Like most nonbelievers (and some Christians), RD misunderstands the attributes of God (i.e. omniscience and omnipotence), whereby, they are indeed hard to understand when man cannot and does not have the ability of such. But, how much more difficult for the natural man, that has not the Spirit?
Such a big word, for such a “sparing” point: parsimonious.
Interestingly, he never tells us WHY [but opinion], “it is more parsimonious to conjure up, say, a ‘big bang singularity’, or some other physical concept as yet unknown” over “invoking God” to terminate the beginning of creation. For by science, itself, states: matter/energy cannot be created/destroyed. Science also states: it cannot prove/disprove God. So, to say a “big bang singularity”, which is tested [assumingly] by science, seemingly defying science in creation [by its so-called ability to create matter/energy, if by chance, there was nothing before it] is not more parsimonious [sparing/stingy/close/tight], than saying, God, who is of the supernatural, has the power and did create the natural. Whereas, with the “big bang”, there is always a look to before, there is no before God, therefore we only have what God Himself, which has always been, has made.
Hebrews 11:3, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
As concerning RD’s continued “regress” [#5], we are left with a regress to his precious, “Evolution by natural selection”, for his natural selection apparently does not design, but simply makes things look designed. Yeah, that sounds logical. For RD writes, “Thanks to Darwin, it is no longer true to say that nothing that we know looks designed unless it is designed”, then goes on to say “Evolution by natural selection produces an excellent simulacrum of design, mounting prodigious heights of complexity and elegance.” So, we should believe that design is created by random chance and mutations, not by design. Logical?
Scripture declares, [2 Corinthians 4:3-5], “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.”
Interestingly, RD notes the very reasons that he is unable to accept and understand Christianity, God, and Christ, the Spirit, sin, repentance, and salvation, concerning his objections to “the argument from personal experience.”
“The human brain runs first-class simulation software. Our eyes don’t present to our brains a faithful photograph of what is out there, or an accurate movie of what is going on through time.” He continues a few pages over by stating, “And the same thing works for hearing. When we hear a sound, it is not faithfully transported up the auditory nerve and relayed to the brain as if by a high-fidelity Bang and Olufsend.”
Assumingly he fails to realize how close he has come to repeating the words of Christ:
Matthew 13:15, For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Am I saying a Christian is smarter and able to make them self see and hear, whereas an atheist cannot? No. It is the Spirit which must open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember, how he and his teacher both saw creation, but one chose faith and the other choose unbelief? Pray that God would open the eyes and ears of the lost, and saved their souls.
As with anyone (well some Christians also) that take a low or no view of sin, they try to use a play on words, to call sin less than what it is.
In his “THE ARGUMENT FROM SCRIPTURE” topic, he mentions that C.S. Lewis stated that “since Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, he must have been either right or else insane or a liar”. Since RD is unable to argue with the obvious three choices (for he has written, “Jesus probably existed” [P. 97]), he illogically adds a fourth choice of “Jesus was honestly mistaken.” Honestly mistaken would be the same as a liar. If I run around everyday telling people I am the son of Martin Luther King Jr., and I am not, then whether I am “honestly mistaken”, mentally ill, or simply on purpose stating such to promote my agenda, I am a LIAR. Jesus was not a liar or mistaken, nor was he insane: He is the Son of God.
RD loves to quote nonbelievers when he considers biblical matters. Even in Scripture he chooses to quote the Pharisees, which did not believe or understand Christ, as to why they did not understand the Bethlehem birth of Christ. Using a Scriptural record of the Pharisees’ rejection of the words of Christ, in no way, proves a Christ rejecter’s point. It simply states they rejected the truth, as does RD.
RD’s reasoning of spiritual (biblical) things, leads me hoping and praying that God will show him mercy, and send the Spirit to convict his heart of sin, and give unto him understanding. He again uses a quote, yet by Thomas Jefferson, totally out of context.
The quote, from Jefferson to Adams, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”, has little to do with whether Jesus existed, and more to the theology of Oneness verses the Trinity of God. [Ref]
Again he notes, “What is remarkable is the polar opposition between the religiosity of the American public at large and the atheism of the intellectual elite.” Again I note, the things of God have been hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed unto babes.
“Intellectual elite” does not mean they have spiritual understanding, nor does it mean that they are intelligent or elite concerning God, in their atheism belief.