Tag Archives: philosophy

Answering a blog by Daniel Fincke, PhD, on “God’s Not Dead” — Post by Michael J. Findley

shane

Shane Harper as Josh Wheaton in God’s Not Dead, from the official movie website.

I discovered this blog after posting Mary’s review and my observations. I attempted to comment on his blog twice. Both times my comments were gone the next day.

His very first words; “This post turned out to be not just a movie review but a nearly comprehensive counter-apologetics case that I intend to refer Christians to in the future.”~12,000 words.

His thesis is “I am writing this post for the Christian who wants to know, in-depth, what a real live atheist philosophy professor, with a PhD in philosophy and 93 classes taught at the university level, thought of the worldview in God’s Not Dead.”
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2014/03/a-philosophy-professor-analyzes-gods-not-deads-case-for-god/

We already know, but he begins by saying that this blog is to inform Christians. Remember, that is his stated purpose. The best thing is simply to allow Dr. Fincke’s own words to speak for themselves.

“I write as a former Josh Wheaton to write to all you current or new Josh Wheatons out there to explain in extensive detail what’s wrong with what this movie is telling you.” He begins by calling Christians ignorant. Not a good beginning to attempt to convert someone.

He then quotes Matthew 7:3-5 and says “The logs in these Christian filmmakers’ eyes can probably be seen from space.” Even if you believe this to be true, it should lead with supporting evidence.

“In the real world it is Christian universities that alone in America require of students and faculty that they sign faith statements to attend or teach.” This takes several paragraphs without adding any more information.

This is the “evidence” of hypocrisy? This statement is a lie. Every faculty member of every school has to sign a code of conduct. It is very different from a statement of faith in a Christian University, but it is very much a statement of faith.

The important point is that Dr. Fincke chose to ignore the thesis of the movie and attacks Christianity instead. “… pledge that says ‘God is dead’, I’ve never heard of it. Even if it’s happened, it would be a rare outlier rather than the routine practice of faith statements at various Christian universities. Rare outliers prove nothing about there being an inherent prejudice or persecution of people of faith by secular universities or philosophy professors.”

“Now there is a grain of truth, that the filmmakers misrepresent as a log of hypocrisy,” … “suggests to Wheaton that he may go back to his dorm room ‘sink to [his] knees’ and pray all he wants on his own time and it’s none of his [Radisson’s] business but what goes on in the classroom is his business.”
Once again, where is the hypocrisy in the movie?
“The log in many religious believers’ eyes is that they believe for emotional reasons rather than rational ones. You guys even admit this regularly.”
This is a 12,000 article. However, it is nothing more than a lengthy emotional rant. How sad that he falsely accuses Christians of the very thing he is doing himself.

“Atheists are not misotheists. We don’t hate God. We just don’t believe in God. What some of us hate is that we think Christianity and other religions lie to people, hindering them in their abilities to think for themselves or to think with proper information and make the best decisions for themselves. When we’re mad we’re not betraying that we secretly believe in God. Rather we’re angry with the effects of religious institutions and beliefs we think are harmful. We also may get angry when we hear all the evils that we see praised in the Christian God treated as wonderful things. We assail the deification of traits we have good reason to think are terrible. We assail the perversion of ethics and politics and metaphysics represented by the God concept when we attack it.”

He simply denies the thesis of the movie. However, the movie closes with a list of approximately forty court cases proving his belief to be a lie. I have personally met professors just like Professor Radisson. Dr. Fincke is a hypocrite to deny this.

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Principles of Education for Findley Family Video Publications


bib studies teacher ebook


bib studies student ebook

(In honor of the launching our first full Curriculum offering, Findley Family Video Biblical Studies, a 600+ page compilation of Bible teaching, with a separate, full teacher’s manual, we begin a series of articles on our philosophy of education and homeschooling. The Biblical Studies book, a greatly expanded and complete revision of our original Biblical Studies title, should be up on Amazon, Scribd  and Smashwords later today.)

We seek to teach a biblical worldview and impart Scriptural principles.

Students cannot be permitted to divorce academic disciplines and areas of study from the Scriptures, as Secularists would have them do, to relegate God’s Word to Philosophy, Morality and the realm of feelings and emotions. At one time these disciplines were one study, interconnected at all points, and they need to be restored to that state. Even the arts exist to serve God and glorify Him, as men sang His praises and ornamented His house and His servants’ garments.

It is essential to view Creation and related scientific concepts as accurately recorded in the Scriptures, because this establishes the accuracy and authority of the Word of God from its very beginning. Paleontological finds are secondary to the true record of God’s Word, welcome as supports, but they must be handled without the bias and preconceptions secularists attach, frequently to try to disprove the Scriptures.

The genealogies and records of kings’ reigns in the Scriptures provide a close timeline of the history of the World, with the possible exception of a few missing generations or co-regencies. Reliance upon archaeological findings and artifacts should not be the primary, or especially the only, means of establishing history’s events. Consideration should be given to ancient documentation, primarily the Scriptures, and other discoveries secondarily, as welcome supporting evidence.

Literature is often the records of man’s achievements and seeks to glorify him. Only the Scriptures give glory to God while highlighting lives and characters of His choicest servants and those who failed to follow Him with all their hearts. We study other examples of poetry, prose and historical records to see where man’s sin nature has corrupted the truth, where the light of his former character as made in God’s Image still shines out, to learn to discern what is excellent and reject what is false and hurtful.

Especially we want to teach students to reject the pervasive, overwhelming secularist thinking in education and culture. We want to restore man to a right relationship with God. This can only be done as he learns to do justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with his God. To do justice he must control his desires, do his rightful work, and serve others. To love mercy he must want to help others come to God and grow in Him and to love them as God loves them. Above all he must be humble, selfless, seeking God’s glory and not his own.

He must learn not to view disagreement, discipline, or correction as a personal attack. He is not a victim. If others have wronged him or sinned against him, he should seek to make that right by Scriptural means and then let God comfort him and bring him past any bitterness or pain. Conversely, he cannot forgive what has not been repented of, though he can let God strengthen him to look beyond personal wrongs or hurts.

He must not put the Scriptures into a mold made by Humanists that will require stripping it of its absolute authority. He must not listen to his heart, for it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. He must not trust his feelings, for they come from his fallen, sinful nature and will make him behave without regard for God’s teaching and usually selfishly and proudly.

There is a spiritual component to life. There are Angels and Demons as well as God and Satan, Heaven and Hell. Only the Scriptures can “empower,” by teaching us how to live as God wants us to. We cannot “open our minds” or “empty them” to let in some mysterious wisdom, nor can we be guided by an “inner light.” These are concepts opposed to the teachings of the Word of God and make us vulnerable to Satanic Control and human failings.

We cannot be fascinated with unnatural or supernatural beings and their so-called powers. The obsession with personal advancement and power is evil unless it is through God’s spiritual gifts and as a means to serve Him better.  Resurrection from the dead or immortality should be considered only in the context of the miraculous instances in the Scriptures or the believer joining Christ in Heaven. We cannot speak with the dead. We cannot use nature’s “forces” or “spirits.” We cannot transform into something else except by Satanic means. No spirit or person can control our souls or spirits or eternal destinies beyond God’s power to redeem us.

Families consist of a mother and father who are legally married and wholly committed to a life together, each giving all to the other and to God. Parents must be an example of self-control, unselfish love for each other and their children. A family is a unit and under the best circumstances they will all work together to grow spiritually, physically and financially, sharing responsibilities of keeping an orderly, spiritual household and providing for its financial maintenance.

The woman’s place in the home is described best in Proverbs 31, where she earns income that benefits the household while making its internal maintenance, her husband’s security and reputation, and her children’s growth in character, her primary concerns.

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Comments on The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

“But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. …”
The fox to the Little Prince in the story of that name by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

People have tried to make me like The Little Prince for many years. I have read excerpts from it. Usually I don’t even respond when people quote from it. They seem to know it very well and love it. Some of them are believers. I haven’t read the whole thing, and I didn’t feel qualified to comment.

This is going to anger some people, perhaps hurt some feelings. Since the first time I heard anything from it I knew it was a bad story, with a bad philosophy. It was never a charming fantasy to me. Today someone who is my friend quoted from it again, and I suddenly realized what I’ve been needing to say about it.

The fox claims he wanted to be tamed. He promised to love the Little Prince and said that their relationship would make him better. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works in real life. The following describes people who asked God to give them laws and promised to obey them.

And all the people answered together, and said, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. Exodus 19:8

Isaiah later recounts how God dealt with His chosen people, how they returned His love and care for them.

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard.
My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Isaiah 5:1-7

This is one of those passages hated by people who want a God of love. Even in the Scriptures, people questioned God’s judgment on their sin. Man asked to be tamed, whether by promising to follow the law or by accepting the atonement of Christ and becoming a believer. Part of the process is the purging of sin and rebellion and the purifying of a vessel fit for the Master’s use. But man squirms under this taming and instead invents a god that will be all loving and pleasant, one that will make him special, unique, important like the Little Prince’s rose.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” says the fox in the same part of the story. Yet the Scriptures say, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

I’m sorry, you who love The Little Prince. I can’t let it go as a charming fantasy. It’s philosophy. Everyone admits that. And I have to stand by my original assessment. It’s a bad story, with a bad philosophy.

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Preface to Antidisestablishmentarianism

The most religious people on earth are those who claim not to have any religion. Dogmatic, intolerant, and bigoted, they refuse to allow anyone to so much as speak their opposition. Yet these same people demand political power and tax support. The mildest opposition, such as the mere mention of Intelligent Design (not God), has blacklisted tenured professors. Just two parents in a middle school in Texas made the national news by objecting to Gideon Bibles placed, without comment, on a table outside the school office.1 Such people dishonestly claim that they are not religious and “religion” is a group of mythologies. The truth is that they are the ones promoting mythology. In every aspect of life they promote this mythology with unproven dogmatic assertions under the guise of “Science” vocabulary. After hijacking the word “Science,” they use the courts to elevate their misuse of the term to an established religion.

Science is the study of the world around us, the use of the experimental method and the improvement of our lives through the application of technology. It is divided into various academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology. However, what the federal courts, the academic community and the mainstream Western media mean by science is uniformitarianism. It is the cosmological foundation of the religion of Secular Humanism. “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:4). This concise description of Uniformitarianism clearly shows that it is completely and entirely a religious belief in antiscientific myths.

Secular Humanists use words which have been in the English language for hundreds of years but give them “new” meanings. However, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). The words believe, faith and trust are all historic judicial terms and they also form the foundation of the true scientific method. What Secular Humanists promote as their version of the scientific method consists of preconceptions, presuppositions and assumptions. It is the opposite of an open mind.

A true open mind is founded in belief, faith and trust. The historic meaning of believe is to perceive or understand with the mind and then make an informed decision.2 The most basic use of the word believe which the average American would understand is that of a juror in court. Which witness do you believe? Which piece of evidence is believable? A synonym would be the word credible. When we believe something or someone and then act on that belief, that is faith. The active part of belief is faith. The passive part of belief is trust. Suppose your brother says that he will drive you to the doctor. If you believe him, then you understand what he says and you make a decision to get ready. If you get in the vehicle with him, that is faith. You act on your belief. When you sit in the vehicle as he drives, that is trust, a passive reliance on what you have proven true. You trust in his driving skills. You trust in the vehicle. You trust the roads, etc. Everything we do is a combination of belief, faith or trust. By restoring their historic definitions, belief, faith and trust re-emerge as the clear language of true experimental science. These terms were deliberately segregated from science to deceive people into believing Secular Humanism.

Liberals, Secular Humanists and materialists, however, use the word “belief” as a synonym for a philosophical position, just an opinion. Faith and trust to them are metaphysical words which mean different things to different people. And this is just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Secular Humanists have redefined hundreds of words to support their religion, such as sin, judgment and anthropology. A conversation with them can be very difficult since they use historical English words but mean something entirely different.

The traditional role of religion is to place priesthood as intermediary between God and man. The traditional role of an establishment of religion places the government in that intermediary role between God and man. In the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church put itself between man and God, as other religions have in the past. Johann Tetzel, a “professional pardoner,” sold indulgences representing forgiveness for sins in Germany. Indulgences were based on the “storehouse” of good works believed to exist because of the sacrifice of Christ and the good deeds and prayers of past saints. Tetzel was said to promise that, “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”3

Selling indulgences was the final act of many which brought on the Reformation. People wouldn’t have bought them if they hadn’t believed the Catholic Church alone could placate God on their behalf. Martin Luther convinced the princes of Germany that they did not need to send their money to Rome because they could go to God directly. Rome sent armies to collect the money. Even Modern Roman Catholics who do not believe that their church today claims to stand between them and God have to admit that the medieval Roman Catholic Church did.

The combined power of Church and State restricted personal worship, scientific study and access to historical truth. Today Secular Humanism has done the same by removing foundational truths from education. It excludes study and discovery that contradicts uniformitarianism. It rewrites history to undermine morality and freedom of expression.

The union between the medieval Romanist church and the state came to an end in two ways. In Southern Europe during the Renaissance, art, architecture, literature, and learning opened up to all men, not just those who were part of the church and state system. The Renaissance left the power intact, however. In Northern Europe, the Reformation abolished the need for a church like Rome through the great affirmations of the Reformation: The Scriptures are the absolute authority; Justification is by faith alone apart from works; and every believer is his own priest with direct access to God. The Reformation made a special priesthood class unnecessary because men could pray directly to God and read His Word on their own.

The medieval Roman Catholic Church kept the Scriptures almost exclusively in Latin to prevent ordinary people from studying them, forcing people to come to the priest. The priest would not only tell them what the Scriptures said, but he also mingled that with the church’s interpretation. In order for ordinary people who did not know Latin to read the Bible for themselves, the Scriptures had to be translated into the language of the ordinary people. Translation work by Reformers was essential to enable ordinary men to read the Scriptures for themselves, even though it was punishable by death under the Church-State system. The Renaissance and the Reformation worked together in the development of moveable type to make printing and distribution of translations of the Scriptures easier. Renaissance scholars revived interest in studying forgotten manuscripts and making translations into the vernacular. Erasmus’s Greek New Testament provided a basis for more accurate translations of the Scriptures.

The Medieval Romanist Church-State system took away freedom by forcing man to rely on and accept its teachings. The Renaissance and the Reformation restored freedom by returning art, science, and all forms of learning to ordinary people. In particular the people were able to worship God as the Scriptures taught, without Church-State control. Modern western culture, and American culture in particular, was founded on this religious freedom. American culture is more Christian than European cultures, but neither of these cultures can survive if the foundation of religious freedom is destroyed.

It is this Christian foundation of religious freedom which is the real target of Secular Humanists. These Secular Humanists have taken outrageous liberties in their unrelenting quest to replace religious freedom with their established religion of Secular Humanism, which they incorrectly call science or Natural Law. Their major tool is the US court system. Sympathetic US courts have consistently supported Secular Humanism by using every possible opportunity to replace the word religion with the ancient concept of Natural Law. However, since Natural Law has been used so many different ways, the courts had to standardize the term Natural Law. Their version of Natural Law goes back to Plato’s Republic. Though Plato never used the phrase “natural law” in his Republic, translator Benjamin Jowett’s notes state that, “Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge…”4 Plato’s Republic is at least the foundation of modern Natural Law, if not the detailed finished product. Together with Aristotle, Plato is supposed by secularists to have laid the foundation for learning and development of the Sciences. This is really is essence of Natural Law.

Jowett goes on to say that Plato provided for a means to spread his method of acquiring knowledge. “In the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates, the first care of the rulers is to be education.”4 Jowett makes it clear that Socrates meant to impart much more than mere academic knowledge, just as Natural Law means to teach more than mere Science. Socrates promoted “the conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and ‘kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.”4

Many know that Plato in his Republic based his state on a philosopher/king. Few, however, are aware that he believed in communism and free love and that these two “natural” principles were to be foundational principles of the state. Though the preceding condensation by Benjamin Jowett is an excellent job, as you can read for yourself, the actual words of Socrates, as quoted by Plato, are much longer and more difficult to understand. “None of them will have anything specially his or her own.” “… Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to selected men]… they must live in common houses and meet at common meals … they will be together … And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “… Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”5

The philosopher/king, according to Socrates, was to lay these foundational ideas through education. Though he did not use the phrase “establishment of religion,” Plato clearly advocated an established religion. It was to be put in place by a philosopher/king through education based on a state where “no man calls anything his own” and where there is neither “marrying nor giving in marriage.” Though this education would begin with children, it would continue throughout a person’s entire life. This is the Natural Law which the US Court system has imposed.

The US needs to disestablish its Establishment of Religion and reestablish religious freedom. In the 1800’s churches which tried to break away from the Church of England were called disestablishmentarians. The people who fought against the disestablishment of those churches within the Church of England in the 1800s were called Antidisestablishmentarians. Today, the mainstream media, liberal politicians, the academic community, the liberal courts and all others who file lawsuits, blacklist, fire, refuse to hire, tax, legislate against, libel, slander and do whatever is necessary to maintain their positions of privilege and power are modern Antidisestablishmentarians.

1 (No author) “Parents Fuming as Texas Schools Let Gideons Provide Bibles to Students,” Tuesday, May 19, 2009, Fox News.com. “A spokeswoman for the school district said that a number of materials are made available to students this way, including newspapers, camp brochures and tutoring pamphlets. College and military recruitment information is available all year long. The Gideon Bibles were made available for just one day. ‘We have to handle this request in the same manner as other requests to distribute non-school literature — in a view-point neutral manner,’ Shana Wortham, director of communications for the district, wrote in an e-mail to FoxNews.com.

2 Alexander Hamilton, in an 1802 letter to James Bayard. “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would un-hesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

3 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume 7, “The Reformation,” Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910.

4 Plato, The Republic (c. 360 B.C.), translated by Benjamin Jowett over a period of 30 years until his death in 1893, completed posthumously by Lewis Campbell. (Introductory material (in double quotes) and paraphrases of Plato’s ideas (in single quotes) were written by Jowett.)

5 Plato, The Republic, Book Five Dialogue excerpts among Socrates, Adeimantus, Glaucon and Thrasymachus have been placed in parentheses within Jowett’s introductory material.

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