Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

Christian Skepticism endorses:

This site contains some of the most valuable God-centered resources a Christian Skeptic could ever want. Whether you peruse the copious free items or purchase something from their excellent online store, your worldview will never be the same!

Start Here to become a Christian Skeptic

We wanted to highlight this compilation by Paul Manata - The Philosophy of the
Christian Religion
- an excellent online resource for the development of the
well-considered Christian worldview.

Skeptical Insights

Good Blogroll (from Pyromaniacs)

  • Colin Adams
  • Charlie Albright
  • Aletheuo
  • Scott Aniol
  • Tom Ascol
  • Derek Ashton (TheoParadox)
  • Zachary Bartels
  • Tim and David Bayly
  • Rick Beckman
  • Tyler Bennicke
  • Bible Geek
  • Big Orange Truck
  • Andy Bird
  • John Bird
  • Bob Bixby
  • Timmy Brister
  • Fred Butler
  • Calvin and Calvinism (Classic and moderate Calvinism)
  • Bret Capranica
  • Nathan Casebolt
  • Lane Chaplin
  • Tim ("The World's Most Famous Christian Blogger"®) Challies
  • The Conservative Intelligencer
  • The Contemporary Calvinist
  • The Conventicle
  • Craig's Blog
  • Deliver Detroit
  • Daniel (Doulogos)
  • William Dicks
  • The Doulos' Den
  • Martin Downes
  • Connie Dugas
  • Doug Eaton
  • Nicholas Edinger
  • Brother Eugene
  • Eusebeia
  • Stefan Ewing
  • Eddie Exposito
  • Expository Thoughts
  • Faces Like Flint
  • Reid Ferguson
  • Peter Farrell
  • Bill Fickett
  • Fide-o
  • Foolish Things
  • Chris Freeland
  • Travis Gilbert
  • Ron Gleason
  • Go Share Your Faith!
  • God is My Constant
  • Phil Gons
  • Joel Griffith (Solameanie)
  • Matt Gumm
  • Gregg Hanke
  • Jacob Hantla
  • Chris Harwood
  • J. D. Hatfield
  • Michael Haykin
  • Tony Hayling (Agonizomai)
  • Steve Hays and the amazing "Triablogue" team
  • Scott Head
  • Patrick Heaviside (Paths of Old)
  • Marc Heinrich's Purgatorio
  • Sean Higgins
  • Illumination (Rich Barcellos and Sam Waldron)
  • Inverted Planet
  • Tim Jack
  • Jackhammer
  • Craig Johnson
  • Alex Jordan
  • The Journeymen
  • Justified
  • Lane Keister (Green Baggins)
  • John Killian
  • David Kjos
  • Ted Kluck
  • Patrick Lacson
  • A Little Leaven (Museum of Idolatry)
  • Janet Lee
  • Let My Lifesong Sing
  • Libbie, the English Muffin
  • Light and Heat
  • Greg Linscott
  • Bryan Maes
  • Brian McDaris
  • Doug McMasters
  • Allen Mickle
  • The incomparable Al Mohler
  • Jonathan Moorhead
  • Ryan Moran
  • Stephen Newell
  • Dean Olive
  • Dan Paden
  • Paleoevangelical
  • A Peculiar Pilgrim
  • Jim Pemberton
  • The Persecution Times
  • Bill Pershing
  • Kevin Pierpont
  • Matt Plett
  • Wes Porter
  • Postmortemism
  • The Red and Black Redneck
  • Reformata
  • Reformation 21
  • Reformation Theology (sponsored by Monergism.Com)
  • Reformed Evangelist
  • Remonstrans
  • Carla Rolfe
  • Tony Rose
  • Andrew Roycroft
  • Eric Rung
  • Said at Southern Seminary
  • Seeing Clearly
  • Sharper Iron
  • Kim Shay
  • Neil Shay
  • Brian Shealy
  • Ken Silva
  • Tom Slawson's "Tom in the Box"
  • Tom Slawson's other blog
  • Doug Smith
  • Richard Snoddy
  • Social Hazard
  • SolaFire
  • Rebecca Stark
  • Kevin Stilley
  • Cindy Swanson
  • Talking Out Of Turn
  • Justin Taylor's "Between Two Worlds"
  • Robert Tewart (StreetFishing)
  • TheoJunkie's Thoughts on Theology
  • Theology Bites
  • Through the Veil
  • Three Times a Mom
  • Voice of the Shepherd
  • Jared Wall
  • Adrian Warnock
  • David Wayne
  • Jeremy Weaver
  • Steve Weaver
  • Über-apologist James White's legendary "Pros Apologian" blog
  • Brad Williams
  • Doug Wilson
  • Writing and Living
  • Ryan Wood
  • Todd Young
  • Monday, December 10, 2007

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Shortcomings of Mere Intellectualism and Atheism

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at AAI 07. She is clearly one of the brightest and more eloquent speakers today among those who espouse living according to "reason rather than faith." At the same time, it's apparent that while her personal journey and experiences have resulted in her present thinking and positions with unique perspective, even with her bright intellectuallism and sharp mind along with her keen ability to communicate, her positions and expressions GO NO FURTHER THAN OTHERS (with less ability and charm) in providing the basis or foundation for setting reason over faith and living according to that framework. No matter how great the intellectualism, it cannot support and defend the very reason it seeks to stand upon!

    Here are questions that remain with Ali's statements (the same questions that cannot be answered by others):

    1. Ali states "Without divine intervention, man is able to do good for his neighbor." Question: What is good? Who determines it? What is the standard? If decided by "discussion that recognises individuals to choose their own destiny", what if the choice of some conflicts with the choice and beliefs of others? Who decides who is right, and on what basis is that choice made? How do you know that either is right? And if a common standard can be reached by man "exercising independent thought in a society that is structured by discussion"...does that not point to the fact that there is some absolute when it comes to good and evil, right and wrong, and if so, then where did that come from? The greatest questions remain: upon what authority and foundations will one look to and depend, and from whence do they arrive their authority? It's obvious that whether atheists and skeptics possess unique perspectives or come to their position through unique experiences, it doesn't change the fact that their worldview is without foundations, and hence not only open to attack but prone to fall.

    2. Does freedom (all freedom) eliminate bondage? Is there not evidence that freedom to sin often leads people into bondage? If true on a physical level, how much moreso on the spiritual level. The truth is the law of the Lord leads to freedom, and though Ali's experience with a false religion resulted in bondage from religion, this does not mean that experience with true religion would result in the same. In fact, transition from one false religion to another can result in the same, though the factors and experiences may be different. This is not to deny that even impure forms and practices of Christianity cannot lead to bondage, but the Spirit and the kingdom that is from above leads to life, freedom, righteousness, and great reward.

    3. Ali states "To live according to reason means to ...." Question: Whose's reason? Atheists often mean by this statement their own reason, but what makes their reason or beliefs (corporately or personally) any superior to anyone else's? What happens when atheists don't agree on matters, particularly those which conflict with the other's beliefs?

    4. Ali states "The world of reason she encountered in her latter twenties has an infrastructure to govern human relationships which is derived not from divine power but from human rationale. Question: When it comes to abortion, what does human rationale suggest? Some say yes. Some say no. For some, it's the freedom of the individual (mother). For others, it's the killing of a child. How about homosexuality? For some, it's the natural expression of human love. For others, it's unnatural, perverted, and a behavior like others that should be penalized. What says human rationale? Why stop at this? What about the independent thoughts of Muslims? What makes Ali's thoughts superior to theirs? Whose to say that the large numbers of Muslims are not right and she is wrong, though she was called to be subject (Note - I'm not suggesting the former is right, but using it as illustration simply to make a point... for have not the Muslims expressed their "independent thought in a society that isis structured by discussion individuals have the right to chose their own destiny... they - having come to their own consensus of indepentent though after allowing you to choose will help you reach the destiny you have chosen - infidel or otherwise!) Additionally, does not a world of reason depend upon some foundation? How can one reason without a standard upon which to make judgments, an authority to look to for decisions, etc.? Perhaps one day Ali will discover that oppression and bondage is found not only in the system and power structure of the false religion to which she was exposed, but will be found in every structure and system (including Atheism - which has it's own laws, power structures, etc., though they may be arbitrary and even conflict one another) other than that divine government and law associated with the kingdom of Christ. (Psalm 89:14)

    5. Ali states "Under secular law, we are able to grant freedom and independence without degeneration into violence and chaos." Question: What does secular law say about abortion? Does it allow abortion which some look to as one of the greatest forms of violence (the killing of the weakest) or does it outlaw abortion (by which it does violence to the independence of the mother), or does it leave it up to the individual (in which it still allows violence to be done in the opinion of some, and oppose create positions of dissonance for them as they struggle with what they witness versus what they believe?

    Interesting Conclusion: It's noteworthy that Ali concluded by saying "Thank GOD I have the reason to choose." Try substituting "Thank MAN that I have the reason to choose"; Thank "the CHEMICALS IN MY HEAD that I have the reason to choose." "Thank SOCIETY that I have the reason to choose"... The list could go on. While Ali makes a satirical jab at God, the truth is, none of these substitutes provide ultimate grounds for providing for her ability to choose, ... and she has no other solution to put in it's place, for apart from God and his absolutes, her statement as well as her choice means nothing.

    No comments: