Asking God to reveal himself?

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#16

Post by Philip » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 am

Nils, ASKING is not complicated and it is reasonable, as the universe reveals planning, intelligence and sophistication on a massive scale - it cannot be uncaused or have no intelligence behind it. But as for the TIMING and the WHEN and HOW God reveals Himself is unique to a given person. If you truly want to know the truth and HAVE sought God, and are sincerely willing to respond to Him - and not merely on an intellectual level (although every Christian's faith begins with an understanding He exists), He WILL, at some point, lead you into all uniquely necessary for YOU to believe. God's wooing is irresistible to those of willing and open hearts toward God. But He is also resistible to all permanently unwilling.

The seeking of all believers begins with God intiating and drawing those who He foreknows will respond. And He knows exactly what a given person requires to begin responding - and this sequence often plays out over considerable time. Although some seem to come to faith rapidly - every Christian's journey to faith is different. Read about Cornelius seeking God in Acts 10 - but did God not FIRST begin drawing and inspiring Cornelius to begin seeking Him.

Note Romans 10:20: " Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I (meaning, God) have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

So, God begins drawing those with open and willing hearts - so their seeking Him is actually in RESPONSE to His beginning to draw them. All anyone can have is a sincere, willing and open heart to what the Lord wants to bring ALL people to. But most don't want Him - in effect, desiring to remain under their own selfish control by ultimately rejecting His overtures.

Nils, your story is not over yet!

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#17

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm

We won't see eye-to-eye Nils, on many things, basic things. As I've said, our hearts are deceitful above all things. As such, I'd much rather people introspect their own biases and the like.

Both sides of the argument have equally intelligent people (who presumably know most of the main line of arguments), and yet both sides disagree for judgement is based upon subject. On the Atheist side, it must then be something like those who believe in God, do so based upon an illusion or delusion. Our reasoning ability (Theists) is therefore affected, such we can't see many arguments as being anything other than supportive of God's existence. On the Christian side however, the Atheist has some incapacity to see the truth, they're blinded, heart is hardened, in denial or the like. Therefore, even when smacked in the face with the obvious, whether attributes of God's existence, the created order, design arguments and what-have-you, you just don't/can't see it.

This is where I see the line is drawn. No one is more rational than the other, reason while I'd argue should be supportive, can't get past at the end of the day we're all judge and jury of what we find acceptable. Yet, one of us is truly right AND the thing for Christians is that many claim to have once been blind and now see. This trend is had over and over again. I'm sure if you ask Hana, PaulS, B.W., Phil (?) and many others here who were quite Atheistic but now Christian, they now see what they were previously so blind to -- and perhaps, are unable to explain such except to say they just didn't/couldn't see God. So then, the Christian side seems to have much support and merit as I see.

Now, I think, you'll likely experience things in life. Some day, God may have drawn you in close enough to see something you previously were blind to. I only pray at that point in your life, you're open enough to continue looking rather than turning the other way.

Re: your final question. I don't agree merely asking for God to reveal himself will get somone anywhere, except very likely disappointment when God doesn't pop out of the bottle being rubbed. On the other hand, if one is open to God rather than hardened to, then they'll clearly see Him. I'm with the likes of William Wainwright, Jonathan Edwards and others, that it is the condition of the heart that matters, a proper alignment thereof, which allows one to properly ascertain the truth. This is perhaps true in any pursuit of knowledge, just as much as it is God or theological truth.
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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#18

Post by Philip » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:48 am

K: I don't agree merely asking for God to reveal himself will get somone anywhere, except very likely disappointment when God doesn't pop out of the bottle being rubbed.
Exactly! Which is why I also said:

"And don't presume that How God might show you is they way YOU think He should. He knows best in the how and when."

I've elaborated on that point before - that truly seeking God is NOT saying, "OK, God, if you are there, I'll believe in you if you will show me by doing or causing X, Y or Z - as otherwise, if I don't see X, Y or Z show up in a reasonable amount of time, then I'll assume you do not exist. It doesn't work like that! That's arrogantly demanding that God be on your timetable and does exactly what you think He should do to prove Himself, and when and how you think it's logical. But for many, what THEY think they need to come to belief isn't. But God knows exactly what one really needs to come to faith. Many who set such pre-conditions don't want to know the truth to begin with. What they really want is to put forth some demands that they don't truly want answered anyway - as what they actually want to do is confirm to themselves that He does not exist. So they will continue to get exactly that (no response), because that is what they truly wanted to begin with - no reasons to believe and self-justification for continuing in unbelief. For most such people, NO level of extraordinary evidences for God's existence will ever be good enough. God won't answer such a "seeking" - as it's immensely insincere!

And for such people who say their search for God has shown He doesn't exist, it's quite likely that He has ALREADY exposed them to more-than sufficient knowledge of His existence - and so he'll provide no more than that - because the problem isn't with the evidences, it's with the closed heart and mind that doesn't want to accept them. People so often want to keep being their own, little personal god. It is recorded that Jesus performed the most extraordinary miracles - even raising the dead back to life, healing people born lame, etc. But some of those witnessing such marvels STILL refused to believe - even accusing Him of being of the devil. So, I would certainly examine my heart and mind - have you sincerely sought Him, or have you instead not put insincere demands, a time table, and your own expectations on Him. And search yourself to see if you haven't already received enough knowledge for belief, but that you nonetheless have refused this knowledge or evidences out of your own narcissistic desire to continue in unbelief. Again, what you THINK you need for belief may not be what God knows you need - you may already have enough, or you might not yet have what God knows you truly need (as opposed to what you think you do).

A sincerely seeking is: "God, if you are there, I truly want to know the truth of your existence and about what you want from and for me. Please show me what YOU know I need and help me to recognize and accept it - as my expectations might not be accurate to what I really need. Because I'm very stubborn and cynical, you'll have to make whatever it is you show me, understandable and clear - whatever that might be. And please help me to accept it."

Nils, there's the Hollywood or intellectuals idea of what sincerely seeking God is, and then there's what God considers it to be.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#19

Post by B. W. » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:57 am

Nils wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:50 am
Kurieuo wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:55 am
Re longing, you are confusing cause with causation. Hana didn't long after God, not initially. There is no catch-22. There is no argument here being made to you either, other then telling you (well trying) as it is froma Christian pov.
That’s OK if you are clear about it. But if you give an advice what an atheist should do you have to take into account the atheist POV. Only referring to a Christian doctrine is not significant.
Kurieuo wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:55 am
Scripture says none of us seek after God. If true, this means we wilfully deny and bury God if we are rejecting Him. Our mind and reason is clouded due to the nature of our hearts. Yet, it is our response to God's drawing and calling to us, an inner openness, that eventually allows us to truly seek and long for God. No one starts out necessarily longing, but if you reject God until the day you die then it is because you wilfully ignored and buried him whether or not you consciously see that you do.
This is incomprehensible to me. I don’t reject God, I believe that there is no God, that’s a big difference. Still less I ignore and bury him (whatever “bury” could mean in this context). I don’t ignore the idea of a God. I have debated with you and others here on this site and with other through almost my whole life. That’s not ignoring. But I have come to the conclusion that there is no God and that decision was and is totally independent of my will.

Now you may say that what you said above was the Christian point of view and that I don’t have to agree or even understand. But then communication ends.

If I anyhow try to interpret you message: There are persons like me that have some kind of defect heart (even if I never understood that talk about “heart”). Those persons aren’t reached by God’s calling and therefore they are sent to hell when they die. No problem with that even if I don’t like the idea and certainly wouldn’t call such a God good.

Finally a question to you. Do you agree with Philip when he says that it is not complicated to ask for God to reveal himself (assuming a reasonable chance to get some answer)?

Nils
K in his response to you Nils on mention myself and others and how we'd respond
Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm
....I'm sure if you ask Hana, PaulS, B.W., Phil (?) and many others here who were quite Atheistic but now Christian, they now see what they were previously so blind to -- and perhaps, are unable to explain such except to say they just didn't/couldn't see God....
Way back in the day when I was an atheist, I was blind to my own pride.

I defended hate, immorality, sexual immorality, lifestyle choices, anything goes concepts, addictions - neglecting to actually see all the disease, family ruin, decay, abuse, broken homes abandonment, pain of rejection, and the control issues that these things brought to life on people.

I thought hate, all immorality, lifestyle choices, anything goes mindset, addictions were great virtues worthy of defending as the fullest expression of intelligence, reason, logic, and freedom from a oppression.

Then, I saw friends and their families fractured. Son's being unmercifully beaten and berated by drunken parents. Saw the high cost of on kids souls who witnessed divorce.

I saw how cold austere aloof families could be toward their own and the damage that inflects. I was in full support of all manner of drugs and alcohol consumption despite the evidence of how these turned folks into animals, including myself.

I hated the morality of the bible and viewed it as the cause for all these things, yet,the practitioners of these sorts of things rarely or never went to church. I needed a scapegoat to accuse and guess what - God of the bible was convenient. So, I lived my life mocking him and challenging him to prove himself.

He did. I saw how wrong I was and how humanity is the cause of evil in this world and that God came to fix it. I discovered how true these words were:

"...And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19 NKJV

The word evil in Greek has a root meaning of warping and twisting things to justify ones's actions as justified, without fault, that corrupts others... and diseases them with the same maladies one has and is blind too.

"... people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are warping and twisting things to justify ones's actions as justified, without fault, that corrupts others... and diseases them with the same maladies one has and is blind too."

I refused to see how I contributed to the stench with the world....

For everyone practicing (what warps and twist and corrupts) hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:20 expanded Greek Meaning

Why - because I did not want to be exposed but rather justify myself by my great logic, intellect, reason, deeds and my definition of what good is. That is called pride.

Then I was confronted by God with how I contributed to the stench in the world again, again...

"But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:21 NKJV

What and who I found was and is God who created the universe and paid the full price to wake a stupid prideful ignorant person up to how I 'make' things worse in the world and corrupt others as well as completely unable to right my own wrongs.

I took a hard look at life and how short it is seeing it is we human beings that poke God in the eye always double dog daring him to go against his own character and nature by pitting these against themselves to justify ourselves as the noblest of all beings on the planet. But - then - you die and what use is such nobility anyways???

Going off into a state of non-existence with a self gratifying smirk on ones face is not very satisfying when nothing at all is your only reward because those that come after you will erase any good you might have done in a second.

I discovered the hard way, life continues after death and there is an accounting that exposes the real you to yourself and how real God is in peoples lives trying to wake them up to how warped in thought and deeds they are. But then, it is too late.

As an atheist, I too once scoffed at that, just like so many do today, never seeing that one's own scoffing and mocking God is proof the God does indeed exist. How, God restrains from wiping us all out. He gives us an offer of grace so we can return back to Him all through our short - short - short - mortal life, instead.

You can refuse the evidence in nature and all creation of his existence. You can refuse all the times he spared your life from accident that defy logical reason for survival and pass it off to mere odds and coincidence.

You can spend you time only focusing on the hypocrites in the Christians church as the norm. You can continue justify lifestyles that cause harm, abuse, addictions, immorality, sexual immorality, lust, envy, revenge, bitterness as the highest form of good to inflict all so justifiably so.

Yet, you cannot see how you are pitting God's own traits against each other in order to absolve yourself. You cannot see how He pleads to you to return to him in so many ways: by dreams, warnings from people like myself, from creation, and from the hopelessness that atheism defends with its final smug smirk on ones face after they die that they lived a good life is absolutely absurd failing to see humanity is hell bent on erasing such goodness.

Have a Nice day :wave:
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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#20

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:26 am

On a personal note,
I had, over the years, asked, demanded even, that God reveal Himself to me so that I could believe in Him.
I had a tremendous amount of issues with God and the suffering of innocents ( which was for me the biggest stumbling block for me).
I demanded, yes demanded, He reveal Himself to me, I said that IF He was God and He really wanted me to believe in Him, why doesn't He simply show Himself?
Now, deep down it was a pathetic demand and request because, deep down, I knew that IF something happened and He revealed Himself to me, I would simply chalk it up to some sort of mental episode or what not, just I was though was the case of people that I had heard of and read about and spoken to who said that God reveal Himself to them.
They only saw/heard what they wanted to, they were on drugs, had mental problems, hallucinations, etc, etc.

One can argue that God need not reveal anymore of Himself than He has since it is, obviously, good enough for billions of people that believe in Him.

That said, and sharing my own personal experience which will no doubt be viewed by skeptics that way I viewed stories such as this:
When I ended up believing in God ( not relevant here as to how, why and when) is when God revealed Himself to me and when I realized that He had been there all the time.

I didn't do or behave or deserve this revelation, I simply gave Him the love the HE deserved and as I did, the "wall" that I had built between us, collapsed and I felt His Love, felt His Touch and head His Voice.

That was how it happened for me.
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Philip (Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:44 am)

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#21

Post by Philip » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:02 pm

Paul: One can argue that God need not reveal anymore of Himself than He has since it is, obviously, good enough for billions of people that believe in Him.
This is true.

But some need more, or something powerfully unique - even if that unique thing might be only unique to a particular person.

"So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." (John 4:48)

In John 20, Thomas was told of Jesus' resurrection by eyewitnesses but would not believe it - saying to the rest who had seen the risen Lord, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples had gathered indoors, and Jesus suddenly appears amongst them, "though the doors were locked" - the result? Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”

In John 11, Lazarus, dead for four days - Jesus called him out of the tomb:

"“Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth."

The result, even with such a great miracle, was mixed:

"45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done."

For some, no matter what they know, no matter the evidence - even seeing the dead raised, it's not enough to overcome a heart hard and closed toward the Lord!
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claysmithr (Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:01 am)

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#22

Post by Nicki » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:41 am

Nils wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:02 am
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:47 pm
Thomas comes to faith!

Nils, I encourage you to CONTINUE to seek God - that's the difference between those who truly want to know the answers and those who merely seek to convince themselves that their present unbelief is justified. I also would encourage you to investigate the many incredible fulfilled and detailed prophecies found across Scripture, including many concerning Jesus.

Ponder what could have possible turned that scared, shocked, post-Crucifixion little band of Jesus' disciples into likewise (post Jesus' Resurrection) risking the very same, horrific fate as that of Christ by boldly claiming the Gospel and that Jesus had risen from the dead. Because they afterward, they certainly KNEW the truth - they either saw Jesus post His resurrection or not. Would all these sane, very sober writing men, have risked such a terrible fate while KNOWING it was a lie - really, does that make any sense.
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments. I am open but I'm not actively searching, I am already convinced. If you have to convince a thoughtful atheist you have to use intellectual arguments because the way to come to thoughtful atheism is an intellectual enterprise.
Philip's points about the prophecies and about the disciples' behaviour seem quite objective and intellectual to me.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#23

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:25 am

Nicki wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:41 am
Nils wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:02 am
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:47 pm
Thomas comes to faith!

Nils, I encourage you to CONTINUE to seek God - that's the difference between those who truly want to know the answers and those who merely seek to convince themselves that their present unbelief is justified. I also would encourage you to investigate the many incredible fulfilled and detailed prophecies found across Scripture, including many concerning Jesus.

Ponder what could have possible turned that scared, shocked, post-Crucifixion little band of Jesus' disciples into likewise (post Jesus' Resurrection) risking the very same, horrific fate as that of Christ by boldly claiming the Gospel and that Jesus had risen from the dead. Because they afterward, they certainly KNEW the truth - they either saw Jesus post His resurrection or not. Would all these sane, very sober writing men, have risked such a terrible fate while KNOWING it was a lie - really, does that make any sense.
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments. I am open but I'm not actively searching, I am already convinced. If you have to convince a thoughtful atheist you have to use intellectual arguments because the way to come to thoughtful atheism is an intellectual enterprise.
Philip's points about the prophecies and about the disciples' behaviour seem quite objective and intellectual to me.
This part here got my attention:
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments.
What most atheist mean is that they have little to learn from the emotional arguments OF OTHERS.
THEIR emotional arguments work just fine for them.
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Byblos (Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:50 am)

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#24

Post by Storyteller » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:24 am

Nils...
You say you have no longing for God. Why not?
If God were to be proved to you, would that induce a longing in you?
You say you don't wish to be deluded and if God exists then you are yet you don't long for God. If you don't long for God then why do you care?
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#25

Post by Nils » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:43 am

Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 am
Nils, ASKING is not complicated and it is reasonable, as the universe reveals planning, intelligence and sophistication on a massive scale - it cannot be uncaused or have no intelligence behind it.
You probably know that most atheists aren’t impressed by that argument. There is much to be said but we have to take that at some other time.
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 am

But as for the TIMING and the WHEN and HOW God reveals Himself is unique to a given person. If you truly want to know the truth and HAVE sought God, and are sincerely willing to respond to Him - and not merely on an intellectual level (although every Christian's faith begins with an understanding He exists), He WILL, at some point, lead you into all uniquely necessary for YOU to believe. God's wooing is irresistible to those of willing and open hearts toward God. But He is also resistible to all permanently unwilling.

The seeking of all believers begins with God intiating and drawing those who He foreknows will respond. And He knows exactly what a given person requires to begin responding - and this sequence often plays out over considerable time. Although some seem to come to faith rapidly - every Christian's journey to faith is different. Read about Cornelius seeking God in Acts 10 - but did God not FIRST begin drawing and inspiring Cornelius to begin seeking Him.

Note Romans 10:20: " Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I (meaning, God) have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

So, God begins drawing those with open and willing hearts - so their seeking Him is actually in RESPONSE to His beginning to draw them. All anyone can have is a sincere, willing and open heart to what the Lord wants to bring ALL people to. But most don't want Him - in effect, desiring to remain under their own selfish control by ultimately rejecting His overtures.
In your post I cited in the OP you asked if I had asked God to reveal himself and said for instance that “it can actually be quite simple”. Now, it seems that you don’t agree with what you said then.

You say that IF
- I truly want to know and
- I have sought God and
- I am sincerely willing to respond both on an intellectual level
- but also with a willing and open heart
THEN at some unknown future point God will make me believe.

This is a far from simple I can imagine. You seems to have completely forgotten that you talk to an atheist. What do you mean by “truly”, “sincerely willing”. It’s always possible to say that I, an atheist, wasn’t sincere when I asked for revealing. But what makes me most confused is the talk about “open” heart and “hardened hart” that you and others mention. How do I know if I have a hardened or open heart? Do you mean that an open heart is the same as a longing for God? If so, that is the same as saying as long as you don’t long God will not reveal himself. But then it is meaningless to say to an atheist to ask God to reveal himself. Few atheist long for getting faith in God. They don’t believe there is a God and don't feel any need of a God.

So I repeat what I said to Kurieuo but which he didn’t comment:
“If I anyhow try to interpret you message: There are persons like me that have some kind of defect heart (even if I never understood that talk about “heart”). Those persons aren’t reached by God’s calling and therefore they are sent to hell when they die. No problem with that even if I don’t like the idea and certainly wouldn’t call such a God good.”

Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 am

Nils, your story is not over yet!
You never know.
Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#26

Post by Nils » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:56 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm
We won't see eye-to-eye Nils, on many things, basic things. As I've said, our hearts are deceitful above all things. As such, I'd much rather people introspect their own biases and the like.

Both sides of the argument have equally intelligent people (who presumably know most of the main line of arguments), and yet both sides disagree for judgement is based upon subject. On the Atheist side, it must then be something like those who believe in God, do so based upon an illusion or delusion. Our reasoning ability (Theists) is therefore affected, such we can't see many arguments as being anything other than supportive of God's existence. On the Christian side however, the Atheist has some incapacity to see the truth, they're blinded, heart is hardened, in denial or the like. Therefore, even when smacked in the face with the obvious, whether attributes of God's existence, the created order, design arguments and what-have-you, you just don't/can't see it.
Perhaps you are right but I get the impression that theists often don’t even understand the atheist arguments (that they don’t agree is of course evident). At least they very seldom reproduce the arguments correctly. Examples are fine tuning, morality and evolution. They often even don’t think that atheists really are atheists. They can’t really imagine (or don’t want to) that an atheist position is feasible. That obstructs the discussion.
Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm
This is where I see the line is drawn. No one is more rational than the other, reason while I'd argue should be supportive, can't get past at the end of the day we're all judge and jury of what we find acceptable. Yet, one of us is truly right AND the thing for Christians is that many claim to have once been blind and now see. This trend is had over and over again. I'm sure if you ask Hana, PaulS, B.W., Phil (?) and many others here who were quite Atheistic but now Christian, they now see what they were previously so blind to -- and perhaps, are unable to explain such except to say they just didn't/couldn't see God. So then, the Christian side seems to have much support and merit as I see.
There examples of persons that go in the other direction as well, but that they are underrepresented on a Christian site isn’t astonishing.
Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm

Now, I think, you'll likely experience things in life. Some day, God may have drawn you in close enough to see something you previously were blind to. I only pray at that point in your life, you're open enough to continue looking rather than turning the other way.
You are talking about blindness which I don’t understand (which you may say is natural because if you are blind you don’t see what you don’t see). But why not give some examples? Are you talking about my feelings? Do you call me blinded just because I don’t have any desire to believe in God? That sounds peculiar to me.
Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:22 pm
Re: your final question. I don't agree merely asking for God to reveal himself will get somone anywhere, except very likely disappointment when God doesn't pop out of the bottle being rubbed. On the other hand, if one is open to God rather than hardened to, then they'll clearly see Him. I'm with the likes of William Wainwright, Jonathan Edwards and others, that it is the condition of the heart that matters, a proper alignment thereof, which allows one to properly ascertain the truth. This is perhaps true in any pursuit of knowledge, just as much as it is God or theological truth.

As I commented to Philip I don’t understand the talk about a hardened heart.

Nils

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#27

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:26 am

Perhaps you are right but I get the impression that theists often don’t even understand the atheist arguments (that they don’t agree is of course evident). At least they very seldom reproduce the arguments correctly. Examples are fine tuning, morality and evolution. They often even don’t think that atheists really are atheists. They can’t really imagine (or don’t want to) that an atheist position is feasible. That obstructs the discussion.
I can see that.
I mean, I rarely see atheist understand or reproduce theist arguments correctly so I can see it happening the other way too.
I think for many theists, the position of STRONG atheist isn't logical to them, how can a person KNOW a absolute negative like "there is no such a thing as God".
We tend to see most atheist as agnostic or "weak" atheist in the sense that they do not see or feel there is enough evidence for such as things as THEIR understanding of God to exist.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#28

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:28 am

It's sort of like life on another planet.
There is no evidence of it and we can say that there is no life on any other planet BUT for that absolute statement to be correct it would mean that we KNOW this because we have BEEN to EVERY planet and have verified it as such.
Since we have NOT done that, all we can say is that we THINK there isn't or that we DON'T know if there is.

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Re: Asking God to reveal himself?

#29

Post by abelcainsbrother » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:16 pm

Nils wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:31 am
Philp wrote the following in another thread. I comment it now:
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:01 pm
Nils, don't know if I've asked you before - but have you ever attempted asking God to reveal Himself to you? Because if the God of the Bible exists, it's clear He wants you to know about Him. No amount of philosophical investigation, pondering or speculation will be as powerful to answer this question for the person who sincerely wants to if He exists. Have you ever done this? And do you truly want to know the answer? Because if you do, why wouldn't you, if only as an experiment, ask God to reveal Himself to you? And because if all you continue is an attempt to prove what you already are apparently convinced of - then that's likely not going to lead to the answer. While the journey of getting to the truth of the matter is different for everyone, it doesn't have to be complicated. As it can actually be quite simple. It's man who often makes what is quite simple, unnecessarily complex.

Over 40 years ago, I came to a point of serious doubt about God's existence, and so it became very important to me to seek Him. It's how I came to faith. And what I've learned since has only greatly re-enforced it. And mine is not a blind faith, but one that is exceptionally rational - and that doesn't mean my faith doesn't ALSO go far beyond being a merely rational one.
Yes, I think you asked once when I was new at this forum and I answered shortly. But there was no discussion so I will elaborate a bit more now. I think the question is of general interest.

I certainly want to know whether God exists or not. I don’t believe that he exists but if he does, I am deluded and I don’t want to be deluded. Knowing that God exists would probably not change my every day life but it would definitely change my intellectual life.

When I was a kid I believed in God like my relatives but I was sceptical, I didn’t see any sign of God. At the age of fourteen I happened to read about Occam's razor and concluded that if there is no sign of God and no need of God why not postulate that he doesn’t exist. I still remember that moment of decision a long time ago. In school and during the confirmation (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmat ... an_Church)) I was educated in Christianity so I think that I have a reasonable good understanding of the doctrine (even if I haven’t read the whole Bible). When I grew older I got interested in the question how it was possible that I didn’t believe in God when there were so many persons world wide that did. Ever since I have now and then been discussing with Christians to try to find out and during that process I have of course many times been forced to reconsider my opinion but haven’t found any reason to change opinion.

During these discussions I have been asked the same question you ask: Have you tried to ask God to reveal himself. Those times it has been emphasised that I have to do it seriously, it’s not just to ask without really wanting to get an answer. This imposes a problem because if you have no doubt that God doesn’t exist and no desire that he would exist, how can you seriously ask the question? Still I have tried two or three times. I am aware of that it would be foolish not to try. So I tried to contemplate for a while, perhaps five minutes, over the question. I said something like this to myself: “God, you may exist and if you exist I really want to know. Honestly, I don’t believe in you but my knowledge is limited and I may be wrong. So, please, give me some sign.” But nothing happened.

My conclusion was and is that I got further evidence of the claim that if God exists he doesn’t show up and my original idea of referring to Occam was appropriate.

Nils
You say you were educated in Christianity and so you think you have a good understanding of the doctrine but you turned away from it for atheism. And so I would like to ask how atheism could be so appealing to you over the idea of eternal life Jesus gives us and going to heaven.

I mean I really want to know what is so appealing about dying and that is it. Because all atheism leads to is death and i don't see how that could be appealing even if you somehow think you don't believe in God. One of the things that makes me glad I'm a Christian is because of the afterlife Christianity offers over all over after lifes that other religions offer and including atheism where you just die and that is it? Really? Please tell how that is so appealing of an afterlife for you that you are willing to reject Jesus for just death? I mean even if I thought I did not believe in God I cannot imagine rejecting eternal life Jesus offers for just death atheism offers a person when they die. I'd choose Jesus just in case I was wrong over just death. But,what say you? I mean compared to all other religions Jesus made it easy to be saved and have eternal life. How could you choose to reject it?

Some Doubt. For you.
https://youtu.be/VuD7ImXzVMg
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: Asking God to reveal himself?

#30

Post by Nils » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:27 am

Nicki wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:41 am
Nils wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:02 am
Philip wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:47 pm
Thomas comes to faith!

Nils, I encourage you to CONTINUE to seek God - that's the difference between those who truly want to know the answers and those who merely seek to convince themselves that their present unbelief is justified. I also would encourage you to investigate the many incredible fulfilled and detailed prophecies found across Scripture, including many concerning Jesus.

Ponder what could have possible turned that scared, shocked, post-Crucifixion little band of Jesus' disciples into likewise (post Jesus' Resurrection) risking the very same, horrific fate as that of Christ by boldly claiming the Gospel and that Jesus had risen from the dead. Because they afterward, they certainly KNEW the truth - they either saw Jesus post His resurrection or not. Would all these sane, very sober writing men, have risked such a terrible fate while KNOWING it was a lie - really, does that make any sense.
The advice you give me to study other persons way to faith is misguided. I, and probably most thoughtful atheist, are in the position that we have little to learn from emotional arguments. I am open but I'm not actively searching, I am already convinced. If you have to convince a thoughtful atheist you have to use intellectual arguments because the way to come to thoughtful atheism is an intellectual enterprise.
Philip's points about the prophecies and about the disciples' behaviour seem quite objective and intellectual to me.
Yes, they are intellectual but if they are objective in some sense can be disputed. As far as I know did Jesus try to fulfil the prophecies that were well known to him. In the same way the authors of the NT probably tried to adapt there writings to align with the prophecies.

Nils.

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