Re: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Douglas Barber <>
Date: Sat Apr 24 2004 - 18:42:04 EDT

D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

><snip> base there is a problem. The only tests for a
>philosophical system are consistency and comprehensiveness. Materialism
>can be such a system. Note that Nancey Murphy and her ilk develop
>materialism plus God as a theological position. However, standard forms
>of materialism (metaphysical naturalism, scientism) are incompatible with
>standard forms of Christianity. Indeed, I claim that Murphy's view is
>incompatible with Christianity. (Philosophia Christi, 4:519, 2002). But
>that is because I build on scripture. But to one who adopts scientism,
>none of the arguments you propose have any weight--unless the person
>receives grace that upsets his commitment to materialism.
>I know, there are arguments to upset naturalism. The other evening I
>heard one that "demonstrated" that rationality cannot develop
>naturalistically. I found it pathetic. It was on a par with the
>expectation that Christianity is demolished by the argument from evil.
>Both are persuasive to their proponents and may influence others, but are
>irrelevant to the knowledgeable hard core believers.
>That the Christian faith is rational is worth showing, but this requires
>recognizing its own terms and commitments. The fact that something
>remarkable happened, so that a terrified bunch went out boldly preaching
>a message that got them imprisoned, abused and killed; a group of strict
>monotheists declared that a man they knew is God--this requires
>explanation. One's personal testimony, and the evidence from others, can
>be persuasive. But effectiveness finally depends of the work of the
>Spirit, not on human brilliance and persuasiveness. The gospel of John
>may be more effective than anything we can do.

I agree with everything that I understand here (the only thing I don't
think I understand is the comment about Nancy Murphy and "materialism
plus God", because I don't know of her. I will look forward to finding
and reading a copy of your essay - if you have an electronic copy that I
could trouble you to forward offlist I'd be interested and grateful, the
nearest decent libraries are 3 hours away from me, in D.C. ).

>As for the demand for evidence, prove that there was a world five minutes
>ago. Prove that solipsism is false. Prove that you're not a brain in a
Yes....the world that was just created four minutes ago with all of our
memories and the evidences to substantiate them intact....and that
annoying rabbit which is under my chair only when no one is making's a good thing my middle brother was never exposed to
that rabbit conundrum back during the "monster under his bed" phase that
interrupted more than a few otherwise idyllic nights in the Barber

Doug Barber
Crisfield, MD
Received on Sat Apr 24 18:42:38 2004

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