XFiles Friday: Is versus Has

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

It’s time to dig into the Trinity itself, and Geisler and Turek want us to know up front that we’re most certainly not dealing with an unreasonable dogma here.

Despite what some skeptics may say, the Trinity is not illogical or against reason. Saying that there is one God and three Gods would be illogical. But saying that there is one God who has three persons is not illogical. It may be beyond reason, but it’s not against reason.

Gotta love the bit where they say the Trinity is beyond reason rather than against reason. In other words, if trinitarians contradict themselves, that doesn’t mean they’re actually wrong, it just means we’re too stupid to figure out a way to resolve the contradiction. It’s an IOU for the rationalization they’d like to be able to come up with, but can’t. And God’s the one that’s supposed to pick up the tab!

G&T are partly correct: depending on how you define “God” and “person,” it might not necessarily be illogical to say that one God can have three persons. If God is a category, or a species, or an organization, He/They/It could have any number of persons as members. There is one humanity that has many persons, one Republican party that has many persons, and so on. The illogical stuff doesn’t kick in until you start trying to claim that this is anything other than frank polytheism.

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Jesus is not God

There’s an interesting follow-up to last Friday’s post on the so-called “dual nature” of Christ. As we discussed before, the reason Christians have come up with the idea that Jesus possessed both a human nature and a divine nature is because the Bible very clearly states, in a number of places, that Jesus had certain weaknesses and limitations that were inconsistent with the idea that he was God. Consequently, theologians needed some way that two contradictory claims could both be true, and they “solved” the problem by assigning Christ a dual nature. Geisler and Turek illustrated this approach by showing how it allows Christians to ask simple questions about Jesus, and claim that the true and correct answer is both yes and no.

[D]id Jesus know the time of his second coming? As God, yes; as man, no. Did Jesus know all things? As God, yes; as man, no… Did Jesus get hungry? As God, no; as man, yes. Did Jesus get tired? As God, no; as man, yes.

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XFiles Friday: Yes and no

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

Gullibility is when you believe whatever people tell you even though common sense ought to expose their words as false because they conflict with reality and/or contradict themselves. This week, Geisler and Turek are going to tell us that Christianity contradicts itself, but we should believe whatever they tell us anyway.

[I]n Matthew 24:36, Jesus claims he doesn’t know the date of his own return when he declares, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Now how can Jesus be God if he… is limited in knowledge?

The answer… lies in a proper understanding of the Trinity. First, let’s state clearly what the Trinity is not: the Trinity is not three Gods, three modes of one God, or three divine essences. The Trinity is three persons in one divine essence. In other words, there are three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—who share one divine essence.

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XFiles Friday: Answering objections

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

Geisler and Turek have spent Chapter 13 trying to convince us that Jesus flat out claimed to be God, thus leaving us with no choice but to embrace him as Lord, or else to denounce him as a liar and/or lunatic. Their preferred response, of course, is to proclaim him as God, and today they take some time to deal with various objections to the deity of Christ.

The first objection they take up, ironically, is the question many skeptics ask: if Jesus is God, why didn’t he come right out and say so. Geisler and Turek have been trying to persuade us that Jesus did come right out and say so, but if that were the case, then the best answer to this question would be to simply quote the words of Jesus in which he directly said, “Yes, I am God the Son, second Person of the Trinity, eternal deity incarnate in the flesh of man.” But they can’t. So they give us four other answers instead, and the first one is rather a beaut.

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XFiles Friday: He who is without sin

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

It’s almost time for Geisler and Turek to do their “answering the critics” schtick, but before we get to that, there’s just one or two loose ends they’d like to tie up. According to G&T, Jesus proved his deity by “three unparalleled proofs,” namely fulfilled prophecy, a sinless life, and resurrection.

We’ve already given evidence regarding the messianic prophecies, Jesus’ miracles, and his resurrection. But what about the idea of Jesus being sinless? Jesus himself said, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin” (John 8:46, NASB)? Moreover, his disciples, who spent three years with him day and night, claimed that Jesus was sinless…

Because of course it would never have occurred to those disciples that their own authority was derived from Jesus’ perceived authority, and therefore it was in their own best interests to make Jesus sound as virtuous and authoritative as possible. Right?

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What’s so great about being an ex-Christian? Intellectual integrity.

While I’m slowly recovering from this flu or whatever it is that has me knocked down and dragged out, I thought it might be refreshing to spend some time thinking about the various ways my life has improved since I abandoned the myths and superstitions of the Christian faith. Today’s post will zero in on just one of those improvements, which, for want of a better term, I’ve labeled “intellectual integrity.”

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Posted in Ex-Christian Advantages. 10 Comments »