“78 Tough Questions for Christians”, part 3

Update: apparently the transcript of the questions in the description of the video is incomplete. Thus, some earlier questions were missed. I will try to finish out the questions from the video and then go back and find any I missed.

Don’t forget to check out part 1 and part 2!


How do you respond when someone who’s not a Christian tells you about their religious faith?

I listen to them and interact with them.


Do you listen and consider what they have to say or do you just ignore them because they don’t believe what you believe?

I promise I didn’t read ahead, but I listen and interact with them and that involves considering what they have to say. However, suppose that someone just ignored them, that’s not unwarranted in any manner as the person’s religious experience can act as a defeater for the other person’s religious faith. Now, the other person could provide a defeater for Christianity and this probably should be listened to (although there is the interesting case of intrinsic defeater-defeaters), but that’s a separate discussion. Either way, I fail to see how this is a tough question.


What do you make of Muslims who think the Koran is the true holy book?

I’m not sure what he means by “make of” them. I think this is elucidated in the following questions, so I will turn there.


Are they wrong?

Yes, I think so.


Have you read the Koran?

No, but it’s on my to-do list. I just have so many books that are ahead of it in the queue.


Why do you dismiss them so easily?

Who says I do? And what does it mean to “dismiss them so easily”? Maybe it means in a very succinct manner, but that’s not a bad thing since maybe there is an obvious defeater from the person’s viewpoint. But maybe it means without any thought, but I don’t do that.


Is homosexuality itself a sin?

I think we should distinguish between homosexual attraction and homosexual practice. I think homosexual practice is a sin. I don’t tend to think homosexual attraction is a sin, but lust is so there is a fine line between the two (and the same goes for heterosexual attraction and lust).


Should gays and lesbians have the right to get married?

Personally, I don’t think government should have anything to do with marriage but I think that’s the viewpoint the question is being posed from. Given my views, the question doesn’t make much sense. But suppose someone thinks government should be in marriage, how might they respond? Well, they can be a bit snarky and say that gays and lesbians should have the right to get married, but only to members of the opposite sex. That’s probably not what he is asking though. So let’s say they answer “no”, so what? How is this a tough question?


Why would God make people gay and then punish them for being gay?

I’m not sure what he means by saying that God makes people gay. As to punishing them, I really don’t think this is a proper formulation either. As I said above, I only think homosexual practice is a sin, so that means being gay doesn’t entail punishment by itself. Moreover, I tend to think punishment is the wrong sort of terminology to use due to the fact that I think people send themselves to hell and choose the separation, but that is a much longer discussion that I might dive into at some point.


If God’s already sending gay people to hell, why do you feel the need to persecute them here on Earth
 [sic]?

This question really saddens me? Really, you want to use this terminology to all Christians? But maybe you mean a subset, then why is this “tough questions for Christians”? This is outrageous. Nonetheless, as I said above, I don’t think God sends people to hell nor do I think all gay people go to hell. I also feel no need to persecute them on earth.


Why does God playing
 [sic] hide and seek with all of humanity? 

Who says he is? I don’t think He does so the question doesn’t make much sense to me.


Do you believe Jesus is coming back to Earth during your lifetime? 

I honestly have no clue, just like the Bible says: maybe He does, maybe He doesn’t.


If you do, what do you say to the many generations of people who have been saying that for centuries?

Suppose I do so that I can answer this question. The simple answer is that I would say that they were wrong. That seems rather simple.


Why is the story of Jesus’ birth and life so similar to that of mythological beings well before his time? 

He gives a citation to listverse here. Really? The listverse post talks about books by Acharya S (yeah, look her up). These types of arguments fall prey to anachronism, parallelomania, and many other problems. If he would like to actually discuss any of the specific examples and look at original sources, I would enjoy that. Until then, this is a silly question, not a tough one.


How do you decide which sections of the Bible are literally true and which ones are just metaphorical?

Well, I would say all of the Bible is to be interpreted according to its literary genre. Thus, if I am reading a parable, I should recognize that it isn’t supposed to be literally true in depicting history. This is all rather basic hermeneutics.


What are the minimum requirements for being a Christian?

I would say a lack of heresy for core doctrines like the Trinity, Jesus as true God and true man, the crucifixion, the atonement (the theory doesn’t matter), and the resurrection at the very minimum. Heresy is here defined as not just incorrect belief, but holding on to that incorrect in spite of being shown that it is not orthodoxy. Moreover, they must not just intellectually assent to these doctrines, but have faith and be born again.


And who falls under that definition?

Anybody who is a Christian. haha. Sorry, that was just too easy. Anyone who is saved, is that better?


Fred Phelps
?

I answered this in part one. Namely, we do not know who is truly saved and isn’t, but we are told to evaluate people according to their fruit.


Pat Robertson?

See above.


James Dobson?

See above.


President Obama?

See above.


Do your really believe Mary was impregnated without ever having sex?

Assuming “impregnated” simply means being pregnant and doesn’t entail having sex, then yes. That was an easy one! I love being pitched softballs.

 

That’s all for this post. I will respond to more in posts to come.

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