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Hi Robert

Thanks for your mail sorry if I take time to reply (sometimes) I have a number emails going at the same time. You wrote,


>>I am quite honestly Jewish. As for belief in god, I am pretty sure that I do, and when I say that you must prove the positive and not disprove the negative, I am not referring to my personal beliefs but to the beliefs of my perception of the scientific community at large.<<

I don't need to prove anything as I'm not denying God exists nor out to prove He does. My letter simply indicated Atheists couldn't disprove God. So to say 'God doesn't exist' is a self-refuting statement; no one knows enough to be an atheist so there's no logical ground for it. You must have total knowledge of all reality and know all facts and truth of existence. How do you know God is not somewhere out there where you can't see? You don't! So there's no way one can defend Atheism. And that's my point. But you asking me to prove God exists. You wrote,

>>I will, however, stand by my statement. To prove the universal positive, "that god exists," the matter at hand is to prove it, not disprove the universal negative "god does not exist." I could say that the color blue is evident absolutely everywhere in the universe, and I would be wrong unless proven right, not right unless proven wrong.<<

And I stand by my statement it's impossible to disprove God. You appear to want me to prove God exist. I think the greatest proof for the existence of God is the cosmic evidence. One of the most profound questions that indicates the force of this, is 'why is there something, rather than nothing?

John Hick wrote - "For when we try to think about this infinitely fascinating universe in which we live we find that we are faced in the end with sheer mystery - the mystery of existence, of why there is a universe at all" (Christianity at the Centre Lon.SCM Press 1968 p.63). Another philosopher wrote, "Our problem is that we are rather than we are not." This is the 'riddle of all riddles,' the mystery that there is anything at all. This is not a question dreamed up by God believers but from our existence and experience. Wittgenstein makes the point, "It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists." So he concludes, "The solution to the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time" (Tractatus Logico-Philosohicus NY Humanities Press 1922 pg.149). Montgomery puts it this way, "Nothing in this world is able to explain its own existence; thus there must be a God in order to explain the world in which we find ourselves" (How do We Know There Is a God? Bethany 1973 p.9). So the most rational alternative to the reality of the universe is God. Without God there would not be any universe in the first place. You wrote,


>>So you must determine an absolutely definitive proof of god, not a merely anecdotal one<<

But even if provided "an absolutely definitive proof of God" you would not necessarily believe it (although another might). I could argue you have enough proof already. Look at order, design and beauty in the world. The problem is, that mankind has fallen from what he was created to be. What the Bible calls "sin" has entered the world. And 'sin' has infected all mankind - our thinking and behaviour. "Sin' rules men today and unbelief clouds the minds of men. Man can't understand himself, his neighbour or even the God who made him. Now man is naturally an enemy of God. So when men look at creation they are lost as to explain why, who or what is behind it all.

The bible says men don't naturally have the Spirit of God (Rom.8:9) and God is dead to them. It says the things of God are "foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor.2:14). The natural man finds it hard to believe in anything he can't see, touch or feel although he feels God is there, he's not sure. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (Jn.3:3). This is a spiritual rebirth. On becoming a Christian I received God's Spirit (Jn.1:12). I have no problem now believing there's a God, I know there is! While the natural man is unsure, or denies He exists. I have the proof, you can too, if you want. You wrote,


>>... and it appears that much of the Bible (the Torah to me) is not literal.<<

God's dealings with Israel didn't stop with Malachi, but the prophecies of the Torah (& Isa.53) were fulfilled in Messiah ben David (Jesus). He came as the Lamb of God to be the sin bearer, to take away sin. So all the history of the people of Israel had a reason. There are lessons to learn in the Torah, it is God's Word. Abraham was a real man and God's promises to him were intended to be read literally. Because I have God's Spirit within (1 Cor.6:9), the Bible appears true and actuate when describing creation and mankind. I accept it as literal because most books make sense when accepted as literal (its very intellectually satisfying). Eg, the Bible says,

"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31).

There is every indication this should be taken literally. And I have no intention of playing games with God as if what He said is not serious. You wrote,


>>In being jewish, I do not believe in what you consider the miracles of Jesus. All I believe is that Jesus was a jewish scholar who preached some slightly different take on things than others at that time, nothing more.<<

The Jewish people at the time of Christ were convinced that "never a man spoke like this man" (Jn.7:46). But the problem in just accepting 'Jesus as a teacher' is that the miracles confront us repeatedly. It wasn't that Jesus just said "I am the resurrection and the Life" (Jn.11:25) but that He raised someone from the dead to prove it (Jn.11:38-44). Crowds followed Him for his miracles alone (Jn.6:14 12:18-19 Lk.23:8) which they could not deny. The disciples were totally in the grip of His miracles, words & power. Nothing like this man had ever been seen before (Jn.9:34) and this was said even by His enemies (Lk.23:8). You wrote,

>>Evolution has been confirmed scientifically, I just saw a video about a couple who return to the Galapagos every year to do continuing research, and they saw microevolution in process, following a weather phenomenon that affected island life for the finches.<<

There are no facts proving evolution has occurred. It might surprise you but its true. Consider the terms "microevolution" macroevolution' and 'organic evolution'. 'Organic evolution' as theorized is a naturally occurring, beneficial change that produces increasing and inheritable complexity. It should show that the off spring of one form of life had a different and improved set of vital organs. Sometimes called the molecules-to-man theory - or 'macroevolution'. But 'microevolution' on the other hand, does not involve increasing complexity. It only involves minor chemical alterations or changes in size, shape or colour. 'Microevolution' can be thought of as 'horizontal' change while Macroevolution (if it were ever observed) would involve an 'upward' and beneficial change in complexity. We would agree that 'micro' occurs, changes in 'the finches'. Minor changes have been seen since history began. Notice how often evolutionists give evidence for micro to support macro. It is macro that requires new abilities and increasing complexity that is at the center of the debate. Macro doesn't happen, ever has, and never will. You wrote,

>>I must reiterate, because I feel so secure in my correctness on this one: you said, "I don't need to prove anything; you are suggesting that there is no god, so you must- 1. Prove that there is no god..." I refer to another example: I make the statement that there is air on all planetary bodies in the universe. I am wrong, until proven right in all instances, by a survey of all planetar bodies. But I am not right until a planetary body without air is found. I am wrong, until proven right, in the case of proclaiming a universal positive.<<

Your positive claim 'air on planetary bodies' wouldn't be "wrong until proven right in all instances" or even 'right'. It would be simply be unproven. When I positively claim 'there's a God' I already have the earth and universe as evidence that He has made them. But to claim, 'God doesn't exist,' you don't have anything to prove it. You wrote,

>>Allah is just another word for the same god mentioned in the bible, and I don't know who told you otherwise. Islam was based on Judaism and Christianity, and simply revers the same god, not a different one.<<

The Bible tells me "otherwise". For you 'Allah or god' is just word, because you don't know the God of the Bible. To Christian and Muslim there is a difference, a big difference.

Allah is a cold distant god from his creation. He is so great He acts impersonal and good and evil are said to come from him (so he's very capricious). Whatever Allah chooses becomes right; and this makes any true standard of righteousness or ethics hard to discern. For the Christian calling God 'Father' evokes thoughts of love, compassion, tenderness and protectiveness, but not for a Muslim. To him, a father is strict, shows no emotion, never expresses love, and is bound to his family by duty, not devotion. It's blasphemous to call Allah or God your father. To do so is the same as saying that your mother and Allah had sexual intercourse to produce you. Allah cannot offer mercy, love or ultimate sacrifice on mankind's behalf as the God of the Bible offers each individual today. You wrote,


>>Buddha, you say, was a man who never claimed to be divine. But the same is true for Christ. Christ never claimed to be anything special, he just had a different view than some of his contemporaries<<

Jesus "claimed" the highest title which only God could have: note these -
1. He claimed to forgive sin (Mt.9:1-8)
2. He claimed to judge the world (Mt.10:32)
3. He claimed to give eternal life (Jn.3:26)
4. He claimed to be sinless (Jn.8:29)
5. He claimed to be the object of faith (Jn.8:24)
6. He claimed to answer prayer (Jn.14:13)
7. He claimed to be worthy of worship (Mt.14:33)
8. He claimed to be the truth (Jn14:6)
9. He claimed to have all authority (Mt.28:18)
10. He claimed to be one in essence with God (Jn.10:30)

You wrote,


>>You said "true science has always confirmed the Bible." That statement is simply not true. Evolution is a good example. What I would like you to do is to tell me how evolution as a theory is faulted: although this is against that wrong-until-right thing I stated before, it is merely an excercise. The question is to find a fault with Darwinism, and I very, very eagerly await the answer.<<

Very easy. Sorry but this will lengthen this letter way off the map. So what I will do is to post this reply and another separate email just on that topic. This should ensure your Internet Provider allows it all to come through and not jam up the system. Also it allows you to answer separately.

Respectfully,
Mark


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