Thursday, May 30, 2019

Flat earth folly refutes itself

Flat earth goes down the drain

An irrefutable axiom is that “absurdity refutes itself.” If you wait long enough, in a relatively short time an absurd position will eventually refute itself. The flat earth explanation is no exception. This craze propagated on YouTube has refuted itself by unintentionally slipping into explaining geology using globe earth mechanics, as seen right on The Flat Earth Society website. This happened when it tried to explain how volcanoes can work on a flat earth:
Volatile Mountains are formed when molten rock, or magma deep within the earth, erupts, and piles upon the surface. Examples of Volatile Mountains include Mount St. Helens in North America and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.
So what it calls “volatile mountains” includes volcanoes. How deep within the earth does the magma come from? It answers:
Volcanoes can be caused by "mantle plumes". These so-called "hotspots" , for example at Hawaii, can occur far from plate boundaries.
There can be no mantle in a flat earth, only in a globe earth. A mantle also means there is a core. Therefore, The Flat Earth Society has unwittingly shot itself in the foot with a bazooka.

See screenshot:
Click to enlarge

It also has an article on “Antipodal volcanism” that is as comprehensive as it will ever be:
Click to enlarge

Flat earth fails to explain the very thing it claims to: the earth.

The end.
(This will be the last blog entry on this peculiar topic.)


See also:

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

William Lane Craig on The Ben Shapiro Show

On May 12, 2019 William Lane Craig was interviewed by Ben Shapiro.

I really enjoyed this and now have rejuvenated respect for WLC. I like how he never affirmed Trinitarianism even though Ben seemed to have been baiting him to affirm it. Instead, he stressed that God sent Jesus and that Jesus was the Son of Man from Daniel 7:13-14.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Socrates Scholasticus on the Council of Nicaea

Socrates Scholasticus (c. 380 – after 439), a 5th-century Christian Church Historian, wrote concerning the events preceding the Council:

“Now a short time previous to the general assembling of the bishops, the disputants engaged in preparatory logical contests before the multitudes;”

This was not a closed-doors private affair, it was presented to the general populace beforehand!

He continued:

“and when many were attracted by the interest of their discourse,” [this was no boring affair!] “one of the laity, a confessor, who was a man of unsophisticated understanding, reproved these reasoners, telling them that
Christ and his apostles did not teach us dialectics,[1] art, nor vain subtleties, but simple-mindedness, which is preserved by faith and good works.
As he said this, all present admired the speaker and assented to the justice of his remarks; and the disputants themselves, after hearing his plain statement of the truth, exercised a greater degree of moderation: thus then was the disturbance caused by these logical debates suppressed at this time.”
www.newadvent.org/fathers/26011.htm (Church History, Book 1 chapter 8.)
(End quote)

This anonymous layman spoke the brutal truth, and provides us with a window into the popular mindset and the volatile climate of this theological crisis.[2]

In other words, beliefs about God and Jesus should be rooted first in the Bible and not in philosophy. That layman detected that some theologians were rooting their beliefs in philosophy and admonished them that their beliefs should be rooted in the Bible. Thus, he saw a real danger in their approach and courageously voiced his concern. My heart goes out to that anonymous commoner.


Footnotes:
[1] Defined as the “inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions.”
[2] The September 1, 1984 Watchtower pp. 25-30 “We Worship What We Know” article referred to this incident apparently through the book A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500 by Kenneth S. Latourette (1953), which says on page 154 without any citation to Socrates Scholasticus:
We read that one of these who had suffered for his faith in the persecutions which were of recent memory and who, hearing the pre-council disputes before the gathering at Nicaea, bluntly told the debaters that Christ did not “teach us dialectics, art, or vain subtleties, but simple-mindedness, which is preserved by faith and good works.” (https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.502917/2015.502917.A-History_djvu.txt)
Compare this with the above Watchtower article, which said Jehovah’s Witnesses
share the view of the Christian layman who is recorded as having bluntly told the wrangling theologians assembled in Nicaea in 325 C.E.: ‘Christ did not teach us dialectics, art, or vain subtleties, but simple-mindedness, which is preserved by faith and good works.’ Apparently this man had suffered for his faith in Christ, even as many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have. Like him, they have no faith in theological philosophy. They accept with simplicity what the Bible states about God, Christ and the holy spirit, and they are willing to suffer for their simple faith and prove it by good works. (wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1984647#h=15)
(Underscoring added.)


Additional reading:

Credits:
  • Cover from Wipf and Stock: https://wipfandstock.com/socrates-ecclesiastical-history.html

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Splitting the Adam


In Genesis 2:21, 15:12 both Adam and Abram are described as falling into “a deep sleep.” The Hebrew word here is תרדמה, tardema. In Adam’s case, when he awoke, he found a female human, which he praised as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” (Genesis 2:23) In Abram’s case however, “Jehovah then apparently spoke to him in a dream,” as seen in Genesis 15:12-16.[1] Also, in both cases, the Greek word used in the LXX is ἔκστασις (ekstasis)—literally “outside oneself” (producing the English word “ecstatic”). While tardema is used elsewhere in 1 Samuel 26:12, Job 4:13, 33:15, Proverbs 19:15 and Isaiah 29:10, it literally means just “deep sleep,” and it was not translated in the LXX as ἔκστασις.

Now if Abram’s tardema lead to a vision, did Adam’s as well? There is no evidence for this, as Genesis 2:21 even clarifies that “he was sleeping” during the famous rib extraction process, reminiscent of a medical operation. That the LXX translator(s) used ἔκστασις here may indicate that they thought it was like Abram’s, which is fascinating on a historical level, but it cannot be counted as evidence, as the LXX is not divinely inspired and that Genesis 2:21 was not quoted in the Christian Greek Scriptures and applied as a visionary event.

Indeed, a notable difference between Adam and Abram here is that Adam expressed surprise when he awoke, declaring “This is at last…!” Whereas with Abram, the account merely continues from verse 11 with Jehovah accepting his sacrifice.

So while “splitting the Adam” (in obvious wordplay on “splitting the atom”) the text does not lend itself to him experiencing a vision like Abram did. Instead, it most likely lends itself to Adam being “out like a light.”

Footnotes:
[1] “Dream.” Insight on the Scriptures. wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001222#h=4

This is in response to Splitting the Adam https://weekly.israelbiblecenter.com/splitting-the-adam/ By Dr. Nicholas J. Schaser, June 7, 2018.

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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

All about Plate Tectonics


Plate tectonics or paleogeography has always fascinated me for as far back as I can remember.

Here is a video from PBS Eons explaining this science, its origins, mechanism, and history: Here is another presentation on the importance of plate tectonics, from What If: Here are two online plate tectonics simulators:
Notice how Pangaea was not the first supercontinent.

Of particular interest are projections into future continental configurations together with the concern of human habitability. Regarding that, Amos 4:13 reminds us that the Creator is the “Former of the mountains,” so He is in control of future continental geography and our habitation.

Recommended reading:

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