Questions for Christians

by Anton Thorn



Please answer the questions with the shortest answers possible. In cases of yes/no questions, please answer without equivocations. Cite biblical references in all possible answers to support your answers.

General Questions for Christians:

  1. According to your belief in Christianity, does man have the right to live for his own sake? Yes or no? Please cite references to support your answer.
  2. Does the Bible offer any doctrine in support of man’s individual rights? Yes or no? Please cite references to support your answer.
  3. If yes to the above (2), does the Bible teach any doctrine that may be in conflict with the doctrine of man’s individual rights? Yes or no? Please cite references if possible.
  4. In Luke 19:27, Jesus is reported to have said, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me" (KJV). What do you as a Christian think this means?
  5. If you answered yes to question 2) above, what would you say in answer to those who believe the passage in Luke 19:27 (quoted above) is a teaching in direct violation of the doctrine of man’s individual rights? Please explain in detail and try to remain consistent to the answer you gave in 2) above.
  6. In Exodus 22:18, it is attributed to the Hebrew God to have said, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (A similar injunction is found in Leviticus 20:27.) This injunction is nothing short of a direct commandment to kill a human being accused of witchcraft. If this is the position of the Judeo-Christian God, then how can one argue that individual rights find a foundation and defense in Judeo-Christian doctrine if one does not have the right to be a witch? Please explain how such a verse can conform to a political doctrine of individual rights.
  7. In your opinion as a Christian, is the Bible an authority on matters of truth? Yes or no? Please cite references where possible.
  8. If you answered yes to question 7) above, can you please state for the record how the Bible defines truth? Please cite references to support your answer.
  9. If you answered yes to question 7) above, but could not find a verse in the Bible that defines the concept ‘truth’, how do you justify your affirmative answer to 7) above, that the Bible is an authority on matters of truth, when you can provide no citation from the Bible defining the concept ‘truth’? Please explain in detail.
  10. If you answered yes to question 7) above and offered a scripture to support your answer (i.e., a scripture which explicitly defines the concept ‘truth’), are you certain that the scripture you offered indeed defines the concept ‘truth’ and does not merely presuppose an understood definition? Please explain in detail.
  11. In your opinion as a Christian, is the Bible an authority on matters of morality? Yes or no? Please cite references where possible to support your answer.
  12. If you answered yes to question 11) above, can you please state for the record how the Bible defines morality? Please cite references to support your answer.
  13. If you answered yes to question 11) above, but could not find a verse in the Bible that defines the concept ‘morality’, how do you justify your affirmative answer to 11) above, that the Bible is an authority on matters of morality, when you can provide no citation from the Bible defining the concept ‘truth’? Please explain in detail.
  14. If you answered yes to question 11) above and offered a scripture to support your answer (i.e., a scripture which explicitly defines the concept ‘morality’), are you certain that the scripture you offered indeed defines the concept ‘morality’ and does not merely presuppose an understood definition? Please explain in detail.
  15. In your opinion as a Christian, is the Bible an authority on matters of justice? Yes or no? Please cite references where possible to support your answer.
  16. If you answered yes to question 15) above, can you please state for the record how the Bible defines justice? Please cite references to support your answer.
  17. If you answered yes to question 15) above, but could not find a verse in the Bible that defines the concept ‘justice’, how do you justify your affirmative answer to 15) above, that the Bible is an authority on matters of justice, when you can provide no citation from the Bible definining the concept ‘justice’? Please explain in detail.
  18. If you answered yes to question 15) above and offered a scripture to support your answer (i.e., a scripture which explicitly defines the concept ‘justice’), are you certain that the scripture offered indeed defines the concept ‘justice’ and does not merely presuppose an understood definition? Please explain in detail.
  19. In Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:25, Jesus is reported to have said that "the stars shall fall from heaven" immediately after the tribulation. Does this seem possible to you? If so, where will the stars fall to? The context of these passages sound like Jesus meant that the stars would fall to the earth. Does such a statement come from an omniscient divinity who knows what stars are and how enormous they are (some millions of times the size of the earth)? Please explain.
  20. Matthew is the only Gospel to record the resurrection of an unspecified number of saints coming out of their graves upon Jesus’ death on the cross and going into Jerusalem and appearing to many people there. Who were these saints? Why have we no testimony from them of their resurrection? Or why were they not inspired by God to produce their own statements testifying to this miraculous event? What happened to these saints, and why did none of the other Gospels (Mark, Luke and John) record this event, and why was Paul silent on this matter? So much emphasis of the Christian religion is placed upon the resurrection of one man, Jesus, but the resurrection of untold many is treated quite flippantly. Please explain.
  21. Is jealousy (see Ex. 20) a rational emotion? Yes or no? If yes, then please explains what makes it rational. If no, please explain why God, assuming He is rational (as many theologians argue), would indulge Himself in a non-rational emotion and allow this emotion to guide His wrath? Or, perhaps you would argue that, yes, jealousy is not a rational emotion, but God is not rational anyway, so there is no conflict. Please explain your answer in detail.
  22. Christians often argue that their God created the earth and the universe ex nihilo, i.e., out of nothing. While Christian apologists often maintain that existence (i.e., the universe) could not "come from nothing" in constructing their cosmology for divine existence arguments, this is in the end what their arguments resort to when it comes to defending the assertions in the Bible. Genesis chapter one states that God "created the heaven and the earth." How did God do this? Saying that God created the earth and the universe ex nihilo is not an adequate answer to this problem which the apologist must account for. Arguing that the ways of God are not knowable to man is equally inadequate, if such a position is to be taken seriously. What is needed is a genuine explanation of how God could "create" the universe, an explanation that would be scientifically testable and verifiable. If such an answer is possible, please explain.
  23. The Bible is said by most Christians to be an ‘ultimate authority’ on matters of epistemology (i.e., the nature and means of knowledge) and morality (i.e., as a guide for man’s behavior and action). If this is true, does the Bible offer a definition of what knowledge is? Does the Bible offer a definition of what morality is? Please keep in mind that listing the attributes of one or another does not necessarily constitute a definition, but may in fact only describe such concepts, and therefore presuppose a prior understanding of the essentials included by such a concept. That is what your task consists of: identify which passages in the Bible explicitly identify the essentials pertaining to knowledge and morality as a modern definition would do. If the Bible does not offer such definitions, how can one maintain that the Bible is an ‘ultimate authority’ on such matters in question? Please explain.
  24. How does the Bible define the concept ‘purpose’, and how does it apply to the Christian ethical system? Please cite scriptural passage which defines this term.
  25. Christians are often found speaking of God’s purpose, yet just as often are apt to point out that they do not know what God’s purpose is, that this purpose is ‘beyond man’s understanding and comprehension’. How, then, are such claims to be accepted as knowledge if they are not intelligible to man? Furthermore, how can an "infinite eternal perfect and immortal being" have a purpose? Purpose applies only to living beings that face the possibility of death. But God, according to Christianity, does not face this problem. Purpose presupposes value, and value presupposes a fundamental alternative: live vs. death, and the choice to pursue life over death. If a being stands no chance of losing its life (i.e., like an eternal, immortal God), then it has no need for values, no capacity to value anything. Yet, these are prerequisites to purpose. How can God be said to value and love, while said to be immortal and perfect, and how can God be said to have a purpose, when He suffers no possibility of loss or annihilation? Please explain your answer to this paradox.
  26. Many biblicists argue that the Bible is free of internal contradictions, yet many examples abound in plentiful number demonstrating that the authors of the various books of the Bible were not in full agreement on particular issues. For instance, Exodus 33:20 states: "And he said, ‘Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." This verse is confirmed by John 1:18, which states, "No man hath seen God at any time." Yet there are instances in which the contrary is recorded: Exodus 33:11 (just 9 verses prior to the former) states, "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to a friend." Job 42:5 states, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee." (The context of the verse in Job is clarified by the first verse of the chapter, which states, "Then Job answered the Lord, and said…," indicating that he is speaking to God and about God.) How would you as a Christian respond to the charge that these verses constitute direct contradictions and consequently nullify the claim that the Bible is free of internal contradictions? Please explain in detail.
  27. The essential distinction which sets Christianity apart from most other forms of supernatural primitivism is the doctrine of sacrificing the ideal to the non-ideal. According to the New Testament, Jesus was the ideal man: he was sinless, blemish-free and morally perfect; Jesus serves as the model against all believers are to measure their own holiness and obedience. But what do the stories of Jesus’ crucifixion essentially demonstrate? Essentially, Jesus is depicted as the ideal being sacrificed for the sake of a non-ideal people, a people which the Bible identifies as condemned villains, guilty of sin from birth (or, arguably from biological conception), a people who are admittedly unworthy of the "ransom" that Jesus’ sacrifice is said to represent. Thus, the essence of Christianity’s distinction is the sacrifice of the ideal to the non-ideal. As a Christian, what is your opinion of this particular distinction? Is this an accurate summary of what sets Christianity apart from other religions? If not, why not, and what is? If you do agree that this is an accurate assessment, how would you argue that such sacrificing of the ideal to the non-ideal is morally justified? Please explain your answer.
  28. (Many Christians may argue that Jesus’ resurrection is more important than his sacrifice on the cross, thus arguing that the sacrificial act is therefore not the essential distinction as noted above. However, this view is arguably mistaken since there are several cases of resurrection in the Bible prior to Jesus’ – such as that of Lazarus and the anonymous ‘saints’ which are mentioned in Matthew just after Jesus is said to have ‘given up the ghost’ at his crucifixion. Since resurrections were already occurring, and those resurrections were not enough to accomplish the establishment of the Gospel, arguments that the resurrection of Jesus take doctrinal primacy over Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross are untenable. Clearly, it was Jesus’ sacrifice that gives Christianity its significance insofar as its doctrines of salvation and redemption are concerned. Clearly, any significance granted to Jesus’ resurrection is a consequence of his sacrificial act on the cross, and therefore secondary in importance. Thus, the sacrificial nature of Jesus’ death is primary while the resurrection is secondary. Arguments to the effect that the believer’s faith is ‘vain’ without belief in the resurrection confer overall doctrinal primacy to the resurrection simply miss the point. Arguments to the contrary of this view are welcome.)

  29. They call Jesus’ death on the cross "the ultimate sacrifice" – God "gave up" his only begotten son to the torment of death by crucifixion in order to pay a supposed ‘ransom’ for the sins of a guilty and unworthy people. But how can this act truly be considered a bona fide sacrifice when Jesus’ death was only temporary? In fact, Jesus, according to the Gospel stories, is said to have been dead only three days, a day in a half if you examine the scriptural accounts, and arguably not even dead at all since he is said to have toured hell upon the death of his body. But regardless of how one should look at it, in the end, Jesus is said to have risen from the grave, thus effectively terminating any sacrifice that was said to have been meted out. To put it in terms of real values, would it be a sacrifice for you to lend $100.00 to a friend for three days, knowing that after those three days you would have that $100.00 back? It is often said that someone makes the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ when he loses his life while trying to save another individual from peril, such as a fireman rescuing helpless victims in a burning house. However, in this case, the fireman who lost his life never comes back; if he came back, it would not be such a big deal, would it? Now apply these principles to the case of Jesus: How can Jesus’ death on the cross be viewed as the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ if after three days he rose again from death? In fact, this problem is multiplied by the fact that the Gospel stories tell us that Jesus was aware that after three days (or a day and a half…) he would rise again and live. How can Jesus’ death on the cross be said to be the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ in light of these conditions? Please explain your answer in detail.
  30. Christians often consider the Bible the ultimate authority when it comes to the subject of love. We are constantly hearing the assertion that "God is love" and the unquestioned equation of Christianity with the highest form of love. This being said, can you please provide a definition of the concept ‘love’? Does this definition appear in the Bible any place? If not, how does the Bible define love, and why is this not the definition that you provide? What are the essentials that would go into a concise and adequate definition of love? Does this definition of love relate specifically to man, or is man merely a secondary consideration to the Christian definition of love? Please explain your answers and provide scriptural support if and when possible.
  31. Can love be commanded? There are many scriptures in both the New and Old Testaments that speak of love as if it were subject to command. For instance, Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus is reported to have said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (KJV) Clearly, the authors of these statements believed that love was subject to the commandments of others. Using the definition you provided in question 29) above, please explain how you believe love can be subject to the commandments of others (be it God or other men), and what this means about the concept ‘love’. Please explain in detail and use scriptural references where possible.
  32. According to the Objectivist theory of ethics, love is an emotional response to one’s values. Thus, in the Objectivist definition of love, a primary essential to love is the concept value. Does the Bible make this distinction? If so, how does the Bible define the concept ‘value’? If not, why not, and what can substitute for values in the lives of believers? Please explain in detail and provide scriptural support when and if possible.
  33. How does the Bible define the concept ‘virtue’? Does the Bible distinguish the concept ‘virtue’ from the concept ‘value’? If so, please explain this distinction and reference the scriptural passage(s) in which these distinctions are made.
  34. How does the Bible define reality? Please cite all scriptural passages that apply.
  35. According to Christian metaphysical doctrine, is reality contingent? I.e., is reality dependent upon something ‘prior’ to it? If so, can this something that is posited prior to reality be seen as real? Is it part of reality? If this something that is posited ‘prior to reality’ is itself said to be real, then the assertion commits an internal loop contradiction (i.e., an instance of the fallacy of the stolen concept). How does the Christian apologist explain this error, and can this error be corrected without contradicting the assertion that reality is contingent upon something prior to it? Please explain your answer as best you can, and please cite scriptural support where possible.
  36. Please offer a clear, coherent and precise definition of God. This is not an invitation to describe God by listing his characteristics. This is a request to define the notion ‘God’ by isolating the essentials of the term.
  37. Is ‘God’ a concept or a proper name? If ‘God’ is a concept, what are its perceptual referents? If it is a proper name, what is it naming? Please explain in detail.
  38. Many apologists believe that their arguments rationally conclude with certainty that God exists. If you can think of any arguments that qualify as such, what are they and how are they testable? Please explain in detail and be careful not to commit any cognitive errors.
  39. There are many religions among human populations on earth representing claims of many different gods. Each of these religions assert that their god(s) is the one true deity. How can one rationally demonstrate the existence of the god(s) of their choice while simultaneously offering arguments countering rival god-belief claims without committing oneself to contradictions or inconsistencies in the process? Please explain in detail and beware of any hidden fallacies, if there are any. Please explain how your explanation is sound and why it should be accepted as truth.
  40. If you are a Christian, how did you come to believe the claim that God exists? Was it an argument (or series of arguments), or did you just accept the claim as truth and discover arguments to this effect at a later time? Please explain in detail as honestly as you dare.
  41. Christian apologists argue that God created the universe ex nihilo. Such arguments are asserted in order to defend Judeo-Christian creation ‘theories’, such as those found in the first chapters of Genesis. By arguing that God created the universe ex nihilo, however, the apologists add nothing to the Genesis account as far as an explanation or defense of the Genesis myths are concerned. By ex nihilo, apologists literally mean out of nothing. While many Christians are satisfied with this ‘explanation’ of God’s power to create existence, such assertions do nothing to explain how the Genesis creation stories are possible. How are these assertions testable? Can one point to an example of creation ex nihilo without potentially committing a post hoc fallacy? (I.e., simply pointing to an object or a planet and saying that its existence provides evidence of such wonders is inconclusive. Such indexing would merely demonstrate the recognition that said object or planet indeed exists, but does not give any clue to the applicability of the Genesis account of creation.) If such assertions are not testable, on what basis are they to be believed? Please explain.
  42. According to the book of Genesis, God created Adam, the first man, and Eve, his wife, the first woman. They had at least two children, Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel, but was allowed to continue living after that (in violation of later Mosaic laws stipulating capital punishment for such crimes), and married and built a city. Question: Whom did Cain marry? Please answer in detail and provide scriptural support to document your answers.
  43. Christians often portray their religion as the most capable worldview for enabling men and women to achieve fulfillment and achieve happiness and joy. How does the Bible define happiness? How does the Bible define joy? Are these emotional states or ethical virtues? Please cite scriptural passages that offer these definitions.
  44. Is happiness an end in itself according to Christianity, or is the believer’s happiness primarily a means of achieving another end beyond it? How does your answer to this question relate to the definition of happiness you offered above? Please explain in detail and cite biblical references where possible.
  45. According to the New Testament, believers whose ‘salvation is sealed’ are promised eternal happiness in a heavenly paradise. What will constitute this happiness, and how is the term to be defined and understood?
  46. If you are a Christian and you ‘make it’ to heaven, what will you feel if you do not find one or both of your parents there? If you make it to heaven, but your mother or your father, or both, or other close loved ones, do not make it to heaven, will you be able to enjoy complete happiness? If you know that your best friend is burning in hell forever without any chance for being ‘paroled’ or released, will you be able to enjoy complete happiness? If so, how would this knowledge not make a difference to your emotional life in heaven? Please explain in detail, and cite scriptural passages if and where applicable.
  47. The Bible speaks of itself as being ‘inspired’ by God. What does this claim exactly mean? How is it testable and verifiable?
  48. If the Bible is true, why would it need to be ‘inspired’? Inspiration is customarily applied to fiction, such as a great novel being said to have been ‘inspired’ by an event or impression experienced by the author, or his admiration for a certain personality or achievement. How is the biblical use of the term ‘inspired’ different from that applied to works of fiction, and please explain why truth claims would require this ‘inspiration’. Please offer a means of testing your explanation for soundness.
  49. In Matthew 12:25, Jesus is reported to have said: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." (KJV) Is this an absolute principle and does this principle apply without exception? If so, what does that say about Christianity? Certainly it can be demonstrated by glancing at a roster of various denominations and sects within Christianity that it can be said to be a ‘house divided against itself’. Theologians rarely find themselves in agreement on all issues, and any specific church’s position can vary on important issues according to whom you ask. It may even be shown that the Bible itself offers conflicting principles and positions on certain issues. With this in mind, and considering the absolute nature of the principle ascribed to Jesus in Matthew 12:25, what does this say about Christianity as a whole? Please explain your answer in detail.
  50. If internal division is the hallmark to the falsehood of a particular doctrine or code, how do Christians explain the persistence of religions like Hinduism, which predates Christianity by many centuries, or Islam, which is the fastest growing religion today? Please explain in your best words.
  51. In your opinion, what accounts for the tremendous doctrinal and sectarian division within Christianity? If the Bible is the source of a comprehensible and absolute doctrine, reliable in all instances and application, why are there more than 500 major denominations within Christianity, many of which differ radically from one another? Which particular interpretation is correct? How is one particular interpretation rationally verified over another? Who is to be the final arbiter of which interpretation is correct? If one says God is the final arbiter, then he misses the point, since God has allegedly already had his say in the Bible. It is the interpretation of the Bible – ‘God’s Word’ – that is in question here. Is it the individual? Is it the church clergy? Is it reality? What is the final court of appeal when theological/hermeneutic interpretations disagree? Please explain in detail and offer a method of testing your answer for soundness.
  52. Luke 14:26 reports that Jesus said: "If any man come to me, and hate no his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (KJV) How does this principle that Jesus allegedly offers compare to the second commandment which he allegedly identified in Matthew 22:39: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"? If the Bible does not offer a definition of its use of ‘neighbor’, how does the believer exclude fathers, mothers, wives, children, brethren and sisters from the second commandment? The second commandment implies by presumption that one is permitted to love oneself; however, in Luke 14:26, it appears that Jesus has revised his principles, as now his followers are not allowed to love themselves. How does a believer justify these principles and how does he correct the apparent conflicts? Please explain and cite scriptural passages where applicable.
  53. The Bible speaks of an immortal soul in numerous places. In fact, one of the primary ideas to Christianity is the notion that man has an immortal soul. How does the Bible define its use of ‘soul’? If one wants to argue that a soul is the same as the mind, then please define mind as used in the Bible. If you simply say that one’s soul is one’s consciousness, then do animals have souls? If not, what distinguishes man’s consciousness from that of higher animals (such as dogs or horses, which clearly exhibit consciousness of their surroundings)? How are your answers here testable?
  54. How is the claim that man’s soul is immortal testable? Please offer your criteria for testability as they apply to this claim. Please explain in detail, citing applicable scriptural passages where appropriate.
  55. Does an individual’s immortal soul retain free will upon the death of the individual’s fleshly body on earth? If you believe so, please cite scriptural references to support your conclusion, and offer a rational means of testing your explanation.
  56. Does an individual’s immortal soul retain memories from his/her life on earth upon his death and entrance into heaven or hell? If the immortal soul is not physical and has no organic vehicle (such as a brain) to serve as its receptacle, where are these memories stored? Please cite applicable scriptural references that support your answer.
  57. Does an individual’s immortal soul retain psychological problems from his/her life experience on earth after the death of his fleshly body and entrance into heaven and hell? If so, where are they stored? If not, how are they cleansed since they were not already cleansed during the salvation/redemption process. If you as a Christian intend to argue that God’s elect are free of all psychological problems and idiosyncrasies, please cite all applicable biblical references that support this position. Please attempt to deal with this problem, giving a full explanation to the details involved and remember to cite your sources, including any biblical citations that apply.
  58. According to Genesis 1:26, God is reported to have said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (KJV) In your opinion, who is being referenced here when God says ‘our’? Is God a plurality of deities according to this statement, or is God speaking about a race of gods? Or is God including the host of angels allegedly standing with Him at His right hand? Many apologists and churchmembers believe that this statement refers to God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit, i.e., the trinity, but give no scriptural support for this statement. How would one prove that the early Hebrews who recorded these statements believed that God was referring to his ‘trinitarian’ self? Please identify all scriptural citations that apply to your answers to these questions.
  59. In Genesis 1:27, God is reported to have said: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." (KJV) What particularly is the image of God that is noted here? We know that God did not create man with the knowledge of good and evil, according to the Bible, for this knowledge came later after the ‘fall’. So, this certainly cannot mean the moral image of God. Nor can this refer to the intellectual image of God, for God is omniscient, and requires no method of acquiring and validating knowledge; knowledge and intellect for God are complete and part of his perfect nature as God, according to most biblicists. So, this certainly cannot mean the intellectual image of God. Arguments to the effect that God’s spiritual image is referenced here, but this is begging the question, since spiritual is troublesome to define without presupposing both intellect and moral character, each of which we have seen cannot apply here. And we know, since theologians tell us that God does not ‘extend into space’, that this verse cannot mean God’s physical image, for God has no physical form. We also know, thanks to theologians, that this verse cannot refer to biological image, since God has no biological functions to worry about, while man indeed does. What image then is meant in this verse if not God’s moral, intellectual, spiritual or physical image? What else is there? Please explain, and note scriptural references to support your answer.
  60. Can you think of a single verse anywhere in the Bible where slavery is prohibited? If so, where is that verse and what specifically does it say? If not, why do you suppose a just God failed to prohibit slavery in his righteous Word? Please explain in detail and offer biblical citation when and if possible.
  61. Many Christians respond with the free will defense when non-believers charge Christianity with the flaw that the creator-God posited by its doctrine is the only being truly responsible for evil in the world and universe, since in the final analysis God is the creator of everything to begin with (i.e., since all things are said to have been created by God, and that there is no existence that is not ultimately contingent on his consciousness, any imperfections in existence are essentially reducible to his error and cannot be justly placed against man). The free will defense attempts to counter this criticism with the argument that man has free will and has willfully chosen evil over the good, wickedness over righteousness, immorality over morality, thus relieving God of any responsibility for the direction his creations end up pursuing. However, this line of argument presumes that man would have had sufficient moral knowledge to make proper decisions, thus legitimately bearing the onus. This presumption, in as much as it applies to Christianity, is in error, for even according to the Genesis account itself, man did not possess knolwedge of good and evil (moral knowledge) and therefore did not have the cognitive ability to guide his choices and actions. Consequently, the free will defense, which necessitates a capacity for moral understanding that Adam did not have (according to Christianity), does not rescue the Christian God from the culpability Christian doctrine wrongfully ascribes to man. With this in mind, how do you as a Christian explain the fact of evil when it cannot be legitimately argued that man is the responsible party, not God? Please reason your answer on a point by point basis. Try not to presume the truth of a premise you are not willing to argue for. Additionally, should you as a Christian believe that man should be held accountable for the fact of evil even when Christian doctrine admits that man did not have the moral ability to distinguish right from until after he disobeyed (how could he know disobeying was wrong if he had no moral knowledge?), please offer your argument to this effect.
  62. If you as a Christian hold that all Christian principles are rational and objective, what are the objective, contextual criteria for determining that the satisfaction of some bodily appetites (such as eating and drinking to nourish the body) is justified, but the satisfaction of other bodily appetites (such as sex) is not justified? Please explain why your criteria qualify is objective as you understand the term to be defined. Please cite biblical references supporting each portion of your answer.
  63. What does it mean for God to 'reveal' knowledge to man? How is knowledge that is 'revealed' objectively testable? What are the criteria for testing knowledge claims that are alleged to have been 'revealed' from God? If one answers that the Bible is the final arbiter for testing knowledge claims alleged to be 'revealed' from God, then the apologist commits himself to a presumptive circularity, since the Bible is also said to be 'revealed'. Again, how is 'revealed' knowledge objectively testable, and what are those standards? Please explain in detail, and this time, don't worry about biblical citations, as they presume the very point that is in question here.
  64. Due to the fact that the Bible offers no concise, essentialized definition of morality, many Christians attempt to construct their own. Commonly the understanding that morality must include a set of imperatives as its primary system stands as a result of this attempt to define morality. Consequently, many Christians believe that morality necessarily consists of a set of injunctions that proceeds from a source considered to be an authority which obligate an individual into ‘righteous’ conduct. If these components – imperative and obligation – are the primary means of the moral system you as a Christian accept as part of Christian doctrine, what exactly do you believe is set in place in that system which obligates the believer to conduct himself morally? Is the primary motivation to right action according to your understanding of morality the pursuit of values, or the escape of loss or terror? If that motivation for right action is the pursuit of values, what is the standard of value within that system, and how did you choose it as your standard? If that motivation is the avoidance of loss or the escape of terror, what makes you fear this loss or threat of terror to begin with? Please explain your answers with as much detail as possible. Include all scriptural citations that apply. Try to remain consistent in your answers.
  65. Does the Bible offer an explicit principle for valuing life? If so, please identify this principle, and to whose life it applies. Can this principle be integrated with all other principles in Christian doctrine without contradiction or discrepancy? Does this principle take the form of a command? If so, please explain how one can be commanded into valuing one thing over another. Does this principle teach an individual to value his life in this world, or in the world beyond, in the ‘next life’? If man is taught to subordinate the value he places on this life, in reality, to the value of a life he’s taught to hope for beyond the grave in the ‘next life’, what does that do to his value of his present life? Does it improve? Or does it diminish? If you believe that valuing an unprovable hope of life beyond the grave will improve man’s value of his life on earth, please explain how this improvement of valuing his life on earth is ensured by this choice of values hierarchy. Please use care in arguing your points to avoid disintegration of principles.
  66. In your opinion as a human being, is it ever justified to hold a person responsible for the actions of another? If an individual completely anonymous to you commits a crime or transgresses a law, can you think of any principle that would infer your guilt as a result? If so, what is this principle, and in what specific ways does it apply? Does it apply without exception? If this principle of transference of guilt from the perpetrator of a transgression to those who did not commit the transgression is absolute and applies without exception, does this mean that you are guilty of all transgressions committed throughout history, including those of infamous tyrants and dictators noted throughout history? If so, why would you accept such a responsibility? Is this principle so solidly rational as to necessitate your acceptance of the guilt of the entire human race? Please explain, and endeavor to remain cogent in your response. Close your explanation with your admission that, yes, you are rightfully guilty of all the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler and his gang of thugs during Germany’s Third Reich era of the twentieth century, since this in essence is what you are arguing for if you accept this principle.
  67. According to Christian doctrine, all individuals are guilty by virtue of the transgression of one individual, Adam. The penalty which Christian doctrine recommends for the inheritance of this guilt is eternal torment and gnashing of teeth. Although you have never met this individual Adam, nor did you assist him or guide him in any way in making his choice to transgress God’s commandment not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, according to biblical doctrine, Christian doctrine demands that you accept guilt for his actions without question. Given these premises, does not Christian doctrine therefore hold man guilty by virtue of he fact that he exists? Would you not agree that the guilt that Christian doctrine holds that man’s guilt is that he exists? Please explain your answer and articulate what principles you believe apply in establishing your response.
  68. Since Christian doctrine deems all humans guilty of a single act of a single individual who allegedly lived thousands of years ago, and since the same doctrine commands the believer of this premise to love others as he loves himself, what can be said for the choice of values man is taught to hold in this life on earth? If the guilty are of equal value to the believer because he is also guilty, is not this guilt both the standard and the underlying principle to the Christian code of values? Please explain your answer in precise, careful detail.
  69. According to Christian doctrine, man’s moral nature is removed from his ability to make choices and choose right actions. Since Christian doctrine argues that man is born into sin (in fact, some argue that he is in sin from conception!), he is born into a condition of guilt which he neither chose or earned. (This is the Christian doctrine of unearned guilt.) Thus, the determination of guilt for man is no longer a matter of moral concern, but a matter of metaphysics. In your opinion – considering your answers to the above two questions – how do you believe this position on man’s nature is justified? Please explain why you think divorcing moral consequences from moral choices and action is formula for a system of justice. Please cite the definition of ‘justice’ as defined in the Bible, or – if no clear definition of ‘justice’ if to be found in the Bible, state the definition of ‘justice’ upon which your answer rests and identify the source of that definition.
  70. Paul wrote about ‘men’s wisdom’ in contrast to ‘God’s wisdom’. Can you identify what Paul was referring to? (If you do not know, you may simply admit it.) Where does Paul identify what he means by this term? Does your answer above agree? If Paul did not clarify what he meant by the term ‘men’s wisdom’ but you offered your interpretation of what he meant by this term, by whose wisdom did you make this interpretation? Please try to avoid making question-begging or post hoc fallacies in your answer.
  71. Please explain how reality can be contingent on a form of consciousness. How is your explanation testable? Please take all the time you desire to answer this question thoroughly, supporting your statements with whatever documentation available.



Questions for Presuppositionalists:

  1. Christian ‘presuppositionalists’ often declare that they are arguing for their conclusions from their ultimate presuppositions. Usually this does not answer the question that is most pressing: Are these conclusions true? However, I would like to ask Christian presuppositionalists the following questions regarding their ‘ultimate presuppositions’: Do you hold these ‘ultimate presuppositions’ because they are true? Or, are they true because you hold them? If you hold your ‘ultimate presuppositions’ because they are true, how are they validated? It is understood that one cannot prove one’s ‘ultimate presuppositions’ because they will be assumed in any proof offered. However, those ‘ultimate presuppositions’, while indeed (allegedly) irreducible primaries, can be validated by showing how they fulfill certain criteria which qualify them for the ultimacy claimed. If you as a presuppositionalist believe that your ‘ultimate presuppositions’ fulfill these criteria, assuming there are such criteria for their nomination, what are these criteria and how would you argue that they are objective? Please provide your explanations in careful detail, and, if possible, please provide any scriptural basis for your statements.
  2. Presuppositionalists argue that all individuals hold to 'ultimate presuppositions', even if they are not explicitly aware of them. While this may be true, such facts may in fact create more problems for the presuppositionalist than may be detected at the surface level of this recognition. For one thing, the principle that man assumes certain 'ultimate presuppositions' (or axioms) affirms the fact that knowledge is hierarchical in nature. But if the presuppositionalist affirms that all knowledge is necessarily hierarchical in nature, as the recognition of the role of 'ultimate presuppositions' infers, how does he justify his assertion that some knowledge is revelational in nature, which originates from the 'mind of God' and is thus exempt from the applicability of 'ultimate presuppositions' since revelational knowledge does not back out to one's ultimate presuppositions? If the presuppositionalist can identify an objective principle by which he can allow for this dichotomy, what would that principle be? Why is it objective? If this principle is objective, then does it apply to all claims of special revelation? If not, why not? If this principle is universal in application with no known exceptions, and I were to argue that my claims that Blarko is the one true God and that He prefers that men do not marry, but that they enjoy a rabidly promiscuous existence are revelational in nature (i.e., exempt from reducing to 'ultimate presuppositions'), how would the presuppositionalist Christian be able to argue to the contrary objectively? Please explain your answer in concise detail and try to remain consistent.
  3. One of the essential components qualifying an ultimate presupposition as an irreducible primary is the condition that it presume no prior assumptions or concepts. (If this criterion is not accepted, then its rejecters have no criterion upon which to qualify and nominate their irreducible primary; their process of nominating ‘ultimate presuppositions’ is therefore arbitrary and consequently so is the product of that process, their ‘ultimate presupposition’ itself.) For the record, please identify this ‘ultimate presupposition’ in a single, coherent proposition (assuming this is possible). How many concepts are subsumed in this proposition? Are there more than one? If there are more than one concept subsumed in the proposition identifying your ‘ultimate presupposition’, then your ‘ultimate presupposition’ is not irreducible. Please continue to reduce your abstractions to their root axioms, and determine which of those axioms hold primacy over the rest.
  4. Please explain how your ‘ultimate presupposition’ may be superior to any other possible candidate for the epistemological role that axiomatic concepts play in man’s cognition. Please explain why no other possible axiomatic candidate would be able to perform this vital function in rooting man’s concepts and knowledge system as well as yours can, if indeed this is your view.
  5. According to a rational system of philosophy, the nomination process of axiomatic identification and affirmation must take into account the conceptual and hierarchical nature of knowledge in order to be objective. This recognition enables the explicit identification of concepts as concepts, and it also makes reducing abstractions to their fundamental concepts and identifications possible. This process as a whole exposes the roots of a conceptual system and allows for the exposure of presumptive errors which would compromise the integrity of a rational philosophy, such as internal circularities and stolen concepts. Does your system of presuppositionalist apologetics and epistemology make such a recognition? If so, please explain how the process utilized by the system of epistemology advocated by Reformed Christianity qualifies the ‘ultimate presupposition’ asserted in your answers above. Please try to remain as consistent with all prior answers you have given to this point.
  6. Does the ‘ultimate presupposition’ which you identified above reduce to a first level or second level abstraction? If so, how does it qualify as an ‘ultimate presupposition’? Please explain.
  7. Presuppositionalist apologists frequently invoke the term ‘objective’ in their rhetorical exercises and debating language. Please offer a concise, essentialized definition of this term as it applies to Christian apologetics. Please identify the source of this definition. If this source is not the Bible, then what is that source? If this term is not defined or mentioned in the Bible, how do you justify your acceptance of the definition you offer, seeing that it must be the product of fallible man? Please explain your answer in detail covering each of these points and any new ones you can think of.
  8. Please give a brief description of the Christian view of concept-formation. What are the essential criteria which must be considered in order for man to form concepts? How does the ‘ultimate presupposition’ identified above relate to this process? Please attempt to illustrate this process in operation by showing how the principles you identify here enable the following concepts to be formed. [List five unrelated abstractions.]
  9. Please cite those biblical verses which offer instruction in the process of concept-formation. If no such passages can be found, please explain upon what authority the process of concept-formation you identify above is justified. If the Bible offers no clear guide to this essential task of man’s cognition, would this imply that the ancient Hebrews who authored and compiled the books of the Bible were likely unaware of any explicitly identified process of concept-formation? If the authors of the Bible showed no awareness of the process of concept-formation as you identify it in your above answer, then what qualifies that process as specifically Christian in origin? If no instruction for the process of concept-formation can be determined from the Bible, who in particular identified the process you describe above, and what were the methods this individual(s) used in its discovery? Again, please explain in detail how this process qualifies as specifically Christian in origin. Please use care in your statements and restrain yourself from making empty assertions you cannot defend or support.
  10. Please explain how the Christian idea of the trinity resolves the age-old philosophical problem of the one and the many. Please explain how this theory is testable.
  11. Presuppositionalist Christians often charge that non-Christians must borrow from the Christian worldview whenever they assert truth statements and claim the achievement of certainty in their arguments, thus implying that Christian presuppositionalism is the only system which identifies the true roots knowledge necessary for the achievement of such certainty. This assertion amounts the claim that no rational proposition can enjoy epistemological autonomy independent of the foundations of the Christian worldview. This position basically argues that all truth statements – even if pronounced by non-Christians – can be shown to back out to the Christian presuppositionalist primaries, even if those primaries are not consciously presumed. Bearing in mind the ‘ultimate presupposition’ identified above, please explain in your words why these charges should be considered seriously by non-Christians. Next, please demonstrate the validity by showing how the following sample propositions necessarily ‘unpack’ or back out to the ‘ultimate presupposition’ identified above. Please bear in mind that, if the charge that non-Christians ‘borrow’ from the Christian worldview when making rational statements is true, each of these statements must be shown to reduce directly and unequivocally to the Reformed Christian’s ‘ultimate presupposition’. Please show each step of your reduction process in precise detail. (List five sample truth claims that have nothing to do with philosophical matters.)
  12. The Bible postures itself as the final authority on matters of life and death. However, one is hard pressed to locate a precise and objective definition of the concept ‘life’ anywhere in the pages of the Bible. (Incidentally, the concept ‘death’ naturally presupposes the concept ‘life’.) While biologists admit that they are impressed by the difficulty of isolating the essentials of the concept ‘life’, this should be rudimentary for biblical doctrine since such a definition is necessarily presupposed by all the numerous principles found in the Bible which pertain to the conduct of man’s life. Given the enormity that bears in this matter, please identify for the record the Christian definition of the concept ‘life’, showing clearly and lucidly what essentials distinguish this concept from others that may resemble it [examples]. Is this definition objective? How so? What is the source of this definition? If not directly form the Bible, is this definition claimed to have been inferred from various biblical passages? If so, what are those passages specifically and which essentials do they contribute to the definition provided? Please show how each of the essentials of this definition – and the how the definition as a whole – reduces to your ‘ultimate presupposition’.

  1. Please explain how the definition of the concept ‘life’ which you offer above integrates into a coherent and objective system of ethics as you understand it. Try to remain as consistent as possible to all the answers you’ve given so far that pertain to this matter.