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A critic claims that naturalists are not biased, but simply go wherever the evidence leads. Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., shows why this is not possible.
Note to the readers: The challenge riposte method is very direct and was used to rebuke in the Bible, including by Christ. Elijah, for example, used it when taunting the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:27. John the Baptist even called the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers” in Matthew 3:7.
Christ “had a go” at the religious leaders (Pharisees) in Matthew 12:1–8. Twice Jesus said “haven’t you read.” This “stepped-up” rebuke by Christ was directed at the people who had been learning and even teaching the Scriptures, so Jesus insulted them when He asked if they had even read the Scriptures on this subject. Christ went so far as to say, “Woe to you, hypocrites,” in Matthew 23:15. There are other places in Scripture that reveal this as well. So, there is precedence for this method. But take note of the timing of when this method was used in Scripture. Jesus did not use it the first time He was challenged by the Pharisees. For example, in Luke 5:17–26 Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees for forgiving sins and Jesus kindly responded. Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees regarding eating with tax collectors and sinners in Matthew 9:11, Mark 2:16, and Luke 5:30, and He kindly responded.
It was after the Pharisees continued to disregard Jesus’s teaching and continued to oppose Him that Jesus stepped up his response to a challenge riposte style. This lesson should also be employed by Christians. We are to be respectful and gentle in our responses initially, as per 1 Peter 3:15. However, if we are met with continued attacks from the same person, then we can step it up a bit as Christ did when challenged publicly.
My preference is to not engage in challenge riposte unless forced into it. But for the sake of showing others when and how, this feedback should be a reasonable example, as this follows several correspondences with this person who continued to write in while refusing to follow through in our requests to read what we actually say and attempt to understand, as evidenced by his continued mischaracterizing of some basic statements we make.
I have read through all of your links you sent me . . . and I must say that I am deeply disturbed but what I read. I understand what you said about people having presuppositions. There is a very big problem that you are not seeing. You, and all creationists, presuppose something that invokes paranormal behaviors. You accept these ideas as being truth because you presuppose that the bible is the true word of god. You are not giving your observations an unbiased look. Clearly you start with the answer and look for things to prove your answer to be true. That is why you are not scientific-based. You are completely faith-based. Thats fine and dandy, but you are stepping into the realm of science when you make wild claims that go against what roughly 98% of the scientific population has decided to be true.
The presupposition that “evolutionists” start with is the theory that life changes over time. This does not invoke anything paranormal and it surely does not provoke anything that cannot be tested or falsified. Your website is cluttered with logical fallicies like false analogies, false dichotemies, and arguements from final consequences. Your presuppositions cloud your judgment in a very negative way because you are working backwards. You cannot start with answers and then find the questions. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. You start with a hypothesis and test it to see if it works or if it f its. If it does, you test it again. If it works again, you make some predictions that should be true if your hypothesis is true. If that works, you write down your steps and have someone else try it for themselves. This is the scientific method. I assume you know what this is, but you do not use it at all.
Finally, your presupposition is that the bible is the true word of god. That it is factual truth. That it has been kept perfect through generations. And that everything is meant to be as literal as it is written. You start with this presupposition, as you have said. This makes everything you have written on AIG sompletely tainted and biased. This means that you have never given the bible a critical once over. Or if you did, you already started with the presupposition that it is the true word of god. You have just shown the most blatant form of circular logic possible. This essentially discredits what you say about almost anything.
Help me out, where am I wrong?? If you dont think you are biased, explain. I see nothing but circular logic and multiple logical fallicies.
I recently bought a case of [the book] Already Gone and passed it out to friends and all of my pastors. My wife and I also led a biblical worldview group this summer—in which, we viewed the webcast State of the Nation.
We were not sure how the book or the information within the book would be received, but our Lord had it all taken care of . . . over the last two Sunday(s), the individual in charge of our youth ministry (who received a copy of the book), has spoken to the entire congregation about the importance of discipleship, having a biblical worldview, and each of our roles within the lives of our youth—utilizing facts and passages from the book.
It is truly awesome to see how God can get our attention! Thank you for such a timely book.
—S.N. and T.N., U.S.
Let us know what you think.
Since you really haven’t taken past Answers in Genesis correspondence to heart and genuinely learned, we will take this to the challenge riposte style. Though direct, the hope is that you will take this to heart and be challenged by it.
I have read through all of your links you sent me . . . and I must say that I am deeply disturbed but what I read.
Thank you for reading those links, but you also agreed to search the website for the relevant information, but by viewing your comments here, you obviously didn’t. Why would you do that and continue to write in with the same misunderstandings?
I understand what you said about people having presuppositions. There is a very big problem that you are not seeing.
Have you ever considered why “problems” are even an issue in your worldview, where all things are merely rearranged pond scum? Is this a “problem” only for us or do you not also have presuppositions?
You, and all creationists, presuppose something that invokes paranormal behaviors.
“Paranormal behaviors”? Immaterial based behaviors? Perhaps you mean logical thoughts? Since logic is immaterial. I suppose that makes sense. In light of that, this sounds like a compliment, thanks. What you call “paranormal behaviors” (if we understand your use here correctly) are only “paranormal” to someone who believes that God either does not exist or does not interact with the universe.
You accept these ideas as being truth because you presuppose that the bible is the true word of god.
Keep in mind that in your naturalistic worldview, truth, which is not part of the physical realm, does not exist. Truth only exists if the Bible is true. If the Bible is not true, knowledge would not even be possible. The Bible, in fact, offers the only logical basis of all truth and knowledge.
You are not giving your observations an unbiased look.
You aren’t either—and are therefore applying a double standard. No one is neutral. Jesus made this clear in Luke 11:23:
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
We openly affirm our allegiance to Christ, whereas you are actually borrowing from our presuppositions because your worldview simply has no basis for them. Many atheists and evolutionists honestly think that they are unbiased explorers who let the “evidence” lead where it may. But when we examine more closely, we find that there are some places they will not be led—no matter how loudly the creation declares a Creator. You, too, seem to have made up your mind about the truthfulness of the Bible, thinking you are unbiased. Perhaps you should take some time to examine why you refuse to accept the Bible for what it claims to be and why you assume that naturalism must be correct.
Clearly you start with the answer and look for things to prove your answer to be true.
Interesting—we make the same claim about evolutionists. Even though molecules-to-man evolution has never been repeated, observed, etc., it is still professed as alleged truth, all the while efforts are made to find any thing to help give some credence to the model. We work from the framework of the Bible to understand the world using scientific methodology. This allows us to build testable scientific models, firmly based on a trustworthy eye-witness description of events. Evolutionists approach any problem within the framework of billions of years, life from non-life, and common ancestry. If something challenges this paradigm, the response is not to question the paradigm, but to create a new story in the evolution myth. The difference is that there will never be a written, eye-witness account to verify the claims.
That is why you are not scientific-based.
Of course, we are not “science based”—we are Bible-based, but the fact is that science comes out of a biblical worldview and can be done using the Bible as a basis (as evolutionists arbitrarily use naturalism as a basis). You have heard of Pasteur, Newton, Faraday? Science is simply a means by which we discover information about the world.
You are completely faith-based.
All humans have beliefs rooted in faith. Even you have great faith . . . in humanism, as you have already appealed to its prime premise (i.e., man can determine truth apart from God). In other words, humanism claims that humans are the ultimate authority and judge—even over God. However, God says in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Thats fine and dandy, but you are stepping into the realm of science
Since God created the laws of nature, it has always been His realm. And since most fields of science have been developed by Bible believers, then this is a great confirmation of that. Naturalism and humanism (arbitrarily set forth as “pure science”) have “hijacked” the field after the fact.
when you make wild claims that go against what roughly 98% of the scientific population has decided to be true.
Popular vote is not a measure of truth. Imagine that all the evolutionary scientists decided to commit suicide because they realized that there is no purpose and meaning in their professed worldview. Based on your statement, that would mean our “wild claims” would suddenly become truth, since the only scientists left (the new majority) would be creationists. While this example is fanciful, it does show the problem with depending upon a majority to determine what is accurate.
The presupposition that “evolutionists” start with is the theory that life changes over time.
Then why do you have a problem with creationists? We agree that life changes over time.
This does not invoke anything paranormal
Such as logic and truth? Speaking of “the whole truth,” your statement does not reveal the true extent of what most believe evolution is. If it were simply the fact that life changes over time, there would be no argument. However, at issue is the belief that inanimate matter (think of dissolved rock pieces in a primordial stew) gave rise to the many complex life-forms we see around us today (and all the extinct ones in the fossil record too). I still find it funny that evolutionists criticize us for believing that all the people in the world came from 2 people (Adam and Eve), when they are really teaching that all the people in the world came from rocks! At least experiments reveal that people come from people, and not from rocks!
and it surely does not provoke anything that cannot be tested or falsified.
Based on what you just said, evolutionists cannot believe in a big bang. If evolution were simply understood to be change over time, then this can be tested in the present because we can study natural selection and speciation. But for it to mean that all species came from a common ancestor, then the claim is incorrect. Common ancestry can never be tested in a laboratory.
Your website is cluttered with logical fallicies like false analogies, false dichotemies, and arguements from final consequences.
Where? This is an unsubstantiated allegation, which you agreed not to do, when you agreed to the feedback rules. While none of us here claim to be infallible , it would be helpful if you pointed these errors.
Your presuppositions cloud your judgment in a very negative way
As an evolutionist, what makes you think there is such a thing as good (positive) and evil (negative)? You are affirming the truth of the Bible which teaches there is such a thing as a “negative.”
because you are working backwards.
Again, you are trying to apply a double standard, as evolutionists are working backwards all the time. In fact, their premise of naturalism is based on this principle. In essence, you are suggesting that the “forward” way of thinking is by coming at life with a tabula rasa (a blank slate) and being led by the “evidence.”
Think of it this way, if you went to a traffic judge and said, “The foot pedal spoke to me and said that it needed to be pushed to the floor.” The judge would consider mental capacities for listening to strange voices. And yet, many evolutionary scientists (and sadly some creationist ones too) often appeal to evidence making claims. It is time for people to realize that evidence doesn't speak, let alone for “itself,” but rather people interpret that evidence.
But I doubt that you yourself studied the universe and life with a blank slate anyway to come to the conclusion that evolution must be the best explanation. Instead, you learned the evolution story from teachers, books, TV shows, and other authority figures. This story that you learned has become the foundation for what you believe happened in the past. These presuppositions are darkening your eyes from seeing creation and the Word of God for what they are.
You cannot start with answers and then find the questions. It is, in fact, the exact opposite.
It seems as though you are trying to force your religion of humanism on to me. Regardless, we don’t necessarily start with answers, but even so, why would that be wrong in your worldview? Having the answer to a question before asking it does not invalidate the answer.
You start with a hypothesis and test it to see if it works or if it f its. If it does, you test it again. If it works again, you make some predictions that should be true if your hypothesis is true. If that works, you write down your steps and have someone else try it for themselves.
Have you tested this very concept of the scientific method empirically? If not, how can you possibly know it is true? So, this refutes your empiricist view. While we agree that the scientific method is very valuable (and, by the way, based upon belief in a universe of order because of an all-powerful intelligent Creator), it does not and cannot apply to history that was not observed and cannot be repeated. So if you relied strictly on the scientific method, you would have to reject the naturalistic origin of life. It cannot be repeated by tests.
Even if life were generated in a lab, this does nothing to show that life could have come into existence without a creator, since there is no evidence of life spawning from non-life. And you must also reject the idea of a single-celled organism like an amoeba becoming a cow over millions of years. That has never been repeated by tests either. And you must also reject the big bang, as that was never repeated by tests. I could keep going . . . .
This is the scientific method. I assume you know what this is, but you do not use it at all.
The funny thing is that you probably don’t realize Sir Francis Bacon, a young-earth creationist, came up with the scientific method. And of course we use it, but not for truth claims, as it deals only with the physical world.
Finally, your presupposition is that the bible is the true word of god. That it is factual truth. That it has been kept perfect through generations.
Since you have borrowed so many presuppositions (as evidenced from this email) from the Bible (such as logic and truth existing, morality, knowledge existing, science), why not accept the rest of it?
And that everything is meant to be as literal as it is written. You start with this presupposition, as you have said.
False—we didn’t say this—this is a vicious abstraction fallacy. Sections in the Bible that are literal history are to be taken as literal history, metaphors are metaphors, psalms are psalms, etc. This means we take the plain or straightforward reading of each passage in context (2 Corinthians 4:2; Proverbs 8:8–9).
This makes everything you have written on AIG sompletely tainted and biased.
Biased, yes—in the same way that everything you have written in this email is biased. But if this statement were true, then that would mean that your email is tainted too (notice how your comment is self-refuting). But tainted, no. In an evolutionary worldview, “tainted” would not be wrong anyway. It is only in a Christian worldview that tainting would be wrong.
This means that you have never given the bible a critical once over.
Recall the serpent speaking to Eve: “Did God really say . . . .” Satan, while influencing the serpent, tried to get Eve to step back and judge God’s Word on her own merits. And you—sadly—are doing the same thing—trying to get us to step back and view ourselves as gods to look down upon God and His Word and judge it, as you apparently have. You must assume that everyone at AiG has always been a believer.
Even if that were true (it’s not), your second assumption is that the only truly “critical” way to look at the Bible is to see it as not being what it claims to be. You assume that humans are capable of judging the merit of the claims in the Bible in an unbiased manner. That is, you (and those who believe as you) are not “tainted,” but we at AiG (and other Christians) are. However, the very premise of this claim reveals the bias that you have. You reject the Bible because you have a commitment to what naturalists tell you is “right.” Have you ever critically examined their claims?
Or if you did, you already started with the presupposition that it is the true word of god.
If we didn’t start with that presupposition, knowledge would not be possible. In fact, you are subtly borrowing from that biblical presupposition when you email us—thus proving the point.
You have just shown the most blatant form of circular logic possible.
False. In fact, it was you that assumed you were the authority and have tried to make a circular case that you are the authority. This is a vicious circular argument. I’m not starting with myself, but with God—what greater authority is the Creator of everything?
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself. (Hebrews 6:13)
This essentially discredits what you say about almost anything.
This statement is false, as shown.
Help me out, where am I wrong??
If you dont think you are biased, explain. I see nothing but circular logic and multiple logical fallicies.
You seem to think that if you have shown we have biases that we are wrong. But that premise is flawed. We start with God; naturalists start with the belief that God cannot be involved. According to that sort of argument, no one could know anything because we are all biased.
Please suspend your presuppositions and bias momentarily and consider the biblical worldview. It is the only worldview that accounts for all aspects of reality. My goal is not to merely demolish the false worldview of humanism and evolution. It is ultimately about the gospel.
I encourage you to read the Bible, beginning in Genesis; then jump to John, then Romans, and then the last two chapters of Revelation as good start. This will provide a good overview of the Bible. Then you can go back and read it in its entirety. The Ultimate Proof of Creation and the New Answers Books are also good for providing answers. I pray this is helpful.
With kindness in Christ,
Bodie Hodge and John UpChurch