Rockport Sermon

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two Great Responses to the "Statement"

I have really wanted to respond to the so-called "Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist View of Salvation" that was issued recently (and which ought to be called, "A Statement of the Neo-Traditionalist Arminian View of Salvation"), but frankly I have not had the stomach or the time to do so.   Fortunately, several faithful brothers have done what I could not do.  Let me commend to you the following.

First, a dear brother named Scott Weldon has issues this excellent response, which he calls 

My Two Cents re: "A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation".  I highly recommend it.

Second, Brother Tom Ascol is doing an excellent point by point analysis.   It also is highly recommended and you can find it at the Founder's Blog here. 

My many thanks, brothers, for taking the time to declare truth.


Citizen Atheist said...

"declare truth"

What truth? How do you define truth? If you consider everything in the Bible to be true, then you don't understand what "truth" means.

Bob said...

Are you seeking truth citizen Atheist? or are you someone who has simply been burned by religion? Are you someone who is disgruntled and have had a bad experience with false religion, so you assume that it is a bad experience for everyone?
the truth is, I lived a good part of my life as a practicing atheist. I lived as if there were no God. the truth is, you probably have an agenda and it wouldn't be profitable to engage you, but I am not averse to it.


Scott said...

Dear CA,

I believe I have a pretty good handle on the concept of "truth." Truth is that which actually exists. A true statement is that which accurately reflects what exists in the world. I worked for years in chemical research where I sought truth about the physical world via experiment. That is one avenue for discovering truth. Now I pursue truth that is received via revelation, where the God who exists has spoken to reveal truth about the world, humanity and our final destiny. And though you, no doubt, would discount this as a means of truth, I would ask whether you do so based on mere assumptions, or on the basis of careful investigation.

If you are one who seeks after truth, I'd be glad to engage you on this or any other matter. If you are merely tossing stones, then I'm not sure what the point would be. But I am always willing to have an honest conversation with anyone.

Citizen Atheist said...

@Bob: It is interesting how everyone thinks that Atheists must be angry at God or must have been through a traumatic event which has dissolved their once-held beliefs. No doubt you have never sat down with an Atheist to discuss and learn why they don't believe in God. You claim that you were a "practicing Atheist" for a good part of your life. I reject that claim, as "practicing Atheist" is illogical. Being an Atheist is similar to NOT collecting stamps. How can one be a "practicing non-stamp-collector"? Let's try to remain truthful here.

@Scott: Nobody except the religious uses "revelation" as a method of gaining or realizing truth. What would you think of a brain surgeon who used "revelation" to discover what part of the brain to cut into? How would you feel about a police officer who gives you a speeding ticket that "revelation" told him you deserve? How about a judge who sentences your best friend to death, because "revelation" told him it was the truth? Therefore, I dismiss revelation as being a means to gain truth or make truthful decisions. I base this on logic, reason, science and critical thinking. I would like to further this conversation. You may contact me at citizenatheist(at]rocketmail{dot|com

Scott said...

CA, I too value logic, reason, critical thinking and the scientific method. And yet, the question remains, how do we come to know truth? Or how do we come to know anything, for that matter. When you boil it all down, there are two basic ways you come to know anything: (1) You discover it for yourself, (2) You are told it by someone you trust who already has the info. All of us use these two methods, and indeed must. Since none of us is omniscient, nor omnipresent, we must depend on others whom we consider to be trusted sources to convey to us information we have not discovered for ourselves. Thus the judge, above, listens to and evaluates the testimony of eye-witnesses. Such testimony is, in fact, I kind of revelation as I am using the word. Revelation means “that which is revealed to you by another.” In this case, by the witness. In the same way, the doctor has read the testimony of other doctors who have informed him about brain function in order to learn where to cut. He did not arrive at this information on his own, nor did he do all the experiments necessary to gain this information. A great deal of it was transmitted to him by others, who’s testimony he trusts. So the issue is not whether or not there is such a thing as revelation (information we did not gain by personal experience, but in fact received from others who transmitted it to us). The issue between us is, is there a God who is able to impart such information (and has indeed done so in Scripture). I am convinced by everything I have experienced that there is, you are convinced there is not. That would be a good follow up topic.

You imply that the only valid knowledge is knowledge that comes via “science.” I am assuming you mean via the scientific method (since “science” itself is not really a thing, just a word we use to speak generally of certain fields of study). The scientific method is a wonderful means of arriving at conclusions regarding the physical world. As I say, I have used it profitably in the lab during my days as a chemist – observation, hypothesis, experimentation, report, repeat. It is a wonderful way to gain truthful statements about the world. It is interesting to note that this method arose in the Judea-Christian West (not the mystical East) because the Judeo-Christian worldview begins with a rational God who created a real world governed by physical laws that can be known. A great many of the early scientists were professing Christians (as their biographies and writings amply demonstrate). However, the limitation of the scientific method is that it can only verify physical principles that are open to repetition and experimentation. But what of other kinds of truth? Historical truth, for example, or the truth that must be discovered in a criminal trial? This kind of truth must be pursued with different tools – the kind that seek to evaluate the reliability of verbal and written testimony, eye-witness accounts, historical research, archeological evidence, etc. Unless one is willing to say, as Edison famously (and foolishly) declared “history is bunk” (which opens up a whole different set of problems), it must be admitted that such historic truth must be ascertained by different methods. I cannot, for example, repeat the Battle of Carthage in a laboratory, but I can investigate these events by reading eyewitness testimonies, evaluating historical accounts, etc.

Scott said...


The kind of revelation I am talking about is the claim that the God who exists is active in history, has spoken through men in various times in order to reveal (tell us) things we could not know (subsequently written down in Scripture), and has made himself known most fully and completely in the person of Jesus Christ who died and rose again. Just saying you don’t believe such things happened does not falsify them anymore than someone saying they don’t believe in the Holocaust wipes it from the pages of history. The claim must be evaluated on it’s own merits using the tools appropriate to investigate such a historical claim. Indeed, the unique thing about the Christian faith is that it is open to such investigation. It is not just a set of “principles” to live by which can neither be proved nor disproved. It is founded squarely on the historical record of the person of Jesus and what he did (or did not do). If he indeed rose from the dead, as is the claim, then you would be a fool not to consider what he said. If he did not, then I am a fool for claiming to be his follower.

Bob said...

Dear CA –
So, what’s your story? What is behind your reason for “leaving Christianity”? I can only assume by the story of those that I have talked to in my past who “claim” to have left Christianity. In virtually every case, it involved disillusionment of some type. It also involved “religion” and not true Christianity. They became disillusioned with religion and set out to disprove it or claim that it was not relevant but attacking Christianity.
So, perhaps I assumed. Tell us the story. The rest of your last post doesn’t make sense although you claim it is a “logical” post. If you “live” as if there were no God, there is good reason to believe that you did not “believe” in God. That is what an atheist is. He “claims” to not believe in God. I claimed it by the way I lived. Your argument doesn’t hold water.
Lastly, I have no reason to not “remain truthful” CA.

Citizen Atheist said...

I'm actually working on a blog post to describe how my deconversion happened. I'm looking forward to the comments I receive on it. Expect it by this coming Saturday. It will be long, and instead of having to retype it, I decided to create a post that I can refer to.