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Challenge for a Friend by Merwin
Facts and Faith
(This was the latest entry in our exchange)
Yes... I did not think you would do this.
I know you have come to where you are at thoughtfully, carefully, and analytically. Absolutely, no doubt in my mind.
However, what I was suggesting (again I don't think you'll do it) is for you to take your voluminous cache of information and investigative skills that purchased that cache, and employ them to the task of arguing the other side of the debate.
And, herein lays the kicker... to do this you cannot ignore what you now know, it must be employed as well.
Kind of like playing chess against yourself with the expectation of winning.
Granted this is an immense intellectual challenge... but of all the people I have encountered you seem to be one who could accomplish it, for you are too fair minded to cheat.
You say you started out wearing the gauntlet and I believe the analogy to be accurate, take it one step further and take off your own glove, smack yourself in the face, and hurl it to the turf.
You suggested that there is a need for someone to talk to the atheist who needs Christ, you thought it was me, I think it is you.
I know however that preterism is nonsense it could never have been that way... because it isn't that way. I have quoted MythBusters before I will do it again here... "Well there's your problem, right there."
If I had been a preterist and knowing now, the evidence that is audaciously obvious... and, having started as a premillennialist... well, where your at is understandable, wrong, but understandable.
Nevermind my opinion of your position.
The challenge is a valid one, and truly, it would have to be your gauntlet... your ownership of the obscession that would keep you on track and honest in diligence.
You tapped me to talk to the atheists who you recognize as possibly having a need for Christ. I know the reason... it is because I have faith you don't have.
Understandable, wrong, but understandable.
An atheist may be impressed by a moderately intelligent, strong believer's faith enough to suggest that person to a needy, unbelieving friend as a source whereby he might find his way to faith. Again, understandable.
But... (I know I am not supposed to start a sentence with a "But" but...) the analytical mind does not necessarily want a display of faith as much as he may require a presentation of information that he may wrap his thinking nugget around.
Things that can gestalt his conscious person into saying AH, SO... now it makes sense.
Preterism can not do that, for it is nonsense.
The only believer's model that can apply to history (His - story) is that of premillennialism. It works and preterism does not.
And specifically that is why I suggested your challenge. Not so that you would be converted... (honestly I don't care, that is between you and God) but so that you could be the presenter of the facts as you see them whether or not you believe them for yourself, to those you see in need. ("Whosoever gives a drink of water to a prophet will receive a prophet's reward.")
For this to be done properly, honestly, credibly... it must be attacked in scientific methodology. It must be gone after, as though you are attempting to disprove everything, that is your current foundation for unbelief.
So... you have your challenge, you have your chessboard, I don't think you'll play.