, but lots of people have been falsely declared dead for hours, even without those near death experiences that folks like to present as actual proof of an afterlife. The reality of it is that "dead" dead is hard to define, and there are no obvious signs like a missing spirit.

          December 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • sam stone

      "Believers see creation as evidence for God"

      This only reinforces the idea that they are delusional

      December 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • Daniel

        Sam – not really. It's actually an argument called the argument from design. When we observe everything in the universe, we can't help but think design. We get this impression comparatively from what we see on earth. For example, houses, cars, inventions, etc.. These objects follow certain patterns, angles and laws. Using our human experience of design, we see the same phenomena in the natural including laws and patterns the universe follows that seem designed rather than occurring randomly. From this we can conclude that the universe was designed and therefore there was a designer.

        December 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • Kay

          Hi Daniel,

          Certainly, our brain sees designs. As you put it, "we can’t help but think design". I agree completely. The problem I find with your teleological argument, though, is that you apparently assume this always refers to *real* designs.

          But that's *NOT* the way our brains work. Rather, the human brain sees "designs" not just where they actually exist...but, equally important, where they do *NOT* exist. It's called pareidolia. It's why we see images in clouds. Why we see the "man in the moon". The "face of Jesus" in a pancake.

          (Heck, when my family was getting ready for a visit to D.C. last year, I was in the bathroom looking out the window (among other things 🙂 and I thought one of the trees across the street looked like a profile of Abraham Lincoln!! It cracked me up 🙂

          This is why I find your argument that "Using our human experience of design, we see the same phenomena in the natural including laws and patterns the universe follows that seem designed rather than occurring randomly. From this we can conclude that the universe was designed and therefore there was a designer" is so flawed.

          Like it or not, our brains see both actual designs and random configurations *as* actual designs. And *that* means that we CANNOT "conclude that the universe was designed and therefore there was a designer". Just that our brains see patterns and designs even when they aren't really there.

          December 5, 2013 at 1:38 am |
        • Lisa

          There are also numerous places around the globe where natural rock formations just happen to "look" like something, a human face usually, so locals will sometimes invent some mythic story to try explaining it. We are just so use to sculptures being man-made that we cannot imagine them just occurring naturally, like any other rock formation. Same goes for that "face" people think they saw on Mars. Some just assume that it must have been placed there as some kind of "sign". Our brains are hard-wired to see faces, thus we delude ourselves that every face-shaped item has "meaning".

          December 5, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Daniel

          Lisa –

          There could be that possibility that we imagine design; however, that doesn't automatically mean that we are imagining design when we observe the universe.

          What are the merits of design? Well, if we want to use human examples, we could look at buildings. Buildings were built following certain patterns, angles and laws invoking an intelligence behind them. And if the buildings weren't built following those elements, they wouldn't be buildings. We observe laws and rules that the universe follows which give forth the impression of design. The universe is built upon mathematical equations and patterns. Those can't exist by mere chance, can they? It invokes some sort of intelligence building the universe and putting those equations there so the universe can exist. Out of the options that we have, I choose an intelligent designer over blind, magical chance.

          Everyone tries to juxtapose science against God. But that's only a misconception. What if science is helping us see how God created the universe and made it work? Besides, as C.S. Lewis said, science can never prove or disprove God. Even if we knew everything there is to know about the universe, we still can't explain why it came to be or the reason it exists. And that's exactly what religion does attempt to explain.

          I'll stop there. Blessings!

          December 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Paul

      "We now have natural proposals for the universe & life"

      What are they?

      December 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        The natural proposals would be the Big Bang, abiogenesis, & evolution.

        December 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Allen

          AS I recall these all carry the word "Theory' in their luggage when they travel. Evidence requires facts.

          December 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          They all point away from the creation myths of all religions, therefore the personal god of religions have no tangible evidence to support them. If yoy were talking about unsupported belief in any other context you would call it delusional, although I understand that your motivated reasoning rejects that.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Allen, There is a mountain of evidence for evolution and big bang versus none for creationism. Delusional.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Commenter

          Allen,

          Do you know the meaning of "scientific theory"? It's not just a hunch or guess or estimate.

          "A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence acc.umulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon."

          http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

          December 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Allen, are you a believer in a supernatural god? If yes, where's the actual evidence (facts) for your beliefs?

          December 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Robert, I would be satisfied with spiritual evidence if it met some of the criteria I would apply to natural evidence: it should be accessible to anyone, it mustn't be possible for it to be confused with anything else, must be testable in such a way that it can and must be shown to be false if it is false, and must be found to be true if it is true.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Hey Tom, I hope all is well with you & yours. I was about to turn in when I saw your post. I've offered an experiment on here a few times and if memory serves, discussed it with you. You seemed reluctant out of the concern you may be swayed by emotion. I think God is accessible to those who are earnestly seeking. I believe God wants you to try him. Jesus put it something like this, take my yoke upon you and learn of me.

        Y'all have a good evening.

        December 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Good night, Robert.

          December 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
      • Sara(swati)

        Tom, How do you feel about medical studies that use self reports or pain, anxiety or visual anomalies such as migraine auras?

        December 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Want to bet that those studies don't just use self reports to arrive at valid and verifiable conclusions?

          December 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
        • Sara(swati)

          My point was that it is counted as evidence.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          You need to lookup "anecdotal evidence." Want to bet whether the FDA will certify a drug based solely on anecdotal evidence?

          December 4, 2013 at 6:30 am |
        • Sara(swati)

          HotAir, Self reporting of pain in a controlled study is not considered anecdotal evidence. If uou think it is you might want to review the basic principles of scientific method.

          December 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          I concede I was somewhat incorrect in my use of "anecdotal evidence" particularly in the context of a controlled study.

          December 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          In medicine self-reported phenomena are not given the same weight as what is, to the physician, immediately observable or demonstrable: symptoms vs signs.

          December 5, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • Sara(swati)

          Tom, you guys are missing the point and going intentionally off topic in exactly the same way that many Christians do to deflect reality. Sure, the objective evidence is better. But thousands of studies rely every day on subjective reports of pain, and good medicines are developed as result. This is evidence.If you guys want to keep pretending it isn't in order to diminish what the Christians experience go ahead. I certainly don't think they have good evidence, but they have evidence, and every time some atheist says they don't they just show themselves to be the same ignorant fanatics they think they are fighting. Harsh? Fine. I'm sick of dealing with willfully ignorance, Christian or atheist.

          December 5, 2013 at 5:56 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I concede that in the broadest definition of the word, christians/believers have evidence. That is why I usually qualify evidence when I say they have no evidence. They have unqualified/uncontrolled anecdotal, unqualified/uncontrolled self reported, hearsay, etc. evidence – they don't have factual, independent, objective, verifiable, repeatable, qualified, controlled, etc. evidence. No one, believer or otherwise, has made evidence of the latter variety available, in my opinion of course. Now, you may wish to nit pick the adjectives I have chosen, but I think you fully understand the range of evidence there could be and its associated value when coming to conclusions. The evidence christians have is valuable to them but not to others, particularly when viewed by the scientific method. I sincerely thank you for forcing me to become more precise with respect to evidence, recognizing that I probably have more to learn, and can count on you to assist me with that learning. :^)

          December 5, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  4. Pax

    "His religious books made him poor"

    Authors of the 20th century were not motivated by money when they wrote religious books or composed music. This whole money making business is an invention of 21st century.

    C.S Lewis is undoubtedly one of the best scholars of his time, can't think of an equivalent for him in the current century.

    December 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Lewis was/is popular, but not that good. Few of his contemporaries or current experts on his work would agree with the height of your pedestal.

      December 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Kay

      Huh??? The 21st century only started 13 years ago. You can't be serious that it's only been in the last 13 years that authors have been motivated by money.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Travis Jr.

      When people write books motivated by money there is a certain appeal that their books lose in the process.

      It is very easy to deceived by all the media hype but the content of those books leaves you bereft of substance and value.

      However, books by authors such as C.S Lewis carry a certain amount of authenticity and connects with the readers on a deeper level.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • Pax

        Indeed!

        December 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Travis Jr.

          “God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
          ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

          A wonderful introspection into his own faith, fearless to face the fact that his faith was solid as a 'house of cards'. That is the kind of reflection that builds a person spiritually.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • Lisa

        Travis Jr.
        I don't see too many Rick Warrens or TD Jakes refusing to take any royalties from their books. Are you saying that there are no contemporary Christian authors who aren't in it for the money?

        December 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • vinster76

          Lisa: I could be wrong about this, but you seemed to be ticked off at Christianity......Now, if I am wrong, I apologize. I just noticed in one of your comments where you said you were fooled once in believing in Christianity, some 25 years ago. I am just so curious as to who fooled you, why they fooled you, what was their motivation, and what possessed you to leave a belief in God....I admit, this is a huge universe, most of it inhospitable to life. To me, that speaks of a Loving God who wants us to see His Majesty in creating that universe, and the love He has for us for creating us in the first place......I am not the sharpest crayon in the box, but I am also not the dumbest....I was once an unbeliever, and I certainly didn't grow up in a supportive home.....Now I do believe in God, this universe has convinced me in my heart it was created. Whatever caused you to turn away seems to still be with you, causing you angst......If I'm wrong about that, my bad......

          December 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Brad

          Stow the ad hominem and condescending "I was an unbeliever but now I'm better" arrogance, vincter sphincter. Smarter folk than you have gone in the other direction.

          December 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • Lisa

          vinster76
          It was fed to be like everyone else, but I fooled myself into believing it, and if I'm ticked off at anyone it's myself.

          What kind of a loving God would create only a tiny rock for his beloved creation and surround it with a vast wasteland that sends radiation and astroids at them?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:19 am |
        • cedar rapids

          'and the love He has for us for creating us in the first place'

          What kind of bizarre logic is that? seriously? He made us because he loves us?

          December 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • Kay

        Nonsense! If you were honest, you'd admit...assuming you actually read books...that you haven't got a clue what the author's actual motive was for writing a particular book. And, to proclaim that their writing a book for money reduces its "appeal" or makes that book "bereft of substance or value"?? That claim is absolute nonsense.

        December 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • Jay

          An idiotic moron like you would be gullible enough to think otherwise.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:12 am |
        • Kay

          Excuse me? Your comment doesn't even make any sense. I'm supposed to be "gullible enough to think otherwise" about my own comment????? Because that *is* what your post actually said...regardless of what you might have meant it to say.

          (As an aside, I sure hope you don't think that you can tell the financial motives of an author simply based on what they wrote...unless they specifically said they wrote it for the money.)

          December 3, 2013 at 12:32 am |
        • Jay

          Idiots like you don't fare very well in understanding what is written.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:55 am |
        • Kay

          Not my fault you wrote your original comment incorrectly...and all the petty name-calling in the world won't change that.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • vinster76

      I heard yesterday that Kirsten Powers became a born-again evangelical Christian, she even wrote about it for Christianity Today. Another one (atheist) bites the dust. Not that I am claiming she is an intellectual heavyweight mind you, but she even admitted the crowd she hung around with at that time was not going to approve of her choice. I applaud you Kirsten, you are not only intelligent, you are now saved by grace, and a sister in Christ

      December 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • AE

        Ever notice there are very few female atheist leaders (it seems to be kind of a boy's club)?

        December 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • vinster76

          Yes I have noticed the female persuasion has very few atheist leaders. Seems to be some kind of macho, prideful thing to pretend to be intelligent, yet shake your fist at a god you don't believe in, and then trounce others with terrific vitriol, those who do not share the atheist garbage.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Lisa

          Well, there's Ayn Rand and Madalyn Murray O'Hair. How many famous Christian women apologists are there? How many can there be after Paul warns women not to teach to men, or even speak out in church?

          December 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • AE

          -How many can there be after Paul warns women not to teach to men, or even speak out in church?

          He didn't warn all women not to teach to men or speak out in church. Put it in context. The first people to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ were women. That is who He chose to reveal Himself to first. And He told them to tell others.

          December 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • BE

          These days Jesus would be arrested for revealing himself to women like that. The men part too afterward is just weird.

          December 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • Beth

          Right on, Lisa. Most of the Christian subcults are extremely se.xist. The RC's are among the worst but others are bad too.

          December 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • AE

          Some denominations of Christianity were ahead of American secular society in regards to equal rights for women.

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/femclrg13.htm

          December 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          AE, is that me?

          December 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • Coward who steals others' names and is an embarassment to atheists

          Is that me?

          December 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Kay

          Why do we women atheists have to be "leaders"???

          Do you not understand that most atheists aren't involved in any sort of "movement"? That we are simply individuals who lack a belief in the existence of deities? That we have rich and fulfilling lives without such a belief? And that we don't feel at all compelled to convince anyone we're "right"?

          Your faith requires just that..."faith". And if your faith brings you comfort, I personally am 110% in favor of it. But we atheists simply don't need your sort of "faith" to lead rich and fulfilling lives. To find comfort. To find peace. To find love. And to be good people, either.

          So don't assume that there's this big "atheist" movement...because you'd be wrong.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:16 am |
        • The most prominent faithless are white men.

          http://www.salon.com/2013/07/21/from_hitchens_to_dawkins_where_are_the_women_of_new_atheism/

          December 3, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          So that would be a fundamental difference between Jesus' teaching and Paul's, right? Are you a follower of Jesus, or Paul then?

          And who says that there actually are any atheist "leaders" at all like the kind you have in Christianity? There are some who are more vocal than others, but we're mostly all freethinkers. I'm free to pick and choose what makes sense to me, without buying into everything some individual person, or book says. Being "atheist" answers just one question, just like being a "theist" doesn't tell you an ounce more than that somebody believes in at least one god.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:11 am |
        • AE

          I understand what atheism is. I lived as one for a long time. I still love and know many atheists. "Leaders" might have been a poor choice of a word.

          Yes, and like you I'm free to pick and choose what makes sense to me, without buying into everything some individual person, or book says. Do you imagine that it is any different?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          So you don't buy into everything that the individual book, the Bible, says or what the individual person, Jesus, said?

          December 3, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • AE

          Correct.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          So, you're a "Christian" who doesn't actually try to follow all the teachings of Jesus because you can't trust the Bible?

          If that's right then you'll be arguing for my team pretty soon, I suspect.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • AE

          NO.

          I am a follower of Jesus Christ who can not always accept the challenges Jesus places in my life. Like to love my enemy. Or to pray for those who harm me.

          The Bible is an important collection of books I read. But I ultimately trust God, not The Bible. The Bible is not my God. I don't want to make an idol out of a book.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          How can you follow Jesus unless you follow what the Bible (sorta) details his teachings to be? You get your idea of God from the Bible. You get your information about Jesus from there too. If it isn't your authority on these matters then where are you drawing your information?

          December 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • AE

          The Bible points me to God. There are other things that do that, too. They point me to a God that is alive and available to me today, right here, right now.

          December 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Please be specific. What draws you to god? The bible is not impartial. What evidence supports your conversion from an atheist to a believer.

          December 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Yup, list your sources and lets examine them, OK?

          December 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • AE

          What draws me to God? Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit. Our Heavenly Father.

          People like Martin Luther King, JR. who testified Jesus Christ spoke to him at a time when he felt like giving up because evil people were threatening his newborn baby's life.

          http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/01/Receiving-The-Call.aspx?p=2http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/01/Receiving-The-Call.aspx?p=2

          As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world." Then King heard the voice of Jesus. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone."

          My "burning bush" isn't as great as Martin Luther King, Jr's. But I can relate. I've heard that call from Jesus for me to change.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          How intelligent is it to believe in something for which there is no actual proof, not even after 2,000+ years of searching? Enjoy your moment – religion is in decline worldwide. Only the above average birth rates in third world countries is keeping religion afloat. In the USA, believers are preventing 700,000 possible new cult members per year – how smart is that?

          December 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • AE

          You personally do not believe in God. I do.

          You imagine I have no evidence. I disagree.

          You imply belief in God is not smart. I see evidence to the contrary.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • Brian Lenahan

          AE, if you have evidence as you claim, then state it. Or retract your claim if you cannot. Your pick.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So AE, please itemize your evidence with supporting facts. We'll see how well it stands up to scrutiny.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Martin Luther King, JR. was a great leader, but he didn't do it all by himself. He had the aid of Jews, atheists and even a gay man. He is, however, the face of the movement, one Christian pastor who was often challenged by other Christian pastors who didn't believe in desegregation, so his example is more the exception than the rule.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • AE

          I have evidence that God is real.

          Just because a few posters on a religion blog disagree with me does not mean I have to retract my statement.

          Usually when I talk with someone that gets offended that I believe in God, it turns out the evidence they are looking for describes an idol. Not God.

          Are you here looking for God? If you honestly want to seek Him I can try and help you.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You should share your evidence, AE. Don't hoard it. Don't put your lamp under a basket.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • AE

          I trust Martin Luther King, JR over a few internet posters opinions. Call me crazy... but it seems logical to me.

          Like MLK I get help from atheists, g.ays and Jews, too. No problem there.

          Ace
          I'm not going to itemize my belief system for you. If you honestly want to know God, ask. If you just want to prove yourself right: YOU WIN.

          I can't prove God to YOU. Or Lisa. Or Santa.

          Oh well. My belief in God works well in reality. Not so great in the eyes of a few atheists posting on a religion blog.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, You say you were an atheist but now believe in a god. To remove that level of doubt there must be something tangible that you can point to. As an atheist, you saw no evidence for a god. Now you do – what is it? You also selected the christian god over a multitude of other gods – what specifically was more compelling about this god? Or maybe it was elimination – what specifically was wrong with the other gods?

          December 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • AE

          As an atheist, I believed I was totally self sufficient. I didn't need help. Especially any spiritual help.

          And then things changed. I was diagnosed with a disease. Life started to get tougher. My self sufficieny was failing me, and that left me full of fear and apprehension. After medication, therapy and trying to muster enough will-power to toughen my way through it all failed me, I decided to give the God thing a try. I knew people that had changed their lives after turning their life over to God. I wanted to see if that would work for me.

          At my time of need, there was help available to me from a church. I had never recieved unconditional love and help from people like that church offered. A man who went through similar struggles as mine offered to mentor me. That guy has given me so much help. For free. And he keeps telling me I'm helping him more than he is helping me.

          I hated religion and thought religious people were arrogant and closed-minded. I had to admit I was the arrogant and closed-minded one. And that I needed spiritual help. I started to admit I needed help. And that has set me free.

          I don't know specifically what is wrong with other gods. Or atheism. I just know they don't work for me.

          I am committed to following Jesus. I'm happy with my life. I feel more helpful to other people. I feel like I have been blessed to be a blessing to others.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Kay

          You wrote "As an atheist, I believed I was totally self sufficient."

          So now *I* have a genuinely serious question. Why on earth did you think that being an atheist means believing one is totally self-sufficient??? I mean, atheism isn't about "self-sufficiency".

          Everyone needs help. That should be a no-brainer. So why would you think it was your atheism that made you feel "totally self sufficient"? It actually sounds, to me, like your atheism sprang from something *else* that made you feel you didn't need anyone, not vice versa.

          Thanks in advance!!

          December 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          AE, perhaps only topped by Topher, is the classic "bait and switch" liar. He has repeatedly stated he has evidence for his beliefs and has never, ever delivered.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • AE

          Kay

          I don't thinkt that being an atheist means believing one is totally self-sufficient.

          I refused to seek spiritual help because of my trust in my self-sufficiency. That was my experience. It was not my intent or belief that all atheists universally feel that way. I'm explaining how I went from rejecting the notion of God to accepting that there is a God.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • AE

          Ace,

          Cool. I have no worries about your opinion. You basically just have control in my world, except over the little box you type in and then press "post".

          And then you share your opinion. And I'm free to look at the evidence of your behavior and words and feel at complete peace and trust my intelligence to have no anxiety over your disagreement with me.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          But getting back to the evidence you have, is it entirely spiritual? Are you sure it is such that if God were not true then you would not believe on the basis of it?

          December 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
        • AE

          ack! You basically just have NO control in my world, except over the little box you type in and then press "post".

          December 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I think that atheists can and should celebrate their "spiritual" nature. You can get swept up in awe and appreciation for the experience you are having and feel enlightened and "soul-fed" without believing in a god. What's wrong with that? No need for their to be a god.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
        • AE

          Tom

          No. Not entirely spiritual. But I definitely needed spiritual help.

          No, I'm not sure. But I'm confident today with my trust in God. It is not a problem to myself or others. It seems to be just a few people on this religion blog that take offense to it.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • AE

          Cpt. Obvious

          If that works for you, go for it! I have no problem with that. It just doesn't work for me.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Usually I'm not offended by someone's religious faith, AE. It is disturbing when unfounded beliefs are responsible for the actions of some when they try to abridge the freedom of others. If that's not at issue, then discussions that reveal why people believe as the do are fascinating.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • AE

          Tom

          I agree. I do appreciate people who tolerate other belief systems, but also watch out for those who oppress others with religion.

          I know some notable atheists, like Christopher Hitchens, were/are motivated to help those people that suffer from things like female genital mutilation and other violations of human rights. I appreciate them. Even if I disagree with his philosophy and opinions related to my belief.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I'm sorry for your illness.

          I've heard conversion stories like yours before, but now that you're part of this group do you honestly believe that there wasn't some motivation to help you in hopes of making a conversion?

          You may also want to ask yourself if something that you gravitated towards during such a turbulent time in your life, when you were at your most desperate, actually makes sense to you after the storm? People never clutch at straws when they are on solid ground, right?

          December 4, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "I trust Martin Luther King, JR over a few internet posters opinions. Call me crazy... but it seems logical to me."
          And there are many Hindus who can say the same thing about Gandhi, and quite a few Americans who became Buddhists because they admired the Dalai Lama. Probably a few who became atheists because of Dawkins, or Hitchens. So what? All these men have flaws, so it all comes down to the reasons they each had for what they believe in. What were King's reasons to believe, and are they really logical?

          December 4, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "Oh well. My belief in God works well in reality. Not so great in the eyes of a few atheists posting on a religion blog."
          You think it works well in reality, you mean, but people often claim certain things "work" of them which actually don't, like drug use, anorexia, or even abusive relationships, right? Sometimes it takes an outside opinion to reveal what's wrong with something.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • AE

          I've heard your opinions on why I shouldn't believe in God, too. You are not telling me anything new. That's great that you imagine you are an outside opinion that has something to offer to me. Really you are just offering me judgement, which isn't helpful.

          Martin Luther King's reason for believing? Probably the same as mine. Love. Is love logical? Is life logical? Are human beings logical? Is atheism logical.
          – The answer to all those questions: Not necessarily.

          My belief in God is not like drug use, anorexia or being in an abusive relationship. It is the opposite. God helps me overcome those mental issues.

          Honest.
          Martin Luther King's reason for believing? Probably the same as mine. Love. Is love logical? Is life logical? Are human beings logical? Is atheism logical.
          – The answer to all those questions: Not necessarily.

          My belief in God is not like drug use, anorexia or being in an abusive relationship. It is the opposite. God helps me overcome those mental issues.

          Honest.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          You never know, I might slip you a new one. I learn a new argument against belief in God almost every week on this site.

          I consider my atheism a logical conclusion based upon the lack of actual evidence for any gods. Gods may still exist, somewhere in the universe, but none of the claims for them that I've encountered is very convincing, in my opinion.

          "My belief in God is not like drug use, anorexia or being in an abusive relationship. It is the opposite. God helps me overcome those mental issues."
          That's because you don't see the harm it's doing. Even if your faith makes you the most docile, loving character on the planet it would still be harmful to you if it encourages gullibility. The kind of thinking that leads to accepting claims on faith alone is exactly what manipulative people like con men and unscrupulous politicians love to see in people. They want people who are easily swayed by rhetorical arguments instead of facts. They like people who are easily led.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I'm not being harmed in that way. That made me laugh.

          Thanks for sharing what you imagine. Thanks God it is not true in my case. You are starting to describe arrogance, not logic, when you describe what you imagine I believe.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Based on your posts, AE, you've never tried it, so you have no idea if would "work for you" or not.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • AE

          I've spent my whole life determining what works for me.

          Thank God I'm not ultimately judged by what a few posters on the internet think of my comments. I've got better criteria and sources to rely upon for that.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Your tendency to avoidance belies your claims to sincerity and credibility. Again, according to your posts, you've never tried a sense of spirituality along with agnostic atheism. So, obviously, you have no idea if it would "work for you." Why lie?

          December 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • AE

          I did actually start following a few simple spiritual principles to my life before I believed in God. And it led me to God.

          We disagree about things. That doesn't make what I say a lie. Come on, enough with they petty insults.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You've already shared why you were an atheist, and the reason does not match up to what you just stated, and we weren't discussing "spiritual principles," but "spirituality." Your equivocation is tantamount to a lie.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • AE

          Trust me. I simplified and paraphrased from how I became an unbeliever to a believer in God. It didn't happen overnight. I entered a spiritual, but not religious, program after my disease diagnosis. I met very many healthy and open-minded individuals from a variety of different belief systems. It didn't matter if you were an atheist or a bishop.

          If it helps you to think I'm lying, that's fine. I'll let you be wrong about me.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          So you believe, but do you think that all anorexics, for example, recognize that what they're doing to themselves is harmful? No, they are absolutely convinced that they are making themselves beautiful. You were converted by those Christians at the hospital, right? They taught you how to see God in the world, how to interpret the world as a place with God in it. Part of becoming Christian is being trained to see God in everything. How do you know that this wasn't their deluding you?

          December 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • AE

          –So you believe, but do you think that all anorexics, for example, recognize that what they're doing to themselves is harmful? No, they are absolutely convinced that they are making themselves beautiful.

          No. I'm not anorexic. They are suffering from a mental or possibly physical disorder. My belief in God is not a mental disorder.

          –You were converted by those Christians at the hospital, right?

          No.

          –They taught you how to see God in the world, how to interpret the world as a place with God in it. Part of becoming Christian is being trained to see God in everything. How do you know that this wasn't their deluding you?

          No. I wasn't trained by others to see God in everything.

          December 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
        • Tina

          AE translation into reality: AE can't bear to have his claims and assumptions examined, so he puts up a dodge or defense any time anyone gets too close.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • AE

          Sure. I think all human beings are like that. Even ones that imagine they are more logical than others are guilty of that. I encounter people on here that would rather examine my flaws and talk about my shortcomings than admit they hold some of the same character defects they spot in me.

          I the we call that "You spot it, you got it:.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  5. AE

    "I gave in, and admitted that God was God."
    CS Lewis

    Yep!

    December 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • It is all BS

      Dennett and LaScola’s new book on nonbelieving clergy | Why Evolution is True

      by Jerry Coyne posted on December 02, 2013 06:25PM GMT

      December 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • AE

        Many Christians accept the theory of evolution.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • CharlesP

          But not evolution by natural selection, without "intelligent design", as the vast majority of the scientific community describes it, right?

          December 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • AE

          It is a theory. There is no absolute evidence that proves we are just a product of mindless evolution. Science has not answered that question for us.

          A majority of scientists are not atheists. Most scientists believe in some kind of higher intelligence, power or God.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          If you came along a bolder lying in the middle of a desert road would you just assume that it fell naturally from the cliff above, or would you fall back to the stories of your childhood and determine that it must have fell after being hit by an ACME rocket fired by a coyote aiming on getting a roadrunner? Sometimes, you have to admit, the simpler answer is probably the best one to go with.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • It is all BS

          AE

          CONVERSATIONS IN SCIENCE
          Q&A: Richard Dawkins discusses evolution, religion and his fans
          British author and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins talks about evolution, religion and his 'appet-ite for wonder.'

          http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-richard-dawkins-20131130,0,1868354.story#ixzz2mMXE7tb4

          We are privileged to be in reality. We get here by a process which happens to be my subject — evolution, Darwinian evolution — and the fact that we understand how we got here is itself wonderful.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • AE

          My belief in God is nothing like a person reverting back to stories from their childhood. Nor does my understanding that there is an intelligence, not random chance, behind our lives indicate such a thing.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Can you explain? I mean, if you happened to have been brought up an Indian in India you'd probably be defending reincarnation right now, correct? Also, can you describe how a universe that wasn't designed by your God would have to differ from the universe we have today? Would there be examples of bad design in living beings? Oops, your created universe has that. Would there be vast expanses of the universe inhospitable to life? Oops, your created universe has that too. Tell me, why would an intelligent being create a habitat that is 99.999999999% inhospitable to life and life forms that have obvious flaws, like a single tube for both air and food, making choking a real hazard? We mere humans wouldn't build anything that flawed, would we?

          December 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
        • AE

          Richard Dawkins? The pop-science writer?

          December 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          If Dawkins is a "pop-scientist" then so is Hawkins, Einstein, Sagan and every other scientist who's managed to bring science to the average person. On the same bent, wouldn't Lewis just be a "pop-theologan"?

          December 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • AE

          –Can you explain? I mean, if you happened to have been brought up an Indian in India you'd probably be defending reincarnation right now, correct?–

          Hypothetically? I don't know.

          By your theory, since I was raised in a very non-secular environment I should be defending atheism right now. But I'm not.

          Are you an atheist just because you were raised to be an atheist?

          I am not a Christian just because I was raised to be a Christian. I wasn't raised to be Christian.

          -

          As a Christian, I believe this world was not created perfect. But God said that was ok. Kind of like human beings. We are not perfect. None of us are as logical as we imagine. We all are illogical at times. Imperfect. Flawed. Just like this world.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • AE

          Yes, Lewis is a pop theologian.

          Dawkins writes for the masses. A lot of atheists criticize Dawkins, especially his book "The God Delusion". It is not science.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Christianity just so happens to be the popular religious choice of our society, much as Hinduism is for Indians living in India. If you had chosen Sikhism, or even Amish Christianity in our society I would be more inclined to believe that you weren't just going with the popular choice.

          If the world is not perfect why do you think that it was created by the most intelligent, perfect being imaginable? I mean, if you saw a splash of paint on the wall that looked like it could have been just an accidental spill, why would you just assume that the most genius painter of all must have created it?

          "The God Delusion" is not science, and the Narnia series are not theology, strictly speaking. Both have been criticized. Surely an author can branch out into other genres, can't he?

          Gotta go for now, but nice talking to you.

          December 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I get what you are saying. But I'm not a Christian because it is popular or buys me more acceptance. In my society (my neighborhood, my job, my friends) Christianity is not widely accepted.

          This world sure does not look like a splash of paint on the wall to me.

          Thanks for talking.

          December 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Come on, there are few places in this country where saying that you are a Christian in public will be even a fraction as scary as saying that you're gay, a Muslim, or an atheist, and you know it! There's that myth of persecution clouding you to the reality that you are a member of the privileged elite, not an oppressed minority. You can go into any town, village, or hamlet in the USA and find fellow Christians to commune with, so stop pretending that your's isn't the popular choice, OK?

          And this world sure doesn't look like a Da Vinci to me. Too much pain and suffering in the natural world. What kind of a loving God would design predatory animals?

          December 3, 2013 at 12:51 am |
        • AE

          I'm not making an announcement in public. I'm talking about my society. Which you can imagine is pro-Christian and anti-g.ay all you want... but it is not my reality.

          I like this quote in regards to your idea that because Christianity is "popular" in this country you judge my beliefs as inferior:

          “Essentially John Loftus said that we can’t really know if a religion is true, because there happen to be many of them. If you happen to be born in Afghanistan, you’d be a Muslim. If you happen to be born in Tibet, you’d be a Buddhist.

          That’s true, but what on Earth does that prove? I happen to have been born in Bombay, India, which happens to be a Hindu country. The second largest group is Muslim. Even so, by choice I am a Christian. Just because the majority religion is one thing doesn’t make it right or wrong.

          By the way, what [John Loftus] says about Christianity…is equally true about beliefs in history or science. If you are born in Oxford, England, you are more likely to believe the theory of evolution than if you are born in Oxford, Mississippi. If you are born in New Guinea, you are less likely to accept Einstein’s theory of relativity than if you are born in New York City. What does this say about whether Einstein’s theory of relativity is true? Absolutely nothing.

          In other words, [John Loftus] is guilty of what in logic is called the ‘genetic fallacy’. It’s the fallacy of confusing the origin of an idea with its veracity.”

          December 3, 2013 at 1:01 am |
        • AE

          And, yes, there is suffering and pain in this world. But there is still beauty. It is not all gloom and doom.

          Predatory animals keep animal populations in check.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • HotAirAce

          AE, your claims about geographic based history and science are false. *If* you do not drag your religious beliefs into history and science, what you believe is related to your level of education, understanding of the scientific method and access to data and research. There is a well understood and objective method to determine what hypotheses are more likely to be more correct than others. Notice I did not say the process is perfect or that it yields the best or exact answer immediately. But, over time, through the transparency of the scientific method and sharing of research, and incremental improvement, knowledge is improved (sometimes by discarding knowledge previously thought to be correct). And if someone does not agree with others' conclusions, they can make a counter argument using the same method.

          I don't believe there is such a process for evaluating myths or that any actual evidence (evidence that would stand up to the scientific method or a judicial system's rule of evidence) for any alleged supernatural being exists. What you belief is largely dependent upon what your parents indoctrinated you with virtually from birth, often despite actual evidence to the contrary.

          Of course, if you view everything through a mythology lens or don't have the education and resources to understand science, such as I assume you think might be the case in Oxford, Miss (or the other location you cited), then there is no telling what people will believe.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:32 am |
        • AE

          Sorry, Ace, science and access to data & research does not lead everyone to atheism. I know plenty of highly educated people that believe in God.

          And I know some poorly educated people that don't believe in God.

          You can imagine my beliefs are strictly related to my level of education, understanding of the scientific method and access to data and research: But I know there is more to life than that.

          And really it is just your imagination. You don't know what I know. You can tell me about your beliefs. And you are free to simply imagine what and why I believe.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Where did I claim that science leads to atheism? No where.

          Where did I say I know what you believe? No where.

          I only wrote about science and beliefs in a general way, just as you did.

          I don't think you successfully countered anything I wrote.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:11 am |
        • AE

          Sorry, I must have misunderstood your point.

          You had a lot of "You believe" and "you think" statements. Often people on here try to dictate what they imagine I believe.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:47 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I didn't say that they're inferior, just the most socially acceptable.

          There are far fewer examples of cross faith conversions. Mostly, people just stick with what they were initially indoctrinated into. Lewis is a prime example of that. He had a brief phase of calling himself an atheist, but he went back to his Anglican childhood faith after a few years. I've heard many atheists testify to the power of this initial indoctrination. Christianity in particular does a great job of implanting the fear of being disloyal to God into people. Most of you are also taught that being atheist is a desire to be evil. Both are part of the firewall put up against your honestly challenging your beliefs.

          "Predatory animals keep animal populations in check."
          Couldn't your "loving" God have come up with a less painful way of doing that? What's wrong with dying in one's sleep peacefully? Bodies would still be around to decompose for soil development. There was no need to make predators.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • AE

          Yea, I'm more concerned in following Jesus. Less concerned about society and generalizing about Christianity and imagining what they must be taught about what is evil. I'm definitely learning to love atheists in my relationship with God, not consider them evil.

          Basically I'm trying to not generalize about them. Kind of like what you do about me and other Christians. I don't want to live that way.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          So, just as an example, have you sold all your possessions and given the proceeds to the poor?

          I'm not trying to generalize Christians; I'm just trying to root out what you actually believe, which you seem to be rather cryptic about. However, if Christians cannot be generalized, and each has their own particular belief set, then how can they all claim to be following Jesus' teaching? Wouldn't following a set teaching imply a set of standard, "general" things we ought to be able to say about you all? Come on, don't you expect all "real" Christians to share some general characteristics and beliefs with you ( assuming that you believe yourself to be an actual Christian, that is)? If you do, aren't you generalizing as well?

          December 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • AE

          –So, just as an example, have you sold all your possessions and given the proceeds to the poor?–

          No. But if Jesus asks me to do that, I will. I definitely have heard a call to be more giving with what I have. I definitely have given more of my time and money to others this year more than any other year.

          He did ask a very rich man to do that. The rich man told Jesus how righteous he imagined he was. And he seemed to want Jesus to tell him how perfect he must be. And Jesus said, ok, if you want to be perfect sell all your possessions and give to the poor.

          And that rich man became very sad.

          –If you do, aren't you generalizing as well?–

          I do generalize. I think we call it stereotyping, too.

          But the way you are generalizing seems biased. You seem to have an axe to grind with Christians. I think it makes your judgement faulty.

          I'm not buying what you are selling.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Jesus did ask his followers to do that; it's in the Sermon of the Mount, right?

          "I definitely have given more of my time and money to others this year more than any other year."
          What was that Jesus said about being humble? The parable of the Widow's Mite comes to mind.

          "And that rich man became very sad."
          And Jesus also likened his followers to the birds of the air, who do not store anything in barns, so he wasn't just talking about people who love riches, but everyone. To him, the end was just around the corner anyway, so why bother with saving?

          "But the way you are generalizing seems biased. You seem to have an axe to grind with Christians. I think it makes your judgement faulty."
          Biased how? Some Christians do some very nice things, and some of them also do some very nasty things, but I disagree with all of their supernatural claims. If my judgment is faulty please show me where.

          "I'm not buying what you are selling."
          Ditto 😉

          December 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, You believe in evolution. Clearly there is evidence that we are "just a product of mindless evolution". Equally there is no evidence of a god or of any intelligent design. Humans clearly evolved along a path with other mammals then more specifically apes. The human body has many flaws – optic nerve creating a big blind spot, laryngeal nerve, spine not ideal for bi-pedal motion, etc. The laryngeal nerve is interesting as it shows that during evolution from fish to mammals the nerve just grew to accomodate the neck; a brain to larynx connection goes down the neck to the heart and back up the neck – check out the giraffe for the extreme.

          December 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • AE

          Jesus definitely asks his followers to be more generous to others. I don't think he commanded us to not save and invest, or that the end was just around the corner so why bother anyway.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • AE

          Santa,

          I, like many other people, don't agree with your opinion on what the theory of evolution entails. I do believe in God. I have evidence for God, or else I wouldn't believe.

          It's not like I'm so delusional idiot who still believes in Santa Claus as an adult.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Abuse the scientific definition as much as you like. Religion, god and a divine jesus are all theories. Too bad for delusional believers that there is infinitely more actual evidence for evolution than there is for any god or a divine jesus. You are grasping at straws. Disputing science does not bolster your unproven myths.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • AE

          My belief in God isn't proven wrong by science, evolution or comments on a religion blog message board.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          The Jesus of history, contrary to modern "common sense"...was not a proponent of "family values." He urged his followers to abandon their homes and forsake families for the sake of the Kingdom that was soon to arrive.

          He didn't encourage people to pursue fulfilling careers, make a good living, and work for a just society for the long haul; for him, there wasn't going to *be a long haul. The end of the world as we know it was already at hand.

          The Son of Man would soon arrive, bringing condemnation and judgement against those who prospered in this age, but salvation and justice to the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed. People should sacrifice everything for his coming, lest they be caught unawares and cast out of the Kingdom that was soon to arrive. Bart D. Ehrman

          "My belief in God isn't proven wrong by science, evolution or comments on a religion blog message board."

          In your opinion.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • What?

          The Gospel of Bart?

          December 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE
          You mean your belief in God is not shaken by science, evolution or comments on a religion blog message board.
          Theory in the scientific sense does not mean what you think it does.
          There is a vast amount of evidence for evolution – no Adam and Eve in Eden with a snake – creation myth proven wrong; also no original sin.
          There is a vast amount of evidence for Big Bang – creation myth proven wrong.
          There is no evidence for a global flood.
          The creation myth is the foundation of any religion; science shows that creation myths are wrong, so the foundation of all religions is fatally flawed; therefore no personal god.

          What specifically do you disagree with in that, and why?

          December 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • AE

          There is a personal God. The creation stories reveal truths about human beings. They were not meant to be taken literally, in my opinion. Thus, science does not prove them wrong. Jesus spoke in parables all the time. Those parables reveal a deeper truth about the human condition than science provides, in my opinion.

          The Big Bang theory was fathered by a Catholic priest. He didn't seem to think it made the origin stories any less relevant.

          Science, to me, is studying God's creation. Logic, reason and study of the natural world are all gifts from our Creator to use in our lives.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "There is a personal God."
          That's a bold claim, or is it just your opinion as well?

          "The Big Bang theory was fathered by a Catholic priest. He didn't seem to think it made the origin stories any less relevant."
          At that time, the prevailing theory was that the universe was static, which caused even bigger problems for all believers because it implied that the universe didn't have a beginning, or the need for a creator. An expanding universe, however, could be seen as evidence for both, at least for a while.

          "Science, to me, is studying God's creation. Logic, reason and study of the natural world are all gifts from our Creator to use in our lives."
          Yet, science, logic and reason are revealing that there was no need for a creator, and that God most likely doesn't even exist.

          December 4, 2013 at 8:23 am |
        • HotAirAce

          AE, I'd like to have the version of The Babble that is clearly marked with "This section is to be taken literally." and "This section is to be taken figuratively." Can you help me locate one, or the Secret Decoder Ring to do the same thing? If you recommend The Secret Decoder Ring, please let me know which version of The Babble it should be used with.

          December 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
        • AE

          –That's a bold claim, or is it just your opinion as well?

          I have experienced it to be true in my life. If I didn't I would be agnostic. And then if there was enough evidence, I would be atheist.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I'm not asking you for help, Lisa. If I wanted to know what atheists who spend a lot of time on religion blogs generally think of religion and individuals who believe in God I'll ask you. Or read your posts. Or located a few atheist websites that share in your belief system and viewpoint.

          I've also located many websites that describe atheists who spend way too much time talking about religion and individuals who believe in God.

          And I think there is something going on inside of you. And instead of dealing with that, your project on others like me. You rationalize that you are trying to help. But you are not. Help yourself. Seek out some spirituality in your life (even atheists can practice spiritual principles). I think it might help you.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • AE

          disregard the above post, wrong place.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Atheism and agnosticism are NOT on the same continuum, AE, and you've been corrected on that fallacy many times. Why do you persist in pretense?

          December 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          There's no need for evidence to be an atheist. My atheism is based on the lack of evidence for God. Theists like yourself claim that God is real, but I'm not convinced by your "personal" evidence any more than I'm convinced by the people who claim to know that they've been abducted by space aliens. The human mind is easily fooled. People can be deluded and can delude themselves into believing all kinds of things. Some people are absolutely convinced that following their astrological readings works. Other people are convinced that they've lived many past lives. If you're like me, and not willing to accept these claims at face value, then you should be able to understand how I see your claim to "know" that God exists.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So AE, are you going to help me understand your holy book or not?

          December 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • AE

          Hot Air Ace

          Not if you are going to resort to using derogatory terms, like "the babble" to insult me. Perhaps you should take a literary course at a college. A lot of American art, literature and entertainment draws influence from the stories in The Bible.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • AE

          Lisa

          Like how you stand up to religious bigots that speak out against g.ays by saying it is unnatural or immoral.

          I stand up to hostile atheists that speak out against believers in God by saying it is illogical or harmful.

          I usually come here to discuss what I believe, but then I usually get a few people who try to dictate what they imagine I believe. The more I try to share what I believe, the more they try and insist they are logical and I'm not.

          It is all imaginary, in their heads. Hopefully I can help them become more accepting and tolerant of other people. That is what this world needs.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I would argue that believing in any god isn't natural like being gay. Children are born atheists and have to be taught to believe in gods. So, in this way, your comparison isn't justified. My challenge of religious belief is every bit as valid as anyone else's challenge of different political or economic philosophies. Religion is something that is taught, learned, and believed. It isn't a natural part of a person.

          If you come here to discuss what you believe then what is your problem with our discussion? You're being rather cryptic about what your exact beliefs actually are, so can you blame me or anyone else for probing? Even if this were a Christian fan site you'd likely get grilled by people who disagree with your particular theology, and if you think our questioning is nasty you should see a Christian on Christian flame war! You can almost imagine pyres being readied for heretics.

          December 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • AE

          Uh, the internet atheist theories. Babies do not believe in the Big Bang, a round earth, evolution, etc.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          AE, would you teach a child something that you believe is untrue? Would you teach a child something is true that you know can't be decided?

          December 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
        • AE

          No. I would not teach children that babies believe there is no God.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Then you would (also?) teach something to a child that is demonstrably untrue?

          December 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • AE

          No.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
      • AE

        Right. In my opinion.

        And in the opinion of a few internet posters on a religion blog, science proves God does not exist. And evolution proves God does not exist. And there opinions prove God does not exist.

        Problem is, that is just their opinion. And I don't agree with their opinion. And they don't seem to be experts on science. Or evolution. They do know their opinions very well. But they are not facts.

        December 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          We're also showing you where we get that opinion from, and you also have an opportunity to give your reasons for believing. This is an exercise in discussne else, but I'm not here to convert you. This is an exercise in discussion.

          I will say that I would have preferred that the nonbelievers in my life weren't so shy about their opinions, and did not shelter me from a great many sound arguments years ago. Not for you, as you've said, but a great many Christians live isolated from most criticism of their faith. I was one of them. The atheists in my life kept their non-belief from the rest of us. They could have saved me a whole lot of depression had they helped me out of Christianity earlier. So, there's always the hope that someone like me is out there reading these blogs and getting that help.

          December 4, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • HotAirAce

          The problem for you and believers in general is twofold:

          1. Believers, especially believer scientists, have been completely unsuccessful at attacking evolution. Sure, they may have caused some modifications and/or improvements to evolution, but on the whole, they have failed miserably. To disprove this opinion, all you have to do is produce one scholarly article published in a reputable scientific journal that has successfully made the "some god did it" case.

          2. Religion has failed spectacularly at proving, or even providing a single bit of actual evidence for, the existence of their alleged god(s). If they can't establish this most basic of foundation for their most basic belief, they will never be successful at having contingent claims accepted. Now all you have to to prove this opinion wrong is produce a single bit of actual evidence for your alleged god(s).

          Have a nice day.

          December 4, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • AE

          1. My belief in God is not hindered by atheist who believe that evolution disproves God. Or believers that say evolution does not exist. There are pleny of successful scientists that believe in God.

          I will trust those scientist's opinions over "Hot Air Ace's" opinion.

          2. I believe in God. I don't believe in your opinion of what religion is. Nice theory, but that is just your personal opinion. Not fact. But, you admitted you are generalizing so that is ok.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I'm not asking you for help, Lisa. If I wanted to know what atheists who spend a lot of time on religion blogs generally think of religion and individuals who believe in God I'll ask you. Or read your posts. Or located a few atheist websites that share in your belief system and viewpoint.

          I've also located many websites that describe atheists who spend way too much time talking about religion and individuals who believe in God.

          And I think there is something going on inside of you. And instead of dealing with that, your project on others like me. You rationalize that you are trying to help. But you are not. Help yourself. Seek out some spirituality in your life (even atheists can practice spiritual principles). I think it might help you...

          December 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I would have loved this kind of help back when I was trying to figure this stuff out. It may be a whole different ballgame now in the internet age, but back when I was seriously questioning my faith there was no easy way for me to get anything, but the fundamentalist interpretation of things.

          Sure, this is a religion blog, but it's a discussion blog, not a fan site. A good percentage of the articles here deal directly with atheism, and I don't see too many theists respectfully staying out of those discussions. I've been on Christian fan sites and they do a good job of isolating believers from alternate views by banning anyone who asks serious questions. If you're choosing a site like this, which any casual reader can tell is heavily visited by atheists within minutes, then maybe you're the one looking for something by coming here?

          December 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • AE

          Maybe you should save your help for someone that needs it. Or is asking for it.

          You remind me of the fundamentalists, actually. So sure your way is the best.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • Tina

          AE, personally, I think you are just pinned down and squirming now.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • AE

          I've got a militant atheist and someone who doesn't care for Christians (except for very liberal ones) who disagree with me.

          No big deal.

          December 5, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Fine, I won't reply to any more of your posts.

          December 5, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • CharlesP

      And, many years ago, I gave in and had to admit that there wasn't any evidence for God or heaven. I sure wasn't looking for this, but once you realize that faith is only built upon a foundation of sand it's very difficult to maintain any confidence in it's soundness.

      Lewis's arguments just don't stand up to scrutiny. He says that faith is holding onto things that you realize despite changing moods, yet he was once supposedly an atheist. So why shouldn't we count his later conversion to Christianity as one of these changing "moods", that of a young man swept up with wanting to fit in with his religious friends?

      December 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Correct. When I was a Christian I admired his arguments and considered them to be invaluably worthy. As I lost my faith, I realized that none of them provided anything unique or meaningful-just rehash of unusable rhetoric.

        December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • MAX

          Me III

          December 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
      • AE

        A few years ago I had to admit there is a God. So I can relate to the quote I provided.

        In 10 years you might be a Christian again and I might be an atheist again. Who knows?

        December 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • Lisa

          Maybe, but I'd have to find evidence for something before I start believing. I was fooled once into thinking there was evidence. Hopefully, that won't happen again.

          Who knows, maybe you'll see reason one day too. You sound almost exactly like I did 25 years ago. 🙂

          December 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • AE

          I trust in God. I can't imagine what I'm being fooled out of... fooled out of following my own selfish desires? Fooled into helping out other people?

          I definitely have less fear and anxiety today than I had as an atheist and agnostic. That is priceless.

          December 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Wouldn't wanting a God out there to protect you and a heaven so that you don't actually have to die be selfish desires? Everyone helps out other people, but I find that Christians will find excuses not to help "sinners" do things that only their God really finds offensive. I use to have way more anxiety when I was a Christian, and I can't see how you can't if you believe in Hell and only God's incomprehensible judgment determining whether or not you end up there, "saved" or not.

          December 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • AE

          I don't think about heaven and hell that much. I try to focus on today. But like all human beings I have selfish desires. But in following Jesus I learn to set aside my selfish desires.

          Like CS Lewis says: "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."

          As a Christian, I know I'm a "sinner". I try not to find excuses to not help others. And I certainly don't think I should exclude people I imagine God finds offensive. In fact, whenever I draw a line between "us" and "them", I'm told that God is asking me to love "them".

          December 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          If you believe in Heaven and Hell why don't you think about them much? I assume you believe that you're gonna end up in one of them and, since none can supposedly know the mind of God, you gotta be just a tad bit worried that such an alien creature isn't just going to roast you for no rhyme or reason ... if you're honest about what you believe this God character's like, that is.

          I don't think about what'll "happen" to me after I die. No selfish desire to live forever, or see my enemies punished. I don't even think that I have any enemies. I disagree with some people, but I don't think that they're bad because of that. From my previous experience with Christian "love" I know that you don't mean understanding and acceptance, do you?

          December 3, 2013 at 12:34 am |
        • AE

          –If you believe in Heaven and Hell why don't you think about them much?–

          Because I'm living my life for today.

          –you gotta be just a tad bit worried that such an alien creature isn't just going to roast you for no rhyme or reason–

          No. I trust God. God is not like an alien creature to me. Whatever He wills for me after my death I can accept.

          –I don't think about what'll "happen" to me after I die.

          You are the one that brought up the topic of the after life. You seem to be thinking about it. I have never brought up that topic on this board.

          –No selfish desire to live forever, or see my enemies punished. I don't even think that I have any enemies.–

          I don't have a selfish desire to live forever, or to see my enemies punished.

          –I disagree with some people, but I don't think that they're bad because of that. From my previous experience with Christian "love" I know that you don't mean understanding and acceptance, do you?–

          I do mean understanding and acceptance. And tolerance.

          I'm trying to follow God's will, not mine.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "No. I trust God. God is not like an alien creature to me. Whatever He wills for me after my death I can accept."
          None may know the mind of God, remember? So, you really can't be sure what you're going to end up facing, if there's even anything to face, that is.

          "You are the one that brought up the topic of the after life. You seem to be thinking about it. I have never brought up that topic on this board."
          I don't think about it any more. If your God exists and wants to punish me simply for not "believing" in him, then I'll just end up being the victim of a crazy tyrant. Same goes if I meet Anubis, Hades or some other god after I die.

          Why is it that you don't like talking about afterlife beliefs? Some doubts there, perhaps?

          "I don't have a selfish desire to live forever, or to see my enemies punished."
          If you like the promise of your personal life being extended forever how is that not a selfish desire? It wouldn't be a neutral outcome for you, and accepting immortality sure wouldn't be a sacrifice on your part, would it?

          "I do mean understanding and acceptance. And tolerance."
          Acceptance and tolerance means not judging people, right?

          "I'm trying to follow God's will, not mine."
          No, you are following what you think is God's will, but you could just be projecting your will onto God, right? Something like that has to be happening when you get thousands of different Christian sects, and many more individual Christian interpretations of what God's will actually is. You all can't be right and if your God exists, and is still anything like his Old Testament self, then I really can't see how you can have any confidence that you're destined to end up on his good side.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:17 am |
        • AE

          –None may know the mind of God, remember? So, you really can't be sure what you're going to end up facing, if there's even anything to face, that is.–

          No, we can know what the will of God is for us. That is what I pray for.

          –Why is it that you don't like talking about afterlife beliefs? Some doubts there, perhaps?–

          God is alive and available today. I focus on that. I'm not obsessed with doubts about the after life like you suggest. That is all in your imagination.

          –If you like the promise of your personal life being extended forever how is that not a selfish desire? It wouldn't be a neutral outcome for you, and accepting immortality sure wouldn't be a sacrifice on your part, would it?–

          That is what you imagine, but that is not what I believe. Seriously, Jesus teaches to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow. God's will be done.

          –Acceptance and tolerance means not judging people, right?–

          Right. You are a good example of someone who does not demonstrate acceptance and tolerance. You are too judgemental.

          "No, you are following what you think is God's will...."

          No, I'm trying to follow God's will. I pray for knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out. God's will for me is that I love others. That is evident from the 10 Commandments to Jesus' sermon on the mount.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "No, we can know what the will of God is for us. That is what I pray for."
          How do you "know" this? Did you have to trust what the authors of the Bible thought the unfathomable God meant?

          "God is alive and available today. I focus on that. I'm not obsessed with doubts about the after life like you suggest. That is all in your imagination."
          So, you are certain about it all then, or just disinterested? Are you saying that you have no beliefs in this regard?

          "That is what you imagine, but that is not what I believe. Seriously, Jesus teaches to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow. God's will be done."
          So, you don't have any savings or retirement plans then? 🙂

          "Right. You are a good example of someone who does not demonstrate acceptance and tolerance. You are too judgemental."
          Difference is, I judge people's beliefs, not what they happen to be at birth, which is fair, isn't it? I mean, you can't hold any political beliefs without judging the rival ideologies to be lacking, and I assume you wouldn't be a Christian in particular unless you judged the other faiths and my lack of faith as being wanting. Every choice we make is a judgment against the other options, so why is it "judgmental" of me to point out the problems with the beliefs I reject?

          "No, I'm trying to follow God's will. I pray for knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out. God's will for me is that I love others. That is evident from the 10 Commandments to Jesus' sermon on the mount."
          But how do you know God's will? A thousand people can all read the Bible and they could all end up disagreeing on what "God's will" was. How is it not a personal determination, then? Even something seemingly as straightforward as "Thou shall not kill" requires interpretation. Is killing an enemy in times of war or in self-defence allowed? If self-defence is allowed, when do I feel threatened enough to kill? Ask George Zimmerman that one. The Sermon on the Mount is a poor example. If everyone followed that advice nobody would be saving for their retirement, or even planning for what will happen a year from now. Maybe the folks who live pay check to pay check and have trouble making the rent are living according to jesus' advice, but I couldn't handle that kind of insecurity. he world may end tomorrow, but I can't rely on that happening and you shouldn't either. Jesus made that prediction almost 2000 years ago, after all.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • AE

          –"Difference is, I judge people's beliefs..."–

          You sound like you are just rationalizing your judgmental behavior. I am learning to accept and tolerate other people's belief systems.

          –So, you are certain about it all then, or just disinterested? Are you saying that you have no beliefs in this regard?–

          What do you want to know about my beliefs on what happens after death? I'm not certain about it. I am certain I have today and tomorrow is not promised for anyone.

          –So, you don't have any savings or retirement plans then?–

          I do save for retirement. But I know I might lose all of it. I have a friend who's entire retirement was lost in a Bernie Madoff type scam. He is definitely one day at a time now.

          –But how do you know God's will?–

          Seek humility. Humbly ask what God wants from you. Pray and meditate. Help others.

          The 10 Commandments are about how God wants us to treat our neighbor...

          Thou shall not kill – can be "Love does not kill"

          Thou shall not steal – can be "Love does not steal"

          It seems like God is trying to change our hearts.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          "You sound like you are just rationalizing your judgmental behavior. I am learning to accept and tolerate other people's belief systems."
          And I accept and tolerate many Christian beliefs, the ones that are actually universal to humans in general, but I do not accept or tolerate their bigotry towards gays, for example, and I do not see why my criticizing many of their other beliefs is somehow different from the criticism of non-Christian beliefs I see posted for public viewing outside of churches. There are many (liberal) Christians that I get along with just fine, but I will still question their supernatural beliefs. Why should it be any other way?

          "What do you want to know about my beliefs on what happens after death? I'm not certain about it. I am certain I have today and tomorrow is not promised for anyone."
          Nothing wrong with a honest "I don't know", despite what creationists say.

          "I do save for retirement. But I know I might lose all of it. I have a friend who's entire retirement was lost in a Bernie Madoff type scam. He is definitely one day at a time now."
          Jesus never taught his followers to save for the future, did he? That's one bit of the Sermon on the Mount that just isn't practical in today's world.

          "Seek humility. Humbly ask what God wants from you. Pray and meditate."
          Again, round up a thousand Christians and you won't get any two identical opinions on what God wants. That leads me to think that it's all coming from people's own minds, and not some single outside source.

          "The 10 Commandments are about how God wants us to treat our neighbor..."
          Well, a bunch of them are about how God wants people to treat him, right?

          December 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • AE

          1. Love has no other gods (don't worship money, your self, other people, your country, etc.)
          2. Love does not misuse the name of God (don't lie or deceive using God's name)
          3. Love remembers the Sabbath by keeping it holy

          Yes. 3 are how us creatures should treat our Creator.

          December 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          You can still save for the future, be proud of who you are, and be patriotic though, can't you? The rest are all about loving your god, and not about "Love" itself.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • AE

          The first 3 are how we treat God.

          The next 7 are how we treat others.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          How you should treat God because you love him? If you're taught to love God, then how can you be objectively determining your belief that he exists?

          December 4, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • AE

          How you should treat God because you love him?

          I didn't say that.

          If you're taught to love God, then how can you be objectively determining your belief that he exists?

          That wasn't my point. I know God exists. I don't use the 10 Commandments to objectively determine if he exists.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Do you love God and, if so, is it possible that this love is clouding your better judgment?

          December 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • AE

          In the 10 Commandments, God is asking me to love other people. My natural instinct is to not do things, like love my enemy. Or pray for those who harm me. But this way that God is calling me to love others, is actually clearing up, not fogging up, my outlook.

          December 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • Tina

          AE, that is a very poor and unfair summary of the 10 commandments. It's very clear that 3 of them at least can be viewed as being of a very jealous god – not a being that I'd worship. And why would a god need anything from us?

          December 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
        • Kay

          I agree, Tina.

          Frankly, I've also always wondered about the "You shall have no other gods before me" bit of the 10 commandments. To me, that says that the God of Moses actually acknowledges the existence of OTHER gods.

          And telling us "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth"??? What? I can't paint a picture of a whale? A sunset? Good grief.

          It's one thing to "command" that I can't bow down or worship whales or sunsets. But telling me I can't even make images of them?? We're not just talking "jealous", we're talking incredibly petty. And to threaten my grandkids and great-grandkids? Sorry, but I refuse to worship *anything* that petty.

          December 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • AE

          I believe God wants our hearts.

          Thanks for sharing your fair understanding of the 10 Commandments.

          December 5, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          If Christians truly "loved" their enemies would any of them go to war? Can you kill an enemy and still believe that you are loving them?

          December 5, 2013 at 12:55 am |
        • AE

          Probably not.

          Probably not.

          “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
          ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

          December 5, 2013 at 1:18 am |
      • Christian

        Christianity is not based on a foundation of sand. Immediately, it is based on a spiritual witness that God lives. Ultimately, it is based on the very appearance of God himself to the world. Although it was 2000 years ago, it really did happen. Many we are who can testify that he is alive and well, and makes himself known to man on earth.

        December 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • Lisa

          Mere stories. Just so much "sand", as Charles says.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Although it was 2000 years ago, it really did happen.'

          Nice claim, more than a little difficult to actually prove.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Lisa

          Christian
          Yes, and maybe Josephus was also right about Hercules, the son of that other god Zeus, being a historical figure. If you like even older tales why not believe in ancient Egyptian myth or, if earlier sources impress you, Muhammad had the benefit of being 600 or so years more recent, so wouldn't he have a better claim on historical truth?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  6. camel77

    A good way to smoke out ignorance is to post something on religion, and read the comments that ensue.

    December 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      camel77 ..it appears you wish us to ask you for your wisdom...enlighten us

      December 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  7. Nick

    C.S Lewis-A great scholar, thinker, writer and theologian.

    December 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • pointyView

      C.S.Lewis got it very well. He was merely human and didn't hide behind a pious facade. Sometimes he seemed distracted by the measures of the religious minded and confused in his endorsement of the religious practices of todays Christianity but then so were the disciples of Christ in the years following the crucifixion. Meaning they endorsed religious practices that had been customary prior to Christ's death and resurrection not knowing the crucifixion was the game changer (enter the new covenant).
      In one elegant move all of mankind including all its religious practices (modern Christianity included, refer mystery babylon the practice of religion, come out of her my people) were exposed in its estrangement from its creator in that the creator put on the garment of flesh and blood to dwell among us for a while and mankind crucified him. End of story so far as any question of mankind's orientation in the heavenly realms might go. The fact that this came via the hands of the religious leaders who actually held the texts predicting this event but failed to recognize him actually drove the last nail into Christ. All mankind serves its own way or a god that can be fabricated to serve it. Yet all mankind will eventually meet its mortal end.. then a one on one, face to face, encounter with the being from another dimension it crucified. We are all lost to our creator but all are offered a chance to enter a personal relationship with him on his terms. How? Accept his accomplishment on the cross or continue to join the throngs who reject him because of any and every reason that has nothing to do with Christ personally. Which is rather equate to someone rejecting you for something someone else has said or done. C.S.Lewis knew this.

      December 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Wow pointy, that was really good. Thanks.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • pointyView

          I appreciate your note. Thank you Robert.

          December 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
      • Lisa

        "All mankind serves its own way or a god that can be fabricated to serve it."

        Including the Christian God, correct?

        December 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • pointyView

          For what its worth, I do not feel the creator is subject to those who claim to be his followers. The implication seems to be that God does not exist except as a creation of religious people. Despite the lack of empirical evidence which I believe is only temporary and that evidence will become clear even to the sciences one day after we are able to measure the other layers of universe out there, I chose to believe that the creator is real and visited us once in human form to make a point. For me the point is well taken. We are so far from knowing God we would just as soon kill him as follow him.

          December 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Lisa

          pointyView
          The time to start believing in something if after the evidence is discovered to support that belief, not before. Why not then believe in vampires now when the evidence could be discovered for them any century now?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:53 am |
  8. One one

    God is perfect, never makes a mistake.
    He tested mankind with a talking snake.
    Things didn’t work out like he originally planned.
    He decided to change his religious brand.
    He killed his son to “save” mankind.
    From the curse and wrath of his self centered mind.
    Now we have hell for those who doubt.
    To give fairy tale salesmen a lot more clout.

    December 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Dead meat stinketh. It needs cookin'.

      December 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • @lol??

        You would know. Your posts have stunk for years, and your mind is dead.

        December 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Sue Joan

    "Christians aren't perfect – just saved!"

    December 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Lisa

      So, why do Christians claim the right to dictate morality for everyone when they can't even manage better behavior than the average person themselves? And what does morality even matter to you when it's all about kowtowing to the tyrant Lord in order to avoid being thrown into his dungeon? None of it makes any sense!

      December 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • AE

        Not all Christians do that. And some atheists and agnostics and people from other beliefs systems do those type of things.

        Must be a human problem, not a Christian problem.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Lisa

          I have no problem with Christians who want to live according to their own guidelines, as long as they stay within the boundaries of the law and don't try to impose their religious views upon everyone. If you don't like gay or interracial marriage then don't marry another man, or woman, or outside your race, but realize that not everyone feels as you do and stop interfering with them. Otherwise, you end up sounding like a bunch a brattish children who don't want anyone to play in the snow because they can't stand being outside in winter themselves.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • AE

          Again there are atheist, agnostics and people of other belief systems that are racist and h.om.ophobic. And these people try to pass laws in the same manner you describe.

          Human, not strictly Christian, problems.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • Lisa

          Although they probably do exist, I don't personally know of a single atheist who discriminates against gays. We tend to base our arguments on sound logic, so I would be interested in hearing their reasons for such a bias.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Ecal

          Lisa,

          That's because the foundation of your corrupted believe. If you believe that there is no God and that we all happen to be a result of a mere accident directed by no one, then by default that would makes us not accountable to anyone. After all, with your believe we all are simply powder on its way to be powder again. If we are just that, you would reason that there is no need to have any type of standard to live by. On the other hand, these Christians that you despise so much acknowledge that we are creatures created in the image of our Creator, thus acknowledging our accountability to Him whom also created the standards by which we were created to live by.

          You see, the reality is that we do not discriminate against gays as you claim. We simply attempt to inform everyone about His truth. That is, that we all are sinners, gays and straight, in need of a Savior and that God provided us with His Son Jesus Christ to be saved from our natural rebellion toward Him. Just because we proclaim truth, that does not make us discriminators as you all seem to wrongly claim.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • AE

          Most atheists do not base their arguments on sound logic. They imagine they do and declare they do. But, no, they are flawed and imperfect just like everyone else.

          The atheists I know that are h.om.ophobic are that way because of insecurities. Some, like a few of the atheists on this board, are intolerant toward religious people. Same thing. They have insecurities.

          December 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Lisa

          Ecal
          I see myself being accountable to myself and society. There is joy and purpose in life, but it's up to the individual to find it for themselves. I don't despise Christians, I just feel sorry for them as I feel regret for my years as one.

          Gay and straight people do wrong, but where we disagree is in the belief that not pretending to be straight is wrong. Remember that most people use to believe in the "truth" of racial and gender inequality too, but times have changed and few would bother to argue these truths anymore. The writing, as they say, is on the wall. Few younger people see being gay as "wrong" these days, and the rest of you will die of old age at least before long, like the racists. In 50 years what passes as "traditional, conservative Christianity will disavow any link to h0m0ph0bia, like it does with racism these days. Too bad it won't be sooner.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:44 am |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Any atheist that I were to meet who is h0m0ph0bic wouldn't have come to that belief through reason. If I should ever meet one I will have to ask them where they did get it, but you're right, any att_itude like that must come from insecurity.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:49 am |
        • cross eyed mary

          All my dearest friends are atheists and they hate gays and bull fighters

          December 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • cross eyed mary

          but then i'm a natural born liar

          December 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • cedar rapids

          'Most atheists do not base their arguments on sound logic. They imagine they do and declare they do. But, no, they are flawed and imperfect just like everyone else.'

          Example?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • AE

          Cedar Rapids

          Example:

          They are human beings. Imperfect and illogical creatures. I have yet to meet any human beings who base all their beliefs and understanding strictly in logic.

          Some imagine and insist that they do. But that is actually arrogance, not logic, they are embracing.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          No, come on, you have to do better than that. You made the definitive claim that most atheists do not base their claims on sound logic.

          Give us an example of a these claims that are not based on sound logic.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • AE

          Most atheists I know are very human and make mistakes. They get angry and act irrational at times. Or they get sad and suffer from depression and make poor decisions. Just like all other people do.

          Some I personally know are very intolerant toward religious people. They try to dictate to religious people what they simple imagine the other believes.

          They seem to have tough time admitting their own flaws and defects. And instead focus on pointing out the flaws and defects in other people. It gets arrogant when they continue to insist THEY are the logical ones and the OTHERS are illogical.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I don't claim to be logical all the time. I am a woman after all :-), but on this question, "Is there evidence to believe the claims of a god being real?", I believe that the switch I made from evaluating this emotionally to logically led to my atheism. If I was like any typical believer I had a huge emotional investment in believing in God, a strong emotional love of the deity, and an almost debilitating emotional fear of stepping even a little ways away from my faith. I'm not saying that emotional reasons aren't good reasons, but they sure aren't logical or even reasonable ones, right?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • AE

          "Is there evidence to believe the claims of a god being real?"

          Yes. But that is not what we have been discussing.

          You said Christians claim the right to dictate morality for everyone when they can't even manage better behavior than the average person themselves...

          ...and then you went along to demonstrate how you are the one that actually does that.

          So it is not just a Christian dilemma. And atheism obviously doesn't prevent someone from claiming the right to dictate morality for everyone. Because that is what you are trying to do.

          God is real. There are plenty examples of intelligent and reasonable human beings that believe that.

          I can not honestly be an atheist. I have trust and confidence in a real God. I understand some people don't believe that way. That is fine. Just please, don't try to shove your opinion of what a Christian is down my throat anymore. Try to practice some acceptance and tolerance.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          Sorry but that's another response where you ignore my request.
          You made the statement that 'Most atheists do not base their arguments on sound logic.'
          Whether they sometimes get angry, sad or whatever has no bearing on your claim so I ask again for an example of this claim.

          You talk about people just being 'very intolerant toward religious people' and arrogant, pushing ideas etc.
          You even stated ' Try to practice some acceptance and tolerance' and yet you made a definitive negative claim toward atheists, and have yet to provide evidence of that claim.
          Unless you can provide such evidence then how can we avoid placing that same label on yourself towards atheists?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • AE

          Cedar

          Let's try to put it in context:

          Lisa: Christians claim the right to dictate morality for everyone when they can't even manage better behavior than the average person themselves.

          Me: Not all Christians do that. And some atheists do.

          Lisa: (Atheists) tend to base our arguments on sound logic.

          Me: Most atheists do not base their arguments on sound logic. They imagine they do and declare they do. But, no, they are flawed and imperfect just like everyone else.

          **I'm saying they are just human. Like Christians, atheists are just human. No one is better than the other. Declaring that, like Lisa is trying to do, is arrogance. not logic.**

          December 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          If you are going to claim context then actually use the proper context and not cut and paste individual sections that change the whole meaning.

          You claimed Lisa said 'Lisa: Christians claim the right to dictate morality for everyone when they can't even manage better behavior than the average person themselves.'

          When she actually said......
          'Lisa...So, why do Christians claim the right to dictate morality for everyone when they can't even manage better behavior than the average person themselves? '

          This was in response to "Christians aren't perfect – just saved!"
          That changes the whole comment from one of a definitive negative statement like you claimed, to a question asked in response to a comment that itself declared that christians arent perfect.

          You then claim Lisa said 'Lisa: (Atheists) tend to base our arguments on sound logic.'
          When that was actually part of a longer comment that said:
          'Lisa... I don't personally know of a single atheist who discriminates against gays. We tend to base our arguments on sound logic, so I would be interested in hearing their reasons for such a bias.'

          Again that changes the context entirely. You posted it as if she made an arrogant claim about atheists when in fact she was expressing interest in what reasons atheists would give for discriminating against gays.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • AE

          Wow, I was trying to put some context because you seemed to be cherry-picking one line out of a comment I made and demanding I provide you evidence that atheists, like all people, are imperfect human beings.

          Also I was directing that sentence at Lisa, not you. I tried to illustrate what I meant. Sorry if you disagree.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • AE

          I also addressed why some atheists might be h.om.ophobic. It wasn't relevant to our conversation.

          Yes, atheists are just as capable of being h.omo.phobic as Christians are. It happens. I went to a very secular, public high school. G.ays were picked on. Not for religious reasons.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          I would like to know where all these h0m0ph0bic atheists of which you speak are. There probably are a few individuals, but you can't equate that with the entire denominations of Christians, over a billion if you count the Catholics worldwide, who avow a bias against gays? That's systematic religion-based bigotry vs a few individual bigots who happen to also be atheists, hardly the same thing, right?

          December 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • AE

          Atheists are all over the map when it comes to ethics, economics, politics, etc. So, there are atheists who are anti-gay. You want to come visit me and meet my friend Mark who doesn't believe in God and also dislikes g.ay men? There are people like him found in all belief systems.

          I'm the wrong person to talk to if you want to convince me Christianity is anti-gay. I have an openly lesbian pastor. G.ays and lebsians serve in other leadership roles in my church. My church makes an effort to stand up against discrimination against g.ays and lesbians in work, government and society.
          .

          December 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Lisa

          AE
          Atheists are all over the map, and so are theists, but Christians are a particular subset of theists, and some sects are specifically biased against gays. I thought I already said this, that I wasn't painting you all with the same brush?

          Glad to hear that you belong to a liberal church.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • Sara(swati)

          AE,

          "Yes, atheists are just as capable of being h.omo.phobic as Christians are."

          88% of atheists supported gay marriage in 2012.
          22% of white evangelicals.

          Religion makes a huge difference:

          http://www.pewforum.org/2012/07/31/two-thirds-of-democrats-now-support-gay-marriage-long-term-views-gay-marriage-adoption/

          December 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • AE

          Sara,

          That is cool! Atheists are mostly composed of white, wealthy, males. It is encouraging to see that group become more open to accepting equality in marriage.

          http://www.atheismresource.com/2011/white-male-face-atheism-change-that

          December 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      Saved from what? And, why are non-christians not saved the same way? There are humans(your equals) with no knowledge at all about christianity, don't they deserve to be "saved"?

      December 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • lol??

        Not to worry, you'll receive yer justice.

        December 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Rio Lee

        Everything is in the Bible dear, becaue it appears when a Christian answers a question, there will be a follow-up question. If you would like to learn what we have assurance of salvation, etc. Just read the bible dear ^^

        December 6, 2013 at 4:03 am |
    • Kay

      Are you not truly aware that being "saved" isn't a "get out of hell free card"??

      December 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Lisa

        Then you're not actually "saved" then, are you? Besides, how can you honestly say that you are being saved from something that can easily be dismissed as not even being real, like hell? That's like someone wearing garlic around their necks and claiming that it's keeping the vampires away.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Kay

          Exactly!!! That's why *I* have a problem with people saying "Christians aren't perfect – just saved!" Because, as I said, being "saved" isn't a "get out of hell free" card. So you pointed out, how can they believe they are "saved"??

          (Based on what you wrote, I think you originally missed that you and I agree 🙂

          December 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  10. Randy Walker

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egYTTe4w0tk&w=640&h=360]

    December 2, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Lisa

      If he's the best that your God have given, as the video says, is it any wonder that Christianity is on the decline?

      December 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • Juanito

        Believers in Jesus in overall numbers are actually increasing, the most of which are in China, Malaysia, North Korea, Iran, Egypt. Talk to missionaries and get their input.

        Pretty amazing stuff happens when governments try to crush the message of Jesus.

        December 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Lisa

          These would be the same countries with increasing numbers of smokers, right? These are just the few remaining places where people aren't already fed up with this particular Western decadence. Give them a hundred years of the ams hallow promises and they'll catch up too.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:28 am |
        • EvolvedDNA

          Juanito..what was so amazing about the words of this Jesus chap? what did he tell humanity it did know before?

          December 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Lisa

      So, he's an example of what it is to BE a Christian in the modern world, eh? Smoking and drinking, befriending gays without being critical, se dually active and unconventional, yet unwilling to profit from his faith? Yup, too bad the modern Christian leadership isn't more like him!

      December 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  11. Hera Sent Me

    Three other things you didn't know about C. S. Lewis:

    1. He was an anti-Semite, who used his stupid books to bash Judaism and Jews.

    2. He thought being smug was a good thing.

    3. He's worm food now, and you will be too one day.

    December 2, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Lisa

      Most Christian apologists are anti-Semites. It's difficult to avoid that when you presume that only Christians have the correct relationship with God and that everyone else is doomed to hell. They're also anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, anti-Taoist, and pretty much anti-everyone else who isn't a Christian and, even then, most do not object with attacking rival sects either. It defend Christendom is it attack the rest of humanity.

      December 2, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • Ecal

        Lisa,

        I'm not sure why so many people, like yourself, love to accuse Christians of such intolerance towards everyone else, when in fact that is not the case. First, most Christians respect the Jews since they were the people who God chose to bring redemption to the world. Besides, the Christ we love was a Jew! Second, we are not against every other religions out there in the world as you would claim. We just simply proclaim the truth that Christ left for the world to know for their own sake. Do you realize that right now as we speak there are actually thousand of missionary Christians risking their own lives in order to bring the Great News of Christ onto the very same people you claim we hate? That's not hate Lisa, that's the love of Christ that you are also offered to receive.

        December 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."
          – Desmond Tutu

          Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, was a raging anti-semite.
          His book "On The Jews and Their Lies" has fuelled hatred against the Jewish people for centuries. The Third Reich was very fond of his ideas.

          December 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • One one

          "Bringing the good news" ? Do you really think anyone would buy that line of BS ?

          It's really all about promoting the enterprise.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • One one

          "We just simply proclaim the truth" LOL, does it get more arrogant than this? And, of course, you and the other members of your club know what is the truth, while the non-members don't ?

          December 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "We just simply proclaim the truth" LOL, does it get more arrogant than this? And, of course, you and the other members of your club know what is the truth, while the non-members don't ?
          ----–
          Why is it arrogant to be "right" when one is speaking of theology, but not so in math class? The reason is that FAR too many people view theology as the mere opinion of its members. It is in fact far from opinion, and not arrogant at all to proclaim that one has discovered the truth.

          Look at it like this, if two men believe two opposing ideas, both claiming that theirs is the only right one, there's only two choices, either they are both wrong, or one of the two is right, while the other is wrong – but opposing ideas cannot both be right. Therefore, if Truth exists, then it is not arrogant to claim to know it, neither is it arrogant to claim exclusivity, since the very nature of "truth" is that it is exclusive since it negates everything that isn't truth.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Why is it arrogant to be "right" when one is speaking of theology, but not so in math class? The reason is that FAR too many people view theology as the mere opinion of its members. It is in fact far from opinion, and not arrogant at all to proclaim that one has discovered the truth. '

          Because math is easily provable but theology isnt?
          The arrogance is the claim that you know the truth with no viable proof that such a claim is true.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Because the universe "is", we have evidence of God's existence, (natural revelation) but objective, verifiable proofs of His existence cannot be obtained, because the tools that we have at our disposal for proving or disproving anything are not applicable to certain things. We just accept that they just "are."

          God is spirit, and any tool that is at our disposal can only measure that which is physical.
          But this shouldn't be a problem, after all, we all agree with the existence of "mind," that exists within a brain. We may be able to point to certain chemicals that are involved, but if you put those same chemicals into a bowl, we cannot call the bowl a "mind."

          We can see evidence for God, though we may not be able to physically test for His existence, He is nontheless real.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Evidence for God...
          However concrete physical reality is sectioned up, the result will be a state of affairs which owes its being to something other than itself. Every physical state, no matter how inclusive, has a necessary condition in some specific type of state which precedes it in time and is fully existent prior to the emergence of the state in which it conditions. There is not one example in the physical universe of a physical quant.ity that explains its own existence.

          Furthermore, there cannot exist an infinite series of causes in time because infinitely long causal chains do not exist, they are a paradox – if there were an infinite series of causes, then it couldn’t explain how the causal chain began in the first place.

          That first cause, that prime mover, we call God.

          Although natural revelation can never point one to "THE" God, it does enlighten the conscience to the existence of "A" God.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Because the universe "is", we have evidence of God's existence'

          No, you have evidence of a universe existing, nothing more.
          Extending that to say therefore there is a god is conjecture, which is not admissible as evidence.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Furthermore, there cannot exist an infinite series of causes in time because infinitely long causal chains do not exist, they are a paradox – if there were an infinite series of causes, then it couldn’t explain how the causal chain began in the first place.
          That first cause, that prime mover, we call God. '

          In other words you conveniently cease to use the infinite series of causes argument as soon as you reach god.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Admittedly good people helped some Jews, and some of those were most likely Christians, but Jews in Europe have always been outcasts – primarily because Christians blamed them for the death of Jesus, even though they also said it was god's plan.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A, Even presuming a first mover, you have no evidence that it was a god or that it was your god.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Lisa

          I'm sure that the invading communists felt that they were bringing something better to people too. Whoever said that a willingness to die for one's cause was some kind of proof of the truth of that cause? Kamikazes willingly gave their lives for their emperors, after all. Besides, the whole tradition of Christian martyrdom and persecution has come under scrutiny lately, and the evidence suggests that both are largely myth and exaggeration. The notion of Christian missionaries dying nobly while spreading the "word" has been replaced by the image of unwanted Western busybodies willingly defying the laws of foreign sovereign countries and crying "martyr" when they face any resistance. Get over yourselves, already!

          December 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Madtown

          We can see evidence for God, though we may not be able to physically test
          -----
          This has literally NOTHING to do with religion. Even if you believe the above, it's completely independent of religion. Religions, all of them, are creations of the human mind, meant to try and answer questions that we're not capable of answering.

          December 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence
          There isn't an infinite level of causes in a Big Bang that started time to unfold like any other dimension. Besides, you just can't plead some special exception for your God not needing a cause. How can any being possibly have existed before time began? Without time in order to form thoughts how can any intelligence create? That's why an immortal God is just too illogical to take seriously. Use your common sense!

          December 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          Then the only other option that is left for our universe is that it created itself out of nothing. How does that not violate the dictates of logic?

          December 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Almost every religion has a creation and end times myth.
          Genesis and Revelation aren't unique.

          December 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Then the only other option that is left for our universe is that it created itself out of nothing. How does that not violate the dictates of logic?'

          As compared to what? a magical supernatural being that exists outside of time and the universe?

          December 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          To add on to what cedar rapids said, if I'm faced with the choices of a universe that began naturally, or a universe that was created by a being that did not "begin" at all, but still has a peculiar interest in who people sleep with, then I'm inclined towards the simpler solution a la Occam's Razor. Postulating for an eternal God just makes the origin of the universe so much more convoluted, unless you're simply not interested in where that God came from, how his power works, where that power came from, how he could create anything out of absolutely nothing (where science does not claim this), and a bunch of other questions. If you can step back and say that these things are mysteries that we mere humans could never fathom, then how can our admitting that we may never be able to discover what caused the Big Bang any kind of criticism? At least we've followed the trail as far as it appears to go, where Christianity and all the other religions have only offered stories about where the trail goes posted at the beginning.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • EvolvedDNA

          Ecall..do you see any irony in the fact that " missionaries" are "risking their lives" to bring the word of a loving god to others. T

          December 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Ecal

          Not really. If you believe that this time on earth is all there is, then I could see your point.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • Mark F Lewis

        You must have not read Mere Christianity. Notice the Mere. In it he say's, "if you are Christian you do not have to believe all other beliefs are all wrong."

        Give it a read...you maybe surprise. I graduated from Bradley University in 2005 with a B.S. in religious studies at the ripe old age of 56. I know other religions.

        Mark

        December 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Lisa

          So, you can be a Christian and believe in reincarnation, or that Muhammad was God's last prophet?

          December 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  12. Lawrence of Arabia

    Wow... There are so many people purposed to slander the character of Lewis.
    Do you know what? His life is no different than the life of any other man claiming the name of Christ, that is, they are imperfect at best. We serve a perfect God imperfectly.

    To those who wish to discredit Christianity by citing examples of sin within Christendom, if I cite examples of people who slaughtered Aborigines in the name of Darwinian evolution, does that now discredit evolutionism?

    You cannot use the logic on the one without forcing it on the other.

    December 2, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • cedar rapids

      how is it slander if its true?

      December 2, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        It's not a problem merely to point out a man's sins, for that is the very thing that can drive a man to repentance. Where the problem lies is with looking at the man's failings, and then attempting to draw a conclusion about the faith that he claims to belong to.

        December 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          The conclusion drawn is up to the reader because the article itself makes no such claim either way.
          However, that does not equal slander of a person.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          In case my original remark wasn't clear, the issue that I had was not with the biography, it was with individuals in the forum who were drawing conclusions about the faith by looking to the failings of one of its adherents. And to further draw out the obsurdity of that logic, I referenced where Darwin's evolutionary ideas caused the deaths of thousands of aborigines.

          One cannot make a judgment of an entire system by merely looking at one of its members, otherwise, if one can use that logic to nullify Christianity by seeing how one Christian has failed, then one would also be able to nullify evolutionism by seeing how some of its adherents failed.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          But darwin's evolutionary ideas were just explaining how life evolved and changed.
          It didnt call for a lifestyle, it didnt condemn anything as sinful, it didnt call for peace on earth or following a belief to lead to an afterlife. It didnt declare that people go forth and spread the word.
          It was basically a scientific textbook at the end of the day.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No, because there is evidence that creationism is incorrect. Without its creation myth, the foundation of a religion is gone. Ergo no personal god.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          LofA,

          Unfortunately, both sides do this. When a Christopher Hitchen's quote is posted, there are usually comments of "He drank and he smoked himself to death." Those comments aren't any more valid than dismissing CSL for the same personal habits. Sadly, double standards exist; believers and non believers alike can be guilty of it.

          Personally, I've got no skin in the game because I know very little about either man. I haven't read either's books, watched any videos, haven't seen the movies. I'd never even heard of CH before I came here and then did a little research to find out who he was. I've known of Lewis from my fundie days, but growing up I went to parochial school and wasn't exposed to his books.

          They both seem like very intelligent men who happened to smoke and drink, and apparently enjoyed it, to boot. It seems silly to focus on that instead of their contributions to their respective fields. JMO.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      you serve a myth, larry

      and, a vindictive pr1ck myth at that

      December 2, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • igaftr

      First, you mean libel...not slander.
      Second...people have opinions.

      December 2, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Maddy

      Is it slander/libel if it's true, or are you angry that CS Lewis was found to have clay feet like the rest of humanity?

      December 2, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Lisa

      Larry
      Did Darwin ever actually tell people to go slaughter aborigines like the Bible describes God telling Joshua to go slaughter the Canaanites? No, he merely stated that the situation appeared to be yet another example of a stronger population (whites) dominating a weaker one (blacks), something that would have been apparent to most Victorian people and most would have seen it as just a continuation of the way Europeans treated natives since Columbus, long before Darwin was even born.

      December 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Darwin wanted "specimens" of the Aborigines so that he could study them.
        Darwin killed people like Hitler killed people – not by their own hands, but by their ideas.

        December 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Larry
          Darwin wasn't after "speciments" for vivsection or anything.
          After "On the Origin of Species", he wrote a book called "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to S.ex".
          In the first half Darwin deals with the similarities and differences between humans, apes and other primates and then again between human populations. In the second half Darwin outlines his theory of se.xual selection, illustrating how diffrences in mating have resulted in native people from different continents looking different.
          The major point of the book was to prove that Humans are all 1 species.

          Eugenics is to evolutionary theory what phrenology is to neuroscience.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          In the late 1800's and early 1900's many in the scientific community viewed non-Caucasian races as evolutionary ancestors, human subspecies, and/or not quite human. As a result of this thinking humans of certain races were treated as laboratory specimens. The Smithsonian Inst.itution in Washington, D.C. holds the remains of 15,000 individuals of various races and it appears that 10,000 Australian Aborigines were shipped to the British museum in an attempt to determine if they were the "missing link."

          Some of the leading evolutionists of the day, including anatomist Sir Richard Owen, anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith and Charles Darwin himself wanted samples. Museums were not only interested in bones, but of fresh samples and pickled Aboriginal brains, and good prices were being offered. Tragically, there is evidence that Australian Aborigines may have been killed for use as specimens. Consider these notes:

          "A death bed memoir from Korah Wills, who became mayor of Bowen, Queensland, in 1866, graphically describes how he killed and dismembered a local tribesman in 1865 to provide a scientific specimen."

          Edward Ramsey, curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney (1874-1894) published a museum booklet that appeared to describe Aborigines as "Australian animals." It also gave instructions on how to rob graves and plug bullet wounds in freshly killed "specimens." He complained in the 1880s that a Queensland law to stop slaughtering Aborigines was affecting his supply.

          Amalie Dietrich, a German evolutionist (nicknamed the 'Angel of Black Death') came to Australia and asked that Aborigines be shot for specimens, so their skin could be stuffed and mounted. "Although evicted from at least one property, she shortly returned home with her specimens."

          "A new South Wales missionary was a horrified witness to the slaughter by mounted police of a group of Aboriginal men, women and children. Forty-five heads were then boiled down and the best 10 skulls were packed off for overseas."

          The above quotes and paraphrases are from (Creation ex nihilo, Vol 14, No. 2, March – May 1992, pg. 17).

          This perverse tale of human debauchery can only be regarded as another bad fruit of evolutionary thought.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Darwin killed people like Hitler killed people – not by their own hands, but by their ideas.'

          Using that argument so did the leading figure of every religion.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Larry, None of which is evidence for creationism. Evolution is accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists; there is a mountain of evidence for evolution. Creationism has been proven to be incorrect – I know your motivated reasoning won't accept that but trying to take the conversation off on a tangent won't work.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Creationism has been proven to be incorrect"
          -------
          This is just flat out wrong. All that both creationists and evolutionists have to go on is evidence, and evidence, by its very nature must be interpreted. Interpretations are based on one's worldview... If that were not true, then why are there intelligent people on both sides?

          December 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          I understand that your motivated reasoning won't accept it but it is not wrong. Evidence shows that your, and all creation myths are incorrect: Big Bang, evolution, geology, etc. show that your creation myth is incorrect. Without Genesis, the religion has no foundation – no original sin, personal god, nothing. This is not reasonable people disagreeing about interpretation – there is no evidence for Genesis and all evidence contradicts it.

          December 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          However, the rational, objective interpretation of the evidence led Darwin to the theory of evolution. It wasn't something that he started out with as a notion and cherry picked data to support, like creationists do. There may be some intelligence on your side, but it isn't evaluating the evidence that way. All creationism does is exploit the remaining gaps in our knowledge to cast doubt upon the best answer to the diversity of life on this planet instead of actually working to find evidence to support it's own claim, which tells me that they know, deep down, that there really isn't any evidence on their side. When all you've got is propaganda, why should anyone trust that you know the truth?

          December 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Ecal

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          I truly admire the way you respond to most of the critics here. With that said, in spite of all the strong points that you bring to the table, unfortunately you efforts are futile. Most of these folks here have already made up their mind long ago and their only mission here is attempt to devour anyone who happen to disagree with them and thus mutually justifying their sad position.

          As you already know, Scripture says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." And later adds, "For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death. To the other, an aroma that brings life. (1Cor. 1: 18; 2 Cor. 2: 15-16) What's ironic about all of this is that they claim Scriptures not to be true even though clearly speak about their ways.

          December 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Most of these folks here have already made up their mind long ago and their only mission here is attempt to devour anyone who happen to disagree with them and thus mutually justifying their sad position. '

          As do you, as can be seen by your response, especially the 'sad position' condemnation part. There is no difference between you and us.

          December 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Kay

          You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

          You copy-and-pasted an entire "article" (with no author listed in it), including "The above quotes and paraphrases are from (Creation ex nihilo, Vol 14, No. 2, March – May 1992, pg. 17)". You didn't use quotation marks for the entire article...to show they weren't *your* words. And you didn't cite where *you* got it from...http://www.bestbiblescience.org/hsabor.htm

          Were you attempting to pass it off as your own??? It sure seems like it.

          To make things worse? The fact is that "Creation ex nihilo, Vol 14, No. 2, March – May 1992, pg. 17" doesn't exist. So the article you plagiarized is, itself, bogus.

          Shame on you.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • CharlesP

          Kay
          The magazine itself is published by creationists, so it's like getting an opinion about the Star Wars universe from a fan magazine.

          December 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Ecal,
          I appreciate the encouragement, and you are right.
          Those who scream the loudest that there is no God are indeed a fulfillment of the scriptures that they themselves deny... Romans 1:18-32

          December 3, 2013 at 8:41 am |
        • igaftr

          LOA
          Only because that is what YOU choose to read into it.
          You don't know that there is a god any more than I know there isn't. Neither know.
          You're "scripture" is self affirming throughout...still lends nothing to it's credibility

          December 3, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "You don't know that there is a god any more than I know there isn't. Neither know."
          -----–
          Although we can never physically test for the existence of "the" God, there is enough evidence in natural revelation to reveal to man's conscience the existence of "a" God.

          • Something exists.
          • You do not get something from nothing.
          • Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
          • The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator.
          • Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
          • Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.

          Although it is true, people like Lawrence Krausse have imagined ways that something can come from nothing, but then they readily admit that they first redefine what "nothing" is, and then they say that their ideas don't make sense – you have to throw out logic to grasp it...

          The problem with Krausse is that the math must stack up to reality, otherwise you are using a calculator with the same skill as a writer who uses a pen to draft a work of fiction. It is wrong to calculate something, get a result and say, "This is how the world works." because you are ignoring the fact that everything is made up of real matter. You can't separate that fact or you will end up in trouble. The calculations must stack up to observable reality.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • igaftr

          "• The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator"

          False. And that is why you seem to fail everytime I see you argue something. The presumption of only two possibilities when there are an infinite number.

          You will never have knowledge because your mind is closed by your own presumption.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          igaftr
          "• The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator"
          -----
          If that is false, as you claim, then could you list for me some ideas of the origins of our universe that do not try to explain it as eternal in one form or another?

          However concrete physical reality is sectioned up, the result will be a state of affairs which owes its being to something other than itself. Every physical state, no matter how inclusive, has a necessary condition in some specific type of state which precedes it in time and is fully existent prior to the emergence of the state in which it conditions. There is not one example in the physical universe of a physical quant.ity that explains its own existence.

          Furthermore, there cannot exist an infinite series of causes in time because infinitely long causal chains do not exist, they are a paradox – if there were an infinite series of causes, then it couldn’t explain how the causal chain began in the first place.

          Therefore, if no physical quanti.ty can explain its own existence, and an infinite causal chain cannot exist, then there must be a prime mover which is not physical, and which is itself eternal.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia

          "• Something exists." -OK

          "• You do not get something from nothing." -OK, but who ever said that there was ever "nothing" before the universe? Creating a complete vacuum appears to likely be impossible. We just don't know.

          "• Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists." -Not if time itself started "afterwards".

          "• The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator." -Maybe

          "• Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe." Where has this been proven? The same limit to how far back we can test that creationists criticize also makes this assumption impossible to hold with any confidence.

          "• Therefore, an eternal Creator exists." -Faulty logic.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • igaftr

          Sure...
          We are in the Matrix and everything you think you know is programmed. The true universe is not known to anyone...all you know is what you are programmed to know.

          You are a figment of someone elses imagination. You do not even exist.

          There is a creator, but it is a single celled organism. It is larger than the universe itself, and we and the universe are it's waste.

          Open your mind. You cannot disprove any of what I have hypothesized...and I can go all day long. Likely hood of being right? same as your god/creator hypothesis....infinitesimally small.

          One thing I noticed is you keep looking at time as if it was a straight line...beginning and end....What if the same thing that caused the Big Bang, caused another Big Bang, but it happened at a point that would appear to us as being BEFORE...and the resulting universe became, and ceased to exist long before ours...we could not know. And it can happen now (or our perception of now), yet by our timeline perception it appears to have happened 10 trillion years from now. Stop thinking linearly when thinking of time...it does not work that way....we only perceive it that way.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          "• You do not get something from nothing." -OK, but who ever said that there was ever "nothing" before the universe? Creating a complete vacuum appears to likely be impossible. We just don't know.
          ------
          As I have stated before, every physical quant.ity is contingent. We know this becuase every physical quant.ity demonstrates qualities of mutability. If there exists anywhere, any physical quant.ity that is self-existent, show me. Neither can that physical quant.ity be self-created, because that's impossible. If something is self-created, then it would have to exist before it existed, therefore it cannot be true.

          Therefore, since every physical quant.ity is contingent, there must be some agent from which all physical quanti.ties descend.

          "• Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists." -Not if time itself started "afterwards".
          -------–
          So you're suggesting that something outside of time is the agent upon which the existence of our universe depends? Since time is a physical quanti.ty, are you saying then that the agent is supernatural? I agree.

          "• The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator." -Maybe

          "• Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe." Where has this been proven? The same limit to how far back we can test that creationists criticize also makes this assumption impossible to hold with any confidence.
          -----------
          The argument from contingency is a logical argument for the impossibility of an eternal universe, there are many more arguments however.

          "• Therefore, an eternal Creator exists." -Faulty logic.
          ----------
          No, you just don't want to go where logic dictates.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          igaftr,
          Because non-linear time only exists in mathematical formulae. It doesn't align with observable reality.
          "The Vulcan High Command maintains that time travel is impossible..." OK, I had to throw that one in for free. 😉

          December 3, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • cedar rapids

          'Those who scream the loudest that there is no God are indeed a fulfillment of the scriptures that they themselves deny... Romans 1:18-32'

          Oh please, anyone can do that....here you go, here is one....people will deny atheism.......good prediction huh? lets see if it comes true....hang on though if it comes true does that mean I was inspired by god when I wrote it?

          '• Something exists.
          • You do not get something from nothing.
          • Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
          • The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator.
          • Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
          • Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.'

          Well there is your problem. Your logic is faulty:
          Philosophy has no input in to the concept of an eternal universe.
          Science doesnt claim an eternal universe.
          You cannot claim there are only 2 options existing.

          And again you claim a rejection of endless causes except when it comes to god and then you wish to drop that argument as not being valid.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A
          "No, you just don't want to go where logic dictates."

          Er no. The Big Bang, evolution, geology, etc. show that all creation myths are wrong. So logic would dictate that the gods they espouse and the religions they support are bogus. The important parts of Genesis are clearly incorrect and with that goes the foundations of your religion. Presuming there were a first cause, there is no evidence that that cause is your god. You have no evidence of a god. If a god can just be then so can a singularity. Your "logic" is self-serving.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          The question "who created God?" sneaks in the false assumption that God came from somewhere and then asks where that might be. The answer is that the question does not even make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have a smell, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created or caused. God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists.

          How do we know this? We know that from nothing, nothing comes. So, if there were ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence, then nothing would have ever come into existence. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been in existence. That ever-existing thing is what we call God. God is the uncaused Being that caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated Creator who created the universe and everything in it.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • igaftr

          Why don't you think it is observable....we have MANY things that show that time is not linear. We observe it all the time. Many experiments and calculations as evidence that time does not behave the way we perceive it. We can only perceive it from OUR ONE perspective, so only see it linearly.

          How do you know you are NOT in the Matrix?

          December 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "How do you know you are NOT in the Matrix?"
          -------–
          Are you being serious? The Matrix was intended as a work of fiction... If you're a student of Biblical textual criticism, then you'll read how the Bible was largely written by eye witnesses, and those who weren't eye witnesses, wrote from speaking directly with those who were. I've been a student of textual criticism for over 2 decades now, and I am thoroughly convinced of the authenticity and veracity of the Bible.

          Before anyone makes any claim against scripture, they first should do an intensive study of the lives and writings of the church fathers. Although we do not have the original manuscripts of the Bible, we DO of the church fathers – men who were direct pupils of the Apostles – and we can piece together the Bible just from their quotations alone! Of course there are other manuscripts that we use, and but for a few differences that make no difference in theology, we know that the Bible that we have today is unchanged from when the eye witnesses wrote what they saw.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          Whether it was created as a work of fiction or not is moot As far as I can see, your bible was created as a work of fiction. Either way it doesn't change the possibility it is reality.
          If the actual reality of whatever actually is was never conceived or written about, does it change the reality of it?

          So again, you blow off the possible reality of it....again I ask...How do you know that we are not in the Matrix ( or something amazingly similar called 3khfepojg ( actually pronounced using an organ we don't possess so impossible for humans to pronounce it)

          How do you know that the writer of the Matrix was not inspired by an intergalactic super creature to give us puny humans a look into reality?
          The fact that you didn't even consider it, shows the real problem...you refuse to accept that it is all speculation.
          You claim witnesses to the events in the biblke....All of Hogwarts saw Harry Potter play quidiche....that is real since it was written that they saw it? Unverifiable eviedence is too weak to be considered without corroberation, and it is NOT corroberation to use the same source as the corroberation source.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Whether it was created as a work of fiction or not is moot As far as I can see, your bible was created as a work of fiction."
          ----------
          So you're trying to have it both ways then? But you stated your opinion on the matter – that you feel it is a work of fiction. However the textual criticism says otherwise. You say it is a work of fiction merely because you are so far removed from its original writing that you can no longer verify its sources. I would agree with that. So, in order to authenticate it, then all one must do is to follow the chain of writings back as far as we can, in this case, the church fathers.

          You believe in other ancient things having read them, but have never personally verified them...

          To compare with Homer’s Iliad for example, it was supposed to have been written somewhere between 850-710 BC, and we only have about 500 copies of the earliest of the manuscripts for this story, and they were written some 600 years after it was originally penned.

          With Demosthenes, there was a 1,400 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 200 copies that exist.

          With Tacitus, there was a 1,000 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 20 copies that exist.

          Docu.ments concerning Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars were written in the first century BC, but the earliest copy of those docu.ments that we have is dated from 900 AD – that’s a 1,000 year span, and there are only 10 copies of that docu.ment.

          With Herodotus, there was a 1,400 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 8 copies that exist.

          Plato lived between 427-347 BC, and although we don’t know precisely when in that time his “Tetralogies” were written (and modern scholarship doubts the authenticity of at least some of these), the earliest copies that we have are from 900 AD – that’s a 1,200 year time span, and there are only 7 copies that exist.

          With Pliny, there was a 750 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 7 copies that exist.

          Aristotle’s “Poetics” was written in the fourth century BC. The earliest textual evidence we have was copied 1,400 years after the original, and there are only 5 manuscripts in existence.

          The New Testament was written between 40-100 AD, and the earliest copies that we have are from as early as 100-125 AD – that’s a span of just 25 years. It has more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts, and 9,300 manuscripts written in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic, and Armenian.
          The John Ryland's manuscript, P52; is the oldest copy of the book of John, and dates to 100-125 AD

          There are many more writings of the Church Fathers quoting sections of Scripture; we could actually reconstruct the entire New Testament from their writings alone. There were millions of man-hours spent in cross-checking the manuscripts, and today, there remains only 1 percent of all New Testament words about which translation questions still exist; but of those, no questionable passage contradicts any Bible teaching.

          The Old Testament has been more accurately transmitted to us than any other ancient writing of comparable age. The textual evidence is greater for both the Old and New Testaments than any other historically reliable ancient docu.ment.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A, You've decided that there is a god and that it is the christian and then you twist everything to fit that. You have no evidence of a god. Your "logic" says that the first cause must be your god when you have no evidence of that – just that it fits your narrative. If there were a first cause why would it be your god – you say everything must have a creator but carve out an exception for your god. If you can believe that a god can just exist, why not a singularity?

          December 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          You claim some verification...which part? Since it was cobbled together from so many places, you may be able to ferify one piece, not all...certainly not all since there are some parts that are clearly false.

          Unless it is somehow possible to tell if your wife is unfaithfull by having her drink some of your magic water mixed with dust.
          Clearly false.
          Noah's flood? Clearly false.

          The bible is a story book. It is no more real than Aesops fables...part real part embellishment to get a point across.
          your Jesus character is nothing more than the anthropomorphizing of the potential "good" within and satan the "evil"....metaphors...not real, representations of the struggle between right and wrong within each individual...within, not external. Throw in a whole bunch of the Buddha's teachings and you have your Jesus...a character in a book that , if there was a real man, likely barely reflects the actual man. And if there was a man, he was nothing more than you or I.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'If something is self-created, then it would have to exist before it existed, therefore it cannot be true. '
          How does that not describe your ideas about the nature of god?

          'God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists.'
          How does this not just contradict your own claim?

          You continue to want to ignore your own arguments as soon as you get to god.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          " If there exists anywhere, any physical quant.ity that is self-existent, show me."
          Depends on how "physical" you would consider the singularity that expanded in the Big Bang. Remember that atoms, the basic building blocks of the physical universe, formed after the universe started to expand, so your argument fails.

          "So you're suggesting that something outside of time is the agent upon which the existence of our universe depends? Since time is a physical quanti.ty, are you saying then that the agent is supernatural? I agree."
          The universe before the expansion began would not have been "physical" as we generally understand the term, and why do you insist that some "agent" had to cause the expansion. Why couldn't it have happened as a natural property of the singularity itself?

          "The argument from contingency is a logical argument for the impossibility of an eternal universe, there are many more arguments however."
          "The argument from contingency is more of a logical argument against your creator god, and if you saw through the fallacy of your special pleading for him you'd realize that.

          "No, you just don't want to go where logic dictates."
          See above.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          You insist that "everything requires a cause." I never said such a thing. What I said was that every physical quant.ity is contingent. To be contingent requires mutability. The universe displays countless signs of mutability, therefore it is contingent.

          Since God is not created, but is eternal, that in no way contradicts the statement: "If something is self-created, then it would have to exist before it existed, therefore it cannot be true."

          It is illogical and impossible for something to be self-created, but it is not illogical or impossible for something to be self-existent. That is, non-contingent, and immutable.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          Did you notice that every time that you attempted to describe a natural explaination for the origins of our universe, you kept leaning on supernatural explanations? For how else could you describe what existed before "physical atoms?" And how could any physical quant.ity occur outside of that event which created the natural laws in the first place? Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'It is illogical and impossible for something to be self-created, but it is not illogical or impossible for something to be self-existent.'

          Why isn't it illogical or impossible for something to be self-existent exactly? The same arguments do apply. They don't stop at the claim that 'god has always been'

          December 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          Then what do you claim is the answer for the existence of the universe?

          Was it self created?
          OR
          Was it eternal? (If eternal, then it couldn't be contingent.... which it is...)

          December 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Then what do you claim is the answer for the existence of the universe?
          Was it self created?
          OR
          Was it eternal? (If eternal, then it couldn't be contingent.... which it is...)'

          I don't understand the physics enough to make the claim as to the cause.
          However I would apply the same rational behind the physics to whatever cause is claimed; I wouldn't abandon that to claim it was basically a magic super being outside of natural events.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A
          "Since God is not created, but is eternal, ..."

          How did you come to that conclusion? You keep presenting it as "fact" when there is no evidence of it – it is self-affirmation, you decided that and twist all arguments to that. We don't know how the singularity came to be, but that doesn't mean that a god did it. It could as easily be that the singualrity was not created, but is eternal.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "I don't understand the physics enough to make the claim as to the cause.
          However I would apply the same rational behind the physics to whatever cause is claimed; I wouldn't abandon that to claim it was basically a magic super being outside of natural events."
          ----------
          Until science can explain everything that there is to know about everything, and while unknowns still exist in our world, one can never discount the possibility for miracles and the supernatural.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "It could as easily be that the singualrity was not created, but is eternal."
          ---------
          Not possible. The singularity no longer exists, therefore it is mutable. It is mutable, therefore it is contingent. It is contingent, therefore it is not eternal.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Does anyone else feel like they're trying to nail jello to a wall???

          December 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Until science can explain everything that there is to know about everything, and while unknowns still exist in our world, one can never discount the possibility for miracles and the supernatural.'

          By what logic?
          Science doesnt claim that if we dont know the answer then we can claim non-scientific explanations.
          And if any events considered supernatural are scientifically explained then they cease to be supernatural and become natural.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Science doesnt claim that if we dont know the answer then we can claim non-scientific explanations"
          ---------
          And yet there are some things that science can never explain.

          Scientists want to reduce the entire universe to objective matter or processes, but since God is spirit, and spirit is supernatural, then by definition, the supernatural doesn’t lend itself to discovery by tools designed to work in a physical and natural realm.

          But that's not too big of a pill to swallow, after all, can science prove the existence of other subjective ideas that are unanimously regarded as being true, such as the human consciousness? Evidence to its existence can be seen by observing processes in the brain, but can it really be proven, since the human “mind” is subjective? At what point do we separate the physical existence of a brain from the non-physical existence of the mind?

          It is beyond question that human consciousness exists, even though we see it as a subjective reality, it is nonetheless real. Don't become so stuck in the “left side” of the brain where objectivity, rationality, and logic reside, that you deny the existence of the “right side” of the brain where subjectivity, feeling, and intuition reside… No scientific test can prove the existence of “feeling” or “intuition” within the human consciousness, but no one would deny that they exist...

          December 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Scientists want to reduce the entire universe to objective matter or processes, but since God is spirit, and spirit is supernatural, then by definition, the supernatural doesn’t lend itself to discovery by tools designed to work in a physical and natural realm. '
          That argument falls down though because you start off with a claim that has no proof......'God is spirit, and spirit is supernatural' . You make an assumption and then decide that based on that assumption it proves science cannot do something.

          ' No scientific test can prove the existence of “feeling” or “intuition” within the human consciousness, but no one would deny that they exist...'
          Depends on your definition I guess. I can use science to show specific areas of the brain light up depending on stimuli. I can use science to show the release of chemicals into the body at certain times in response to events.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "You make an assumption"
          ---------
          Oh, OK, then allow me to clarify... I make the claim that God is spirit, not based on my own opinion or assertions, but on those made by Jesus. His authority on the matter was based upon His divinity that was attested to by many signs and miracles that were verified by the Jewish leaders... Now, before you go dismissing that, ask why you dismiss it. Is it merely because you choose not to believe in such things?

          I go back to textual criticism because it is such a powerful tool to verify any work of literature. Follow the chain of doc.uments and manuscripts back as far as is possible, in this case, back to the church fathers. No, we don't have the original manuscripts, but we do have the works of the church fathers, and through their quotations alone, it is possible to piece together the Bible. They were students of the Apostles in a time where their word COULD be verified by cross referencing witnesses and speaking to those who were there.

          I base my statements on their word, and in a hostile time for the gospel when it was first being preached, if it could have been disproven, then it would have. And trust me, I've read a LOT of dissenting views, and they are all based upon opinion.

          December 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          But it's your own opinion that the Bible can be trusted in what it says about God and Jesus. You assume that all this information is accurate. Your "textual criticism" can't be the same higher criticism that the recognized scholarly experts, such as those involved in the Jesus Seminar, use for it's their consensus that large portions of the Gospels cannot be trusted.

          December 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you have a reference for the killing of aboriginals "in the name of Darwin"? We know it happened many times for religion for example Hawaii.

      December 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Reference? Yes,
        See: Creation ex nihilo, Vol 14, No. 2, March – May 1992, pg. 17

        December 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Lisa

          Do you have a reference that isn't from a magazine published by creationists?

          December 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Kay

          Have you actually ever read Creation Ex Nihilo, Vol 14, No. 2, March-May 1992, p. 17??? I'll bet you haven't. Since it doesn't actually exist. Whoops!

          Someone makes up a citation to "support" their bogus claims, then others pass on that make-believe citation, assuming it's true...without ever bothering to check for themselves. Then people like you *also* pass it on, without ever checking the source itself.

          December 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa, Kay,
          The magazine does exist, I just don't know if it's available online or not, I haven't searched online for it. And besides, why does it matter WHO writes about facts? Facts are facts regardless of who publishes them.

          December 3, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa, Kay,
          OK, I found the article online. I knew it was available in print form, but after your post in saying "it doesn't exist" I decided to post it here. I think the colloquialism is "how do you like 'dem apples?" Or is that too 1980's???
          http://creation.com/darwins-bodysna.tchers-new-horrors
          (take the "." out of the word "sna.tchers" for it to work... )

          December 3, 2013 at 8:58 am |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          It's coming from a creationist magazine, so whatever "facts" it contains will be spun according to creationist dogma. If I were interested in creationist theology I'd already be a subscriber. If there are any facts in the piece I will get them from a trusted scientific source, thank you.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          So are you saying that the facts stated in the article are not factual?
          Which ones? And what are your sources that dispute them?

          December 3, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • igaftr

          Considering that the racial hatred and killing was happening LONG BEFORE anyone knew about Darwiin...anything saying it is BECAUSE of Darwinism is a flat out lie.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • cedar rapids

          It seems almost all the sources for that article came from one source....David Monaghan, from an article he wrote for another magazine.
          You talk about facts but unless we have access to Monaghan's article then we dont know his original sources for these facts. For example I cannot find any indication that the 'angel of black death' nickname came from anyone other than Monaghan himself.
          Right now I have been unable to find this original article anywhere, and have also been unable to find any indication of this supposed TV show shown in 1990 in the UK either.
          Until I do I cant make a claim either way as to its authenticity.

          December 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          Here's another one then...

          "In 1859 Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species popularized the notion of biological (and therefore social) evolution. Scholars began to discuss civilization as a unilinear process with races able to ascend or descend a graduated scale. The European was the "fittest to survive." [The Aboriginal] was doomed to die out according to a "natural law," like the do.do and the dinosaur. This theory, supported by the facts at hand continued to be quoted until well into the twentieth century when it was noticed that the dark-skinned race was multiplying. Until that time it could be used to justify neglect and murder."

          (Sharman Stone, Aborigines in White Australia: A Doc.umentary History of the At.t.itudes Affecting Official Policy and the Australian Aborigine 1697-1973, Melbourne: Heinemann Educational Books, 1974)

          December 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A, Even if it were true it doesn't reflect on Darwin, nor does it diminish the overwhelming evidence for evolution. And it especially does not support creationism. Another fail for your god.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          Loa
          Your reference is wrong. The subject was being broached long before Darwins work.
          Robert Chambers' book "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" 1844 was a major best seller, sparking debate long before poeple ever heard of Darwin. And his was not the first,...as in most sciences, his work was on the back of his predecessors, as was theirs and on.The subject was just re-sparked with Darwin, since he had made additional, more detailed observations, confirming the existing theory, which has since been verified thousands of times over.
          Darwin was not the first nor the last...just a lot of people cite him as if he was the only one.

          December 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          No, what I'm saying is that I get my facts from trusted, scientific sources, and life is too short to waste valuable time with sources that have proved to be unreliable. I lost all trust in creationist publications when I read that T-Rex was created to east watermelons with those long teeth of his. Your magazine may include about as much factual information as an average National Enquirer, but why spend time sifting through it? If this is about an actual scientific discovery, them my sources will undoubtedly report it.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          Then since you do not deny the facts in the article, you are in agreement with my original post, that evolutionistic ideas (regardless of their origination) were a direct cause of the murder of aborigines...

          Now, going back to the original post, if one is to look at the failings of a man of faith, and then draw conclusions about the legitimacy of that faith, then by that same logic, we can then look at the att.itude and actions of some evolutionists who slaughtered aborigines in the name of "science," and we can draw conclusions about the legitimacy of that system.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'we can then look at the att.itude and actions of some evolutionists who slaughtered aborigines in the name of "science," and we can draw conclusions about the legitimacy of that system.'

          What system though? Evolution doesn't declare itself to be a system, its a description of the natural process of changes to lifeforms. It doesn't dictate a lifestyle, a way to act or live your life.
          It would be like saying if I dropped people to their death from a tower to determine whether it is true that different weighted objects all reach the same terminal velocity then it must be a comment on the system of idea of gravity.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • Kay

          L of A...you wrote "Lisa, So are you saying that the facts stated in the article are not factual? Which ones? And what are your sources that dispute them?"

          The Creation Ex Nihilo source you cited as *your* source does not exist. And the only reason *you* cited it was because the anonymous article you copied word for word without attributing *that* (which is plagiarism, by the way) lists it as *their* reference. You, on the other hand, have never seen their alleged reference because...again...it doesn't exist.

          Since the source itself doesn't exist, you can't legitimately claim *anything* in the piece you copy-and-pasted is factual since your claim is based solely on a phony citation *saying* these things. Obviously, since it doesn't exist, it didn't say anything!!

          December 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Kay,
          Then if that magazine article in "Creation ex nihilo" doesn't exist, then how come I have one in my hands? (I also linked the magazine article for you above.)

          December 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          Then call it what you will, evolutionists murdered human beings so that they could be studied to see if they were the "missing link." Would you defend these people?

          December 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Then call it what you will, evolutionists murdered human beings so that they could be studied to see if they were the "missing link." Would you defend these people?'

          No.
          But there is no such thing as an evolutionist anymore than there is such a thing as a gravitationist.

          December 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          "No."
          -------
          Thank you, at least we agree on that... But what I mean by "evolutionist" is merely those who subscribe to evolutionary ideas. If it was settled science, then it wouldn't be called a "theory." In all actuality, it isn't a theory, its a model. And not all scientists subscribe to all of its claims – not so with gravity, that's why it's called a law. Incidentally, since when is fact determined by a majority vote? Usually claims like that show up on toothpaste commercials "4 out of 5 dentists agree!"

          December 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'If it was settled science, then it wouldn't be called a "theory." In all actuality, it isn't a theory, its a model. And not all scientists subscribe to all of its claims – not so with gravity, that's why it's called a law.'

          Oh come now, you know that's not how science works. A theory doesn't become a law. A theory in science describes how things behave, why they happen, and a law explains what happens. That is why there is both a law AND A THEORY describing gravity (covered in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity)

          December 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Cedar Rapids,
          Even still, it is not settled science. As it is, it is science by majority. I don't know enough of either side of the debate to speak first hand on it, but huge lists can be compiled of great scientists on both sides of the debate... Not so with gravity. Pretty much everyone agrees that gravity works.

          I believe I've said before that all anyone has to go on is evidence, and all evidence must be interpreted. Interpretations are based upon one's worldview. After all, rocks don't come with a date stamp next to their "Made in China" sticker – people base ages on assumptions. It's the same way with any other evidence – it must be interpreted.

          December 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Even still, it is not settled science. As it is, it is science by majority. I don't know enough of either side of the debate to speak first hand on it, but huge lists can be compiled of great scientists on both sides of the debate... Not so with gravity. Pretty much everyone agrees that gravity works. '

          It is only science by majority if a scientific alternative has been put forward. There is no scientific alternative to evolution, at least no major one I know of, only a religious one. If gravity has a higher percentage of agreement its because no one suggests the alternative to it is 'god causes things to fall'. I think you will find that the 'huge lists can be compiled of great scientists on both sides of the debate' would be severally unbalanced on the side of evolution. It is for all purposes 'settled science'

          December 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          I haven't read your creationist magazine so how can I deny anything specifically? I told you that I simply do not trust that kind of source. Would you trust anything you happened to see on the front cover of the National Enquirer without fact checking it? If it's reporting something scientific it will likely turn up in one of my trusted sources. Can you point me to a legitimate scientific or historical journal that makes this same claim? If not, you're just wasting my time.

          December 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • EvolvedDNA

          Lof A.. I would be interested in having you post a undisputed scientifically peer reviewed fact that creations have found that counters evolution . does one exist ?

          December 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A, We know more about evolution than we do about gravity; why accept scientific knowledge for the one we know least about? Logically, if you reject anything as just another theory it should be gravity.

          December 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Sir Julian Huxley, one of the world's leading evolutionists, head of UNESCO, descendant of Thomas Huxley - Darwin's bulldog - said on a talk show, 'I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our se.xual mores.'"

          Evolution is merely an attempt to describe the world's diversity without invoking God. Why do I need to posit some explanation OTHER than the truth just to satisfy the nay-sayers?

          If there was another explanation, then I'd give it. God created everything – the idea of molecules to man isn't scientific. It isn't observable. It only exists in the minds of those whose imaginations go rampant to the point of putting their fingers in their ears and repeating "nanananananana, I can't hear you!!!" to the natural revelation of God.

          I'm done arguing – I feel like I'm trying to nail jello to a wall here. If you choose not to believe in God, then that is your business, but keep your religion of atheistic evolution out of our schools, that's child abuse.

          December 4, 2013 at 8:18 am |
        • HotAirAce

          "Why do I need to posit some explanation OTHER than the truth just to satisfy the nay-sayers?". Umm, because you have not established the foundation for your explanation, namely you have not established that your, or any, god exists, never mind went on to do the things you claim.

          December 4, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • igaftr

          "Evolution is merely an attempt to describe the world's diversity without invoking God. Why do I need to posit some explanation OTHER than the truth just to satisfy the nay-sayers?"

          Evolution is an attempt to get to the truth....you are suggesting there is a bias to exclude god, which is a flat out lie.

          We know your opinion of science is that it spoils your word of god by showing how false that magic book of yours is, but to try to claim that science has a bias is someone who does not understand science.
          Scientists publish their theories to get other scientists to verify the validity or not of their theories...to date, no one can disprove evolution, and it is reaffirmed daily...parts have been changed and refined to reflect more accurate observations, but the science is true...it has no god bias like YOU DO.

          December 4, 2013 at 8:40 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Re: "the idea of molecules to man isn't scientific. It isn't observable. It only exists in the minds of those whose imaginations go rampant to the point of putting their fingers in their ears and repeating "nanananananana, I can't hear you!!!" to the natural revelation of God." please explain as this would be monumental news to the scientists that discovered how atoms and molecules work, and to anyone who has taken Grade 10 Chemistry, not to mention the thousands, if not millions, of chemists who work with molecules every day. Any chance *you* have *your* fingers in *your* ears and are madly repeating the lord's prayer, or some other voodoo, to ward off even the most basic science?

          December 4, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          Molecules can't be observed?

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mWnj6l5Q94&w=640&h=360]

          December 4, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lisa,
          No, I said "molecules to man" cannot be observed... That would be "Macro-evolution." Don't be so eager to disagree that you fail to read the entirety of the post.

          December 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Lisa

          Lawrence of Arabia
          You cannot "observe" the chain of your descendants going back even a few hundred years, but you probably accept that you have ancestors going back that far, correct? Your argument is about as silly as tracing back your family tree to Napoleonic France and then assuming that those people didn't also have ancestors, possibly coming from somewhere else.

          I've a question for you: Why would your creator god design humans with a fractured Vitamin C gene that we happen to share only with our closest primate relatives? Explain to me why it isn't more reasonable to conclude that we and our closest primate relatives inherited this genetic defect from a common ancestor than to assume that your God, your intelligent designer, intended to place that defect in us and these primates?

          December 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Evolution is merely an attempt to describe the world's diversity without invoking God. '
          No it had nothing to do with avoiding evoking god; its only the religious that makes that claim because they realize that such a system does not require a god. However, I will point out that even the catholic church says it has no problem with the idea of evolution.

          ' the idea of molecules to man isn't scientific. It isn't observable. It only exists in the minds of those whose imaginations go rampant to the point of putting their fingers in their ears and repeating "nanananananana, I can't hear you!!!" to the natural revelation of God.'
          I think you are confused as to whom is going "nanananananana, I can't hear you!!!"

          'but keep your religion of atheistic evolution out of our schools, that's child abuse.'
          oh now you need to just grow up. Evolution is no more atheist than your example of gravity is. You want to talk child abuse then you tell your lot to stop trying to push prayer in schools.

          ...as for the Sir Julian Huxley quote......Having trouble tracking that down. In fact there is even a site that has dedicated a page to trying to track it down and has been unable to find it anywhere other than the original book that claimed it was said in the first place.

          December 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  13. lol??

    No Hegelian dialectic needed for Christians, who have a choice,
    Phil 2:5
    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    December 2, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  14. lol??

    All this psychobable is obsolete now that science has a PET scan. 'Sides Freud was into the Frankfurt School where they failed to bring up the little matter of him having a wet nurse like the other rich friends of his.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Doris

      Psychobabble? Pot meet kettle.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • lol??

        You really oughta set an alti*tude limit on yer broom flyin'.

        December 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  15. John

    Those of you who really want to know what you're talking about should get a copy of Mere Christianity and read it. I was given a copy 26 years ago and it changed my life. C. S. Lewis was human and fallible like we all are. But he was also a great thinker and writer. Christianity is a philosophy that deserves a long hard look and there is no place better to start than this small book. It's a quick read and then if you remain a skeptic, fine. At least you will be an informed skeptic.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Mere Christianity is not, in my opinion, that great a work. Having read it, and studied Christianity pretty hard core in my life, I found both the book and the religion lacking.

      You will find that many people who do not believe as you do have already heard the gospel of Christ, examined it and found it wanting. Telling them to read it again isn't going to change their minds.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • cedar rapids

      How informed a skeptic do you have to be to decide that magic doesnt exist?

      December 2, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • cross eyed mary

        He raised questions atheists cannot answer. Very simple, straight forward questions.

        December 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • cross eyed mary

        Good point cedar falls. No magic. I made the universe from nothing without a rabbit in my hat. U can too.

        December 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • fred

      I still have my copy of the Screwtape Letters. Lewis does a great job of making you feel sympathy and pity for that poor junior devil.

      December 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  16. Carl

    "No modern Christian author sells like Lewis. [....] 10 million copies,"

    Rick Warren's wishy-washy apologist book has sold 30 million copies.

    "His religious books made him poor"

    If he chose to donate all of the money, his books did not make him poor.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • John Blake

      IF Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" is still selling millions of copies 60 years from now, then we can say he approaches Lewis. Part of what I said is that it's not just the sheer number of books sold by Lewis, but that he's still selling millions 50 years or so later. Warren doesn't approach that category. Perhaps one day he will and maybe people will make movies about Warren's books, his life, etc. but right now I wouldn't put him in Lewis' category.

      December 2, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Lisa

      But, try getting Rick Warren, Lee Stroble, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, the Grahams or any of the other rich Christian authors to give up all their book royalties and other money they earn from their faith the way Lewis did. I give him credit for that: he didn't get rich from marketing his faith like the Christian leadership does these days.

      December 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Ecal

        You know Lisa what's funny? No one would ever criticize any secular author for making money out of their writings, in fact they all get standing ovations. But the minute a Christian author does, all of the sudden he or she is a phony who is in solely for the money. Isn't that a double standard?

        December 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  17. Patrick

    The article didn't mention anything about him being an atheist before Tolkien converted him to Christianity.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • myweightinwords

      It also doesn't tell us what he had for breakfast his first day of school.

      It's an article, not a biography.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • Carl

        Surely one of those is more relevant than the other.

        December 2, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Why is either relevant to the point of the article?

          December 2, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Lisa

      Lewis was raised in an Anglican household, had a few years in his youth when he described himself as an atheist, but then returned to the faith of his childhood much to the chagrin of Tolkin, who worked long and hard at trying to convert him to Catholicism. As far as I know, none of this thoughts from this period survive in any written form. His atheism was, if anything, just a youthful phase, but to hear Christians describe Lewis today you'd have thought that he was the Dawkins of his day.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  18. Doug

    "It’s tempting to remember Lewis only as the self-assured defender of Christianity who never met an argument he couldn't demolish."

    Seriously? C.S. Lewis may have been full of himself but his attempts to demolish arguments were laughable at best. The man was prepared to say anything that sounded like it supported his point, even if it was incredibly ignorant.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Lisa

      To be fair, he could probably do pretty well against a lot of the criticism that was around back in the 40s and 50s, but you're right in that he wouldn't get very far against someone like Dawkins, or Hitchens these days.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • lol??

        What about the popularity of Kinsey with his pedophile experiments using ex nazi wackos?? The educated went for him like flies to s__t.

        December 2, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • Maddy

          Although I am unsurprised that you know all about Kinsey, being as nosy as you are about other people's sex lives, Kinsey TALKED to exactly ONE pedophile as part of his research, and conducted NO experiments at all with children.

          And none of this has to do with CSL anyhow.

          When you throw in red herrings and lies to try an make a point, no matter how convoluted it is, you show yourself to be the tiny-minded bigot you are.
          Grow up.

          December 2, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • lol??

          Daddy maddy, your public servants are vewwy interested, bein' in charge of marriage and all. Apologizing for socie nazis again??

          December 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  19. myweightinwords

    Personally, I don't find it odd to discover a Christian with a leaning toward S&M, though I find it more common to see them on the receiving end, rather than the giving end.

    There's a big psychological component to S&M that goes very well with the same psychological make up that contributes to a person choosing Christianity as their spiritual expression.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • lol??

      Don't take your own thoughts so personally.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Lisa

      There was a lot of talk about this back when The Passion of the Christ came out. Some Christians repeatedly saw the movie just to re-experience Jesus getting whipped and tortured. Some would talk about the scenes as though they were watching something kin_ky.

      December 2, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • myweightinwords

        To be fair, that scene was far more kiky than most S&M porn.

        And yes, that is part of what I'm meaning. Psychologically speaking, the desire to be punished, the need for pain to release the feeling of freedom, the rush of endorphins and even orgasm can be easily dressed in religious terminology, but is little different than what we paint in deviant terms.

        December 2, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • lol??

          Don't take your endorphins so personally unless your takin' a test for psychopathy.

          December 2, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Maddy

          You'd pass that test with flying colors.
          Now hush and let the smarter people talk.

          December 2, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Maddy,

          1) What test are you talking about?
          2) Is there a reason you need to disparage my intelligence? Is there a point you are making aside from insulting someone who you disagree with?

          December 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Which God?

          MWIW, Maddy was replying to the lol??diot, not you.

          December 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Ah...I didn't see the other reply. I tend to ignore lol...and I was responding from my notifications, so I didn't see it.

          December 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.