Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Share how you became a Christian, or experiences from your Christian life.
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RickD
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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby RickD » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:03 am

And FYI, at least in part, the issue of suffering was why Ehrman became an agnostic/atheist.
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html
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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:37 pm

RickD wrote:And FYI, at least in part, the issue of suffering was why Ehrman became an agnostic/atheist.
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html


Yes, I know that suffering played a part too, but reading his earlier works it seems it was the errors that started it all.
Lets not forget that his books are about that ( and the distrust of ancient writings and forgeries as he calls some) then about suffering.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby abelcainsbrother » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:59 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Bart Ehrman is a good example.
A devote evangelical that lost his faith because he believed that the bible was without error and upon studying and realizing that it did have what can be viewed as errors, he lost his faith.
He lost faith in a thing that he viewed as being the center of his faith. He made the bible and not Christ, what he had faith in, or perhaps more correctly, he put his faith on what HE THOUGHT the bible was and when he found it it wasn't what he THOUGHT, he lost faith.


I thought Ehrman lost his faith because of suffering in this world,but I guess it could be both or a combination of things.

His path away from Christ was due to his studies that put into question his understanding of an inerrant bible.


I wasn't trying to argue with you,I just really heard that but now I think you are right too.I saw a debate with Erhman vs Dr Michael Brown and Erhman was really hammering on the suffering in this world but I think it was a number of things like you suggest that led to his loss of faith.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby abelcainsbrother » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:17 pm

Bart Ehrman will tell atheists they should not deny Jesus existed.He is not on their side like they think but they read his books to get talking points.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:12 am

Bart likes to hammer the whole "suffering" issue ( like many skeptics do) because it is an emotional one and one that NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context ( there are of course intellectual and rational answers for the problem of suffering).

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:40 am

And we all know those like Ehrman can offer such hope to those in suffering.
Keep going Sisyphus, there is meaning in your rolling that boulder even if it amounts to nothing.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby 1over137 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:49 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Bart likes to hammer the whole "suffering" issue ( like many skeptics do) because it is an emotional one and one that NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context ( there are of course intellectual and rational answers for the problem of suffering).


those emotional problems...

unless one has friends who help to address them...

i once had very great emotional problem (will not mention what exactly) and I decided to contact one of the greatest theologians. We emailed little bit and though having not an answer really for it, it was great to interact with him.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold
-- Psalm 18:2

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby Mallz » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:00 am

NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context

I dunno about that. What about in the context of love? Love not understood as a child.. Justice comes to mind too..
I love Abba Elohim for how He goes about His business and I feel it.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:47 pm

Mallz wrote:
NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context

I dunno about that. What about in the context of love? Love not understood as a child.. Justice comes to mind too..
I love Abba Elohim for how He goes about His business and I feel it.


You misunderstand, the very nature of the argument is an emotional one so, unless you can put emotions aside and somehow believe that suffering means nothing in, then the argument can't be "won".

Because humans FEEL suffering, because suffering is bad ( though for the atheist there isn't really a "bad" since the universe is indifferent) then the problem of suffering can never be answered within an emotional context.

It's sort of like those silly paradigms of omnipotence ( can God create a rock so big He can't lift it).

The emotional problem of suffering is this:
Suffering hurts, because it hurts it makes us feel bad.
God, if He is all good, doesn't want us to feel bad.
God is all powerful BUT if He allows for suffering then He is not Good since He could eliminate suffering and doesn't.
So He is either not good (unwilling) or not God (unable).


Of course there are many valid logical reasons for God to allow suffering BUT from the POV of emotions, ie: suffering makes us feel bad, and from the POV of God not wanting us to feel bad, then God allowing us to suffer and feel bad is either because He can't stop suffering (not omnipotent so not God) or He wants us to feel bad ( not a good God).

This is a simplification of the argument of course but the point is that it is NOT a logical argument but an emotional one.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby RickD » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:44 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Mallz wrote:
NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context

I dunno about that. What about in the context of love? Love not understood as a child.. Justice comes to mind too..
I love Abba Elohim for how He goes about His business and I feel it.


You misunderstand, the very nature of the argument is an emotional one so, unless you can put emotions aside and somehow believe that suffering means nothing in, then the argument can't be "won".

Because humans FEEL suffering, because suffering is bad ( though for the atheist there isn't really a "bad" since the universe is indifferent) then the problem of suffering can never be answered within an emotional context.

It's sort of like those silly paradigms of omnipotence ( can God create a rock so big He can't lift it).

The emotional problem of suffering is this:
Suffering hurts, because it hurts it makes us feel bad.
God, if He is all good, doesn't want us to feel bad.
God is all powerful BUT if He allows for suffering then He is not Good since He could eliminate suffering and doesn't.
So He is either not good (unwilling) or not God (unable).


Of course there are many valid logical reasons for God to allow suffering BUT from the POV of emotions, ie: suffering makes us feel bad, and from the POV of God not wanting us to feel bad, then God allowing us to suffer and feel bad is either because He can't stop suffering (not omnipotent so not God) or He wants us to feel bad ( not a good God).

This is a simplification of the argument of course but the point is that it is NOT a logical argument but an emotional one.

Looks like someone's been taking theology classes. :ewink:
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby abelcainsbrother » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:21 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Mallz wrote:
NO ONE has an answer for IN the EMOTIONAL context

I dunno about that. What about in the context of love? Love not understood as a child.. Justice comes to mind too..
I love Abba Elohim for how He goes about His business and I feel it.


You misunderstand, the very nature of the argument is an emotional one so, unless you can put emotions aside and somehow believe that suffering means nothing in, then the argument can't be "won".

Because humans FEEL suffering, because suffering is bad ( though for the atheist there isn't really a "bad" since the universe is indifferent) then the problem of suffering can never be answered within an emotional context.

It's sort of like those silly paradigms of omnipotence ( can God create a rock so big He can't lift it).

The emotional problem of suffering is this:
Suffering hurts, because it hurts it makes us feel bad.
God, if He is all good, doesn't want us to feel bad.
God is all powerful BUT if He allows for suffering then He is not Good since He could eliminate suffering and doesn't.
So He is either not good (unwilling) or not God (unable).


Of course there are many valid logical reasons for God to allow suffering BUT from the POV of emotions, ie: suffering makes us feel bad, and from the POV of God not wanting us to feel bad, then God allowing us to suffer and feel bad is either because He can't stop suffering (not omnipotent so not God) or He wants us to feel bad ( not a good God).

This is a simplification of the argument of course but the point is that it is NOT a logical argument but an emotional one.


There is suffering and we can all suffer but God is honest with us in his word.I mean we already know we are born into a fallen world but it is how we deal with it by God's grace that matters.I mean how long are we going to live? And if we suffered our vwhole life? Eternity with Jesus is going to be much more important and even worth it.

I mean even Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow him,then he goes on to tell us how we could suffer because of him.He told the disciples they would die because of him and they did.The thing to do is to focus on eternity because it has not entered into the thoughts of men the things that God has laid up for them that trust and believe in him.

The bible tells us specifically we will go through trials but yet we would even if we rejected God but then we would have no hope so no matter how one views suffering the better option is to side with God and his promises no matter how we might suffer in this world.

Romans 8:22-23. " For we know that the whole creation groaneth and trevaileth in pain together until now.And not only they,but ourselves also which have the first- fruits of the Spirit,even we ourselves groan within ourselves,waiting for the adoption,to wit,the redemption of our body.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby Mallz » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:17 pm

and somehow believe that suffering means nothing in

What do you mean by this?

The emotional problem of suffering is this:
1)Suffering hurts, because it hurts it makes us feel bad.
2)God, if He is all good, doesn't want us to feel bad.
3)God is all powerful BUT if He allows for suffering then He is not Good since He could eliminate suffering and doesn't.
4)So He is either not good (unwilling) or not God (unable).


Isn't there an assumption going on that physical feelings=emotions? Where emotions are a state of mind brought on externally or internally to self (not limited to physical feelings or even necessarily guided by it).
This is just what comes to my mind in regards of the emotional problem laid out..
1) Suffering makes children into men and women. Crying like a baby all the time won't get us anywhere nor teach us anything
2) God wants us to go through character development to become Sons, which includes getting over neophyte perceptions of our emotions.
3) God is lovely for allowing suffering as it shows a high form of love from Him to us: letting us be free and in doing so still giving us a pathway for Him to forge our souls.
4) People are self-absorbed idiots and need to grow up.

What do you think?

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby 1over137 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:49 pm

Mallz wrote:
and somehow believe that suffering means nothing in

What do you mean by this?

The emotional problem of suffering is this:
1)Suffering hurts, because it hurts it makes us feel bad.
2)God, if He is all good, doesn't want us to feel bad.
3)God is all powerful BUT if He allows for suffering then He is not Good since He could eliminate suffering and doesn't.
4)So He is either not good (unwilling) or not God (unable).


Isn't there an assumption going on that physical feelings=emotions? Where emotions are a state of mind brought on externally or internally to self (not limited to physical feelings or even necessarily guided by it).
This is just what comes to my mind in regards of the emotional problem laid out..
1) Suffering makes children into men and women. Crying like a baby all the time won't get us anywhere nor teach us anything
2) God wants us to go through character development to become Sons, which includes getting over neophyte perceptions of our emotions.
3) God is lovely for allowing suffering as it shows a high form of love from Him to us: letting us be free and in doing so still giving us a pathway for Him to forge our souls.
4) People are self-absorbed idiots and need to grow up.

What do you think?


My character is probably being developed when I suffer at the work.
Good for me to read this.

(I only hope it is not going to be developed in the wrong direction)
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold
-- Psalm 18:2

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:27 am

Isn't there an assumption going on that physical feelings=emotions? Where emotions are a state of mind brought on externally or internally to self (not limited to physical feelings or even necessarily guided by it).
This is just what comes to my mind in regards of the emotional problem laid out..
1) Suffering makes children into men and women. Crying like a baby all the time won't get us anywhere nor teach us anything
2) God wants us to go through character development to become Sons, which includes getting over neophyte perceptions of our emotions.
3) God is lovely for allowing suffering as it shows a high form of love from Him to us: letting us be free and in doing so still giving us a pathway for Him to forge our souls.
4) People are self-absorbed idiots and need to grow up.

What do you think?


The problem of suffering is ALL about assumptions.
Assumptions that God wants is to be happy AND that happy means the same thing to God as it does to us ( at any given time of course).
Assumptions that suffering is a bad thing.
Assumptions that when 100's of 1000's of people die in a natural disaster that God SHOULD have prevented it because WE THINK that is His "job".

The fact is that there are qualities that are vital for humans that can ONLY be developed because of suffering, compassion being the most important ( IMO).
The very word "compassion" means to "suffer with others".
Compassion is the highest expression of love, it is pure "other-centered" love that ska nothing in return and gets nothing in return.

IMO, it can be argued that, compassion itself is enough of a reason for God to allow for suffering to exist.

That said, the very fact that humans have a problem with suffering speaks volumes since, from a materialistic point of view, there is no logical reason to view suffering as bad, or good or as anything other that "what happens".

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Re: Atheist & Christian Testimonies

Postby Mallz » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:59 pm

Well said PS.
I think this is an excellent example of the issue of our world today, and it's mainly how people think. Like a DE-evoloution of humanity (like in Evolution the movie :p)


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