Monday, March 7, 2011

New Contributor Introduction: Edward

I'd like to welcome our next guest blogger, Edward.
I love having Edward contributing in the comments and look forward to his upcoming posts.

I think of Edward as the lamb is the wolves den!  He is a Christian surrounded by mostly Atheists but he stands his ground and is never afraid to present his position. He's given the non-believer some great insight into how a Christian reads the Bible.
Below is Edward's personal introduction.

I have been asked to contribute to the project and look forward to this coming year. I am 35yr old male and work as a software programmer and Unix/Linux administrator. I am married with 1 daughter and 1 son, the son keeps me busy, he's 2 going on 3. I first learned about this project when i was on a news website and decided to stop by and see what it was all about. I am a Christian, however probably not the kind that you encounter every day. I was raised in the church then when i was 19 decided to go my own way. I lived like most people, took what i liked about God and His laws, and chucked the rest. It was not until after 3 years of marriage when i was upset with my wife and made a comment "God she does not love me the way i should be loved!" and than i heard a still small voice say "Maybe it's because you don't love Me the way I should be loved.". It was at that point that i decided to research the Christian faith and the Bible. I spent 2 years on Bible translations, text source, and origins. Unfortunately for me i did not take any notes, so i am doing it all over again. Last year in 6 or 8 months i read the entire Bible. I started in the New Testament and then did the Old. At the end of it i realized that with God you are either 100% in or just stay out.1 He did not and does not want anything less. So what was i to do?

Well i decided to get in 100% and learn about defending the faith and being ready always to give an answer.2 In the Christian circles it's called Apologetics to which i thought sounded like i was apologizing for stuff all the time. Christianity...stands out among all distinctively "the Apologetic religion."3 the word Apologetic comes from the Greek work apologia, meaning the defence of a position against an attack, not from the English word apology, which is exclusively understood as a defensive plea for forgiveness for an action that is open to blame.4

So i was back in reading through the NT again when i learned of this project. I felt i was being ordered to put my actions where my mouth and head have been. So i started to read the posts, when the project was still in Genesis, i came to realize not many people were Christians that were commenting. In all honesty i felt it was the blind leading the blind.5, 6 So i decided that i would comment and give a Conservative Christians perspective on the Bible. To me it looked like, at first, that this project had attracted only people that clearly did not accept the Bible as the Word of God, yet had never studied it themselves to come to that conclusion or were finding other people and works that also agreed with them in their criticism of the Bible. I did not think they would actually read it and be receptive to input from the CC point of view. However i was half right. Some people have fallen away and don't post that much any more, others are still in there daily, which is good to see.

I really want to gain the anti-theist point of view and why they hold it. I also want to learn about their worldview and see if they have apply their critical thinking to their own worldview that they have to the Bible and Christianity. I also want people to question me allot. I really want to be trained up to have answer to tough questions people have.

There have been times that i have felt like just abandoning this project, however i know that the reward goes to them that don't faint.7 Also it would only show to me and others that i really don't believe what is recorded in the Bible.8 I enjoy this project and look forward to each night when i get my son to bed to be able to sit down read the passages for the day and then comment on stuff and read other peoples comments.


  • 1 (Luke 9:62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
  • 2 (1 Peter 3:15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
  • 3 Michael A. Robinson, The Necessary Existence of God pp. 6; B. B. Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield II (Nutley,NJ: P & R, 1973), pp.99-100
  • 4 Accessed Sunday Martch 6th @ 1430 CST
  • 5 (Matthew 15:14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
  • 6 (Luke 6:39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
  • 7 (Galatians 6:9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
  • 8 (Mark 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You are not alone Edward. I too have been looking through the posts and pondering the hard questions to my faith. I've contributed nothing yet but hope that once school slows, I'm a college student at present, to be able to spend more time considering that which has been said and provide clear truth in good spirit.
    Your steadfastness has encouraged me greatly. Keep up the good work brother!

  3. Edward, there might be an anti-theist or two participating in this blog, but I am an atheist, and I think many of the others are atheist. We are not "anti" something that does not exist.
    I'm sure you didn't mean to be derogatory in your terminology.

  4. Always interesting to hear from Edward. What denomination do you attend?

  5. Looking forward to your perspective.

  6. anti-theist could have at least three meanings

    1. Against god
    2. Against followers of a god
    3. Against the idea of theism

    -a non-theistic humanist who needs to catch up on the reading.

  7. @Barbara,

    What i have learned, correct me if i am wrong, is that the word "atheist" comes to us from the Greek language. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god."

    Now if you say you live "without" God, i can believe that. However the other option is you claim there is "not" a God, and from your post i believe you mean the "not".

    "We are not "anti" something that does not exist." emphasis mine

    So in order for you to be an "atheist" in that sense, then you would need to be God to make such an assertion. To declare that there is "No God" or "Not a God" you would need to know about everything everywhere to make such a statement. Yet you don't, do you?

    However i will give you this. You know everything in half the universe. Is it possible that God exists in the other half you don't know about?

    You are correct, i did not mean any disrespect by using anti-theist.

  8. @Brian
    "What denomination do you attend?"

    No denomination, just Christian. I attend a small church, i left a big church last year because they were serving to much milk. :-D.

    So this guy goes to hell and asks the keeper of the gates:
    "Do you have any Baptists in here?"
    the keeper replies
    "any Protestants?"
    "any Catholics?"
    "and Episcopalians"
    Now this guy was able to then go to the Gate of Heaven, he asks the keeper at the Gate
    "Do you have any Baptists in here?"
    the keeper replied
    "any Protestants?"
    "any Catholics?"
    "well any Episcopalians"
    puzzled the guy asks,
    "What do you have here?"
    to which the keeper replied

    I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

  9. "i came to realize not many people were Christians that were commenting. In all honesty i felt it was the blind leading the blind."

    For those posting first impression type comments based on the face value of the text, please keep doing so. In my opinion those are some of the most interesting observations to come out of this project.

  10. Edward, I have definitely been interested to have your comments here and am glad you'll be guest posting. Ricky Gervais famously said that his path to atheism began when he was 9 and his older brother caught him drawing a picture of Jesus. The older brother asked him "Why do you believe that stuff?" He looked up ready to explain when his mother quickly and sternly reprimanded the older brother for asking him that question. So 9-year-old Ricky thought, why is it wrong to ask that question? If I believe then why shouldn't I be able to explain why? Ricky came to the conclusion that his mom thought it was wrong because deep down she knew none of it was true. I know you wouldn't agree with that! But we atheists often criticize Christians for throwing out pat answers or refusing to address the hard questions. You SHOULD be able to question all of this stuff if you believe it and that's what I see you doing. Although I don't generally agree with your conclusions - being an atheist and all :) - many times you have made it possible for to understand Christian perspectives on things I have always found indefensible, which has in turn given me new understanding of the Bible and the people who wrote it.

  11. @Helene,

    "But we atheists often criticize Christians for throwing out pat answers or refusing to address the hard questions."

    You are correct, to many often refuse to answer the hard questions, or even know how to answer them. I don't know everything, and doing this on the internet affords me time to go look things up before i reply if i don't know an answer, and think over it.

    I think it is important to be able to answer the hard questions. And you should be able to question stuff. If you cannot question it then someone is hiding something. This does happen outside of more than just the Christian world.

    What i do find interesting is how many people don't and won't question their own worldview. Or they borrow lumber from the Christian worldview to build theirs.

  12. @Edward who said "You know everything in half the universe. Is it possible that God exists in the other half you don't know about?"

    We don't need to know everything in the universe. We have a book that clearly describes who and what the Christian god is. Based upon those descriptions we should be able to expect certain things given said deity should exist. That he knows everything (and as such should be able to provide adequate and accurate descriptions of anything), that he answers prayer, so forth and so on. Yet when we take a look at this book, we find that its descriptions of the universe are inaccurate and incomplete. When we study prayer, what people pray for and what said prayer achieves, we find that by and large specific prayers are unanswered or at least no more so than the placebo effect, and more general prayers are unconvincingly answered in that multiple things could answer the prayer and there is no reason to believe some deity answered the prayer.

    Given the expectations we should find abundant evidence of your deities existence, yet we find none. In this case, absence of evidence becomes evidence of absence, and we don't need to know the whole of reality to come to said conclusion.

    This does not mean that no deities exist absolutely, and your absolutely right that A deity might still exist. But even if one does, we can be reasonably certain that such deity is not the deity as so described in the Bible.

  13. @Edward.

    It's been awesome having a Christian voice in this blog. I would not have enjoyed this anywhere near as much as if it was just Atheists. I also find your commitment to both faith and critical thinking encouraging. I am someone who just can't seem to abandon logic and reason in favor of faith. Christian faith has always intrigued me especially from critical thinkers but I usually die a little inside when I hear a sermon with a message saying that logic and reason is just the devil trying to trick you. Its just nice to hear from a Christian that does not shy away from reason.

    Btw I am a software engineer too! I don't 'administer' Linux systems but I pretty much soley work with them. I usually have an awesome systems team supporting me but often our projects overlap somewhat. What languages do you use / types of software do you develop?

  14. Anyone read anything from Joshua?
    I appreciate the thoughtful response from Confused about the existence of evidence for a god. I don't think I could have said it that politely.

  15. @Barbara

    I've started the first few chapters of Joshua (chapters 1-6 or so. (Spoiler alert - the walls of Jericho come tumbling down). I'm ready to move on with the reading!!