It’s a relatively new seminary that’s been running advertisement-articles at the Christian Post. One of them is finally worth tearing into. Like most seminaries, its bias for ivory-tower sermonizing has blinded it to modern-day realities.
Are You Thinking Like an Atheist?
By Adam Tucker, 20 August 2021
Why is it that so many Christians believe that thinking about God, understanding systematic theology, or doing apologetics should be something so easy that little thinking is required?
Because it is. Ever notice how the ordinary people understood Jesus just fine while the Pharisees and TEACHERS OF THE LAW didn’t? Christianity is easy to understand but hard to accept.
That is hard to accept for institutions of higher
understanding er, education.
In fact, some of them believe that loving God and neighbor requires nothing more than praying a prayer, reading a daily devotional, and going to church on Sunday. Because they don’t question the existence of God, they can’t imagine why anyone else would. Sadly, such shallow thinking has more in common with modern-day popular atheism than it does with historic Christianity.
Which is it? Is the problem of such people that their faith hath not deeds, or that their devotionals don’t challenge their shallow thinking?
Meanwhile, how is any of this relevant to atheist thought patterns?
There are many atheists who maintain that if God exists it wouldn’t be that difficult to know. This is simply a species of the argument from divine hiddenness (i.e., if God exists, then His existence should be obvious to everyone). Why on earth would anyone need formal training in theology, philosophy, or apologetics to learn about God?
I don’t personally know any atheists who have ever made such a philosophical rejection of God. They surely exist because they write books just like our clergy do, but I get out too much to meet them.
The most common rejection that I’ve heard real, ordinary atheists make, is that if God hated evildoers and hypocrites then His own followers would be the first into Hell. Guess what, they have a valid point: the barrier between the unsaved and Christ is that they don’t think we’re any different. It ain’t because we don’t have a good response to Richard Dawkins’ latest rant.
Hence this fisking. Seminaries having become the human-controlled gatekeepers into Christian leadership… in total violation of Christ’s own example… recall that of the Twelve Apostles, only Paul was edge-u-kited and he considered himself the bastard of the bunch. “All that was to my credit, I now count as loss”… it is entirely appropriate that the leaders and teachers of those seminaries should be informed, at length and at volume, of their manifest shortcomings by the Christians that they don’t lift a finger to help.
At Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College, (SES) we believe that this attitude has led to confused thinking about how to actually do apologetics, which leads to shallow (if not false) thinking about who God is. This can, in turn, lead to dangerous consequences for evangelism. Allow me to illustrate.
Me first, chumps.
If you refuse the now-completely-discredited vaxx despite not knowing how you’ll feed your family after the State casts you into the darkness, you’re showing the world that you believe in a Real God. You are proving with your actions and their consequences, that your “faith” is no mere affectation. You have divined the truth from the lies and though your knees shake and your brow sweats blood in fear of what is to come, you took up your Cross exactly as Christ did and followed in His footsteps. Everybody who looks at you will see God Himself.
THAT is what apologetics looks like. Screw any notion of reasoning people into believing in God. Show them. That’s the modern face of apologetics, you motherfucking clergy Nancy boys. People everywhere are cooperating with the slave mask, with the clot shot, with the end of all social interaction forever, and they do it for no reason then why suffer for what they’re told doesn’t matter? Seek pleasure, avoid pain, for tomorrow we die.
What do you clergy do that’s any different from what an atheist does? You write books? You spell evolution ‘G.O.D.’?
…You tell people they need advanced education in order to be an entry-level worker?
The sight of one Christian man acting out his devotion to Christ, even to his own impoverishment, is an argument for “I believe” that no atheist can refute.
Now, then… let’s hear what YOU think good apologetics look like, Southern Evangelical Seminary.
My ten year old is a pretty smart guy. He makes good grades, is a math wiz, and can recite numerous sports statistics. He understands that when his allergies are acting up he needs some allergy medicine, or if he has a fever, he knows he needs some Tylenol. But exactly how much medicine should he take? How will those medicines interact with other medicines he may be taking or medical conditions he may have? How did that Tylenol come about in just the right combination of chemicals so as to help rather than harm him? He doesn’t know the answer to any of these questions.
Your kid is very smart but still can’t follow the instructions on a bottle of Children’s Tylenol?
My wife, on the other hand, is a clinical pharmacist.
YOU FEMINIST SHILL!!!
This is too good… for MY side. Your illustration of what good apologetics look like is a woman who neglected both her home and at least partially, her child, to indulge in a man’s career… because Tylenol is such a complicated and dangerous topic that you didn’t feel safe without a CLINICAL PHARMACIST dispensing it!
How appropriate for Current Year!
Man, did you become a theologian because inverting the God-given sex roles for your marriage didn’t leave you with enough housework to stay busy?
She knows the detailed answers to all of those questions and more. I recall helping her study for her pharmacy boards many years ago.
You are also a practitioner of Original Sin, humanity’s very Fall From Grace. Maybe you can read the Bible in five different languages but you didn’t understand it past Genesis chapter 3. The part where Eve envied Adam his male privilege?
The chemistry she had to study, the names she had to pronounce and recall, and the drug interactions she had to memorize were mind-boggling. We appreciate, and utilize often, the expertise of pharmacists like my wife. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I reject the study of pharmacology because God wouldn’t make chemistry and the human body so difficult to understand that someone must take a class to be trained. Those pharmacists should just stay in their ivory towers and quit confusing us with their terminology and study.”
Let me tell you a story, to illustrate how hard it is to learn chemistry.
There was a medicine made from tree bark, the technical name being salicyclic acid. It was unpleasantly acidic (duh). A chemist working for the Bayer drug company in Germany, Felix Hoffmann, discovered that by adding a common modification called an acetyl group, the beneficial properties were enhanced while making it less acidic, too. Bayer marketed this “acetylsalicyclic acid” under the trade name Aspirin.
That’s where aspirin comes from.
Happy with his success, he proceeded to another medicine whose dangers were becoming known: morphine. He made diacetylmorphine (“di” means “two”) which experts considered safer and more effective than morphine.
Bayer marketed it under the trade name Heroin. And for a time, heroin was legal while morphine was not because the eggheads KNEW it was safer.
So, yeah, you can always trust the experts! and chemistry with its weird names is really hard to understand! unless you have a good teacher with two minutes to spare.
Similarly, my ten year old can know that nothing comes from nothing, and right now he’s content with knowing that God is the cause of the universe. But can he answer challenges from atheists like Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins, Betrand Russell, or J.L. Mackie? Can he rightly refute the claims of the cults and their misunderstanding of God? Can he adequately respond to popular aberrant doctrines taught by some influential evangelicals?
If your son reaches age 20 while attending church but not seminary, will he be able to then? Or are you hoarding knowledge about Christianity in order to make it only available to paying clients? The graduates of your seminary, do they teach others what you taught them? Or do they just hand out your business cards while going through the motions of the sacraments?
Do you realize how insulting and arrogant you’re being, by comparing adults who haven’t attended seminary to the immaturity of a 10 year old?
Can he explain how critical theory and modern “social justice” is antithetical to the Gospel?
For fuck’s sake, dude, you’re probably white. You explain “how critical race theory is antithetical to the Gospel” to a child by saying “they hate us and want us dead”. Like chemistry, you don’t usually need the details.
Many questions about God raised by both atheists and Christians require a good deal of background knowledge and, dare I say, philosophy in order to appropriately answer.
Speaking of atheists, why don’t we circle back to the original question of “thinking like an atheist”. They’re being insulted, too, if Southern Evangelical Seminary thinks that the reason they aren’t Christian is because they aren’t educated enough to know better.
I want to challenge my brothers and sisters in Christ to not think like an atheist. Do not be content with what is often incomplete and unreflective thought. Our faith (and our knowledge of God’s existence) must be built upon deeper foundations that are not so easily disturbed by the tired old fallacious comments made by those who oppose the Truth. We must be careful to build our understanding of God upon reality rather than on our emotions and oft-times misdirected thinking.
Yep, the atheists are also being insulted. They aren’t stupid people. They are wrong about something important but that is not the same thing as stupid. Perhaps instead of teaching high-level refutations of Richard Dawkins and his peers, we could… I don’t know… show the atheists what they’re missing? Demonstrate the difference between Godly and Godless living?
Or does becoming an avatar of Christ depend upon extensive credentialism and philosophical argument rather than suffering for what you know to be true? How to write a best-selling book instead of exercising faith like a muscle… against iron resistance?
I will put this bluntly:
THERE IS NO CHRISTIAN JUSTIFICATION FOR A SEMINARY TO EXIST.
Everything that the Southern Evangelical Seminary is able to teach with regards to improved evangelism and apologetics, it has the DUTY to teach FOR FREE. It’s the atheists who charge each other rent in return for critical knowledge.
If some individual Christians want to go the extra mile and learn the history and dead languages of Christendom, that’s great. It’s the sort of thing that a few people should know in case an unusual circumstance comes up, such as Tylenol’s interaction with whatever new drug just came on the market.
But there is no excuse whatsoever, in God’s view, to surcharge the ability to be a good Christian. If paying attention in weekly church doesn’t prepare us to answer the hard questions then our (seminary-trained) clergy are neglecting us.
Are the atheists really supposed to believe in God because our advanced degrees come from “seminaries” instead of “universities”? Are atheists supposed to believe that God created humans a particular way when our leaders empower women the exact same way that they do? Are atheists supposed to admit that the Christian path is better when it’s no different at all from how the atheist lives?
Instead of living in an ivory tower for a few more years, the staff of SES should actually live among real, ordinary atheists and actually listen to what they think. Perhaps by working in an Amazon warehouse, or meeting Socialist nobodies trying to pay the rent, or attending a gay pride event and staring in horror at how badly the modern Church with all of its seminaries, has failed to transmit the most basic Christian knowledge that the dick goes in the chick.
Does it really take a med school degree?