What are the top arguments Christians should NOT use?

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Birdie
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What are the top arguments Christians should NOT use?

#1

Post by Birdie » Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:53 pm

Well there is a topic on this about atheist's arguments. But I think a Christian topic would be more useful since most of the people on this forum are Christians.

I'll start. :) One of the arguments that I think quite a few people use and that REALLY bugs me if saying something like “Science can't explain (insert fact). So then it must be God.” I don't think many Christian arguments are bad… but this one is a pain.

Ancient Greeks used gods to explain things that science couldn't explain yet. I just think if you use that argument it makes it seem to make that today's Christians are no different from the Greeks. Plus if science does find a way to more logically prove (insert fact) it would make Christians seem less educated. :(
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Re: What are the top arguments Christians should NOT use?

#2

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:59 pm

Birdie wrote:Well there is a topic on this about atheist's arguments. But I think a Christian topic would be more useful since most of the people on this forum are Christians.

I'll start. :) One of the arguments that I think quite a few people use and that REALLY bugs me if saying something like “Science can't explain (insert fact). So then it must be God.” I don't think many Christian arguments are bad… but this one is a pain.

Ancient Greeks used gods to explain things that science couldn't explain yet. I just think if you use that argument it makes it seem to make that today's Christians are no different from the Greeks. Plus if science does find a way to more logically prove (insert fact) it would make Christians seem less educated. :(
What you are describing is commonly known as the "God of the Gaps" argument and it is a poor argument for Christians to use.

Invoking the need for God to explain something that is currently scientifically unexplainable, carries with it the corallary that if and when a scientific explanation comes forth, then on the same basis, put forth by Christians for the evidence of God, the argument then, in the mind of some, is that by virtue of the reducing of things that are unexplainable God must not exist.

This is an erroneous argument itself, but because it mirrors the "god of the Gaps" it is thrown back at those making the original claim.

This doesn't apply at all levels though. The argument for first cause and Intelligent Design are close to this argument and likely unknowable at any point in the future with scientific certainty.

A good example of the God of the Gaps argument recently refuted is the flight of bees. I wish I had a nickle for every sermon illustration and tract that pointed to the fact at the time that there remained no aerodynamic reason for bees to fly. They violated all the known laws in terms of wing surface, lift, wieght ratios etc. So, many Christians pointed to that as "proof" of something science could not explain and therefore evidence for the existence of God.

Of course, just this year, the puzzle has been solved and an explanation rendered.

http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/ ... fight.html

Many of these types of arguments from some Christians stem from some apparant need to put science and Christianity against each other. It's just not necessary to do. Truth about the creation is no less true than that revealed directly by the creator. Where we run into problems is that Science is imperfect and is always adjusting and aligning as more information is know and more testing done. Religion is less flexible although even it is flexible over time when it becomes apparant that some teaching or doctrine is unteneble, and when that happens it is because of the same human element in interpretting Scripture which is not always perfect.

So I would agree with your observation that the God of the Gaps argument is often an appeal to the unknown or mysterious to substantiate the need for a God to provide an explanation and fill that Gap with some meaning or belief that makes the world make sense.

While it is a mistake for Christians to make, it is also an mistake for atheists to appeal to that mistake as foundational evidence for the rise of religion to the ignoring of all the other sources and appeals to reason for the existence of God.

Arrogance and condescension in those who have rejected God's existence for themselves and claim God is for the weak minded who are not as enlightened as they are is just as ugly as Christians who view science as a threat to their beliefs and therefore are willing to believe the worst of it and will continue doing so regardless of further developments.

The sad things is, probably somewhere in a Christian Church this week, some well-intentioned but misinformed pastor probably used the bublebee illustration and got a few amens.
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#3

Post by Birdie » Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:44 pm

I don't think the “Christianity is for the weak minded” can be considered an argument just an opinion, unless you say something like most Christians barely even read the Bible to make it a bit more believable.

And they finally prove the bee thing lol!

Oh yes, I just thought of another one, kind of a human's evolution one. “I don't see any ape-man walking around”. Man, my sister is a Christian and she uses this all the time.

Oh and this is a bad argument. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4yBvvGi_2A
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#4

Post by Judah » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:27 pm

I've found it very difficult to get anywhere just merely presenting argument unless there is an agreement over the basis of what establishes authority.
I have heard some Christians say "well the Bible says so!" when the person they are speaking to doesn't accept the Bible as having any authority. It just becomes a bit silly. Like saying "God is real because God said so". That kind of thing. It goes around in circles and gets nowhere.
It is useful to establish, where possible, an agreed first base - a place from where to start.

Likewise, it is important to identify the other person's point of need and speak to that as well.
Maybe throwing someone off balance just a little can help get there. Doubt and uncertainty can be useful items used wisely.

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#5

Post by puritan lad » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:30 am

My favorite among those "not to use".

"Man has one less rib then a woman, proving the Bible is true".

Still popular, believe it or not.
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#6

Post by Turgonian » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:39 am

Judah wrote:I've found it very difficult to get anywhere just merely presenting argument unless there is an agreement over the basis of what establishes authority.
I have heard some Christians say "well the Bible says so!" when the person they are speaking to doesn't accept the Bible as having any authority. It just becomes a bit silly. Like saying "God is real because God said so". That kind of thing. It goes around in circles and gets nowhere.
It is useful to establish, where possible, an agreed first base - a place from where to start.
Hmm...sometimes. However, some parts of special revelation cannot be reached by natural revelation, as you know. Sometimes it's helpful to point out that Christians and non-Christians have different starting points, especially with regard to the question 'How do we attain knowledge?'
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#7

Post by godslove39 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:34 pm

Scriptural quotes also mean nothing to an atheist so its best to use logic and such

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#8

Post by Turgonian » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:49 pm

Best to establish the validity and trustworthiness of the Bible first.

'Coz without the Bible (or revelation in general), you can't base logic on anything.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#9

Post by puritan lad » Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:46 am

Another favorite...

"Why do we still have monkeys?"
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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#10

Post by Turgonian » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:08 am

The Bible has the answer. They initially evolved to humans but couldn't quit monkeying around.

Amazing how creationism solves all of the problems of evolution!
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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arguements

#11

Post by zoegirl » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:18 pm

Absolutely agree!!

Hi guys, I am new here (see intros)

When I am teaching about creation and evolution (I teach at a Christian school) I here these ALL the time . You nailed the top three I have heard

1) why are there still apes?
2) men don't have the same number of ribs (and horror of horror, this student was told this by a middle school teacher at our school and it took me 5 minutes to convince her!)
3) We can't explain everything, therefore GOd must be the explanation

Then I have the students who get mad at me when I suggest that the universe could be old, saying that I am limiting God's power by making him require a billion years (to which i reply why did he even need a week?)


BTW, puritan lad, like your blogspot and appreciate your posts...you always support your arguments with scripture.

Turgonian, are you really only 16?!

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#12

Post by puritan lad » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:48 am

Thanks Zoegirl.

You're welcome anytime...
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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