Monday, April 06, 2009

A nonhostile question for Calvinists

I have to put it this way because of my history of debating against Calvinists. Here I am just looking for some Calvinist responses. To what extent can a person know one's own election status, if one is a Calvinist? It seems to me that you can go all the way from:

1) We can have no idea whatsoever, prior to judgment day.
2) Acceptance of Christ, and the holiness of one's life, is inductive evidence, but not certain, since we could end up pulling a Loftus sometime down the road.
3) We can be completely certain of our election, if we know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

32 comments:

Paul Manata said...

In one sense, this is an uninteresting question for Reformed Christians as we don't spend time on this issue, and even find it a waste of time--perhaps even being harmful.

However:

Doesn't 1 John 1 bear on this, regardless of the Calvinism/Arminianism debate?

The Westminster Confession also comments on it in ch. XVIII. Always a good place to go to get an idea of Reformed viws on matters (and here the LBC also agrees).

At any rate, at a more concrete level--for Reformed do not generally speculate about who is elect--our answer is the same as all Christians; or is the same as what all Christian's should be.

We ask of ourselves what the Bible requires for salvation: faith in Christ. If I have faith in Christ, I have reason to believe I am elect. Our assurance, then, is objective, outside us, in the person and work of Christ and believing that he stood in our place and fulfilled the law for us.

Thus, continues faith is Christ is a constant sign of assurance based on the promises of God. Just like Victor knows that it is wrong to steal even though the Bible doesn't say his name. We know that all those who have faith in Christ are elect.

So, one might now ask what reason do you have to believe you have faith. Well, one continues to profess. Also, if one continues to strugle with sin. Indeed, even wondering if you truly have faith is a sign of faith, or can be a sign of faith.

So, (2) is probably the closest, if certainis meant to be read as something like epistemic certainty.

Of course, that we can pull a Loftus is no reason to doubt that we are elect based on our faith. Indeed, we all can become an (older) Unger. This does not mean we can have no assurance of knowledge.

Of course, the above is brief, fuller expressions are found in the basic and relevant Calvinist literature.

For further research, some recommended articles here:

http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Assurance/

James Vandenberg said...

You can find a contemporary discussion by the pastor/theologian Joel Beeke in pdf here:
http://tinyurl.com/dyto24

Historically this has been a greater concern. In the era of state churches where everybody was expected to be a baptized attender, there were more instance of people in serious crisis over whether they belonged to Jesus. This is one reason the Westminster Confession devotes an entire chapter to it.

The central thesis is that true believers "may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed."

On the other hand, it can be harmful to spend a lot of time having an existential crisis over whether one is elect or not. Our salvation is based on the finished Work of Christ, who has fulfilled the Law and rules as our prophet, priest and king.

BTW, who is Unger?

Victor Reppert said...

Peter Unger wrote a book entitled Ignorance, in which he says defends skepticism, the claim that we have no knowledge.

Gordon Knight said...

From my understanding this belief that one can be assured of salvation was a prime motivation behind the doctrine of predestination. If you are predestined, then, no worries!

But as Victor implies, this seems to be pretty weak epistemically. You can say "I had a coversion" I am born again, whatever.. but how does that experience itself guaranttee you will not change your mind? Just thinking you are different from "apostates" does not make you such.

Paul Manata said...

Gordon,

That would be cool except 1 John 1 speaks of assurance, as well as to other passages. So your anachronism has the slight drawback of being false. Furthermore, your claim is self-defeating, as I pointed out above. What, are we all epistemic infallibilists now about warrant when it comes to Calvinism? The mere possibility that we may be wrong about p implies that we cannot know that p? Lastly, I'd appreciate if you could point me to the historical sources which back up your rather condescending and uncharitable claims about "if you're predestined, no worries!" Of course, the strongest predestinaries sopke candidly about doubts, and wedre engaged in the real world enough to know that the degree of assurance waxes and wanes. Thus, they could write in their confession:

"This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, ..."

and they could write:

"True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the meantime, they are supported from utter despair."


Thus your claims have that slight drawback of flying in the face of the facts and giving offense to the known evidence.


As I said above--the grounds for belief that you are saved are pretty strong. Based on the divine promise given that all who believe are saved, you can then reason deductively to the conclusion that I am saved.

At this point the second premise would be assailed, it seems in this case, by appeal to epistemic infallibilism--a constraint most calvinists, not to mention epistemologists, reject.

There is also further evidence for premise 2, as laid in 1 John 1 and other places; such as, our continued profession of faith, or battles with sin and growth in sanctification, the inward testimony of the holy spirit.

Almost all of these are perfectly "evangelical" and are not unique to Calvinism. Indeed, even those who believe you can lose your salvation believe that we can know that we are saved now. For those who don't believe that, if it turns out that we were deceived, well, then we thought we knew. And of course we could find out that we were wrong about the age of the earth of heliocentrism (it's epistemically possible), in which case we would say that we thought we knew. Does this possibility take away warrant, justification, or knowledge now? No. We would just say, "wow, I was off, BIG TIME."

Now, of course an atheist might challenege the types of evidences pointed to in the above illustrations, claiming there is no parity. But, this gets into a different debate that is beyond the scope of Victor's question. Surely Christians can all acknowledge my answer and (grudgingly) grant calvinism another free pass on a desired "gottcha."

Gordon Knight said...

Paul,

Sorry to have appeared so flip. I did not mean to offend you or anyone else.

But here is my question: It seems Lutherans can also say that they have good reason to be saved. A Lutheran may worry about whether her faith will perserve, and a Calvinist can worry about whether they have "true" faith--but is this not a distinction without a difference?

Hardly anyone is an infallibilist, but I personally buck that trend..

Paul Manata said...

Gordon,

You need to buck Bergmann's _Justification Without Awareness_ off your back in order to buck like a Bronco. :-)

As far as your question, I'm unsure I understand it and how it applies to the OP.

There are about 10 different ways I could go with an answer such that there would be distinctions with differences. Perhaps you can elucidate?

Robert said...

Hello Victor,

“I have to put it this way because of my history of debating against Calvinists. Here I am just looking for some Calvinist responses.”

Sad that you have to put out such a disclaimer because of concern of some hostile response if you even ask questions about calvinism. Those who defend calvinism on the internet, at least in your experience tend not to be very nice. :-)

Now to your question:

“To what extent can a person know one's own election status, if one is a Calvinist?”

I believe it goes to what you mean by the words “to what extent”. The common Christian view, at least of those who do not believe you can lose your salvation is that we need to distinguish between the objective grounds of our salvation (which is what Jesus did, not what we do, to save ourselves) and subjective assurance of our salvation. Assurance being a subjective reality can vary for a Christian, while the objective grounds is unchanging and fixed. We also believe that the Holy Spirit can give the believer conviction that he is a saved person. And I believe this conviction given by the Spirit to be giving us about as much subjective certainty that one can have with respect to something. Now you went onto say:

“It seems to me that you can go all the way from:

1) We can have no idea whatsoever, prior to judgment day.”

I do not know of Christians who suggest this option. Most believe we can have some degree of assurance and most also believe that the Spirit can give assurance of our salvation.

“2) Acceptance of Christ, and the holiness of one's life, is inductive evidence, but not certain, since we could end up pulling a Loftus sometime down the road.”

This is the standard reasoning of most Christians (i.e., since assurance is subjective it will depend upon factors such as your daily obedience to God [if you are engaged in sin you are not going to be very convinced of your salvation] your involvement with sin [again sin tends to lessen assurance while obedience tends to increase it]. Now you bring in “pulling a Loftus sometime down the road”. That experience of someone withdrawing from the faith is a different issue and goes to whether or not one can lose one’s salvation (some Christians say Yes, the calvinists say No, so they would view Loftus not as someone who fell away from being a believer but as someone who never was a believer in the first place, if Loftus was never saved in this understanding then assurance as an experience given by the Spirit and connected with practical obedience and dealing with sin would not be a factor).

“3) We can be completely certain of our election, if we know Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

This is the interesting one because it then depends upon how the Christian views the assurance given by the Holy Spirit.

Does the Spirit give certainty when giving assurance to the believer?

If Yes, then one could be completely certain of one’s salvation. Or if one believes that you can lose your salvation you could argue that at one point while you were saved that you had this certainty but then you fell away. The calvinist not believing that one can lose one’s salvation, it seems to me, is going to believe that the believer can have certainty due to this assurance given by the Spirit giving this certainty.

I read the responses and for the most part have no problems with what Manata says except for one thing that he wrote:

“Now, of course an atheist might challenege the types of evidences pointed to in the above illustrations, claiming there is no parity. But, this gets into a different debate that is beyond the scope of Victor's question. Surely Christians can all acknowledge my answer and (grudgingly) grant calvinism another free pass on a desired "gottcha."”

Perhaps the “free pass” may be with respect to one issue in this discussion, but not another. We are talking about assurance of salvation here and the subjective experiences that people have or do not have, in connection with that assurance. The calvinist like Manata believes that God exhaustively predetermines all events. That being the case, everything that occurs is **exactly what God wants to occur**. Now this has some serious negative consequences. Some which impact this discussion of assurance.

Whenever someone believes they are a believer but in reality are not, God wanted them to have that experience since he predetermined that as well as every other experience, thought, or action of that person. If a person has doubts, God wanted them to have that experience. If a person is committing certain sins, then God wanted that to happen. If someone professed to be a believer, like Loftus and then turned against the faith, then God wanted that to happen (God wanted him to think he was a believer when he was not). The examples could be multiplied, but the point is simple: if God exhaustively predetermines every event, then He gives many people some very difficult and painful experiences, experiences that do not show love or goodness or mercy on the part of God at all.

They are more like someone toying with an insect before he finally destroys it. If exhaustive determinism is true, then God becomes such a person, a person lacking the character of the God of the Bible, a person who sadistically and intentionally toys with human persons in this way. To give Loftus experiences where he believed he was a Christian (when he never was), and then turn him into a zealous opponent of Christianity (and if God necessitates his every action then it is impossible for him to do otherwise) and then (if he continues in this way)eternally punish him for being and doing **exactly what God wanted and predetermined and necessitated for him to be**, that is pretty sadistic and cruel toying with a human person.

That kind of activity does not at all fit the God who reveals himself in the bible as a God of love, as a good person, as a merciful person. That remains a “gotcha” against calvinism. And it is a “gotcha” that comes up in every area of discussion since exhaustive determinism and what it means also would be present in the area of assurance of being saved, lacking in assurance, professing to be a Christian and then rejecting it, etc. etc.

Robert

dvd said...

Hey I am not a Calvinist, but in defense of what they are saying, and the issue of "JOHN LOFTUS."

It depends on whether John really "knew" Christ. You can't unknow a real person, unless you have memory problems.

So If John admits, he "never" knew Christ, it was only in his mind, he is then agreeing with Calvinists, that he was never part of the elect!

Paul Manata said...

And with the arival of "Robert," I shall depart.

I have no desire to be involved with anything he is a part of.

I knew he would show up and be unable to avoid taking yet another swipe at Calvinists, making sure to point out how mean and nasty they are. I also knew he would be unable to argue against Calvinism without drawing all the distinctions they make--as ineed all sides make wrt their positions. Rather than cuting with a scalpel, he hacks away like a clumsy butcher--to use Plato's analogy. But then, that is what one expects when confronted by those only interested in advancing their agenda.

Hope my answer made some sense, Victor.

Paul Manata said...

BTW, let's all remember that "Robert" believes in "exhasutive foreknowledge," and thus, despite his cries to the contrary, is open to an "I'm rubber you're glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you," kind of response.

Robert said...

Paul Manata wrote:

“And with the arival of "Robert," I shall depart.
I have no desire to be involved with anything he is a part of.”

Great, now I hope that last statement is true.

“I knew he would show up and be unable to avoid taking yet another swipe at Calvinists, making sure to point out how mean and nasty they are.”

As a point of fact, this statement is a lie, in my previous post I said nothing about calvinists being “mean and nasty”. I didn’t even make any negative comments against calvinists (though there is lots of ammunition for that, perhaps for a different context). No, I clearly stated and maintain that the god conceived of calvinists as one who exhaustively predetermines every event, lacks character, more accurately has the character of a sadist, someone who toys with human persons as some people toy with insects before they destroy them. The god of calvinism does not reflect the character of the true God as revealed in the bible.

“I also knew he would be unable to argue against Calvinism without drawing all the distinctions they make--as ineed all sides make wrt their positions. Rather than cuting with a scalpel, he hacks away like a clumsy butcher--to use Plato's analogy. But then, that is what one expects when confronted by those only interested in advancing their agenda.”

This is so na├»ve it is laughable. As if Manata has no agenda, as if Manata is just this disinterested observer who objectively and dispassionately presents the facts, and just happens to post on calvinism here. Yeh, right. Manata like everyone else has agendas, we all do. His is to defend his concept of God and his false system of theology. He thinks that in doing so he is protecting the truth (when he is justifying and rationalizing a lie). Things could not be any further from the truth. Manata’s agenda is as “protector of calvinism”. That is why he got so hostile with Victor in the past on the subject of calvinism (even going so far to attack Victor as a philosopher) and why Victor had to add that little disclaimer at the beginning of this thread. If Manata could have a non-emotional and rational discussion of calvinism then Victor’s little disclaimer would not be necessary. But it is necessary because Manata **is what he is**.

“BTW, let's all remember that "Robert" believes in "exhasutive foreknowledge," and thus, despite his cries to the contrary, is open to an "I'm rubber you're glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you," kind of response.”

Manata just cannot get it into his mind, it just seems impossible to him, that there is a great and meaningful difference between claiming that: (1) God allows or permits certain things to occur (the majority view among Christians concerning evil and suffering), versus (2)God actively predetermining and desiring for those things to occur (the view of necessatarians/calvinists). Since he intentionally will not make this distinction, or grant this distinction, he thinks we are in “the same boat.” Fortunately the vast, and I mean vast majority of bible believing Christians throughout church history have made this distinction, find this distinction to be valid, and simultaneously reject calvinism as the false and man invented system of theology that it is.

Again, Manata wrote:

““And with the arival of "Robert," I shall depart.
I have no desire to be involved with anything he is a part of.”

I hope this is a promise, that news is just too good to be true.

Robert

John W. Loftus said...

"pulling a Loftus sometime down the road."

;-)

S. Holmes said...

Robert: "As a point of fact, this statement is a lie, in my previous post I said nothing about calvinists being “mean and nasty”. I didn’t even make any negative comments against calvinists"

Robert: "Sad that you have to put out such a disclaimer because of concern of some hostile response if you even ask questions about calvinism. Those who defend calvinism on the internet, at least in your experience tend not to be very nice. :-)

Incredulous said...

"That is why he got so hostile with Victor in the past on the subject of calvinism (even going so far to attack Victor as a philosopher)"

Hi Robert,

I would be very interested if you could provide a quote for this. I'll go run and get my popcorn while you assemble the evidence.

Skepdickal said...

"If Manata could have a non-emotional and rational discussion of calvinism then Victor’s little disclaimer would not be necessary. But it is necessary because Manata **is what he is**."

Hey Robert,

I may be missing out on some stuff, but it appears that Manata and the others were doing just that before you arived. Oh, FYI, your multiple *'s are quite ***annoying***. I can just imagine you pounding 'em out as you type off your responses. One finger on the shift key, the other giving 6 loud and pronounced pounds on the key board. I bet the white is rubbed off your key board.

Blip said...

I'd go for 2).

Anonymous said...

I have my popcorn too. I would very much like Robert to furnish us with quotes from Manata where he "attack[ed] Victor as a philosopher." I don't think it's very Christian to make false accusations. Yet maybe I'm wrong about that one too.

Robert said...

Some necessatarians who wrote in anonymously (Manata probably, he’s done that innumerable times in the past) and expressed concern about my claim that Victor Reppert had been attacked as a philosopher. A while back Paul Manata and Steve Hays from Triablogue got into very nasty and mean spirited and contentious discussions with Victor. Lots of hostile and negative things were said by the calvinists to the point that Victor himself wrote:

“I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays.”

Reppert was being attacked in an extremely mean spirited way. Many posts were written and I believe that I mistakenly took Manata to be the one who questioned whether or not Victor Reppert was even a philosopher. I went back and looked over some of the stuff, and there is a lot of it, and I found that it was **Steve Hays** who actually made this claim against Reppert.

While there were many examples of hostile and inappropriate speech just a couple of examples should suffice:

In a blog article titled:
on improving the moral tone of the debate,

Hays wrote:

“Why shouldn’t he, as a philosophy prof., occasionally take the time to present a sustained argument for his position?

And there are other philosophical bloggers like Jeremy Pierce, Bill Vallicella, and Alexander Pruss who operate at a far higher level of analysis. The medium of blogging doesn’t prevent you from adequately researching an issue and presenting a thoughtful and thorough argument for your position.”

Here Hays is negatively contrasting Victor with other philosophical bloggers (and in Hays’ mind Victor is far inferior to them since they “operate at a far higher level of analysis”). This is clearly a putdown of Victor’s philosophical abilities by Hays.

And then in a blog post titled:

Victor Reppert: every baby butcher's best friend,

[note that title is already over the top and inappropriate] Hays questions whether Victor is a **real Christian** or a **real Philosopher**:

“If Reppert were a real Christian and a real philosopher, instead of a goose-stepping apparatchik for the liberal establishment, he would appreciate the moral dimensions of this debate. Perhaps we should start calling him the Red Philosopher, in honor of his Marxist philosophy—as well as all the innocent blood on his hands.”

Hays regularly engages in this kind of inappropriate speech concerning those he hates.

I note that the rest of you ***never*** challenge him on this or ***hold him accountable*** which means that you must think that what he is doing is perfectly acceptable behavior.

I hope you can **enjoy** your popcorn now.

Robert

Robert said...

I had written that if God exhaustively determines all events then the god who does this is a sadist who toys with human persons like a person who toys with insects before destroying them:

“They are more like someone toying with an insect before he finally destroys it. If exhaustive determinism is true, then God becomes such a person, a person lacking the character of the God of the Bible, a person who sadistically and intentionally toys with human persons in this way. To give Loftus experiences where he believed he was a Christian (when he never was), and then turn him into a zealous opponent of Christianity (and if God necessitates his every action then it is impossible for him to do otherwise) and then (if he continues in this way)eternally punish him for being and doing **exactly what God wanted and predetermined and necessitated for him to be**, that is pretty sadistic and cruel toying with a human person.

That kind of activity does not at all fit the God who reveals himself in the bible as a God of love, as a good person, as a merciful person. That remains a “gotcha” against calvinism. And it is a “gotcha” that comes up in every area of discussion since exhaustive determinism and what it means also would be present in the area of assurance of being saved, lacking in assurance, professing to be a Christian and then rejecting it, etc. etc.”

Lest someone think I **misrepresented** the calvinist/necessatarian position, consider what one of their own said. Jonathan Edwards in his most famous sermon, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, said:

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours."

So according to Edwards, one of the most famous necessatarians of all time, God has this incredible hatred for sinners (“you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours”) and he is likened to someone holding a spider above the flames, toying with it, who could just let the thing fall into the flames at any time. If God predetermines all things, then who made the spider to be the spider (if all is predetermined then we are only what God wants us to do and be), and who is toying with it here? Of course another modern necessatarian likens his god to a cardsharp who cheats while playing cards, deceitfully playing card games with unsuspecting victims. In both cases these pictures of God from necessatarians do not fit the character of the true God who reveals Himself in the bible.

Robert

Rob G said...

I don't recall ever having any back'n'forths with Paul Manata, but I have been at Triablogue a few times under a different moniker, and Robert is right. Steve Hays is a pompous, uncharitable, self-important, condescending ass who can't see past his own narrow presuppositions. Why anyone with any intelligence even bothers to engage him (and the Triabloguers in general) is beyond me. That entire blog is one giant foul smelling tar-baby for any non-Calvinist unwary enough to get stuck there.

Robert said...

Hello Robert G.,

Your description of Hays is quite accurate.

You went onto say about Triablogue:

“Why anyone with any intelligence even bothers to engage him (and the Triabloguers in general) is beyond me. That entire blog is one giant foul smelling tar-baby for any non-Calvinist unwary enough to get stuck there.”

Well you go there expecting these professing Christians to be capable of rational and civil discussion. You expect that they take the bible seriously and obey what it says in regards to how Christians ought to interact with one another. So you go in with these common sense and biblical expectations. That is until you actually interact with them, then you find out that these expectations in regards to them are all false.

By the way, Rob G., just recently I picked up David Hart’s new book on atheism: ATHEIST DELUSIONS: THE CHRISTIAN REVOLUTION AND ITS FASHIONABLE ENEMIES, and I thought of you as I made the purchase. Have you got hold of a copy yourself yet? I say again what I said to you once before regarding Hart: I wish we could clone that guy! You Eastern Orthodox folks are very fortunate to have such an intellect on your side! :-)

Robert

Rob G said...

Yes, Robert, I don't mean to sound bitter or uncharitable myself about the Triabloguers, but I've had enough dealings with their type of Calvinism (let me immediately state that most Calvinists I've met are NOT like them) to warrant my heated dismissal.

I got Hart's book in the mail from Amazon over the weekend and started reading it last evening. So far it's every bit as good as expected.

bossmanham said...

I like how Paul acts as if Robert is the hostile one. Has anybody read how he interacts with people?

James Vandenberg said...

"I don't mean to sound bitter or uncharitable myself about the Triabloguers..."

I'm a Calvinist and I've had my own issues with that site. I fear they have fallen for the corrosiveness that plagues Internet debates, especially blogs. The problem is that people freely mix rational arguments with personal attacks and excessive verbiage. When all else fails, they flame on.

When petulance, churlishness and pedantry replace sound rhetoric, we have a problem. I take what the Triabloguers say seriously, but I also am careful to skip over the verbal excesses.

BTW: Speaking of verbal excess, Robert, you do plenty of it yourself. More so than what I have seen of Paul Manata.

Anonymous said...

So, Robert, are you going to publicly apologize to Manata for lying about him?

S. Holmes said...

Heyya Robert,

You said--

"A while back Paul Manata and Steve Hays from Triablogue got into very nasty and mean spirited and contentious discussions with Victor."

I'll get the popcorn and wait again...I assume you have quotes from Paul Manata from that discussion with Victor where Manata was "very nasty and mean spirited and contentions" towards "Victor?" Or should I just not hold my breath?

Victor Reppert said...

I'm afraid I am going to have to come in here with a correction. Hays did have some mean-spirited posts in the heat of the last political campaign, but they were about politics, not Calvinism. I was sometimes dismayed by the tone of the debate on Calvinism, which took place earlier in 2008, but the complaints Robert is referring to are about political exchanges in which Paul participated, if at all, to a very limited degree.

The Triabloggers are different people. Even though they reflect a similar theology, (I am told one of them is not a Calvinist, actually), they are not joined at the hip.

While one can bring up problems for Calvinism that are connected to the question of assurance, I am not at all persuaded that these issues are really separate from the theodicy-related difficulties that many of us have with that theology. I mean if you swallow the idea that God might be justified in reprobating people for his own glory before the foundation of the world, I'm not sure it's any worse for God to also give some of them the idea that they have truly received the saving grace of God and then find out later that that was only appearance. If you swallow the camel, a little gnat sauce won't be a problem.

tap said...

Atheism = Calivinism, without the internal contradictions.

Anonymous said...

So Rober was caught lying about his fellow Christians and won't even apologize about it? Guess all his fine words have just been trashed by all his course actions. Guys like Robert disprove the supposed "new nature" that Christians are supposed to guys like me on a regular basis.

Bertrand Russell said...

Robert said: "You expect that they take the bible seriously and obey what it says in regards to how Christians ought to interact with one another."

Youch! I take it that this means one Christian can tell lies about another, and then, when caught, run away without apologizing. Thanks for this post Victor. This Robert cat just did more to undermine Christianity than any of the postings by Parsons, Loftus, or Ex-apologist have ever done--and they've done a lot. Those guys owe him a debt of graditude.

Victor Reppert said...

Put the socks away, would you?