Archive for the ‘ Empaizo ’ Category

Evidence that Evidentialism Fails

All one needs to do to demonstrate the title of this post is true is to examine the Caner Scandal. Ergun Caner’s defenders have consistently refused to examine the evidence of Ergun Caner’s multiplicitous prevarications – and instead have attacked those criticizing Dr. Caner. See, evidentialism is all about presenting “brute facts”, “objectively” from a putatively “neutral” standpoint. There are many problems with this. First, no one is neutral. Second, there are no brute facts. Third, there is no objectivity from any position save that of a worldview based soundly in Christian theology.

Here’s where evidentialism goes off the rails. They assume that man can reason properly, absent God’s regenerative grace. Based on that, they assume that given “facts”, in this universal reasoning ability, you can come to the correct conclusion if the case is reasoned well. Third, they “cut down” the whole of Christian theology, and argue from “bare theism”.

Let’s take the first. Scripture most definitely denies this assertion. Romans 1 tells us that men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”, they “become futile in their speculations” and thus God gives them over – to lusts, to passions, and to a depraved mind. Proverbs repeatedly tells us that the fear of the Lord is the *beginning* of wisdom. Tell me – if you don’t even have the beginning, how can you have any at all? I could go on, but this is going to be short, so I’ll stop there.

Second, no fact is examined apart from your own already-formed conceptions. Until and unless those conceptions, or presuppositions, are addressed, you will go nowhere. Everything a man examines is filtered through the matrix of their presuppositions. There are no “brute” facts, which merely need to be seen to reach the proper conclusion.

Third, the assumption that there is an “objective” viewpoint for unbelievers to look at facts from is absurd. Did not Christ say “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life?” That means there is, definitionally, no other! Does not Paul say, in Colossians, that ALL treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ Jesus? This means that all other purported wisdom, purported knowledge, is foolish – it is only “falsely called wisdom”. (1 Ti 6:20)

So, back to our example. When presented with video, audio, legal documents, examples from his own writings – what is the response of Caner’s defenders? I’ve seen a few types of response.
1) Ignore it
2) Spin it
3) Attack the messenger

Now, does this look to you like all you have to do is present the evidence, and they will see the light? If someone doesn’t *want to believe the evidence* – they won’t – and only an act of God will change that desire. After all – isn’t that we’re always saying? Only those drawn by the Father will come. Only those given ears to hear, will hear.

Tim Rogers is claiming that Caner was “exonerated”. Do people who are exonerated get fired as President of a seminary? Peter Lumpkins is claiming that “Ergun Caner did not make up his life testimony.” Tim Guthrie claims that “He is NOT a liar.” Excuse me? On what possible grounds can any of these statements be made? Oh, that’s right – on presuppositional grounds. Faulty presuppositional grounds. If none of the evidence presented, save that which can be refuted (and has also been refuted by Caner’s *Christian* critics, save for one undiscerning soul), is considered valid *a priori*, or has been examined at all, it’s easy to say that. It’s just as easy to say a red light is green – if you’re colorblind.

So, as I said – this situation points out quite clearly what the issue is. It’s NOT evidence. it’s *presuppositions*.

To close with a couple quotes from Dr. Robert Price, a skeptic Dr. White recently debated:

Dr. Price: “if you had your video camera, you’d have picked it up – but nobody did… I don’t know what on earth could prove that Moses divided the Red Sea, save a trip in a time machine… it’s a question of theology, not a historical judgement” – from that recent debate.
Dr. White: (selected) “this issue this evening is not just the skepticism that says we don’t know… if we are not for God having spoken, we are where Dr. Price is this evening…. so, there could not be any evidence from antiquity that could convince you?”
Dr. Price: “no, I can’t see how, given the nature of documents from antiquity”
Dr. White: “Does it not follow that there cannot be anything short of multiply attested recordings of an event to prove it?”
Dr. Price: “”I’m afraid that’d be so.”

Our intrepid defenders, note – are even MORE skeptical than Dr. Price. Even video cannot prove whether something happened, to these folks. I rest my case.

Muhammad in the Old Testament?

James White and Sam Shamoun on ABN, addressing whether Muhammad is mentioned in the OT, as Muslims tell us.

This is video from last year’s Arabic Festival. It’s rather stunning.

I’m posting this because this year, David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi have been arrested at the Arabic Festival. I don’t have any more details at this time, but please pray for these brothers. David is scheduled to debate twice tomorrow at the same venue as Dr. White is debating Sunday and Monday. Please pray for them, and for the debates this weekend. More info can be found here.

Consistency and Truth

Recently, Hussein Wario was challenged to call into the Dividing Line to answer for his recent accusations, some of which were in conversation with me. The transcript of that call on June 10th (which I did myself) is included here.

James: We received a call a number of weeks ago from Hussein Wario, who himself is a former Muslim, who from my understanding converted when he was in 8th grade, or something like that and is living in the United States now, and we had a discussion about some things; as I recall it had to do with using a restroom as a place for Muslim prayers.

Well, since then Mr. Wario has had a lot to say in regards to some of my statements, so he’s been kind enough to call in today. Let’s make sure that we’ve got a good connection here and let’s talk with Hussein. Can you hear me?

Hussein: Yes, I can hear you.

James: Good, excellent, thank you for calling in. I know you don’t have a lot of time. (…) I’ll get right to some of the things you’ve said here. After the June 6th Dividing Line, actually there was no June 6th Dividing Line, but on June 6th you made the statement on the web that you can prove that (I) “made at least 20% contradictions…

Hussein: (laughs)

James: …in (my) recent DL webcast – does that make him less Christian?” Now, even my worst opponents grant me a little better than 80% accuracy could you explain what you were referring to there?

Hussein: Well first of all, like I said before, I’m not going to be here to talk about either of the Caner brothers, that is irrelevant. As a Reformed Christian, I’m very concerned about how you run your ministry, and how far you go with it. I was going to first write a blog entry on that 20% I am talking about, but I
haven’t come to that.

(For the reader’s context, this is what he tweeted just prior to the comment to DSpratlin about 20% contradictions, and the mention of a blog entry to @hereiblog)
@erguncaner saga almost over. Muslims critics have taken to their heels. Can his Christian critics handle their misstatements? Stay tuned… Sunday, June 06, 2010 10:48:22 PM via web
@hereiblog @erguncaner saga almost over. Time to analyze his critics and see if they can explain their “misstatements.” Can you handle it? Sunday, June 06, 2010 10:45:00 PM via web in reply to hereiblog
@JeremiahBailey @erguncaner saga almost over. Time to analyze critics and see if they can explain their misstatements. Can they handle it? Sunday, June 06, 2010 10:44:22 PM via web in reply to JeremiahBailey
@Shinar_Squirrel @erguncaner saga almost over. Time to analyze critics and see if they can explain their misstatements. Can they handle it? Sunday, June 06, 2010 10:43:53 PM via web in reply to Shinar_Squirrel
@pregador27 @erguncaner saga almost over. Time to analyze his critics and see if they can explain their misstatements. Can they handle it? Sunday, June 06, 2010 10:42:22 PM via web in reply to pregador27

Now, note this – he tends to “hype” his posts repeatedly. What is this called, when the statements are in fact untrue? Libel.

Back to the transcript.

Hussein: The reason I am calling is just because there are a few concerns that I have. It’s only (probably that?) 1, 2, 3, 4 of them, and I’ve only been listening to the Dividing Line for probably.. for less than 2 months. And I’ve already found like 4 things in here that raise questions about, you know, your integrity, or it could be just about how you do things, especially with people that you don’t agree with, so maybe we could just go to that, because I just want…

Note: Hussein has said previously: “Christians bickering in public needs to stop.” He has also said: “Dr. White is the only apologist I know who openly criticizes people he disagrees with by name.” Now you can add yourself to that list, Mr. Wario. Further, remember this? “I believe in restoration of a fallen Christian and not gossip them in public.” yet, you took the majority of this show – his show – to slanderously revile this man personally. As I said in a previous post – “I find it amazing that he attacks Dr. White himself throughout this piece, the comments, and via twitter – while trying to say that we can never publicly respond to public comments. Further, he is making public rebukes to me – while saying that we shouldn’t publicly rebuke people”

James: So you’re not going to answer any of the accusations you’ve made, then?

Hussein: Hey! This is 4 out of how many dividing lines you have done, or how many interviews you have given. This will be enough to… equal to 20% of what you have done. And it’s like, less than two months.

Let’s examine this one. Let’s remember that there are two Dividing Lines a week. 4 weeks in a month. 2 months. 2x4x2. There’s 16. That’s about 25%, give or take – if he made only one statement per show, of course. However, add an interview. Only one. It’s now 23.5%. Add another interview. 22.22%. Further, this doesn’t count videos, blog entries, or any of the other things that Dr. White engages in. Now, add in, say, 2 videos in the same time. Then you’re at 20%. At my count, he has done 15 videos in the last 2 months. So, we’re at what percentage now? Counting 2 interviews, 16 Dividing Lines, 15 videos – and 4 errors – we’re at 12%. How many blog entries did he author in that time? Let’s say, a dozen, even though I highly doubt it’s that few. Now we’re down to 8.8% – and that is just counting by a simple formula. Even granting that Dr. White made 4 factual errors – how does this even approach 20% of what he has said? How is it even remotely close? There’s a deeper problem with this, however. How many statements are made on each Dividing Line? A few dozen? A hundred? A couple hundred? That’s the real issue here. Let’s say that he makes 2 dozen statements on a Dividing Line. That’s 384 statements in 2 months, by that conservative estimate. Let’s use the same average for a blog entry, and a video. So, 45 (for the sake of argument) pieces of media produced. 2 dozen statements apiece. That gives us a .0037% error rate.

However, when we’re talking about Ergun Caner, he *makes up almost his entire history*. Do you see the problem? How many statements is that to get wrong in one lecture/sermon/speech, in every speech he gives which includes his history? An even bigger problem is, as you will see, that he fails to substantiate a *single error* – while dodging all of his *own* claims! I’m not going to give a particular percentage, because it really doesn’t matter. The arbitrary usage of statistics is demonstrated to be useless, in any case. The problem is not statistical, it is ethical. Ethical by the terms of Scripture, not opinion. The systemic falsehoods are the issue. Hussein is comparing systemic, widespread falsehoods to what are apparently isolated statements – and I have a suspicion that he gave his examples of those in this particular call. If this is so, he is left with nothing whatsoever to demonstrate this. It is apples and oranges – and Dr. White was very right to insist that he answer for his accusations by directly making them and defending them.

James: Okay, so the entire list of things that I had here, you don’t want to talk about them, you want to talk about your points, is that the case?

Here is what Dr. White is referring to: In response to the 20% claim, Dr. White sent this: @HusseinWario Why don’t you call the DL and attempt to back up your accusations? Your attempt to parallel me to EC’s overt lies offensive.

His reply was as follows: @DrOakley1689 If you let me talk, I will call the Diving Line. Would you please go back to doing what you do best? In the end, you lose.

Back to Dr. White: @HusseinWario Of course I will let you talk, if you will provide a logical, rational defense of your new accusations. (Note this – it’s important)
Again: @HusseinWario “In the end, you lose.” If being consistent at personal cost means losing, then may we all start losing together.

This was on the morning of the 7th. On the evening of the 9th, he posted these:
@RazorsKiss I have never sensed Reformed Christians this passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:22:46 PM via web in reply to RazorsKiss
@LaneChaplin I have never sensed Reformed Christians this passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:22:31 PM via web in reply to LaneChaplin
@internetbible I have never sensed Reformed Christians this passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:21:58 PM via web in reply to internetbible
@Tomjunlee I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:21:00 PM via web in reply to Tomjunlee
@Jerry_Kirby I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their top priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:20:41 PM via web in reply to Jerry_Kirby
@reformata I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:20:22 PM via web in reply to reformata
@stepcraig I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:19:52 PM via web in reply to stepcraig
@CapitalistObsvr I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:19:36 PM via web in reply to CapitalistObsvr
@ThApologeticHub I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic lampooning @erguncaner must be their new priority Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:19:10 PM via web in reply to ThApologeticHub
@sjcamp I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their top priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:18:25 PM via web in reply to sjcamp
@thecrosschurch I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic lampooning @erguncaner must be their top priority Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:18:15 PM via web in reply to thecrosschurch
@faithfulnews I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their top priority. Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:17:55 PM via web in reply to faithfulnews
@jfontes0217 I have never sensed Reformed Christians these passionate and enthusiastic, lampooning @erguncaner must be their top priority.

As for me, I replied with the following: @HusseinWario You’ve never seen me deal with the proper place of all of God’s attributes in apologetics before then 😉 Caner’s a side issue

I received this reply: @RazorsKiss You need to start putting your energy into reaching Muslims. They are never satisfied. Enough has been said about @erguncaner

Now, honestly; since when does Hussein dictate what ministry I engage in? What does his opinion of what I should be doing have to do with what I should be doing? Muslims are not the only group in the world to which we minister, nor are they the only ones that we should minister to. Just because they are the ones he ministers to does not mean that everyone should be like him, or have the same ministry. I told him as much. @HusseinWario I address Muslims occasionally. I address a wide variety of groups. Therein lies balance. I think it would do you good too.

Later, when he tweeted Dr. White again, with more accusations, he was once again challenged to call the Dividing Line (he didn’t call in on the 8th). @HusseinWario I challenge you to call the DL today. Your fallacious reasoning evaporates when you are forced to answer direct questions.


Hussein: No, no no, when I made that statement, I was going to do a blog entry on you. I talked to other Christians, and they told me there is no place for it. Other Reformed Christians have told me. This is not about… I’m not going after you, okay? I just don’t like it the way you just go about talking about other
Christians. You have been (unintelligible) some of them…

James: Who?

Hussein: You wrote something about me.

James: Who?

Hussein: You did write about me.

James: You’ve been raising a lot of questions, and I have had to point out that some of your arguing is… not rational.

Hussein: But well, you put me in the same line as Ahmed Deedat, you know?

James: No I didn’t.

Hussein: C’mon, you did say that I remind you of Ahmed Deedat. That’s really bad

James: No, I never said that. Where did I say I remind you of Ahmed Deedat.

Hussein: Oh my. Your blog entry didn’t do that?

Note: He did not even try to argue his point. Not even an argument advanced for why this was so. he just stated it. When challenged, he simply repeated it. I can understand why someone might say it looked that way, but he didn’t even make an argument to demonstrate that such was the case. What are we supposed to think, since he won’t even argue his point?

On the other hand, Dr. White has documented, just about every time that we go through a Muslim speaker’s presentation, that the shallow argumentation they provide is in many respects a cultural thing. You are encouraged to examine the archives of that program where he more fully explains that phenomenon.

James: No, it didn’t. In fact sir, this morning you said that I shouldn’t have made parody videos about Ergun Caner. I’ve never made a parody video, so sometimes I’m not certain if you’re completely aware of what you’re looking at.

Dr. White, as did I, believed that he was referring to the viral “Dr. Ergun Caner” videos that have been making their rounds lately. There have been comments in multiple places throughout the blogs that confusedly think that Dr. White is making those. This is apparently not what Hussein is referring to, however.

Hussein: Oh, you know what? Some of the Arabic stuff you have done now muslims are after it.

James: Uh, yeah. (laughs) If you can be after a Christian, who’s not a former Muslim, missing one phrase in quoting from memory…

Hussein: Uh-huh

James: …Surah Al-Fatihah, and think that that’s relevant to everything (Hussein interjects something I can’t make out) else we’ve said… that’s a good example of what I’m talking about here. But wait a minute, where have I ever made a parody video of Ergun Caner, can you tell me that.

Hussein: Okay, you know what? You are… all I can just say is this. The way you are making fun of the Arabic, they way you have this Arabic tutor, that is like totally out of line. Like how much have you pointed out about these brothers. It’s almost like you’re not giving grace.

I believe he is saying that the video with the tutor is a parody video. This gives us a clue, I think: Muslims are laughing at Christians on Facebook because of @DROAKLEY1689 videos. Visit @erguncaner fan page on #fb Comedy central dissing!
It’s a parody because people laugh at it? William Shatner is therefore a first rate satirist – of himself 😉

James: Okay, okay, Hussein… we responded to his claims, we played them…

Hussein: But who are you to… But who are you.

Once again, he assumes this is personal. “Who are you to…” Does everything have to be an appeal to authority? Even so, he is a minister of the Gospel, responding to one who puts the Gospel to open shame. He is an apologist to Muslims as well as to other groups, responding to one whose falsehoods *were already mocked* by unbelievers. We are not only to exhort and teach, but to reprove and rebuke. You will see further where Hussein affirms this is personal. In the past he has said “This issue would not have gained any traction had Dr. James White and Dr. Ergun Caner been in good terms.”

James: …and many people commented on the fact that we were very fair and in fact inserted all sorts of other discussions about other things. In fact, I bent over backwards to say maybe you could possibly look at it this way – it still isn’t Arabic, but I bent over backwards. I just… I cannot even begin to comprehend why it is we have all this data that demonstrates that Ergun Caner has lied about his past and lied about what he is, and if anyone points that out, somehow they’re wrong, rather than the person who has stood behind a pulpit and connected this stuff with the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t understand that. I don’t understand your way of thinking Hussein. I really don’t.

Hussein: I don’t understand you either. Here you are, a Christian, and a caller calls you. On April 22nd. He called you up, and you discussed this on the Dividing Line.

James: Uh-huh!

Hussein: and you praised Kennedy, okay. John Kennedy.

James: Praised John Kennedy?

Hussein: You did praise him, you said the guy is the expert on…

James: Oh, you mean he’d done his.. he’d demonstrated that he’d actually read some stuff, yeah, I did say that he’d clearly read some stuff.

Hussein: You said he has written over a thousand articles.

James: That’s not praising, that’s just giving factual background! (laughs)

Hussein: Okay, okay, that’s fine, that’s fine! But, once the article came out, and didn’t meet your satisfaction. As a minister of the Gospel, you kinda went ahead and started (couldn’t make it out) some kind of (couldn’t make it out) you know what I mean?

James: You mean when I pointed out that it did not exactly deal with all the issues, somehow there’s a contradiction there?

Hussein: Well! I can say that there can be a problem, because like, here you are, you speculated, saying that Liberty University must be like the main advertiser of Christianity Today.

James: That’s true.

Hussein: Maybe they didn’t get to the bottom of the matter.

James: That’s a possibility.

Hussein: Yeah, but I cannot accept that from a Christian Minister to say that is a possibility!

James: Why? Why would a minister be so naive not to recognize that Christianity Today is a profit-driven organization?

Hussein: Ay, yi yi yi yi. You are a minister of the Gospel.

James: Yeah, I am. That doesn’t mean I’m naive.

Hussein: But why would you even make that kind of a statement?

James: Because it’s a factual statement. Follow the money, Hussein. Follow the money. It’s just a factual statement.

Hussein: Oh my word.

James: Ministers do not become naive, sir.

Hussein: No, no, but here you are talking publicly about something you don’t even know, such as how much Liberty university advertises on Christianity Today, and you are talking as if…

What I find amazing here is the willingness to consider Dr. White to be “out to make a name for himself” – but he is defending a corporate entity from the possibility of defending their bottom line. What?

James: So I raise the possibility that the reason that it didn’t go into the depth the way it did was because… something a lot of other people had noticed, and you somehow think that’s wrong. Okay, fine. I will leave that to the audience to determine whether that is simply being naive, or if it’s something wrong, as you said. But your reasoning, in your argumentation. For example, you have argued that you have debunked TurretinFan’s Hadith listing. I’d like to ask you, since you’re a former Muslim, could you tell me, please, could you explain to me, Hadith 2982?

Hussein: You know what, if it is mentioned in the body of the writing, whatever it is about, Hadith 28, or whatever it is you said

James: 2982, can you tell me what it says.

Hussein: I cannot tell you offhand, I have to look for it, okay?

James: How would you find it?

Hussein: Hold on just a second. I just have to look through my Hadith books. Your Hadith 957, it didn’t take me that long to find it.

James: Hussein, Hussein – you and I both know that there’s no way you can find Hadith 2982. Because there’s a piece of information missing. You and I both know that.

Note: Search “Hadith 2982“. You get al Bukhari here. You also get this. (Muslim, I believe) You also get this from AOMin. (Jami At-Tirmidhi) You also have two here, both 2982, Muslim and Ahmad. Yusuf Ali can be found here.

Now, which one am I supposed to be referencing? This is what Dr. White is talking about.

Hussein: Yeah, but Dr. White you’re not justified here, for you can just say that’s just one way to quote the Hadith. In fact, even a Muslim did not make that an issue. (I couldn’t make this out)

James: Hussein, Hussein – you could not find Hadith 2982, could you?

Hussein: Anyway.

James: Could you?

Hussein: No, I have to look in the books!

James: You still couldn’t find it because it’s not giving you enough information to know what it is I’m referring to. You know that.

Hussein: James White cannot find it if he doesn’t have the Hadith books, okay?

James: I have the Hadith books sir, but you know, and I know, that there are different collections…

Hussein: So what are you saying here, I’m lying?

James: …of Hadith books; and therefore, you need to know what the collection is, don’t you?

Hussein: Hey, if it’s mentioned in the body I can find… you just, the whole time you were talking about it

James: No sir, you could not!

(talked over each other for a second)

Hussein: Anyway

James: Sir, there is more than one Hadith 2982…

Hussein: Anyway

James: …because there are different collections

Hussein: Anyway, anyway, anyway

James: See what you’re doing here, see what you’re doing here. See, you have not debunked the problem there.

Hussein: Hey, I have debunked the problem!

James: Okay, then answer the question – quote to me, quote to me Hadith 2982. If you can’t do it, then you are not answering my question honestly.

Hussein: I am a former Muslim, I’m supposed to be memorizing Bible verses, okay? You can’t be asking me on air…

James: I’m not asking you to quote it, I’m simply pointing out to you, Hussein…

Just two notes here. When Dr. White asks him to quote it the first time, he is expecting him to look it up and quote it. That is the sense of “quote” meant there. In case anyone is wondering, I asked him. In the second case, he’s saying it in the sense of “quote from memory” – it was unclear, it’s live, and mistakes happen. Obviously he didn’t expect Hussein to “quote from memory”, which was what he intended in the “not asking you to quote it”. He was making the point above – *which* Hadith 2982?

Secondly, note the “anyway” whenever he doesn’t want to answer the question. I was not the only one to notice this. The entire chat channel was commenting on it only a few seconds after the third time he said it.

Hussein: Anyway

James: …You could not find a reference…

Hussein: Anyway, Dr. White, you know what…

James: See, there ya go folks, there ya go, there is the illustration…

Hussein: Yeah, it is! It’s is always James White. He’s never wrong!

Where does this come from? Did he respond to the argument? No. What has he been doing for a solid few minutes? “Anyway”. But James is never wrong?

James: …one side has the facts…

Hussein: You are never wrong.

James: …in the argument, and the other side is just not going to answer the question

Hussein: Yeah, but you are never wrong! The Muslims are telling you, you have messed up a chapter from the Qur’an.

Red herring.

James: No sir, no sir I did not!

Hussein: No, but you are, hey! Your.. tutor..

James: Issam…

Hussein: Hold on…

James: …in quoting from memory as a Christian…

Hussein: …will you let me finish please?…

James: as an illustration of how this flows through the Syrian culture, missed one phrase…

Hussein: No, no!

James: and this is relevant?

Hussein: I’m not making that an issue! What I’m making an issue is, and the Muslims have a problem with you is, the way that chapter appears, you should have corrected your tutor, and you did not correct him, and you’re not willing to take into…

James: You know what, I will gladly let the listening audience compare…

Hussein: (loud interjection, can’t make it out)

James: what you just brought up with the fact that I have demonstrated that you.. that quoting Hadith 2982, or 957, is the same as saying Bible 3:16, it’s gibberish, you know it, and I know it..

Personally, I would compare it to saying “commentary 5,18”. Which commentary? Is that a chapter? Page? It doesn’t matter, because you have no idea which commentary to use!

Hussein: You know what, James White… hey

James: and the people listening know that, Hussein

Hussein: Dr. White, I know this is all about you. That’s why you have a problem.

This is not the first time he’s made this sort of statement, nor is it the first time he’s been corrected. For instance: “I am convinced that he cares less about the Caner Brothers’ repentance but score some popularity from this saga.” Is that not criticizing a Christian in public? As well as: “All Christian leaders I have talked with who also work directly with Muslims agree with me that Dr. White has some major issues.” and “Dr. White is all about himself.” and “That was when I realized that Dr. White has an underlying problem, perhaps beyond these accusations of Dr. Caner being a liar.” and “I am utterly ashamed of Dr. White. In my opinion, he is a disgrace to the Reformed faith—sola scriptura—because of his meddling in this matter and his disregard of the scripture. He is tacitly helping Muslims with their war against Muslim converts to Christianity.” and “Oh my! I am glad to know I am not the only one. He is nuts.” Now, by this point, I hope you see the pattern of ad hominem argumentation. His responses are “to the man”, not to the argument.

Just a quick additional note to possibly help Hussein recognize what the problem here is.

Argument ad hominem is “to the person”. It is directed at who a person is, or to a person’s character, not to the statements or arguments of the person. For instance: Here is Dr. White addressing Ahmed Deedat: “Ahmed Deedat is a great example of this. So often his arguments were so shallow, so poor, so disjointed, and yet you will find men shouting Allahu akhbar! in response.” Is that ad hominem, or ad argumentum? Ad argumentum, of course. Compare that to “He is nuts.”

When I bring up fallacious argumentation, I am doing so in order to point out inconsistency. When one argues from one standard and applies it to someone else, yet do not apply those same standards to yourself, you are demonstrating that this is not what you yourself ascribe to functionally. It is inconsistency, and the sign of a failed argument. If Hussein wishes his arguments to be considered irrational, he should argue rationally.

James: It’s all about me.

Hussein: Dr. White is never wrong. Yeah! Just like you are after these brothers, and it is all about making a name for yourself.

James: Oh, oh yeah, that’s, that’s what it’s all about. That’s why I somehow forced Ergun Caner to falsely claim to have debated Shabir Ally?

Hussein: oh my word, look at this, I mean you say they brag about this, that’s why no one is taking you seriously. You just say to them, they are the ones that are bragging about this, but you are the one who actually does it…

James: Yeah, that’s true.

Hussein: I mean, what does that say?

James: What does that say? It says that the next time I debate Shabir Ally, I’ll be able to look him in the eye and say I have sought to be consistent as a Christian in answering Islam, and in exposing those who are dishonest in what they say about Islam, and how they go about the ministry. That’s something that’s absolutely necessary to do.

Hussein: Yeah, but is debate really the only way to reach out to these people?

James: Where… again, how does that flow from what I just said?

I’d like the reader to note that Dr. White has engaged in evangelism to Mormons for over 25 years. He has had very few debates with LDS representatives. His passion for evangelism to all kinds of men is very well-attested, and numerous examples of that passion for the Gospel can be found in his videos, articles, and yes, even his debates.

Hussein: No, no!

James: Where did I just say that the only way to reach out to these people is by a debate? Where did I say that?

Hussein: You are talking about integrity in the way to debating muslims, but for me I just don’t get it I see a lot of you into all this, and sometimes you even…

James: Well sir, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong about that.

Hussein: (Loud interjection, can’t make it out)

James: You don’t know my heart… you don’t know my heart…

Hussein: I don’t know your heart, but you don’t…

James: But you’re simply…

Hussein: …know Caner’s heart either!

James: …wrong, that’s not the case. I would love to have avoided this entire mess, but there’s something called integrity, sir, there’s something called standing up for what’s right…

Hussein: Which only James White has.

James: and when someone stands before an audience and makes up his entire…

Hussein: Which only James White has. That’s what bothers me.

James: No, thankfully there are others who likewise have recognized that there is a real problem here.

This is amazing. Dr. White has linked to very many people throughout the course of this – and some have also worked along similar lines and have not been linked to. TurretinFan, Gene Clyatt, Jason Smathers, Walt Chantry, and many, many others have also weighed in on this affair. To simply assert that Dr. White thinks he is the only one to possess integrity is absurd. Now, if you were to ask “which well-known apologists have shown integrity in this affair”, the list would be significantly smaller.

Hussein: But who are others out there, Muslim scholars, who are Christians, I mean Islamic scholars, who are speaking out against it, against James White, and his followers

Hussein faults Christians: “Dr. White is tacitly helping Muslims with their war against Muslim converts to Christianity.” Also, he has said: “Muslims look for opportunities to discredit ex-Muslims and even some Christians. He has given them a foothold and that should not widen the rift between Christians.”

Now, he is using Muslim argumentation? How is that consistent with his own position? How is this not “widening the rift between Christians”, by his own standard? How is he not “tacitly helping Muslims” here? How is he not taking advantage of “opportunities to discredit … *even some Christians*?”

This is inconsistent. Let me demonstrate. After this show, he sends this message to the originator of the accusations concerning Dr. White’s tutor. @YahyaSnow Who argues with @droakley1689, self-home-schooled student of Islam? You know very well, Yahya. What does he do, after all that talk about accepting things from Muslims? Note this: @HusseinWario…thanks for pointing my blog post out to white… It is in response to this: @DrOakley1689 You are in big trouble with Muslims over your debunking of @erguncaner Arabic

Let me remind him of his own statement, and see if he is consistent with it. “Muslims are on a mission, please let us not aid and abet to their tactics that attempt to discredit the Caner Brothers, other Christians of Muslim background, Dr. James White, et al. We should give our brothers the benefit of the doubt before going global with what Muslims bring to our attention.”

James: Islamic scholars who are what? I don’t have followers, first of all, sir, so I really don’t appreciate that kind of language.

Hussein: Okay, fine, fine, I take it back.

I prefer friend, myself. If you’re going to be pejorative, however, at least use “loyal minion!”

James: But the fact of the matter is, most people don’t even know about what’s going on with Ergun Caner. The news is gonna get out, if the right things are not done, and repentance and confession does not take place, but, I think even that’s too late now as far as the information getting out. The fact of the matter is, for you to accuse me of wanting to use this to get my name out there, is so amazingly absurd, and I can just simply tell you, it’s ridiculous.

Hussein: It looks like that to you, but it looks that way to me, okay?

That’s a very postmodern comment. Not only that, but he just insinuated that Dr. White is lying about his intentions. Note earlier that he was offended by his (mistaken) impression that Dr. White was calling him a liar – but now he has no compunctions about doing the same.

James: Well, I think for some reason you seem to be incredibly biased about this issue. Why is it? Do you have any evidence that Ergun Caner lived in Turkey, and was trained as a jihadist?

Hussein: Hey, you have no idea what happens in a madrassa, okay?

James: Do you…

Hussein: Hey, I cannot…

James: …have any evidence…

Hussein: I cannot say that he lived in Turkey, okay?

James: You can’t say that.

Hussein: Court papers say that he went to madrassa.

James: Okay, let me ask you a simple question. How do you explain, Hussein, that the same time that Ergun Caner is standing in front of audiences and television cameras, and telling them he lived in Turkey until 1978 or 1979, he’s telling AP reporters, and Turkish reporters, that he moved to the United States in 1969? How do you explain that?

Hussein: Hey, that Turkish reporter guy? I’m having it translated for me by a Turkish lawyer, okay? I don’t think that was a direct interview.

James: How about AP then?

Hussein: What I can say is this, Ergun Caner can answer his questions

James: So you’re not going to answer the question.

Hussein: Why am I going to answer for him? The problem I have is, you dismiss him, that he’s a fake, ex-devout muslim. And you don’t have any evidence to prove that.

Note the diversion here. He has an answer for the first – or a potential answer, at least, but has no answer for the second. He was willing to answer the first, but now not willing to answer his questions? Inconsistency.

James: I have tons of…

Hussein: You don’t have any!

James: …evidence, you just ignore it.

Hussein: You do not know this guy, you did not know this guy, okay?

James: So if the only evidence you can have is that I had to know him back then.

Hussein: no, no, no, Dr. White

James: Then you can’t know anything about history.

For those who weren’t there, this was a principal argument in the Robert Price debate. Robert Price argued that we simply cannot know anything for certain from the Biblical accounts – or from anything in history. In fact, we couldn’t know anything unless we had multiple video attestations of an event!

If we have systematic doubt about historical events, even though we have documentation of them provided – we cannot know anything about history. Here Hussein is making a similar case to Robert Price. Despite the fact that we have documentation of where he was, when, we cannot know. This is what we speak of when we address “balance” in apologetics. If you are zeroed in on a certain topic, to the exclusion of all others, you tend to develop tunnel vision, and lose your balance as an overall apologist. Dr. White very, very often cautions his listeners not to only address one group of people. His consistency as an apologist, by the grace of God, lies in the fact that he not only engages with Muslims, but with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Atheists, and a large variety of other groups. I attempt to vary my personal engagements as well.

Hussein: This is where we have a problem. He went to madrassa. I gave an example of a 3-year-old, I have a link, on my blog, who was asked questions on tv, about some aspects of Islam, okay? Prophet Muhammad say, when a kid is 7 year old they have to be instructed, when they are ten (I can’t follow it, I know some is Arabic) and all that, they have to be, you know, (can’t make it out). He talk about that, Prophet Muhammad. The court documents clearly say they went to madrassa, I don’t know how long they went, do I go about and say they were never devout, I don’t even know, because you don’t know what transpires in madrassa. Other than what your muslim friends tell you. They have an ulterior motive, they tell you what you want to hear, or make the agenda – so because of that, maybe you need to make some apologies to these brothers for some of the things you have said which are not true.

What does his having gone to madrassa for some unknown period of time have to do with whether or not he lived in Turkey, or was trained as a Jihadist? In fact, “to do that which was done on 9/11”, to use his own words? Nothing whatsoever. Just because one fact is verifiable, we ignore all of the other falsehoods? What sense does that make? Is that a sound argument? No, it is not. It’s called a “red herring.” An irrelevant fact thrown into the conversation to distract from the real issue under discussion. Further, is he seriously trying to tell us that it is typical for American Muslims in the 1970s to have been trained in terrorism? Even more pertinently, He’s only 4 years older than I am. This means that by his standard *he cannot know either*, as he was not in the US at that time. His own argument fails by his own standards!

James: Okay, well, Hussein, thank you very much. I think that, even though we didn’t get into all of the questions and things I wanted to ask you, I think we’ve made the point pretty clearly.

Hussein: Thank you so much.

James: By the way, one other thing. I’m sorry. You did take a few shots at my church in your tweets.

(Again, some context. Hussein asked me, of all people, about Dr. White’s church. Starting here, where he makes generalizations about Reformed churches: @LaneChaplin I am Reformed and know very well how our churches stink at evangelism. Time to put our passion and enthusiasm to godly use 🙂
I respond here: @HusseinWario Then you need to 1) Find a better church 2) Reevaluate where you get your evangelism definition. You can’t fault DrWhite there He replies here: @RazorsKiss What better church? Reformed churches are dying. How many people have become members of PRBC who had no church background? Also: @RazorsKiss Talk is cheap. Time for Dr. White to focus on his pastoral duties. Enough said about @erguncaner

Dying? Really? I’m left at this point wondering what churches he interacts with. Further, how am I supposed to know PRBC membership histories? I don’t even go there! Even if I did, what does that matter? So I replied: @HusseinWario That’s a very broad brush. I’m a reformed baptist – we’re always small. Talk is also cheap when you want unity w/o holiness.

He then asks a few more questions: @RazorsKiss Do you have a consistory at your Reformed Baptist church? Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:41:49 PM via web in reply to RazorsKiss My reply: @HusseinWario Nope. @HusseinWario We have a body of elders, however. Hussein replies: @RazorsKiss Do they call elders, pastors? My reply: @HusseinWario The teaching elder is most often called “pastor,” but they are all pastors. He then says: @RazorsKiss I was in Sedona last Sept-Oct. Almost came to Phoenix. Will look your church up next time. My reply: @HusseinWario I don’t go to PRBC, but both my church and PRBC have multiple elders. PRBC currently has two, we have 3.

For some reason, he also believes that all Reformed churches have consistories, engage in public announcements of repentance in a church service, and apparently that they all stink at evangelism. Perhaps his church does this, but not all do. If he ascribes to a R. Scott Clark viewpoint concerning what is or is not Reformed, in which case his comments would be accurate, he’s left explaining why he has labeled other churches as “Reformed” in the past.

Back to the transcript.


(James:)…Can you explain on what basis, given that you say that I can’t say anything about the Caner situation since I wasn’t there. Have you ever been to my church?

Hussein: No, I’ve never been to your church.

James: Oh, okay. Alright.

Hussein: I asked Josh about your church – he told me a little bit about it….

James: Josh?

Josh 2982 😉

Hussein: …One of the guys on twitter, he doesn’t even… I don’t know his last name, but he goes by RazorsKiss – it seems like all of the Reformed people out there, they go by pseudonyms, and some of them don’t even reveal who they are…

Now, interestingly, I gave him a link to my bio quite a while ago – which gives more info than most people are comfortable with ME sharing. So that hardly applies to me. I’m surprised that he doesn’t know my last name, as well, since I provided him a link to that information. He just didn’t take me up on reading the link I offered. I just use an online “handle”. If he’s talking about TurretinFan (which would hardly be “most” Reformed people), I would direct him to this post: Pseudonymity and the Calvinists.

Hussein: …Anyway, the problem I have with you, in my church, our pastor, he has a consistory, the consistory of the church, they kinda like keep an eye on what the pastor does and stuff, and the pastor has a lot of work to do? And it seems like you’re a minister, a pastor, an elder?

James: I’m one of the elders, that’s right.

Hussein: You have a lot of time on your hands to blog about other people. Had you been a member of my church, which is a Reformed church, they probably would have told you to stop doing that.

While the reader may note, of course, that Hussein apparently has plenty of time to blog and tweet about other people himself. This irony escapes him, it seems.

James: So, Hussein, you know I’m doing two debates next week with Muslims? You think I’m going to be prepared for those?

Hussein: Ahhh, I dunno, you’re probably going to be debating about the same issues you debate about all the time.

Well, there you have it. Since debates are about the same issues he debates all the time, he probably doesn’t need much preparation time. As I’m sure my readers know, debates take a significant amount of preparation. Chiefly, because every opponent’s argumentation is different; secondly, because every opponent has said different things which must be responded to; thirdly, because every topic is slightly different, even if it is the same “debate topic”. I’ve listened to or watched a large portion of Dr. White’s debates by this point – and at least a hundred other debates that others have engaged in. I can assure Hussein – his assertion is not even remotely the case.

James: So, when I debated Robert Price, which required hundreds of hours of preparation, did I show up unprepared?

Hussein: I don’t know, I’ll find out.

I was at that debate. Robert Price is a man with a truly encyclopedic knowledge. There were literally dozens of directions he could have gone. To prepare myself to listen to this debate properly, I listened to 2 of Price’s prior debates, and several of his lectures. When Hussein makes these sorts of claims, he demonstrates that he isn’t very cognizant of what it is Dr. White does, or who the people are that he has debated. His assertions that Dr. White is “wasting time” in addressing a professed Christian debater who *does not debate* are resting upon a significantly shaky foundation, as you can see. He doesn’t know the subject he is addressing well enough to be making these sorts of claims. Dr. White has explained why he is addressing this subject, in great detail, on his blog.

James: You don’t know.

Hussein: But hey, you’re a smart guy. Maybe you should put your energy where you need to put it, okay?

Such an amazing assertion. Hussein is telling Dr. White, a 25 year ministry veteran, where he should or should not spend his time – and it isn’t here. Not only that, but saying so on his show, to his audience. The hubris in this statement is incalculable. Not only that, but he was just saying recently that Ergun Caner wasn’t accountable to James White (not that Dr. White has ever insisted he was) – but now James White is accountable to Hussein Wario? Interesting.

There were pleasantries exchanged, the phone call ended, and then Dr. White addressed a few of the issues directly after, and with the next caller. I transcribed this in order to do one thing. Demonstrate to Mr. Wario that contrary to his assertion that “My arguments can be weak (formulation) but the facts are straight.” – he has not only presented weak (and in fact fallacious) argumentation, but his “straight facts” are red herrings. There is not merely a minor problem, but a major problem! This sort of argumentation is not something to be overlooked, as long as “your facts are straight”.

Facts are not neutral, and they are not brute objects with no context, and no interpretation needed. All things must be seen in the light of Scripture, it’s call to holiness, and it’s call to wisdom that is from above. When we argue with either unbelievers, or believers, our argumentation and statements need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind – not in accordance with the world. We are not to assume ill of our brethren for no cause – and when we are confronted with sin, we must repent. When we confront our brothers, it must be in righteous judgment, not an unrighteous judgment.

I know this can be an emotional issue. I’m completely aware of this. However, what shall rule us? Shall our emotional state, or shall our renewed mind reign us in, through self-control over our members? The tongue is a raging fire, ladies and gentlemen. That small organ can drive us to shipwreck i nthe blink of an eye.

Do you want to know how we should think? Scripture tells us. “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Rom 12:3) Note a few things there. From faith comes understanding and sound judgment. This means that there is not only a command to judge soundly, but that it is possible to judge unsoundly. This also means that only by faith can we understand; as Augustine says, “I believe, in order that I may understand.” This is a key component in thinking God’s thoughts after Him, instead of following our vain imaginations. We are also not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The key to our thinking is not self, but Christ. As Col 2 tells us, we are to attain “to all the wealth [fn] that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” Wisdom and knowledge is hidden in Christ. All wisdom and knowledge. We cannot think autonomously, from the foundation of self, and call our thinking Christian. If you are speaking, you must speak the truth in love. If you are defending the faith, it must be with both gentleness, and reverence. If you are seeking the truth, seek it through God’s word. Our brother James, and many of his friends are seeking to remove a reproach made upon the Gospel through dishonesty. Instead of joining with him, attending to the evidence which he and many others have amassed, in loving rebuke and reproof, with a public call to repentance, as Scripture demands, men are attacking the ones who have brought it to light. Listen to John 3. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” Luke 11:35 reminds us: “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.” Romans 13:12 challenges us: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Eph 4 tells us: “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Do not be deceived! Instead, “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.” Notice that? The truth is holy. We are to speak truth, as we are all members of one another. The old self is corrupted by the lusts of deceit. Be renewed! Lay aside falsehood! Deceit is what brings disunity, brethren.

We are to put on the full armor of God, which protects us from the evil one. Stand firm! Gird your loins with TRUTH. You must do this before any of the armor will fit. I’m sure you can see the obvious application. Until we do so, none or armor will work, fit, or sit properly. We may as well be unarmored! The breastplate is of righteousness – we must be in the truth before we are acting righteously. Our feet are protected by the gospel of peace – and peace is never brought on the wings of a lie. The shield of faith will not cover us if we believe in a lie, not the truth! Faith has an object, and that object is THE Truth! Please, think about what you say, how you say it, and whether you are saying it in accord with Scripture. Be mindful of your words, knowing that you will be accountable for every idle word. Be mindful of your calling, of the high and precious Truth which we long to share – and always be mindful of opportunities to defend and confirm the faith. With truth and love, in gentleness and reverence.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I humbly submit to my brothers who defend Dr. Caner’s history despite the lies he has been shown to have told – are you really speaking in truth? Are you really giving an answer in reverent fear of the Holy Lord? Remember whom you serve. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

Glenn Beck – Mormon Historian?

I was listening to Glenn Beck’s show this morning, and heard this discussion:

(Note: This may be a first, me linking to Media Matters – but they have the relevant clip)

Here’s a transcript:
22:40: Glenn: “…the Dead Sea Scrolls, you know what they are? Stu, do you know what the Dead Sea Scrolls are?
Stu: Well, of course I do…
Glenn: Now, c’mon, most people don’t.
Stu: Well, I heard of them, I don’t really know
Glenn: You don’t really know. You have no idea why they were there. Sara average person doesn’t know. Any idea, take a guess on why the Dead Sea Scrolls were there, or anything else.
Sara(?): Something religious.
Glenn: Okay, good. Even though I’ve explained this on this program a couple of times, I’m glad to see that even the people that work with me don’t even listen.
So here’s what happened. When Constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the Council of Nicea, right, Pat?
Pat: Yea.
Glenn: The Council of Nicea, and what they did is brought all of the religious figures together, all the Christians and then they said, “Ok, let’s put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s you know, you guys do it.” So they brought all their religious scripture together, that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. And then they said, “Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!” Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that they said, “They are destroying all of this truth.” Whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual, but at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved and so they rolled up the scrolls and put them in clay pots and they put them in the back of caves where no one could find them. They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicea and Constantine. That’s what those things are.” 24:37

Okay, let’s count the problems.

1) “When Constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the Council of Nicea”

Really? Wasn’t Constantine’s formation of an army well prior to Nicea? Was there an army at Nicea at all? For information about Constantine, from a real historian, see here.

2) “then they said, ‘Ok, let’s put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s you know, you guys do it.'”

The Apostles Creed is from the century after Christ.

3) “So they brought all their religious scripture together, that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else”

See this article, discussed later. The first Bible was bound there? Really? I’d love to see some documentation of that. Was there any canon discussion at all? I’d love to see some proof of that, as well.

4) “then they said, ‘Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!'”

What went on at Nicea is well-documented here. The canons of Nicea are available online, as well. No historian I know of has ever produced a shred of evidence that there were beheadings or executions at Nicea.

5) “Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time.” “but at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved”

What time is that? As noted on this site, they are dated from anywhere from the third century B.C. to 68 A.D. Glenn is off by at least 250 years.

6) “They are destroying all of this truth.” “They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicea and Constantine.”

First, who? Second, these are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Wrong century. Wrong people. WRONG PLACE. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found where? Khirbet Qumran, near Kalia, a modern Jewish settlement. Nicea is where? Present-day İznik – Turkey.

7) “Whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual”

Very postmodern of him. However: “I was answered that I must join none of them (Christian Churches), for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

Folks, practically everything in this explanation is wrong. It’s mind-boggling. Immediately, I tried to call the show, but the lines were jammed, so I didn’t get through. I did send him an email, however, with a very short list of factual problems with this section above, with my cell #, just in case he wanted to contact me.

In that email, I provided this link: What Really Happened at Nicea? In this article, Dr. White explains the history and proceedings of the Council of Nicea (which was in 325, not in 378, as a Media Matters commenter claimed).

Now, I listen to Beck for a simple reason. He’s a Mormon, and his worldview “bleeds through” quite frequently – and I find it interesting. Especially when, as is more common lately, he speaks about faith and religion. He frequently refers to himself as “Christian” – when he is nothing of the sort. For instance:

Glenn Beck – Satan vs Jesus

The section I’m most interested in is here:
“The enemy of Jesus is not a government. It is the capping of individuals. It is the stopping of people understand what the power inside of you is. The ability to choose between right and wrong. Jesus never took anybody and waterboarded them and told them ‘accept me, accept me, accept me’. He never did that. Religions, when they became about politics, did that. Jesus said ‘forgive them, for they know not what they do’. Jesus said ‘do you not yet understand all this and more you can do’. It’s individual rights. It’s a war that has been going since before time. I’ll save em. I’ll save em all. Just give me the credit, I’ll save em all. I’ll make the choices for them so no one can fail. No, no, no. Let men fail – and I will send a Savior, and He will redeem them for the price that they cannot pay. But let them fail.”

An observer who isn’t familiar with Mormonism might miss this. Check out Moses 4:1 in the LDS scripture. Sound familiar? Look at their teaching on this subject in “The Pearl of Great Price“.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Note: Lucifer’s plan has often been compared, negatively, to Calvinism – which, ironically, is what a Presbyterian is. Like… the Presbyterian author (and seminary president at WTS) he approvingly endorsed earlier in that same show!

So, we’ve established two things.

While Glenn might consider himself a good historian on the founding fathers, he should stick to things he has actually studied.

Glenn’s Mormon presuppositions slip through, and color his viewing of history as well his statements about faith.

Consistency and Emotional Arguments

Hussein Wario recently added a second post to his appeal for the cessation of what he calls “attacks” on the Caners, as well as “aiding and abetting” Muslim tactics. He adds this recommendation: “We should give our brothers the benefit of the doubt before going global with what Muslims bring to our attention.”

I engaged him in the comment section shortly – those comments, and his replies are here.

However, my third comment, he refused to publish. Additionally, he has removed the links in my previous two comments, as well as the link that should show up when you mouseover my name. I’m sorry folks, but my “handle” is fairly unique. Not to mention that this post is about to jump up in the google search results when his name is googled, unfortunately. Fortunately, I have a habit of saving the comments that people refuse to publish – and since I have my own blog, it can be reproduced here for all to see.

Why are you masking your identity?

I’m not. Click the link to my site. It’s very easily available. Even if I was – what does it matter? I’m very easily contactable.

By the way, the way Dr. White deals with people who disagree with him, how arrogant he gets, that is what turns off Muslims. Muslim ministry is not about debating them, calling them “irrational” and their arguments “emotive” in order to score points.

How about saying that their arguments are emotive, irrational, or inconsistent? That is what I said. Please read more carefully next time.

I have read through your posts and it seems like you have no idea what I have been writing about.

While that is a bold assertion, it would be nice if you’d give an example for your readers, instead of merely asserting.

You could be Dr. White masquerading as some guy.

Or, you could go to the website that links from my name. It’s very simple, sir.

Mark my words. Unless Dr. White quits discussing the Caner Brothers, debasing them while exalting himself, I will continue with this endeavor.

Once again – you are presenting us with an emotive argument, devoid of factual, logical information. Please provide this.

Wait for Monday and you will see for yourself how he would need to revise his “open letter” to Liberty University and jettison some of his talking points.

I’m sure you’ll have it all over twitter yet again 😉

If you really care about the truth and Muslim ministry, you need to tell him to quit attacking these Christians of Muslim background.

Why do I need to? Again, please provide an argument for why I should so so.

Dr. White is the only apologist I know who openly criticizes people he disagrees with by name.

Can you explain why it is better to do so without naming people? Above, you were criticizing me for using a pseudonym. Is this consistent? Further, yet another assertion sans argumentation.

I am convinced that he cares less about the Caner Brothers’ repentance but score some popularity from this saga. His story keeps on changing.

Can you provide an argument to demonstrate either claim?

You also need to come out openly and reveal you identity. Why do my fellow Calvinists who are Dr. White’s sympathizers and followers commonly use pseudo names? Where is your integrity?

Sir, go to my site. Seriously. It’s all right there. Furthermore, I find it oddly inconsistent that you are criticizing others for integrity issues – in public – when your prior argument is that you must follow a “biblical pattern” in the matter of public claims. I don’t have anything in my inbox from you. Inconsistency, as Dr. White often says, is the sign of a failed argument. As Dr. White told you when you called in, a public statement can be publicly responded to – the pattern laid out that you referred to is for use in the local church.

As for you trying to tell me to quit, saying that you are concerned about my credibility because I stand with my fellow ex-Muslims who have sinned and who Dr. White and his Reformed-minded Christians have concocted ways to drive them off the face of the earth is laughable.

Can you give an argument for why this is so? This is yet another assertion, without even an attempt to demonstrate it.

You dismiss them as scholars of Islam with your shallow arguments and I stand by them because you have no clue what you have been talking about.

Can you demonstrate this?

You also dismiss them as devout ex-Muslims. Who are you to draw these conclusions when the court documents are inconclusive?

Can you demonstrate this?

You, Dr. White and the rest of his followers just pontificate, thus giving the Reformed faith a bad reputation.

Can you demonstrate this?

Dr. White cried foul saying that Liberty University had not been investigating Dr. Caner. And when Liberty decided to, he changed his tune.

Can you give any sort of factual reference for this?

All Christian leaders I have talked with who also work directly with Muslims agree with me that Dr. White has some major issues.

Argumentum ad populum. Fallacious argumentation, sir. Also given without any sort of citation. You’ve heard Dr. White in debate with people who assert “all scholars say”, or the like. What would the answer be to that assertion, Hussein?

Some of them know him personally and have intimated to me their frustration with him.

Someone’s emotional state concerning a person is hardly an argument of any sort.

If there will be any fallout, it will affect Dr. White and his ministry. So, tell him to go back to the basics and quit ruining the Dividing Line’s reputation. We might as well call it the Dissing Line because that label fits so well these days.

Ad hominem, naked assertion.

Sir, I wish you the best, but with the mass of assumptions, emotive arguments, assertions, and fallacies you’ve presented, is there any wonder that we’re not overly convinced? Please give something substantive in response. As it stands, I’m afraid that you are simply just not going to make any impression unless the standards of your discourse improve.

Joshua. (It’s all on my site, Hussein. Not everyone has to be like you and use their real name as their url, okay?)

Now, while that may have hurt his feelings, did I address him or his arguments? Yet, my comment was not posted as of 8:02 pm. I posted it yesterday afternoon.

A few comments that also demonstrate inconsistency:

Dr. White is all about himself.

That was when I realized that Dr. White has an underlying problem, perhaps beyond these accusations of Dr. Caner being a liar.

I am a Reformed Christian and I am utterly ashamed of Dr. White. In my opinion, he is a disgrace to the Reformed faith—sola scriptura—because of his meddling in this matter and his disregard of the scripture. He is tacitly helping Muslims with their war against Muslim converts to Christianity.

@kai5263499 Oh my! I am glad to know I am not the only one. He is nuts. One of his accomplices just insulted me. Is it an Arizona thing? WOW

Notice – all of these are ad hominem, not ad argumentum. Against the man, not the argument. Unreal.

2 more comments have gone up since then. One from a particularly venomous character named Dianedrpenn on twitter.

A sampling of her choice invective:

I see one man, and his group of white-heads jumping up and down like a bunch of raving lunatics crying “foul!!” “unfair!!”.

James White thrives on all of this – he feeds on it like a parasite on a dead fish.

Even if Ergun Caner bowed down and did everything the pompous James White has asked him – no DEMANDED him – to do, it would not be enough to satisfy James White. James White is out to destroy Ergun and Emir Caner.

Wow – big red bull-sheizah flag on that one there Jimmie.

How delusional are you? This would be about as likely as Hitler asking Ben Stein to dinner for a “little friendly chat”.

“in your power”…..that, friends is “worship” in a statement if I ever saw it. It’s sad, It’s grotesque. It’s creepy. It’s telling of James White’s obsession, and how deep it goes.

@droakley1689 thrives on attacking @emircaner & @erguncaner like a parasite feeding on decay.

Then the finale:


She then tweets twice – once to a friend, providing a link – then to Dr. White – to make sure he sees it, I suppose.

@droakley1689 @bobbycapps He (james white) promotes the demon presiding over sexual abuse by perpetuating his own baggage!

I will still stand by my comment that linking to James Whites’ sister’s blog was not an attack on James White – but an observation about why he attacks Dr. Caner with such strange ferocity.

Apparently for Diane, it’s perfectly fine to spread gossip all over the internet. To assault the character of someone she has never met. To tell others to “drop it, for the sake of Christ” about Caner – in the same post she brings up shameful, untrue allegations from someone else she likewise has never met.

Folks, this is not only inconsistent – it’s unconscionable. Dr. White has addressed the subject, as distasteful as it is. A simple search on his youtube channel will show it to you. Further – this has nothing to do with the subject, whatsoever.

As for Mr. Wario – I find it utterly, appallingly inconsistent for him to allow that comment to be posted (and all of his comments are moderated) but not mine. It’s all right to allow someone to post libelous commentary about the person you are asking to stop “attacking” a brother (when in reality he is calling that brother to repentance) – but not okay for someone to point out your own inconsistencies in your comment. Additionally, I find it amazing that he attacks Dr. White himself throughout this piece, the comments, and via twitter – while trying to say that we can never publicly respond to public comments. Further, he is making public rebukes to me – while saying that we shouldn’t publicly rebuke people 😉

Just a final note to Mr. Wario – your own words.

I believe in restoration of a fallen Christian and not gossip them in public.

Note that restoration comes AFTER a man admits that he sinned, and repents. You let Diane skip right over the second part. You skip right over the Biblical pattern in your assumption that he HAS repented. You skip over the fact that Dr. Caner denies everything that we have demonstrated, through thorough research. Legal documents, that show he was there prior to the age that he claims he got here – repeatedly.

It is hardly “gossip” when the facts are demonstrable, plain, and incontrovertible. Ergun Caner has lied to a great, great many people – about where he is from, what he knows, how old he was when he converted, and a host of other things. As I told you in the comment previous:

I’d like to point something out to you. By defending Dr. Caner, you are undermining your own testimony. When you defend a man who is patently, obviously, lying to a great extent about himself, his background, and his expertise, you are damaging your OWN credibility. You are a convert from Islam. No one questioning Dr. Caner’s honesty from our side remotely questions that he is, as well. However, by defending him – from no logical basis, as far as I can tell – you are damaging your OWN credibility as a witness to Muslims. His damaged credibility will thereby attach to you.

Please, sir – for the sake of your own ministry to Muslims, and that of others of us, please stop.

The ball is in Dr. Caner’s court to repent. The ball, my friend, is also in your court to repent. Delete that shameful comment, please. I couldn’t care less if you publish mine now – it’s a bit late for that. The inconsistency you just displayed to us by allowing that one through is absolutely amazing. Go look up a bit of Wes Widner’s history with Dr. White, as well – and what he has called Dr. White, and others, in the past. Examine yourself, repent, and sin no more. You know I accurately identified your lack of logical argumentation for what it is. I have no interest in attacking you. If I wanted to attack you, I’d be @ing to everyone I know on twitter, as you seem to do with your posts. I have no interest in this being anything other than a public call to repentance – as Dr. White has issued with Dr. Caner, when he was blocked from further conversation. You do know that Dr. white attempted to resolve these matters in private, first, correct? That others of us asked Dr. Caner the same questions as well? That Dr. Caner has now blocked practically everyone who has criticized him at all, now? In a biblical model of repentance, what is the next step there? Bring it before the whole church. This has been brought to Liberty – to Dr. Caner – and now to everyone, as he has refused to repent. As I said – I have every interest in attempting to call you to repentance and restoration. Please, for the sake of the Gospel – stop what you are doing and take a good hard look at yourself, and the effect on your ministry if you continue.


(P.S. – click on “About” to the top left – my full bio is there. Most users in Dr. White’s chat channel have a “username” that they use to chat under. This is mine. It also has been my online username for almost two decades. Note that Dr. White also uses one – DrOakley1689. Is he “hiding himself”? Instead of jumping to conclusions, why don’t you ask – or look?)

Of Exposition and Pastoral Ministry

Pastor Camp,
Well sir, I do appreciate you answering my questions, even though I don’t believe they fully answered the questions I brought up.

I would like to address a few things, if I may:

1) When you are making an objection, I would offer that the burden of proof lies on you to state your case, and then argue it. As it appears to me, you have stated a general principle, told us that certain men violated that principle, and then assumed it from that point forward. When asked concerning specifics, the response has been restatements of that principle. I understand that this is what you believe – but only in a very general way, and not with precision in your definition.

2) When you are responding, you seem to be reading past a good many things that give context to the statements I, at least, am making.

For instance: if what we’re getting from your position is what you’re really saying seems to taken as “this is what you said”. If you notice, I carefully worded it so as to give you a chance to explain where you are coming from. Most of my questions were designed in order to give you that opportunity. Instead, I am being informed of what the Word says re: preaching. I’m well aware of what it says. My questions had to do with what else a pastor does. You seem to be begging the question in this regard.

Secondly, I’d like to point out that I have some small familiarity with presuppositional apologetics. However, practicing apologetics, first, learning apologetics, second, teaching apologetics, third, cannot be done solely in an expositional manner. I am able to exposit passages to teach the general principles of the method – but teaching the method itself _cannot_ be expositional – neither can practicing it. I know for a fact that Bahnsen exposited Acts 17 to demonstrate this – but exposition of a specific text was not what he did to teach it.

Additionally, I find it rather strange that you would resort to comments like “nice try”. Sir, I quite understand that you are quite a bit older than I am. I would appreciate it if you would at least respect the fact that I cared enough to ask you these questions, however. Recall, sir, that we are to respond with gentleness and reverence. Humility as well as boldness. I haven’t said anything similar to you, and I’ve attempted to be irenic in my interaction.

I’ve asked some specific questions, with context provided for them just in case I was being unclear. The context I gave seems to have been passed over, in many respects. When I give specific situations that are the concern of myself and other brothers, only small excerpts are addressed, and the most general comments, rather than the most specific. What we’re asking for is specificity in your objection. I’m aware of what the general objection is. I would like to know what, precisely, you objected to, and from what standard you do so.

For instance – do you object to Dr. Duncan teaching the assembled pastors about the history of the church? That is not exposition, and seems to fall under your objection. What, precisely, do you object to? Whose talks do you object to? What about what they said is objectionable? Why is this objectionable? How do you get this objection from Scripture? As the objector, it would be eminently helpful to detail what you objected to – so as to know what we have to either answer, or agree with – as I’ve said previously. I understand the general gist of your objection – just not:
1) The extent to which you object (how far does the objection that exposition is required go? In every situation whatsoever?)
2) The object of your objection (Who, and what – and please be specific)
3) The grounds of your objection – specifically. We’re all aware of the Biblical injunction to preach the Word in and out of season, of course. However, on what Biblical warrant do you ground your objection that you provide the extent of, above? Please be specific.

I know that you’re making these comments on your own blog – I fully understand that. However, when you make a serious objection – calling what was done, sin – it would be eminently helpful to let us know *what* was sin. Which is why I’m now addressing this on mine. I gather that you don’t consider me to be lucid – I can accept that. I’m often not. However, I’m afraid that I would also consider your objections thus far to be lacking in clarity. I’m still wondering what, precisely, was considered sinful? Is a lecture sinful, if not expositional? Is teaching on historical subjects sinful, if not expositional? Is teaching on other, antithetical worldviews sinful, if not expositional – such as what Dr. White, or I do in our apologetics conferences or classes? How are you defining “expositional” in this context, if any of the above are rightly your assertions? I’m really, really not trying to be difficult. I’m not. I just really do not know what you are objecting to, and what, precisely, your objection is meant to consist of.

When I’ve asked you about these specific things, I haven’t received specific answers. While this can be frustrating, and it has been, I really want to know – because I think the answers will reveal what the presuppositions you are operating from are, and can thereby be addressed – perhaps I’ll even discover I shouldn’t have been disagreeing with you after all!

However, when what you are saying seems to be (and there are no few that have come to this conclusion thus far – perhaps we’re all poor readers) that whenever a pastor opens his mouth, under any circumstances, it must be expositional preaching, I’m left with a dilemma. Who in the history of the church has ever done this? Where in Scripture is this commanded? Please, disabuse me of this impression, because that is what I have gathered from your answers thus far – and why I am seeking to gain clarity that I may be lacking.

Before we answer your objections – or your questions – we need to know what ground you’re standing on to make those objections, or ask those questions. I’m sure you know that particular element of presuppositionalism, and I’m sure you see how that applies here. We need to know what *exactly* you’re objecting to, from what standard you are objecting from (how do you define the extent of the command to Timothy you brought up earlier, for example?), and the like.

Understand, however – I am asking these questions for the sake of clarity, and because I am concerned about the unintended consequences of what I believe your position to be from what you have said thus far – and whether it is based in Scripture or not. As with another recent discussion we had, my concern is also whether there is a lack of balance in your position – of adequately addressing the whole counsel of Scripture concerning this subject. Understand, I’m not attacking – I’m asking. I genuinely want to know, as I may not have read you correctly.

Grace and Peace,


What really strikes me about atheists in general is their amazing double standards.

They can mock you, ridicule you, write thousands of words for the sole purpose of painting you as an absolute ignoramus – yet, when you tell them you’re no longer interested in dialogue, as there is no further gain to the discussion, point out their constant harangues, you’re being “childish”. It’s just utterly amazing to me.

It’s like they don’t even see it at all. I could go through dozens of places in their posts where Christianity is derided, denigrated, or ad hominems are scattered like fallen leaves – but point that fact out, and you’re some sort of anti-social troglodyte.

All I have to say is this: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?” I’m SO sorry that calling a spade a spade is so offensive to your sensibilities – that you cannot account for. If you don’t like being told that your endless meanderings are a waste of everyone’s time, then I suggest you stop wasting it – “not to wrangle about words, which is useless {and leads} to the ruin of the hearers.”

Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions

If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists.


Look at the assumption required for the second half of this sentence. “creating humans is not the morally best action”. Says who? By what standard? As usual, I think we can guess what that is. Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions

Walker suggests that God is morally culpable for creating human beings with defective natures (defective in comparison to God’s).

Is He, now? Culpable to who? Oh, wait. That’s the assumption! The same assumption all of these dumb arguments make. God is answerable to man. That’s funny, here I thought Scripture answered that sort of ridiculousness.

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, {even} us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. ~Rom 9:14-24

See, man always believes that he can pass judgment on God. That he is morally autonomous. Scripture says differently. This text rightly denies man’s ability to judge God. It then goes into an explanation of God’s intention in the creation of man. God is not unjust. A Holy God can rightly judge the man with a fallen nature – and the fallen man cannot judge the Holy God. This argument fails on point #7, for those interested in the formal argument also included in the post linked to above. I’m not concerned with the rest of the points, although I would likely dispute them if 7 didn’t fail so spectacularly. The reason 7 fails is because it introduces that pesky “should”. yourenotthebossofmeWho says He “should”? Man does. Man is not capable of imposing a “should” upon God, as man is not morally autonomous. Scripture relates to us why that “should” is incorrect, and the argument fails to even give any reason whatsoever why the “should” is applicable to God. It is an assumption of human autonomy.

I truly wish atheists who make these sorts of arguments would pay more attention to what they are arguing against. I’m sure this will be touted, with much hoopla, in that community – but it is not anything novel, damaging, or even explanatory. To break it down, a pot says “I don’t like the way you made things. If you didn’t make things the way I wanted, I deny that you exist – because I’ll only believe in a Potter that makes things the way I want them to be.” Not overly satisfying, or convincing. It would also help if they didn’t use an argument directly countered in Scripture. That would, of course, assume that they had read it. It doesn’t look like this atheologian bothered, sadly.

Debate Transcript

Debate: Is the Triune God of the Scriptures the basis for knowledge?

Affirmative: RazorsKiss

Negative: MitchLeBlanc


1. Introduction

* 1. I’d like to thank Mitch, and all the folks at Urban Philosophy, for hosting the debate this evening, and I’d like to compliment Mitch for his willingness to debate such vital issues. I am no sort of scholar – which I admit – but I would also be the first to tell anyone present that the pursuit of knowledge is something which every human being should be engaged. Where my opponent and I differ, I do believe, is how to properly go about doing just that! I hope and pray that those who watch this discussion will at least take in what they see, and examine it, as the Bereans did in Acts. My earnest desire is that those who watch this exchange will be edified, educated at some point, and perhaps able to more correctly understand where I, at least, am coming from.
* 2. First, the resolution. As I am the affirmative, I get the pleasure of the definition! “The Triune God of Scripture is the proper ground for all knowledge.” I firmly hold to the validity of this proposition, and further, to its ability to explain all of reality as an epistemological basis. For, you see, I’m a Christian. Christians, per their own Scripture, must be humble. They must not be proud, or haughty – or look down at others from their pedestal of superiority. As a Christian, I fully realize that of myself – I’m no different from any other man alive. I share the same Image, which I am created to reflect – and I share the same nature. A human nature. I am a creature – the product of the pinnacle of workmanship of the Creator of all things.
* 3. Since I am a creature, I do not need to be concerned about being my own basis. I need no such concern as a chair needs no such concern about its basis. It has a Creator, as do I! As a Christian, there is a fundamental difference in my thinking – and if I am correct, there is a fundamental problem with the way the entire world thinks about the basis for their own knowledge. I have heard the claim to “arrogance” before. If I ever state something on my own behalf, I will grant that such an accusation is justified. Should I comport myself rudely, as if I am superior, or as if I think myself to be who I am because I am somehow higher – I request that you point this out. However, as a creature – I claim to have a basis for my knowledge which is utterly higher, and transcendently greater than I, or any other human being can ever hope to be.
* 4. Since my claim is not based on myself, but upon a self-revelation from the Triune God described in Scripture – the claim in this case is on the behalf of another. It is conceivable I suppose, to call a perfect Being arrogant for claiming to be your Creator; to own you and the dust of the earth man was formed from It is another thing to assert that His claim to ownership is unwarranted. If what I say is true – God owns you. He owns me. He owns every particle of matter, every joule of energy; established every law we think in accordance with, and ordained every law which governs the world we exist in, at His good pleasure. In short, ladies and gentlemen; if I am correct – and God did do what His Word reveals Him to have accomplished – then every possible foundation for every way of thinking not in accordance with His perfect ordinance is utter, absolute folly.
* 5. My intent is to demonstrate that there is no other epistemological basis that can possibly compare to that possessed by a Christian holding the self-revelation of the Triune God. My goal is to show that any worldview attempting to argue from other than the Christian foundation is, in fact, borrowing from that foundation to do so. That any worldview asserting some sort of “objective” basis for the laws of logic specifically, but for nature and morality as well – is pure subjectivism wrapped up in an objective shell consisting of concepts stolen from their Creator. Concepts like universals. Universals which are abstract, binding, have inherent meaning, and apply to every person – whether they like them to, or WANT them to or not. They apply nonetheless.
* 6. Without the assumption of these universals, there is no coherent communication possible We assume that when we speak, there is a being we are speaking to, with corresponding cognitive processes, having the ability to reason, and possessing the capacity to make conclusions, based upon our communication with them. I have yet to see an epistemological basis which accounts for universals in any satisfying manner. I have a Guarantor which is self-existent, self-sufficient, able to communicate, omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, and sovereign. This grounds for our epistemology, I argue, is the only proper one.
* 2) Epistemology
* 1. When we encounter words like “epistemology”, there is a tendency to make them mysterious – to make it something only the initiated can truly understand. I disagree. Epistemology is the subject at hand every time a child asks you “why”. This endless chain of questions will eventually have a terminator. Where those questions end is where I think you’ll find your epistemological foundation. Why do we know what we know? How do we know? How is this knowledge acquired? What is this knowledge? On what basis do we know it? By what standard? On what (or whose) authority? Those questions are the realm of our discussion.
* 2. “The method of reasoning by presupposition may be said to be indirect, rather than direct. The issue between believers and nonbelievers in Christian theism cannot be settled by a direct appeal to “facts” or “laws” whose nature and significance is already agreed upon by both parties to the debate. The question is rather as to what the final reference point required to make the “facts” and “laws” intelligible. The question is as to what the “facts” and “laws” really are.’ (Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, 122) As is said elsewhere, by the same author; “We cannot ask how we know without at the same time asking what we know.” (Van Til, Van Til’s Apologetic, 105) In other words – the question of epistemology is central to any consideration of rational discourse. What, how, and why do you know? To go elsewhere before this is addressed, is to beg the question in the favour of your own epistemology.
* 3. So, to answer that question, we are discussing the deep things of knowledge – in fact, we are discussing whether what we think we know, is truly knowledge at all. Still further, we are questioning everything we think is a justification for the knowledge we claim to hold. Since, as Scripture says, I have “the full assurance of understanding, {resulting} in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, {that is,} Christ {Himself,}in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” – I can say, with perfect certainty, that the Triune God of Scripture is not only the proper grounds for all knowledge – but the only possible grounds for all knowledge! I will develop that further in my statement tonight, but my goal is to demonstrate that any epistemology not grounded in that self-existent, self-sufficient perfection of Being is utterly insufficient grounds for knowledge.
* 3) Proper Epistemology
* 1. First, let me remind my opponent, and my audience, that there are no brute facts. Facts are not neutral entities, and they cannot be interpreted in a neutral fashion. This is because facts can only exist in relation to other facts; further, without exception these are interpreted with reference to still other facts. This shows knowledge is interrelated and further shows that facts cannot be interpreted outside of your epistemology, which is a network of assumptions that the one holding that worldview considers to be true.
* 2. Therefore, as philosophers, we have to consider the meaning of the facts – or the concepts – we examine. Those meanings are inseparable from our epistemological foundation. When we think about anything, we are forced to place it into our interpretive grid. We judge all facts through the “prism of our epistemology”, in fact. Here is where I get to the heart of my position.
* 3. As a Christian, I have two axiomatic, interrelated foundations for my epistemology, and for everything else I encounter through the grid of that epistemology. The Triune God of Scripture – who created the universe and all it contains; who established and even now maintains the laws which govern that creation. That is foundation one.
* 4. The self-revelation of that self-existent, self-conscious, self-sufficient, omniscient, omnipotent, all-wise, immutable, eternal, and sovereign God; The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, are the self-communication of the extent, nature, and specifics of His eternal properties – which are the guarantor of the laws and assumptions which we, as creatures in the image of that God, require to operate rationally and coherently. That is foundation 2.
* 5. From those two foundations, I am able to make a rational examination of the facts I encounter, while having warrant for the knowledge I possess. Christians have the privilege of certainty. A certainty based on the most fundamental guarantor of truth. Further, as a Christian, my claim is necessarily exclusive. By the same logical laws we all recognize to be applicable, for whatever reason, a proposition cannot be true when the contrary of that proposition is true. Given Christianity’s exclusive claim – its claim to a self-existent, self-sufficient, universal, and absolute standard – any claimant contrary to Christian epistemology is therefore denied by definition.
* 6. From the position of Christian epistemology, there is more than ample justification to hold the true beliefs we hold. There is self-existence, which then guarantees all contingent existence. There is omnipotence, which can guarantee the absolute authority of God over all His creation, including willing and thinking creatures. There is the omniscience and self-knowledge of God, which guarantees that what His creatures can know is intelligible – that creatures can, in fact, derivatively know the facts about His creation, and those facts that He reveals about Himself. There is the internal “sense”, that Calvin calls the “sensus divinitatus,” which all men possess, as image-bearers of their Creator – and which allow them to recognize the God that they even sometimes deny.
* 7. However, this leads us to a question. Can someone without the axioms that Christians hold “know” anything? As defined, no. They can’t. They do not have a justification for their beliefs. However, they themselves do have true beliefs – which do, in many cases, result in success. In a sense, they do have knowledge. Not because of their epistemology – but despite it. In these cases, they are simply creatures forced to admit that despite the incoherence of their epistemology, they do, in fact, know things anyway.
* 4) The Impossibility of the Contrary
* 1. So, now we get to where the rubber meets the road. If I claim that non-Christians can have knowledge at all, even if it is faulty knowledge – doesn’t my argument fall apart? I don’t think this is necessitated. What the Christian position alone can guarantee is any contribution to knowledge whatsoever. “However, the presuppositionalist maintains that the unbeliever can come to know certain things (despite his espoused rejection of God’s truth) for the simple reason that he does have revealed presuppositions – and cannot but have them as a creature made in God’s image and living in God’s created world. Although he outwardly and vehemently denies the truth of God, no unbeliever is inwardly and sincerely devoid of the knowledge of God. It is not a saving knowledge of God to be sure, but even as condemning knowledge natural revelation still provides a knowledge of God. Thus, according to Biblical epistemology, while men deny their Creator they nevertheless possess an inescapable knowledge of Him; and because they know God (even though they know Him in curse and reprobation) they are able to attain a limited understanding of the world.” (Bahnsen, Always Ready, pg38)
* 2. What my claim really entails is that an unbeliever, trying to start from a position of epistemic autonomy, is like a child who sits on his father’s lap – and uses that position for the purpose of slapping his father in the face. The fundamental disconnect I see in secular epistemology (and Christians who use that same epistemology) is the universal lack of a solution from unbelieving philosophy for problems like that of induction, the one and the many, whether the will is free, and the like. Christianity has an answer for these – provided the Christian answers them from Scriptural revelation, and does not adopt the same principles that unbelieving philosophy does. It is even more so a problem for the unbeliever – because he doesn’t even have (not always asserted, but always present to some degree) the epistemological foundation of the Christian. An unbelieving man has no justification for his predication. He has no basis for his use of logical laws. After all, wherefore and whence do these laws get their justification? There is no area in which his thoughts, ideas or concepts can be said to be properly grounded. With feet planted firmly in midair, he asserts his autonomy over his own thinking, and his self-sufficiency for the use of that thinking!
* 3. This thinking is dangerous – to the unbeliever, and to everyone else. It is little more than, as many assert, self-worship. If the unbeliever thinks he is the ultimate, not simply the immediate basis for epistemology – I see no possible way for that assertion to be justified. (The unbeliever) “thinks that his thinking process is normal. He thinks that his mind is the final court of appeal in all matters of knowledge. He takes himself to be the reference point for all interpretation of the facts. That is, he has epistemologically become a law unto himself: autonomous.” (Always Ready, 46) It is like the famous (and farcical) story of the scientists who discover how to create life from common dirt! Excited, they suddenly stop – A voice challenges them – “I doubt you can.” “All right, then” (say the scientists) – “we will!” As they pick up shovels, they stop again, as the voice says “No, no. Get your own dirt.” This is what reasoning is like without the foundation of God’s self-existence, known through His self-revelation. It is a man trying to justify his “own” knowledge – when everything he encounters – including himself, belongs to God. The very idea is utterly absurd. Since it is impossible to have knowledge on any other basis, save that of God’s intrinsic nature and self-communication of the properties of that nature – it is impossible for any human system of reasoning to have justification at all. In short, Christianity’s epistemology is the only epistemology possible – because it’s impossible to have any other coherent, true, and justified basis for thought, perception, knowledge, or understanding of ourselves, or the creation in which we dwell.


Before I begin, I must tell you that I will be making use of philosophical arguments, in the form of syllogisms. This may be new for a few of you, in which case I invite you to follow along as best you can.

In our discussion this evening, RK will attempt to show that the very foundations of knowledge depend upon the Christian God and that any reasoning which does not presuppose the Christian God is arbitrary and descents into absurdity. RK’s position states that I enter into to reasoned discourse with my own set of presuppositions that exclude the Christian God. In doing so, the internal consistency of my logical system fails and as such does my ability to accept God’s existence, since my presuppositions limit what I will accept as evidence. Does this mean I cannot reason? No, presuppositionalists do not assert this, however, they do assert that my use of reason is contingent on their God and I am just wilfully ignorant to his existence.

First, as with any discussion of this type we need a solid definition of God. RK asserts that the Christian God is the basis for all knowledge, but what IS the Christian God? How can we define it?

There is a clear ontological error in the proposition of God. It is proposed that the Christian God is supernatural. I am unsure as to how one is supposed to interpret this description of God. This is not a positive definition, but a negative definition. “supernatural” or “immaterial” tells us what God is not (natural/material). Something that can only be explained in negative terms, is meaningless. The very definition of “being” is to have attributes, this requires more than simply non-attributes. Furthermore, the proposed positive attributes of God fail in execution. The positive attributes we apply to God are simply attributes which apply to human beings, we just extrapolate them. Human beings can be loving, but god is all-loving. Human beings can know, but god is all-knowing. How can we know that God (whatever it may be) is even capable of love, or knowledge.

As the Philosopher George Smith explains:

“All of the supposedly positive qualities of God arise in a distinctively human context of finite existence, and when wrenched from this context to apply to a supernatural being, they cease to have meaning.”

But the problem is direr than that, consider when I ask “What is a banana?”… giving me answers of the characteristics of the banana don’t do much to help me. Hearing that it is long, yellow, soft doesn’t do provide any cognitive meaning whatsoever. Smith again says (with unie representing a variable needing definition):

“To say that an ‘unie’ possesses wisdom in proportion to its nature-while stipulating that such wisdom is different in kind from man’s wisdom and that the nature of an ‘unie’ is unknowable-contributes nothing to our understanding of ‘unie’ or to the meaning of the attributes when applied to an ‘unie.’

To say that God is ‘good’ or ‘wise’ is to say nothing more than some unknowable being possesses some unknown qualities in an unknowable way.”

It simply does not seem that there is any cognitive meaning associated with purporting the term “God”. To purport that god is infinite, limitless and immaterial tells us what God is not, and never verges on explaining what he is.

With this issue established and set aside for the sake of furthering the discussion, let me move on to the crux of issue. What will be henceforth be referred to as the “Transcendental Argument for God” or TAG.

While I do not consider the transcendental argument an actual argument in the form presented (it appears more as a bare assertion), we must understand precisely what is being said.

When it is said that logic presupposes God it is meant that A presupposes B in the sense that we could not reason A without assuming B. However, it is important to note that even if to make sense of A one must assume B, it does not follow that B is true.

The Philosopher Michael Martin gives the following example:

“if I am trying to communicate to an audience by speaking to them in English, my action makes no sense unless they understand English. But it does not follow that they do. They might only understand Chinese. Scientists listening to radio signals from outer space in order to make contact with extraterrestrial life presuppose that such life is possible. But it does not follow that it is. Similarly… if the Christian worldview is presupposed by the deductive validity, it does not follow that the Christian worldview is true. It might be the case that deductive validity is a myth. TAG would not establish the truth of the Christian worldview but only the inconsistency of atheists who presuppose deductive validity.”

I think the example is clear enough, but it should be noted once more. TAG cannot establish the truth of God’s existence, only the inconsistency of atheists who hold a presupposition regarding deductive logic.

There is another manner in which the TAG asserts presuppositionalism. We have seen the first, that A presupposes B in that one cannot make sense of A without B.. but consider:

A presupposes B meaning that A logically implies B. This means that if A presupposes B, one cannot assert the truth of A and deny B.

An example is: giving birth to a human child presupposes being a woman, meaning it is inconsistent to claim that someone is giving birth to a human child but not a woman.

So we currently have two possibilities regarding the manner of how logic presupposes the Christian God.

* 1. A presupposes B in that one cannot make sense of A without assuming B.
* 2. A presupposes B in that A logically implies B and thus it is inconsistent to assert A and deny B.

With regard to (1) I shall show that we can make sense of deductive validity without belief in the Christian God.

As for (2) I do not see any contradiction in denying that Christianity is true and affirming the validity of the law of non-contradiction.

The Law of non-contradiction states that something cannot be both P and not P at the same time. (your pants cannot be both on and off simultaneously. To apply this to the TAG would be as follows:

A presupposes B in that A logically implies B and thus it is inconsistent to assert A and deny B

=The law of non-contradiction(A) presupposes the Christian God(B) in that (A) logically implies(B) and thus it is inconsistent to assert (A) and deny (B).

I do not see any absurdity in denying God and affirming the law of non-contradiction. Cleary doing so is not the same as denying that one who bears a child is a woman. Perhaps RK can show how this is absurd.

To that point RK may argue that the logical principles are dependent on God. If this is true, logical principles are contingent and not necessary. To this effect, I am almost certain that a presuppositionalist would argue that the logic is an intrinsic part of God’s nature and as such, logic is necessary. From this, it would be stated that since the principles of Logic are necessarily part of God’s nature, if God did not exist there would be no logic and subsequently no Law of Non-Contradiction. Following this line of reasoning, it would be absurd for me to deny God’s existence and affirm the law of non-contradiction.

First, one should be aware of the claim that logic is part of God’s nature. What does it mean to say this? We must first remember that:

God is defined as being supernatural. That is to say “Supernatural” is defined as being beyond nature (not natural). This is a negative definition and a broken concept. There is a fallacy committed when it is stated that God is supernatural but has a nature. Something that is beyond nature, may not possess a nature. (Fallacy of the Stolen Concept)

I am sure RK will argue that Nature and having a nature are two different concepts. This raises more issues. To argue this, you would be begging the question that we can speak of nature devoid of nature. Furthermore, basic ontology tells us that to exist is to have positive attributes. To define something as beyond nature is to define something as beyond ability, something beyond ability or something beyond limits cannot exist by definition. Yet this is not the only time in which the fallacy of the stolen concept is committed:

If God does not presuppose logic, and rather the contrary is true, how can we identify God as being God? For should God not presuppose logic, he must deny the very law of identity (that says a thing is what it is). Hence, the very statement “God exists and logic is his very nature” commits the fallacy of the stolen concept.

Further, when it is stated that logic is a part of God’s nature, there is a category error of the first order being made. Logic is a referrer to entities, not the entities in themselves. What does it mean to say that the nature of God is logical when logic refers only to arguments? Perhaps RK means that God has an ontological character, but I have shown that God cannot by definition.

Thus, the claim is made that it is incoherent to deny the existence of God because of his very nature. But what is this saying? It is merely a reformed version of the Ontological argument and concluding that God must exist necessarily because he is God.

If I am to accept this, RK must show the validity and soundness of one of the Ontological arguments. Otherwise, there is nothing incoherent about denying the existence of God.

However, there IS something incoherent about denying the law of non-contradiction. To further reiterate this point, consider the following:

* (1) It is not the case that it is not that P and not P (law of non-contradiction denied, meaning it would be possible for your pants to be both on and off simultaneously)

* (2) It is not the case that God exists.

From (1) we easily see a contradiction, but there is no such contradiction from (2) unless we apply a third premise stating that:

* (3) It is logically necessary that God exists.

Should RK want to make this claim, as I’ve said before, he will have to provide an Ontological argument showing that God’s existence is logically necessary.

It should also be further noted that (3) is often confused for another premise. There is a difference between God necessarily existing and God (if existing) necessarily having no beginning or end.


* (4) It is logically necessary that if at any time God existed, then at every time He existed.

While (4) is required in presumably every branch of Christianity, and with good philosophical warrant, (3) isn’t. In fact very few theologians assert (3).

Even Dr. Frame, an advocate of the TAG has stated there is nothing inconsistent about denying the existence of God and affirming the law of non-contradiction in an exchange between him and Michael Martin.

As stated before, if the Law of Non-Contradiction logically implies the existence of God, then denying the existence of God should fault the law of Non-Contradiction. But we have not been show that this is the case:

Christian Philosopher Cornelius Van Til attempted to do so in his book “The Defense of the Faith” (pg 256-257) when he says:

“All predication presupposes the existence of God … while antitheism holds that predication is possible without any reference of God. This at once gives the terms ‘is’ and ‘is not’ quite different connotations. For the antitheist these terms play against the background of bare possibilities. Hence ‘is’ and ‘is not’ may very well be reversed. The antitheist has, if effect, denied the very Law of Non-contradiction, inasmuch as the Law of Non-contradiction, to operate at all, must have its foundation in God.””

To make sense of this statement, it is helpful to reformulate into an argument (as per Michael Martin):

(1) If the Christian God did not exist, then predication would operate against a background of bare possibility.

(2) If predication operates against a background of bare possibility, the predication of P to x ( x is P) may be reversed and ~ P might be predicated of x ( x is ~ P)

(3) But if the predication of P to x ( x is P) is reversed and ~ P is be predicated of x ( x is ~ P), then the Law of Non-contradiction must be denied.
(4) Therefore, If the Christian God did not exist, then the Law of Non-contradiction must be denied

There are several problems, however. In (1) Van Til uses the term “background of bare possibility”, referring to the realm of logical possibility. We can then grant that the Law of Non-contradiction MUST hold because without that holding, by definition, there is no logically possibility. That is to say, logical possibility is determined by the Law of Non-Contradiction.

(1) States that if predication operates via logical possibility, then we may reverse the predications completely. The suggestion is to say that we can have a blanket be orange at one time and not orange at another time. Granted, but this is no way necessitates that the blanket can be orange and not orange simultaneously. Henceforth, (3) is false. Reversing the predicate does not change the Law of Non-Contradiction. As such, the argument is unsound and we can reject (4).

In closing, I have shown that there are issues with the very presentation of the term “God”, the inability of the TAG to establish its conclusion, and lastly the failure of the claim that logic is dependent on God. As I’ve said, should this be so, one could not deny God and affirm logic, but one can. It would only be inconsistent to deny God, if his existence was logically necessary, and this is not the case (note that even if God existed, he need not necessarily be logically necessary). RK has, in effect, has purported (and assumed) the conclusion of the Ontological argument without defending it.

RazorsKiss (Rebuttal):

Having success in using the laws of logic is not the same as saying that you have a warrant to be using it.

The question is about whether we have warrant for considering logic as axiomatic.

It seems apparent to me that Mitch is not providing a justification for using the law that he is using – nor did I see a case that did anything to disprove mine.

He is simply saying that it is usable – the same problem Martin falls into, in his TANG

That is not the question. On what grounds can it be considered warranted to be using abstract universals which apply to all (created) thinking beings? I have a proper ground to be doing so.

Obviously, an atheist is able to /operate/ with success using the logical laws which his brain operates according to. In fact, they MUST do so.

The question at hand is not whether – but /why/ he is using them.

Another subject I’d like to address are what clearly seem to be equivocations on his part. First, his insistence that “supernatural” is a negative definition.

“Super” is not a negative, but a maximal descriptor, as he should well know.

Mitch, with his studies in religion, should also know that “immaterial” is not the only descriptor of that characteristic of God.

The typical term is “Spirit”. The reason “immaterial” is often used is to point out that it is antithetical to matter.

Antithesis does not require derivation from his preferred term.

God is Spirit, as Scripture plainly teaches. God is NOT “not material”. That is the distinction.

I am also amazed at his choice of terminology – as if his making this (seemingly arbitrary) distinction therefore means that there is no longer any conception of God being defined by His attributes in a positive fashion – as I clearly did in my opening statement.

Further, I found his discussion concerning “extrapolating” unconvincing.

God has given us positive statements of His own attributes in His Scriptures.

In fact, He specifically speaks about the Transcendence of His attributes!

“For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:9)

Smith’s assertion to follow simply points more clearly toward the inherent assumption – that God’s self-descriptions are insufficient to be considered. They are passed over, walked by, as if they do not even exist.

While Mitch may agree with Smith – it remains a naked assertion.

When he says that: “To say that God is ‘good’ or ‘wise’ is to say nothing more than some unknowable being possesses some unknown qualities in an unknowable way;” this remains an assertion.

While Mitch may assert that there is no “cognitive meaning associated” – all this says is what we knew already. Unbelievers don’t believe, and think there is something inherently wrong with the concept.

While this may seem to follow from Mitch’s presupposed conception that there is something wrong with using the term “immaterial” – please note that I did not use the term, and that the term is being used in a very… “interesting” way.

I find it interesting that Mitch dismisses, due to an equivocation, the fact that God has many self-descriptions in Scripture – and there are many, many positive ones.

Since he was, I can’t help but think, insufficiently rigorous in that analysis, I will also turn toward his next point.

First, I have to point out that his analysis of TAG misses.. a lot of the “meat” to the argument.

I had to smile when I read this portion: “I think the example is clear enough, but it should be noted once more. TAG cannot establish the truth of God’s existence, only the inconsistency of atheists who hold a presupposition regarding deductive logic.”

The problem with saying this – is that this is precisely what I intend.

I’m not arguing for the existence of God.

That is not the point of the debate.

My intent, precisely, is what Mitch listed above.

If any worldview is inconsistent – incoherent – *especially* in epistemological terms – it cannot be proper grounds for all knowledge.

What also strikes me as interesting is that Mitch has apparently missed the central portion of the argument – it is epistemological. If your epistemology fails, it all fails. I tried to point out, in my opening statement, that the discussion was epistemological. The argument, throughout, save one small part, is completely to do with the existence of God.

What Mitch seems to be attempting is a defeater of the TAG argument. I’m not making the TAG argument for the existence of God. I’m making a case for the epistemological primacy, ultimacy, and sole sufficiency of the Triune God of Scripture. Instead, the reply is to TAG – and using primarily Martin’s work. That is not the context. It reminds me of Dr. Gordon Stein arguing against every possible theistic argument for the existence of God – except the one that Dr. Bahnsen argued for. Which happens to be the one he’s arguing against tonight!

In a similar way, Mitch’s argument was directed at God’s *existence*. The argument is not concerning God existence. The argument is concerning God’s self-asserted epistemological primacy – and the inability of any other epistemological claimant to provide knowledge in a warranted way.

He also mentions that I might argue that logical principles are dependent upon God. That is true, to an extent – but not to the extent he claims. I am going to argue that God is not only the ordainer, but creator of the logical laws we use – and that He transcends them, as we mentioned earlier, in Isaiah. The logical laws are the correlative, yet lesser reflection of God’s inherent order. So, while they are necessary in an immediate sense to created beings – they are NOT necessary, in an ultimate sense, to God. God is, as the Scriptures remind us, self-sufficient.

On that note, the rest of his argument concerning God and that claim is irrelevant – and I can move on.

In a similar vein, I certainly raised an eyebrow at this statement: “God is defined as being supernatural. That is to say “Supernatural” is defined as being beyond nature (not natural). This is a negative definition and a broken concept. There is a fallacy committed when it is stated that God is supernatural but has a nature. Something that is beyond nature, may not possess a nature. (Fallacy of the Stolen Concept) I am sure RK will argue that Nature and having a nature are two different concepts. This raises more issues. To argue this, you would be begging the question that we can speak of nature devoid of nature.”

My opponent, I’m afraid, has seriously equivocated here. Badly. To take one sense of a word, and insist that it means the same thing in every context is.. absurd.

There is a sense of the word “nature” which applies to the entirety of the created order, as “natural” entities. Physical. However, I’m sure he also knows that the “nature of” an object, person, or concept can be the “essence” of something. For instance. In the typical Trinitarian formula, God is one being – with three persons. I’m sure he has encountered this definition before, but just to help him, I’ll restate it – God is of one /nature/, with three distinct persons.

I think that this sufficiently points out the equivocation in question. Second, “(t)his raises more issues. To argue this, you would be begging the question that we can speak of nature devoid of nature” – seems an odd assertion. Are you suggesting that there are only material objects, and only they have properties? I was under the impression that you are not a materialist.

As I wrap this up, I sincerely hope that Mitch can rebut with something more suitable to the actual argument I made. When most of your argument is predicated upon equivocation (nature, immaterial), a point that is inapplicable (that I believe that the logic we are constrained by is also somehow binding upon God, and God must therefore be within the same limits, despite His transcendent nature) – it cannot succeed very far. The resolution is that the Triune God of Scripture is the proper grounds for all knowledge. Not that the Triune God of Scripture exists. Additionally, the argument is that any logical system without a warrant to justify its use is incoherent, and therefore unable to make consistent objections. Hopefully, we get back on the rails, and we can address the topics we came to discuss. Thank You.

MitchLeBlanc (Rebuttal):

RK criticizes me for arguing against the existence of God rather than his epistemology. Am I mistaken in understanding that RK’s epistemology IS the existence of God?

RK states that he is not arguing for the existence of God, and as such the point I made about the TAG being insufficient in regard to showing the existence of said deity is assumed. Surely, his utterance of “impossibility of the contrary” is an attempt to establish from his descriptor of my logical inability, to the truth of his claim. That would simply be a non-sequitur.

RK has argued that while I may have been successful in my use of the laws of logic, I am still without warrant. He also stated that he did not see a case showing that his is incorrect. Perhaps he did not see my explanation as to how the laws of logic can operate without God. According to RK, if God does not exist logic fails. If this is true, how can I affirm the use of logic with the negation of God?

Perhaps RK is thinking that I can’t, since it’s simply a self-evident fact that God exists and denying it is foolishness. Well, to him I say, show me the ontological argument you used to affirm this statement. Otherwise, it is bare unsubstantiated assertion.

If RK were perhaps to argue (as he says he is not) that since his worldview “makes sense” therefore God, that would be a form of petitio principii (begging the question):

Yahweh is the source of all knowledge

Knowledge exists.

Therefore Yahweh.

How can RK possibly argue that I did not address the claims of epistemology, when his claim that logic cannot operate independent of God was the largest focus of my statements? I have shown this very claim to be false.

I would point out that RK did not address my argument showing the laws of logic operating with a premise of denial of God’s existence, something that should be impossible for his worldview.

In regards to God as a spirit, the problem RK falls into is simply the inability to define what a spirit is, in positive terms. I have no doubt he can tell me what a spirit is not, but this gets us nowhere.

Rk also stated, with regard to logic as God’s nature that: “while they are necessary in an immediate sense to created beings – they are NOT necessary, in an ultimate sense, to God”. What does this mean? Logical principles are either necessary or contingent. He says God is self-sufficient, well precisely what is the “self” to which he suffices himself? Notice the clear personification of God, yet we seem to have had nothing with substance said to us. The laws are reflections of his order? So God’s nature is logical? We have not even established what that means! As I said, logic is a referrer to entities. So is God’s nature an argument?

RK criticized me, with regard to “speaking of nature devoid of nature”. I’m afraid he misunderstands. I am not taking one sense of the word and stating that it means the same. In fact, I predicted he would say this. The real issue at hand is an ontological one, “what does it mean to be?”, “what does it mean to possess characteristics”, “what does it mean to have a nature?”.

As for the basis of my own knowledge, it should again be noted that since RK’s claim may make sense of logic, it doesn’t follow that logic needs to be made sense of. I will use the remainder of my rebuttal to supplement my position. With that said, my epistemological declaration is perhaps best defined as that of Objectivism. First, I should define axioms:

An axiomatic concept is “is the identification of a primary fact of reality, which cannot be analyzed, i.e., reduced to other facts or broken into component parts. It is implicit in all facts and in all knowledge. It is the fundamentally given and directly perceived or experienced, which requires no proof or explanation, but on which all proofs and explanations rest” – Ayn Rand


“The first and primary axiomatic concepts are “existence,” “identity” (which is a corollary of “existence”) and “consciousness.” One can study what exists and how consciousness functions; but one cannot analyze (or “prove”) existence as such, or consciousness as such. These are irreducible primaries.”

From these axioms, I establish that of existence, identity and consciousness. In the case of the existence axiom, I can state “existence exists”. In the case of the identity axiom, which is corollary of “existence”, I can say that “to exist is to be something specific, to have identity”. This leads me to my third axiom of “consciousness”, from which I can state that “consciousness is consciousness of something”.

We can, at all times, know with certainty that something must exist to be known, this something must have identity and our knowing reflects the fact that we are conscious.

The issue posed then, is how these axioms apply to metaphysics. We can move in either one of two direction. The primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.

The primacy of existence, that is, taking the existence axiom prior to that of consciousness recognizes that existence exists independent of consciousness. That is to say, reality does not conform to the contents of consciousness, things are simply existent regardless of people’s subjective wishes, desires, emotions, etc. And granted that existence exists, that which exists is that which exists (identity axiom). With this primacy, consciousness does not DETERMINE reality, but identifies it.

The primacy of consciousness states that existence is subordinate to consciousness and that things are not the way they are by virtue of the fact of their existence, but rather because of the desires of consciousness. By this primacy, one would be justified in the belief that willing flying cows to rise out of the water will result in flying cows rising out of the water.

We can reject the primacy of consciousness on the basis that it rejects the self-evident truth of the existence principle. But perhaps more importantly, it commits the fallacy of the stolen concept (we are seeing that a lot tonight). It attempts to assert consciousness PRIOR to existence. Insofar as consciousness is the being conscious of something, the notion of consciousness arising prior to existence asserts the concept why denying the precondition of existence. The primacy of consciousness violates the very hierarchy of objective knowledge, we can conclude that any philosophy that is build upon this primacy cannot be consistent with rational knowledge.

Unfortunately, Christianity is one such philosophy. Christianity asserts that some form of consciousness created everything. This simply cannot be true from the outright, as the very consciousness which is purported to have created existence must exist prior to doing any creating. Stating that the Universe was “created” attempts to explain the axiom “existence exists” by asserting something prior, specifically Yahweh, a form of consciousness that created through an act of will. We simply cannot assert anything prior to existence.

As such, any question with attempts to ask “Where did existence come from?” or “How did existence come to be?” will result in answers which commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. We can see that from the very beginning, the Christian worldview has denied the metaphysical primacy of existence.

But how does this relate to the TAG? We must analyze the effect that the assertion has on the law of identity. Christianity states that identity of objects is dependent upon the will or desires of God… identity is dependent on consciousness.

Christianity, then, by definition is a form of metaphysical subjectivism.

Bahnsen (an advocate of the TAG) does not hide this fact, he states:

“the very essence of created reality is its revelational character”

The Christian worldview in regards to reality asserts that reality is a creation of consciousness. Thus, reality cannot be absolute, by definition. What is said to have created reality in the first place is simultaneously the final authority. The ultimate standard for the Christian is then merely the whim of God.

RK might reply that “God is a rational God”, but notes how this begs the question and reduces to a fallacy of pure self-reference.

The standard of reason and logic is the law of identity, but if identity is merely a derivative of consciousness than on which basis can consciousness have identity itself? If reality is a creation, and its creator is consciousness, is consciousness real? If one is to claim that it is, why do we need to point to this God to explain reality in the first place? Merely uttering the instance of a “God created reality” is a stolen concept arising from the belief that God exists.

So when the TAG tells us that the Christian worldview is the only one that can make sense of reality, is this true? A being that is perfect and omniscient surely has no need for reason in the first place. If said being is consciousness, the purpose of said consciousness is to identify the facts of reality… but what need would this God have to “reason”, since it already knows all the facts. It should be evident at this point that the Christian worldview, and the “Primacy of consciousness” has certain epistemological ramifications. When an advocate is asked, “How does God know”, surely we’d hear that “he just does”.

By this token, and insofar as the TAG asserts that the Christian worldview is the very basis for reason it is obviously wrong. The primacy of consciousness destroys reason and knowledge, it does not enable it.

How can the TAG possibly accuse all non-Christian thought as being relative, when the assertion it makes itself is that of metaphysical relativism? The entire worldview is full of ’stolen concepts’ and seeks to defend against what it commits itself.

RazorsKiss questions MitchLeBlanc:

RK: My first question: In Exodus 3:14, we read this: “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Is this a positive statement concerning the essence, properties, or nature of God?

ML: It doesn’t tell us anything whatsoever, it’s neither positive nor negative.

RK: So, the sentence above: “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – has no content, whatsoever?

ML: Well, “I AM WHO I AM” seems to be cognitively meaningless. PIG IS PIG, DONKEY IS DONKEY, etc… it has not furthered understanding.

RK: Are you aware that this is considered to be the essential name of God in Scripture?

ML: Yes, but a name is not a description.

RK: What does the phrase “I am” mean, when in the following proposition: “I think, therefore I am”?

ML: It denotes existence.

RK: So, when God is saying “I AM” – and repeats it, this is implying self-existence, per Hebrew grammar. Are you aware that names in the Hebrew Old Testament are all intended to have meanings?

ML: I am aware now, thank you.

RK: Were you cognizant, prior to this debate, that the word “nature” has a distinct and historical meaning, when it pertains to theology?

ML: I am cognizant to the colloquial, scientific and philosophical meaning of the word. Perhaps these preclude the theological.

RK: That didn’t answer my question. Were you aware, as a student of the philosophy of religion, or any other capacity, that “nature” was used historically in a theological sense – such as in the definition of the council of Nicea, concerning the Trinity?

ML: I do recall there being an issue of difference between prior and post uses of the term. But I am unsure as to the specifics. (prior being the Arian usage)

RK: What is logic?

ML: As I said in my opening, logic is a referrer to entities.

RK: Do abstract objects exist?

ML: Yes, objects such as numbers exist.

RK: Does the abstract object “logic” exist?

ML: Logic isn’t a thing, it’s a referrer to things.

RK: Why did you just refer to it?

ML: I made a linguistical reference to logic, justified perhaps pragmatically.

RK: Do you agree that referring to “logic”, whether mentally or linguistically – as it is an abstract object – would be a reference to that object?

ML: No, I have not agreed that logic is an object.

RK: “Logic is logically necessary” – Why isn’t that definition circular?

ML: Well, to be logically necessary means that X can be applied in every possible world. You asked if Logic has any properties, so I have offered “necessity” as a property.

RK: What is the definition of an object?

ML: To be as an entity… though I think there is much debate over this very question in the community.

RK: Isn’t the most common definition for “object” – “Something that has properties”?

ML: I am not sure, I do know that Frege struggled in differentiating object from concept, as it seems that “something that has properties” would apply to concepts as well.

RK: Last question: Why are your axioms justified, as they seem to be predicated on the laws of logic; doesn’t this nullify their standing as axiomatic?

ML: Well, an axiom is “a primary fact of reality which cannot be analyzed (reduced into other facts or broken down). Are you asking why my axiom “existence exists” is justified?

RK: If they are not identical to the laws of logic, why are they thus considered justified, as axioms?

ML: Because they are undeniable.

MitchLeBlanc questions RazorsKiss:

ML: What makes the Christian God the sole basis for reason over all of the other Gods?

RK: First, all the other gods do not exist, as they do not possess the requisite properties, as I outlined in my opener. Second, the reason The Triune God of Scripture is that sole basis is because He is the self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, Creator of all things, who is both able to communicate the content of those properties, and has done so throughout history, as recorded in His self-revelatory Scriptures.

ML: All propositions of God assert him as self-existent, self-sufficient, etc… these are not unique to Christianity, what makes Christianity different?

RK: There is no other claimant for the title “God” who asserts the sum total of the properties in question, has demonstrated them throughout history, as well as communicating them to humanity with the sufficiency and perspicuity evident in the Christian Scriptures.

ML: It seems to me that your logical system is hierarchical in nature, with God forming the basis and the chain continuing on thuswards. Does the statement “God exists” logically necessitate that “God has a son”?

RK: No, as the Son is one of the eternally existent persons in the ontological Trinity. As it was famously stated at Nicea – there was never a time when the Son was not, in contraposition to Arius’ novel claim to the contrary.

ML: Since “every time I reason, I borrow from the Christian worldview”, am I to assume that I am accepting God’s existence, Jesus’ virgin birth, the 12 disciples, the betrayal of Jesus, etc as philosophical principles?

RK: Yes, as they are facts in the history of the earth that God created, and you inhabit. They are not dependent on your interpretation of them. When it comes to how you interpret /all/ facts you encounter, the noetic effects of sin will be in operation, and your denial of knowledge (as in justified knowledge) of those facts will follow of necessity.

ML: Why is it that the necessary preconditions for the intelligibly of human experience are contingent upon God being three persons and not four, the virgin birth rather than popping into existence, then 12 disciples rather than 13, etc?

RK: For the first question, because God is the one who created all things we are able to experience, and He has 3 persons. Second, the virgin birth was the means the Father ordained to accomplish Christ’s incarnation, due to the requirements of justice for payment of the penalty for sin, and 12 disciples were analogous to the 12 tribes of national Israel. To answer why they are necessary – because God is the one who determines possibilities, given that all possibilities are occurring in the realm of His exhaustive providence.

ML: That is not precisely the question. If I accept all of these factors are philosophical principles when reasoning, what effect would the 12 disciples being 13 disciples have on my reasoning? Surely, with a change in principle comes a change in reasoning altogether.

RK: Impossibilities have no effect on your reasoning. They do not exist. Dr. Craig would give you a different answer, perhaps – but I’m not Dr. Craig.

ML: So the existence of one more disciple would have no effect on my reasoning. It seems then that the manner in which the events occurred are arbitrary. I will not press this point. Does your knowledge of God arise from the scriptures that you believe he authored?

RK: No, there was no additional disciple in the 12 chosen by Christ, and following him throughout Galilee. Advancing impossibilities as arguments is not coherent. My knowledge of God is two-fold – first, through His Scriptures, which is His informational self-revelation, (despite your assertion that it lacked no coherent content earlier) and the natural revelation of His glory in the created order – which is only sufficient to convict a man, and render him without excuse for his sins of thought and action.

ML: And from your aforementioned sources, you derive the goodness, power, coherency, knowingness, etc of God?

RK: Yes, Scripture states that God is good, that He is Almighty, that He is a God of order, not confusion, and that He knows even the thoughts of men (as well as the entirety of His creation) when He “knows all things”. The Created order attests to these things as well, in a lesser, and more inferential way – but as I said, that is sufficient merely to condemn.

ML: What if God is deceiving you?

RK: “…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, [even] His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior…” (Titus 1:2-3) . God cannot lie.

ML: But God was the author (or inspiration) of those very words. If his intent was to deceive, he has just succeeded. I ask again, what if God is deceiving you?

RK: For if [the] dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith [is] futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. ~ 1 Cor 15:9

ML: Again, all scripture and proposed action of God are immediately discounted if the motivation in fact was to deceive. Can you show that God is not deceiving you in all your knowledge of him?

RK: If God intended to deceive, He would not be God. He would be Satan. Therefore, you would likely have to use the TANS argument. A God of that character is not God at all, and therefore, yet again, another impossible (redefinition) advanced as an argument. If we could win by redefining things, debates would be fairly short affairs 🙂

ML: “If God intended to deceive, He would not be God. He would be Satan.” – Is this statement not based off of information expedited to you from the same deity in question?

RK: A God who is evil instead of good, who is a liar rather than the truth, is mutable rather than immutable, and imperfect rather than perfect, unjust rather than just… we could go on. Your questions all seem to entail redefinitions. “if God had an impossible definition for any being claiming to be the God you believe in, or any god at all, could he do _X_”. To claim that the antithesis of the self-existent and omnipotent God that I believe in is possible – seems to be.. a stretch.

ML: I cannot help but feel you are being evasive at this point. Every bit of the knowledge of God you have, comes from his proposed self-revelation. If God’s intent was surely to deceive you, are you saying he could not? Would you know? Your argument is as follows: God does not deceive. Proposed being X deceives. Therefore X is not God. You are begging the question RK.

RK: Sir, I’m not going to change my answer because you continue to ask it. “God” entails the properties already outlined. If a being does not conform to those properties, as I answered in response to your very first question – that is no god at all. I’m not going to contradict myself so that you can continue your argument. Further, I’ve stated, multiple times, that God is axiomatic to all human reasoning. You’re asking me, on the basis of your presupposition, to overthrow everything I’ve said thus far, to answer a question the way you prefer.

ML: I forego the remainder of my questions to accelerate our brief conclusions and allow for the patient audience to submit questions of their own.

MitchLeBlanc (Conclusion):

In conclusion, I must say that I am disappointed that my arguments given in my introduction were not addressed. Insofar as it was proposed that if God did not exist, logic would fail. I have clearly shown that this is not the case. I am also disappointed that it was constantly asserted that I have no basis for a logical system, but never shown that I have no basis.

If logic truly is so dependent on God, why was my argument which showed the contrary not addressed? Furthermore, I must ask which reasons we have heard tonight that RK’s epistemological system should be preferred over my own. In that respect, on which basis has RK shown that the principles of logic even require justification! Creating questions for the sole purpose of answering them, isn’t an award winning tactic.

Lastly, with regards to the QandA. I proposed the question, “What if God is deceiving you?” Rk’s response that if this was the case, said being would not be God. This strikes me as very similar to the No True Scotsman fallacy. A man sits down and reads the newspaper, where it is said that a man murdered several people and he is believed to be Scottish. The man then replies, “No Scotsman would do that!” The next day, when he reads that it was indeed a Scotsman, he states… “well, no TRUE Scotsman would do that”.

I simply do not understand how it is possible to state, with certainty, that God does not (or cannot) deceive you, when such a statement is based off of only what God himself has revealed to you. RK repeatedly stated that a God who lies simply would not be God… the proper explanation perhaps is that “The God who lies would not meet my criteria for God, and my criteria is correct.” The very last point is curious, as should God indeed be deceptive, said criteria would falter immediately.

As I have said, I am saddened that several points of good discussion were dismissed haphazardly, but I am grateful to have had the chance to discuss this issue with RK.

Thank you for listening patiently.

RazorsKiss (Conclusion):

Along with Mitch, I’m disappointed that the arguments presented were not addressed. Also along with Mitch, I’m disappointed that it was mine that were unaddressed! When I rebutted Mitch, I pointed out that his conception of the necessity of created logic applying to God was at fault for the failure of his argument.

I said: “while they are necessary in an immediate sense to created beings – they are NOT necessary, in an ultimate sense, to God. God is, as the Scriptures remind us, self-sufficient.”

This seems to have been missed in the subsequent discussion, and as stated, was why I did not address his arguments along that line further. They were not against my position, but against the position he claimed I held.

I’d also like to point out that a large bulk of Mitch’s arguments rested on redefinition. I am the Christian, taking the affirmative. While he’s quite capable of considering God as other than He is – and of contemplating logical impossibilities – they are just that. Impossibilities.

When I take the affirmative, I bear the burden of definition. When Mitch rested the majority of his case on redefinition – of the terms for God, of the words I use to describe Him, and takes them out of both the historical and linguistic context which I can’t help but think he is aware of, given his field of study, it seems to indicate that he is indenting to conduct the debate on the grounds of redefinition. Nature DOES, and HAS applied to the essence and properties of the being of God. Immaterial, a word I did not use, was constructed as a straw man against my position.

Further, he also tried to build his case on another word I did not use – supernatural. I understand that he didn’t know what my opening statement was going to be – but using the terms in that way – then ignoring their context on the basis of his own (and I consider to be strange) definitions leaves me scratching my head.

We’ve heard from Mitch that I never made a case against his position. That is only partially true. As the affirmative, my primary places to “counter-attack” are in the rebuttals, and in the cross-ex. Since he did not give a positive statement of his position until the rebuttal, my only chance to reply, save right here, was in the cross-ex. A look at the cross-examination period, and the brevity of his answers leaves it clear to me that he intended to answer as little as possible. While that is his prerogative, stating that I didn’t argue sufficiently – when he knows that presuppositionalism is an indirect system, is a bit misleading.

So, I’m going to take this opportunity to expand my thoughts from the cross-ex. As I was trying to get Mitch to admit, his system is built on a presupposed absolutist logic. This absoluteness of logic itself is not stated in the axioms – it is effectively hidden beneath the 3 axioms he professes. “Existence exists”, for instance, while correlative to the law of identity, is not identical to it. To be identical, it would have to be… more similar to God’s statement in Exodus – I am that I am.

As he expresses it, in accordance with Rand, the reality is that two *distinct* concepts are presented. “Existence”, which is an abstract, and what it does – “exists”. Existence, therefore, has the property of existing. Yet another abstract – which *exists*. Further, saying that “to exist is to be something specific, to have identity” – you are once again not restating a law of logic. You are stating that to exist, you must have identity. This is, again, correlative, but not identical.

So, we have a system with axioms which use laws that require their existence. We still haven’t had a satisfying answer as to, as I asked him, why logic isn’t an abstract logic – but these other concepts are – like existence – and why they are justified. Further, they are based in nothing, whatsoever, which grants them justification. He can claim they are axioms – but objectivism has been widely criticized, as Mitch attempted to do concerning my position, for being utterly arbitrary. What objectivism assumes is that man’s existence, identity, and consciousness are autonomous, and “objective”. What is being objected to, as I stated in my opener, is a man standing with his feet firmly planted in midair, and claiming to be the standard for his own thinking.

While I applaud him for having the debate, I would have wished that he had redirected his argument to my own, that it would not have been so dependent on redefinitions, and that we could have had a more fruitful exchange in cross-examination. I was more than willing to be forthcoming. I wish he would have done me the courtesy as well. I thank you all for watching, I thank Mitch for his patience, and I thank our moderators for this evening’s debate.

Question and Answer:

EoZ: (the replacement moderator) Dear RK, “In your opening dialouge, you spoke of a limited ability to have knowledge, for those who do not have an epistimological foundation such as yourself. However, you later conceded “I see no possible way for that assertion to be justified.” in reference to an unbeliever viewing him or herself as an ultimate basis for epistimology. Could your own, conceded, limited perception, be a contributing factor, leading you to a falsely constructed conclusion, convoluted and serving as confirmation bias insofar as as a self-reassuring mechanism by which you preclude against your view being simply your belief or understanding of the facts, but as some fact, regardless of belief?” – VTS

RK: If i understand the question correctly, it’s asking if I could be biasing myself, having no independent source at all, just my own opinion.
EoZ: VTS, is his understanding correct?
VTS: in part, yes.
RK: As far as that goes… the Christian has as his basis Scripture. This is not simply standing alone – but has the “sensus divinitatus”, as Calvin terms it, also in operation due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
EoZ: Would you like to clarify so he understands the whole complete question, or is that sufficient?
VTS: Basically, is the “failure to see” real? Is it possible your perspective is self-serving, thus bringing you to a conclusion that is (by extension) clouded by personal bias…
VTS: does that clarify?
RK: As the Spirit is also, per Scripture, the author of the revelation, it’s the equivalent of having the author of the book standing over your shoulder, and correcting your faulty understandings, and continually adjusting your noetic “issues” as He also works to sanctify you in obedience to that revealed Word.
EoZ: Okay, to move things along. VTS, does that sufficiently answer your question or do you have more?
RK: Well, if we’re all deluded, as Paul says, we’re “men most to be pitied”. As I said, we have the Author of that revelation as our guide to the understanding of it. That is one of the reasons that I find in my experience, there tends to be a significant problem with the understanding of Scriptural principles by non-Christians. It’s not that I’m saying we’re “smarter” – by any stretch of the imagination – if you understand my theology, that’s well-nigh impossible.
vtsquire: no, I dont think that sufficiently answered my question.
RK: For a conceivable non-truth of the Christian worldview – Paul says we are “most to be pitied”. So, if you’re right, it stinks to be us. How’s that?
EoZ: VTS, so would you like to ask additional questions to further the topic, or
VTS: to put my point most bluntly, are you making a claim to knowledge, or making a claim to belief that you have knowledge?
RK: I am making a claim that I have mediate knowledge from the only possible source that is justifiable. ie: It’s not me, it’s God in me, as Scripture says.
RK: In my opener I went out of my way to point out that Christians, if they are to act like Christians, have as much claim to epistemological autonomy as a chair. God is who works in me, and through me. It’s never due to man. (Which is probably as opposite to objectivism as possible, but there ya go.)
VTS: okay, that’s a sufficient answer to me

EoZ: Okay, very good. Now, just to be fair to poor Mitch, I’m asking my question to him, then RK.

EoZ: Mitch, how could RK prove his position to you as the affirmative? How do you believe he did not do so here?
RK: Yeah! 🙂
ML: Well the problem with the position it is that it is not an argument. It’s simply a bare assertion. He could begin to prove his position to me by addressing the argument I presented which showed that logic presupposing the Christian worldview is false. I also wouldn’t mind hearing that Ontological argument which must be the basis for RK’s position (though not stated, I am sure it is there) that God’s existence is logically necessary…
EoZ: Alright, that works.

EoZ: And we got another question to Mitch from our very own VTS.
EoZ: “I have the same essential question to Mitch. They both conceded “I fail to see ________” Mitch, is it possible that this concession contains within it an admission that your position may be based on an inability on your part to be flexible in your thinking, thus leading you your conclusion, that may thereby be possibly false?” – VTS
RK: I’d like to respond to Mitch’s points afterwards, but I’ll let him get on to bed 🙂
EoZ: RK, I would let you normally, but time is VERY short.
RK: That’s fine – I have a blog 🙂
ML: My epistemology doesn’t exclude God outright, in many ways it remains completely agnostic until establishing axioms. The axioms which are undenaible are established, and then we work from there. It is possible that there is something that I’m missing from RK’s statements, but it would not be to my denial of God from the outright. In that respect, I am not similar to a materialist.

EmpireOfZombies: Okay, asking mine, and that’s it.

EoZ: Part 1. is God the ultimate standard for morality?
RK: Yes.
EoZ: Yay! Simple answer.
RK: Simple question 🙂
EoZ: Now, I’m going to post two quotes by you.
EoZ:: RazorsKiss If God intended to deceive, He would not be God. He would be Satan. Therefore, you would likely have to use the TANS argument. A God of that character is no God of all, and therefore, yet again, another impossible (redefinition) advanced as an argument. If we could win by redefining things, debates would be fairly short affairs 2:23 .. *not God at all
RazorsKiss A God who is evil instead of good, who is a liar rather than the truth, is mutable rather than immutable, and imperfect rather than perfect, unjust rather than just… we could go on. Your questions all seem to entail redefinitions. “if God had an impossible definition for any being claiming to be the God you believe in, or any god at all, could he do _X_”. To claim that the antithesis of the self-existent and omnipotent God that I believe in is possible – seems to be.. a stretch. 2:28 .. If there was a so-called “god” who intended to deceive – that being would not be any god at all.
RK: Okay.
EoZ: My questions are, if God intended to deceive, from what standard would you contrive that he is not God if your standard IS God? IF God deceives, from what standard do you derive lying as wrong for God? If it is God, and he lies, why is it wrong? What makes lying immoral if God were to do it? To me, this seems as if you are asserting a personal standard.
RK: That was precisely why I said that such questions are impossibilities, as they attempt to redefine a being that is self-existent, self-sufficient, immutable, unchanging, and etc. Such a thing is an impossibility. The point that is missed is that my relationship with God is not merely intellectual. It is personal. I know God, in my creaturely way, as Persons. I communicate, I am acted upon, and act on behalf of. In short, the question seeks to divorce God’s attributes, and to redefine God as a different sort of being – one which I do not know, do not communicate with, and do not have relation to.
RK: That should wrap it up, correct?
EoZ: Almost. I’m responding.
RK: Mitch, I appreciate the debate. Hopefully we can arrange logistics better for the next one 🙂
ML: Yes, a much shorter format is needed

EoZ: if God has freewill, why are hypotheticals not possible? Free will would denote all things are possible for God.

RK: Because there is a lack of distinction made between creation/creator, their disparate natures, and the relationship between them. God is free in that He does whatever He wills. Whatever God wills, on the transcendent level, is the determiner for what is possible – on the created level. It’s like trying to ask why a child can’t make his parent do whatever they think is possible. What the child is capable of doing do is whatever is possible for the child – but in this case, the parent can, and has, determined all possible events, whatsoever, that will come to pass. So there isn’t any frame of reference, aside from God’s self-description, to tell us this. If His word is accurate, there are no free atoms, there is no free energy – there is only God’s determination of all causal events.

EoZ: Alright, to the debaters, good job.
EoZ: Thanks for debating.
EoZ: To the audience, thank you.
.RK: Yes, thanks!
ML: Thanks….
RK: Even though you’re all asleep..
ML: (I am about to collapse)
RK: Me too. Thanks for the debate, bro. Now get to bed 🙂
ML: thanks
ML: goodnight
RK: Seeya, and thanks again.
EoZ: Night guys.

(I will likely add in some commentary soonish, so check back)

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