Christians’ Favourite Delusions 33: Atheists know in their hearts that God exists

DenyTwo tried cliches trotted out by evangelising (i.e. aggressive) Christians are that ‘atheism is a religion‘ and that in their ‘heart of hearts atheists know there really is a god’. Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis is fond of both assertions, as are other equally desperate promoters of unsupportable beliefs. We’ll come to the first in a later post, but here’s how Ham expresses the second:

They (atheists) know in their hearts that God exists, but they are actively suppressing this belief in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). They fight so hard against a God that they claim doesn’t even exist because they know that He really does! We need to pray that, instead of fighting against God, these lost individuals will repent and put their faith and trust in Christ and in what He did for them.

Romans 1.18 that he cites says: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

Assuming Paul is saying here what Ham claims he is (it’s doubtful from this verse alone) both he and his hero are demonstrably wrong – as they are about so much. The evidence suggests that while young children look for meaning and assume agency, they do not necessarily attribute these to a god until they are taught to do so by others. The god they then come to acknowledge is the one already prevalent in their social environment. In a predominantly Christian context, they will come to be acquainted with – and may go on to develop a full-blown belief in – the interpretation of the Christian God common within their particular culture.

It is the same for conversion generally. You are more likely to be a Mormon in Salt Lake City, a Roman Catholic in East Timor. If raised in a Jewish environment, it’s more likely you’ll subscribe to YHWH; in an Islamic one, an interpretation of Allah; Buddha – not strictly speaking a god – in a Buddhist one. Statistically, those who adopt a religion and a belief in a god, almost always opt for that which is prevalent in the society into which they are born. This is not god ‘writing a knowledge of himself’ in their hearts, it is a cultural, human phenomenon.

Ham and others see this as evidence for their belief that we all have some sort of ‘god-shaped hole‘ in our psyche that we can just as easily fill with false gods as with the real one (theirs). But this is a shift in the argument; it’s not now that God makes himself known to everyone but that we all find a need for a god. This is not the same thing, nor is it true. Certainly humans have a history of creating gods to explain the strange, magnificent and sometimes hostile universe in which we find ourselves; but this does not mean these many gods exist, as Ham would be the first to admit (c’mon, there’s only one real God – his.) It means only that the human brain seeks pattern and meaning, and has often drawn the wrong conclusions in its quest for them. The gods – and God – are part of these wrong conclusions.

And what of Ham’s assertion that atheists deny their awareness of God because of ‘unrighteousness’ – because, he implies, we just want to live a life of rampant ‘sin’? Well, I admit, I like a bit of a sin as much as the next man, but that’s not why I’m an atheist. I’m an atheist because, like most others, I find no evidence for gods or God either in my ‘heart’, nor in the way the world works nor in collections of iron age stories. Morality doesn’t come into making this assessment. In any case, those who buy into a god don’t have a monopoly on ‘righteousness’, as their weak morals, judgemental attitudes and destructive behaviour regularly demonstrate. More than this, and as Ham admits, Christians are only concerned about others because the Bible says they should be: ‘The reason I care about poverty,’ he says, ‘is because God’s Word instructs me to care, and all humans are made in the image of God as God’s Word tells me.’ This is not righteousness, nor a morality that comes from any real concern for fellow human beings.

Finally, atheists don’t, as Ham claims, ‘fight so hard against’ a non-existent God that we secretly believe in. We oppose Christians and other purveyors of supernatural nonsense when they try to impose their irrational beliefs on others, when they condemn fellow human beings, seek to control them and try to limit their rights in the name of God and the cause of ‘righteousness’.

So, no, don’t condescend, Christians, to tell us we all know that there’s a God that we wilfully ignore. You’re wrong, and I’ll show you even more reasons why you are, next time.

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36 thoughts on “Christians’ Favourite Delusions 33: Atheists know in their hearts that God exists

  1. Well, I believe creation demands a creator. A watch demands a watch maker. A painting demands an artist. Every created thing demands a creator. If not God, how can life and consciousness of being, happen ? Life cannot appear on it’s own. Surely the complexity of the human body with 54 trillion cells working harmoniously to keep us alive and the 9 billion bits of info contained in every DNA strand HAD to come from intelligent design. Something HAD to program DNA. Something had to program and instruct cells to divide. The evidence for God is overwhelming.

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    • I’m happy for you, Mike, that you’ve enjoyed your beliefs for 30+ years. This doesn’t, however, make them true.
      Of course ‘creation’ requires ‘a creator’ – and it’s got one. Chemical and physical processes, nature if you like, created all there is, including us. No God required.
      Life didn’t appear ‘on its own’; it resulted from those same processes that had already existed for millennia. Again. no God required.
      DNA isn’t ‘programmed’ any more than the air we breathe. Like everything else organic, DNA evolved. No programming and no God required.

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      • Chemical and physical processes have never been scientifically observed or duplicated to form life.
        DNA is information that requires a programmer. It’s like saying, ” the computer created itself “, it did not need a programmer. You believe time and chance created all the info in the computer. You cannot have a creation without a creator. This is science. Also, DNA cannot create any new information to form a different and new species. It can only regress in information. Impossible for a complete new and different life form to come from an existing life form.
        When you observe a painting. Did it appear on it’s own ? Would time and chance create the Mona Lisa ?
        To blindly believe that a chemical soup created every living thing, is without ANY credible evidence, and science does not back it up.

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      • One more thing,
        The genetic information in humans varies from the information in animals, plants, and so on. For animal kind “A” to somehow “presto-change-o” into animal kind “B”, the information’s got to change. A fish doesn’t just morph into an amphibian without something changing in the genes. It would have to gain some new information.
        When we use operational science—the kind involving observable, repeatable, testable results—we have never observed, repeated, or been able to test animal kind “A” turning into animal kind “B”—at all. Sure, there’s some genetic “do-si-do” going on through mutations and gene drift, but there’s no way fish are going to sprout hair and opposable thumbs. Just in case you think by “no way” it mean there’s still a chance, there’s not—none, zilch, nada, not going to happen. What if we add billions of years, and cool artistic renderings? Still no.

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  2. I am. I did reply to your most recent comments but for some reason it’s not showing here. Here’s what I wrote:

    Mike, there’s simply too much to respond to in your several very long comments so I’ll restrict myself to a few points:

    Firstly, it is of no use quoting great wodges of scripture at me or anyone else who doesn’t subscribe to its supposed authority. It’s as effective as me quoting the Quran at you.

    Secondly, because I don’t come to the Bible with the eyes of faith, I don’t attempt to harmonise its many major discrepancies, such as the fact Paul’s gospel is significantly different from Jesus’ and from that of the original disciples. It is they Paul is claiming have the wrong gospel while only he has the right one. The early church under Jesus’ brother James, as well as Jesus himself, said the Law stood; only Paul said it didn’t (see Barrie Wilson’s How Jesus Became Christian.) You, like most modern day Christians, choose Paul over Jesus.

    Thirdly, Paul did not get his gospel from Jesus – Christ maybe, but not Jesus. Why? Because Paul’s Christ is a figment of his own imagination as he tells us in Galatians 1.12, which you quote. Again, you are basing your life, not on the teachings of Jesus as we know them, but on a different man’s vision/hallucination/’revelation’.

    Fourthly, the point Jesus makes about judging, in Matthew 7.1-2, is that the judgement you use of others will be exactly the same judgement you can expect to receive in return (from others and/or from God – he’s not clear.) That’s why he recommends you don’t judge – this he is clear about, however his later followers might have behaved.

    Finally, I’m afraid you don’t understand evolution if you think creatures make ‘presto-changes’ one into another. Of course it doesn’t happen like that; you – or rather Ken Ham – are merely shaking sticks at a strawman of your own making. ‘New information’ is added to an individual’s genes every time they’re shuffled in sexual reproduction; that is why reproduction involves sex for most creatures – your God didn’t just create it for human pleasure. Errors in replication also change the information.

    Can I suggest, Mike, you put your Bible down for a while and read some real books instead – Dawkins is very good on evolution (eg: The Greatest Show On Earth) and Ehrman on the Bible (eg: Jesus Interrupted.) You’d learn a lot, I promise.

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    • Thanks for responding.
      As for Paul preaching a ” different gospel ” you couldn’t be further from the truth. He was not teaching anything other than what Peter and the other disciples preached. He conferred with them, and after giving him the right hand of fellowship, agreed that he should preach Christ to the gentiles while Peter preached to the Jews.
      There was no discrepancy regarding the Law. While Jesus was here, he was still under the Law, and actually fulfilled the Law making it obsolete. This is theology 101. In fact, Paul CORRECTED Peter on this issue of infusing the Law with grace. That is also why we have a ” New ” covenant, the ” Old ” being obsolete and fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Again, theology 101.
      As for the Apostle Paul’s , in your words ” vision/hallucination/’revelation’.” where is that in scripture ? So you are asserting that the writer of 2/3’s of the N.T. was hallucinating ? That he wasn’t actually blinded on the road to Damascus, that he wasn’t led to a house on straight street and Jesus did not send Ananias to lay hands on him and receive his sight back ?
      Luke, who penned the Book of Acts, was a complete liar then ? All the acts and works of Paul was a deception ?This is your assertion ? I contend that Paul, who was the highest ranking Pharisee, certainly understood the Law and it’s application. He understood sacrifice and the prophecies pertaining to the coming Messiah. SOMETHING changed Him ! He experienced Jesus, as ALL believers CAN experience.
      The mystery of ” Christ in you ” is the evidence and reality of the New Covenant. You can KNOW Jesus through the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit living and abiding within the believer. it’s a transforming and life changing experience that is UNDENIABLE ! The Holy Spirit is a reveler of the ” Truth ” and turns a ” dead ” book ( which it is to you ) into a living breathing Word of God, manna sent from heaven.
      You will not get what I’m saying, because you are spiritually dead. ONLY in Christ is one made ” alive ” spiritually. You are spiritually blinded, as scripture says. Only in Christ are the ” scales removed ”
      I’ve been where you are… I wasn’t born a christian. But the FACT is… God puts in everyone’s heart that He exist. You know it… you just deny it.
      If you haven’t, you will get to some point in life, where you realize there HAS to be something more… is everything truly vanity ? Is there no cause or reason for this life ? People use money, buy expensive ” things “, use drugs, alcohol, sex, everything searching for meaning in this life. Even King Solomon, who had everything possible to have, cried ” vanity ” a chasing after the wind.
      The fact IS… and I know this from experience, that there is a place created by God, in everyone’s heart, that ONLY He can take up residence. It’s reserved exclusively for Him.
      People use everything in this life, to try and fill this place, thinking, ” this will make me happy and content “. Amassing wealth and ” things ” won’t do it. Been there, done that.
      The ONLY true fulfillment in this life, is KNOWING my Creator and Messiah in a very personal way. I am absolutely certain, beyond any doubt, that Jesus IS who He claimed to be, and that He saved me and forgave me of my sin.
      You can doubt, be the skeptic, even create a website calling Christians ” delusional “. It will not change what Christ has done for me.

      As for DNA, new information is not gained when humans produce another human. Existing DNA is replicated, creating a new human out of the two existing humans. Apes produce apes. Nothing else. Birds produce birds, fish produce fish. Nothing else. No increase in gain info to produce another creature. Darwin’s theory and tree claim otherwise, proving it, by the evidence or lack thereof, to be a hoax. The fossils and the gaps also prove it false.
      The multiple codes in DNA is powerful evidence of God’s existence to me, because only an intelligence far beyond our own could devise such an incredible information code. Random mutations and chemical processes cannot explain how such a complex code could come about. Moreover, there must be the molecular machinery in the cell that can use and maintain the DNA molecule, or it would do nothing but break down. The complex nature of the DNA code shouts out for purposeful design.
      My question to you would be… who programed DNA with information ? Where did the knowledge come from ?
      Can a computer program itself ? Through time and chance, could or more importantly WOULD and why would a computer program itself ?

      Thanks

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      • I outline the vast differences between Paul’s gospel and Jesus’ in my post ‘Jesus v Paul round 2’: https://rejectingjesus.com/2015/04/23/jesus-v-paul-round-2-and-the-winner-is/ They’re clear enough there so I’m not going to reiterate them here.

        Acts is a work designed to reconcile two disparate doctrines. It doesn’t get Paul’s itinerary right, let alone his theology. If you want to describe Luke as a liar, fair enough; I suppose he could be seen as that. I see him as someone trying to fuse together two ‘gospels’ that didn’t belong together. In some ways he succeeded; Christians down the ages have been happy to gloss over the joins. However, as an accurate reflection of truth and fact, Acts falls seriously short. So, where there’s a discrepancy – and there are many – between Paul’s version of events and Luke’s, written 15-20 years after Paul’s death, who is more likely to be correct?

        Paul recounts his hallucination in Galatians 1 and 1 Corinthians 9.1 & 15.45. He did not meet the risen Jesus in bodily form; he had a vision in his head as Galatians 1.16 makes clear. What is this if not an hallucination? In the same verse, Paul says he consulted ‘no-one’ after his conversion. So where does Ananais come from? (Hint: he’s a fiction of Luke’s.)

        Paul says he did not receive his doctrine from Peter or anyone else (Galatians 1.11-12), but, he claims, direct from the lord – i.e. that vision again. He didn’t talk with Peter and James until THREE years after his conversion (Galatians 1.18) and then with a larger group of disciples FOURTEEN years later (Galatians 2.1) when ‘the pillars of the church’ summoned him because of his wayward teaching. Paul tells us he felt compelled to rebuke Peter shortly after this (Galatians 2.11-13). In short, they could not agree on what constituted belief in Jesus and what part the law played. Now, who is more likely to have the greater understanding of Jesus’ teaching – Paul who never met him but made it all up in his head, or Peter who spent years with Jesus listening to what he said?

        I’ve covered ‘everyone knowing God really exists here’: https://rejectingjesus.com/2015/05/18/atheists-know-in-their-hearts-that-god-exists/ If you want to challenge me on such points, perhaps you’d read what I’ve written about them first.

        Evolution: again, Mike, please read some scientific works on evolution. There is evidence in abundance for it. There’s no such thing as ‘missing links’; every life-form in the chain of evolution is itself a link.

        Even a creationist like you has to believe in evolution though; if evolution did not occur and God created everything ‘good’, then how did the parasitic, disease-carrying and predatory creatures we have today come about? If God created them ‘good’, what process turned them ‘bad’? It’s not enough to say ‘the Fall’, because that doesn’t account for the characteristics they have that now enable them to live the lifestyles they do. Even in a Creationist scenario they must have evolved from how they were originally created to their present forms, with all the characteristics needed to succeed as parasites and predators. In short they changed from one type of creature (say Ken Ham’s friendly vegetarian Tyrannosaurus) to what they later became (the carnivourous T.Rex complete with meat-shredding teeth and digestive system, developed legs for running – to catch prey – and talons for ripping it up alive.) The latter is a different animal from the former – how did it become so if not by evolution?

        Finally, Mike, it’s nice you think ‘Jesus is who he claimed to be’. It’s just a pity you don’t seem to know what that was.

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      • Thank you for responding.
        First I don’t understand how you draw out of scripture,
        “Paul’s qualifications: Builds entire religion on single hallucination; borrows heavily from pagan cults; full of his own importance”
        By using 1Cor.15:8 – and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
        Paul said what he received from Jesus was by a revelation from Jesus.
        Gal. 1:12 – For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
        He never claimed himself important, because he persecuted the church, but when challenged on his authority, he point out that he was the chief Pharisee of the Law, taught by Gamaliel.
        if you contend he was hallucinating, then you must contend Peter and the disciple were also all hallucinating when Peter in Acts 10:9 – About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
        14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
        15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
        16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
        17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent

        And again when Jesus was transfigured in front of disciples Luke 9:28 – 8 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[a] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

        34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

        And I’m sure there are more visions and hallucination ( as you say ) in scripture.

        Gal. 1;15 – But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.

        Again, not getting your point. God reveals his Son in every believer. I preach the gospel because I KNOW Jesus, by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit.

        As to your point on Peter vs. Paul.
        Now, who is more likely to have the greater understanding of Jesus’ teaching – Paul who never met him but made it all up in his head, or Peter who spent years with Jesus listening to what he said?

        Peter himself said in 2 Peter 3:…15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

        Do you not read where Peter says, “our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you”
        and also, “which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction”

        It’s glaringly obvious Peter recognizes Paul’s wisdom and the FACT that he is teaching correct ” scripture ”

        ONLY the untaught and unstable distort scripture. Sound familiar ?

        Here is a point I would ask you to explain.
        WHY, WHY…, would Saul of Tarsus who was the highest ranked the most prestigious and recognized Pharisee of his time… The Hebrew of Hebrews, a well respected Roman citizen and teacher, turn his back and become a follower of Jesus, leaving ALL behind, for every hardship,
        2Cor. 6: 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
        Thorough shipwrecks, imprisonments, chains, and finally, beheaded for the gospel !

        WHY…, if just an hallucination ?? Do ya think there may be a little more to the story ?

        .

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      • As far as evolution, Darwin’s, there is ZERO evidence of his theory. As I said, there are ZERO transitional fossils. Every living creature can ONLY produce after their own kind, as Genesis tells us. You disagree ? Please lead me to a new creature that has evolved from a completely different creature, as Darwin claims.
        He actually said, ” if there are never any transitional fossils found, my theory is without merit ”
        DNA does not, nor can it, GAIN any new information. DNA on it’s own, cannot change into a completely different and NEW set of information to form a completely new and different creature.
        It can only regress. This is all science tells us.
        EVERYTHING, that is testable, observable and repeatable is exactly what Genesis tells us. Humans beget humans, animals beget animals, plants beget plants. The fossils tell us this as evidence also. This flies in the face of Darwin !
        Darwin claims every living creature came from a gob of primordial soup. Everything !? Such garbage…This is genetically impossible and can NEVER be tested or repeated.
        If you REALLY believe our distant relative is an ape. WHY… can’t we transplant ape organs to humans ? Blood transfusions ? Were related after all.
        Why CAN we transplant a pig heart valve into a human ? Are we more closely related to a pig ?? There is ZERO evidence we came from apes. ONLY nicely done artistic drawings, being force fed to our school children !
        The ONLY thing scientist can say is…. ” billions of years ago…. blah blah blah. Could never observe or repeat these theories in any way but hypothetical.
        How is this believable ? Because a humanist ” scientist ” claims it ?

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  3. ” It is the same for conversion generally. You are more likely to be a Mormon in Salt Lake City, a Roman Catholic in East Timor. If raised in a Jewish environment, it’s more likely you’ll subscribe to YHWH; in an Islamic one, an interpretation of Allah; Buddha – not strictly speaking a god – in a Buddhist one. Statistically, those who adopt a religion and a belief in a god, almost always opt for that which is prevalent in the society into which they are born. This is not god ‘writing a knowledge of himself’ in their hearts, it is a cultural, human phenomenon.”

    Romans 2:12 – All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

    People instinctively know there is a god. EVEN… those who have never heard, as Paul points out here. Their consciences will convict them, because the Law is written on every heart, knowing what is right and what is wrong.

    Because of this, people do seek and follow a god, because it’s inherent in all of us. The culture can and does lead people to ” a ” god. THAT is why we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every living creature.
    People have served ” other ” gods throughout creation. Certainly in the Old and New Testaments. Baal, Diana, ect…
    The issue will come down to having heard the gospel. Did you accept or reject it ? There will be an accountability for each individual.
    If you’ve never heard the gospel, provision is made in Romans 2. But to those who have….
    There will be no excuse, God is fair and just. We will be judged by what we know. And ALL know right from wrong, it’s the Law at work in our hearts.

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    • More chunks of Bible, Mike. As I’ve explained already, quoting it to those who don’t recognise its authority is futile.

      Even if it were demonstrable that ‘people instinctively know that god exists’, it still would not follow that there really is a god. And even if it did, it would not necessarily mean it was your God. As you say yourself, humans have worshipped thousands of gods in their time. So what makes yours the only ‘real’ one?

      The only first-hand account of the risen Jesus we have – Paul’s – was a vision/hallucination. He says so himself in the verses cited, though naturally, you know better. The others you mention, recorded in the gospels at least 50 years after the event may well have been too; certainly our only first-hand evidence suggests this is likely to be the case. Equally, we’re dealing with stories that were embellished over those 50+ years; our earliest gospel, Mark, had no resurrection appearances at all originally. I wonder why not?

      Oh, and Peter did not write the letter you quote (2 Peter), which is copied from Jude. It is widely acknowledged 2 Peter was written after the real Peter had died (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Epistle_of_Peter) therefore, its endorsement of Paul’s teaching does not come from the man who actually knew Jesus. I’m afraid, Mike, that what your comments show is how gullible faith makes a person.

      As for your lack of knowledge and understanding about evolution, I can only suggest, as I have each time I’ve responded, that your read some books about it. Your questions would all be answered there. You can only see ‘ZERO evidence’ when you screw your eyes up tight and refuse to look.

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      • There are many reasons the God of Israel IS the only true God. The first and most life changing is the FACT of ” Christ IN you, the hope of glory “. The transformation of the ” old man ” into the ” new ” man is undeniable. NO ONE can tell me that I personally have not experienced being ” born again ” Old things pasted away, ALL things became new. It was a dramatic and an overwhelming life changing event. From that point on, the bible became alive, the mystery unlocked, the truth that set me free from the bondage’s of sin and disobedience changed me. Revelation that I never had, because NOW, the author of the book taught me the Word, first hand. Let me say beyond a shadow of a doubt, I could not change myself. This happened from the inside. A spiritual quickening, what was dead came to life, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

        I’m sure know, but there is no other religious book like the bible, none.
        It is the ONLY book with fulfilled prophecy. Accurate down to the letter. Written over a 1500 year period, 40 different author’s, most did not know each other. Written on 3 different continents, in 3 different languages by kings, physicians, government officials, the chief Pharisee of his time ( Paul ), fisherman, educated and uneducated ect…
        It IS the most read most purchased religious book of all time, with no close second. There is NO book that has undergone as much scrutiny and examination as the bible. Archeologically perfect. It has change, for the better, more lives, than any other book. People literally give their lives to read and get this book.
        It is the ONLY book that tells us how we got here, why we are here, where we are going and the WAY to God.

        You never answered my question as to WHY Paul would forsake all his prestige and pedigree as the head Pharisee, to become refuge and dung for the cause of Christ. Why all the hardships for Jesus, if he was JUST hallucinating ? In fact, why would ALL the disciples die a gruesome death for a KNOWN lie or fake Jesus ?
        Makes ZERO logical sense.

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      • As far as Peter writing @ Peter. I would not use WIKI as the authoritative, as I’ve found them quite the skeptic on everything relating to the bible.

        The late second century church ascribed the letter to Peter. There is a likely allusion to the book in 1 Clement, which was written about AD 95. If this is correct, then this certainly moves the date of writing into the first century and, given the use of the first person and the early date, almost certainly makes Peter the author.
        There are no definite, exact dates for any books written that long ago.
        The preponderance of the evidence puts 2 Peter in the first century and that it is likely liberal bias rather than the evidence which attempts to move it into the second century. However, the honest truth is that we do not know with absolute certainty.
        This excerpt from Evidence of Christianity –

        The author identifies himself as Simon Peter (1:1). He uses the first person singular pronoun in a highly personal passage (1:12–15) and claims to be an eyewitness of the transfiguration (1:16–18 [see note on 1:16]; cf. Mt 17:1–5). He asserts that this is his second letter to the readers (3:1) and refers to Paul as “our dear brother” (3:15; see note there). In short, the letter claims to be Peter’s, and its character is compatible with that claim.

        Although 2 Peter was not as widely known and recognized in the early church as 1 Peter, some may have used and accepted it as authoritative as early as the second century and perhaps even in the latter part of the first century (1 Clement [a.d. 95] may allude to it). It was not ascribed to Peter until Origen’s time (185–253), and he seems to reflect some doubt concerning it. Eusebius (265–340) placed it among the questioned books, though he admits that most accept it as from Peter. After Eusebius’s time, it seems to have been quite generally accepted as canonical.

        In recent centuries, however, its genuineness has been challenged by a considerable number of interpreters. One of the objections that has been raised is the difference in style from that of 1 Peter. But the difference is not absolute; there are noteworthy similarities in vocabulary and in other matters. In fact, no other known writing is as much like 1 Peter as 2 Peter. The differences that do exist may be accounted for by variations in subject matter, in the form and purpose of the letters, in the time and circumstances of writing, in sources used or models followed, and in scribes who may have been employed. Perhaps most significant is the statement in 1Pe 5:12 that Silas assisted in the writing of 1 Peter. No such statement is made concerning 2 Peter, which may explain its noticeable difference in style (see Introduction to 1 Peter: Author and Date).

        Other objections arise from a secular reconstruction of early Christian history or misunderstandings or misconstructions of the available data. For example, some argue that the reference to Paul’s letters in 3:15–16 indicates an advanced date for this book—beyond Peter’s lifetime. But it is quite possible that Paul’s letters were gathered at an early date, since some of them had been in existence and perhaps in circulation for more than ten years (Thessalonians by as much as 15 years) prior to Peter’s death. Besides, what Peter says may only indicate that he was acquainted with some of Paul’s letters (communication in the Roman world and in the early church was good), not that there was a formal, ecclesiastical collection of them.

        Date
        2 Peter was written toward the end of Peter’s life (cf. 1:12–15), after he had written a prior letter (3:1) to the same readers (probably 1 Peter). Since Peter was martyred during the reign of Nero, his death must have occurred prior to a.d. 68; so it is very likely that he wrote 2 Peter between 65 and 68.

        Some have argued that this date is too early for the writing of 2 Peter, but nothing in the book requires a later date. The error combated is comparable to the kind of heresy present in the first century. To insist that the second chapter was directed against second-century Gnosticism is to assume more than the contents of the chapter warrant. While the heretics referred to in 2 Peter may well have been among the forerunners of second-century Gnostics, nothing is said of them that would not fit into the later years of Peter’s life.

        Some have suggested a later date because they interpret the reference to the fathers in 3:4 to mean an earlier Christian generation. However, the word is most naturally interpreted as the OT patriarchs (cf. Jn 6:31, “forefathers”; Ac 3:13; Heb 1:1). Similarly, reference to Paul and his letters (3:15–16; see Author) does not require a date beyond Peter’s lifetime.

        2 Peter and Jude

        There are conspicuous similarities between 2 Peter and Jude (compare 2Pe 2 with Jude 4–18), but there are also significant differences. It has been suggested that one borrowed from the other or that they both drew on a common source. If there is borrowing, it is not a slavish borrowing but one that adapts to suit the writer’s purpose. While many have insisted that Jude used Peter, it is more reasonable to assume that the longer letter (Peter) incorporated much of the shorter (Jude). Such borrowing is fairly common in ancient writings. For example, many believe that Paul used parts of early hymns in Php 2:6–11 and 1Ti 3:16.

        I believe that the God who created the universe is certainly capable, in spite of sinful man, to get to us ONE book that leads us to Him.

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      • I wasn’t using Wiki as authoritative; I merely sent it to you as an adequate summary of what the vast majority of scholars think. If you want to believe 2 Peter is not a forgery, fine, but it’s a remarkable piece of writing, in educated Greek no less, for an illiterate Galilean fisherman, don’t you think? (Acts 4.13 says he’s illiterate – though I expect your next comment will say that’s not what the verse ‘really’ means.)

        I don’t doubt your conversion experience, but as I’ve written about before (https://rejectingjesus.com/2015/05/03/a-new-creation-or-same-old-same-old/) such experiences are common and far from confined to Christianity. They’re very human, as are all spiritual and religious experiences.

        Your arguments for your God being the only true God don’t of course demonstrate any such thing. They’re much the same as those expounded by Muslims for their God, Jews for theirs, Mormons for theirs etc etc. All believers think their God is the one and only and offer similar ‘proofs’. They wouldn’t be believers otherwise, would they.

        Why don’t you believe in Allah or Zeus or Baal or even Santa Claus? When you can tell me why you don’t, you’ll know precisely why I don’t believe in your God, conversion experiences notwithstanding (I had one too, you know!)

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      • When it comes to the hoax of Darwin’s evolution, I’ve read and observed his tree of evolution. It is TOTALLY and complete without evidence. It is a false theory that humanist ” scientist ” have brainwashed the public with.
        I have debated and studied how his theory is genetically impossible. DNA cannot gain nor contain information necessary for Darwin to be true.
        I suggest YOU… who claim Darwin is true, produce some evidence to confirm his theory. It should be easy. Certainly the truth would be in the fossils. That is why I requested some transitional fossils that would back up his theory.
        There should be millions.
        Certainly if every living creature came from ONE swamp of micro organisms billions of years ago…. we should have SOME evidence that a single cell can eventually divide into ALL and every creature on earth. I’m sure science can take a swamp of micro organisms, and produce and show us different creatures coming out of the slop. But first explain how life can come from nothing ?

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      • Peter was not illiterate.
        Lets READ the WHOLE verse.
        2Peter 4:13 – When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

        A couple of points here. One, they were ordinary men, which goes against speaking to or schooling, all the high ranking elders and teachers of the Law. They also said they were ” unschooled “, meaning, ignorant of the Law.
        The more IMPORTANT point, is they recognized these men HAD been with Jesus. They had just performed a miracle in front of the crowd.The elders and leaders were obviously trying to ” save face ” by called them ordinary and unschooled.
        Classic…. as that mind set is still in place today.
        ” You don’t know Jesus, you haven’t been with Jesus, You haven’t been born again. It’s ALL a fairytale. You’re hallucinating. “

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      • The word used (in Acts 4.13, not 2 Peter) is ‘idiotes’ which means something stronger than ‘unschooled in the law’. No prizes for guessing which modern word we get from it. I didn’t dispute that those in Acts recognised Peter and John as disciples – I didn’t even mention it! I made the point that 2 Peter was not written by the real Peter. Its author was evidently neither unschooled, illiterate nor an idiot. But he certainly wasn’t the man who walked with Jesus and disagreed with Paul.

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      • There are letters we all write… one could assume we were illiterate and unschooled. Then there are letters where we are much more informed on, that one may question our writing it. 2 Peter written after the first could attribute to a greater understanding and revelation.
        Remember, God is the author, men penned the books.

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      • Okay, so supposing Simon Peter wrote 2 Peter on one of his better days, when he’d decided not to be illiterate or unschooled or whatever. (It helped of course that he copied great chunks of it from Jude.) How did he write about issues facing the church decades after he died? That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I guess it’s evidence God really wrote the letter, like you say, and Peter just channelled him. Yeah, that must be it.

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      • What specifically are you speaking of ? Peter writing about the future church ? What scriptures ?

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      • Ehrman in ‘Forged’, p70: “One of the reasons virtually all scholars agree that Peter did not write this letter is that the situation presupposed appears to be of much later times” (he cites the author’s defence of the late arrival of the second coming)… also “the author of 2 Peter is writing at a time when there was already a collection of Paul’s letters in circulation, and these letter were being considered as on a par with the Old Testament “Scriptures” (3.16). This could not have been in Paul’s lifetime, and early church tradition indicates that Peter and Paul were killed during the reign of Nero” (around AD64; 2 Peter may have been written as late as 140). Ehrman then goes on to consider the evidence for Peter’s illiteracy, which you dispute.

        2 Peter isn’t your only problem, however. Scholars are fairly unanimous that 1 Peter, Colossians, Ephesians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus were also not written by who they claim to be. There are doubts too that Jude and James were written by brothers of Jesus. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that God could inspire so many forgeries?

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  4. And again, these were the elders and leaders making the comment ” unschooled and ordinary ” . Certainly doesn’t mean they were illiterate. Jesus was said to be possessed by a demon, Paul, out of his mind.
    But I find it HARD to believe Paul, the chief Pharisee would leave everything, in fact, Matthew the tax collector, Luke the physician, would all leave everything to follow a fraud messiah.

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    • Why is it hard to believe? Their messiah had promised a new world order, that would be coming very soon (Matthew 16:27-28; Matthew 24:27, 30-31, 34; Luke 21:27-28, 33-34). He promised that those who followed him would have eternal life in this kingdom, provided they serve others now. (Note how he doesn’t say they have to buy into a salvation formula; Mark 10.30, Matthew 25.31-40, Luke 18.28-30 etc.) Some believed him, including those you mention, his promises providing them with incentive enough to dedicate their lives to his cause to usher in the new age. Some of them, he also said, would actually rule the kingdom with him (Matthew 19.28). Paul seemed to believe much the same thing (1 Thessalonians 4.12-5.4) and it’s there in Revelation too (21.1-4). The evidence is all in your Bible (and in posts on this blog).

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      • “Scholars ” is a very subjective word. You should know that. I would like the names of the unanimous scholars, if you don’t mind, to do a little research on them.

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      • ‘Scholars’ is not a subjective word. It means people who study. You could start with Bart Ehrman and Barrie Wilson and follow through with their references (the bit I quoted from Ehrman was heavily referenced in the book.) But honestly, Mike, you’ve got to do some of this work yourself!

        Your argument from incredulity (you say in effect, ‘I can’t believe it, even if it’s what the evidence shows’) isn’t very convincing. I’ve covered ‘the disciples wouldn’t die for a lie’ here: https://rejectingjesus.com/2015/04/01/christians-favourite-delusions-31-the-first-christians-wouldnt-have-been-prepared-to-die-for-a-lie/

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      • Anyone could promise all of that. The disciples WALKED with Jesus 24/7. They saw his every move, every miracle, every healing, they saw his death and resurrection. IF… He was a fraud… there is no way, NO WAY, they would forsake everything, go through all the hardships and persecution, and then die a gruesome death for a known lie. People don’t do that ! Not buyin…

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      • Paul was little smarter than you think. Read his resume. A man with his pedigree and prestige does not forsake all things for a hallucination. He EXPERIENCED Jesus, he received revelation from Jesus. I experienced the SAME Jesus, forsaking all things for Him. I KNOW the Lord. I know the Lord. There isn’t a devil in hell that can convince me otherwise. I had a transformation that cannot be explained in the natural. A spiritual quickening, where the spiritual blinders fell off. You won’t get it or understand. BUT, if you experience this, you will NEVER deny knowing Him. He reveals himself.
        Heb. 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
        You shall KNOW the truth, and the truth sets you free. I KNOW this freedom from the bondage’s of sin. I’ve experienced the ” new creation ”
        You or anyone else can’t tell me or explain it away.
        As Paul said, I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge.
        It came STRAIGHT from the one who authored the Book.

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      • No you didn’t cover ” dying for a KNOWN…. KNOWN lie. They lived with Him 24/7 and KNEW His every move, saw every miracle, people raised from the dead, the deft hear, the blind see, the dumb spoke, they saw Him feed the multitudes with a few fish, walk on water and calm the raging seas, call the dead to life, heal all sickness and diseased, they saw his death, burial and resurrection personally. They dined with Him AFTER the resurrection.
        IF… this ALL wasn’t true, if Jesus was a fraud and a liar…. If there was ANY discrepancies with His ministry they absolutely would NOT go through the hardships, mistreatment’s and gruesome deaths, forsaking EVERYTHING for a KNOWN LIE.
        Nobody does that.
        They KNEW Him inside and out.

        We, who have never seen Him personally, nor physically observed His ministry, by faith, trust Him to be the Messiah, as scripture tells us. I would and do give my life for this belief. IF… IF I was to know that this was all a big lie, i certainly would NOT give my life for something I know to be a fraud, nor would any believer.
        This is where your analogy is wrong.

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      • Barrie Wilson – please read the in answersingenesis.org book – Review of The Lost Gospel by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

        More poppycock baloney on lost gospels yada yada yada….

        Of course totally rejected by the overwhelming majority of REAL biblical scholars.

        Come on man… you know these guys are controversial and mainstream scholars reject their work.

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  5. Bart Ehrman – christian turned agnostic…
    Ehrman’s newly published findings have been resoundingly challenged by some of his peers, a group of which has put forth their own book in response to his work, which one reviewer described as “populist conspiracy theories and sloppy history.”
    “What I argue in the book is that during his lifetime, Jesus himself didn’t call himself God, didn’t consider himself God and that none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God,” Ehrman has said.

    This flies in the face of the Isaiah 7:14 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Flies in the face of the Jews who were going to stone Him –
    John 10:33 – Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

    Flies in the face of John 1: 1 & 14 –
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Flies in the face of,

    Col. 2:9 – For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

    Also, the Word was there in the beginning at creation, ” Let us make man in OUR image ” The Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    I could go on and on.

    I, along with MANY others reject his babbling.

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    • Well, you know best, Mike. Faith, that ‘confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see’ is the better way to judge what’s real and what’s right than any old bits of evidence that might be lying around. You rely entirely on accounts of Jesus’ life written up to eighty years after he lived, by people who didn’t know him and never met him – so naturally they’re reliable. That’s fine, and of course you had an experience in your own life which you feel can only have been Jesus, and that just confirms it all. To top it off, you believe in Ken Ham’s nonsense. If all this makes you happy, then great. But whatever happened to the truth? You know, the thing that supposedly sets you free…

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      • Well, I can see lots of things… beginning with creation. The FACT that life IS here, and that man has ZERO evidence to why and how, makes a great case for, ” In the beginning God created…”

        You… who ask for evidence. let me ask you. Where is the EVIDENCE that life came from nothing ? Where is the evidence for the hoax of Darwinian evolution ?
        Where is the evidence for all the water here on earth ? How did it get here ? Some billions of years ago blah blah blah….
        Why are we here ? What caused us to be here ?
        Where did DNA acquire it’s knowledge and instruction ? The complexity of the human body and it’s 54 trillion cells developed on it’s own without an architect ?

        You see the absurdity of CHANCE creation?

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      • Jesus, Mike I did an entire post answering these questions when you asked them the first time.

        I’m not going to respond any more. You don’t read what I say anyway. You just want to rebel revel in your ignorance. Keep commenting if you like; I won’t block you unless you get really unpleasant, but that’s it from me

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  6. It was not uncommon in those days, for writings to be written well after the event. The Jews were meticulous in passing down tradition and history. There were no printing presses or computers as we have today.
    By contrast the earliest writings about Alexander the Great, were not until 400 years after his death. And there is much less evidence for his existence, that Jesus.
    Ken Ham’s facts… you mean, right ?

    The ” truth ” is what you ignore, as all skeptics do. You hide in your sin, because you enjoy it. You even rebel in it, when you know in your heart God is the Creator.

    What if you are wrong ?

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    • Your answer – ” read some books ” the easy cop out. I have read books, I have researched and debated. There is NOTHING there. Nothing new under the sun. The fossils and the gaps prove a massive and sudden extinction. The fact that every creature produces after their own kind is observable and repeatable. The strong evidence for a world wide flood is plain to see and observe.
      You just reject the evidence we do have, for some billions of years ago this or that happened…. RIGHT… No way to observe, test or repeat, which is the scientific method. But it doesn’t matter. You love your sin.
      The FACT IS – you have ZERO evidence. Everything from nothing. This is your belief. Doesn’t matter it’s impossible. Doesn’t matter. No reason, no explanation, no cause. Nothing decided to create itself. So… we need to find out who nothing is, that’s my guess. Until YOU can produce ANYTHING, using evidence to back it up, I’ll go with a designer/creator, which is what creation DEMANDS !

      If I’m wrong, what have I lost ????? Nothing at all.

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