If I wasn’t a Christian already, I might think God was angry. A lot. And all the time.

Gleaning from a lot of things I’d read as an “unbeliever” scripted by “believers,” I’d say God uses catastrophic weather to judge nations, car bombs to get Christians to pray, and elected politicians to bring humanity what they deserve. And why not? I mean, Biblical passages like this clearly portray God as having anger issues:

“For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.” Isaiah 9:21b

So let me put the Christian hat back on. Scripture is clear, God gets angry. But the question worth addressing to myself as a Believer, and to those currently outside of the Christian faith, is not what causes God to get angry (everything from unrighteousness to disobedience; see Deuteronomy 11:17; 29:24-28; Ezra 8:22; Nehemiah 13:18 just for starters), but what God’s anger provokes in terms of action.

The reality is, when God got angry, he sent his son Jesus to pay the price for everything humanity ever did to “rouse his anger” in the first place. Let me simplify:

When God gets angry, he displays ultimate mercy.

Huh. Doesn’t sound quite like the God we Christians portray so very well in modern society.

And me? I get angry and do what? I get ticked off at a politician and what comes out of my mouth? An employee disobeys me and I treat them how? I watch a whole nation embrace a system of belief that enslaves people and I pray in what manner for their persecutors? I see someone willfully reject Christ, and I think what of them?

I challenge you to think less of what provokes God to anger and more of what anger provokes God to do.

It might just change the way you perceive a Heavenly Father who is actually good all the time with mercy that endures forever. (At least, that’s what the Bible claims about him). ch:

Q: Be honest. How do you respond when you get angry? And where do you need to improve? Have you been looking at God’s character improperly?


Sean · 19 May ’10 at 1:30 pm

I rarely get angry, it takes quite a bit to get me ticked off. Sure, a few curse words may fly from my mouth in the heat of the moment. But when I do get angry, I usually just walk away from the situation and go someone else to sit down think about the whole issue.

But as an unbeliever, I just have trouble understanding one thing and that’s hell. I just don’t see how any “just” or “merciful” God could sent someone to eternal damnation just because they don’t believe in him. (I’m not trying to provoke some argument on who is right here, I would just love to have an answer to this question.)


    Christopher Hopper · 19 May ’10 at 5:03 pm


    Thanks for your candor. Really appreciate that, and you’re not stirring up anything. Honest questions welcome here!

    Jason’s response below is really solid and accurately describes Hell’s intent. Definitely read it over and respond to him if you have more questions.

    The reality is we were never meant for hell. And what’s more (and even more disturbing) God doesn’t send us there…we send ourselves. Because we’ve entered into a place morally that we never intended to be in, in affect guilty of crimes that require consequences, God is left with one option: to give us what we deserve so that the Law will be satisfied.

    In other words, say someone commits a crime against another person. If that law-breaker was never arrested, and never went to court, there would be public outcry. Justice would not be served. Because they broke an existing law (whether they believed it or not), they are guilty and justice must be satisfied (ie the nature of law). Additionally, if he was brought to court and the judge and jury did not sentence an adequate penalty for the crime, there likewise would be an outcry; both the judge and the jury would be viewed as unjust.

    It’s interesting that so many question God as being “unjust,” as one of His names is The Righteous Judge; for him not to execute a righteous judgment on me in accordance with all the things I’ve done against His moral Law would then make Him an Unrighteous Judge. He could never be trusted or relied upon.

    Knowing full well, however, that I broke His perfect Law, AND that I had no way to justify my actions (I am in fact guilty), He likewise came up with a solution: a stand in.

    Imagine in the court room, you are found guilty of breaking His Law (pick a Commandment, any Commandment), and the sentence is read: in order to fulfill the requirements of a Just Law, the sentence is death.

    You’re screwed.

    Until a hand goes up in the back of the courtroom. The Judge asks the man to approach the bench. They share a few words, and suddenly the Judge says, “This man before me has offered to pay the offender’s penalty.” That man is Jesus, and he effectively appeased the requirements of the Law in your place. He paid the sin debt so you wouldn’t have to. He died (on the Cross) taking your place.

    The reality is, we’ve all broken God’s Law. So many people often ask, “Well, if God is so good, how can He allow so many bad things to happen to people?” But what they don’t understand is that if God really wanted to keep man from doing bad things, the easiest thing for Him to so would be to destroy the entire planet, starting with me.

    We humans are really good at comparing ourselves. “Well, I’m not as bad as so and so…” But God says that if you’ve done anything as simple as telling a lie, then you’re guilty of being a thief; if you’ve been angry at someone, you’re guilty of murder; and if you’ve ever looked at someone lustfully, you’re guilty of adultery. While we might qualify sin, God does not. It’s ALL ugly to Him, and it ALL deserves death.

    If God wanted to control mankind, He never would have made us with a free will. That would be making robots, not making human individuals who have a choice to chose loving Him. As an entire race, we’ve chosen against Him, and placed ourselves in moral jeopardy. There is a case against each one of us, and the verdict is being read. The question is, do you want to pay the penalty? Or would you like a stand in who loved you enough to pay the price for you? That would be Jesus.

    What people don’t realize is that it’s incredible meekness on God’s part that He created us with a free will, knowing we might never chose to love Him back; and it’s incredible grace that He hasn’t destroyed the world already for all the evil I’ve brought into it. If that’s not the image of a loving God, I don’t know what is. He made a way for me where there was no way.

    And my response is? Well, mine was to accept Jesus taking my place. And as a response, I’ve given Him all I am and committed the rest of my life to telling others about His grace.

    Interestingly enough, I’m baptizing over 30 teens and colleges students tonight. What an honor.

    Hope that helps, Sean. Field me any more questions that you like. ch:

      Sean · 19 May ’10 at 5:46 pm

      You mentioned several times throughout your reply that we (humans) choose to sin. I wasn’t there for that decision however so I’m failing to understand how I have to pay for that action?

      I like the example of the court room and you being sentenced to a crime, it’s clear and to the point. I understand how Jesus is there to take the “fall” for you. While I can understand why some people would allow someone else to take the fall for them, I could simply not do this. If I killed several people and I was convicted of the crime and sentenced to the death penalty, I couldn’t allow someone else to take that punishment for me. Personally, I would find this action to be immoral.

      Just to touch upon one more point, I don’t believe that we as humans have have free will.

      Thanks for the responses!

Galactic Overlord (Jason) · 19 May ’10 at 4:16 pm

Oh believe me, politicians can get me mad, though I don’t have much of a potty mouth. When I see people do or say things that I think are wrong, anger will linger with me for a long time, and I know I shouldn’t feel that way, so I try to calm myself and keep the right attitude. Sometimes it can be hard, and I really need prayer sometimes to make it work.

Now, Sean was curious about why God sends unbelievers to Hell. Well, let’s start with the question of what Hell was intended for in the first place. According to Jesus, Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels. Angels were intended from the beginning to be under God’s moral law and would be eternally judged if they broke it, hence the existence of Hell. Now, God’s law is eternal and spiritual, which requires beings of like kind to perfectly obey it. Since angels were spiritual, they were equipped to obey the law and could be rightfully judged for disobedience.

Human beings, on the other hand, are flesh and blood. They were not made for the law. In the beginning, they were made innocent and could not break a command, except the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-which they did. By eating of the tree, that made man aware of the moral law and subjected him to judgment, but the Bible says the law will never justify-that is, declare righteous-any flesh. So God substituted faith as a way to credit righteousness to us. By putting our trust in Jesus and his atoning work on the cross, that is how God says that we are in right standing with Him.

The reason that unbelievers are sent to Hell is because God has no way to credit righteousness to them. God’s law is perfect and eternal, but human beings are imperfect and temporal, so that’s a problem. But God made a way out so He wouldn’t have to judge iniquity, and that’s called faith.

I hope that helped.

    Christopher Hopper · 19 May ’10 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for your reply Jason. Love your honesty. Submitting things to the Lord in prayer first certainly helps temper our responses, eh?

    And thanks for the explanation on hell. Good insight; appreciate you caring enough for Sean to write. ch:

Sean · 19 May ’10 at 4:39 pm

That helps me understand a tad bit better but I’m still fuzzy on some parts. One, God can’t credit righteousness to people even if they live moral lives? Second, what about people that existed before Christianity and Jesus, what happens to them?

This isn’t really a question but I’m just stating my view, take me as an example, I don’t believe in any deity or deities because I don’t find evidence for any of them. I can’t just go on faith, it’s just not how I look at the universe, I need evidence.

Sorry about all the questions, I’m just curious.


    Christopher Hopper · 19 May ’10 at 5:33 pm

    Sean, great questions, again.

    The problem with the Law of God is that if you’ve broken one, you’ve broken them all. So even if you did a million acts of kindness in your life, which is indeed wonderful, they could never outweigh the fact that you did in fact break the Law and are guilty, thus requiring a sentence. It’s not a balancing act, it’s a verdict.

    Certainly Christianity the movement, or term, is associated with the 1st century Church, and those in Anitoch referring to these believers in the Messiah as “those that follow Christ,” or Christians; so asking what predated Christianity is accurate. But asking what predated Jesus to a Christian is unanswerable because scripture is quite clear that Jesus was before all things. If you’re referring to the Old Testament as “pre Jesus,” then the book of Romans chapter 4 has your answer. And Jason actually gave it to you above: it’s not righteousness (good works) that’s accredited to us as righteousness before God, but faith that’s accredited as righteousness before God. Only faith pleases Him. While those pre-Jesus did not have Jesus’ atoning sacrifice available to them, they did have faith in Him (a prophetic foreshadow of what was to come: faith in the finished work of Christ); once the sacrifice of Jesus’ life came, it made it all the easier for mankind to accept it.

    I’m baffled as to how on earth any human being would actually chose to deny the incredible opportunity afforded to them by Jesus. ch:

wayne thomas batson · 19 May ’10 at 6:51 pm

Hey, Sean, I’m a little late to the discussion, but you talked about something that is very near to my heart. You said: “I don’t believe in any deity or deities because I don’t find evidence for any of them. I can’t just go on faith, it’s just not how I look at the universe, I need evidence.” Sean, I am SO with you on that. I’m like doubting Thomas who had to see Jesus and touch his crucifixion wounds in order to believe it.” Like you, I need evidence, but I’ve come to the opposite conclusion. I believe there is powerful evidence for God and more evidence for the Christian God than any other type of deity.

The first evidence is the beauty and complexity of the sum total of creation. Scan the National Geographic photos section. You’ll see scene after scene of breathtaking beauty. Can that really all be just a cosmic accident? But forget beauty, what about complexity? My wife’s a nurse and while she was studying anatomy and physiology, she’d tell me little tidbits of medical wonder: how enzymes work or how hormones trigger just the right changes at just the right time, or how DNA transcribes–staggering biomechanics! Everywhere you look in creation, you’ll find that kind of marvelous precision. By the way, mathematicians have attempted to calculate the odds of earthly complexity coming about by chance….their answers was some ridiculously gigantic number like 10 to the 600th power. We humans look at the simplest things and recognize that a creator HAD to create it. Why would we look at ULTRA complex things and believe anything else?

Sean, I know, that’s still a long way from believing in Jesus of the Christian Bible, but it’s where I started. I wish I could let you see into my head to know all the other why’s and how’s. I hope that you never lose your honest questioning. I believe God will honor that and show you the truth you need.

Billy.J · 19 May ’10 at 7:50 pm

Wow Man. You amaze me with your insight into the God’s Kingdom. I am very fascinated by the comment,s but don’t comment on the, because I lack the life experience you do and cannot honestly state my experiences or opinions, only what I’ve been taught. But, when I get angry, I tend to hide it visually, but hod it in, and, unfortunately, almost let it grow. Its a thing I’ve been working on for a year or so now, and through prayer and trust in my parents and God, anger has become easier to manage. But, I still go to the squeezing of my fists, its my way of letting it go, but it doesn’t work. Whenever I find myself talking crap to myself, I go to prayer and talk to God about my anger and problems. That’s what I do, thanks for the great post. Much love,

Billy. J

Nathan Petrie · 19 May ’10 at 10:01 pm

@Sean, seems you’ve gotten a lot of answers 😉 Hope we’re not overwhelming you haha

But yeah, interesting thing about accepting someone else’s payment as unjust. Pretend to be a Christian for a moment 😉 lol If God is real, and we are all his creations, if God created what we call justice, if he himself defines justice, wouldn’t a replacement that he calls just be just? I guess I’m not understanding why you would choose death. Maybe I’m not as strong as you. I know if I was sentenced to death and someone offered a substitute…I don’t know. It’d be hard.

But the difference here is that the substitute is already dead.

Let’s go back to the court room. You’re standing before the judge. “Guilty as charged, sentenced to death”. But the Judge pauses for a moment.

“Nathan.” He sighs. “Someone has offered to die in your place.”

I think I’d refuse if someone offered to die for me. It feels….weak, selfish.

“But there’s one thing, Nathan.” The Judge bites his lip. “We’ve already executed him.”

You’re in the court room, sentenced to death, someone offered to take your place, and they’ve already carried out the sentence. What then would you do? Would it be unjust then? Would you let that man die in vain?

I don’t think I could. And I didn’t.

Hopefully this perspective makes sense to you 😀 I know I’m just adding onto a pile of words haha

Take care man! And keep asking questions! We all need to ask ’em 😉


    Sean · 19 May ’10 at 10:50 pm

    To Nate:

    By stating that the person is already “dead” it makes the example that much clearer and to the point. Thanks for pointing that out. Although I would still not change my mind with this example. Whether or not they are dead doesn’t really make that much of a difference to me. I still wouldn’t let someone take the fall for my actions, like I stated before I personally feel that would be an immoral action. I need to pay for my own actions, no one else should.

    We could even change up the scenario by replacing the random person (well Jesus in this case) with a family member. Would you still let a family member sacrifice themselves for you? I’m not trying to derail the topic here, I just thought this would be another interesting example.

    To Wayne:

    This is where we are going to run into a little bit of a problem, it’s hard to say what is evidence that you find compelling and what evidence I find compelling. I figured someone was going to use the argument from design and the argument that “everything” is beautiful. I’ll address each one separately.

    Argument by Design:

    Just because something shows design does not mean that it has to have a creator. An example of this would be snow flakes. Even if the odds of life starting on Earth by chance are really, really, small, I don’t see how that means there has to be a designer. Just look at the universe for example, it’s huge. Even if we could attain light speed for space travel, that would be slow when traveling the universe. I look at how big the universe is and it doesn’t surprise me that there is life out there (out there being us of course).

    Argument from Beauty:

    I’ve never once in my life (at least that I remember haha) looked at nature and thought “something had to create this all!” I don’t know why parts of nature are beautiful, could it be a product of evolution? I don’t know the answer to that, but that doesn’t mean that I have to assume that someone had to create it all.

    I’m skeptically of everything, ghosts, deities, alien abductions, just about anything you throw at me. You can blame philosophy for causing my skepticism haha.

    Thanks for all the responses everyone! It’s great to be able to talk about this kind of stuff without people being offended or yelling at each other. Also, if anyone has questions for me, I would love to answer them or at least give them my best shot.

      Ryan Paige Howard · 20 May ’10 at 2:23 am

      “God maintains a delicate balance between keeping his existence sufficiently evident so people will know he’s there and yet hiding his presence enough so that people who want to choose to ignore him can do it. This way, their choice of destiny is really free.”

      Sean: I HIGHLY recommend you read, The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, especially chapter six. Many of your great questions you have asked, he explains very well!

      The way I see and kinda understand Hell is this…God does not like it… God never intended it for us, but we choose it, because we followed the lie, that gave us sin and cursed ourselves to Hell.
      But God had a plan… For God loved us so much that he gave His one and only son (Jesus) that whosoever choose to believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We are slaves to sin, with chains so thick that nothing can free us, but Jesus bought us with a grave price. The only thing you have to do is want it. He isn’t going to force it on anyone, it’s your choice to accept this loving gift. Isn’t that free will?

      Sean thank you for asking these questions… I hope I helped you, even in a small way. Please do check out Lee Strobel’s books I really truly think you would enjoy them and they will FOR SURE answer your questions!

      And as always Christopher Hopper, wonderful post 🙂

      Bye for now,

      Nathan Petrie · 20 May ’10 at 6:42 am

      @Sean, I am totally with you! I wouldn’t let anyone take my place. Family member, friend, or stranger. But you’re not sending him to death anymore. He’s already been executed. You wouldn’t be “letting them take the fall” simply because….they killed him without your consent. All you have to do is decide if he should die in vain or not.

      Consider the court case and take Jesus out of it for a moment. If someone took your death sentence for you and they’d already killed him before they told you. You’d have to accept the sacrifice. If you didn’t, THEN you’d be making an immoral decision. It’d be selfish to say that you should want his sacrifice to count for nothing. If the judge told me that “You’re sentenced to death, someone’s offered to take your place and we’ve already killed him”. I think I’d have to accept the man’ sacrifice. Even if that marred my honor. The man is already dead. Shouldn’t I respect his decision?

      And about design, you are totally right. just because the odds are nearly impossible doesn’t therefore make something impossible. But, since you offered 😉 LOL, let me turn the question around. What evidence is there for life coming about as chance?

      And no, thank you for not freaking out on us freaks haha

      BRIAN CORCORAN · 20 May ’10 at 8:49 pm

      Sean, Something to think about. To live, everything you consume has to die so you can live, no matter what you consume, it has to die, animals, bacteria, ect….

      That’s so you can sustain life in body form.

      To sustain life in Spirit form, something had to die so your spirit can live. Something to meditate on.

      Also, evolution, although I don’t believe we evolved from another life form, I do believe pre-historic man lived prior to Adam and Eve. The earth became void between Genesis verse 1 & 2. The pre-historic world existed prior to Adam & Eve on the earth. I mean, where are all the dinosaurs? If they were in the ark, they should be here today. They were destroyed between Genesis verse 1 & 2.
      Take Care……

        Sean · 20 May ’10 at 9:54 pm

        If by spirit you mean soul… I don’t think humans have souls or minds. I don’t know how a non-physical thing can interact with a physical thing (like the body).

          BRIAN CORCORAN · 21 May ’10 at 4:58 am


          The greatest thing about God is He Promised to make Himself know to all those that seek Him. Pretty simple.

          That promise brings to naught all theories, all doctrines, and all knowledge that we use to try to prove or disprove His existence.

          If you want to know God, call on Him, He will manifest Himself to you.

        Nathan Petrie · 21 May ’10 at 5:43 pm

        There are millions of reasons why dinosaurs could have died out 😉 Drastically changed atmosphere, hunters, new environment, etc. Same reason animals go extinct today. Plus, I never really understood why someone would believe the Gap Theory.

        IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

        Those are the verses from the Amplified Bible, parenthesis give the full meaning of the Hebrew word while the passage is longer because of language expansion to encompass the full word’s meaning or whatever lol

        Either way, no matter what literal translation you use, there doesn’t seem much room for mistake. God made the heavens in the earth. The earth was without form…

        If you read that in a novel would it even cross your mind to think “Hmmmm I think there should be a few million years of time here.” Doesn’t make sense to me.

        Plus, if the dinosaurs died out and there was a ton of time before Adam and Eve, why would God have created again? Would he have wiped out a previous generation and started over? But, even still, it was the same heaven and earth. So why then, after millions of years of death and decay, would Moses say in chapter 1:31, “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good and He approved it completely.” Would Eden a re-do plan to cover up millions of years of death, truly be good? would his creation, “everything he had made” be very good?

        I don’t think so….Plus, why would God create a “pre-historic-man” and then create man again? Sounds like he wanted a do-over.

          BRIAN CORCORAN · 21 May ’10 at 10:47 pm

          If you read Ezekiel 28:11-18 you will find that the bible mentions an Eden made of precious stones and not vegetation like the Eden Adam and Eve were in and Lucifer was there. Jesus mentioned in Luke 10:18 that he watched Satan fall from Heaven like lightning. When did this happen? Where was the Eden of precious stones?

          BRIAN CORCORAN · 21 May ’10 at 11:00 pm

          One Point to add. God told Noah the purpose of the animals entering the ark was to keep their seed alive throughout the earth.

          Nathan Petrie · 22 May ’10 at 3:02 pm

          I’m looking at the verses…and I don’t see anything about Eden being made of precious stones.

          You were in(F) Eden, the garden of God;
          (G) every precious stone was your covering,
          (H) sardius, topaz, and diamond,
          beryl, onyx, and jasper,
          sapphire,[b](I) emerald, and carbuncle;
          and crafted in gold were your settings
          and your engravings.[c]

          Those verses don’t mean that Eden was made of precious stones. Precious stones were the King of Tyre’s covering. Never once does it refer to the Garden of Eden as being made of stone.

          Also, “In the abundance of(M) your trade
          you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
          so I cast you as a profane thing from(N) the mountain of God,
          and I destroyed you,[e](O) O guardian cherub,
          from the midst of the stones of fire.”

          Earlier it refered to the king walking amidst the stones of fire. But here it says he was cast out from the stones of fire. So if the King of Tyre is Satan, the stones of fire cannot be on earth. Because Satan is still on earth.

          So I don’t see any reference to an Eden made of stones.

          Also, the meaning of the “King of Tyre” is debated. If it is Satan, then this refers to the fall of Satan wherein this could all be literal or symbolic. If it is literally the King of Tyre, this takes on a great amount of symbolism. Still not seeing any stone-eden. Could you direct me to the specific verses?

          i agree with you. The purpose of the animals getting on the ark was to keep their seed alive throughout the earth. But that doesn’t mean dinosaurs weren’t on the ark. How long was their seed to remain on the earth?

          There are creatures that are extinct today that were not a few hundred or less years ago. These creatures would have had ancestors on the ark. But they’ve since died out. So obviously God’s purpose was not to keep every creature alive for all time. Because if it was, he’s failed.

          Also, there is a theory that dinosaurs are still alive today that I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with but makes a little since. Reptiles never stop growing until the day they day. In pre-flood atmosphere, with a better ozone etc, they would certainly have lived longer. What if alligators and such are dinosaurs that just haven’t had time to grow? Of course, this would still require certain types of dinosaurs to have died out. But I don’t understand why you think the fact that a creature no longer exists now means that they weren’t on the ark. God didn’t say every creature on the ark would last forever. Because…that hasn’t happened.

Sean · 20 May ’10 at 10:58 am

Ryan: Thanks for the book recommendation, I will have to check it out over the summer.

Nate: This is where we are going to disagree. Like I said before, personally speaking, I would find letting anyone take the fall for me (regardless it they are dead or alive) to be an immoral action. If I committed a crime of some sort, I need to pay for that action. No one else should have to and even if they wanted to I would not want them to.

Evidence for life coming about as chance? I couldn’t tell you to be honest. I’m not sure, I haven’t taken any classes or read much material on it. I’m not asserting that life did come from chance or design, I’m just skeptical of all these claims.


    BRIAN CORCORAN · 22 May ’10 at 9:26 pm

    Nathan: Read Ezekiel 28 again. Every stone was given for his covering in that Eden. In the Eden of Adam and Eve he was a Serpent, an upright creature that could speak, had memory capability and could deceive and knew the Word of God. Satan was incarnated in the serpent that the Lord had made. He was not covered with precious stones in this Eden. He was in the one in Ezekiel 28.

    The prophet was speaking prophetic to the King talking about Satan.
    Just food for thought Nathan..

    Take Care, very refreshing to see a young guy handle the Word the way you do!

Wayne Thomas Batson · 20 May ’10 at 11:43 am

Hi, Sean
I wanted to clarify a few points. You responded by saying “Just because something shows design does not mean that it has to have a creator. An example of this would be snow flakes. Even if the odds of life starting on Earth by chance are really, really, small, I don’t see how that means there has to be a designer.”

I agree that a snowflake is very intricate, though compared to human DNA, not so much. But remember, I’m arguing that everything in nature shows this kind of complexity and therefore has a creator. Snowflake is not an exception to the rule, but rather another example of the rule. No one looks at a small appliance or a computer or even a socket wrench and thinks, “Oh, well this must have come about by chance.” No, we all recognize the design and know inherently that it had a designer.

And please understand, I’m arguing for the “most likely” versus the absolute. I cannot say that it is impossible that all this complexity came about by chance. But I can say the odds are amazingly stacked against it.

Really, we’re all operating from a kind of “most likely” approach–even you, Sean. None of us, not even the PhD evolutionist can say categorically that life began and evolved–for certain. None of us were there. Nor can the creationist say “there can be NO doubt that God created all things.”

We are all operating on a kind of intellectually informed “faith.” The big question is, where does this intellectual faith lead you? And I can’t imagine a more important search.

Ryan’s book recommendation is a good one. But perhaps even better is a book called “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” by Frank Turek and Norm Geisler. It is a very detailed but also very accessible read. It begins with total skepticism and works, step-by-step, all the way to Christ. Pretty compelling. I’m working my way through it a 2nd time. lol

    Sean · 20 May ’10 at 1:00 pm


    I’m glad that we can agree on neither of us making absolute claims, I’m in no business of doing that.

    While the PhD evolutionist can’t say for certain how life started, I would argue that they can claim with that evolution does happen and continues to happen. They can say this with as much certainty as the theory of gravity being true. Why is this? Because there are countless examples of evolution (change over time) occurring.

    I find the title of the book you mentioned to be odd. I don’t know any skeptic that holds that it takes faith to be an atheist. The literal definition of atheism is “lack of belief in a deity or deities”. It’s not even making an assertion like “there is no god”. I would call that faith because I don’t know anyone that can “disprove” god. Just like no one can disprove Russell’s Teapot in space.

    Thanks again for all the responses!

      Nathan Petrie · 20 May ’10 at 3:56 pm

      @Sean, “No one else should have to and even if they wanted to I would not want them to.” Well again, looking at this example, which I think is almost dead haha, it doesn’t matter if you wanted him to die for you. They already executed him, against your will perhaps. The equal penalty for murder is death. One death. Would you have three people die for your one crime (the victim, you, and the sacrificial man)? You choosing to die would itself work against justice. And I don’t see any nobility in it if the man’s already been executed. Call me crazy…haha

      “They can say this with as much certainty as the theory of gravity being true. Why is this? Because there are countless examples of evolution (change over time) occurring.”
      I don’t think you should bring this up if you don’t have any evidence yourself. I could say “There is mountains of evidence that God exists and works in the world” but if I don’t back that statement up, there’s no use in me saying it.

      Are there countless examples of evolution occurring? Not really. I attend a public school, I have studied evolution, I’ve listened to evolutionists give sessions. And all this time, I’ve never once seen one example, led alone countless ones.

      But the fact that I haven’t seen it doesn’t discredit it entirely of course.

      As for gravity, gravity can be stated as a law because it has been tested trillions of times. Every time I have dropped this rock it has fallen to the ground. Billions of times. The law of gravity has been tested against the scientific method. Evolution, however, cannot be subjected to science because it in itself is not science. Evolution is a theory based on an observed natural selection, micro-evolution (a brown dog turning white), and the belief that God does not exist. Leading atheists, I’ll get you quotes if you’d like, state that macro-evolution, changes between species (a dog becoming a bird or something), has never been shown in the fossil record or observable science today.

      Truth is, creationists and evolutionists are looking at the same evidence. But the base of their belief is different. Evolutionists look at evidence and say “How did this come here without a God?” and creationists look at it and say “How did this come here with a God?”

      It takes faith to believe anything haha. The majority of atheists have never studied the fossil record, same goes for Christians, the majority haven’t researched their entire lives. No single person has personally researched all the beliefs central to their worldview in depth. Because you haven’t seen all the evidence means you are taking something on faith.

      Everyone believes something. I believe in God. you don’t believe in God. Because I believe in God I can say that there is a God. Because you don’t believe in GOd you can say there is no God. Either way, you have faith in something.

      Hurray for friendly discussion! 😀

wayne thomas batson · 20 May ’10 at 6:30 pm

Thanks, Nathan for debunking the comparison between evolutionary theory and gravity. The interesting and perhaps, most dubious, aspect of evolutionary theory is how the theory itself has evolved. If you read Darwin, he was definitely arguing for macro evolution. He fully expected that fossils would be found showing the intermediary forms he theorized. Understand that he’s talking every transitional form between species. Unfortunately for Darwin’s version of evolution, the fossil record didn’t show what he expected. Instead of untold thousands of intermediate forms, what we find is the sudden appearance of fully formed species. So what happened to Darwin’s theory? Scientists changed it, integrating the subsidiary theory of punctuated equilibrium in which evolution speeds up in micro bursts to give us more of what the fossil record seems to be showing.

And I think you stated it well, Nathan when you pointed out that we’re all looking at the same evidence, but just drawing different conclusions. Evolutionists look at the common features between a whale fin and a human hand. Their conclusion: common ancestor. My conclusion? Common artist.

Oh, and Sean, I know the title is a little awkward. I wish it was a different title. I think they felt obligated to answer the more militant atheistic literature like the works of Harris, Dawkins, etc. Seriously, it’s a book worth your read.

Sean · 20 May ’10 at 6:47 pm

“Would you have three people die for your one crime (the victim, you, and the sacrificial man)? You choosing to die would itself work against justice.”

How would it work against justice? You seem to be taking a utilitarianism view on morals. While I’m fine with you having your own moral system, I don’t find utilitarianism to be a good moral code to live by. But please correct me if I’m wrong here. I’ll say it again because I feel that you are still not understanding me. I need to pay for my own actions, I don’t want anyone else to and I wouldn’t let anyone else pay for my actions.

I figured when I mentioned evidence for evolution, most people would have a simple understanding of the concept and that anyone can go to google and type in “evolution” and find ample information on the topic.

So let’s start with the definition of evolution. Evolution is change over time. Biological evolution or Darwinian evolution is descent with modification over time. Evolution occurs within populations. Natural Selection acts on individuals. Evolution has nothing to do with the belief that God does not exist. There are scientists that accept evolution and believe in God. There is all I’m going to say about evolution because I’m not a bio major and only know that basics on it, if you want to learn more go to http://www.talkorigins.org You will find creationist claims that have been refuted and a ton of information on evolution.

Most people haven’t studied the fossil record, so I fail to see what this has to do with anything. If something can be demonstrably shown over and over again, how can that be taken on faith?

“Because I believe in God I can say that there is a God. Because you don’t believe in GOd you can say there is no God.”

Sure you can assert that there is a God, I have no quarrel with that. But as soon as you do, you put the burden of proof on yourself. I don’t claim that there isn’t a God because that is making an assertion. I just lack a belief in one, that’s all.

Jessica · 20 May ’10 at 8:35 pm

I know this is kind of a little off topic but…ya

when I was reading Mr. Batson’s first post about his wife being a nurse and all that, it reminded me of something really cool. It’s called Laminin which is “a glycoprotein that is a component of connective tissue basement membrane and that promotes cell adhesion” (taken from dictionary.com) If you google image search it comes up with the scientific diagram of it.

Nathan Petrie · 21 May ’10 at 3:48 pm

@Sean, I understand that you believe you should pay for you own actions. I agree with you. I don’t see at all where you see an utilitarianism view in my morality. I never said anything like that. Just because you should have to pay for your actions doesn’t mean you always do. And when the judge who determines whether or not you “should” do anything tells you that you don’t have to pay for your actions because someone already did…then accepting that offer becomes what you “should” do. Because the writer of the law said so. But that example is dead. lol

We all have a basic understanding of evolution 🙂 The belief in evolution is, in fact, in connection with God not existing. At least the God of the Bible. If evolution occurred, even if God made it occur, the God of the Bible could not exist. Because he gave his account on creation and that account would be a lie.

So I checked out the link you provided and read through most of the “rebuttals” to “claims” made my creationists/Christians. I have to say, I was over hearing laughing. Not only have they seemingly made up claims that are not made among educated Christians, their rebuttals made me laugh as well. Specifically the “errors” in the Bible. There are very plain simple reasons for all of them it made me laugh that they considered them to be errors.

“Most people haven’t studied the fossil record, so I fail to see what this has to do with anything. If something can be demonstrably shown over and over again, how can that be taken on faith?”
I think you missed my point 😉 Earlier I stated that evolution could NOT been shown over and over again. Here’s my quote, “Evolution, however, cannot be subjected to [the scientific method] because it in itself is not science. Evolution is a theory based on an observed natural selection, micro-evolution (a brown dog turning white), and the belief that God does not exist. Leading atheists, I’ll get you quotes if you’d like, state that macro-evolution, changes between species (a dog becoming a bird or something), has never been shown in the fossil record or observable science today.”
Because macro-evolution has never been observed and has never been found in the fossil record it is not a scientific. Science, by definition, is knowledge of the observable world. Evolution is a theory, religious even.

It is taken on faith because you haven’t seen it. Faith is the belief and trust in something you haven’t seen proven. Because evolution has never been observed and has never been hinted by the fossil record those who believe it take it on faith. The belief that God does not exist is faith that there is no God.

To lack belief in something is to claim that that something doesn’t exist. I assert there is a God and I live by the proof I have discovered. I wouldn’t have believed in God if the evidence hadn’t been overwhelming. I have a belief and grounds to back it up.

If I lacked belief in God, my life would be a claim that there was no God. To believe something is to make a claim. You said you don’t believe that there is a God, which is the same as saying that you believe there is no God. That is a claim that God does not exist. And that requires faith.

@WTB, yeah it is funny. Darwain came up with Natural selection, micro-evolution, which is in fact true. Only briefly, in like a sentence or two, did he even address macro/modern Evolution. And then he immediately followed it up by saying that it most likely was not true. His book wasn’t a censored one. He wrote what came haha. So he said “Hmmmm what if?” and then followed it by “No that can’t be.”

Kirk Cameron said something along the lines of, no one looks at an air plane and a toy car and thinks “Hmmm they boy have feels. I wonder if the car turned into the jet.” They understand that the wheel was a useful aspect of the machines and was therefore used in other designs. God made a hand and realized hands were useful, so he made more hands haha

Ian · 21 May ’10 at 7:07 pm

Sean, I’m going to go ahead and disagree with everyone else on one of the major points that you find troubling. (I hope this doesn’t lead to a full scale debate here, but…;)

Anyway, I honestly don’t think that Jesus “took the fall” or “paid the penalty” for our sins. I haven’t seen that in the Bible at all, and besides, it wouldn’t make sense (death on a cross, while terribly horrible, does not equal an eternity in Hell). And you’re right – it does seem unjust – I mean, the law says (even Biblical law) that if someone commits a crime, then that person must be punished. I have never seen a law say “if someone does this crime, SOMEONE, whoever it is, must face this punishment.”

I’m not sure if you had considered those things yet, but I’m just throwing that out there.

I don’t currently know exactly HOW his death can save us – I’m still studying that – but I am positive that it involves a whole other side of the Law and justice. I’m sorry that I don’t have the knowledge to explain how all this works, but I’ll definitely try to come up with a basic answer soon (though I don’t think that will take any short amount of time).

Anyway, ( at the risk of initiating a strong disagreemtn), I hope that gives you (and everyone else for that matter) a bit more to think about. If it makes sense.


Christopher Hopper · 22 May ’10 at 1:31 pm

Sean, please visit again! You made things really fun! Love all your questions, and everyone’s answers, and their questions.

I have two additional things I wanted to throw in:

1.) You asked if anyone had questions for you, to go ahead and ask. So, I’m very curious as to how you explain the whole universe. I know. What a question, right? Being that I’m a Christian, I have a pretty simple default mode: God made it. He’s the point. Etc. But you? You’re fascinating. Please do tell (as much as you feel lead to).

2.) I wanted to go back to the whole issue of you having a moral issue with having someone pay for your crime which they didn’t commit. In actuality, it’s an incomplete picture. Because the problem is the one who’s dying for you actually is doing so because, once he’s raised from the dead, he wants a relationship with you. In actuality, you’re rejecting his gift of saving your life, AND you’re rejecting his offering for relationship. I’m not sure how you wrestle with that morally, but it doesn’t settle well with me to say no. It means to me, in false humility, that I’m saying I deserve the justice being dished out to me and Jesus doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Sean · 23 May ’10 at 2:48 am

    Sorry I haven’t checked back in a few days, I will attempt to address what I can.

    “If I lacked belief in God, my life would be a claim that there was no God. To believe something is to make a claim. You said you don’t believe that there is a God, which is the same as saying that you believe there is no God. That is a claim that God does not exist. And that requires faith.”

    Lacking belief is not making an assertion. There is a huge difference between lacking a belief and making a claim such as “there is no god”. Let’s use the example of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’m assuming no one here believes that it actual exists. So by your definition, since everyone lacks a belief, they are asserting that it doesn’t exist and that is going on faith. That doesn’t seem to follow.

    “We all have a basic understanding of evolution.”

    It seems that you and others don’t because you keep bringing up points that have been refuted time and time again. I’m not biology major and don’t know everything about evolution so I can’t explain everything about it. I gave you a website that has refuted claims by creationists and you said you just “laughed” at them. I don’t know what else to say to you because you seem to just ignore what I’ve been saying and showing you.

    You keep saying that there is no evidence of evolution occurring? Can you explain why there are different strands of the flu every year then?


    “So, I’m very curious as to how you explain the whole universe.”

    If by explain, you mean the purpose of the universe, then that’s a loaded question. But if you mean how did the universe come into existence then I don’t know and I’m totally comfortable with this position. That’s really all I have to say about that.

    To address your second point…

    Even if someone dies for me and then comes back to life I don’t want someone taking my punishment that I deserved. I know that some of you just don’t understand my thinking here but my moral compass tells me that is wrong. Even if this person had the best intentions of laying their life down for me I didn’t want them doing this because I think it’s immoral.

      Christopher Hopper · 24 May ’10 at 10:39 am

      Sean: I get the immoral argument. But you still didn’t address the relationship aspect. (Just curious as to your thoughts): In refusing the offer of taking your place in punishment, your rejecting the offer of relationship by the one who Created you. (Granted, assuming one believes you were created). ch:

        Sean · 25 May ’10 at 1:39 pm

        “In refusing the offer of taking your place in punishment, your rejecting the offer of relationship by the one who Created you. (Granted, assuming one believes you were created).”

        I can’t accept an offer for a relationship if I don’t see any evidence for it. In order for me to accept any god claims, I need to see demonstrable proof for said god. This evidence would need to be able to be repeatedly demonstrated as well. Until someone shows me that evidence, I can’t accept these claims.

        You need to stop telling me what I believe and don’t believe. I don’t have faith that God doesn’t exist, I’m not even making that claim. Once again, all I’m saying is that I lack a belief in god or gods.

        As for the whole evolution thing, I don’t know what to tell you. I give you a website that refutes creationist claims and you laugh at them. At this point I have to assume that you just don’t have any understanding about evolution from how our discussion and this statement.

        “The flu virus is adapting but the flu virus isn’t changing into a house-fly.”

        Also, just because I can’t explain everything there is to know about evolution doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Like I said, I have a basic understanding of evolution hence why I sent you to that site.

        BTW, I will point at once again that if you accept the theory of gravity but not the theory of evolution you are being inconsistent. There is just as much evidence for both theories.

          Nathan Petrie · 1 Jun ’10 at 10:12 am

          @Sean, the whole “You have faith thing” doesn’t really matter too much anyway. I’m not telling you what you believe, I was just restating what you said haha. But yeah, it doesn’t really matter too much.

          You don’t know what to tell me about Evolution? Dude, I’m as much a truth seeker as you. We both think we know something of the truth. I’m just as skeptical as you. You won’t believe God without proof. I won’t believe evolution without proof. I went to the site, read through a lot of the claims. Several were excellent refutations, but several more were hilarious. The funny ones were in relation to the Bible, not evolution directly.

          What does that statement about the flu have anything to do with my understanding of evolution? Why is that invalid? Because evolution must occur between species for evolutionary theory to exist. If species cannot change into another species then evolution doesn’t happen. I agree with natural selection. I agree with change within species. Flu viruses adapt. Yes, I agree. But the flu doesn’t turn into something else. Even over millions of years. Just because, over time, small changes occur does not logically mean that eventually these would lead to huge jumps. If it did, we’d see it. And we don’t.

          I agree. You don’t have to be able to explain it all to be right. Truth is truth regardless of if we know it is or understand it all. And just because something can’t be proven doesn’t make it false. Evolution can’t be proven any more than God can. They both have evidence, it’s just the interpertation of it.

          I”m just saying that I need proof in order to believe in evolution. And the evidence is weak.

          If you are going to asser that there is just as much evidence for evolution as gravity you are then called to explain this proof. Gravity and evolultion are seperate, even scientists would admit this with ease. I mentioned this earlier:

          “As for gravity, gravity can be stated as a law because it has been tested trillions of times. Every time I have dropped this rock it has fallen to the ground. Billions of times. The law of gravity has been tested against the scientific method. [People have observed it] Evolution, however, cannot be subjected to science because it in itself is not science. Evolution is a theory based on an observed natural selection, micro-evolution (a brown dog turning white), and the belief that God does not exist. Leading atheists, I’ll get you quotes if you’d like, state that macro-evolution, changes between species (a dog becoming a bird or something), has never been shown in the fossil record or observable science today.” Gravity can be assured of because I can observe it. Evolutioin cannot be observed.

Nathan Petrie · 25 May ’10 at 7:41 am

@Sean, because there is no evidence of God not existing to believe he does not is to have faith in your claim that there is no God. Faith is defined as confidence, trust, etc in a person idea or thing. You are confident that God does not exist. That is faith.

As for our understanding of evolution those refutations aren’t good ones. Plus, I’m not having a discussion with the creators of that site. We’re talking to you 😉 lol. I laughed because their imagined refutations were hilarious haha.

I’m not ignoring you 🙂 I went to the site didn’t I? lol

As for the flu, there are different strands of the flu virus. Yup, you’re right. That is micro evolution which I have said time and time again as being correct. The flu virus is adapting but the flu virus isn’t changing into a house-fly. The viruus is changing within its own species. Micro evolution. This is the same thing as wolves changing into house-dogs or a speckled cat over time becoming a pure white cat. All of these are characteristic changes, but the creature remains the same. For evolution to occur there should be evidence of macro-evolution, ie the change between the species. which has never been found.

@Ian, the Old Testament asserts time and time again that blood covers sin. Perfect lambs, bulls, etc held judgement back from Israel for years at a time. And these were animals! If the blood of a spotless creature covered sin, how much more would the blood of the perfect man, who was God himself, cover it?

Sean · 2 Jun ’10 at 10:28 pm

Like I stated earlier, I’m not sure what to say anymore on evolution. I can’t explain it in detail so I’ll recommend any book by Richard Dawkins, specifically The Greatest Show on Earth.

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