“Intelligent” Contradiction: The irreconcilable assumption of “time/space/quantity” in the intelligent design theory

Recently I was perusing the comments over at one of my favorite sites, “Stufffundieslike.com”, and the topic of conversation was that old Christian punching bag, evolution.

Of course, this inevitably leads to hyper-literal interpretations of the Genesis account (and it did) and Young Earth Indoctrin…er, Creationism.  And this of course leads one to the boxing ring of scientific experimental evidence versus endless appeals to the fact that God can do anything and punting reason into the great void of mystic shrugging of shoulders and the “mysteries of God”.

At any rate, for the Young Earth folks, this apparently includes punting the explicit assumption that God, in the creation process, engaged willfully and “intelligently” certain redundant actions by having Creation do at the beginning what five hundred plus years of scientific observation have concluded it cannot possibly do.

This boxing match is on round one million now, and though the Young Earth side is on the ground dead and dying, they cling to the hopes that before the referee will reach ten in the KO count their cries of “heretic” will somehow revive them.

Any question on where I stand on the issue?

Good.  I was laying on the sarcasm pretty thick.

The problem I see with the whole debate is that no one ever seems to bring up what is to me, the most obvious contradiction, and veritably proves that the Genesis account can only be man’s interpretation of the event, and can by no means be seen as a way to rationally explain what actually happened as a function of some kind of external objective time frame.

The contradiction is this:

Will some Young Earth dude or dudette please define “day”, “twenty -four”, “hour”, and “one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven” as applied to a God who all Creationists openly admit is not bound by space or time.  For the terms I have put in quotes cannot exist without explicitly being a function of both space and time; and this of course means that in order for God to have created in such a way, he must also explicitly operate as a function of space and time.  If he does not, there is no way to declare that he ever created anything in a specific amount of time in a specific number of days.  Because time and day can have no reciprocal value.

As I responded to one Creationist over at Stuff Fundies Like dot com:

“If God is not bound by space or time, how can he create in a specific number of days? Space time implies a where and a when to an action–day 1 was here and within this 24 hours; day two was here, and within a second set of 24 hours. This explicitly means God is in fact a function of space and  time, and is working within the parameters of them. But you just conceded that God doesn’t work within the confines of space or time.

Can you explain the apparent contradiction?”

I didn’t hang around the site for an explanation because my last question was clearly rhetorical.  It was rhetorical because I already know the answer, and so do you, because the answer is one we constantly hear from neo-reformed shills and  is a resounding and earth shattering, truth-surrendering, death cry of  “no'”.

Oh, I’m sorry.  A simple “no” is waaaay to logical for a Calvinist.  The appropriately obfuscating reply will be: “Who can explain His ways?”; “who are you o man to question your maker?”; “God has only revealed what we “need” to know, and that doesn’t include root understandings about the nature of reality and existence, because that would limit the power of the protestant despots to declare their interpretive premises of the Bible as “God’s Infallible Word””.

That’s the answer.  And, so really…the answer is (and I’ll fill in for them the non-propagandized version):  “No…it is in fact a contradiction, and that is all it really is.”

Now, I understand that one might be tempted–as is the case with the false idea of the “trinity”–to declare that, were man around to see creation happen, it would seem to man to take “six literal days”.

To which I would reply: No it wouldn’t, for a couple reasons.

First, you have already conceded that God is not bound by space and time; and the explicit assumption, and also oft-conceded (His ways are NOT your ways, you depraved beast…shut up and tithe, for you are merely a steward, and the master demands the mammon that he did not work for, because he takes what is his, that you must work for so that he will give it to you so you can give it to me and I will give it back to God)…

Oh…sorry.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.

…oft conceded fact that humans are of course bound by space and time.  So there is no reciprocity of existence, is what I mean.  You can never by definition experience the creative process from God’s frame of reference.  You can only experience it from your prison of spacetime.  And as such, there is simply no way in the world to define how God’s creative process would “look” to you; nor how you would “experience” it.  It simply isn’t possible…especially since the Young Earth folks have already conceded that man is bound existentially and God is not.  At best, you can only say that you would “experience’ it according to your own ability to observe as a function of space time.  That being the case–and according to the objective evidence which shows that the processes involved in creation are–to man–processes which take millions and billions of years to occur (like, for instance, the evolution of a planet and a star  from a weakly-interacting primordial subatomic ooze of mass-less, catatonic particles)–you would ‘observe” the creation process as millions and billions of years…much like you experience the waiting rooms of societies which offer universal health care.  And this being the case, you’d be dead before the “sun set’ on day one.

All this is to say that even if God says He made everything in six days, and we agree that that this is indeed what God’s Word really was (and we don’t agree, by the way), we have absolutely no way at all of verifying in any way that the definition of God’s “day” is the same as our day.  Doing that can never be a function of either empirical scientific experiment, nor can it be logically confirmed.  Because creation occurs from the divine frame of reference, there can be no reciprocity of “when” or “where” or “how” or “how long”, or “number” or even a reciprocal value of movement of any kind.  Since man’s observational frame of reference is wholly and utterly mutually exclusive to God’s, there is no way you can ever rationally make the the argument for “six literal day”.  For “six” and “literal” and “days” cannot be defined.  If you say they are defined by how man experiences it, you condemn God to the sheep pen of space time; for if that is how long it took Him, then that is by which He must create; and His actions are limited as a function of space and time. Which means He, Himself is bound by them.  Which means He isn’t really God, but space and time are. Because they are the only things that are infinite and “perfect”.  (And also self-contradicting, but I won’t explain why just now; unless you want me to.)

As I’ve often said, Calvinist despots cannot have their metaphysical cake and eat it too.  If God is infinite, then He cannot be bound by the same numbers man is.  That’s just the deal they make.  As soon as they define God as infinite, sovereign, in control, and wholly outside of man, they must concede then there are things He cannot do.  And one of the things is that He cannot create anything in six literal days.

Otherwise, you, the Calvinist,  are a rational thief.  And no one is obligated to listen to you; for you cannot even reasonably defend your own “truth”.  The more you talk such nonsense, the more we must realize that, by your own admission, you cannot really know anything at all.

Finally, consider this:

The Law of Relativity in part states that if a person leaves earth at light speed and returns ten minutes later, a person remaining on earth would have aged ten years (or thereabouts) and the person who left at light speed would have aged only ten minutes (or thereabouts).  Both would have experienced the passage of time identically, however, when together, it would be clear that time did not “pass” the same for both.

Their frames of reference are utterly exclusive, which is why the numbers cannot be reconciled (ten minutes does not equal ten years…the time was relative).  So…what we learn from this is that the frame of reference is not really spacetime at all, it is self.  And since it is not spacetime, and can never be, time and space can only ever be, particularly in that little example, relative.  And if time and space are relative between two selves, like man and God, then there is no way to reconcile the behavior of either according to some kind of external standard.  If God is infinite and man is not, then the numbers can never be reconciled.

God could not have created the earth and the universe in six literal days.  Because, as I said, “six”, and “literal” and “days” are purely relative terms.  The have no reciprocal value.  Period.

Young Earth Creationism operates on false assumptions.  Therefore, its conclusions are false.

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42 thoughts on ““Intelligent” Contradiction: The irreconcilable assumption of “time/space/quantity” in the intelligent design theory

  1. Love the new look! So much easier to read!

    My question is one for the Old Earth people who understand that the Genesis account is not literal 24 hour days, how come they cannot even give consideration to the issue of numbering God?

  2. Lydia,

    Thanks! That was for you and A Mom.

    Hmm…I’m not sure what you are asking. You mean why don’t they see the contradiction?

    I suspect the same reason so many people tend to blurr the lines between abstraction and actuality. I think part of the problem is the religious assumption that there is a “spirit” and a body. When really there is only a body. When people can’t even define themselves properly, they can’t define God, by extension. Frankly, the NT doesn’t help matters much.

  3. “Will some Young Earth dude or dudette please define ‘day’, ‘twenty -four’, ‘hour’, and ‘one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven’ as applied to a God who all Creationists openly admit is not bound by space or time.”

    I don’t openly admit any such thing. First, I consider time to only be a mental concept not a “Thing” not an existence or entity. The idea that God is “outside of time” therefore is nonsense because time is not is not a box that things exist inside. Time is a mental concept for making sense of before and after. And any and every rational being — God included — must have a concept of time. The concept of time is coeternal with God.

    I will note that I don’t particularly care about theistic evolution vs special creation as it relates to animals, but only to human beings who are created in the image of God. In fact, if the fundies would bother to read Genesis 1 against they would see that God did use something that sounds a bit similar to evolution to create the animals — they weren’t specially created, only man was.

    God said “Let the waters bring forth…” and “Let the earth bring forth…” and the waters and the earth brought forth all manner of animals. But then when it came to man, he himself molded the man and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life. Man was made special, set apart, different from the animals. This is the whole point of the story, and the fundies miss it just as badly as the atheists do. So maybe God did use evolution to create cockroaches and mosquitos and dogs and cats, but not us. Maybe Neanderthals that no longer exist were products of evolution, or of God saying “Let the earth bring forth creeping things and cattle…..” but we aren’t.

    And I don’t see anything wrong with taking Genesis 1 literally, and yet not taking the “fall” story literally. They’re two separate stories. The Calvinist defends his supposedly literal interpretation of Genesis 1 only to save it as a buffer against anyone thinking that Adam eating the apple is an allegory. But I hold a truly literal interpretation of Genesis 1, and yet still hold the apple eating story to be allegory….so all their efforts to save ‘original sin’ are wasted on me.

  4. How are you so sure there is no spirit in light of the hidden world of quantum physics? This kind of materialist certainty will have to go the way of the dinosaur as science becomes more and more convoluted by quantum uncertainty and the like.

  5. Space also doesn’t exist; its an infinite empty vacuum. And try as I might, I’ll admit I can’t conceive of God prior to the creation in any way other than, pardon the phrase, floating in space. I can’t conceive of God as outside of space, nor as being space, or as space being inside God. “Just can’t do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.” Nor do I see any reason why these kinds of medieval neo-Platonic speculations should be imposed on anyone as ‘orthodoxy’. And I dare be so literal as to believe that heaven is some kind of dimension that God created in which he literally sits on a literal throne, having provided himself some form of spiritual corporeality for that express purpose. If I couldn’t believe that, I’d just be an atheist, for I don’t see a point in believing in an impersonal formless-blob of a god such as the neo-Platonists have imposes on both Jews and Christians as ‘orthodoxy’ via Augustine and Maimonides.

  6. “The Law of Relativity in part states that if a person leaves earth at light speed and returns ten minutes later, a person remaining on earth would have aged ten years (or thereabouts) and the person who left at light speed would have aged only ten minutes (or thereabouts). Both would have experienced the passage of time identically, however, when together, it would be clear that time did not “pass” the same for both.”

    I have to admit that makes as little sense to me as Calvinism. And its unverifiable, because its not likely we’ll ever be able to travel at light speed. As a result, this is not a “Law.” Gravity is a law, because its not just a theory, but an observable phenomenon. And its one we observe constantly every day — everyone observes it, not just specialists. But this theory that a person traveling at light speed for 10 minutes will age 10 minutes and at the same time during that 10 minutes other people will age 10 years — it can never be observed by anyone, pedestrian or elitist, plebeian or patrician, and Therefore so far as my definition of science goes, it is merely a “theory” and not a “Law.”

  7. James,

    My philosophy is quite simple. I am a consummate objectivist, but not in the Ayn Rand sense. What I mean is that I concede only that objects exist. Nothing else.

    In short, I do not believe that nothing exists. That being the case, there is no metaphysical nor physical distinction between man’s body and his spirit; there is no boundary of “space” or “time” between them. They are one and the same. Man owns them both, and as one goes the other goes; they are inexorably linked and inseparable. The reason we have a body now and will have a body “then” is because without man’s body there is no man. You want to see man’s spirit? Look in the mirror. It is in the same “place” as his body.

    Quantum uncertainty is only uncertain because the mathematics are rooted in the assumption that ideas like “vacuum”, “time”, and “space” are actual things which interact with and effect the physical world. Thus, the only real confusion is due to the fact that the frame reference for an object with such a large mass is wholly distinct and exclusive to one without mass. Abstractions like “time” and “space” break down once you get into the world of dimensionless subatomic particles. But the reason they break down isn’t because they “work” in our frame of reference, but “don’t work” in the standard model of particle physics. It is because they don’t really exist. They are abstract. The difference is that objects “move” differently relative to observable dimensions. The more massive they are, the more observable “space” there is as a relative function of movement; and if there is more observable space, then there must then be more observable “time”. Both particles and subatomic particles exist then, in the exact same way; it is merely how they are observed that is different. That is why I do not accept that there is a spirit separate from the body. A man is where and what he is, period. Body and spirit may have some kind of relatively observable differences, but their is no existential difference.

    So, it seems to me, there is only confusion in quantum due to a stubborn refusal to accept Argo’s Universal Truth Number One: All that exits are objects and relative movement. The rest is pure abstraction. .

  8. Further, it would seem to me that to NOT be a “materialist” you would have to hold to a fundamental contradiction: that what is not material exists. Which to me is nothing more than conceding that nothing can actually be something. Whereas I concede this: that if something is, it must then be someTHING.

    You see, once you concede that there is somehow a distinction between man’s body and his spirit, you are on the hook for defending that contradiction.That somehow man is both man and NOT man at the same time. That there is some kind of boundary (of…er, what?) between body and spirit, so that they are both man and yet, neither are really man, but are…er, what?

    This is the same problem with numbering the trinity. It assumes that God is both God and not God (a function of exclusive “parts”) simultaneously.

    And, again, you are then on the hook for basing all “truth” on an irreconcilable existential definition. You are, but are NOT. Which means that anything you know must by definition be, but also not be. Which means you can’t really know truth. And then hello gnosticism. Hello Plato’s “form”. Hello primary consciousness. Hello tyranny.

  9. Forgive me for sounding arrogant, but you are much closer to the truth than you think. Your only hurdle now is to get yourself out of your own frame of reference. Put yourself out of your “body”, so to speak, and stop thinking like a three-dimensional object. LOL Stop imagining God as existing in a “vacuum” and simply go to the place you are dying to go: that space is not real. That God doesn’t exist in space. That the ONLY NON-relative (meaning actual) definition of space is SELF. You are where you are, always, is an axiom. And because ALL space must be defined only rationally by that object which is IN it, space is purely derivative of the object. It, like time, doesn’t exist apart from the object. And that means that really, it doesn’t exist at all.

    You have already concluding the first truth: that time is merely an abstraction created by man’s extraordinary ability to organize his surroundings; to quantify movement for the express purpose of survival. Now you just have to concede the second thing which you MUST, in order to remain logically consistent, concede: that space, like time, is purely a cognitive abstraction.

    Once you do that, everything I have been saying on this blog and on others will immediately make sense. Quantum “confusion” clears up as soon as we acknowledge that there is no such thing as space; or a vacuum. That space is merely another means to define SELF.

    Incidentally, this is exactly why Einsteins theory of a person traveling at light speed ages less than a static observer is actually true. I disagree with you here: not only is it true, but it HAS to be true. For you cannot separate space from an object.

    The reason is that the faster you go, the less “space” you “need” to exist. The person traveling faster is able to do more with “less” space than the static observer (but this is only RELATIVE). This is why they will have aged less the faster they move. Think about it.

    I arrived at this conclusion while staring at my ceiling fan in my bedroom. Why can one ceiling fan make three revolutions in the same time it takes another to go one? The easy answer is that it is going faster. Well, yes, I said to myself. But why does that matter? I mean, what is it about speed that makes an object able to to do MORE within a specific amount of time relative to a slower object? And then it hit me: the reason is because the faster object simply exists in less “space” than the slower object; it is less “there”. It doesn’t take as much space to BE relative to the slower object, And if this is true, then the only constant in the universe is the OBJECT. The SELF. Everything else must be relative.

    And that’s when I understood the Einstein example.

  10. James, see my previous comment about this.

    Again, once you understand that I deny the existence of space, everything I write immediately makes perfect sense.

    The hard part is getting there. It is easy for me now because I have spent over a year thinking of little else but this, and confirming my idea with the reality I observe, as well as noticing how it clears up many physics conundrum; the biggest one being gravity.

    This will sound presumptuous, but I know exactly how gravity works. And I can assure you, they will never find a “graviton”.

  11. “You see, once you concede that there is somehow a distinction between man’s body and his spirit, you are on the hook for defending that contradiction.That somehow man is both man and NOT man at the same time.”

    And this is precisely the “contradiction” that I wish to maintain. But its not a contradiction and I would phrase it differently. Its not that man is somehow both man and not man. Its that man is somehow both animal and something higher than animal. We have an animal body, but something higher too.

    Psalm 8:4-9 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a LITTLE” — only a little — “lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”

    Where the tyranny comes in is refusing to understand this as meaning all men, and saving it for the “philosopher kings.” This is what the writer of Hebrews does with this verse: Hebrews 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” This verse isn’t about Jesus — its about everybody. Being made a little lower than the angels is not some cheater’s trick to allow Jesus to die — its about how God made human beings higher and gave us human beings dominion over the animals. You can restrict a verse like this to Jesus, or to Paul, or to Calvin, or to Piper, or Saddam Hussein, or Barack Obama, or any other claimant to demi-godhood, but the fact remains it is the property of all mankind.

    “This is the same problem with numbering the trinity. It assumes that God is both God and not God (a function of exclusive ‘parts’) simultaneously.”

    Like it or not, we have parts. Eyes, Hands, Feet. The problem with the Trinity is not that it says God has parts, but that he’s got split personality disorder. We are clearly composite beings, made of many parts, but not of many ‘persons’ — to say that would be problematic. But to say I am made of both flesh and blood, is not problematic. It doesn’t make me both man and not man. In the same way, body and spirit I don’t think makes me man and not man; animal and not animal, perhaps.

    If only material matter exists, and we are just atoms, how do you explain free will against the atheists and their new religion or material scientism that asserts that all our decisions are determined by the prior random movements of the subatomic particles that make up our brains? My assertion would be that we are spirit as well as material, and the spirit has the ability to control the very subatomic particles in our brains and move them itself so that we are not slaves to some kind of random movements of these particles imposed on us by some kind of outside forces, Our spirit and ours alone can access those particles in our brains, being part of the self-contained system that is the self.

    Although I allow that there is a non-physical part of man which nobody can tamper with — which no scientist can create a device to control — I deny the existence of demons. I don’t believe God would allow such a thing to exist. You’ll note they don’t exist in the Old Testament. Saul’s so-called “evil spirit” is a mistranslation for “bad mood” and that’s the best any believer in demons can do with the OT. In some measure, I reject the belief in demons for the same reason I insist on the existence of a non-material soul: to provide tamper proof reality to free-will.

    “This will sound presumptuous, but I know exactly how gravity works. And I can assure you, they will never find a ‘graviton’.”

    Lol. No, I would agree with that.

  12. “And this is precisely the “contradiction” that I wish to maintain. But its not a contradiction and I would phrase it differently. Its not that man is somehow both man and not man. Its that man is somehow both animal and something higher than animal. We have an animal body, but something higher too.”

    Well…we may be talking semantics, but I don’t think you can maintain a contradiction, but can only abdicate your mind to it. LOL! You can succumb to it. LOL…but that’s just my opinion. It won’t come as a surprise to you that I avoid contradiction and “paradox” like a Calvinist science teacher. 🙂

    Well…yes, we have an animal body, and something higher…and that something higher is a more complex brain. Our cognitive capacity is a function of the physical…the neurons and pathways and electrochemical transference of sense to cognitive organization and the interaction of left and right hemispheres and all that. You know how I know this? Because if I throw myself head first in front of a bus right now, and live, I can promise you that I won’t be operating any “higher” than the apple tree out front.

    If you say man is both man and not man, you must define what is not man. And if you can define it and concede it is not man, then you have contradicted yourself into an existential corner with no escape. But if I concede that man is his body, and that his elevation to the top of the animal kingdom is due to observable biological and physiological differences,then I’m never in that position. I’m merely in a position of having to deny, perhaps, that a hyper-literal interpretation of the bible is “inerrancy”.

    And if you can’t define it, then you are really in the same place inside the arena of ideas. You can’t really define man. And so you are forced to concede that man isn’t man at all…and with this is the tacit admission that what you “know” cannot really be known, so how on earth can you even have an opinion on the matter? You’ve lost the debate before it started. So, whether the “not man” is definable or not, you are stuck with an impossible conclusion.

    And for all of us who understand just how insidious, sly, and criminally sharp these neo-cals are, we never want to be in that position, I don’t think.

  13. I just did a search on google for free will soul and subatomic particles and found this quote:

    “If the atoms never swerve so as to originate some new movement that will snap the bonds of fate, the everlasting sequence of cause and effect—what is the source of the free will possessed by living things throughout the earth?”—Titus Lucretius Carus, Roman philosopher and poet, 99–55 BC.

    Something non-physical which is inseparably bonded to physical beings, I suppose. What has traditionally been called the soul or spirit. To allow that free-will is simply caused by an unpredictability in the movements of atoms would ultimately be to deny free-will, because then it would be “caused,” and it would not really be “free” but only “unpredictable.” So the non-physical soul can’t be retired just yet.

    “You’ve lost the debate before it started…And for all of us who understand just how insidious, sly, and criminally sharp these neo-cals are, we never want to be in that position, I don’t think.”

    I don’t really need to be able to win any debate, just to be snide, condescending, and flippant enough to artfully reject their nonsense in the same way they reject the truth. You can never win a debate with someone who will not concede defeat. So that can’t be the goal. As long as we provide them the validation of dealing with their ideas as if they’re even worthy of ‘debate’ then we’ve lost everything. We should just make fun of them, a lot, and have tons of fun at their expense. We should be extremely dismissive of everything they say. That’s how one really wins a debate.

  14. If you don’t believe that’s how one really wins a debate, just look at the gay marriage debate. The gays won. How exactly? Not with logical arguments. Meanness and an arrogant show of pretending to know it all wins debates before the “common herd” because they interpret arrogance and meanness as proof that a person is right. So be arrogant, and be rude if you have to. And the common people will eventually come over to your side. Be nice and logical, and you’ll be steamrolled. This is how the Calvinists took power. And its the only way power can be taken back from them.

  15. James,
    The first part of your response…

    Ahhhh….LOL, you are making me crazy! 🙂 (In a good way.) You don’t need to concede some kind of exclusive spirit or something “non-physical”. You have already answered your own counter argument (that particles are functions of “non-swerving” movement). You did this when you conceded so astutely the fact that time is NOT real. If time is purely a man-contrived means of quantifying movement, then there can be NO SUCH THING as determinism BY definition. Thus, how objects move is a direct function not of “determining laws”, but of their OWN ability to act. If there is no future, then no action can be determined…it can only be observed AFTER the object has freely ACTED. The idea of “laws which govern movement’ is platonist science! It is not the LAW which makes the object move; but the object moves because IT can FIRST. What we “see” as movement, which we can abstract to some kind of mathematical formula, can only exist AFTER we see it…therefore, there is no determinism. The object acts, THEN you can abstract a “law of motion”. Not the other way around.

    It doesn’t matter how good our mathematical models are at “predicting”…because even prediction is merely abstract. Prediction falls flat once an object ACTS. Even if the prediction is 100%, it is irrelevant (except it is useful for organizing our world and life, of course). Unless the object acts FIRST, according to its own ability to act, then the thing which is predicted cannot by definition happen. Go back and read my posts on scientific determinism. I deal with this in detail.

    I’m sorry if I’m yelling…LOL. You must understand that in the last year and a half you are the FIRST person who is not only interested in this topic (the falsity of spacetime), but the first person I’ve actually felt is trying to get there HIMSELF (this is no offense to other friends I have online…they just have different interests and directions in the fight). And you are the first one to actually say out loud that time is NOT real.

    For me, perhaps not to you, it is very exciting to hear someone else say it for a change. Now, I just need to see you type: space is not real either. LOL!

    For the second part of your response…

    LOLOLOL…yeah, I’ll accept that!

  16. “We should just make fun of them, a lot, and have tons of fun at their expense. We should be extremely dismissive of everything they say. That’s how one really wins a debate.”

    I can understand where you are coming from after watching comment stream after comment stream of Cals and non Cals debating scripture. After months of this you finally see some guy come on and say it is all a waste of time because both come to scripture with totally different filters concerning God and man. Bingo!

    I am convinced that we should take the logical result of their doctrine and respond with soundbites and keep it humorous if you can. We won’t change their minds but many out there are dipping their toes in this and they need to think it through to it’s logical result.

    My big thing is that since they are still worms after salvation we should hide the silver when they come for dinner. :o)

  17. ” Meanness and an arrogant show of pretending to know it all wins debates before the “common herd” because they interpret arrogance and meanness as proof that a person is right.”

    I will call them the precious peasants….but you are right. The more bold and assured someone who wants power ACTS, the more they are believed. This is a failing of the people who are drawn to form over substance..

  18. Argo, Love, love, love what you’ve done with the place. Ahhhhh. My eyes thank you!
    Also like that the comment button is top right & not at the bottom of the post.

  19. JJ said, “We should just make fun of them, a lot, and have tons of fun at their expense. We should be extremely dismissive of everything they say. That’s how one really wins a debate.”

    This is how GW won, IMO. Likeable, silly guy. Soundbites. Quotables stay stuck in the mind. Interesting.

    I am thoroughly enjoying this exchange here.

    JJ will not let anything come close to touching free-will. Refreshing.

    Argo, the ceiling fan analogy makes sense to me. Like cars on a freeway, flying by or stand still stuck. But not sure I’m any younger when I get more done vs. less in the same amount of time.

    You said something like “God is wholly outside of man”. Do you believe the Holy Spirit lives in us?

  20. I think Calvinism follows Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals — in fact, I suppose he probably discovered them by watching how groups like the Calvinists (and Jews for Jesus) work.

    1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

    If you buy that their systematic theology really is systematic (despite the fact that it isn’t) then they win.

    2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

    They stick to Romans 9, etc. and will not deal with proof-texts not on the approved Calvinist list. They redirect away from your proof texts as fast as they can.

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

    They keep sticking Romans 9 to you because they know you can’t say anything much about it other than “Paul is wrong” which they know you won’t dare say.

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    They quote “Let all your speech be seasoned with grace” at you and force you to be nice, but they get to be as mean as the devil.

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

    Everyone’s a “Pelagian” but them.

    6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

    They have loads of fun beating you over the head with Romans 9.

    7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

    They don’t stick with one proof-text for too long; they jump around and machine-gun verse you so that you don’t have time to read the context or respond.

    8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

    Needs no comment.

    9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

    They know no Arminian church leaders have enough spine to kick them out, not even in the SBC, so they have nothing to fear.

    10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

    They create alphabet groups like T4G, SGM, etc. to employ all these tactics.

    11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

    Somehow if you call God damning people randomly before birth “grace” about a billion times, people begin to believe that it is.

    12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

    They attack your theology as not offering enough security in salvation and then trot out their entirely fake “perseverance of the saints” as a “constructive alternative.”

    13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

    They call you a Pelagian, convince you to comment under your real name rather than a pseudonym so they can destroy you personally and run your name through the mud, and they pit Arminians against each other. “You don’t believe in OSAS, but Bob does; are you saying Bob is a bad Christian?” And Bob, like an idiot, joins the Calvinists in attacking his own theology.

    And they pick weak targets like poor lying Ergun Caner and harp on them forever and ever and ever. They’ll still be harping on how Ergun Caner lied about being raised in a Muslim country 2000 years from now if they’re still around then.

  21. James! Your explanation of how they use Alinsky’s rules are SPOT ON!! Can I share them?

    I mean YOU HAVE NAILED IT! You have described exactly what I have seen on SBC pastor blogs for the last 3 years.

    The Cals won the big prize of control in the SBC because the Trads bought into the fake unity because they did not want to look unchristian. The Cals framed the debate and managed the pushback.

    Mohler, their leader, is not getting grief over Mahaney’s shepherding cult lawsuit from the Trads. Oh no, the only grief he is getting is from some of the garden variety Reformed who are speaking out and backing off That is the only reason Mahaney had to back off T4G speaking gigs. They are shoring up their base.

    So the Calvinists won! Evil won!

    I have never in my life seen such wimps as the Trad guys. Mohler’s own words over the past 2 years concerning Mahaney should have been his political demise in the SBC. Especially after alluding they were heretics. After all, he is only an employee of an SBC entity. He is not a protected pastor with church autonomy like Dever. But, they would not use his own words against him.

    The SBC is DOA. It is just a matter of time before the money dries up.

  22. (this is no offense to other friends I have online…they just have different interests and directions in the fight).

    Argo, I feel smart if I even understand a few lines you write. :o) But my bent is to keep reading and some lights will go off. For me, getting to an understanding of what we were created to do and be is of utmost importance to me.. I do not believe in a determinist God but I am still searching to understand our abilities in terms of creation/fall. I would LOVE to hear some thoughts on the ancient Jewish view of this. How did they view themselves in relation to God? obviously it was not a determinist view of God. What was it?

    I believe God created us to have total free will. But how that works in relation to His intervening with people/events is still murky. I have come to some conclusions that we give up far too much of our earthly ability waiting around on God to do this or that. (I am not talking political evangelical culture stuff here) I believe we are to be the kingdom now. That more time has been spent on evangelizing to build little fiefdoms instead of simply helping people and showing the love of Christ to people which is a better witness to His truth.

    I also believe that Calvinism is pure death. And evil.

  23. “Can I share them?”

    I don’t think simply pointing out that they use them is any kind of smoking gun that will change anyone’s mind. But putting their tactics in a clear outline may enabled developing a better response to them.

    I mentioned the Jews for Jesus because we should look at it like this: In this scenario, we’re the Jews and the Calvinists are the Jews for Jesus. Calvinism is an entirely different religion. Like the Jews for Jesus pretend to be Jews to convert Jews to Christianity, the Calvinists pretend to be Christians to convert Christians to Calvinism. And so, their tactics are very similar. And our response must be similar. We must be as “stiffnecked” as they Jews supposedly are when dealing with Calvinists.

  24. James,

    Yeah…the comments are weird. I haven’t figured them out yet. There are a million designs for the site background on Word Press. The problem is finding one that meets all my needs. The ironic thing is, the simpler I want it to be, the harder it is to find one that works. LOL. I don’t know…I’m not really a computer guy. I’m lazy when it comes to making a site that “pops”. I just want to write.

  25. A Mom,

    Yes…I’m EST. I don’t know why it is stamped wrong on my site. Maybe it has to do with where the particular server is?

    IDK. Like I told James, I’m not a computer guy at all.

  26. “Argo, the ceiling fan analogy makes sense to me. Like cars on a freeway, flying by or stand still stuck. But not sure I’m any younger when I get more done vs. less in the same amount of time.”

    Yes…but remember, time is relative, right. So the way you “experience” time does not change (I suspect that this has to do with how we observe our surroundings and the constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum, but I’m still working on this). You are not any younger insofar as you always age the same because how you experience time doesn’t change because, obviously, your frame of reference cannot change (you can’t be “outside” yourself). It is how someone else (or you, if you are the someone else) appears to have aged differently, relative to the “time” difference inherent between objects which move at different velocities.

    But the point is that time is not real. It is a measurement of movement, actually. And the same is true for space, and this is precisely why these values are different as a function of the object in motion. The faster an object moves, the less “space” it occupies relative to a slower or static observer. And since you cannot separate space from time, the less “space”, the less “time”, because time is nothing more than a measurement of movement from A to B. If you are moving faster, you are able to go from A to B in less space and also, obviously, less time.

    But again, space and time are abstractions, so what we really need to understand (and where physics has yet to go) is what is the existential reality of an object in motion verses an object that is slower, or static? The objects do not change…they are still wholly themselves. So, what then is happening? It seems that it is really a matter of “existence”. The faster something moves, the less it is “there” to other objects. It is a different state of existence. And so, really, movement itself is not really actual. It is merely an observable effect of an intrinsic existential change occurring in an object relative to another object. It is confusing, but interesting to think about. It makes the “self” the sole source of its existence. Everything is derivative of self. And self can only actually exist relative to other selves.

    And it is here..in the ability of infinite selves to actually interact where we find God. And what is God? God is that which allows for the observation of “other” so that “self” can be realized. God is a particle which gives sight, in other words, I think.

    And notice, in my equation, the observation of “other” must precede the observation of “self”. So, while it is true that I believe that all existence is relative and purely a function of the object of “self”, existence cannot occur unless “other” comes first. That’s truly the Christian message…and it is a logical message. How you see and affirm “other’ is how you see and affirm “self”.

    You said something like “God is wholly outside of man”. Do you believe the Holy Spirit lives in us?”

    No…I do not believe the Holy Spirit lives in us. I believe the Holy Spirit lives where the Holy Spirit lives. The Holy Spirit, as an I AM, is infinite; therefore, by definition, He cannot have a quantifiable “where” or “when” to His existence. Or, to put it another way, He can “be” anywhere at anywhen (a word I invented). So, He could be “alongside” us, in an infinite way, and this could be some kind of relative “within” us…but it is not an accurate representation of His existence. The Holy Spirit can be where we are at all “times”…and I think this is the point.

    But, really, my point was simply that God is existentially wholly different than man. He is infinite; man is finite. The metaphysical implications of this idea are huge.

    They are also totally blown off by Calvinists, whom it seems to me, wouldn’t know a consistent logical cause and effect premise if they fell down a flight of stairs.

  27. Yes, I understood already and do agree time is a measure of movement. Just like numbers are a measure that helps us make sense of things and order and organize our world. Numbers are not the actual objects, they are abstract. But we’re so used to using numbers that the lines get blurred. Still don’t get the relative age in relation to speed thing.

    Sometimes I have to read what you say several times in several different ways to get your gist. And then think about it in between, like when I’m mowing the grass.

    What this means is keep saying what your saying, in as many ways to explain as you can. I do want to understand you. Once I understand, I will agree or disagree.

    I accept your understanding of the Holy Spirit. I still think the Holy Spirit can be within us as well as all the ways you mentioned. I completely agree that God is existentially wholly different than man. He is infinite; man is finite. He is not our “boyfriend” as described in christian pop music today. Although He is love and loves us so.

  28. Maybe P Diddy can help? He might know if it’s an easy switch. His blog comments go from oldest to newest. I like that format.

  29. “Still don’t get the relative age in relation to speed thing.”

    Hi A Mom,
    I have an example that might help. I’m staring at a coffee mug right now, so we’ll just use that as the object in the example. For all my examples, by the way, the “object” and the “self” are the same thing…so if I use those terms interchangeably, you understand that they are the same thing. Object and self are realized ultimately at the subatomic level, but for my purposes, we can assume that any self or object is anything which is separated from anything else by “space”. (In my fight against Calvinism, the “self” I’m most interested in is the human being). So, again, in this case, we’ll make the object the coffee mug.

    Okay. Take a coffee mug and put it on the table. Sitting there, nice and still. Take a picture of it. That’s you “slow moving” object. Your still object. Next, take the mug and drop it on the floor….take a picture of it while it is moving (before it hits the floor and gets coffee all over your cat). Make sure you use an old camera with a real slow shutter speed so that the mug looks like a blurry line.

    Put the picture of the blurry mug next to the clear, still mug.

    Define “moment”. Moment is a timeless instance of existence…it is the POINT where the object exists, in stasis, no longer a function of the timeLINE (moving time).

    Next, create a visual of a moment for the static mug and a visual of a moment for the moving, blurry mug. In other words, use your imagination to put the still mug in the moment next to a 3D “cutout” of the blurry, moving mug from the picture…having the exact same dimensions and cubic volume as the still mug.

    So, you have two mugs sitting next to each other. One is still and the other “moving”…both the exact same size and dimensions, because they are both captured in the singular MOMENT of existence when the picture was initially taken.

    What is the observable difference between the two? Well, one looks like a solid, normal mug. The other looks like a “blurry” mug…or rather, an opaque mug, right. It doesn’t look solid. So…what does that mean? It means that for the blurry/opaque mug, at the MOMENT the picture of it was taken, while it was accelerating to the floor, more light was able to pass through it.

    Okay…why is that?

    Well, simple. Because at that MOMENT, it occupied less space than the still mug….in the same moment. Relative to the still mug, there wasn’t as much of it THERE. It is still a whole mug, but the velocity of the mug, added to it in the moment means that it doesn’t take up as much “space” as the still mug. And if it isn’t THERE in the same amount as the still mug, then the mug cannot be “aging” as much as the still mug either, relatively speaking.

    Moving objects exist in LESS space and time than still objects, which is why they are “younger” relative to the still object.

    This is the underlying premise of Einstein’s example of the person on earth versus the person traveling out and back at light speed. When they arrive back at the same moment of “spacetime”, the faster object is younger because at light speed, it simply doesn’t use as much space or time to EXIST.

    Does this help? Or have I made it worse?

  30. I noticed my timestamps were weird too but never bothered to fix it. I just took a look in the admin thing. Go to Settings in there, to General, and you have the timezone in there. They default you to UTC+0. UTC is of course the baste time that all the timezone offsets are added to.

  31. What’s happening I figured out is if click reply to comment from your email it puts the comment wherever it wants. If you come to the page and click reply it puts them in the right spot.

    Strangely the section under admin for comments is not under comments. Its under Settings then Discussion. There you can turn off comment nesting or allow them to nest further than 3 levels. Its the setting “Enabled threaded (nested) comments.” I had to ask “P Diddy” myself about a week ago because I needed to change “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” to “An administrator must always approve the comment” to prevent Calvinists from going buck wild posting longwinded quotes of Puritans and copyrighted material from Horton and Piper’s books after I approved just one of their comments.

  32. Lydia, possibly the most important two verses ever if you’re in the SBC and trying to combat Calvinism is John 1:12-13 and a particular grammatical concept I mentioned in some comments on my post called The silly Baptists and how they insist on reversing John 1:12. In the SBC even Arminians insist on reversing John 1:12 and making ‘regeneration’ come before faith, and the reason they do it is because they don’t have the grammatical knowledge (concerning Semitic Greek and Semitic patterns of speech) necessary to understand John 1:13. Its knowledge that anyone raised on he KJV really ought to have picked up, but not everyone does. So their misinterpretation of John 1:13 locks them in to reversing John 1:12, which functionally turns them into Calvinists automatically.

  33. Who is P Diddy (other than the iconic musician)? LOL

    Sounds like a great resource.

    James,

    I will look into those changes. Thanks for the info!

  34. “P Diddy” is my knickname for Paul Dohse of paulspassingthoughts.com
    He is absolutely a great resource, as you know.

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