Thinking is Either Based on Made-Up Stuff or Divine Revelation
When people go beyond what God has revealed, the only option is making stuff up.
Personal Feelings Prove Evolutionism
Bill Nye’s personal feelings were a huge part of his argument:
Your claim . . . is, for me, not satisfactory.
and I understand that Mr. Ham has some explanations for that which I frankly find extraordinary
So, that is not enough evidence for me.
You did not, in my view, address fundamental questions.
Then, as far as Noah being an extraordinary shipwright, I’m very skeptical.
but to me, it’s just not reasonable.
And it’s just not reasonable to me
It’s just not reasonable to me
is an extraordinary claim.
I hope you find that troubling. I hope you’re concerned about that.
That, to me, is unsettling, troubling.
It’s a troubling and unsettling point of view
This is very troubling to me.
that is a troubling and remarkable fact
It’s very troubling.
And something I’ve always found troubling.
Basing belief on personal feelings is a fallacy because no matter how troubled, unsettled, astonished, or disbelieving Bill is, his inner feelings don’t affect reality. Here’s another, more subtle, example:
You can prove the age of the earth with great robustness by observing the universe around us. This is to say, nature has its mediocre designs eaten by its good designs, and so, the perception that there’s a designer that created all this is not necessarily true because we have an explanation that is far more compelling
Bill thinks that he can prove the age of the earth with great robustness, and he thinks that he can do it by observing the universe around himself. However, even though Bill is certain about the age of the earth, he didn’t prove it. We call this fallacy “autistic certainty.” Bill bases his certainty on the fallacy of personal conviction. And we know that Bill is using his personal feelings because Bill said his favored story is “far more compelling” but gave no rational reason for his inspired conviction to believe the favored story. Oh, he gave many reasons, but not one of those reasons was rational. Instead, he expressed a feeling that these stories are compelling.
But why does Bill find the favored story more compelling to himself? It’s because Bill has made the favored story part of his worldview, so it seems like reality to him. So, Bill automatically rejects what God says because it doesn’t fit into Bill’s worldview. As God says, “Their senseless minds are darkened.”
We should have good reasons for what we believe. A good reason has a true premise and valid form. Bare assertions prove nothing, and yet most of modern thought is based on bare assertions with smokescreen fallacies giving the illusion that make-believe is reality.
This quote was adapted from Exposing the Nye-Ham Debate, which hasn’t been published yet. The Nye-Ham debate took place at the Creation Museum and focused on creationism versus evolutionism.
(Excerpt from Reason, Beginning the Journey)
Our journey isn’t about apologetics, and yet it does touch on apologetics so we’ll look at a few quotes from across the Christian spectrum of opinions. For those who want to study apologetics, they’ll find many books on the subject that take one stance or another.
Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The simplicity of this definition, however, masks the complexity of the problem of defining apologetics. It turns out that a diversity of approaches has been taken to defining the meaning, scope, and purpose of apologetics. ~What is Apologetics, Bible.org
Although our journey isn’t a journey to apologetics, we all ought to be thankful for the work of the apologists. And all of us who follow Christ should be able to give a rational response when someone asks us about Christ Who lives in us. So we’ll find that this journey is linked and related to apologetics in many ways. Our journey is about knowing with certainty that God is real, Christ is real, and the Bible is the word of God without error. It’s about knowing that what God has revealed is true. It’s about discerning truth from error. Apologetics defends all of that.
Every form of apologetics has value. Consider the following:
Classical apologetics attempts to use reason and logic (for example, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, and the ontological argument.) to defend the Christian faith. Experiential apologetics gives testimonies of the ways that Christ has acted and worked through the experiences of those who follow Christ. Presuppositional apologetics points out that all worldviews base their positions on presuppositions, and then it seeks to show that Christianity is more consistent than other worldviews. Cumulative apologetics uses all the various forms of apologetics.
Apologists point out that we do not have to put our minds out to pasture in order to be Christians. Indeed, some of the greatest thinkers and scientists throughout history have been Bible believers, and many have been biblical creationists. Wisdom begins with God (Prov. 1:7); all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Col. 2:3), not with man’s philosophies (1 Cor. 1:20). Proponents of evidential or classical apologetics (the differences are negligible for our purpose here) wish to present a wagon train-load of evidence with the hope that the unbeliever will come to repentance. ~ Cowboy Bob Sorenson, Honoring God in your apologetics
While every form of apologetics has value, not every apologist does the work of God in a way that’s pleasing to God and effective for bringing the unsaved to Christ. It’s easy for an apologist to lose touch with Christ in the process of trying to make a defense. We can never go wrong by focusing on the living Christ.
Thus, it is appropriate to argue against evolutionary theories by pointing out that they are based on presuppositions. However, we should not allow ourselves to be cornered into accepting that the case for the truth of the Bible is also based upon presuppositions. ~ Tim Newton
We don’t use presuppositions as proof that the Bible is true. We don’t use presuppositions as proof that Jesus Christ is real or as proof that God is real. We have a firm Foundation. No other Foundation can be laid than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The problem with the debate between presuppositionalists and evidentialists is that both sides tacitly admit there is no evidence for God. Presuppositionalists make the subjective argument that they can see the reasons for presupposing the existence of God, but unbelievers cannot. Evidentialists argue objectively from the evidence they think secularists will accept. However, neither side acknowledges the Bible as evidence. ~Tim Newton
While we don’t want to enter into any debates about which of the many methods of apologetics is best, we do know that God wants every follower of Christ to testify of Jesus Christ. Our journey will go into considerable depth on that topic. And those who love apologetics will find great value on this journey as well.
Lord, please make my heart tender toward You so that I can hear Your voice and have confidence in Your leading when You call me to testify of You. Whether I’m testifying to the lost or building up those who are born again, keep me in Your will. Give me the words to say and let Your Holy Spirit abide in my words. Thank you, Lord, for Your goodness in these matters. I trust You. I believe that You’ll open up doors of opportunity and guide me and give me the power to be Your ambassador. Amen.
The word translated as “broken” is loo-0. It literally means to loosen. Truth is tight. Truth is absolute and exclusive by nature. It excludes everything that’s not the truth.
A primary verb; to “loosen” (literally or figuratively): – break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-) loose, melt, put off.
Every argument against Scripture is based on made-up stuff. Every single argument against Christ or the Bible falls apart upon examination. Of course, those who want to follow their own ways rather than God’s ways are very open-minded toward lies and very closed-minded toward the truth.
that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3
We know that the Bible is true and without error. We know that the history in the Bible is accurate. We know that the commands are accurate. We know that the promises are true.
How do we know that the Bible is true and without error? We know because we know the Author of the Bible. He speaks His revelation into our innermost minds, telling us that the Bible is true and without error. He has preserved Scripture for us, and He speaks to us through Scripture. We hear His voice. He speaks through Scripture and every means mentioned in Scripture. Without divine revelation, no one can know anything about anything. God reveals reality to the just and the unjust. However, the unjust refuse to acknowledge Him or thank Him. As a result, they can’t account for any knowledge of the truth. They may be ever learning, but they never come to a knowledge of the truth.
Those who know Jesus Christ are able to see both the natural creation and the Kingdom of the Heavens and the earth. They have spiritual senses that come with being born again, and those senses become keener and more developed each time they hear the voice of the Absolute God and respond in submission and obedience.
John 1 Berean Study Bible
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Witness of John
6There came a man who was sent from God. His name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that through him everyone might believe. 8He himself was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9The true Light who gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.
The Word Became Flesh
14The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, “This is He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’”
Jesus Christ isn’t a theology, concept, or any other sort of unreal supposition. He’s real. We who follow Him know He’s real because we know Him. He leads, teaches, and corrects us moment by moment. Skeptics don’t have to take our word for it. Anyone who seeks Christ finds Christ so they will find out that Christ is real if they simply seek Him in sincerity. Everyone who truly wants to do the will of God receives discernment to know what comes from Christ as opposed to what comes from other sources.
It’s important to know the difference between what we observe and what we imagine. We must do the same with the Bible. We must discern between the vision that the Holy Spirit is revealing through the Bible and what our imagination is adding to the Bible. The human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked beyond our ability to understand. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit provides this discernment. Being almighty, He has no trouble revealing the truth clearly to whoever will yield to Him. We need the Holy Spirit. We only run into trouble when we try to lean on our own ability to understand or when we’re drawn off the path by our own desires.
Nothing can be observed that tells us the age of the earth in any sense. The many indicators vary from a few thousand to billions of years, but they all depend on assumptions. Assumptions consist of made-up stuff. So they all depend on circular reasoning.
Though the Bible seems to indicate an age of a few thousand years, we can’t even declare the universal negative that billions of years didn’t happen. Though there’s no evidence for it, and nothing in Scripture suggests it, there could be something we don’t know. Of course, we also can’t say for certain that God didn’t make a planet inhabited by flying spaghetti monsters. Funny how people want to argue about the age of the earth but not about flying spaghetti monsters.
God has been working with me for several decades concerning how we can know anything about anything. In fact, He’s purged me over the decades.
Here’s what I believe He has taught me. All knowledge and wisdom are hidden in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is the truth. Everyone who’s on the side of truth listens to Him. His sheep hear His voice. Sound logic (reason) requires a true (truth) premise. The human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked beyond what we can understand. Christ in us is righteous and holy beyond our understanding. Christ in us can’t sin or be wrong. In His presence, all my arguments are shattered. Our flesh can do no righteousness. Nor can we trust it. At each moment, we choose which one we follow. If Christ didn’t say it, and we believe it, we’re in sin. When we lean on our own understanding, we fall into sin. When we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He directs our paths. Once we add something to our worldviews (fake realities in our minds), that something becomes a stronghold in our minds. It seems more real than reality itself. Whatever is in conflict with our worldviews seems to be against all common sense. It seems insane. God has provided spiritual weapons (not the deceitful and wicked human mind) to demolish our strongholds.
I’m finding God’s process to be one where the Holy Spirit is constantly correcting me and showing me that my long-held beliefs are carnal. One at a time, He demolishes me as I remain in a state of repentance and submission. I don’t see this process ending soon.
Commenting on one of the areas of contention during the Nye-Ham Debate. This is important because it applies universally. How can we know anything about anything? God has revealed many truths through Scripture, but how do we know that Scripture is true? We know by divine revelation. God reveals.
God has a leading, teaching, or correction at every moment of our lives. We may not listen very often, but when we do, He imparts His faith for some work that He wants to do through us if we will yield ourselves to it. As we yield to Him, the Holy Spirit builds Christ in us, and our fleshly nature loses some of its grip on us.
We humans are three-part beings, spirit, mind/soul, and body. The mind isn’t the brain. The brain and nervous system are part of the body. God created our spirits to rule over our minds/souls and our souls/minds to rule over our bodies. We must worship God in spirit and in truth. God deals with us through our spirits, so we sometimes know things without having a naturalistic way of knowing how we know. We might call it a gut feeling or intuition. The real problem is discerning between the voice of God, our own mind, or demonic beings. However, for those who truly want to do the will of God, they know. It’s when we want to do our own wills that we become confused.
It seems that God always speaks to us through our spirits, but He will usually affirm any important truth through several means. One of those means is the Bible. There may be exceptions, but it seems that one of the means is always the Bible on important issues. He speaks to our spirits through the Bible. Our spirits convey the revelation to our minds as we direct our minds toward Christ in willing submission. Another person, e.g. a skeptic, atheist, postmodernist, or Wiccan, may read the same Scripture without acknowledging Christ and come up with a totally different interpretation.
That’s how we know that the Bible is the word of God without error. We know by the Spirit through what some people call intuition. Then, the Holy Spirit confirms this truth through many external and irrefutable signs–not that skeptics won’t keep trying to discredit God and His word. It’s divine revelation. That’s how we know.
But this debate between Bill Nye, who was representing ungodliness, and Ken Ham, who was representing godliness, was supposed to be a debate about Biblical creation. It turned out to be a debate about how reality can be known. It was about how we can know the truth. In this part of the debate, they concentrated on the difference between observations and made-up stuff. It’s easy to challenge the validity of made-up stuff, but ungodly thinkers rely on made-up stuff for the basis of their thinking, so they tend to defend the idea of making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff true. Of course, they won’t say it that way. They’ll talk about making “obvious assumptions.” They’ll talk about “axioms” that they can “reasonably use as facts.” It’s made-up stuff, and they’re calling made-up stuff truth.
We just challenged the Bible and said that we know it’s true because God reveals that it’s valid. Did you know that some people don’t believe that observations are valid? Postmodernism opposes observations. Skepticism opposes observations. Hindus and Buddhists generally believe that what we observe is just part of a dream of Brahma. There are others who feel the same way. We can’t prove, by observation, that observation is valid or that there is a material reality. However, God reveals that there is both a material and a spiritual reality. He reveals this fact in the same way that He reveals that the Bible is true and without error.
Wars about Words
Let’s agree that definitions or labels prove nothing. We’ll go down this path, but only for the exercise. We can observe something, and we can make up a story about something we observed. The story is different from the observation. Suppose we both see the same something. Suppose we each make up our own story about it and our stories conflict with each other. Should we be dogmatic about our stories since we made them up? Suppose that God said one thing and we told a different story; will we allow God to correct us?
The Real Difference and Dropping the Definition Games
The Nye-Ham debate gave the illusion that the disagreement is about terminology and definitions. That isn’t the issue. In fact, focusing on the words and redefining words is part of the deception. It’s part of a red herring fallacy powered by a definist fallacy. This tactic is common. For example, when the atheists realized that they were committing a fallacy by declaring the universal negative, “there is no God,” they redefined “atheist” to be something close to “agnostic.” They then claimed that they just didn’t have enough evidence to have belief. As another example, we used to call political correctness “the new morality,” and we called the new morality “immorality” before that. These are but two examples of redefinitions, but Satan has orchestrated many such changes.
Let’s focus on the realities and the real difference rather than the definist fallacies. What we’ve been calling “historical science” expands on observations of operational/observational science by adding made-up stuff to the observations. The term “historical science” is actual a package deal fallacy in that it combines observation, historical storytelling, and historical divine revelation without making a distinction between the three. The observations aren’t an issue, but the made-up stuff is a serious issue.
Observation is one thing. A story about observation is a different thing. However, if we ignore the terms, the difference is really between observations and stories about observations. Scientists observe the physical world on the one hand. Scientists observe the physical world and then make up stories about they observe on the other hand. Can we see the difference between observation and stories about observation? Yes. Can we see the difference between accurately reporting what we’ve seen versus making up stories that go beyond what we’ve seen? Absolutely! Stories consist of made-up stuff. Observations, though imperfect, are more reliable than made-up stories.
The discussion of the two kinds of science clouded the major questions:
What’s the best basis for interpreting observations?
What’s the best starting point for reason?
The discussion of just observation without purposely adding made-up stuff versus purposely adding made-up stuff to observation does center on these two major questions of the debate. Those who follow Christ say that the best starting point for reason is God’s revelation, but ungodly thinkers say that the best starting point for reason is assumption, which is the art of adding made-up stuff to observations. Sadly, some Christians also say that we must base all reason on assumptions or presuppositions.
Either assumption or divine revelation is necessary for what we’ve been calling “historical science.” We can observe, but we can’t reason beyond our observations without adding information. That information has to come from somewhere. We can get true and correct information from the only all-knowing Source Who can’t lie. On the other hand, we, or someone else, can make up the information. No other ways exist since the human mind has no way to self-generate information other than by making it up. And even if the human mind gets information from what another human mind made up, it’s still made-up stuff. If the information comes in a book, class, video, or another form, it’s still made-up stuff. Science involves interpreting observation and experience, and we do have some ability to observe and experience, though not objectively. We automatically add assumptions from our worldviews, and as soon as we add a single assumption to the observation or experience, we’ve distorted it. Assumptions are deceptive when persuaders use them to speculate about topics like the spiritual realm or the distant past. Often, persuaders keep their assumptions hidden.
Assumptions have a problem in science since we can’t prove that one assumption is better than another if we can’t directly test the assumption. For instance, two assumptions compete for a certain interpretation of the ancient past. Neither assumption conflicts with the current observations. Both assumptions extrapolate beyond the current observations. And we can’t replay the ancient past to test the assumptions. How do we decide?
Ungodly people prove their assumptions by censoring anything the conflicts with their assumptions. For example, Bill Nye tried to prove that the Bible is false by using wild assumptions as the basis for his reasoning. Then he called for censorship of anything that conflicts with his assumptions.
Theories, assumptions, stories, concepts, frameworks, and ideas aren’t known facts. Facts are genuine reality. They aren’t interpretations of observations or the majority opinions of an elite group. And yet facts are often and routinely confused with speculative interpretations or speculative explanations of observations.