Posts Tagged ‘absolute Truth’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 19]:

Greetings Soldier,

I am very pleased to hear about your face-to-face witnessing encounter with Mr. Reardon, the Jehovah’s Witness who came to your door today. As you have rightly guessed, this type of opportunity is never an accident, but is ordained and overseen directly by God the Father. No doubt you knew that something was amiss with Mr. Reardon’s point of view when your casual discussion about God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ became a means for him to insert strange ideas about Jesus being Michael the Archangel, the Bible being unreliable, and there being no such thing as eternal punishment, etc. As you know by now, these heresies are but a few of those taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses–a counterfeit Christian cult very much like the Mormons.

You did the right thing by clearly stating and defending the Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is, in fact, God (the Son) and showing him where this is plainly stated in John 1:1. Of course, the JW organization has altered this Scripture in their New World Translation (NWT) version of the Bible to read ‘the Word was a God’ instead of ‘the Word was God’ as plainly stated in the Biblical text (as confirmed by the thousands upon thousands of early New Testament manuscripts still in existence today). You also did the right thing in asking for his manuscript evidence for the changes made in the NWT and the many discrepancies between it and the early Biblical manuscripts. Of course, this is devastating to the JW position and teaching, since they have no manuscript evidence for their alterations of the orginal Biblical texts (demonstrating that these changes were made arbitrarily in order to support the corrupt teachings of the JW organization). The fact that the discussion ended in a friendly, amicable way is definitely a positive, as is the fact that you two have exchanged phone numbers.  This will keep the door open for future conversations and will hopefully provide the means for Mr. Reardon to at least be exposed to Biblical truth, which will challenge his current beliefs and, as a result, will hopefully bring him to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Indeed, there is much at stake here since the difference between the JW position and the Christian position is more than just a trifle, since this fundamental flaw in their view of who Jesus Christ is actually results in them preaching ‘another Jesus’ than the one revealed in the Bible and, subsequently, ‘another gospel‘. Needless to say, both of these heresies are expressly forbidden in Scripture and carry the severest penalty of rendering those who engage in them ‘accursed’ from God the Father. In light of the fact that Mr. Reardon has already texted you some Scriptures which he erroneously believes supports the JW doctrine that  Jesus is Michael the Archangel, here is my suggestion for a response to him:

~Mr. Reardon,

I reviewed the Scriptures you texted to me and they definitely confirm the existence of angels and even the archangel Michael, but none of them even so much as hints that Jesus Christ and Michael the archangel are one and the same. In fact, almost all of Hebrews Chapter 1 is devoted to making a clear, unmistakable distinction between Christ and the angels, telling us in v. 4 that He is ‘better’ than them and then in v. 5-6 it is revealed that He is far superior to them since none of the angels are the Son and ALL of them worship Him (this would necessarily include worship from the archangels, such as Michael, as well). Other Scriptures such as Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 1:17-19 provide us with crystal clear instances of both God the Father (Jehovah) and Jesus Christ describing themselves as ‘the first and the last’ (a title that is only ascribed to God and no one else), clearly demonstrating that Christ is indeed God the Son and one person in the Holy Trinity.

The one Scripture that keeps coming to mind, though, is John 1:1. If that verse is not altered to include the indefinite article ‘a’ before the word ‘God’, then none of the doctrine of Jesus being Michael can be true (since that verse would be plainly stating that He is God as also confirmed in Isaiah 9:6, 1 John 5:7, Hebrews 1:3, John 10:30, John 20:28, Matthew 2:11, and Matthew 28:9). Therefore, my question to you, again, would be simply to ask what the manuscript evidence is for the inserstion of the indefinite article ‘a’ into John 1:1, as well as the other textual alterations made in the NWT? I know you would agree that folks should not arbitrarily alter God’s divinely revealed Truth–however, as it stands, one can make a rock-solid case against the NWT and the JW’s that these changes were made for the sole purpose of attempting to make the Bible support the specific theology of the JW organization rather than relying on the Biblical text alone as the basis for arriving at correct theology (via a natural, straightforward reading and understanding of it). Also, given that the NWT is a subsequent work produced by adding new information to the Bible (much the same as the Book of Mormon and the Muslim Koran), how does a JW explain the discrepencies between the Bible and the NWT given the presence of over 40,000 pre-NWT manuscripts of the Bible in existence today which do not contain the alterations found in the NWT? Thank you in advance for your consideration of these very important questions.

I think this adequately sums up the main objections to the JW viewpoint and also demonstrates that it is ultimately founded upon a non-Biblical foundation. As such, the JW’s are not relying upon God and His Word as their Ultimate Authority but, rather, they are holding their own ideas and reasoning above that of God and the Bible. In the end, this worldview has the same rational defects (and the same eternal consequences) as all other non-Christian ones. Pray earnestly for Mr. Reardon to come to his senses and repent before it is too late. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 17: The Impossibility of the Contrary]

Greetings Soldier,

Indeed, I did see the latest remarks from the unbeliever who continues to assert that you are engaging in fallacious reasoning (i.e. an argument from ignorance) by claiming that Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary. It is important to remember two things when dealing with this type of objection from a professed unbeliever:

1.  The unbeliever has no basis whatsoever for attempting to impose any sort of meaningful logical standard upon your (or any) arguments, since he professes to believe in a universe in which abstract, invariant, universal standards could not possibly exist if his worldview were true (which, it isn’t). Therefore, when he makes such a claim, just simply ask him by what absolute standard he deems your argument fallacious, how he arrives at such standards in his worldview, and why that standard must necessarily apply to anyone or anything. Of course, he will not be able to sufficiently answer these questions, but it may be helpful for aiding him in honestly thinking through this issue (if he is willing to do so, of course).

2.  The argument is NOT that Christianity is true BECAUSE the unbeliever’s position is false (since all non-Christian worldviews ultimately undermine the existence of logic, knowledge, truth, etc.).  The argument IS that Christianity is true AND their position is false–big difference.

Remember, according to the professed unbeliever, ANY standard that they seek to impose on someone else would necessarily be a purely arbitrary one if their position were really true. This reduces their complaints against other people’s behaviors and/or reasoning to that of mere opinion and leaves them with no real objective, rational reasons for attempting to impose those standards upon anyone else. Feel free to gently make them aware of this fact and also point out that rational people have good reasons for the things they believe in and act upon. Therefore, the unbeliever is behaving irrationally when they behave the way they are behaving. In reality, they have no choice given what they profess to believe, as no one cannot possibly live consistently with the profession that God does not exist and the Bible is not true (since everyone lives in God’s universe and is inescapably forced to ultimately rely upon Him and abide by his rules, whether they want to or not). As such, the unbeliever plays the hypocrite since they professes to believe one thing, but do not (and cannot) really live according to their professed beliefs. You will do well to keep this is mind as you continue to evaluate the arguments/objections from them. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 15]:

Greetings Soldier,

It seems the hornet’s nest has been stirred. In fact, the comments you’ve fielded thus far in your online endeavors include remarks from professing atheists, agnostics, theists, Hindus, Buddhists, and the list goes on. What you will find, though, is that each of these positions ultimately contains the same fundamental logical flaws and destroys the possibility of knowledge, truth, logic, or morality–rendering them all rationally indefensible and absurd. Consider one of the first responses you received from the atheist who asserted that ‘it is not possible to know anything to be true with 100% certainty’. Did you catch the contradiction here? Essentially, he is claiming to know with 100% certainty that it is not possible to be 100% certain of anything. Of course, this is a self-defeating argument, which makes it false. On the other hand, if he wants to argue that he is not 100% certain that it is impossible to know anything to be true with 100% certainty, then he is forced to admit that, since he is uncertain of his argument (that 100% certainty is NOT possible), then it IS possible to know things to be true with 100% certainty. Either way, he ends up demonstrating that it is possible to know things for certain to be true and that he has no rational answer as to why that is in his worldview. As such, it is exposed that he must accept the existence of knowledge and truth solely on blind faith alone, whereas the Christian can (and does) justify their ability to know some things with certainty by appealing to God’s Divine Revelation of Himself (via both direct and indirect means) to all mankind. I trust I don’t have to remind you that blind faith is but a form of irrationality (and, not to mention, the basis of all superstition as well). Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

~P.S. It should also be pointed out that, once someone professes that they can’t know anything for certain, then they have forfeited any logical basis or justification for all of the things they may claim to be true (since knowledge (i.e. ‘justified true belief’) is certain by definition, as one cannot know something to be true which could also be false at the same time and in the same way). You should keep this in mind as you address future comments. Nothing wrong with holding the unbeliever to his professed beliefs in order to show the irrational conclusions they ultimately lead to.

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 14]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see that some of the ‘intellectual’ unbelievers have presented arguments for how they can know things to be true in their worldview. Let’s walk through some of these, as they are an invaluable resource for your training in mastering the ‘Bible First’ (presuppositional) method of defending the faith. The gist of the argument from the unbelievers so far is that they are able to know things for certain because they use their senses and reasoning to make observations and formulate rational conclusions about the world around them through ‘trial and error’. Can you spot the inconsistency here? Indeed, human senses and reasoning are wonderful gifts from God and provide the means of exploring and learning about God’s creation and would, therefore, be expected to be basically reliable and trustworthy according to the Christian worldview. However, what basis does any non-Christian have for trusting their senses and reasoning according to their professed worldview? No doubt, they would say that their observations and experiences have told them that their senses and reasoning are basically reliable over time, but this will not suffice. After all, it is via one’s reasoning that their sensory input and experiences are interpreted, which means that they are basically arguing that they ‘sense and reason that their senses and reasoning are reliable’. Of course, this is viciously circular and renders that position an irrational one–and necessarily false. If one does not know for certain that their senses and reasoning are trustworthy to begin with, then obviously they cannot know anything at all. I recommend pointing this out as soon as possible (and for their own good). Remember, the truth only hurts when it should. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 11]:

Greetings Soldier,

Your recent enquiries reveal a deep thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to put what you have learned thus far into action. Needless to say, the Heavenly Hierarchy is pleased with this! Regarding your question about whether unbelievers (whom we know to be living in willful denial of God’s revealed truth) are necessarily lying when they profess to believe the things they say they do: the answer is ‘no’—they are not necessarily lying but are often ‘self-deceived’. Remember, satan does have the ability to blind the minds of those who deny God in order to keep the Gospel from reaching their hearts. One of the ways he accomplishes this task is by means of cultivating and promoting an attitude of ‘willful ignorance‘ (merely one form of self-deception) on the part of the unbeliever with regards to things concerning God, Christ, and the Bible.  It has been rightly stated that one will not receive into their heart as true that which their mind rejects as false. Therefore, it is the concerned Christian’s urgent duty to engage in pulling down such ‘intellectual strongholds’ through the bold presentation and declaration of the truth in order that the unbeliever might be freed from the captivity of satanic deception and granted repentance unto salvation by God the Father, through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Understood in this light, Christ’s declaration in John 8:32–‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’–is received with a new and fresh appreciation in the mind and heart of the Christian.

In response to your second question: ‘yes’ I do advocate trying out these arguments online. There you will find no shortage of anti-Christian blogs, posts, and websites where you may engage the unbeliever, expose the error of their worldview, and enlighten them with Biblical truth. Be forewarned, though, that unbelievers do not take kindly to having the basis of their worldview challenged and exposed in this way and you will almost certainly encounter hostility like you never have before. In truth, this is really a positive, since it is a sign that the arguments have struck a nerve and are provoking some discomfort in the unbeliever’s state of mind. Besides, any reaction is always preferred over apathy (since apathy is but one sure sign of intellectual and spiritual ‘deadness’). So long as there is passion and/or zeal present (even misguided passion and/or zeal), then there is hope of a genuine conversion; after all, who can forget the grand transformation that took place when a certain misguided zealot named Saul was converted into that radical new creature in Christ—the Apostle Paul! If you are interested in beginning a conversation on the Dialogue.org site you mentioned, then I suggest you simply state your position plainly as to how Christianity provides the foundation for preconditions of intelligibility and then challenge the unbelievers there with a few direct questions about how those things are reconciled within their worldview. The purpose of this is twofold: it will provide the unbeliever with an opportunity to tell you about their worldview so that an internal critique of it can be performed, while providing you with the opportunity to plainly demonstrate to them how and why Christianity alone provides a rational, internally consistent, foundation for the preconditions of intelligibility required to hold a discussion in the first place (knowledge truth, logic, etc.). For example, you could begin with something like this:

*’Isn’t Dialogue.org great?! We have a place where anyone can come and argue any point about virtually any topic! However, an astute debater will find that the very concept of ‘debate’ assumes the existence of logic, truth, and knowledge. Since laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariants and truth and knowledge are certain by definition, each of these concepts can be (and are) made sense of in the Christian worldview (since they reflect the absolute, immaterial nature of a Sovereign God who has revealed Himself to mankind such that we can be certain of who He is).One should ultimately ask, though, how any non-Christian can rationally account for any of these concepts apart from the God of the Bible. Well?’

This should elicit enough response from the other side to keep you busy for a while and provide you with plenty of hands on practice in evaluating non-Christian worldviews for the presence of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility. Have fun,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

*To see this approach utilized at a real online debate site, check out: http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 9: Preconditions of Intelligibility]

Grettings Soldier,

To further elaborate on how the God of the Bible has made Himself known to all people, I’d like to point out to you another means by which He has done so–via the preconditions of intelligibility. Now, while that sounds like quite a mouthful, preconditions of intelligibility are simply those concepts that are necessarily required to make sense of everything else and which must be taken for granted in order to do so. This includes (but is not limited to) things like truth, knowledge, laws of logic, morality, and the reliability of one’s own senses and reasoning. Each of these must first be assumed in order for someone to begin to understand or reach any valid conclusion about the world around them. Take the laws of logic for instance; as the universal standard of correct thinking and reasoning, they must be assumed from the get go in order to begin to reason correctly about anything at all–including the laws of logic themselves–or to even formulate any logical proof. Also, consider the concept of knowledge; the possibility of knowing things to be true must be taken for granted at the outset before someone could ever know that it is possible for them to know things to be true (this would include knowing that the senses and reasoning they use to observe and form conclusions about the world around them are reliable and are providing them with valid feedback to begin with). These assumptions are inescapable and unavoidable when making any argument, conclusion, or observation whatsoever.

While everyone must assume these things, it has probably never occurred to you to think about the unbeliever’s justification for doing so in light of what they profess to believe about the non-existence of God and the unreliability of the Bible as His Divine Revelation. When you understand that the aforementioned preconditions of intelligibility being assumed by the unbeliever are by their very nature absolute, immaterial, universal concepts—or in simpler terminology, they are unchanging, not made of matter, and apply everywhere and at all times, then a devastating problem arises for the unbeliever’s position, as the question now becomes: how can an allegedly random chance, constantly changing, materialistic universe bring forth immaterial laws and concepts that are completely inconsistent with the very nature of that same universe?  The obvious answer is: IT CAN’T (and the very idea or assumption that it can is, itself, a glaring contradiction which is, therefore, both irrational and false by definition). Now, contrast that position with the Christian one which assumes the existence of an unchanging, immaterial, sovereign God who is omnipotent and omniscient, and it becomes immediately clear how absolute, immaterial, universal laws and truths can be made sense of and reconciled within the Christian worldview as a reflection of those aspects of God’s character and nature. I’ll let this sink in before moving forward. Feel free to ask any additional questions that you’d like about what we’ve covered so far. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’