Comments Policy

This blog was set up to encourage those who are seeking the truth about the world today. It’s also a haven for those who have already found God as I have.

It is not a place for endless debates on the truth claims of Christianity versus other world religions and philosophies.

Whilst I welcome genuine discussion, I delete inappropriate or off-topic comments. So if you can’t play nicely, go elsewhere.

7 thoughts on “Comments Policy

  1. Hi Naomi, I wasn’t sure how to reach you as comments on the other thread have closed. Could you please publish my response to you on March 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm. I feel that the conversation is not necessarily at an end, and I find it particularly egregious to see Edi’s vitriolic comment published ahead of my own much more substantive response.

    • Hi Kaleidocyte,

      While I too had issues with Edi’s response, as you would have seen by my rebuttal of two key points:
      1. The assertion that the internet is a cesspool best avoided
      2. The implication that the thread itself (and, indeed, my entire effort at blogging) is unbiblical and a waste of time
      …I don’t agree that the God thread should be re-opened. I believe you and I have reached a stalemate: me, because my faith in Christ is based (ultimately) upon a personal experience that goes beyond the limits of reason, you, because you perhaps hold to a world view that precludes experiential knowing about realities outside the physical world. I say “perhaps” because I don’t want to speak on your behalf: only you know the ins and outs of your particular set of values and way of looking at the world.

      It’s also true to say that, as you’ve no doubt realised, I’m far from the best Christian apologist you could encounter. So it is likely that my rather hackneyed attempts at debate are doing my cause a grave disservice. I have no wish for any of my threads to turn into free PR for atheism simply because my defense of Christianity was lacking. Perhaps you could contact William Lane Craig or Dr Craig Blomberg for a more substantive response to some of the points you raised than I am capable of giving. It is interesting that the Bible teaches that people don’t come to faith in Christ by clever arguments or reasoning alone: they do so, finally, by the more humble means of preaching:

      “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
      1 Corinthians 1:21

      I still say that reason can open the door to faith (as it did with ex-atheist and noted Christian apologist Lee Strobel), but it requires an additional step to bring people to God: preaching the gospel to the hearts and minds of receptive listeners. As to what makes one person “receptive” while another is closed, that is yet another debate waiting to happen regarding human free will vs God’s will…maybe another time.

      However, I meant what I said about your conduct during the debate on the God thread. I have enjoyed the challenge of talking with you, particularly because you made the effort to remain respectful to a person you have never met and clearly don’t agree with. Not everyone can do this, or believes that being rational and respectful towards opponents is worth the effort. I wanted to thank you for that.

      Naomi

      • Hi Naomi, a few points to consider:

        1. I’m quite taken aback by your own evaluation of your responses as threadbare. You seem to doubt your own ability, deferring instead to more experienced debaters such as William Lane Craig. I’ve seen plenty of debates with Craig and his material is always the same, sometimes word-for-word the same. He is a fine performer in debates, where sticking to a script may be a strength, but conversation is a much more dynamic form of interaction. It’s also my preferred form as it enables two (or more) individuals to explore difficult terrain together. My responses have been in that spirit.

        Related to the above, you say “I have no wish for any of my threads to turn into free PR for atheism simply because my defense of Christianity was lacking.” If you feel that your defence of Christianity is lacking, then surely exposing its flaws will enable you or someone else to develop a better defence in the future? Keeping those flaws protected from scrutiny won’t make the apologetic any stronger, whereas addressing them might. If they cannot be addressed (i.e., if the argument is fundamentally flawed) then at least you know that the apologetic isn’t a good one.

        2. If you feel that there is no reason to reopen the thread to further comments, I would ask that you still consider publishing my final comment – not so that I can have the “last word,” but simply because it otherwise appears that I have had nothing to say in response, which isn’t the case. Indeed, I even pruned my response back to convey only the main points.

        3. If your theological commitments ultimately depend on personal experience that “goes beyond reason,” then hopefully you understand that others are not intellectually obligated to share those commitments. It is not unreasonable for them to not believe in the doctrines of Christianity. Contrary to what Edi earlier claimed, it is possible for someone to be a sincere nonbeliever, rather than a wretched soul trying to evade accountability.

        4. Don’t thank me! 🙂 The tone of a conversation always depends on the civility displayed by its participants, and it’s easy – all too easy – for conversations to quickly degrade into mudslinging matches. You have kept the tone civil, and so it’s very easy for me to reciprocate. (Much harder for me to have a similarly civil conversation with someone like Edi, for example, given the combative tone).

      • Hi Kaleidocyte,

        Let me consider the first two points you raised more closely tomorrow, I’m still not convinced that re-opening the thread is a wise decision. I may yet come around, I’ll sleep on it. 🙂

        Your third point is interesting. Is it indeed possible to be a sincere non-believer, as you put it? Perhaps it is, debate has raged for centuries within the church on this very question. How does God’s will work in with man’s will to effect salvation? There are two opposing positions that I’m sure you’re aware of, Calvinism and Arminianism. I don’t pretend to know what the answer is but suspect, both from my reading and from personal experience, that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. God ultimately must hold man accountable for rejecting Christ or else no-one could fairly be judged or condemned to eternal punishment.

        Yet my own case reflected Proverbs 21:1 and Acts 11:18:
        “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

        “…Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

        In short, my experience was that God gave me a heart to know Him and I suddenly became open to reading the Bible as a book of wisdom and truth (after weeks leading up to this situation of feeling unaccountably drawn to it, on a background over several years of ignoring and despising it). God changed me, in other words, while I did everything I could in my power to resist. My mind kept telling me that faith in God wasn’t logical or what I really wanted, while another side of me was suddenly powerfully drawn to Him. I believe that without God doing this kind of “prep work” I would never have been able to recognise, finally, that Jesus was God, and that I could therefore trust Him completely, come what may. So it could be that unless and until God “calls” you too, you will not be open to the gospel and spiritual realities:

        “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
        (1 Corinthians 2:14)

        As I said earlier, I don’t pretend to understand the particulars of salvation, it’s a highly contentious issue that has split many churches apart over the centuries. But it’s interesting to think about, nonetheless.

        On that note I am going to turn in for the night. I will revisit your first two points tomorrow.

    • Hi Kaleidocyte,

      I have published your last comment to the God thread, with my response. I also decided, after much thought, to re-open the thread.

      I hope you can find the two latest comments, they are somewhere in the centre of the thread.

      Enjoy the rest of our Labour Day holiday. 🙂

      Naomi

  2. I did not see where to comment under the article I read, but I love the icons. They are gorgeous. And I was very impressed at how much you were able to capture of the sermon.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      You can leave a comment by clicking on the pink love heart icon at the top right of the article. Thanks so much for your encouragement on the sermon notes. I try to get down the essentials but sometimes worry that what I capture doesn’t run together as well as it might.
      It’s good to hear that you found them edifying.

      God bless you. 🙂
      Naomi

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