« Adventures of a Housewife | Main | John Wayne - The Cowboys. Teaching manhood. »

January 14, 2012


Dennis Mansfield

Dan, your trail of comments reads like a lesson from a manual in how to pick at the edges of a debate position without getting to the core of it.

God meets us where we are. I can't speak of other religions or other experiences. I can only speak of the truth of Christ's resurrection and miracles (many of which are in my life). Like trying to describe the brilliant hues of color to a person who was born without sight, it is impossible for my words to mean anything to you. I understand that. As I stated before, I was blind but now I see.

I've learned over the years that there is no real philosophical obstacle disallowing any of us from receiving the unmerited favor from God through Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, there is only a moral obstacle - a lack of desire to do so, due to the presence of sin in one's life. Not "sins", just the "malady" (as you called it) of sin. Christ washes it clean, with the shedding of his blood. Neither Dan nor Dennis can do this as individuals.

You have stated that you are happy with your life, and I believe you are. My call is that without that "still small voice" deep in the recesses of your spirit telling you that there must be more, will you ever show an honest interest, beyond clever and pithy blog post debate.

If tragedy should unexpectantly strike and your confidence should crumble, I stand ready to answer honest questions. Until then, you are doing well...and the sincerity of discussion demands that I move on.

Thanks for following my blog.

Dan Henry

I once read the autobiography of an Oglala Sioux medicine man -- "Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions." It was interesting. When he was a young teen, he went through a traditional coming-of-age ceremony. He was taking to a cave and sealed inside with no food or water for 3 days. He was given his first tobacco.

Dennis, what do you think he saw during his three days of drugged sensory deprivation? Did he see Jesus? Or Moroni? Or Thor? Or any of the thousands of other man-made deities?

He saw exactly what his society had prepared him to see: visions of his dead ancestors, returning in animal form.

My point is that your imagination can provide you with any evidence you want. If you choose to believe some mythology, and dedicate yourself to seeing some evidence, you will see it. It doesn't really matter what mythology you choose. That's how the brain works.

Believe me, the world is a much more beautiful and amazing place without the cloud of man-made fables and imposed theocracy.

You should explore becoming free of that stuff.

Dennis Mansfield

Mental slavery is a good phrase, but not for the mind set on the Spirit. Dan, you are so bright and obviously a deep thinker, I only wonder if you just might be too smart, at times when the issue is your spirit. Brilliance can carry with it a heavy burden; faith is not a part of that weight. I'm not that smart and yet, the peace that balances itself in my life shows me that at one time I was blind, but today I can see things. And faith is the evidence of things not seen with the eyes you and I have.

So, if you are not interested in seeing the "unseeable", I fully understand. I was there once. I just know (and have seen) the eternal colors that are before my eyes and they so outshine this world's hues.

Dan Henry

And I've read C S Lewis. He's not impressive.

Dan Henry

Ah. Original sin is the disease for which I need Tebow's "prescription."

So putting my faith in Jesus as my savior will save me from my original sin. And original sin is this bad concept created by god. So to accept that original sin is even a real thing, I have to already believe in Christianity.

Amazing. Christianity is the source of the disease AND the cure for it.

No thanks, Dennis. I'd rather be free of all superstition and dogma.

Plus, I have no earthly idea what you mean when you say that some guy died for my sins, as a gift to me. That's not a reason for me to believe anything. That's just crazy talk that can only come from someone who has swallowed the koolaid.

Honestly, Dennis, if you stepped out of your commitment to this mythology for a moment, you would see that it is a lot of self-justifying circular logic, designed to enslave people and make them stop thinking. Really -- imagine what your world would be like if you accepted the premise that original sin is a made-up concept. You'd still be you -- only free of stone-age mythology and dogma. You'd be the same smart, decent guy, only unafraid of the world and what lies beyond. You'd be free to be human.

But your religion tells you not to do that. It tells you that I'm tempting you to enter the "dark side." It tells you that any deep question is of the devil. That's why it still exists. It creates fear of free thinking.

Why do you devote yourself to a theology that starts with such circularity, and then builds in a disincentive to think for yourself?

I would never subject myself to that kind of mental slavery.

Dennis Mansfield

No investigation of my "Clive Lewis" character?

"Are you suggesting that he's only motivated to do good works because of fear of punishment, or the promise of a reward? That seems selfish to me.

I'm a full-blown atheist who knows no deity ever invented really exists, and I do community service all the time. I run IF's soup kitchen one Sunday per month (it's hard to get religious people to work that day, btw). Why am I doing that?"

Good works don't motivate a person of Christian faith. Rather they simply are the logical extension of how we act, based on the value we understand that we hold in God's eyes. Jesus rescued us from the malady that you have asked me about. The malady is the DNA-connected status of "sin". We were born with it. Adam and Eve, etc.

Too easy? Heck no. It is, however, very simple. Christ died for Dan. It's a gift that he gives to you - and, like any gift given to any other person, you either receive it or reject it.


Dan Henry

Justin -

Actually, you're the only one to ask me that.

Tebow's display of religiosity annoys me just like any ostentatious display of piety would. The fact that he ignores his own bible annoys me, too (Matthew 6:5-6). The guy is an average player on an average team that has survived by luck, yet he wants to attribute his "success" to intervention by a deity.

He wants us to think that his god cares about a stupid game played by millionaires but ignores the plight of millions of starving children. I'd never worship such a trivial and morally depraved god.

Further, I think he's insulting all the players who worked their butts off to be the best in the world. And he's arrogant in the extreme, thinking that he knows anything about what any god thinks.

So Dennis's explanation, that Tebow makes me reflect on a loving god, is far, far off the mark.

Dan Henry

"What motivates Tebow to help disadvantaged kids? His faith in a God who really loves them. That's it. Small beginnings... can impact large things."

Are you suggesting that he's only motivated to do good works because of fear of punishment, or the promise of a reward? That seems selfish to me.

I'm a full-blown atheist who knows no deity ever invented really exists, and I do community service all the time. I run IF's soup kitchen one Sunday per month (it's hard to get religious people to work that day, btw). Why am I doing that?

Religion does not make people behave better, nor does lack of religion imply that one behaves worse. If Tebow's religion is the only thing that makes him support those in need, then he is craven, indeed. (But we all know that isn't his motivation -- I'm sure he would help the poor even if he were rational instead of religious.)

Dan Henry


I see no evidence in any of your answer. I see you swallowing stuff that was written in a book several hundred years after some guy named Jesus was said to have lived. No prosecutor would win a case with that weak evidence. Besides, the existence of a guy named Jesus isn't proof of anything, just as the existence of a guy named Mohammed isn't proof of anything.

Again, what is the malady for which I need a "prescription?"

Dennis Mansfield

"...where there is no evidence."

Honestly think through that comment, for a second.

The timeline of history is parted by Jesus' life/death. More people saw him alive, post-resurrection, than any prosecuting attorney would EVER need to prove a case. The number of 1st century texts of New Testament documents outnumbers many ancient texts for other works (about which we all agree are accurate). Hmmm...

Even a sceptic like Clive Lewis examined the evidence at hand and dismissed his own faulty anti-faith conclusions as mere unsubstantiated opinion. Doesn't it seem more like you have to prove your case against faith - rather than to ask believers of Jehovah God to prove their cases for it? Just a question...

So, two millennia later, it seems to me that we either stand on the shoulders of faith and see clearly a creator and his son, or we dismiss it and say we've brought new truth into a very old world.

Hmm...the quality of my life (both here and in the future) is being bet on time-proven facts behind faith. (and so great a faith as that starts the seed-size of a small mustard-plant.)

What motivates Tebow to help disadvantaged kids? His faith in a God who really loves them. That's it. Small beginnings... can impact large things.



So Dan, and I am genuinely curious, you haven't yet answered the question. What is it about Tim Tebow that irritates you?

Dan Henry

Funny you should mention prescriptions as an analogy. Do you know what they call prescriptions where there is evidence of their efficacy? Medicine.

What do we call prescriptions where there is no evidence? Homeopathy. Snake oil. Quack medicine.

Just because Tebow (and you) claim that you have a "prescription" for some malady doesn't make it true.

And your "malady" is undefined, too. Just what do I need Tebow's prescription for? I'm fine, thank you very much.

Dennis Mansfield

So, Dan... I'm a little confused. If a person had a "prescription" to cure millions of people's illnesses and you DIDN'T let the world know about it, what kind of individual would that be?

Tebow holds that "prescription" in his hands, as do all of us who fully see what Jesus did on the cross. Not share it? Why?

Dan Henry

Yes, his actions irritate me. But not because of the reason you gave. That was nonsense.

Dennis Mansfield

No reflection at all?

If not, does Tebow's actions irritate you?

The comments to this entry are closed.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button