Atheist Petra Fans

A place for Petra fans to discuss other topics
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Mountain Man
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:35 pm

gman wrote:I don't know about today, but I remember when I was in school, world history textbooks had a short section on Jesus. They were not validating the biblical presentation of him, but they were at least acknowledging that there was an historical person named Jesus that was the same person that is written about in scripture. That was good enough for me. I've never done any serious research on the historical Jesus, but I would bet that there is plenty of evidence.
Dr. Gary Habermas has done extensive study and has formulated what he calls the Minimum Facts approach in which he argues in favor of the resurrection using only those facts that are accepted as non-controversial by the vast majority of historical scholars.

You can read about his methodology here:

http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/so ... 2-2012.htm

And an explanation of the Minimum Facts approach in practice can be found here:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... ark_1_17_1
http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2013/the-mi ... urrection/

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by gman » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 am

Just curious. What is wrong with the Way of the Master. I haven't looked at their site much or seen any of their stuff. I did read their statement of faith, and didn't find anything alarming. In on of the responses on the FAQ, the idea of basing your salvation on feelings was soundly rejected. I did hear Ray Comfort speak some years ago. He came to the church we were attending when we lived in Michigan. I don't recall having a problem with anything he said. The senior pastor of that church was a graduate of a school that holds to a sovereign grace view of salvation, and he would not have had Ray come and speak if Ray's teachings were highly objectionable.
I saw on the website where He had a book that was one title God Has a Wonderful Plan For Your Life, or something like that. I know some people poke fun at that idea, but I guess it depsends on what is meant by that statement.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by pmal » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:25 pm

There's nothing wrong with the "Way of the Master" group of folks. I don't know where Mountain Man read or saw anything like what is in his post but what he said in his post is not true about Ray Comfort. Comfort has produced many books and videos on evangelism and reaching folks for Christ and they are all high quality works. His Abortion 180 and Evolution vs God movies are outstanding.
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:24 pm

"It’s easy! You don’t need to be an expert in apologetics. Instead, we’ll teach you how to bypass the intellect (the place of argument) and speak directly to the conscience (the place of the knowledge of right and wrong)—the way Jesus did."

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/btc.shtml

No, that's not what Jesus did. On the contrary, Jesus was a master of public debate, using knowledge of the scriptures, sound logic, and effective rhetoric to shame his opponents. Jesus was, in fact, an expert apologist, and we'd do well to follow his example rather than trying to find ways "to bypass the intellect" which is about as contrary to scripture as you can get.

Oh, and let's not even talk about Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron's banana argument. That was just embarrassing.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by pmal » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:33 am

Jesus was God Almighty in the flesh. He knew things about people we have no business knowing. Jesus was also perfect. I think the WoM series can be an effective tool for reaching people who you don't know and/or who don't really know the Bible but think they can get to heaven by being "good" people. I still don't think you totally understand what their teaching method is and I sure don't understand why you are so hostile about it but to each their own. Even if you are right, which I don't believe, Jesus didn't sing rock n' roll back when he walked on the earth either, but I think Petra's tunes have won some folks over to Christ ...
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:36 am

There is nothing unbiblical about rock music. However, the premise that we should win souls by bypassing the intellect is unbiblical and leads to people making a shallow decision based on emotion and without understanding. If you disagree then show me scriptural examples where the intellect was bypassed. I can't think of any, but I can think of examples like Philip and the Ethopian who asked for knowledge and understanding, or Paul's many letters in which he explained theological concepts using logic and reason.

Also, I've seen and read about some of the public debates that Comfort and Cameron have had with atheists, and I think they make Christianity look bad simply because of their terrible arguments (i.e. "the banana is proof of intelligent design"), their weak understanding of scientific concepts, and, I think, flawed theology. Contrast them with someone like William Lane Craig or Gary Habermas who easily hold their own against credentialed scholars.

As for the notion that we can't do what Jesus did because we're not Jesus, that makes him out to be a hypocrite who said, "Do as I say, not as I do." On the contrary, we can follow Jesus' example to the letter.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by pmal » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:32 pm

As you said, there is nothing unbiblical about rock music. Has it reached people for Christ? Yes, it has. Is it always a theological sermon? NO!!!! Does that mean we shouldn't use it anymore because it may not be perfectly logical and intellectual? NO!!!! You adapt for your audience. I can't believe I'm having to explain this. I've never heard of William Lane Craig or Gary Habermas, they are probably really good at what they do. However, you don't have to know the answer to every single question on the face of the planet to witness to people. I just can't believe that someone is on here blasting Comfort and Cameron for getting people off of the couch and out there working on the Great Commission, even if it's not your preferred method.
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:14 am

You're misunderstanding my point. What I have a problem with is Way of the Master's heretical claim that Jesus bypassed the intellect and that we should, too. That's no better than saying that we should teach people to trust the burning in their bosoms and just go with whatever feels "right". Jesus did not "bypass the intellect"; on the contrary, he appealed to it. The whole idea of speaking to the conscience is not something you'll find in scripture simply because the concept of guilt as we know it doesn't exist in collectivist honor/shame cultures like the Ancient Near East.

I'm not saying that we have to be perfect and have the answer to every question. What I am saying is that we have to at the very least be Biblical in our approach, and instructing people to "bypass the intellect" is basically telling them to preach a false gospel using methods that are not exemplified by Jesus or the Apostles. It has nothing to do with what I do or don't prefer but everything to do with what the Bible actually teaches.

And I'm not "blasting Comfort and Cameron for getting people off of the couch and out there working on the Great Commission". That's a worthy goal in and of itself. What I'm "blasting" them for are specific unbiblical claims and for their inexcusably terrible performance in public debates where they were all but laughed off the stage simply because they were unprepared to present or answer intellectual arguments. The few high profile debates they've had even had sympathetic Christian viewers walking away saying that they had been trounced by their atheist opponents.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by executioner » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:36 am

Mountain Man wrote:
executioner wrote:Atheists draw their conclusions based on science and thought, not by the heart. The Bible consistently talks about the heart of man, but very rarely talks about the brain or thinking process of man. Christianity is based completely on the heart.
Savage seek God not in science or thought but from the heart perspective and you will believe in God. This why nonbelievers have an undesirable outlook on God because they are trying to comes to terms on Him on their own accord.
Sorry, but this sounds like that Way of Disaster nonsense (also known as Way of the Master). Christianity is an intellectually stimulating world view, and God never once asks us to put our brains in park and operate on vague feelings from the "heart". That's no better than the Mormons with their burning of the bosom theology. God told the prophet Isaiah, "Let us reason together." Paul presents a well-reasoned and perfectly logical argument when addressing the apparent conflict between our sin nature and our redeemed nature in Romans 7. James 2 engages in a similar argument when discussing faith and works. Peter's quintessential evangelistic message to the crowd in Acts 2 is an argument based on facts and evidence. Notice that he doesn't ask the crowd to respond based on their feelings but on their knowledge: "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. [...] God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it."

And there are dozens of other examples. Not once will the Bible ever tell you, "Don't think, just feel." That's a worldly philosophy that will lead you astray every single time.

Like a few are misunderstanding your point I believe you are also misunderstanding mine. You can't get to Heaven or become a follower of Christ via your intellect, science, or because you "know the facts" and know how to debate them; the only way is via the heart and I believe a lot of Christians have lost their way or even left the Faith because they believe all those things should rival the heart in importance. The thinking part of Christianity yes is important but like everything else will fall away. I think a lot of Christians also put too much importance on Christian authors and too be honest this Way of The Master stuff is something I've never heard of before. Throughout the Bible it does talk about being wise and having common sense in your decision making but all those things actually fall short and have nothing to do with the Great Commission.
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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by brent » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:57 pm

The Way Of The Master is the age old IFB and AOG "soul winning" through impromptu "witnessing" by catching people off guard, inconveniencing them, putting them on the spot and guilting them into a decision. The conviction of sin is based on The Law. This is how I was programmed to attack people. We were trained to go into neighborhoods, knock on people's doors, close the deal and get as many as you can. Numbers over quality. Get them to make a decision and the rest was up to God to figure out. People were put off by the mere presence of us at their door, interrupting their evening. The last thing on their mind was salvation.

I do agree that when the opportunity presents itself we should give a reason, in season and out of season. The problem I have with putting people on the spot with a camera and bullying them into a decision is that some people may not be ready. What if that puts them off?

The other side of that coin is, people are all too happy to take the wide comfy road to hell. People are on the side of the road with signs warning them. The people on the road are having a good old time, not giving God a second thought. The people are walking off the end of the road, falling into the pit. On the way down they might scream, "Why didn't someone tell me?" They might not have listened if someone had.

This is where I give up and let God sort it out. I think it takes all sorts of approaches for all sorts of folks.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by p-freak » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:26 pm

Not willing to get into this debate, but I'm with you, Mountain Man.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:56 am

executioner wrote:
Mountain Man wrote:
executioner wrote:Atheists draw their conclusions based on science and thought, not by the heart. The Bible consistently talks about the heart of man, but very rarely talks about the brain or thinking process of man. Christianity is based completely on the heart.
Savage seek God not in science or thought but from the heart perspective and you will believe in God. This why nonbelievers have an undesirable outlook on God because they are trying to comes to terms on Him on their own accord.
Sorry, but this sounds like that Way of Disaster nonsense (also known as Way of the Master). Christianity is an intellectually stimulating world view, and God never once asks us to put our brains in park and operate on vague feelings from the "heart". That's no better than the Mormons with their burning of the bosom theology. God told the prophet Isaiah, "Let us reason together." Paul presents a well-reasoned and perfectly logical argument when addressing the apparent conflict between our sin nature and our redeemed nature in Romans 7. James 2 engages in a similar argument when discussing faith and works. Peter's quintessential evangelistic message to the crowd in Acts 2 is an argument based on facts and evidence. Notice that he doesn't ask the crowd to respond based on their feelings but on their knowledge: "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. [...] God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it."

And there are dozens of other examples. Not once will the Bible ever tell you, "Don't think, just feel." That's a worldly philosophy that will lead you astray every single time.

Like a few are misunderstanding your point I believe you are also misunderstanding mine. You can't get to Heaven or become a follower of Christ via your intellect, science, or because you "know the facts" and know how to debate them; the only way is via the heart and I believe a lot of Christians have lost their way or even left the Faith because they believe all those things should rival the heart in importance. The thinking part of Christianity yes is important but like everything else will fall away. I think a lot of Christians also put too much importance on Christian authors and too be honest this Way of The Master stuff is something I've never heard of before. Throughout the Bible it does talk about being wise and having common sense in your decision making but all those things actually fall short and have nothing to do with the Great Commission.
I don't think there is a difference between the heart and the intellect, or perhaps I should say that I don't believe there is a disconnect between them. The Ancient Near East did not prioritize emotions the way we do in the modern West, so when they talked about the "heart", they were referring to one's mental process and will, as well as their emotions. The point is that it never meant just emotions. Perhaps that's what you meant and I misunderstood. If so then I apologize. I just tend to become suspicious whenever people start talking about the "heart" as it relates to Christianity because they're often talking about emotions.
Last edited by Mountain Man on Wed May 27, 2015 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:59 am

brent wrote:The Way Of The Master is the age old IFB and AOG "soul winning" through impromptu "witnessing" by catching people off guard, inconveniencing them, putting them on the spot and guilting them into a decision. The conviction of sin is based on The Law. This is how I was programmed to attack people. We were trained to go into neighborhoods, knock on people's doors, close the deal and get as many as you can. Numbers over quality. Get them to make a decision and the rest was up to God to figure out. People were put off by the mere presence of us at their door, interrupting their evening. The last thing on their mind was salvation.

I do agree that when the opportunity presents itself we should give a reason, in season and out of season. The problem I have with putting people on the spot with a camera and bullying them into a decision is that some people may not be ready. What if that puts them off?

The other side of that coin is, people are all too happy to take the wide comfy road to hell. People are on the side of the road with signs warning them. The people on the road are having a good old time, not giving God a second thought. The people are walking off the end of the road, falling into the pit. On the way down they might scream, "Why didn't someone tell me?" They might not have listened if someone had.

This is where I give up and let God sort it out. I think it takes all sorts of approaches for all sorts of folks.
I honestly don't have a problem with that. My beef is with them promoting an unbiblical technique ("bypass the intellect and speak directly to the conscience") and then claiming that it's the same strategy that Jesus used. In my mind, it's no better than a get-rich-quick charlatan who says that we can use the Bible's money-making secrets to become rich just like Jesus.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by brent » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:14 am

It is going to vary from person to person. We cannot do what Jesus did. Jesus knew all things about everyone. That is an unfair advantage. Jesus could speak things about someone's life and know exactly what problems needed to be addressed, and that got the attention of the subject. Only a god could know those things. We cannot do that. All we can do is give an answer. If they do not listen to you and me, they will be reached by someone they can relate to at some point, as the spirit moves them.

Consider children. As children, we humans do not have the frontal lobe fully developed until we are early to mid 20s. That is when and where the intellectual decision making becomes (choke) fully developed. A child can understand right and wrong, is heavily convicted by conscience, until they turn a deaf ear and the conscience is seared for good. Children understand rewards and are driven by obtaining them. Children understand consequences. This is the reason most children in the USA who accept Jesus, do so by the time they are 18. If they do not, they usually won't without some other major influence (catastrophe, children, etc, etc). Those are statistics from Barna. This is not to say God does not save adults. He does. But most of the people accepting Jesus have traditionally been children under 18.

Some people are intellectuals and can be reached by debate, apologetics. A Case For Christ would reach those people. Some people are not intellectual people, maybe not very educated, but they are saved by the love, kindness, etc of a church family or rehabilitation ministry. I work in lots of churches, para church ministries and charities. I see all of this. I see and know people who are not educated at ALL. But they know the bible and they appear to be saved. Some of them have poor black churches on the rough side of KC Kansas. They can't get deep into theological debates on minutia, but they are leading their flocks to the best of their ability and God's gifting. The call of God is broad and has to reach people where they are, in whatever state they are in, with the faculties and languages they utilize. The bible, etc. The bible says that men will be judged by their conscience. So, I think appealing to the conscience is well within bounds. The error is saying God CAN'T use a certain technique. Paul acknowledged that people might preach in ways we do not agree with and might have a self-serving motive. He didn't care and said it is all good because the Gospel is being preached and Truth is the Truth regardless. God will use it.

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Re: Atheist Petra Fans

Post by Mountain Man » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:21 am

brent wrote:The error is saying God CAN'T use a certain technique.
It's no error to say that God is not glorified by techniques that directly contradict scripture and that we should avoid using them.

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