Monday, 30 November 2015

Monday quote

At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worse and met its match.

J.W. Wenham

Monday, 23 November 2015

Monday quote

I’ve often said there are three questions that would destroy most of the arguments on the left. The first is: ‘Compared to what?’ The second is: ‘At what cost?’ And the third is: ‘What hard evidence do you have?’ Now there are very few ideas on the left that can pass all of those.

Thomas Sowell.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Monday quote

Opposition to godliness is Atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.

Isaac Newton

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do atheists need to believe in God to be moral?

The traditional answer to this is that Christians are not claming that atheists are immoral without God, they are arguing that God must exist for morality to be true. We need an objective source that says that all people have oughts. Without God the oughts are arbitrary. If there is no God then all the oughts come down to reasons like maximising happiness, minimising harm, treating others how you wish to be treated. The problem with this is we are relying on ideas like happiness and altruism are good, and pain is bad. While I generally agree with this, why is this so? If someone else believes that his happiness takes preference over group happiness what can the atheist appeal to? Or who? We are left with people disagreeing.

The moral argument is that if morality is real (not just an arbitrary collection of principles we agree to live by, but can change or abandon) then there is a moral giver. The existence of morality is evidence for God. Consistent atheists realise this and often become nihilists. Though I suspect all men still know that some things are wrong.

Atheists can act morally because they are made in the image of God. Our conscience means that we know there are oughts. This is why the atheist wishes to have a reason for morality: he knows oughts are real, but his worldview denies a deity.

So the Christian argument is that atheism doesn't have an explanation of morality, not that the atheist is immoral. Nevertheless, I think there is reason to suspect that atheists on average are less moral. There are biblical reasons to suspect this, but I wish to raise a more pragmatic one.

Atheist morality frequently reflects the culture (Christians can also be unduly influenced by culture and agree with culture over Scripture). So the atheist call is that they can be just as moral as Christians; moreover, they often argue a superiority because they do not need a deity to tell them not to murder whereas Christians supposedly need God to prevent them killing others.

Of course this is not true. If God gives man his conscience then God is telling the atheist not to murder as much as he tells the Christian. The atheist pretension to superiority backfires as not only does he also require God to tell him right and wrong (by his conscience) he acts immorally by denying his Creator.

But there is a bigger reason the atheist is more immoral? Atheist morality is generally reflective of culture. The Christian thinks that murder and theft and lying are wrong. Atheists will generally agree these things are wrong—we are just as moral as Christians but don't need God! Yet God also condemns many other things. Murder of children is wrong in or out of the womb, sodomy is wrong, government overreach is wrong. Western culture, despite its Christian heritage, by and large has rejected these laws. The atheist who says he is as moral as the Christian because he disapproves of murder and theft is not as moral when it comes to abortion or sodomy. Worse, he condemns the Christian who, despite the culture, recognises these legal actions as sins against God. The Christian is condemned by the atheist as holding to bigoted views that oppress others. Further, the atheist now argues that he is morally superior to the Christian in these areas. But all the atheist has to go on is the spirit of the age. He only has his conscience to bear witness: his conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse him (Rom 2:15).

So atheists can be moral. The atheist has a conscience that is given to him by God, even while he denies the God who made him. His conscience is somewhat reflective of the culture (or sub-culture) he belongs to and so his morality variably lines up with God's law. And because atheists suppress the knowledge of God many eventually abandon God's law.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Underground Church in China

A short video on some of the difficulties faced by our brothers in China. Yet Jesus continues to grow his church!


Monday, 9 November 2015

Monday quote

Sins are always defined in relation to a God, and the form of worship and life He requires. False sins are, correspondingly, defined in relation to a false god, and the way of life and worship that flows out of that commitment.

Douglas Wilson

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

10 rules for dealing with crazy people

Number 8 is important to remember.

10 rules for dealing with crazy people
  1. If you don't have to deal with a crazy person, don't.
  2. You can't outsmart crazy. You also can't fix crazy. (You could outcrazy it, but that makes you crazy too.)
  3. When you get in a contest of wills with a crazy person, you've already lost.
  4. The crazy person doesn't have as much to lose as you.
  5. Your desired outcome is to get away from the crazy person.
  6. You have no idea what the crazy person's desired outcome is.
  7. The crazy person sees anything you have done as justification for what she's about to do.
  8. Anything nice you do for the crazy person, she will use as ammunition later.
  9. The crazy person sees any outcome as vindication.
  10. When you start caring what the crazy person thinks, you're joining her in her craziness.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Monday quote

On the issue of slavery it was essentially Western civilization against the world. At the time, Western civilization had the power to prevail against all other civilizations. That is how and why slavery was destroyed as an institution in almost the whole world.

Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

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