Friday, December 14, 2012

False Science 2

This blog was sparked as a response to a theological discussion about the literal reality of Adam as a distinct person.

We do not criticize any of the speakers in this forum.  You are free to evaluate the discussion on its own merits.  What bothers us is that scientific ideas and terms are often thrown around in the sense of common knowledge.  In this specific instance the history related to Copernicus gets thrown around.  That happens a lot in contemporary society.  However, this creates a false impression about what science does or does not have to say about the issue.  In other words, our common knowledge is not common, it is filled with errors, and in many instances is no better than an old wives fable or urban legend.  Please, we can do better than that.

Our Response

Unfortunately, this pentalog is flawed by a weak understanding of science.  The history surrounding Copernicus and the heliocentric cosmology model is indeed unfortunate.  No one, other than God, knows the exact center of the cosmos; this locus is impossible to discover by measurement or observation.  Even if Big Bang ( is conceded for the sake of this discussion, it is still unlikely that the center of the cosmos can be found by mere man.

“There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion.  Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on (ibid).”

“There are generally considered to be three outstanding problems with the Big Bang theory: the horizon problem, the flatness problem, and the magnetic monopole problem (ibid).”

Fundamental to this discussion is the fact that we cannot really see beyond our event horizon (  Obviously, Big Bang, as yet, has nothing to say about the exact center of the cosmos.  Since, we cannot see beyond our event horizon we cannot prove or disprove that God is “out there” by scientific means.  This requires that God, if He exists, penetrate our event horizon, which He did in the form of His Shekinah Glory, a fact attested by millions of credible witnesses over continual periods spanning hundreds of years.

Therefore, having set aside Big Bang as irrelevant and moot, we return to the original question of origins with this additional quote from wiki/Big_Bang.

“If the large-scale Universe appears isotropic as viewed from Earth, the cosmological principle can be derived from the simpler Copernican principle, which states that there is no preferred (or special) observer or vantage point.”

In the realm of multi-dimensional Cartesian coordinates and vector systems, the choice of origins, as well as other details, is entirely arbitrary.  One usually chooses one’s origins to simplify the mathematics of any given problem.  Calculations made from two differing points of origin must produce the same result, even though one may be very difficult to compute, and even more difficult to explain.  As the “Copernican principle” suggests, the two differing points of origin are relative to each other.  A heliocentric cosmology model yields simple elliptical path mathematics that anyone can understand: it is indispensable to discussion of our planetary system.  However, this does not at all obsolete our geocentric cosmology model, which is still in widespread use today and equally indispensable for things like star mapping: contemporary astronomy discussions are still filled with words like ecliptic.  Therefore, the debate over geocentricity versus heliocentricity is worn out.  We do not and cannot know where the absolute center of the universe is located, and we don’t much care.

What we do know is that the Shekinah Glory invaded our event horizon at least once.  Moreover, He did it in such a way as to establish Himself as the sole qualified expert to speak on all things creative.  He was there from before the foundation of the world, we were not there.  He clearly says that Adam is a single real person, that Adam’s flesh was divided somehow, mysteriously to make two distinct real persons: one retaining the name Adam, the other being named Life.  That settles that, but it is hardly the end of the story.

This Shekinah Glory explains to us in numerous places that He is always near, and everywhere: there is no sufficient reason ever to limit the range of that presence either inside or outside of our event horizon.

Finally, it should be abundantly clear to all students of cosmology that this Shekinah Glory appeared in the Bethlehem Star during the days of Herod the Great, on the Mount of Transfiguration a few years later, as tongues of fire on the disciples in 33 AD, and will doubtless come again blazing across the sky in great glory.

Merry Christmas,
Herb Swanson aka Augie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Midnight Prayers for Western Christians


The purpose of the Midnight Prayers is to fill those who watch at midnight with a depth and love of God’s Law, especially as expressed in Psalm 119.  If nothing else may be accomplished, as a minimum this Psalm may be prayed every weeknight, discarding all the rest.  For those with greater strength and more time, more may be accomplished.  Those who undertake such watchfulness should begin to see and understand the Gospel expressed in the Law, as well as the Law expressed in the Gospel.  To help with such a growing vision, we have added the Decalogue to these prayers, before Psalm 119.

With the love of God’s Law firmly in mind we would also hope that these prayers draw eastern and western Christians closer together.  We are indebted to numerous Orthodox resources, too numerous to mention, for both the structure and content of these prayers.[1]  Those who delve into the background materials, so readily available on the internet, will discover that much material has been removed.  Westerners are not usually accustomed to such prayers, so we did not wish to be tedious to anyone, and thus discourage anyone from finding a simple starting place.

The only thing that is not optional is Psalm 119 itself.  For those whose time is strictly limited the Psalm may be divided into three portions (verses 1-72, 73-131, 132-176), into the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet that are frequently marked in English Bibles, or into some other convenient division.  Those who are able to pray the whole of Psalm 119 every weeknight will find a glorious reward.

One should not overlook the wonderful tangencies between Psalm 119 and the New Testament: especially, Hebrews 5:8; John 14:6 (v 30); Luke 15:7, 10, 32 (v 74); and Matthew 18:12, Luke 15:4 (v 176) which also connects with Isaiah 53:6.

We are indebted to Professor Meredith Kline[2] for his work on ancient covenants, as well.  We are unaware that he ever formed the conclusions presented here, but we would never have seen these relationships, except by standing on Dr. Kline’s shoulders.[3]

The observation that the first three verbs of The Lord’s Prayer are all past tense, passive voice belongs to a seminary classmate.  Unfortunately, his name has been forgotten.  If this observation is taken at face value, it means that The Lord’s Prayer is prophetic of the Cross-work of Christ; the first three petitions are not requests, but rather paeans of praise sung by Christ to the Father.  As such, we enter into these praises in full assurance that each new day is built on the Immovable Foundation, Christ.

Finally, dear reader, we are indebted to you.  There is nothing as important as the bringing together of the Body of Christ into one joyous whole.  This cannot be accomplished without the work of Christ within you.  Please pray with us whenever you are able.  You should never bear any sense of guilt in this: if you are unable, we trust that the Lord has had you occupied with His kingdom work elsewhere.  Peace.

Yours in Christ
Herb aka Augie


Midnight Prayers for Western Christians


... in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.  Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.  Amen.  Glory to You, our God, glory to You.

O Heavenly King: Prayer to the Holy Ghost

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, You are everywhere and fill all things, Treasury of blessings, and Giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.


Holy God, Holy, Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.[4]


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

All-Holy Trinity

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us.  Lord, cleanse us from our sins.  Master, pardon our iniquities.  Holy One, visit us and heal our infirmities for Your Name’s sake.  Lord have mercy.[5]


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in the heavens, Your name was hallowed.  Your kingdom was brought.  Your will was done.  As in heaven, so also on earth.  Give us this day our heavenly bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.  Amen.[6] [7]  Lord have mercy.[8]


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.


O come, let us worship and fall down before our King and our God.  O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God.  O come, let us worship and fall down before the very Christ Himself, our Immortal King and our God.

Psalm 51 (50 LXX)

Pray through Psalm 51 (50 LXX) in your favorite version.  Then pray through the Law as follows or in your favorite version.

The Decalogue: The Law (Exodus 20:1-17)[10]

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

1                   You shall not have other gods before Me.

2                   You shall not make for yourself any graven image: any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

3                   You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them (for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me; and showing mercy to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments).

4                   You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain).

5                   Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  You shall labor six days, and do all your work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God: You shall not do any work in it: not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates (for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it).

The First Commandment with promise

Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the Lord your God gives you.

6                   You shall not murder.

7                   You shall not commit adultery.

8                   You shall not steal.

9                   You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10              You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Psalm 119 (118 LXX)[11]

Pray through Psalm 119 (118 LXX) in your favorite version.  The Stasis may be prayed between verses 72 and 73, as well as between verses 131 and 132.  The Final Stasis may be prayed at the end of Psalm 119.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia: Glory to You, O God (three times).  Lord, have mercy (three times).  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Final Stasis

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

The Creed

We believe in One God: Father, Almighty, Maker; of heaven and earth; and of all things visible and invisible.

And we believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten, not made, being of one essence with the Father; through Whom all things were made.  Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.  He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day He raised again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spake by the prophets.

We believe In One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.  Amen.

Optional Repetition of the Opening Prayers

The Trisagion, Gloria, All-holy Trinity, Gloria, and The Lord’s Prayer may be repeated here as at the opening of Midnight Prayers.

Behold the Bridegroom

Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching.  And again, unworthy is that servant whom He shall find heedless.  Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest you be borne down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom.  But rather rouse yourself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O our God, through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

As You Bring to Mind

As you bring to mind the most fearful day, rouse yourself, O my soul, and be vigilant.  Kindle your darkened lamp and make it radiant with oil, for you do not know when you will suddenly hear that voice cry out, “Behold, your Bridegroom comes to you.”  Mark, then, O my soul, lest like those five foolish virgins, who sleep and remain outside vainly knocking at the door; but endure in all watchfulness, so that you might meet Christ our God with rich oil, and that He might grant the fair Divine bridal-chamber of His glory to you forevermore.

Prayer of the Hours

You are worshipped and glorified at all times and at every hour, in Heaven and on earth, O Christ God.  You are long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate.  You love the righteous and have mercy on sinners.  You call all to salvation through the promise of good things to come.  Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Your commandments.  Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain.  Surround us with Your holy Angels, that guided and guarded by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Your unapproachable glory, for You are blessed now, from the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.


O come, let us worship and fall down before our King and our God.  O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God.  O come, let us worship and fall down before the very Christ Himself, our Immortal King and our God.


Pray through Psalms 121, 134 (120, 133 LXX).

Optional Repetition of the Opening Prayers

The Gloria, Trisagion, Gloria, All-holy Trinity, Gloria, and The Lord’s Prayer may be repeated here as at the opening of Midnight Prayers.

Keep Your Servants

Keep Your servants in remembrance, O Lord, since You are good, and forgive their every sin in this life: for no mortal person is without sin, except for You Who are able to grant rest even to those who have departed.

O You Who by the Depth

O You Who by the depth of Your wisdom provides all things out of love for mortals, and grants to all whatever is profitable.  O only Creator: grant rest, O Lord, to the souls of Your servants; for in You have they placed their hope, O our Creator and Fashioner and God.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

With the Saints Grant Rest

With all the Saints grant rest, O Christ, to the souls of Your servants, where there is neither pain, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life unending.  Both now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.  Lord have mercy.[12]

Remember, O Lord

Remember, O Lord, our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in hope of the resurrection of eternal life, and all that have ended their days in piety and faith; and forgive their every transgression in which they have willingly or unwillingly transgressed in word or deed or thought.  And make them to dwell in places of light, in places of verdure, in places of refreshment, where every pain, sorrow, and sighing is fled away, where the visitation of Your countenance makes glad all Your Saints from ages past.  Grant unto them and us Your Kingdom, and participation in Your ineffable and eternal good things, and the enjoyment of Your endless and blessed life.  For You are the Life, the Resurrection, and the Repose of Your servants that have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto You do we send up glory with Your Father Who is without beginning, and Your All-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

Our Hope

Our hope is the Father, our refuge is the Son, our shelter is the Holy Ghost.  O Holy Trinity, glory to You.


Lord, bless.  Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.  Amen.

[1] For example: especially


[3] See Meredith G. Kline, “The Two Tables of the Covenant”: Westminster Theological Journal 22 (1960) 133-46, and many other places.

[4] Optional: three times with deep bows or prostrations — If bowing and prostration seem strange, it may help to remember that Christ is the King of Kings.  Because America has no earthly king, all memory of the practice has faded away.

[5] Optional: Lord have mercy three times with deep bows or prostrations

[6] At Your Son’s cross, burial, victory over hell, resurrection, ascension, and future coming in glory.  Join us mortals here on earth to your Son’s work, so that we may participate in it with joy immortal.

[7] O Christ, God-man, You have done all these things for us by your mighty works in life and in death.  Enable us to enter into the majesty of your prayer, by receiving Your most-pure Body and like precious Blood.  Empower us to be obedient to its beauty and goodness, that we might become a truly forgiving people.  Inspire us to behold its glory, that we might be evermore like You in all that we think, say and do, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

[8] Optional: twelve times with deep bows or prostrations

[9] The name of the prayer suggests an optional practice.

[10] Omit on Saturday and Sunday.

[11] The Midnight Prayer is intended for weekday evenings.  Saturday and Sunday (Kyriake) are frequently given to other things.

[12] Optional: Lord have mercy twelve times with deep bows or prostrations

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Absolute Existence of God 4

Does God Exist?

Our insistence on the Absolute Existence of God, although a bit tongue-in-cheek, has also drawn some comment in Twitter.  Here is the whole conversation.

M:  That's what makes it more of a delusion.  Humans created that give each other comfort.  Like Santa and the tooth fairy to kids.

R:  Comment was made in another language.

M:  Not true.  It's comforting it's poetic but it's not true.  Doesn't make it true just because it is comforting.

R:  Comment was made in another language.

M:  I see the evidence that refutes the existence of god.  Thus, he doesn't exist.

HS: This evidence is faulty because your sight is not ubiquitous.  Your evidence is merely your opinion.  You’re welcome to it.

M:  "This evidence" pointing to what?

HS:  Evidence that refutes the existence of God.

M:  So you don't believe in evolution despite the clear evidence?  What about how old the earth is?


A Fundamental Error

You have committed the logical error of jumping to a conclusion.  Actually, I do believe in scientific, special evolution.

The Necessity of Defining Terms

Since you have failed to define your terms, I shall define them for you.

There are two kinds of evolution.  Scientists, Christians, and many others frequently fail to distinguish these two kinds of evolution: which leads to a great deal of error and unnecessary misunderstanding.  While we are on the subject of evolution, there are also at least two major forms of Darwinism, which need to be addressed separately as well.

Special Evolution

Special evolution is that scientific theory which claims that random variation does occur within species.  This theory is easily demonstrated and is fundamental to our contemporary understanding of all biology and zoology studies.  The experimental evidence is so often experimentally replicated and repeated that one would be a colossal fool to doubt it.  The odds of false conclusion are in the trillions to one or better.  Denying the existence of special evolution is a statistical error of the magnitude of claiming that the Sun doesn’t exist.

General Evolution

General evolution is that speculative theory which claims that random variation occurs outside of species and across species boundaries.  Granted that the scientific definition and identification of exactly what a species is, is no small matter.  This theory has never been demonstrated and it is fundamental to nothing.  The experimental evidence is so completely absent that one would be a colossal fool to believe it.

One Source of Debate

Much of Darwin’s struggles over the impossibility and possibility of variation crossing species boundaries is driven by a theological question.  Nowadays, Presbyterian and Reformed Christians are pretty much the only ones that pay attention to these things.  The question is, “Does variation among creatures stem from God’s Creation or from God’s Providence?”  This is no easy question to answer; in fact, it is impossible to answer with any human certainty.  For Darwin this proved perplexing when so many of his observations as a naturalist seemed to defy the conventional wisdom of his day.  Darwin was hardly the only naturalist of his day to be so perplexed, and rightly so.

We, as well, should observe this seemingly endlessness of myriad variegation and stand in awe of its majesty.  Are the many variations of Finches (the bird) in all their wondrous variegation due to God’s Creation or God’s Providence?  It seems preposterous to believe that God created each of these distinct variations as distinct individuals in the Garden of Eden, so long ago.  When we consider that these variations come and go randomly within the species we find it difficult to believe that each was created distinctly.

Nevertheless, we know, or think we do, what Darwin did not know: that genetic code hidden in DNA strands (evidently) within all living beings allows for a great deal of seemingly random variability.  There is simply no good reason not to believe that such variability did not come from an intelligent designer we call God.

Physical Darwinism

Darwin speculated about many things based on his puzzling observations.  Intelligent informed speculation is what scientists do.  This is what inductive reasoning is.  Hopefully, a scientist[1] has observations with which to begin.  In general, man has three kinds of reasoning available: abduction, deduction, and induction.[2] [3] Abduction is that field of logic where one starts without any relevant observation whatsoever and is compelled to formulate a first hypothesis based only on raw guess or speculation.  No one wants to be caught in this predicament for very long, even though it happens to us all.  Deduction is that field of logic where one starts with well-established guidelines and works forward.  Engineering and medicine are common examples.  Induction is that field of logic where one starts with observations, carefully constructs a hypothesis, and proceeds with many, many experiments with all their replications and repetitions until the hypothesis is either probably established or disproved.  If no substantiating evidence is forthcoming, the hypothesis is abandoned as a lost cause, and the scientist moves on to new quests.  Darwin's many speculations make him an excellent inquisitive scientist.  They make him neither inerrant nor anti-Christian.  The fact that Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey, not far from Sir Isaac Newton, ought to warn us not to falsely accuse Darwin of wrongdoing.  It also ought to serve to remind us that most of this wonderful world of scientific discovery is due to inquisitive Christians, who never lost their sense of awe over God’s Created Universe.

Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is that field of speculative philosophy, which asserts the superiority of various aspects of humanity, and is falsely attributed to Darwin.  Social Darwinism has led to many destructive and evil movements and corrupt social abuses: for example, the false claims that men are superior to women; one race is superior to another; etc....  It has led to movements of ethnic cleansing, racial extermination, and widespread prejudicial abuses.  It explains much of Adolph Hitler’s rise to power, many of the pogroms found in Communism, along with the cruel suppression of American blacks, Germans, Hispanics, Indians, Japanese, etc.  It results in people who continue to fight the Civil War, WWII, and other conflicts.  It caused the denial to many of equal opportunity at law, as well as their resultant poverty.  Even so, it is still commonly found in practice among us.

How Old is the Earth?

Only God knows how old the earth is.  I find it a difficult fact of life to choke down, that otherwise credible scientists have loaned their voices to this useless speculation.  All of the so called, reigning theories: namely, Big Bang and/or any other are just a load of speculative garbage.  We should abstain from discussing what we cannot and do not know.  To formulate a credible scientific theory of origins requires a credible scientific observer, an eyewitness.

Philosophically, there is only One such credible scientific observer possible.  Since you, sir, cannot possibly see or hear Him, you are left without any reasonable solution.  Since your eyes and ears are physically incapable of searching anywhere and everywhere in time or space, you are incapable of solving your own riddle.

Any evidence[4] that I might produce to the contrary will only fall on deaf ears, so you are doomed to die without knowing any answer, but only an endless and infinite uncertainty.  Sorry, there is no answer for your predicament; it is hopelessly lost in the infinite void, the abyss.  Sorry.

[1] For a thorough discussion of the Scientific Method please see
[2] The ever-popular Elementary TV series in which Sherlock claims to deduce is incorrect.  Sherlock induces, but if he said that, no one would know about what Sherlock is talking.  It is, after all, a minor aggravation in the popular misuse of words to which we all fall guilty somewhere or other.
[3] The well-informed student of logic will not neglect the exploration of apophatic and cataphatic reasoning, the causes and kinds of logical error or failure, and the full-orbed pursuit of statistical probabilities.  Since this path is strewn with so much error we all ought to listen carefully to the warnings expressed by O’Connor, Rory, Friends, Followers and the Future, City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, 2012, 285 pages; and by Seife, Charles, Proofiness, Viking, New York, 2010, 295 pages.
[4] For example:,,  The very credible evidence is found in the Old Testament, but I have no hope whatsoever of ever getting folks like this to even read the Old Testament, let alone believe it.  For those who will believe it, the evidence has been there for thousands of years for all to examine.  If you will, come and meet the Glory, Three Living Persons who love you and seek your love in return.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Absolute Existence of God 3

Does God Exist?

Our insistence on the Absolute Existence of God, although a bit tongue-in-cheek, has drawn some comment in Facebook.  Here is the whole conversation.

BW Posts

“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’  So, Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died.  Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.’ ”-John 6

HS Responds

“The indispensible evangelism text.”

JY Writes

“Hurray for cannibalism?!”

HS Replies

“That accusation was resolved centuries ago!?”


“Yeah, in that if you eat the flesh of ones own species you are practicing cannibalism.  But hey if eating human flesh is your thing don't let me cramp your style.  All I ask is don't try and twist definitions and logic around to make yourself feel better.  Lying to yourself never helped anyone.”


“Ravi Zacharias addressing a group of Christians said, ‘The anger with which they[Atheists] speak about God you would not speak against the Tooth Fairy.... Something in the back of their minds tell them – “He’s REAL and we’re ANGRY!”  Why use the time and energy to attack a God that “doesn't exist”?’ ”

“Why do you hate God [JY]?  Or if you won’t answer that, why do you hate the idea of God?”


“Lol The idea that I would actually possess hatered towards a fictional being is absurd.  That being said the existence of your God in particular is a interesting one because wether I like it or not it's believers think it can tell me and others how to live by affecting public policy.  As I've already said, I find your traditions of eating the living flesh of your deity odd but I would never try and change anything about you or how you live.  That is something missionaries in Africa or Asia can't really say now can they?”


“Since there are at least two distinct topics involved here, we need to separate them in order to make any sense out of the conversation.

For a thorough proof of the existence of God, please consult  Look forward to the-absolute-existence-of-god-2, soon to come as well.  The clear, sure evidence for the existence of God is sufficiently manifest for all to see.  However, some folks want to pretend they cannot see it; in reality, they will not see it.  Denying the existence of God is a logic error on the order of denying that the sunrise took place this morning.

As far as the ancient claim of cannibalism is concerned, Christ’s outrageous sermon offended nearly everyone in earshot.  Evidently, Christ intended to offend those listening.  Many of His hearers had a cold, dead, rule bound idea of God; for these, God was nothing more than a set of demands (not the Ten Commandments, not even the other regulations handed down through Moses, [these were] extra manmade ceremonial rules).  God was no longer a person to them.  Christ demands that we consider what our relationship to Him is.

What is our relationship to Him?  If we were related to God as carnivore and kill, or as manslayer and victim to be devoured, the John 6 picture would indeed be too much to tolerate.  However, this does not describe our relationship to God.  Rather, He is Creator and we are creation, He is Groom and we are bride, He is Head and we are body, He is Vine and we are branches.  In all of these metaphorical relationships, the essential sustenance of life is passed from God to man, which is to say that it is eaten and drunk, without any event of kill or cannibalism.  Man cannot live without God.  Indeed, ‘Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

The relationship of Groom and bride is especially fascinating.  In the beauty and mystery of the marital, sexual relationship, bodily fluids are transferred between man and wife, and new life is created.  This is indeed wonderful, but it is not close to being cannibalistic.  It is not accidental that God calls this relationship, ‘one flesh.’  In redemption, we become one flesh with the Theanthropic (or Theandric) Person: we who are mere men, become men-gods through our relationship with the God-man.  Nor is it accidental that the woman is named Eve (or Zoe in Greek), which means life.

Since there is no direct role model other than these metaphorical relationships, humanity must be content with embracing this mystery of our relationship with God as something logically outside of our grasp.  The metaphors show the logical possibility of such relationships, but do not tell us directly how this plays out between God and man.  So, we must be content to accept them by faith.

There may have been some excuse for the cannibalism accusation in the first century.  Nowadays, it simply displays unbelievable ignorance.”


“Firstly there is no conclusive evidence for or against god's existence.  Even as a atheist myself I understand that science is the study of the natural world and sense your god in particular is WAY outside the natural order it would be impossible to properly study or judge a being that can warp time, space, matter, and even the very laws that govern each at will.  ANYONE who claims to know or prove the existence or nonexistence of such a being is a delusional imbecile of the highest caliber.

What I will address however your arguments where science is involved.  How on Earth do you see the sharing of genetic material to make offspring and consuming the flesh of others to be equal?  You even throw in a marriage metaphor which btw makes it sound like eating a spouse is justified as you are ‘one in the same’.  To be fair in the natural world cannibalism is not very uncommon (albet rare for mammals like ourselves and less so for reptiles and insects).  We as humans tend to view it more taboo then murder, rape, or incest because of this wonderful thing called empathy which allows us to understand and conceptualize what we are putting another sentient being threw.  Hell thats why most vegetarians are who they are because they apply that to non-human beings.

Lastly I want to address the HUGE amount of mental gymnastics I see in your explanation.  Just because you or your church has decided that eating the flesh of Jesus isn't cannibalism doesn't mean it actually is not cannibalism.  If you want it not to be cannibalism then ask Websters to change the definition because your tradition still meets the current criteria.  Your opinions have ZERO weight behind them if all you have to justify yourself is philosophical bullshit that is meaningless to anyone who doesn't think exactly as you do!  You say humanity ‘must’ embrace this mysterious relationship with god when it simply doesn't.  How many billions currently live honest peaceful lives without giving your god a second thought?  Do you understand how insanely arrogant you sound when you say such things?”


“It is difficult to believe that you read the proof of God's existence.  Science has nothing to say about this.  History is too large to put into a test-tube.  The Jews claim that their ancestors met continuously with a Person named I Am, over a period of 860 years.  If this claim were based on the observation of one Israelite, we might have cause to doubt the evidence.  If this claim were based on one occurrence, we might suspect illusion or delusion.  That several million people observed this Person, and built a nation in obedience to His commands is virtually indisputable.  That this nation was destroyed, only when this Person abandoned the Jews because of their sins, is remarkable.  The credibility of the documentary evidence is unimpeached (it is a credible diary, or logbook kept over many generations).  Numerous tests of personality are all met.  By your argument millions of Jews throughout history are, ‘delusional imbecile[s] of the highest caliber.’

With regard to ‘You say humanity ‘must’ embrace....’  We have no intention of coercing your conscience, or telling you what to believe.  You can, may, and will believe what you wish: it is a free country.  However, we did not attack you or intrude ourselves into your conversation.  Rather, you intruded yourself into our conversation and began to attack us.  Nevertheless, we welcome such uninvited involvement in the interests of pursuing Truth.  Having said that, there are unavoidable cause and effect relationships involved here.  You have chosen your own path, and you will (you must) live with the consequences of that choice.

As far as the cannibalism claim [is] concerned, this is just so much flogging of a dead horse.  The discussion lost philosophical importance over 1500 years ago.  I’m amazed that anyone thinks it is any longer important.  For example, see:  Notwithstanding the opposing claims of, the argument is absurd.  If you wish to believe this sort of thing, it’s a free country, you may believe whatever you wish to believe.  That does not give you the right to lay this at our doorstep.  We do ‘understand how insanely arrogant you sound when you say such things.’

As far as the credibility of our arguments is concerned, we never intended to persuade you to begin with.  We know full well that, ‘A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.’  You will continue to believe what you wish to believe.  Our arguments serve only one real purpose.  They serve to support those who already believe, and to encourage those who are seeking to believe.”


“First of all I never attacked you and still haven't.  At most my ‘hurray for cannibalism?!’ was playful ribbing at best.  It was merely a joke.  It's the same way ‘zombie Jesus’ is mocking the similarities between the two.  If that offends you then learn to get a sense of humor; this is the internet.

Secondly the church does impose itself on others and you are LYING if you say otherwise.  If we had this conversation in Europe 400 years ago my very life would be in danger for sharing these opinions.  People In this very country have been burned alive for witchcraft in the name of your religion so don't you dare say Christianity doesn't force people into its way of thinking because it has and to a degree still does to this day via the fear of becoming ostracized or eternal hellfire.

Thirdly, this has nothing to do with science?  Why the f@&k not?!.  Thousand year old slips of paper written by desert nomads who had about as much traditional education as a modern 1st grader have more credibility then Math, Gravity, and other replicable experiments you yourself are able to do right this very instant?  Are you mad?!  If building cities, cultures, and keeping records is all one takes to legitimize a Deity then please explain the illegitimacy of the Hindu, Muslim, Greek, and Mayan gods because I would love to hear it.  Also this notion that because multiple authors wrote about something around the same time means thats actually the truth is absurd.  For thousands of years everyone on Earth thought the Sun revolved around the Earth and from the evidence they had that was a reasonable assumption however does that mean they still wernt under an illusion?  Of course they were, even if that explanation made sense and was excepted world wide it was still WRONG.  Please, all I ask is that you look at the world from not from one angle or even two but from five or six different ways.”


“You could have fooled me.  It sure does look like an attack to me, looking at it from seven different ways.  You’re talking about my King.

Actually, it is scientifically correct to say that the Sun revolves around the Earth from the perspective of an observer on Earth.  The language of the ecliptic is still appropriate and useful scientifically.  It is equally, scientifically correct to say that the Earth revolves around the Sun from the perspective of an observer on the Sun (hard to accomplish in reality).  Scientifically we do not know, nor cannot find the absolute center of the universe, because our measurements are all relative to an assumed origin.  So actually, the idea that the Sun revolves around the Earth is not and never was wrong.  What is wrong here is your understanding of science.  The point of discussion always depends on the arbitrary choice of Cartesian coordinate systems.

Please don’t lecture me about what science can and cannot do.  I’ve given over 50 years of my life to the study and application of science.  That includes advanced studies in statistics, measurements, scientific method, and error evaluation.  The practice of science depends on the repetition and replication of experiments.  In terms of practical practice, no single scientist can handle an experiment lasting more than a month; the human memory is just not that good.  Hence, long experiments require extra controls.  Replication requires building a new apparatus, or at least tearing down the old one and putting it up again.  We all know what repetition is.  Repetition and replication are important because they expose error factors caused by unknown variables.  The study of this error leads to new discoveries.  It is simply impossible to replicate or repeat any sizeable event of history such as Slaughterhouse-Five (  Science can be used as a tool to evaluate historic artifacts, but even this can be misleading, especially in the case of radiometric dating methods, which are notoriously inaccurate.  In such evaluations the experimental tests can be repeated, or replicated with differing apparatus until the artifact is consumed.  Since no one wants to see the evidence consumed, this sort of experimentation is usually restricted.  The artifact itself is far more valuable than any experiment that can be performed on it.  Science is a very small and limited tool, totally inappropriate for the study of art, history, literature, poetry, or music.  The best that science can do is pick away at minor peripheral details of these subjects.  Science must not be confused with evidence.  The studies of art, history, literature, poetry, and music all require evidence.  However, each of them also requires its own specialized principles of evaluation and controls for verification.  Science has nothing to say about any of this, because science is simply too small an instrument.

Now that we have created the seventh dimensional vector space that you require, let’s explore further.  By the way, are you equipped to handle the algebra and calculus of the seventh dimensional vector spaces you insist that we explore?  The artifacts involved are not thousand-year-old slips of paper; they are two thousand-year-old parchment (leather) and papyrus documents, some of which are almost perfectly intact (  Other pertinent artifacts are five thousand-year-old monuments.  These ‘uneducated desert nomads’ mastered astronomy, invented alphabetic writing, built civilizations, developed the sciences of embalming and ceramics to unexcelled heights, mastered bronze and iron metallurgy, and had a command of mathematics that would stump most modern collegians.  Your idea of ‘first grade education’ is simply arrogant and ill informed.  We urge you to apply your own medicine and ‘look at the world from not from one angle or even two but from five or six different ways.’

The merits and claims of Hindu, [Muslim], Greek, and Mayan civilizations all hang on the artifacts they left behind.  Muslim civilization is late, only arising after 570 AD.  Science has no more to say about these civilizations than it does about Babylonian (Sumerian), Egyptian, Canaanite, Hittite, Philistine, Hebrew, Edomite, Syrian, Assyrian, Neo Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman, Christian, English, or American civilizations.  That’s nineteen different perspectives.  On which of these are you a subject matter expert?  Which of these civilizations has artifacts that disclose meeting with a Person named I Am, who is also called God?  If you really want to go there, produce the evidence and let us compare the credibility between the Old Testament evidence and the evidence of other civilizations.  You know where my evidence is found.  You made a claim.  Where is your evidence?

The church and christianity (please note that the capitalization is deliberate) have done some incredibly stupid and inexcusable things.  Please note the Christian New Testament claim that the Church has always been infiltrated by wicked people.  Moreover, becoming a Christian does not immediately remove a person’s sins, so real Christians also do stupid things (like continuing this conversation).  No, the arrest of Galileo, the wars of the sixteenth century, and the Salem Witch trials are not Christianity's brightest hour.  However, I do not sit in judgment of my ancestors, they were people of their times.

Let’s talk about water boarding.  Are you willing to accept your responsibility for the practice of this act in our civilization?  We may not condemn an entire civilization for the corrupt acts of a few.  We may not condemn the German people for Adolf Hitler.  We may not condemn the United States for the bombing of Dresden.  We may not condemn you for CIA water boarding.  And we may not condemn Christianity for Vladimir III.

As far as coercion of individuals is concerned, let’s talk about what God has done.  God created man with a free will, a perfect intellect, and uncorrupted emotions.  You have nobody to blame but yourself that your will is now enslaved to your pet sins, your intellect is less than flawless, and your emotions are so tangled up that you cannot even understand yourself.  You were made to be a free man, and because of Jesus Christ, you have the potential to be free once again.  It is irrelevant that people do or do not coerce you, or that you feel coerced.  God wants you to be free.  You are not free because you don’t want to be free.  You chose your own brand of slavery.  What are you going to do about that?

If you want to believe that Jesus Christ giving His life in a cruel Roman crucifixion for you constitutes an act of coercion against you, so be it.  I will never dissuade you, and I’ll never try.  I can’t stop you from feeling coerced either, you decided to be that sort of victim, and coerced you will continue to be, even if it’s only in your own mind.  Is your life in danger now?  Why not?

As far as other angles are concerned, what other angles did you have in mind?  It’s your move.

By the way, your jokes aren’t very funny.”