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John Lennon II

John Lennon II

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Published by pilesar
Absolute Truth and Morality. From Answers in Genesis.
Absolute Truth and Morality. From Answers in Genesis.

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Published by: pilesar on Feb 23, 2013
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02/23/2013

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John Lennon II?
From Allan Chamberlin from Curran, Ontario, Canada, who gave permission for his fullname to be published. In his letter, printed below,he makes points that Christians will often encounter, i.e. that we can’t know for sure, all religions are basically equal, weshould be open–minded and tolerant, etc. His letter isreprinted (indentedredtext), with  point-by-point responses byDr Jonathan Sarfati,showing that such typical claims are often self–refuting, and can be made only by ignorance or closed-minded rejection of theunique claims of Jesus Christ.Imagine no religionAll arguments about God could be ended easily. God is a mystery. No one could claimexclusive knowledge of God and his ways. All could be free to honor God in their chosenway. Converting others to our(God’s) way of thinking could be ended.The various religions of the world have much good counsel to offer. Do we need rules?Of course we do, without rules we would have no civilization.The problem arises when one invokes the name of God as the source of ones beliefs. Nobody can argue with God. You can’t meet God face to face. God is a concept. Youcan’t see a concept. I have thoughts and you can’t see thoughts. You can’t see a mind.An open mind entertains all possibilities. An open mind does not say I am right and youare in error. God can become the ultimate weapon in the hands of man. I can claim myknowledge is God’s knowledge. I am now not responsible for what I believe. It is inGod’s holy scriptures so it can’t be argued. I can claim God is on my side. I have justturned God into the ultimate weapon.I believe in God, I just can’t define God for you. God is beyond my explanation.Respectfully, AllanImagine no religionThis would depend on what you mean. If you mean ‘religion’ in the broad sense meaninga world view that attempts to answer ultimate questions about life and the universe, theneveryone has a religion of a sort. For example, advocates of  Humanism and Communism and Nazismcan be every bit as ‘religious’ as any TV caricature of fundamentalists.1
 
But if you mean an absence of theistic religion, we can imagine only too well. We havealready seen the appalling human rights violations in atheistic Communist countries suchas China, Cuba and the former Soviet Bloc countries.All arguments about God could be ended easily. God is a mystery. No one could claimexclusive knowledge of God and his ways.This is called
agnosticism
, and is itself a positive claim about God—i.e. that He is amystery. But how can you
know
that God is unknowable?All could be free to honor God in their chosen way.This is also nothing new. But you might like to consider, just for the moment for the purpose of the argument, that God has indeed created us and therefore owns us, and hastold us how He wants people to honor Him. Then the most ‘open-minded’ belief would be that we have a moral obligation to do as He requires. It would be closed minded andarrogant to decide to go one’s own way.The ‘patron saint’ of such ecumenical thinking is Cain.Genesis 4 reveals that while Abel honored God in God’s way, by a blood sacrifice (as revealed by the blood sacrifice of Genesis 3:14,and expanded on in later parts of Scripture— Hebrews 9:22, ‘without shedding of blood is no forgiveness’), and God was pleased. But Cain decided toapproach God with a bloodless offering, and God was
not 
pleased. Then Caincompounded his error by becoming the first murderer.Converting others to our (God’s) way of thinking could be ended.Why? This in itself presupposes an absolute moral value, i.e. that converting others to our way is wrong. In your case it rebounds on yourself, since your letter is trying to convertus to your way, i.e. that there is no way.The various religions of the world have much good counsel to offer.On what grounds do you call them ‘good’? And how so, when they contradict each other on such ‘minor’ things as the nature of God, man’s destiny, and how to be saved (if applicable)?Do we need rules? Of course we do, without rules we would have no civilization.Under a worldview founded upon evolution from goo to you via the zoo, why is this a problem?The problem arises when one invokes the name of God as the source of ones beliefs.2
 
Rather, the problem arises when one tries to invoke absolute moral laws without anabsolute moral Lawgiver. It’s precisely because the rules are made by our Creator thatthey can transcend human opinion.What is the alternative, if we are simply rearranged pond scum? How do you derive theconcepts of right and wrong from random mutations plus natural selection? Our moralsense would really be just the result of motions of atoms in the brain that happened toconfer some survival advantage. Nobody can argue with God. You can’t meet God face to face.But the Christian claim is
not 
that we can reach up to meet God face to face, but rather that He has reached
down
to meet us face to face. Christians believe that Jesus Christ ‘isthe radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature’ (Hebrews 1:3), andthat Jesus said, ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9) and was right toclaim this. More on this shortly.God is a concept.This is an assertion, which frankly doesn’t seem very ‘open-minded’ to the possibilitythat God is a real Being.You can’t see a concept. I have thoughts and you can’t see thoughts. You can’t see amind.So are you denying that minds exist? Actually, the leading philosopher (modal logician)and Christian, Alvin Plantinga argued cogently that the evidence for God is just as goodas the evidence for other minds; and conversely, if there isn’t any evidence for God, thenthere is also no evidence that other minds exist—see
God and Other Minds
, CornellUniversity Press, repr. 1990.An open mind entertains all possibilities.As the gifted writer and Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton (1864–1936) pointed out, anopen mind is like an open mouth—only good when it has something of substance tochomp into. And it’s our experience that those who talk about open minds the most arethe most oblivious to their own biases (we all have them)—in your case, a bias towardsagnosticism.OK, what about the possibility that Jesus Christ really said what the Gospels claim Hesaid, and that He was speaking the truth? In particular, that He claimed to be God andsaid, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except throughme.’ (John 14:6). The options are either acceptance or rejection. Are you ‘open-minded’enough to believe what He said? Or are you actually, despite what you claim, telling usthat He (Jesus) was wrong or was wrongly reported. Someone as open–minded as you3

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