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Critical Deconstruction of CB Robertson’s Holy Nihilism, Chapter 3.

CB begins this chapter by describing how Christian values have been separated from their cores. He makes this statement:

< “For him, hope is not an emotion and a reaction to likely or unlikely future outcomes, but a virtue to be cultivated — always and in all circumstances”>

I hate to sound pedantic, but these terms are not mutually exclusive. Hope can be an emotion, a reaction, and a virtue all at once.

CB then makes this declarative statement which will set up his arguments later:

< “These values naturally lead to certain habits and behaviors, just as valuing “health” would naturally lead towards behaviors like eating nutritious food and exercising. It is the values and their subsequent actions — and ultimately not in the underlying beliefs — that unite the authentic Christian, the cultural Christian, and what I will call the “value-Christian” in society.”>

CB continues to make statements in this arena, none of which are particularly bad until he gets to this:

          < “religious identity is often a matter of loyalty and culture, not belief”>

The trouble that I have with this statement is that there is some ambiguity in the terms here that CB might not be aware of. Technically “loyalty” or “commitment” are more accurate terms to define “Faith” than mere belief. But his charge is most accurate against Catholics, as cultural Catholics tend to play fast a loose with their morals, so long as they can confess and take communion. This is why you will frequently find organized crime within Roman Catholic and Orthodox faiths. While you would be hard pressed to find any of these mobsters who frequently lie, murder, and steal outright denying belief in Jesus Christ, you can neither say that they are Authentic Christians because Christianity under any flavor requires repenting of your sins. So, these cultural Christians will often literally believe, going through the motions of the religion, even if they aren’t truly committed to the practice of their religion. However, I would not say that these guys are normal as CB suggests.

And just to be fair, there are protestants of various denominations that fail in these ways too. In fact the very thing that drove me away from Protestantism was the realization that so many preachers use tithing and offerings as a con to make a buck, while being cruel, tight fisted, and controlling behind the scenes.

On page 64 CB talks about how Christian values have been secularized and are now subjective. Indeed many charges against Christianity are attempts to hold us to these values as defined by the secular, rather than the religious origins of them. CB actually gives a glorious roast of the short-sighted New Atheism authors of the 90s and early 00s. Much lulz.

On page 65 CB makes this statement:

< “I do not mean to suggest that Christianity possesses a monopoly on the qualities and values for which it claims credit. People saw the wisdom in virtues such as forgiveness long before Christianity gave its own unique theological justification for it. As an example, we can see the reconciliation between Priam and Achilles in the Iliad, in which Priam forgives Achilles for killing his son Hektor, and Achilles finally lets go of his anger over the death of Patroklus. The story of the Iliad predates the New Testament by approximately a thousand years. Christianity, in other words, does not own forgiveness, even if forgiveness could be considered a “Christian value.”>

It is a common mistake by many people, even Christians, to think that Christianity began with Christ. In all actuality Christianity is a direct competitor with modern Judaism as the true heir of the Old Testament religion. Jesus was not starting a new religion. Jesus’ entire earthly ministry was aimed squarely at the Jews to bring them back to the “right religion” and away from the teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which had been cropping up since the time of the prophet Jeramiah. The Jews that believed in Jesus became Christians and carried on their religion with much of the same practices as before with the exception that Jesus was the Messiah and an eternal sacrifice to God, which we see in Orthodoxy. The Jews that did not believe Jesus were cursed and cut off and became the Talmudic Jews that we know of today, who have been kicked out of 110 countries and are known for being at the center of many destructive and evil movements. I’m going to show some Old Testament verses that highlight “Christian” values, and then show in scripture the narrative that I just gave.

  • I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.– Isaiah 43:25
  • Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.– Proverbs 17:9
  • Hatred stirs old quarrels, but love overlooks insults.– Proverbs 10:12
  • Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.- Psalm 37:3
  • Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.- Psalm 34:14
  • All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.- Isaiah 64:6 says
  •  For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.- Hosea 6:6
  • He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?- Micah 6:8
  • When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.- Isaiah 1:13-17

The Curse of the Jews

  • From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’
  • When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. – Jeramiah 7:25-29
  • Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears! Jeramiah 26:11
  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.- Matthew 23: 29-36
  • “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers? They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

Finally Jeramiah gives multiple prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem, and the chief charge against Israel during his time were wicked priests and prophets who turned form God and killed his prophets.  These wicked priests would eventually cause Israel to fall into Babylonian captivity, where the Pharisee order would have its origin. The Pharisees were most known for their strict standards of purity, even requiring temple laws outside of the temple. But this is the foremost point where the divorce from the right religion of God and the false teachings of the Pharisees and future Talmud Jews began, with rebukes for killing God’s prophets and prophecies that the temple would be destroyed, to establish the final end of the Old Covenant. I realize that this is probably a huge tangent, but I think it goes toward my over all rebuttal of CB’s argument.

On page 66 CB says this:

< “More to the point, the true Christian attachment to his values has nothing to do with any aesthetic or practical utility associated with these qualities. Their concern is — or ought to be — primarily with God and the afterlife. They value these qualities and take on these virtues not because it seems better to them, because of effects of holding these values and qualities, but because it brings them closer to God’s nature.” >

CB is attempting to perform a mass mind reading here and separate things into mutually exclusive terms that are not mutually exclusive. I honestly can’t think of any devoted Christian I’ve ever met who has not found a way to rationalize their morals and ethics as being more practical and healthy for living in a civilized manner. Even modern secular psychologists will tell you that it is better for your mental health to forgive. The Christian virtues of temperance and marital fidelity lead to healthier lifestyles and more stable families, which can pay dividends for hundreds of years. They view these dictates not as merely adhering to the commands of their God, but that their God is giving them instructions out of His infinite wisdom for the best life on this earth as possible.

On page 69 CB begins breaking down his primary criticisms of Christianity; Apathy, Dishonor, Dishonesty, and Contempt for Beauty.

The Apathy section goes to page 72 and doesn’t really make any new arguments. I believe I have thoroughly rebutted CB’s charge of Christian Apathy, and he even appears to make some concessions in his charge that it is more of a “functional apathy” rather than actual apathy because the care and love that we show serves an external purpose. An CB again admits that the vast majority of Christians do not practice the total apathy that he thinks they should be practicing according to his understanding of scriptures. So, I don’t see any reason to repeat any defenses I’ve already given.

Page 72 begins the section on Dishonor and it is fairly lengthy, ending on page 85. CB’s opening statement on Dishonor is:

          < “Christianity undermines honor and promotes dishonor among its believers.>”

CB then gives his definition for Honor, which will be important for my rebuttal.

< “In his book Why Honor Matters, philosopher Tamler Sommers argues that honor fundamentally has to do with one’s identity within a group. That could be a Bostonian as a member of his city, or a Navy SEAL as a member of his team, or any number of other memberships within “honor groups,” and the honor code – the beliefs, values, preferences, and expectations that lead to honor within the context of the group – will vary from group to group. Thus, “honor” can look like many different things, leading some scholars to dismiss it as nothing at all. But seen as a pattern, honor isn’t nothing. In every case, no matter the circumstance, honor begins with caring about the opinions of your honor group and aims at glory and prestige – “honor” – within that group context. In short, “honor” is reputation – specifically, reputation within an honor-group.>”

On page 74 CB brings up the concept of Dignity as something that operates in opposition to Honor as far a society goes.

< “  In philosophy, dignity is a theory of human value. Dignity holds that a person’s worth is not earned or relative, but intrinsic. Whereas honor is personal, dynamic, and set within the context of the honor-group, human dignity is impersonal because it is not earned by any behavior of the individual. It is static, and universal. Honor sees human beings through a lens of relative value. Dignity sees “value” as an inhuman gauge for human worth.” >

On page 75-76 CB draws his discussion of Honor Vs Dignity into how they deal with conflict.

< “In an honor-culture, conflict was resolved between the parties in question. If Bob claims that he has been wronged by Allen, then Bob’s honor depends upon his willingness and ability to confront Allen and make things right. If Allen really did wrong Bob, then his own honor suffers in the eyes of the group. But if Allen admits his fault and makes amends, or can prove that he didn’t wrong Bob, then he will be seen as a fair and honorable man. A reputation for honesty and fairness goes a long way in being believed if you are accusing someone else of wrongdoing, or in being believed if you are accused but innocent. In a dignity-culture, conflict is not to be resolved between the respective parties, but between the accused party and the state. Indeed, to by-pass the state and resolve things at a lower level is its own kind of wrong, because the state is responsible for protecting the dignity of its citizens. A wrong against a citizen, then, is not just a crime against that individual: it is also a crime against the state. If Charles robs David, then David would be wrong to go and steal his own valuables back from Charles; that right belongs to the State alone. But Charles is not just the enemy of David now: he is an enemy of the state. He must make amends to the state, not to David (although the state will likely return David’s stolen belongings).”>

Before I get much further into CB’s multiple layers of argument, I want to poke holes in his narrative that honor and dignity cultures are two completely separate things, particularly in their conflict resolution. Lets examine whether or not some of the more well known honor cultures were ever likely to appeal to a central authority, thereby exercising the personal dignity conflict resolution.

  • Knights- Beginning in the crusades, Knights were often organized in Chivalry Orders. Chivalry is what they called their code of honor. These orders were created under canon law according to their own rules, often centered around upholding some Christian purpose. The most famous of these were the Knights Templar. And the downfall of their order came about by an act of “dignity”, where the leader of the Order was speaking to Pope Clement about false criminal charges against them made by an ousted member of the order to the French King Phillip. King Phillip was deeply indebted to the order, so when the Pope contacted him about this appeal for justice, the King decided it would be easier to just arrest the order and accuse them of heresy and have them killed, based on the false charges. He finally convinced the Pope to go along with him and the Pope issued a papal bull ordering all countries to arrest the templars. The State, acting without much belief in the intrinsic value of their souls, had the templars tortured into making false admissions of heresy and most were executed. Had this Order of honor simply stuck to their code of honor, they would have simply killed the ousted member who made the false accusations. But the rules of their order, under the canon of the church, required them to appeal to corrupt authorities.
  • Samurais- Samurai are Japanese version of Knights. Their code of honor is called Bushido. Samurai were people who often engaged in duels over insults, or to defend their honor or the honor of their Lord, which makes them picture perfect examples of CB’s honor culture. However, one of the most famous Samurai stories is of the 47 Ronin. Their Lord had a conflict with another Lord and the Emperor ordered their Lord to commit ritual suicide, which was the result of their appeal to an authority under the dignity culture conflict resolution. The 47 Ronin later stormed the other Lord’s fortress and killed him in revenge for their Lord, which was their duty under Bushido, but they were then ordered to commit the same ritual suicide for carrying out their revenge in a dishonorable way.  

And on pg 77 CB Makes his argument against Christianity:

< “When that righting is taken from the injured party and given instead to some “objective” third party, the victim is twice-wronged: first, by the initial injury, and second, by the denial of justice that the state imposes in a dignity culture. Dignity cultures are not more just than honor cultures. They are only more practical. Classical honor societies could, if left to their own devices, spiral into horrific blood feuds that blow up small disagreements into all-out wars. But in the 20th and 21st century, we have learned that dignity cultures can also start wars that cost tens of thousands of lives, motivated by the compulsion to preserve the dignity of peoples all over the world. Where does this concept of dignity come from? It comes from Christianity. Specifically, it comes from Christian theology. Without the idea that all individuals are “image-bearers” of God, there is no justification for belief in the intrinsic and unalienable dignity of all people.>”

On page 78 CB makes this statement:

<In Christianity, all of this is inverted, even including the word “honor” itself. A whole-hearted relationship with God requires the complete rejection of care for your reputation among other people.>

CB then makes a critical error in his argument where he switches goals posts, making honor into revenge seeking behavior rather than “care for your reputation among a group of people, followed by the citation of some scriptures that he believes show Christianity as promoting dishonor.

<In all honor-cultures that have existed, honor begins by hitting back when hit. This is how “reputation” develops, and expands outward from this primordial necessity of reciprocal violence. Honor begins with fighting back.>

<Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” – Romans 12-17-19>

<But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. – Proverbs 29:23

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. – Proverbs 16:5 81

For all that is in this world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. – 1 John 2:16>

As CB pointed out in his earlier definition of Honor, if Honor means your reputation within a group of people, then honor is subjective to whatever that group of people values. It does not necessitate revenge seeking behavior, especially if your group values peace and forgiveness above revenge and wrath.

Lets examine a scripture that lines up exactly to CB’s definition of Honor, even with is conflict resolution hanger.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.- Matthew 18:15-17”

Here we see instructions from Christ that when a conflict arises you should first try to solve it in the honor culture way, between you and the other party. In fact it isn’t until the 3rd step in his process of justice that an appeal to a higher authority is made. And Jesus’s prescribed final solution, although it isn’t murder, is to treat the person as though they do not exist. To have nothing to do with them. Because they have lost honor within the group.

And there are a number of other scriptures that instruct the ostracizing of people who won’t get with the program when it comes to the faith.

 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9

Which brings me to the Sacrament of Confession. Confession is when you confide with your spiritual elder whatever sins or struggles you are dealing with. Protestants like to wag their finger at Catholics about confessing to men, even though scripture tells us to do exactly this, but the purpose of Confession is twofold; for you to acknowledge your sins openly to God, and for the priest to measure your worthiness to be joined to the church through communion. In other words, Confession is caring about your status within the group of people. If you are not living up to the standards of the church, you cannot partake with the church. You are excommunicated until you make amends and penance. Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists all have Confession.

CB goes on for a few more pages trying to stick together the concepts of honor and revenge seeking behavior and condemning Christianity for preaching against revenge, but ultimately his case has failed because honor does not necessitate revenge.

On page 85 CB begins his discussion on Dishonesty.

TLDR CB’s criticisms here are a bit nitpicky and are one of those things that are solely aimed at the replica churches I spoke about in the introduction. Which is fine because most modern western conceptions of Christianity are these types of churches.  

CB admits that he isn’t actually calling Christians liars so much as he is saying they’re disingenuous.

< To be clear, Christians as a group have always struck me as honest people. I do not accept the atheistic attempts to prove with data that unbelievers are just as trustworthy as Christians if not slightly more so. What I aim here to address is not the honesty of individual Christians, but a particular kind of dishonesty within the language of the faith. I sometimes think of it as “Christianese” though I have also heard it described as “church-talk” or even “prayer-talk.” In practice, Christianese is the result of injecting theological interpretations on everyday occurrences. Anyone who has been around the administrative side of a Church staff is likely to be familiar with this phenomenon. Instead of saying “we chose to move to Texas because Frank had a great job opportunity there,” the fluent Christianese speaker will say something like “we prayed about it, and we really feel like God was calling us to move to Texas and pursue this opportunity to serve Him.”>

Now, to be fair, I know exactly what CB is talking about and also consider it to be disingenuous. But I understand it to be more of a cultural thing for those types of churches than anything else. It is like how the Japanese culture doesn’t like telling people “no” so they’ll instead beat around the bush and say things like “it is difficult” hoping you will figure out that they mean “no”. These types of churches thrive on emotionalism and being “spiritual”, so their language is cloaked in forced positivity and sprinkled with pious seasoning. They want people to think that because of their deep relationship with God that they have no problems. If they have problems then their relationship with God must not be up to par because otherwise He would bless them and protect them. It is putting on airs. And it is completely opposite of what is taught in scripture where we are promised to have problems.

Other than triggering people’s bullshit detectors, it is mostly harmless, if you ignore the fact that it leaves many people struggling with their faith as they are faced with the reality of real problems despite their “deep relationships” with God. But if you step away from modern western Christianity and examine the larger and older churches you will see the more grounded attitude of “Life is a bitch and then you die”, where our hope is to endure the hardships of this life and to find rest in the life to come. We believe that struggles happen because of our relationship with God, and that enduring through them will bring us closer to God.

On page 88 CB begins criticizing certain terms used within Christianity.

< Consider the way in which “brother” or “brother and sister” are used in the New Testament. Whenever the phrase refers to one’s biological siblings — your real brothers and sisters — it is meant negatively. You are to leave your siblings, or to not invite them to dinnerparties, or to hate them, or to expect betrayal from them. By contrast, the very language of “brother” and “sister” is only used positively when it refers to other believers — not to actual family. This is rampant in the writings of Paul, but Jesus speaks in this way on occasion too .>

This isn’t necessarily true. James and John are brothers, Peter and Andrew are brothers, and Jesus’s own brothers were numbered among his larger group of disciples, the 70. But a lot of this ambiguity comes form the NT Greek language using the word “Adelphos” for every place where we read the English word “brother”, when it actually means the much broader “brethren”. And the reason why we call each other Brother and Sister is because Jesus said that whoever does the word of God is His brother and sister.

CB then turns to the word “testify/testimony”. This is something that is a lot more prevalent in the replica churches. Testimonies are when Christian people tell their story about how they came to become Christians, or how God did something extraordinary in their lives.

< But this is not what Christian testimony sounds like; not today among modern Christians, nor even in some of the early texts. While some verses like Acts 4:33 continue to use the term in its proper sense, we can see a creeping in of a different sense in the very same book: He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. — Acts 10:42 This is not a command to “testify,” but to repeat what has been told to you. Worse, it is a command to repeat what you have been told as if it was testimony— as if it was your own experience, as if your personal honor was on the line regarding the veracity of your claim. But this is not the case. You did not personally witness what you are being told to testify about.>

Frankly, CB is wrong about this particular scripture. The person speaking was a direct witness to Christ and His resurrection, so his use of the word testify is correct. And CB’s criticism of Christian testimonies isn’t fair either because they are in fact giving their own account of their life’s events. Of course many testimonies can be open to alternative interpretation, but so was the actual death and resurrection of Christ. And CB’s criticisms tie into my earlier argument that the vast majority of Christians under all flavors will have an evidential basis for their faith, rather than just blind faith that will never be confirmed until after they die.

And then CB turns to the word “faith”.

< In ordinary contexts, “faith” doesn’t mean believing without reason. It means grit, loyalty, even stubbornness. It is not blindly grabbing the rope without praise,” “acknowledge,” and even “explain.” The word is only used once in the entire Bible. knowing why, but holding on, even when — in darker moments — you feel yourself losing the will to keep your grip or questioning why you bothered to grab on in the first place. It is in this context that “faith” in marriage is understood. We do not remain “faithful” for reasons we do not understand, but trust on authority; we do it for reasons we understand perfectly well, but which might feel hazy or elusive in moments of distraction, temptation, anger, or despair. Most Christians — if asked to define the faith will jump to Hebrews 11:1, which defines faith as the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” But as poetic as this is, its meaning is ambiguous. In practice, most Christians interpret this in light of John 20:29—believing without having seen, rather than believing what you saw, despite not currently seeing what you once saw, or understood. This transforms “faith” from steadfast resilience into crass gullibility.>

While CB is absolutely correct in the actual meaning of the word Faith, he is wrong in its practical application within the Church. Faith is only every treated like the Force from Star Wars in Evangelical churches. In older, particularly Catholic Churches it is and always has been treated as a marriage, as devotion and commitment. Which is why you will see so many Roman Catholics stubbornly clinging to their church despite it’s fast track rush to shit on all of its own traditions.

The next word that CB turns to is “truth”.

< Christianity is grounded in once central equivocation, one massive intellectual sleight-of-hand that is so ham-fisted, so audacious, and so absurd that it is a miracle that anyone with a concern for “truth” fell for it in the first place. It simply defines God as truth: 95 Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6 I missed this upon even recent readings of scripture because I simply assumed that the Greek used for “truth” was Λόγος (logos), which is related to truth, but is a more complicated concept. In the pre-Christian Greek of Aristotle, “logos” was a rhetorical principle, the logical basis on which an argument stood, and one of three pillars of persuasion (the other two being ethos, or the character of the speaker, and pathos, the appeal to emotion). As with all things, Christianity appropriates and modifies the definition of logos, and identifies it with God. But Jesus is simpler than that. He does not claim that he is logos, but ἀληθείᾳ (aletheia), which is simple, literal, “truth.” Anything that a Christian says when inspired by God is, by definition, inspired by “truth,” and therefore, “true.” The circle is completed, and presuppositionalism — the Christian apologetic approach which begins with the assumption of God’s existence — becomes a mere language game. ‘We cannot have an argument without a shared preference for truth; but God is truth; Q.E.D.’>

CB is correct here in a way. We define God as true, because as the All Powerful Creator, whatever He says is, is, and whatever He says is not, is not. Existence comes from His word and will. However, you will find that any Christian apologist who is schooled in philosophy will be able to formulate their arguments outside of the presupposition that God exists in order to prove that God exists. But Philosophy is all gobbledygook that will melt your brain, so I advise against getting into it.

CB ends the chapter with further talks on the true meaning of the word testimony, but it is semantics. Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to.

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