Sean McDowell: What do we know about the 12?


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I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion we had with Sean McDowell on the subject of the apostles. But I think we didn’t really get to dive into one of the central themes. It was nobody’s fault. It is just a matter of balancing time and topics. But I wish I had pushed for followup on one of Sean’s central themes when I had the chance. Here is what I missed:

Dying for a lie

Sean is very conservative about what he believes his thesis can prove. I was surprised and delighted by that. It left me little with which to disagree. But there was one thing. He believes that at the very least, the evidence shows that the apostles were sincere in their belief about Jesus having been raised from the dead. He believes dishonesty is off the table.

I don’t think one can ever remove dishonesty from the table. And I completely disagree with the idea that no one would die for a known lie. There are a number of reasons why they might have died horrible deaths without recanting their faith. And we have other examples to consider.

Joseph Smith died a martyr’s death depending on who is telling the story. And we know a lot more about the particular circumstances of his death than we know about any of the apostles. No one suggests that he ever recanted. He was jailed because of an extreme action he took connected to his religion. Both he and his brother were ultimately killed by an angry mob. Martyr, right?

Considering Smith’s outlandish story, are Christians willing to suggest that Smith was telling the truth, and that he was sincere about his faith? Personally, I think that is quite the stretch. Smith was a liar and a charlatan. I offer the same accusation for the current leaders fo the faith. There is at least one counter-example that shows liars will die protecting their lie.

Playing the role of Captain Obvious, I will briefly mention Jim Jones. He was also a person who died for a lie. He died a martyr for his beliefs. Now you might also say that he died a fugitive who knew he was caught and took the cowards way out. But does that really fundamentally change the claim? Despite these examples, Christians find it easier to stick with their story that no one would willingly die for a lie to protect the integrity of the apostles.

To be sure, I am not stating with certainty that the apostles were liars. I don’t know. My point is that neither does anyone else. And that it is possible they could have been simply lying. Here is why I believe Christians are too quick to take that option off the table:

There was incentive to live dangerously

I am left somewhat gobsmacked when Christians claim that the apostles had no possible incentive to lie about having seen Jesus and start a new religion. The most obvious incentive is money. It is sitting right there in the story. One of the first acts of the newly minted church was to create an organization around the collection and distribution of large amounts of money.

For years, Jesus taught people to sell their possessions and give the money to the poor. Apparently, they did the first part. As for the second, they laid that money at the feet of the apostles. Look no further for an incentive. This would have been more money than any of them would have likely seen in their lifetimes, all at once. And there was more where that came from.

There was also the incentive of power. They went from insignificant fishermen to the voice of eternal life. At their first public appearance, they had captured the attention of thousands of followers who hung on their every word. Power and importance is hard to give up once tasted. For many, it would have to be pried from their cold, dead hands.

It is possible that they didn’t think they would be caught, or even that they could be caught. We can’t be certain of how old they were. But it is a universal truth that the young and powerful feel invulnerable, and take more risks than those who are older and wiser.

The Christian might challenge me by asking why they didn’t recant after they were caught by the authorities. But that assumes a greater knowledge of what really happened than we have. There is no indication that any of the apostles were ever offered the chance to recant. For all we know, they did recant. But it was ignored by their captors who wanted them dead.

It might have been more like Jim Jones. It could be that their crimes had multiplied to the point where there was never going to be an opportunity to get out of their fate. Once they were in at a certain level, there was nothing they could do except to continue with their scheme for as long as they could.

There is also a less cynical possibility. While they knew their story was a lie, they might have believed they were doing good for social change. Perhaps they calculated that Christianity was better for the world even if it wasn’t true, and thus, worth dying for. So would a person die for a lie? You bet they would under the right circumstances.

And that’s the view from the skeptic.

David Johnson


 Recommended Sources (for further study);

 1. Sean’s main website is here = To see specific blog posts and articles on the Fates of the Apostles on Sean’s site see here =


  1. Video Lectures/Interviews on the Fates of the Apostles by Sean = point at the 25 min mark good question were they willing to die be/c didn’t recant at point of death or willing to die by way they lived- proving willing to die not prove they didn’t recant at the very moment they died as he says one can’t prove that historically) & Finally, a conference presentation of the topic (1-hour) =


  1. An Unbelievable? Debate on the Fates of the Apostles with Kenneth Humphreys, see here =



  1. Sean’s Books: To get Sean’s book on the Fate of the Apostles, see here = feel free to check out a full list of all his books on his website here =


  1. Attached Documents;


a) Sean McDowell Interview Questions- Official Version (David Modified)








92 thoughts on “Sean McDowell: What do we know about the 12?

  1. Jolly marvellous. Well done all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I really enjoyed doing the show. I think the big takeaway is how little we actually know about the apostles, and how small an inference we can draw from what we do know about their lives and deaths. Were I to give Sean all of his arguments unchallenged, it would do precious little harm to the atheist position, and precious little good for the Christian position. In fact, I think it is a net loss for Christians.

      Consider, to even come up with a good conversation about apostolic history, the Christian has to add two who were not even numbered among the 12. I think there could be an interesting conversation about how a person became an apostle, and what precludes apostles from being made today.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. “I think the big takeaway is how little we actually know about the apostles, and how small an inference we can draw from what we do know about their lives and deaths.”

        And that assumes that the stories about them weren’t just made up to begin with and that they actually existed in the first place.


        1. .

          Actually if you like podcasts Darren…. I’m going to listen to Bernardo Kastrup right now on this podcast for my dogwalk. I haven’t heard it, but I’ll pass it on to you just in case you FREELY CHOOSE to listen to it because you aren’t actually Matter in motion nor are you God’s puppet. xoxo


          Love and Light


          1. “Actually if you like podcasts Darren…. I’m going to listen to Bernardo Kastrup right now on this podcast for my dogwalk. I haven’t heard it, but I’ll pass it on to you just in case you FREELY CHOOSE to listen to it because you aren’t actually Matter in motion nor are you God’s puppet. xoxo”

            Well, I like podcasts, so that is going to help determine if I would choose to listen to it or not. After all if I wasn’t interested in listening to podcasts, then that would help determine my choice to not listen to it.

            But I do like podcasts so that like helps to determine what my choice is ultimately going to be.

            However, I also read the quote by this guy that you posted, and I have a very low tolerance for stupid. And given how much stupid this guy it throwing off, that fact of reality is going to also help determine whether I will listen to his podcast.

            Given I also have no interest to subjecting myself to that at the moment, that feeling will help determine my choice not to actually listen to the podcast.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. .

              Well as Materialist you follow the turtles all the way back to the Big Bang….your decision wasn’t yours anyway. lol

              Having said that I dismiss Materialism as BSC.
              You dismiss Idealism as BSC.
              So we talk past each other….so be it.
              Friends can be friends and still disagree.
              Just don’t tell me you voted for Trump, then I would have to reconsider what I just wrote.
              ha ha

              Love and Light


      2. Hi David,

        I sure enjoyed this interview with Sean McDowell. I thought the questions you put to him were very insightful.

        That said, I do have a ‘bone to pick’ with your comparison of the apostles (who were willing to die for their faith) and Joseph Smith who was shot while in jail. I gather that you think that Smith and a few of his buddies concocted the whole story about seeing an angel and being given the gold plates. That would mean that he died for a hoax/a lie.

        But from my Christian worldview which includes belief in the supernatural, it’s entirely possible that Smith and his buddies actually did have a visitation from a spirit being (i.e. the angel Moroni), but this being was not from the good spiritual realm, but from the evil realm. Likewise, they could have received some mysterious plates from this spirit being. So, if this was the case, Smith wouldn’t have died for something that he knew was bogus (it didn’t happen); it was real.

        But it was bogus in terms of the truth.

        2 Corinthians 11:14, “….even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”


        1. Thanks for the reply.

          So that it doesn’t get lost in the mix, I also mentioned Jim Jones. Would you like to give him the same benefit of the doubt?

          I’m not sure I see how your argument helps you in any way. So you believe that Smith did not knowingly die for a lie, that his experience was actually true, but from the devil. Why can that not be applied to the apostles? Not sure why you think my examples are not equivalent.

          My point still stands. Just because a person has an experience so convincing they would die for it, that does not suggest that anyone else should consider that as evidence for the truth of the experience. Thanks.


          1. Hi David,

            I haven’t figured out why my posts end up all over the place on the comment board; they don’t follow the post to which I’m replying. Puzzling.

            Yes, I didn’t ‘close the loop’ on my argument…..thought you’d be able to read my mind. 😉

            Here’s the rest of my argument. Both Joseph Smith and the apostles believed they had received a truthful message which they were to pass on to others. Because they made the same claims with respect to truth, it behooves their hearers to examine the messages to determine their authenticity.

            Firstly, the Book of Mormon. How authentic is it? Well, when I tried to read it some years ago, I found it read like a piece of fiction (poor fiction, at that). Those who’ve taken the time to examine it critically say that it bears no connection to reality. For example, no places named in the Book of Mormon have been verified by archaeologists.

            This is very unlike the Bible. Take the gospels, for example, which are filled with dozens of actual place names verified by archaeology and other ancient writings. Then there are the people who are included in the gospel accounts and Acts. I appreciate what biblical scholar Craig Blomberg has contributed to the discussion when he notes that many titles of rulers were location specific. To illustrate:
            – only Thessalonika had politarchs
            – only the next generation after Herod were called tetrarchs
            – only Ephesus had city clerks
            – only in Athens was there an Areopagus
            – only on Malta was the ruler called the chief man
            So, it would have been highly unlikely for someone who was writing fiction (or for someone who wrote much later, such as in the 2nd century) to have gotten all of these titles for local officials correct.

            Here’s a link to Blomberg’s talk based on his book, ‘The Historical Reliability of the New Testament’ from which I gleaned the above.

            As far as Jim Jones, I’m not sure how you support your comparison of him to the apostles when he took his own life.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks for the reply.

              Briefly, I don’t find the case compelling because I have read a lot of fiction and history in my day. And one of my favorite genres is historical fiction. It is the stuff that combines both genres so well, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. The more real people and places, the better. Authors do their best work when they are writing about what they know, places they have been, and things they have experienced. It is a rich canvas for weaving fanciful tales.

              Because of my fondness of the genre, I have never understood the argument that the legends must be true because they had real people and places weaved into the tale. All legends are surrounded by verifiable history. So what?

              I think you are being a little unfair to the suicide cultists. Just because their belief is terminal does not mean it is any less real. Unlike Muslim suicide bombers, Jones was in a position to know he was lying. He didn’t have to go through with it. Neither did Applegate. But they did.


              Liked by 2 people

              1. David,

                Thanks for your reply. However, I think you’re being anachronistic when comparing ancient writing with modern.

                In one of his online talks, NT scholar Craig Keener has noted that ancient novels (late 2nd and early 3rd century) were a very different genre from the gospel narratives. They lacked clear sources and prefaces (as in gLuke) and contained no moral lessons.

                C.S. Lewis has said that there was no such genre as our realistic (historical) novels in the first century. In one of his essays, he wrote, “Now, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there is no conversation that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence.”

                As far as Jim Jones, you still haven’t convinced me that he should be grouped together with apostles such as Peter and Paul who we can fairly certain were martyred for their faith.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Well said Joyce 🙂


      3. .

        Future SS show topic perhaps David and Dale?

        Imo all the faiths… Judaism, Christianity and Islam in particular…. revolve around ME’ism.

        God loves ME…most.
        God is talking to ME….because I’m special.
        God will protect ME and my family…with a miracle.
        God will punish people that hurt ME….by sending them to hell.
        I’m upset because my child doesn’t believe in God anymore….. that makes ME look bad.
        God got ME onto Dogma Debate…

        Taken to it’s limit… God asked ME to kill the infidels because I’m special.

        Imo this is the root of the problem with all tribalism, but it’s severely amplified when there is an all powerful being that people really believe they and their group ‘own.’

        Just a rambling thought. Sorry guys…. I have alot of those…….ha ha.


        Love and Light



  2. .

    Fabulous episode, I really enjoyed it.

    I think I owe you an apology for something I said long ago Dale. I thought you actually weren’t connected to these well known Apologists, and you’ve definitely proven me wrong. So I’m very sorry for having thought and said otherwise. As a listener, I’m very glad you’ve brought these fabulous guests onto Skeptics and Seekers….thank you thank you thank you Dale.

    However, there is something critical I’ve noticed about Habermas, Licona, and now McDowell ….these men you seem to greatly admire. They always quickly skirt the moral questions of Christianity. They focus only upon irrelevant details.

    People ought not care about whether Jesus existed, or how many apostles he had, or about a piece of Cloth found with the image of a man on it, or about the minimal facts in regards to the resurrection. They ought to care about if the Abrahamic God exists, is he worthy of our reverence?

    Clearly the Abrahamic God….all 3 versions….is a moral monster.

    This isn’t a Scientific question, it is a question someone has to have a ‘good old think about.’ 🙂

    Part of our capacity to think (Consciousness) entails we pay close attention to our emotions. The concept of a God (just as a recent examples brought up on SS and the comment section) that commands the brutal slaughter of defenseless people, that commands that we capture and enslave others, that would sacrifice his own child or command the sacrifice of someone else’s child…….should make everyone cringe in horror. The Christian God is emotionally repugnant and so I don’t care one whit whether he exists or not. I will never use my free will to choose to admire him.

    Licona, Habermas, McDowell and other polite well spoken influential men and women like them, have taught and are teaching young people like you Dale to ignore their emotions. I realize this has been happening generation after generation after generation but I personally would like it to stop NOW.

    That is why Dale, I say again….there is no context in which killing me upon command of a morally perfect God could be morally or logically justifiable. And I truly hope 20 years from now you haven’t taught your own children to ignore their emotions. I also hope, you are not Ministering others to ignore their emotions.

    We as a global society need to have a ‘good old think’ about these ancient god stories and evolve past them.

    Love and Light

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tara, I’m glad that you appreciated the show and also I have to say that David has done his own fair share in making these episodes great as well. I think there are some things David and I need to iron out in terms of special guest episodes depending on what type of show we are doing (we are still learning what works and what doesn’t, etc.), but I was really grateful for some of the push backs David gave in order to have Sean respond and show that Christians do have rational answers to some of the Skeptic’s pressing questions. Let’s just say that both David and I have a lot more special guests planned in the immediate future- I think you above all else will appreciate our next episode (I can’t remember if David announced who that guest is publicly yet, so I’m going to play it safe and not reveal who it is just in case- but let’s just say we’re switching things up and our guest is a well-known Atheist this time and David deserves all the credit for bringing him on board).

      In terms of the topic, well I would disagree with you actually, as I don’t think Gary, Mike or Sean are avoiding the questions that you think are important, its just they recognize that other issues deserve attention as well and they may or may not be the best person to give an opinion on a particular matter vs another one. That said, we do have shows planned with guests specifically on the immorality of God- for example, David has set up a guest to come on next month to speak with us on biblical violence and I reached out to Paul Copan (Paul said he would love to be on sometime but he is too busy at the moment, nonetheless he was appreciative of my work on the show and so he advertised S&S on his twitter for us and made a recommendation as to another Christian apologist to come on in his stead to debate the immorality of the biblical God- still waiting for him to confirm yes/no though).

      So Christians are willing to address those types of questions, on my end I really try my best to answer as many questions or topics as I can- I don’t have all the answers and there have been topics that I haven’t really considered before such as the show on spiritual warfare (that stuff is not my own personal cup of tea to be honest but its in the Bible and it is an important doctrine and hence why I wanted do my best to tackle it even if I might get things wrong and have to learn from it), similarly I was really proud and impressed with the level of homework David did with Sean on this topic (David is not an expert on Sean’s level by any means) but you know I personally think he could have held his own had we done a regular discussion/debate show rather than an straight interview 🙂

      Furthermore, I wouldn’t say I ignore my emotions and I would like to correct the record as I am not some robot- sure I tend to keep my emotions in proper check when assessing evidences for and against religion as I don’t think they are reliable indicators of truth- but David can attest from our many private convos together that I do have emotions and for crying out loud everyone on the boards has seen me get annoyed or lose my cool once in a while, so I do value and feel that emotions are an important part of being human.


      1. .

        Yes…I know who’s coming up on the next episode and am absolutely thrilled. I hope he hosts YOU on his show too Dale, in fact I’ve suggested it to him. It’s nice to share hosts, guests and audiences imo….. ha ha ha.

        As to ….

        “I don’t think Gary, Mike or Sean are avoiding the questions that you think are important its just they recognize that other issues deserve attention”…

        They may not realize what they are doing, but I certainly do.

        Ex’s are ex’s because of the immorality of Chrisitianity and yeh ….ok….whatever….fool yourself you Ex’s but actions speak louder than words imo. Once ……let’s say you decide that you would not choose to ‘kill your son for God’ because that idea becomes repugnant to you, the domino’s begin to fall one after another after another and suddenly you don’t buy any of the bullshiz in those books anymore.

        So Habermas and Licona and now Mcdowell avoid at all cost answering, debating or addressing the vileness of their chosen God. That is a protective mechanism. If they spent time on the evil that runs throughout their worldview, they would no longer hold to it.

        You Dale have been ‘trained’ to ignore sincere empathy, love, compassion for other people. At least I hope that it is learned behaviour. You are an adult now, you can chose to address the immoral nature of your beliefs, but that is up to you alone. Play ‘hide the hate’ as long as you can tolerate it son.


        Love and Light


        1. I’ll just leave this as a teaser. But you really don’t know the ones to which I am referring. We are booked for a bit. And two of the guests will be dealing exclusively with the topic of the immorality of the bible and biblical violence. Stay tuned… 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Well I will just say this much, I’m honoured to have a chance to have a discussion with Smalley, he has a lot more experience that I do in doing this kind of thing and so I’m sure I will be able to learn a great deal from interacting with him- plus I’m genuinely interested to know what he makes of some of my opinions, etc.- bear in mind David has been pretty tight lipped on what is going to happen tomorrow with Smalley and I’m not always the best when speaking off-the-cuff with no prep time, so I think I may be a little nervous but nonetheless, I’m thrilled as I think it will be a good time on all sides 🙂

          I’m curious why you accuse Gary of avoiding those questions- didn’t you tell everyone that he gave you permission to share his answer that he would NOT kill anyone if God commanded it or something; thus he did answer that question for you and allowed you to share it with everyone. As for Mike and Sean, well again there was no opportunity for them to address that question b/c it wasn’t relevant to their show topics, but from what I know of them, I highly doubt they have never grappled with such issues; you need to give people the benefit of the doubt a little more.


          1. .

            Good luck tomorrow Dale. I will have fun listening to you and the tag team Davids!

            Get a good night sleep, eat a big breakfast, and then paint an extra thick coat of Teflon on your Christian Bubble.
            You’ll need it son.


            Love and Light


            Liked by 1 person

            1. Lol thanks Tara, yes I have no delusions about Smalley’s dialectical abilities compared to mine, but that said I welcome the opportunity to learn and grow by submitting my ideas or beliefs to the best scrutiny I can and I do have one significant advantage over Smalley, I have the truth on my side 😛


    2. Without giving too much away, I can assure you that we have guests lined up to deal with those issues dealing with the morality and violence of god. Stay tuned…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. .

        Wonderful, I hope their first names rhyme with David?
        But whatever, I love surprises.

        Love and Light

        Ps. Now I’m trying to stir up Stephen Law (twitter and email.) Geeeesh I’m terrible. Law knows that ‘Science’ starts with an unfalsifiable claim, that matter exists without mind. That is likely why he won’t outright say he’s a Naturalist or a Materialist. He’s actually a pretty good philosopher unlike Daniel Dense-it. ha ha ha.



  3. Also, in light of the fact that David and I are getting thanks for the Guest shows, I just realized we should probably say, that we are very grateful to Sean, Gary, Barrie, Mike and Randal, Tara, C.J. Morgan, Andrew and Matt/Limey as well as all the other future guests above all, as they are all doing David and I the biggest favour by coming on the show in the first place 🙂

    And also thanks to the audience for continuing to listen and check out the sources provided for further research as well 🙂


  4. As your unsolicited self-appointed Spiritual Dr, I prescribe both you (Dale) and Tara an undiluted dose of this podcast.

    Tara, there is more than one way to read the collection of books called the Bible. Bell calls out slavery without issue.

    Dale, this is the wider picture. This is the god doesn’t fit into a spreadsheet. ‘He’s” not ‘calculable’. He encompasses all and there’s room for Tara’s view of Consciousness and for those who don’t buy it at all. I like Bell. This is where my research took me to Dale, though it was a case of too little too late for me. Ultimately, you don’t need to be dogmatic about any of it. I’d say Bell is massively open-minded in fact he realises as he learns, his view widens and widens. That’s what deconstruction does. Evangelicalism does the opposite. It narrows viewpoints.

    I have no issue with his brand of Christianity and indeed, the world would be a kinder place if all adopted it. He also knows his historical context and bible really well, something you encourage. Yet he disagrees with your views significantly. I hear you again each week essentially admitting that unless people come to your way of viewing things, they’re wrong and should continue searching. Only ‘you’ are a true seeker and only you get to define what that is. Those who’ve had a dabble and done their best to work it out, and concluded “no thanks”, aren’t the real deal according to you. I noticed, however, not without irony, that you say you continue to look at other world religions as a check, though this doesn’t apparently need to be more than a week here and there. You have quite arbitrarily decided 1/2 wks per year is the standard. What if I decide that an honest seeker is someone who spends 2 solid months a year looking at other religion? You define what’s reasonable to you, but you don’t extend this same courtesy to others. This is why people get frustrated with your honest seeker shtick. 😉

    That, and the sheer amount of study you expect people to put in. It’s not reasonable.
    But thanks for coming back and well done to all.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Sarah, I will make an effort to look into it when I get a chance, I do have something I’d like to ask your advice on actually but it needs to be in private as per David J’s advice- if you don’t mind I will send you an email and if you could provide me any feedback from your viewpoint.



      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure, send me an email. Sounds intriguing!! 🙂


        1. Already done and thanks by the way 🙂


    2. “Tara, there is more than one way to read the collection of books called the Bible. Bell calls out slavery without issue.”

      Yes… know, I know that Sarah. lol
      When people read those ancient books, they will interpret them as a direct reflection of themselves. I believe X…so the books therefore say X. It is because Rob Bell is such an amazingly kind man that he conceptualizes those writings to echo his own moral positions. That is why I find Dale so worrisome. He is doing likewise, and it’s both sad and frightening.

      Overall I think the books are like a ball and chain, and ought to be detached completely. They cause unneccessary tribalism. However most Ex’s then go and attach the ‘ball and chain’ of Scientific Materialism. Ho-hum, so be it.

      I hadn’t known of that The Liturgist Podcast, so thanks. I need more things to listen to, although I’m trying to read again too. 🙂

      Love and Light

      Ps. Dale and dandbj I know you have a full schedule ahead of you, but I have urged this new forum poster to contact you. Maybe one day he would make a good guest? Just an idea for when your pingpong Christian vs Scientific Materialism game becomes boring.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well if he is interested we can look into it, but right now we are booked solid actually, me and David won’t even be able to get back to our own series until April and even then we possibly have guests there too depending on when or if I hear back on the scheduling. Anyways, he or you can remind us in a few months time when things have cooled down a bit maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. .

          To gain a wider audience, well known names are key…. well done you two !!!

          I’m excited each time a new episode comes into my feed, as is my dog.

          Walk… walk… walk… lol

          Love and Light


          1. I can tell you the episode with David Smalley was awesome, we even had a few curveballs where Smalley actually agreed with me against David in some cases (I love it when guests are up for having a real convo and saying it like they really see it)- but there were a couple surprises where David and I both went “wow” and I think you will too 🙂

            BTW- Now, that I have made my final decision, I can let you know that Smalley was kind enough to invite me onto his show to discuss the Abraham Test (would I kill my son if God commanded it) so that will be coming out in early March sometime as we’re recording on Monday March 4th in case your interested to hear that then I think that will be a great show- though knowing how controversial my views on it are and the fact that Smalley has 5.5 million people listening each week, I’m very cognizant that in accepting this test to my faith, I need to do my absolute best to be honest and clear to what I believe but at the same time contextualize or frame the discussion that I think will be helpful for the Smalley and the other skeptical listeners to at least understand where our difference in opinion might be coming from because misunderstandings and snap judgements are easy on things like this.

            So I’m looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time- but overall I’m actually grateful for the opportunity God (and Smalley) has given me and I trust that so long as I stay true to what I believe is true that God will take care of the rest 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            1. “I’m actually grateful for the opportunity God (and Smalley)”

              Less God, more Tara mate. 😉


              1. I’m not sure Tara deserves the credit on that front actually, I know she reached out to Smalley first (before David did) about coming on our show as she claimed and I will thank her for her kind intentions of garnering interest in people coming on to S&S to share their opinions in our upcoming Podcasts. So yes, Tara deserves some measure of credit in that regard for sure, I can’t take that away from her as you mention.

                But I think God’s providence and Smalley’s respectable interest to have honest dialogues with Christians have much more to do with Smalley oming on our show and his willingness to have me appear on his show than anything Tara or I did to be honest (just keeping it real here).

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I try so hard to stay out of this stuff. I really do. But your last post smoked me out.

                  But I think God’s providence and Smalley’s respectable interest to have honest dialogues with Christians have much more to do with Smalley oming on our show and his willingness to have me appear on his show than anything Tara or I did to be honest (just keeping it real here).

                  So you are saying god wanted you to be on Smalley’s show. You just can’t seem to understand what a damp squib that is in a room full of atheists. It sounds so over-the-top arrogant that it is hard to credit as serious.

                  So you are keeping it real by suggesting that god arranged for you to be on Smalley’s show. I will also keep it real by suggesting that same god wanted the family of six to die horribly in a car crash last night, or a newborn to choke to death while feeding this morning, or a person who has never had sex to be stricken with aids do to a blood transplant, or the countless awful things that happened since the last time we spoke over Skype.

                  No? You say god didn’t want those things? Then why can you be so sure that he wants you to be on Smalley’s show.?

                  I wish Christians could understand how the rest of the world views and hears them when they are speaking Christian. I started on a book about this more than once, but gave it up as a bad job. Saying that god wanted this or that is a thing I wish you Christians would just stop doing.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. I think you may be getting too touchy with this kind of thing David, its not being arrogant at all, as a Molinist everything that happens including the bad things you mention happen under God’s Sovereign plan (to achieve the overall best possible outcome of saving as many souls as possible)- I seem to recall you asking me about this in the context of Rom 9 and you seemed to be cool with my strong take on Divine Sovereignty there.

                    Yes I get your point that not everything happens is ideal or what God wants in the sense he doesn’t want us to ever sin or anyone to be damned to Hell, but given freewill God can’t do anything about that and thus His providence applies to achieving the best “possible” outcome given a sinful world where bad stuff happens.

                    To illustrate the point, you were kind enough out of concern for me to point out to me the potential risks that might come about as a result of doing Smalley’s show with such a big audience- I’ve considered that outcome, I don’t think its as big a risk as if I were going on CNN or something but I recognize and have come to terms with accepting that God has provided me with this test of faith, I’m not going to be anxious about tomorrow in this case, I trust God will take care of me so long as I do my best to stay honest to what I believe is true.

                    Now to be clear, I’m under no delusion that its not possible things might turn out badly in the sense of my losing the ability to ever run for public office- this will be found and used against me and its possible my doing this could result in my not being able to get a good job again (the charity I work with now I know for certain would probably disassociate itself from me if they were to ever hear about this show probably). But even if the worst case scenario happens, God and I won’t be happy that my life is ruined, that is bad and it shouldn’t be the case that some people are too stupid to understand the nuance in my position to the point where I don’t deserve to have my life ruined just because I defend the bible on certain issues (everyone here knows I’m not a terrorist or a real threat to hurt people even given my beliefs on biblical violence, etc.). However, I would say in the overall context, yes this bad thing happening to me would be good in the long run in terms of saving as many souls as possible, I have to be willing to suffer and carry my cross for that cause if it comes to it as in the case of this opportunity. Now, obviously I needed to consider is this cause worth dying over (maybe some issues I shouldn’t put myself on the line as they are less relevant issues or something) but the placing of one’s faith in obeying God is an essential issue as we discussed and so there is absolutely no way I can deny it regardless of the cost to my personal life (though obviously, I intend as best I can to be prepared as I can be to ensure I’m presenting the truth in the best possible light I can but in the end your right that it will ultimately be up to the listeners and the Holy Spirit as to how the truth is received by them).

                    We reason this way all the time, going to war may not be immediately desirable in the moment, but the overall context justifies why we do it. The overall good of me spanking my kid (a bad thing in itself) is overall a good thing even though one might say I didn’t want to have to spank or punish my kid (no parent wants that, everyone would prefer perfect kids) but reality just doesn’t allow for that.


                    1. Oh God! Please don’t bring up your pro-spanking stance. This is already going to be a blood bath. Smalley has all the nukes he needs. Don’t hand him the canons and rocket launchers as well.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. OMG Dale!! You went from amusing to all-out wacko in one post.
                      One day you’re going to be president.
                      You’re on some noble mission from God.
                      You have the only truth and others are too stupid to understand it.
                      God wins whatever the outcome.
                      Saving max no of souls from something that all Christians don’t agree on (hell) is still ‘a thing’ in 2019!!!
                      The HS magic will occur. (Sigh)
                      Spanking kids is legit. Even if a bit bad. I’m standing up for THE TRUTH Here. Hell No! Plenty of forward-thinking countries have outlawed it. There are other ways to parent. It’s not good. Period. I don’t care that the bible said don’t spare the rod. It was wrong.

                      This was funny, until it got a bit David Koresh.


                    3. Sarah and David,

                      You guys are not listening to what I’m actually saying and completely misinterpreting what I’m saying, but good object lesson that this is what I should probably expect with random strangers.

                      Rather than get annoyed at your seemingly deliberate misunderstandings of what I’m saying, I will attempt to clarify what I was saying;

                      1. My overall point was it doesn’t matter if I get crushed on air or not, I’ve accepted that could happen and should be grateful even if does because I have faith that whatever happens, so long as I remain true to the Gospel, will be for the overall good- how is that crazy, this has always been my Molinistic answer to everything like this- whether good or bad, it all happens under God’s divine plan to save as many souls as possible. My point, whether you think it is “arrogant” or not applies whether I succeed with flying colours or come crashing down in burning flames- either way I’m good in terms of what I’m attempting to say here. After all, I seem to recall some of Paul’s missions not turning out so well in the immediate context, but despite those failures, I think all Christians recognize and see the hand of God in his efforts (both the successful and unsuccessful ones).

                      I know you guys disagree with me on my MD position, but why are you pretending that I’m saying something radically different from what I’ve said the whole time (unless this is a clever rouse on your parts to prep me to some of the potential irrational responses I might receive on Smalley’s show- I will give you guys the benefit of the doubt here).

                      2. Tara did a great job with Smalley- well Sarah I will let you have this one except to say you are not privy to the internal operations of S&S, there could be things that you have no idea about which could have a bearing on why I said what I did (and again there may not be)- just saying hypothetically because I want you to show some humility in that I’m in a position to know things that you or the public might not know about. Again to be clear I’m not saying that this is necessarily the case with Tara and Smalley example specifically here or not; but just saying it could be and you have to be willing to acknowledge that I may have knowledge that you don’t. So yeah, will just say don’t test me on this type of thing (and its the same deal with Christians who might hypothetically challenge David on the private internal workings of S&S, he knows things they don’t and should show some humility in that regards).

                      3. President, no Sarah I said Prime Minister- Canada doesn’t have a President. Anyways, it was an example of a cost that I am having to accept. I’m not saying I actually think I could ever become Prime Minister even I wanted to (which I don’t) but that said, I think its true that if I ever did want to and were in a position where it might actually be feasible my beliefs as presented on Smalley’s show and/or even on here could be discovered and exposed. This would probably hinder my efforts to become PM and so I have to consider that my doing this could have that negative effect.

                      4. On some noble mission from God- yeah so what? All Christians are, in fact Molinistically speaking we all play our part in achieving God’s overall plan- I ate a cookie this morning, that was me fulfilling part of my divine mission. Everything that happens is a part of God’s plan, you’ve seriously never heard this type of notion before?

                      5. As to people being stupid, I’m saying that in regards to people that will misuse my beliefs and judge them unfairly in order to cause harm to those they disagree with. On the killing issue or slavery issues for example, I would not say you are stupid in that you try to understand my point of view and recognize that I’m not actually about to go out and slaughter people in the streets or that I’m about to go out and have a bunch of slaves working for me. Some people are too stupid to recognize the nuance and try to hurt the people they disagree with based on lies or misrepresentations of what they actually said- do you deny this kind of thing occurs in the world Sarah? I seem to recall reading comments from you on this message board trying to defend me against that very thing.

                      6. Saving souls or HS stuff- (Sigh) I’m tired of skeptics acting like I have duty to prove my beliefs every time I simply state them. I was just saying what I believe is the case to explain why I made the decision I did; obviously to me after having studied the evidence I believe those things are true and hence they played a factor in my own personal decision to go on Smalley’s show- why should I be obligated to make my own life decisions based only on the terms acceptable to you or skeptics; you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God, does that mean I’m not allowed to use it to learn how to make my own life decisions simply because you reject it? Are skeptics the standard by which everyone has to base their life’s choices on?- I could simply return the favour here and unfairly accuse you of being arrogant- which I know full well is not truly the case with you.

                      7. Spanking; Oh for goodness sake you two (Sarah and David)- I wasn’t trying to defend spanking necessarily here, I could easily have said punishment- grounding or no TV for a week or something- stop trying to deliberately take away from the main point I was making there- the point is parents have t punish their children (something they don’t want to have to do) but they do it because in the long run its good for them. Thus, various factors overall can make a difference and make seemingly bad things worth it such as if I go on Smalley’s show and bomb the thing.

                      Now as to spanking, yeah I don’t see anything wrong with it actually so long as its only reserved for very bad things and is done properly so as to not actually harm the child excessively. I was spanked Sarah, its fine. That said, 99% of the time another punishment is more suitable, I only ever did something bad enough to get spanked a few times (2-3 that’s it in my entire childhood- at least those are the times I got caught at least). It heightened the seriousness of what I had done and I understood I had really gone over the line when I did those things. For other things, grounding or no TV or no Internet or time-outs are sufficient punishments to do the trick.

                      I live in Canada its legal here but there are some provisions = .

                      8. David Koresh thing; Knowing you I think this wasn’t meant in earnest, but to illustrate what I meant there are some people that might actually believe this about me and if so then that is what I mean by people sometimes being stupid.


                    4. P.S.- I also want to clarify, in my original post to which Sarah responded, I wasn’t saying Tara didn’t deserve any credit for her role with Smalley- I said I thanked her for that stuff but just saying I keep the things in perspective- David J. deserves a lot of credit to- so there is enough praise to go around 🙂


                    5. You said:

                      On some noble mission from God- yeah so what? All Christians are, in fact Molinistically speaking we all play our part in achieving God’s overall plan- I ate a cookie this morning, that was me fulfilling part of my divine mission. Everything that happens is a part of God’s plan, you’ve seriously never heard this type of notion before?

                      I meant to get to this sooner. I see that Sarah has covered some of it. I think it is important to add a few thoughts because this is one of those places that really demonstrates the difference between how believers and non-believers think. When Christians talk like this, it makes the distance that much wider.

                      The fact that you think you are on some noble mission from god is off-putting. It makes people like me question how seriously we should take people who speak and think that way. From my perspective, it is no different than a devout Muslim saying he is on a noble mission from Allah. At that point, I need to know something about the mission in order to feel safe around that person. Based on the holy books, that mission could be anything.

                      Now thankfully the god of the bible has changed his strategy. Where he used to send people on missions of killing other people, he now gives people secret orders on which cookie to eat. (Any variety of Girl Scout cookie works for me.) So I am glad you can fulfill god’s divine plan without bloodshed.

                      Still, you should know that any god with a divine plan that involves which afternoon snack I eat is not a god I can take seriously.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. OK David,

                      I responded to Sarah above, I’m not saying God gave us secret instructions as to which cookie to eat, I’m saying that via God’s middle knowledge he knew in advance which cookie I would freely choose to eat and used the knowledge in choosing which world to create so as to bring about the end goal He desired. The same is true about a butterfly flapping its wings or you choosing to ear black vs. white socks today.

                      This isn’t a claim to some sort of direct divine sense or guidance as to what I should do or not. That said, I can tell you on that level I did what every Christian would do, I deliberated over the pros and cons after having reached out to several people for advice (your idea remember), I considered them, I prayed on it and read some relevant bible passages about not being anxious about tomorrow, etc. and I felt a weak sense of the Holy Spirit prompting me that this was the right thing to do (there is a weak irresistible inclination on my part which I would argue came from the HS) to go on the show and take the risk to address a crucial Gospel issue of what it means for someone to place their faith in God and be willing to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.

                      I get that its the HS guidance part that you are taking issue with here, well I guess I can just say that’s your problem- we know biblically speaking that the H.S. does play a role in prompting us toward the truth about God’s will- in my case as an immature Christian my receptiveness to such prompting is not very clear or easily discernible most of the time- but I can honestly say I did experience a weak sense of this phenomenon here after all was said and done and hence why I can say in advance that I think its more probable than not that regardless of how things turn out, I believe its is God’s will that I go on the show rather than cancel and hide my opinions from those millions of people; I’m even hopeful that I can potentially get people to understand my position even though I have no delusions that they will reject it- my goal is just to have them understand why I give my answer and provide a mechanism for better dialogue which could possibly change people’s minds on this issue in time.

                      Obviously, being relatively devoid of the HS and receptiveness to God’s existence, let alone the notion that He could prompt anyone to do anything, this will come across as nonsense to you- that’s fine but try jumping out of the limitations of your own worldview and see things from my perspective and then you will see what I’m saying is perfectly rational and acceptable on the truth of biblical Christian Theism at least.


                    7. .

                      ” I don’t deserve to have my life ruined just because I defend the bible on certain issues (everyone here knows I’m not a terrorist or a real threat to hurt people even given my beliefs on biblical violence, etc.). ”

                      If (and I highly doubt it will happen) your life is ruined , that will be solely YOUR DOING DALE. I don’t like the lingo, but I guess I’m a Indirect Doxastic Voluntarianist……ugh, what a mouthful. You have free will, you are not pingpong matter banging forth into endless cause and effect motion. So anything that becomes of your life, is the result of each individual choice you make.

                      For instance, you chose long ago to tell me you would kill me if your morally perfect God commanded you to do so. That is indirect Doxastic Voluntarianism at work. CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES….. lead to our evolving beliefs. So far your choices have dug the immoral Christian Shizpile belief system deeper, that all rests upon your shoulders Dale. Don’t blame me, or Dandbj, or Smalley, or Sarah, or even God for the decisions you alone make.

                      Here, you’ll like this one, ha ha.

                      Galatians VI (King James Version): Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

                      Love and Light


                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. Tara,

                      Yes I like that and fully agree (weirdly enough). But here is what I’m saying, I don’t deserve to be judged as saying I’m planning to go out in 1-hour to kill someone right now right, I never said that and so if someone misrepresents what I said to be me saying I’m actually doing so that would be stupid or immoral on their part.

                      I didn’t CHOOSE to plan to kill someone in 1-hour, I’m telling no such thought is in my mind right now at all, nor has it ever been on my mind at any point in the past. So, I deserve to be judged based on what I actually say/believe and then yep cool, I reap what I sow for sure.


                    9. “But here is what I’m saying, I don’t deserve to be judged as saying I’m planning to go out in 1-hour to kill someone right now right, I never said that…”

                      No you just said that if you were convinced god was telling you to go out and kill someone right now, you would.

                      Is there in fact anything you wouldn’t do if you thought god was telling you to do so?

                      Say for example taking over the political party of a country and then leading that country to attack other countries while at the same time wiping out groups of people that god is telling you to kill, like say the jews or gay people?

                      Liked by 2 people

                2. Keeping it “real” ???!!! What appealing to unfalsifiable claims about unseeable deities interfering with your every day is considered keeping it real?

                  What David said too.

                  Plus, I would temper it down a bit, you know, in case you get creamed. It’s going to be harder to explain ‘god did it’ if they crucify you live on air. This is where you should use hindsight and thank god IF it goes well. But before the event – gee that’s ambitious. (Or a bit arrogant, like David points out).

                  Nah! Tara did a fab job of smooching Smalley via me who introduced her to the show and suggested she contact him whilst in her PR role. Consciousness brought all this together. Prove me otherwise. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. .
                “Less God, more Tara”

                I’m a Metaphysical Solopsist Sarah.
                In my present worldview, Tara is God….but equally so is Dale.

                Let’s say Dale did go ‘full on David Karesh,’ and he did kill Tara’s physical body because he thought God wanted him to do so. These same horrors have been happening since the dawn of human consciousness. Past imaginary Gods commanded killings…. and people like Dale killed for their Gods.

                However just for fun, let’s say Dale keeps drinking the Christian Kool Aid and he did kill me. He would merely be attempting to kill himself. You cannot kill God (Consciousness.) So let’s just say I’m not overly worried. I’m just trying to help Dale morally mature. So far, not so good but it’s been fun trying. xoxo

                ” Metaphysical Solopsism : Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other realities, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence. ”


                Love and Light


                1. All I will say is thank goodness I’m not going full on David Karesh then- that man was seriously deluded and dangerous- I’m not!


                  1. “Yes I like that and fully agree”….. No reply button under this statement of yours Dale.

                    But let’s clarify that statement. Are you now saying that Indirect Doxastic Voluntarianism is correct, when previously you and dandbj both said it was incorrect?

                    I have always held that it is freewill that allows us to make choices that lead to us changing our beliefs. So until you decide (as one example) that you would not kill me if the Christian God asked you to do so….you will remain a Christian. Therefore God has nothing to do with this, it all comes down to your own personal choices.

                    (Scientific Materialism taken to it’s logical turtle piling conclusion refutes freewill, so I’m not siding with dandbj on this either. I think actions speak louder than words. So IMO dandbj is likewise a voluntarian doxastic voluntarianist but is unaware of it. )

                    Love and Light

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Tara,

                      No, I never said that, actually I’m 100% with you in that Indirect Doxastic Voluntarism is true- David as a physialist would have to disagree of course and be a determinism. So now that I know you are not a Direct Doxastic Voluntarist, I agree entirely with your take there.

                      Ultimately, I’m responsible for what I believe but just not directly as you correctly pint out.


                  2. “that man was seriously deluded and dangerous- I’m not!” David Karesh would have said exactly the same thing. Nevertheless I’m NOT putting you into the same category as him ….YET. But it our beliefs that lead directly to our actions. You maintain some truly horrific beliefs and now you have the ‘skills’ to spread those beliefs out onto the web via podcasts. I’m truly glad Smalley and dandbj are interacting with you. If someone had done that with David Karesh early on, maybe things would have turned out differently.

                    Love and Light


                    1. Yeah with Smalley, I will be giving my full take on why I answer the way I do on this front and allowing opportunities for him to interact at various key locations- again I’m hoping he will give me that leeway though but he may not since its his show and he may not want to dance to my tune- I guess I’ll see what he makes of it, if I get the chance to say it properly 🙂


                  3. .

                    No reply button under your post saying that you….like me….are an Indirect Doxastic Volutarianist.
                    So you agree that YOU are freely choosing to say YOU would kill me if the Christian God commanded you to do so?
                    Therefore if (just go with the thought experiment) you did kill me, that would likewise be totally your choice? Correct Dale?

                    Love and Light


                    1. Tara,

                      I’m not sure why people can’t reply to my comments, its nothing I did on my end- obviously I don’t see the comments the way you guys do as I can only make sense of them in admin mode.

                      Anyways, yes I would agree that indirectly I choose my beliefs in that regard and thus if I’m wrong imo, I would bear some responsibility in that regard. Likewise, would you admit that if I’m right then you have chosen to believe immorally on this question?


                    2. .

                      Yes…I agree.

                      If I choose not to kill you upon command, then I am 100% responsible for that choice.

                      And I will stay with that choice permanently because I love you Dale.

                      Love and Light

                      Liked by 1 person

    3. Hi Sarah,

      I happened upon your post re: Rob Bell’s book, ‘What is the Bible?’ Have you read it?

      I read it awhile ago. I would offer a couple of comments:
      – Bell believes the Bible is strictly a human compilation of writings with no divine involvement. That’s not what the Bible says about itself, nor what orthodoxy has always taught.
      – Bell’s view of the Bible is basically that it’s inspiring literature, similar to other great literature. It’s not different in ‘kind’ from other great literary works; it’s certainly not inspired. Once again this is contrary to orthodoxy.

      Here’s what one reviewer has to say about Bell’s book. I agree with him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Joyce,

        Thanks for the link. I’ve not read the actual book, but I’ve heard him speak about it on a number of podcasts. And, yes I agree, he’s totally not traditionally orthodox in his view. A heretic to many.

        I guess Orthodoxy doesn’t pass the ‘so what’ test with me. Why is so much stock put into what a few patriarchal beardies thought in the first couple of centuries? There were lots of views swilling about at the time. Even to this day, people debate when Jesus becomes God (all time, at birth, at baptism, at death) You can see the progression in the Bible from Mark to John and explanations as to how they deified him over time.

        So they argued about it and one view more or less won-out. And? These are people who lived pre-enlightenment, pre-internet, who thought the earth was flat, against a backdrop of gods and superstition; who didn’t know Genesis wasn’t literal, nor that Moses probably didn’t exist, nor that the Exodus didn’t really happen, nor that everyone has a flood-story myths in their culture and it never happened, nor that there is much debate on what Jesus genuinely said or did, nor who could analyse all the textual variants; nor who even agreed what these divine texts were until 325!!

        That they interpreted things one way is not surprising, it was done in the light of the water they swam in. But we’ve since evolved to know more about science, the natural world, history, psychology etc, so the view on the Bible is likely to change. For example, the idea virginity for girls for marriage is *a thing* is outdated and plain wrong and has no applicability to today’s society. Maybe it worked when women were property and you married at 15 in their culture. It is irrelevant in a modern for an independent, self-supporting woman in the context of a committed long term relationship.

        Ironically, Bell says he’s going back to how it was viewed by the Jews and his view IS more authentic. He does hold scripture in high esteem, but he doesn’t interpret from a literalist American viewpoint (that ironically is entirely cultural). Jews, he says could live with tension/ dichotomies much better and didn’t have it all figured out like Dale has and believes we can all possess if we just studied hard enough. There was room for mysticism, mystery, agnosticism.

        Try applying Eastern Orthodoxy to Bible belt America today!. I doubt the two would recognise each other as the same religion. The text that said that ‘all Scripture is divinely inspired’ was written when the entire book wasn’t even agreed upon. So I see no reason to worry about who was first across the line when it came to coming up with a consensus later. But that’s because I’ve given up having to be wedded to this worldview and find being able to entertain the entire spectrum of religion and ideas much more freeing and less dogmatic. And I dislike dogma.

        In 2000 years, maybe people will be talking about the Bell Orthodoxy and just because it’s “old”, “traditional” it’ll get the same pass. The discussion he is having and the way new views are being put forward & discussed is probably exactly the same mechanism that happened in the early Centuries. If it resonates, it sticks. If you think god had some directing hand in the compilation and writing of the Bible, I can only say I think he would have done a better job. Certainly, Jesus could (and should) have been clearer and explicit in the heaven/hell business if it mattered at all.

        It’s a record of man understanding the divine. That’s the most logical view from my perspective.

        Take the good bits from it, jettison the rest.

        PS: As for the article mentioning that the test for authenticity and truth is the test of whether you would be prepared to die for it, I find it non sequitur, absurd, also somewhat abhorrent. (see jihadis or David Koresh)


        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi Sarah,

          Thanks for your response and for taking the time to read the article I linked. There are many things I could respond to in your post, but that would get very lengthy, so I’ll just choose a couple of items.

          Firstly, you mention a progression from gMark to John in terms of the deification of Jesus. I would beg to differ with you. I think that if one reads gMark carefully as a first century Jewish listener might have heard and understood it, one would have to conclude that the author of Mark recognized that Jesus was ‘God among us’ in some way right from the outset.

          Take, for example, Mark 1:1-3, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

          As the author of Mark begins his gospel, he quotes Isaiah 40:3, but before he even gets to Isaiah, he ties in phrases from Malachi 3:1 and Exodus 23:20 (both of which would have been recognizable by 1st century Jewish listeners).

          The Exodus passage reads, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared,” speaking of the angel of YHWY’s presence who will come to show Israel the way into the promised land. In gMark, one definitely hears echoes from Israel’s past.

          Malachi 3:1 says, “I (YHWH) will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before *me.* Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” Now this is key — *YHWH* is the one who will come unexpectedly.

          Then Isaiah 40:3 reads, “A voice of one calling:
          “In the wilderness prepare
          the way for the Lord;
          make straight in the desert
          a highway for our God.”

          One can certainly see the distinct parallels between this verse and Mark 1:2-3.

          Further, the prophet Malachi speaks of the one who will come in advance to prepare the people, the one who is “a voice of one calling in the wilderness.”

          Malachi 4:5-6 says, “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Here one notes that God will send Elijah beforehand so that people’s hearts will be ready to receive him when he, *YHWH*, comes.

          So, who is the Elijah figure in Mark’s gospel? It’s John.

          And who comes after John? Jesus (Yeshua), of course.

          But based on Malachi’s message, who *should* come next? YHWH. Isn’t this ironic? The 1st century Jewish people were expecting YHWH to come after the messenger, John, but it’s Yeshua who came on the scene! Now don’t miss this. Based on the OT links which the author of Mark provides, one can only conclude that Yeshua (Jesus) is YHWH!!

          I would submit that far from being ‘a very human Jesus’ in gMark, Jesus is just as divine as in the other gospels, in particular, gJohn.

          In your next paragraph, you mention 325 CE as the time when the divine texts were agreed upon. Uhhm. You must be thinking of the Council of Nicaea. But that council dealt with a major Christological issue — the nature of Christ, not with the canon of the NT.

          The NT canon was formed much earlier. In fact, I’ll offer a couple of internal evidences for early acceptance of NT books.

          In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter refers to Paul’s books as Scripture very naturally without defence or apologetic. It reads, “speaking of these things in all his (Paul’s) letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.”

          Then there’s 1 Timothy 5:18, “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” The first part is a quote from Deuteronomy 25:4, but the last part comes from gLuke 10:7 which means that Paul was quoting from a gospel which was already written and in circulation. He wasn’t referring to something in oral circulation because the Greek uses ‘graphe’ which means a written source.

          I think it’s noteworthy that John Meyer, a *non-evangelical* biblical scholar writes, “The only interpretation that avoids contorted, intellectual acrobatics or special pleading is the plain and obvious one. 1 Timothy is citing Luke’s gospel alongside Deuteronomy as normative Scripture for the ordering of the church’s ministry.”

          Well, I only managed to address two of your points and still exceeded the word count. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – died yesterday. In fact any day you read this, that will still be true.

    In the US about 1,620 people died yesterday from cancer.

    About 265 people will have died from a natural disaster yesterday.

    For every 98 seconds you spend on reading this, an American will be sexually assaulted.

    But sure, lets be grateful to god for the opportunity given to Dale, to explain to David Smalley how he would gut his kid like a fish if he thought that it was god telling him to do so.

    What is it with christians that they seem to have this pathological need to credit everything good to god, and everything bad to humans?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hmmm, I want to give this an honest answer here Darren as it is actually a good question.

      Why do Christians credit everything good to God and everything bad to humans- my answer, we don’t or at least I don’t.

      In terms of bad things I also credit some bad things to Satan or demons or to a fallen creation (though that goes back to the Fall). However, you are right we will never attribute anything bad to God because he is morally perfect to us- its not logically possible for God to do something bad/evil- I think this belief is why you see a resistance from me or Christians on blaming God for bad/evil things as that is tantamount to denying the Christian God’s existence.

      Now as to attributing all good things only to God- I don’t. Humans do good things that they deserve to be thanked and appreciated for even by God (God is grateful to me when I place my faith in Him or repent or to Abraham for obeying Him for example) by the same token we need to keep praise in its proper perspective and God is worthy of a lot of praise- for my sustained existence, for creating us in the first place, for giving me a soul, for his Atonement, for giving me the ability to choose to do good vs. bad, for creating a world in which humans an make delicious food to enjoy, for sex between a husband and wife, for giving us the ability to have children, for His providence, etc. So God, deserves a lot more credit than skeptics are willing to give Him but its not good to attribute everything good to him, I deserve to be thanked for my work on this show, you deserve to be thanked for listening to the show and sharing your knowledge in the comments to help people on these important subjects- that’s all us, we chose to do those good things. Likewise, I kill someone (without divine approval) or rape a women, I and not God deserve to be blamed for that. Well God gave you the ability to choose to rape or murder (without divine approval), so ultimately God should get the blame- no totally wrong, God didn’t determine my choice (I was an unmoved mover in that causal chain) and so the buck stops with me and God is off-the-hook because it was good to give me the possibility to do evil even if its bad to actualize that evil potential.

      God give us the potential for evil = good.

      Humans freely choose to actualize that evil potential = bad.


      1. “However, you are right we will never attribute anything bad to God because he is morally perfect to us- its not logically possible for God to do something bad/evil- I think this belief is why you see a resistance from me or Christians on blaming God for bad/evil things as that is tantamount to denying the Christian God’s existence.”

        Sure, creating cancer, creating hurricanes, tornadoes, starvation, diseases, pain and suffering. I can see how god is so morally perfect. How could I have been so blind?

        And since anything god does is by definition good, that means that dying a painful death from cancer has to be good.

        “Likewise, I kill someone (without divine approval) or rape a women, I and not God deserve to be blamed for that.”

        Whipping out the relative morality. Interesting tactic. With divine approval then killing and raping are good things. Even things to be lauded and respected because you are blindly following gods dictates.

        “God is off-the-hook because it was good to give me the possibility to do evil even if its bad to actualize that evil potential.”

        Sure because if you give someone a gun knowing that they are going to shoot children, you are totally off the hook. No moral culpability at all. In fact if you define yourself as perfectly good, you could even spin it so that anything done with that gun is morally good and permissible. Including murdering children.

        Its a good thing that objective morality doesn’t exist and god is not held up to the same standards as anyone else would be, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to hold on to that whole, god is perfectly moral shtick.


        1. OK, if that’s what you got from my answer that’s cool. That said, I like your objection by analogy- I’ve heard Smalley try the same tactic by saying its like him giving the keys to his house to rapist and sitting outside the window watching the guy rape his daughter.

          There are clear differences which make this analogy fail in God’s case vs. our own responses. Do you know what some of those morally relevant differences might be, I’m not going to give them to you here but you’ve heard my answers on the show so much that you should be able to glean at least some of them (whether you personally buy them as morally relevant differences or not, you should be able to at least list what I think the differences are)?


          1. “whether you buy them as morally relevant differences or not”

            They aren’t morally relevant. You have basically set up a moral system that allows you to commit any atrocity you want as long as your bosom is burning and you take that to mean that god is telling you to do it.

            The excuses you give to defend it are facile at best. Nothing you have ever said on the show makes it any better or justifies your position.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Darren,

              OK cool, but can you just list out what my “excuses” are in terms of the differences of the analogy you gave specifically? If not, that’s fine, I’m not going to tell you what they are as I want to test to see if my message has gone through or not to see if you guys actually understand my position or not when you judge it wanting.

              Doing this might help me understand what is sticking out to you guys when I say something and help me tailor what I say on Smalley’s show.

              For example, I was falsely accused with coming across as being arrogant or egoistic based on my saying I would trust God with the outcome of going on the Smalley’s show, actually the opposite is the case, I’m displaying absolute humility by placing my faith in God and doing what’s best for him, I accept that I could and probably will not present the case as perfectly as I wish, but regardless I’m willing to do that. If I was arrogant or full of myself you guys think, why would I even risk the chance of looking stupid or foolish in front 5.5 million people- wouldn’t I rather be a coward and stay in my safety zone instead where I can operate under the illusion that I’m smart and no one can touch my arguments- I’m willing to expose some of my most controversial beliefs and ideas to someone who is much more rhetorically and dialectically gifted than I am in front of literally millions of people and I’m doing so because I believe that whatever happens it will be for the benefit of God’s kingdom as long as my motivation is God-first over my own selfish desires and pride and also like Smalley I believe having real conversations on these sorts of issues is important for progressing towards truth as human beings.


              1. Your arrogance is that you think you know what god’s will is. By your arguments, it is also very likely arrogant that you think you know what events are good and which are bad.

                You see on the news that a school bus full of children crashed and burned. All passengers are lost. You assume it is bad. But is it? How do you know? That might have been exactly what god needed to happen to do some great thing in the future.

                The next day, you read that a plane full of Baptists crashed but somehow, everyone survived unharmed. You declare it good. But you have no idea if god considers that good. You don’t know his plan?

                Yet you confidently declare that god has been pulling the strings so that you appear on Smalley’s show. You think it is good, therefore god. But you don’t actually know. That sounds like arrogance to me.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. David,

                  Let’s put it this way then, things can be “locally bad or good” from a human perspective- I can say if I do a great job on Smalley’s show that is good or if I flop big time that is bad. However, ultimately either way, regardless of what happens I an say from a “God’s eye-view perspective” is good either way as whatever ends up happening is what was meant to occur according to God’s Sovereign will; that’s why I see God’s providence in everything including the fact that I ate a cookie today and thus I have put my selfish pride of wanting “local good things” to happen for me (out of sheer selfishness) and say that well even if this thing totally backfires for me, overall things will work out best for the cause of God’s Kingdom.

                  I and everyone else know His plan, we just don’t know it in advance unless we are prophets and it is divinely revealed to us; if it happened, its His plan . This is the strong Sovereignty aspect of Molinism and where I agree with Calvinists about the Bible’s teaching, but I just can’t go along with their denial of the equally biblical notion that humans are free to choose. Now, yes I do believe after considering the factors that going on the show is His will but I don’t think going on CNN or Fox News for a short 3 min debate on this topic would be His plan since its impossible to present the case adequately in that short amount of time or in that type of format.

                  Ultimately, I guess I can’t argue with you if you guys have this stubborn notion that I’m arrogant in this matter. All I will say is that I’m not consciously being so and instead I’m trying to humble myself into taking advantage of an opportunity that God has given me here- it may be that His plan is to give me an opportunity to learn how badly one can mess up when representing Christ to millions of people- I don’t know (I hope not obviously), but all I can do is trust Him and do my best to follow what I think is His will.


              2. Dale,

                “I believe that whatever happens it will be for the benefit of God’s kingdom…”

                I’m sure whatever happens on the show won’t ultimately destroy any divine plan, but have you considered you may provide further skeptical fodder to a post-enlightenment generation who are increasingly estranged from Christianity and the transcendent more generally?

                You are an outlier even among hard-line Protestants in regard to entertaining the idea of killing for God. It is my observation that Christians with these excesses of youthly pious exuberance, moderate in the wisdom of their later years. And certainly the contemplatives, those who report and exhibit a deep communion with God, would never entertain killing under any circumstance.

                On the topic of contemplation/mediation which you mentioned in your latest Substance Dualism show, do you know of the mystical traditions within Christianity? Would you consider spending significant time in that endeavor? That might help you grasp the reaction you are getting to your killing for God statements. It would also expand your vision of God beyond the soul-saving Molinist in this speck of space/time/conscious experience.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Hey Anthony,

                  Yes I have very seriously and I can accept that could very well happen, it seems to have happened that way with you guys on here all the time and I don’t expect it will be much different on Smalley’s show- but I think I have something to offer that may be a little different (assuming Smalley gives me the leeway to present my case fully the way I want to)- it could lead to further skeptical fodder but it could also lead to further Christian conversion- maybe my interview is played 1000 years from now and people being more rational and less emotional at that time respond really well to it or something and thus convert to Christianity.

                  As to your advice, thanks for that, I think some points worthy of consideration for sure and I can’t say if in my later years my opinion would change or not- but this is an issue I have really looked into from multiple angles before coming to my conclusion, does that mean I know it all or can’t learn something new that may change my mind someday, of course not- I would love to relieve myself of having to defend a notion that serves mostly as an obstacle to having people believe in Christianity and inhibits their salvation but I can’t do that at the expense of the truth as I see it and having a bunch of old fogeys (lol- just kidding) continuously devaluing the validity of my conclusions based on detailed research and critical thought simply because I’m young (therefore implying I’m naive) just comes across to me as though its true what they say “you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks”.

                  But nonetheless, you offer some food for thought and so it would be hypocritical for me not to consider if there might not be some truth or wisdom in what you say, so thanks for your take here 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Hey Anthony…..

                  I’ve been listening to podcasts with Kastrup lately. His communication skills have vastly improved over the last 10 years imo. He’s become a much better communicator.

                  I thought I’d pass these links onto you…..


                  This next one I fell asleep to late last night, although I was really enjoying it. I will listen to it again today. I agree with him that first hand experience can break apart ones beliefs in regards to Scientific Materialism. I’ve done Shrooms, but for me it was deep meditation that totally falsified materialism for me. I’m starting to agree with Bernardo though. Materialism is so deeply woven into our culture that that ‘myth’ is threatening humanity. We now quantify everything. Oh well, time will tell. : (


                  Love and Light


    2. .

      If Dale….”explain(s) to David Smalley how he would gut his kid like a fish”…. that is a choice Dale alone will be making. Neither God nor Matter will be making that choice for him.

      Calvinism and Scientific Materialism ultimately equally deny free will. Ergo they are equally BSC.
      Free will is a ‘first person subjective conscious experience’ and that is ultimately all anyone ever has.
      Crazy Tara starts with the only Turtle that irrefutably exists.

      Love and Light


      1. “Free will is a ‘first person subjective conscious experience’ and that is ultimately all anyone ever has.”

        Well, 99% of the scientists who actually study the brain for a living and about 86% of philosophers who consider the question and philosophical arguments would disagree with you.

        So, either all those people that understand how the universe works are just crazy and don’t know what they are talking about, Or you don’t.

        I would guess that you have never actually looked into the science or the philosophy on the subject.

        Also given that the only thing you can produce is a naive intuition, and not any hard evidence or facts to back up your claim, can you think of any reason anyone should take you seriously? If you can’t, then can you think of any legitimate reason you should be harping on about something that is so obviously wrong?

        If you want to actually learn why philosophers don’t buy the free will arguments, here is a quick primer for you.

        Determinism vs Free Will:

        I know you don’t really care about what is real and what isn’t, instead just going with any story someone says that you happen to like, but there they are anyway. That is assuming of course you are interested in your arguments going beyond the “nuh-uh, you have a pile of rocks instead of brains” phase.


        1. .

          “99% of the scientists who actually study the brain ”

          As far as I know 100% of working Scientists are conscious….so clearly they are choosing (free will) to use their own subjectivity to interrogate the world they subjectively experience. Philosophers today and Scientists fall down the same rabbit hole. They start with assuming that anything can be objective, when clearly nothing can be. Everything is subjective, and to assume otherwise leads you chasing your own tail.

          Time, space, matter AND free will are all subjective experiences and I start and end there. I am a MONIST which always seems to trip people up. I don’t agree with everything Kastrup says, but he is still out there pushing Idealism and gaining acceptance. Idealism is the only worldview that can save freewill. If you start with God or Matter you must give up on free will. If you Darren are predestined pingpong ball particles , then why would I care what you have to say? I might as well be talking to a Zombie. xoxo

          Going for dogwalk…but try this perhaps..

          “The core of our intuition about freewill is that the determining factors must be internal to us as subjective agents. Because nothing outside subjectivity can be internal to us in that sense, materialism immediately defeats true freewill. But my formulation of idealism again endorses it: according to the metaphysics in the book, our individual psyches are split-off complexes of the cosmic mind within which the entirety of existence unfolds as parallel streams of experience. Since there is nothing outside this cosmic mind, all determining factors of each stream can only be internal to our true selves. Freewill is thus true.”

          Love and Light


          1. “As far as I know 100% of working Scientists are conscious….”

            Yep, they have even figured out the physical processes that go into creating consciousness.

            “… clearly they are choosing (free will) to use their own subjectivity to interrogate the world they subjectively experience.”

            I suppose that is one way to say you didn’t bother to watch the videos I presented since they explicitly address this issue.

            You do realize that you can repeat this as often as you like, but it doesn’t do much good since the people that actually understand the subject can see how terribly naive you are about free will, right?

            “They start with assuming that anything can be objective, when clearly nothing can be.”

            Again you are just obviously wrong here since you are sending this message on a computer that objectively and reliably uses the objective rules of reality to accomplish what it was designed to do.

            That you don’t get this very basic fact, while still using a computer, and still knowing you have to walk your dog or else your dog will objectively pee all over your house, just floors me.

            “Everything is subjective, and to assume otherwise leads you chasing your own tail.”

            Well, I suppose if we are just making stuff up.

            Everything is pixies, and to assume otherwise leads you to chasing your own tail.

            Everything is grilled cheese sandwiches, and to assume otherwise leads you to chasing your own tail.

            Eh… I prefer reality over making things up.

            “I am a MONIST which always seems to trip people up…..”

            Yeah, you won’t believe how much I don’t care which fairy tail you subscribe to. I’m more interested in what people can demonstrate to be accurate.

            Making baseless claims does nothing to get you there.

            “If you start with God or Matter you must give up on free will. If you Darren are predestined pingpong ball particles , then why would I care what you have to say? I might as well be talking to a Zombie. xoxo”

            Well, I suppose this is another way to show how truly ignorant on the subject you are. Matter doesn’t necessarily lead to zombie. Neither does determinism. But since you don’t bother to actually understand the positions you are critiquing, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

            “Since there is nothing outside this cosmic mind, all determining factors of each stream can only be internal to our true selves. Freewill is thus true.”

            Ohhh. We are making things up again.

            Since there is nothing outside of the pixie collective, all determining factors of each stream can only be internal to our true selves. Freewill is thus based on blueberries and dog poop and therefor is true.

            Or how about this.

            Free will it true because I am desperately afraid of it not being true. Therefore free will is true.

            Bigfoots roam the world which means that subjective worlds can careen towards each other and thus freewill is true.

            You may not like my phrases, but they add just as much weight to the idea of free will being true as the one you quoted above.


            1. “pixies”

              Consciousness is NOT pixie dust, it is irrefutabley the only aspect of reality that unquestionably exists. Scientific Materialism has taken that one fact, that is the ONLY fact of existence and relegated it to an emergent property of little or no real relevance to reality.

              That is the absurdity of our present day Scientific Materialistic myth.

              So yeh, I’m not watching Sye Ten Bruggencate videos, nor do I watch Materialistic Presuppositional videos. Same old same old culturally indoctrinated dangerous gibberish. Folks like Sean Carroll and David Eagleman are now boldly denying free will, which is a path that if followed would send humanity into a state of Chaos. It’s not Dale’s fault if he kills Tara…. it’s the mindless matter in his physical brain that is blame. Should we be incarcerating people because the Big Bang make people do horrendous things, no. Lock them up until we can chemically or mechanically rewire their brains.

              Frig….the future is looking a lot like 1984.

              I’m tweeking this quote a titch. Materialists have removed the word mind and replaced it with brain.

              ” Power is tearing human brains to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
              George Orwell.

              Love and Light


  6. @Dale
    My response was somewhat in jest and boiling your post down to caricature soundbites to make a point.

    Yes, we get that God and you win whatever happens thanks to M’D’ and yes you’re remaining consistent. But, you’re so far gone on this, you can no longer hear it. “I ate a cookie this morning, that was me fulfilling part of my divine mission” Dale, this is just hilarious and a little self-aggrandizing imho. The universe does not care about you to this extent or much at all. For evidence, see real-world.

    I agree with Anthony you should look into the Mystics side of things. Wasn’t it Henri Nouwen who worked with people with learning difficulties and said that he learnt more about god/Jesus/love from them than anything else? This is a far cry from the profession athlete-esque mental gymnastics we are presented with from you to square everything so it makes sense. Yet people with learning difficulties will probably have the ability to identify suffering as a major issue to the God hypothesis, but maybe not the hope of understanding all the theodicies to explain it. Well consider me as if I had learning difficulties. Every time you said study more, I think why? Why? I did that and I am not informed/bright enough or frankly bothered at times to call it. I have no idea. I’ve given it up to some extent as a bad endeavour. Interesting, but unsolvable from my perspective. But apparently, I’m not an honest seeker, because if I only just clicked all the research you post, I would finally see the light. Isn’t this counter to ‘my yoke is easy’? The burden of research you expect is anything but.

    Chill your boots about the Tara/Smalley thing- I’m messing with you. And, you’re not privy to the mssg Tara and I were having about how she nabbed him. nanananaah! and other playground tongue pulling antics. Either way, seriously, who cares!

    “I seem to recall reading comments from you on this message board trying to defend me against that very thing.”

    I’d like to withdraw my initially held out support about the murdering Tara business. I can understand if you’re acting in abject fear from an almighty god, one may carry out his orders. That’s it. That’s the only time I can concede a person might do such a thing. Beyond that, you’re on your own mate, as I do not think a loving god makes you gut your own kids and kill people as tests with wider outcomes that you can’t possibly know. If you can’t grasp this notion, fine. But I have enough moral fortitude that any god that asked me to kill my little niece can go do one. It is not a god of love, I have no track with this god and really nor should you.
    I’ve never defended you about slavery, nor will I.

    “Now as to spanking, yeah I don’t see anything wrong with it ….. I was spanked Sarah, its fine.”

    No it’s not. And you’re not, mate. 😉 Your moral compass is off. 😉 In fact, you may be the best advert for not doing it!! 😉 ;-):-0

    That someone as intelligent and researched as you, still believes in a literal Satan to pin half your arguments on, is astonishing. Outside the bible there is zero proof of Satan and within it the notion is all over the shot. It’s only because you’re sufficiently warranted to think the bible is the word of god that you believe the satan premise. This is just the old ‘it’s true because the bible says it’s true’ . There is no outside corroboration on Satan. And surely your M’D’ can’t get you out of this, because WITHOUT satan and a Fall, the max no of souls (sheer quantity) would be “saved” (though what from, becomes moot) and maybe the quality of soul goes down since there’s less freewill. But I thought it was always max no of souls in your theory. 😉

    Good luck on the Smalley show.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah,

      I was going to reply to some things here but there’s no point really- I thank you for your opinion (whether I think they are erroneous and misinformed or not), regardless they are your opinion of what I said, so happy to give you the last word on things here.

      One thing I will just say is that the God does care about me personally and about everything I do (no self-aggrandizing involved), the exact same applies to you and every human being on this planet- you know full well that according to Christianity humans like me (last I checked I was a human being) have a huge significance in God’s eyes and since you like to mess with me, allow me to return the favour by saying, who but for a emissary of Satan would try to say I or any human for that matter doesn’t have great importance and intrinsic value in themselves- I think even Smalley would have to agree with me on that one (as a humanist), I guess I can’t get down on your level and view humans as meaningless instruments like you do (irony intended as I know that’s what you skeptics falsely accuse me of given my MD).

      Take care,



      1. Miss-Informed and Erroneous are my middle names. 😉

        With regards being an emissary of Satan, remember I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and the theistic one for 94% of my life. I had no issue with being important to god, (healthy self esteem in part saw to that) until I thought of the immense arrogance of this idea. What does he want with me anyway? Are we going to banter, play cards, or am I just his worshiping pet, like someone who keeps ants. Pal around with your own kind Yahweh. Who am I that god should care? Nothing; I’m but a passing, temporary, short-lived speck.I’m not so arrogant as to think I have significance other than for the period of time I operate in with the people that are in my life. And that’s absolutely fine. More than that, it’s quite the relief. And beside, deep down you know God doesn’t love you, for you. Not really really. He only wants you in his club if you’ve jumped through his hoops and gone down the only one true path. He can only bare to look at you through his Jesus glasses as it is. Otherwise he’s happy to let you be tossed aside as you are expendable to him.

        I said the Universe doesn’t care about you. This doesn’t speak to the value we can confer on each other. Leaving theism doesn’t mean you devalue humanity. I never said anything remotely to that effect. If anything, my experience is that everyone I’ve listened to who has deconverted is MORE in awe of us humans precisely because we’re here; that we made it through the evolutionary process, that life is short and finite and to be prized. They are more tolerant and less judgmental because there’s not this disconnect between reality and your future heavenly self. Faults are there, without the need for a cosmic eraser. We’re human and that’s OK. In fact it’s amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol I have my days where they are my middle names too, so its all good there Sarah 🙂

          As to your answer- great you took my bait, I almost completely agree with you here and all I was trying to do is show that on Christianity being true, than God does exist and cares equally about every human being and what they do (whether it ranges from eating a cookie to going on Dogma Debates and making a fool of oneself for the cause of Christ). So here is a summary of my point in light of trying to better understand each other;

          1. Fake Position-Your complaints against me; you were mischaracterizing me to be saying I’m like a prophet or some how more special in God’s eyes than other human beings in terms of fulfilling his plans- I was not doing so, even people that we do look up to like Paul or Peter- they were all equally important to God as me or you and we all play our individual parts in God’s plan.

          2. Fake Position- My purposeful misharacterization of you; Absolutely, I know full well that you were not trying to say that my value or importance is any less than any other human being- we all bear the image of God biblically speaking but I wanted to give you a dose of your own to teach you what its like in my eyes when you falsely compare me to David Koresh who thinks he’s God’s gift to humanity or something- that’s not what I’ve been saying here.

          3. Actual Position- I think both of us agree that all human beings are of equal intrinsic value and importance (including Hitler), I know Tara will agree on this and from a Christian perspective we all equally bear the image of God and have a role in fulfilling his overall plan. I believe that regardless of the outcome, my going on to Smalley’s show is a part of that divine plan and hence this was one of the factors in my decision to go on and speak about a potentially dangerous topic with someone who is rhetorically speaking, very much my better.

          Now as to the Universe not caring- yeah of course it doesn’t, it doesn’t care about anything because its not a conscious being (though Tara would disagree on this). God is a conscious being and he cares about everything He created, especially human beings (which includes each and every single one of us)- remember the teaching about the sparrows or flowers being cared about by God, well how much more do you think He cares about humans like me.

          That is my point here and I don’t see how you can possibly disagree with it apart from imposing your beliefs onto me (such as there is no God) and expecting me to base my own life decision based on the standard of what you think is true or not- no I operate based on what I think is true as informed by what I believe are all the God-given paths to knowledge and paramount amoung those paths is the specific revelation as given in the Bible- this is a pretty standard Christian position to take.


      2. “God does care about me personally and about everything I do”

        This is where you trip up Dale. I know that it is the ‘god winks’ that are feeding into your extremely grandiose and dangerous Ego. You truly believe God is talking to you directly and those experiences ar making you feel really important. In psychology today this is called Thoughts of Reference, but it is based upon the Materialistic model of reality. Paul, David Koresh, Joseph Smith, Jim Jones also believed they were special and that God was communicating with them.

        I start with the bottom turtle, concsiousness. The physical brain is an experience the mind has.

        Therefore the ‘Christian God’ is talking to you because you believe in him and his ability to talk to you. Change your belief (Indirect Doxastic Voluntarianism) and you will change that conversation. Until you do, you are the little toddler looking into the mirror and waving at himself and getting excited because the boy in the mirror is waving back.

        Love and Light


        1. OK Tara,

          I find it hilarious that all of you guys are wanting to jump on me when all I did was start about letting you know that I was going on to Smalley’s show to discuss the topic you always wanted to hear and I even thanked you for your involvement albeit in proper measure as I think others deserve more credit in that regards.

          So how the heck did we get down this rabbit hole where I’m all of sudden comparable to David Koresh or Jospeh Smith- you skeptics are so eager to attack the slightest thing Christians say that I’ve now become some cult leader simply because I’ve chosen to go on Smalley’s show for the benefit of God, myself, David and the listeners- the logic is so twisted from you guys that it is truly baffling.


          1. Have you considered that Christian logic is just as baffling to us? You are living proof that Christians have lost the ability to hear themselves when they speak Christianese.


          2. “I even thanked you….blah blah blah…”

            This son is the ‘bottom turtle’ of your personality disorder imo. It’s all about ego. You think I give a shiz who signs up guests? Trust me I don’t. None of this has ever been even remotely about me.

            Whereas….. it’s always ALWAYS about YOU when it comes to everything. God and his commandmends and SS and SU and Jesus Toast and Habermas and Smalley and Killing me etc etc etc …. is always about you. The reason your God is so very insecure and immoral Dale, is because you are extremely insecure and immoral.

            What is are your Mom and Dad like?
            Did they give you unconditional love?
            Because I don’t know whether you’re inability to think about someone other than yourself, is more nature or more nuture?

            Whatever the case may be, I find you equally sad and potentially dangerous.

            Love and Light


          3. .

            Narcissistic Personality Disorder…


            No Tara isn’t a psychologist. Does anyone think I give ‘2 shizs’ about that everyone?
            It’s likely a thin line between being narcissistic and being very self confident.
            I’m fully aware that I walk that tightrope myself. 😉

            Love and Light


            1. You people are officially insane- I thanked you for doing your bit with Smalley but just said I would keep it real by saying that others deserved more credit than you, that’s it- this is perfectly fair to say, I mean are you people taking drugs or something.

              Fine I take it back, I don’t thank you at all; shame on me for trying to say something nice to and about you, I should have known that my recognizing the efforts of others was completely narcissistic- what a fool I was.

              Thank goodness for you, David J. and Sarah to point out the error of my selfish and egotistical ways; instead I should have said “I would like to thank only myself for being so brilliant that I wowed Smalley into letting me on his show, he doesn’t stand a chance against me of course as my rhetorical whit and sheer intelligence will force his ignorant and foolish arguments to be exposed for the nonsense that they are”. Of course, according to you skeptics giving any due credit to God, Tara, David J. and/or David Smalley or admitting that I have to be humble enough to recognize and accept the risk of being ripped to shreds on defending a controversial topic but still be willing to do so for the sake of others- Yeah, I see what you skeptics mean, how selfish and narcissistic of me 😛 I realize now that I deserve all the credit for everything; sliced bread, chocolate and peanut butter- yeah that was all me too! Am I coming across less selfish/narcissistic now that I’ve stopped having the audacity to show appreciation for others????

              Give me a break, you guys are completely backwards and this will have to be my last word on this matter before I say something I regret and now under my promise I can’t delete it.


              1. Take it easy my friend. You haven’t said anything we all haven’t said at one point. I just wanted you to understand that the language of Christianity sounds as crazy to outsiders as we sound to you. Remember, most of us have been on both sides.

                Those of us who advised caution about going on the Smalley show did so because we care about you. If we didn’t, we would have advised you to go full steam ahead for the entertainment value alone. If we have been a little hard on you, it is partly to give you the smallest taste of what you are in for.

                We don’t want to see you hurt, or to see you become a laughing stock, or any such thing. I put up with Christianese all the time. But I thought it might benefit you to get a little push back for saying the kinds of things you are going to get verbally crucified for saying on the show. It might not feel like it now. But it all comes from a good place. I will leave you be. Sorry for causing offense.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. David,

                  Alright cool, I thought that might be what’s going on there but you guys seemed persistent, so I was beginning to think it might be real for a sec and of course no offense taken- I was just flummoxed as to what started all this given that all I said whih kicked this off was to thank Tara for her bit but also thank God and Smalley more.

                  I will try to contact you tomorrow so we can do the practice run of my argument with Smalley- it all depends on whether he will give me the leeway to say what I want though, so I’m hoping he will be willing to do that for me. Would you have 30 mins or so tomorrow at some point?

                  EDIT- I forgot that tomorrow is Friday- I meant Sat after we are finished recording the show with our special guest

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. .

                I skimmed down that post… to work soon.
                You think God is talking to you…right? You won’t open up about the ‘spiritual experences’ you are having, but imo just like Justin Brierely you think God is talking to you.
                God has time to communicate with you, line up Smalley, but doesn’t have time to idk…communicate with Dandbj or Sarah?

                It’s ME’ism on steriods Dale and is the same problem that all Christians have.

                You …..before everyone else.
                You would kill ME to save yourself from God’s wrath.
                Neither I …..nor dandbj….nor Sarah….nor Jim….nor Tyler….nor nor nor etc etc etc would kill people upon command of God.
                Because they don’t suffer from ME’ism. You do.

                Love and Light



  7. Good interview, guys. I’m struck by how similar Bart Campolo’s and Sean McDowell’s voices sound in audio.

    Prof MTH on youtube did a great series a while back pushing back on the Die for a Lie issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, hey Bryan- you know what I noticed the same thing- it was weird, I was like did they smuggle in Sean to impersonate Bart at times haha 😛

      Anyways, glad you liked the show, I hope you found it and the sources helpful in some way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I watched all 8 parts. Thanks for the link.

      Liked by 1 person

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