Sunday, June 07, 2015

From the Horse's Mouth... Again!

Back in IP Year One, I posted an entry titled From the Horse’s Mouth: Apologists Shooting Themselves in the Foot. That entry contained a series of self-implicating statements which I had found in a variety of apologetic publications. For example, I included John Frame’s confession “we know without knowing how we know” (from here) and Phil Fernandes’ admission “I just believe that we are very good about lying to ourselves, and only accepting, uh, or interpreting the evidence the way we would like to” (from here; see also here).

Those are some pretty damning statements, and we should not fail to remind apologists about them.

But on occasion, I come across another one, so a new collection has gathered, and I’d like to have these kinds of things right at my fingertips. So I am assembling a second installment to the From the Horse’s Mouth collection.

Many of these I’ve cited several times in my writings, so I already know that they contain that degree of pungency needed to keep them in the keepers category.
So let's take a look at them.

“…because much of philosophy tries to answer the questions without recourse to what God says, but only through reason, it veers toward abstraction and unsettled opinion.”

- Vern Poythress, Credo Magazine: An Interview with Vern Poythress on the “Big Questions”

Well, we can’t have that – we all know that opinions are much too important to leave “unsettled.” So let’s throw reason to the wind!

“But in theism, there’s a sense in which reality is subjective - based on the divine mind.”

- Paul Manata, Bethrick Burner

I’ve been pointing this out for over a decade. At least one of them finally admits it.

“You’re like a man who steps into a painting and then denies the existence of the painter because you can’t find the painter in the painting. From within the painting, you can’t see anything outside the painting. I’m like a man who steps into a painting and cannot deny the existence of the painter since he is evident in every brushstroke. You only see absence. You see everything except the painter, so you conclude that the painter does not exist. I don’t need to see the painter when I have the painting. What is more, the painter painted himself into his own painting 2000 years ago.”

- Steve Hays, Is this the God I worship?

Similarly, a cartoon character cannot see the cartoonist who created him. So right here we have smoking-gun confirmation of the cartoon universe premise of theism.

“An imagined Jesus is just an imaginary Jesus.”

- Steve Hays, Olson’s Imaginary Jesus

So in other words, whenever I imagine Jesus dying on the cross, the Jesus I’m imagining is merely imaginary. Got it. The problem is: When is Jesus not imaginary?

“I want it to be true.”

- Mike Licona, Mike Licona Says: “I want it to be true”

That pretty much tells us all we need to know.

"It is really what Jesus said: die and give your life to Him. Die."

- Paul Washer, Die to Self, Surrender to Jesus

Does that mean that any Christian who's walking around alive and well is disobeying Jesus?

“God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists.”

- Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready, p. 172.

And yet, we’re supposed to believe that this is a “good” god, right? Nope, couldn’t fool us.

“Concepts have no place in Christian epistemology.”

- Jason Petersen, A Response to Dawson Bethrick Part 2: Objectivist and Christian Epistemology

Spoken like a true champion of an anti-conceptual worldview.

“God controls our thought processes.”

- Steve Hays, Picking an Epistemology

In other words, we’re just a-volitional automatons without minds of our own, controlled like marionettes from a supernatural realm. That's Christianity for you.

“Moreover, if you believe as I do in the salvation of infants or children who die, what [their murder] meant was that these… the death of these children meant their salvation. They were the recipients of an infinite good as a result of their earthly phase of life being terminated.”

- William Lane Craig, Christian Apologetics - Genocide Is Good For Everybody!

Now just ask yourself: What atrocity against children could not be justified in this manner?

“God controls whatsoever comes to pass.”

- Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, p. 160.

So when that abortion doctor rips a fetus from its mother’s womb, he’s just doing what he’s been predetermined to do all along, since the beginning of human history. So why all the outrage? After all, “the death of these children meant their salvation.”

“God’s thoughts make the world what it is and determine what happens – which is why all facts are revelatory of God…”

- Greg Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, p. 243.

An unmistakable admission of Christianity’s allegiance to the primacy of consciousness metaphysics.

“God controls all events and outcomes (even those that come about by human choice and activity) and is far more capable and powerful than modern machines.”

- Greg Bahnsen, Van Til's Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, p. 489n.43.

That’s quite an active imagination you have there, Dr. Bahnsen.

Honorable Mentions:

In the comments section of my blog Chris Bolt on Hume and Induction, I had asked Chris Bolt (this guy) the following question:
can it be the case that the your god communicates with believers through the 'sensus divinitatus,' and believers still get it wrong?
Chris Bolt responded:
Yes, this is the case.
So one cannot in fact claim that something has been “revealed” to him “in such a way” that he can be “certain” of it after all!
“The distinction between right and wrong depends entirely upon the commands of God. There is no natural law that makes some actions right and others wrong… Were there no law of God, there would be no right or wrong.”

- John Robbins, An Introduction to Gordon H. Clark

In other words, right and wrong are merely arbitrary, subjective categories, with no basis in objective fact, at least according to Christianity. But we already knew this.

“To begin with then I take what the Bible says about God and his relation to the universe as unquestionably true on its own authority.”

– Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, p. 195.

Compare this with the following statement:

“Who wishes to make such a simple blunder in elementary logic, as to say that we believe something to be true because it is in the Bible?”

- Cornelius Van Til, A Survey of Christian Epistemology, p. 12.

One can only infer from these two affirmations that Van Til’s answer to his own question is, “I do.”
And finally, hat-tip Steven Carr (from his 2007 blog entry Christianity - self-contradictory or what?), we have the following statements:
“His body was beaten from head to foot. The thorns had pierced His brow and the blood was running from His head. His back was lacerated. His face was black and blue from being beaten with the fists and hands of the soldiers. He had been spit on. His face had been in the mud. If that robe was on Him for ten or fifteen minutes, it sealed itself to all those wounds, and just like tearing off a bandage unmercifully, they jerked that robe back off. It opened all the wounds and caused them to bleed more profusely than ever before.”

- The Passion and Suffering of Christ


“Suffering in this life is so insignificant in light of eternity that it is not even worthy of a comparison. It may not seem this way when we look at our circumstances, but when we look out to the joy set before us, it is nothing. Suffering is not even a drop in the bucket.”

- Eddie Snipes, The Joy of Suffering

I guess, then, any time believers rant on about how much Jesus allegedly suffered, we should remind them that suffering in this life is “insignificant.” So quit the belly-aching already.
Naturally, there are many, many more examples of apologists demonstrating how far they can shove both feet down their own throats. (Seriously, I’m not trying to slight anyone!) If you find any more juicy give-aways that you think should be included in this list, post it in the comments section. It’s nice to have these in one tidy little spot!

by Dawson Bethrick


Justin Hall said...

I am particularity fond of this admission by good old Mr two citations himself

"A robust natural theology may well be necessary for the gospel to be effectively heard in Western society today. In general, Western culture is deeply post-Christian. It is the product of the Enlightenment, which introduced into European culture the leaven of secularism that has by now permeated Western society. While most of the original Enlightenment thinkers were themselves theists, the majority of Western intellectuals today no longer considers theological knowledge to be possible. The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic."

William Lane Craig

Ydemoc said...

As we all know, there are many more where this one came from...

"Through enslavement comes freedom." -- Hezekiah Ahaz


Justin Hall said...

Ydemoc I completely forgot about that little old gem, thanks for reminding me:)

l_johan_k said...

Great to see you back, Dawson!

Justin Hall said...

guys, the regulars, you aren't going to believe this but I ran into by sheer chance Mr Rawlings posting on a youtube video concerning a completely different subject matter. The world wide web is a smaller place then I thought:)

Bahnsen Burner said...


Now that you've put me in suspense... link please????

Not that I'm really interested in what MDR is up to these days... But he was quite entertaining!

Okay, din-din time!


Justin Hall said...

OK Dawson sorry about that, thought I had lost the link for a while but here it is

Justin Hall said...


That church cleared off their reader board. They have not yet put anything up but I'll be sure to keep you posted. One can only wait with baited breath for whatever new pearl of brain dead wisdom they reveal to us.