Friday, December 10, 2010

God's Quality Control 3.2

Here I continue my review of the discussion guide published by the Prestonwood Christian Academy as a companion to the Hitchens-Dembski debate on November 18, 2010. You'll be happy to note that in this video we'll finish the guide's introduction. It says a lot that so much can be wrong with just the introduction.
  • p.5 "Notice to Parents/Teachers: Be forewarned that Mr. Hitchens is an excellent communicator unlike any that your children or students have been exposed to previously." There is a clear warning here: Hitchens may persuade your kids, and we don't want that, whether it's true or not, so be on your guard against anything he says that is convincing. If you find yourself persuaded, just remember that the devil masquerades as an angel of light. This is disgusting.
  • p.5 "Our goal train [students] to think critically and Christianly". Never mind that this is an oxymoron. It's also a lie. If they wanted the kids to think critically, the first thing they'd do is have the kids review Dembski's opening remarks, starting with his stated intention to address the existence of a god, followed by 15 minutes of doing no such thing. Students, truth-seekers, take note: these people do not want you to think critically. They are at all costs trying to prevent you from doing so.
  • p.5 "Our best tool in preparing our students for the challenges to their faith is exposing them to “every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” and training them to “demolish” those arguments". Strange, I would have thought that the the best tool would be to teach them how to think critically and tell them the truth. Seems that neither of these is happening.
  • p.7 Ok, I'm finally finished with my thoughts on the introduction to the discussion guide. We've heard about the goals of Prestonwood's leadership. Now we move on to a "summary of the primary arguments for the existence of God," written by Steve Lee, Instructor of Theology and Philosophy at the church. Let's find out how Prestonwood goes about striving toward their goal.
  • p.8 The first section of Lee's discussion is entitled "Origins". Lee tells us that '[t]here is one view of the origins of man (God created man) and there is another view which simply says, “That cannot be true.”' Mr. Lee, you're already blowing it. I'll have to work hard not to get bogged down cataloging everything that's wrong with this essay; this is just the third sentence. I'll point out the most egregious ones, and you guys can think about the rest of them. The asuperstitionist view is clearly not "It can't be true that Yahweh created man." The asuperstitionist view is, if I may be so bold as to speak for all, or at least most, of my fellows, is that every single verifiable fact we've ever found unmistakably points to an increasingly clear story that contradicts the creation story in Genesis on almost every point. We don't say that it can't be true that Yahweh created man; we say that the story told in Genesis and the story told by known facts can't both be true.
  • p.8 The asuperstitionist view "offers nothing of its own in the way of origins, except that the universe, earth and mankind could not have been created by God since there is no God!" False again. We say that the earth and mankind seem to have appeared by natural processes that we understand pretty well. Our reason for saying this is not "since there is no god," but rather, because of the facts we have in hand. We absolutely do not say that the universe could not have been created by a god; we openly admit that we don't know how the universe came into existence. We're trying to find out. That's the fourth sentence of Mr. Lee's five-page essay; so far he has made seven claims: one claim is an opinion, two of the claims are true, and the other four are completely false. Mr. Lee is an instructor of theology and philosophy, and that's all I know about him, and given that he's wasting neurons on theology, I have to allow that perhaps he simply doesn't understand the issues. So I can't claim that he's lying. However, if he doesn't know what he's talking about, then he should have let someone else write the essay. Accepting the task of writing it seems to imply that you're qualified to do so, and Lee has shown in his first paragraph that he certainly is not so qualified. Accepting this task was dishonest, even if it can't be called a lie.


  1. Is it possible to download this guide or was it "university only" guide?

  2. "Is it possible to download this guide"

    They want $35 for an e-copy, $45 for hardcopy. See