Tag Archives: presuppositional apologetics

Does European imperialism disqualify the truth of the bible?

One of the most common objections to the Christian Faith is usually along these lines: Christianity was brought to Africa by evil European colonizers with the intent of subduing Africans.

In fact the atheist usually just assumes that this statement alone is enough evidence to embarrass believers into renouncing their faith or to stop unbelievers from ever becoming Christians.

Yet the atheist quotes from god hating, and likeminded European philosophers and even uses the tongue of the colonizers to communicate his hatred for a “European god”. He fails to even realise that these very actions must refute his own argument. If supposedly everything that colonisers used to subdue Africans is bad then Africans should not use anything that Europeans used to subdue Africans, this should basically include the language, and the philosophy of the colonisers.

Yet the atheist doesn’t see this contradiction because he thinks of self as wise. Any student of apologetics must learn to identify self refuting arguments and specifically the argument against Christianity on the basis of colonialism whenever the atheist deploys this argument even if it is veiled in myriad of verbosity.

In this article I deal with self contradictory claims of an atheist Shingai Ndoro who loves to state that the idea of “God” was brought about by Europeans and thus must be rejected on account of it being a bad idea since it was an invention of the Europeans who also happened to be cruel colonisers.

VA NDORO: “Almighty God” violates the principles of secularity and human diversity and inclusivity because it assumes that every citizen of a country is theistic and therefore agrees to the existence of a God… ….. God is religiously assumed (thus not factual) as a humanoid force with superior powers over the lives of people, is claimed to determine a future by supplication, guides and support lives, and is owed unquestioning submission and obedience.

“God” is anthropological or humanoid figure imagined by some obscure Europeans derived from the creative myths of ancient civilizations.

A commonly used word doesn’t make it true for continued usage for both secular humanist and religious references. The Republic of Zimbabwe cannot constitutionally use public resources to compel anyone to subscribe to a colonial humanoid figure.

What kind of an identity is that for confident Africans with individual and collective agency who immortalize a colonial humanoid creature?

KUWENGA: According to Va Ndoro, the inclusion of the phrase “Almighty God” in the preamble of the constitution of Zimbabwe, an independent African country was a waste of money and an inappropriate inclusion since according to him the “Almighty God” is not real but supposedly a mythical European being, an idea he claims was borrowed from European colonisers, who it seems must be hated just as much as any of their ideas.

According to Va Ndoro European ideas are not for independent African countries.

He doesn’t attack the idea of even having a constitution even though constitutionalism in its current form is a European concept and specifically one that was carried over from the former oppressive and very brutal European colonisers.

VA Ndoro might argue that constitutionalism is not a mythical idea but the idea of God is mythical, hence on that basis might claim that he supports constitutionalism even though it is a European concept.

The question then is; suppose God is a myth by what standard does Va Ndoro judge myths to be undesirable, what if we love myths? How can it be judged to be wrong by an objective standard if anyone loves myths? If he calls the belief in God a myth on the basis that God cannot be sensed it by way of the five senses then can Va Ndoro deny the existence of propositions and language all which are but non material things that can neither be touched seen or sensed in any way by any of the five senses.

.It is interesting to note that Va Ndoro does not realise that even bible believing Christians would not claim that the phrase Almighty God refers to their own God. Reason being the bible reveals God to be 3 persons in one essence.

So in other words since the phrase “Almighty God” in the Zimbabwean constitution makes no reference to the Trinity, Va Ndoro’s veiled attack on Christianity falls to the ground because in actual fact the statement “Almighty God” does not actually refer to the Christian God.

Va Ndoro’s assertion that the inclusion of the phrase “Almighty God” in the constitutional preamble is outright favouritism to those who are theistic can only be applied to Christians if the god that Va Ndoro describes as a European human figure is the god that Christians worship. However Va Ndoro’s idea of “god” is indeed strange to Christians. We can safely conclude that the constitutional preamble doesn’t have anything to do with placing Christians over atheists like Va Ndoro claims.

Va Ndoro claims that to include the phrase “Almighty God” in a constitution is an abuse or in his words a violation to principles of secularity and human diversity. He makes it seem that these principles are an objective standard.

We ask, how and why He thinks these principles of all standards, are the most objective standard by which human affairs should be regulated. Whatever answer he might bring to justify his standard should fall to the ground because if He believes in human diversity and secularity as the standard by which the constitution preamble must have been written then by what token does He impose this standard over everybody else who might reject this standard?

If Va Ndoro insists on His standard, How is this different from those he accuses of imposing their theistic idea over everyone as he claims was done by theists on the Zimbabwean constitution?

Is it not interesting that though showing dislike for domination of others over him to a point of even condemning “God” on the basis that He was “imposed” by European colonisers, Va Ndoro actually is undeterred in His quest to impose His own ideas? Is this not clear evidence of self contradiction that Va Ndoro behaves in a way that He would never want to see others behave?

The unbeliever [ Va Ndoro ] thinks that by having the phrase Almighty God in the preamble of the constitution the government wasted public resources on promoting a god who he claims is merely a mythical European humanoid figure. I object to this assertion unless The Triune God is a mythical European figure, but since this is not the case Va Ndoro’s criticism has nothing to do with Christianity, which He nevertheless continues to attack. As is always the case, atheists in their rebellion against God never make any sense.

Va Ndoro fights straw men, He describes the God of Christians in ways opposite to the bible by calling Our God a European. Va Ndoro does not want a “European god” to appear in a European constitution according to European ideas of secularity and human diversity in a European language [English].

VA NDORO : This English word “God” (originally common Germanic “Gott/Gawd/Gaud”) was imported into Christianity after the 9th century. “Gad is a Syrian or Canaanite deity of good luck or fortune. In Hebrew, it is written GD, but with Masoretic vowel-pointing, it gives us ‘Gad’. Other Scriptural references to a similar deity, also written GD, have a vowel-pointing giving us ‘Gawd’ or ‘God’. Gad is identified with Jupiter, the Sky-deity or the Sun-deity.” (Tyndale Archive) The 11th edition of “Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910–11) says, “God — the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship … applied to all those superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies.

The word ‘god’ on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being…” Webster’s 20th Century Dictionary (Unabridged 1st Edition – 1938), says, “The word is common to Teutonic tongues … It was applied to heathen deities and later, when the Teutonic peoples were converted to Christianity, the word was elevated to the Christian sense.”

James Hastings in “Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics” (1908-1927) adds, “After the conversion of the Teutons to Christianity the word came to be applied also to the Christian Deity …

Its etymology and its original meaning are obscure, and have been much debated.” JGR Forlong in “Faiths of Man, a Cyclopaedia of Religions” (1906) on “God” says, “It is remarkable that philologists are unable to decide the origin of this familiar Teutonic word.”

According to Julius Pokorny’s “Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch” (The Indo-European Etymological Dictionary) only one German word resembles “god” and this is “ghodh”; and this word means “sexual union or mating”.

According to “Luneburger Wörterbuch, the following are the same word: “gott, got, gode, gade, god and guth (gud).” Before the importation of the Germanic term “gott/gawd/gaud” into Christianity, Christians had it in Latin as “deus”, derived from the word “deiuos” which refers to the idea of a luminous sky or radiance. In Greek, the humanoid force that created and sustains the universe and life was generically called “theos” (Strong’s Greek Concordance #G2316).

So when someone mentions “God” in your presence, where possible make it known that “God” is a common Germanic (Teutonic) mythical ancestor (“gott/gawd/gaud”), a Germanic “union, even sexual union (to mate)” (“ghodh/ghadh”) or a deity of fortune and luck (“gad”) for the Syrians or Canaanites (Isaiah 65:11) associated with the Greek Zeus (Strong’s Concordance #G2203) and the Roman Jupiter.

KUWENGA: Va Ndoro goes on to explain the origin of the word god in an attempt to prove it’s origins from amongst some myths, legends and languages of Europe, The conclusions of his research though full of holes will not be contested here nevertheless I want to bring your attention to this: that Va Ndoro in his attempt to prove “god” as an idea of former European oppressors thus undesirable in an African country, He nevertheless does not attack other ideas of European origin like secularity and constitutionalism. He praises these ideas, promotes and even defends these ideas, those he does not promote or attack he simply ignores them as harmless!

In other words Va Ndoro hates God because according to his imaginations God is a European and since Europeans oppressed Africans, the European idea must be hated in turn. Yet the question is, does He hate European constitutionalism and secularity even though it must be the same bad people who introduced these concepts.

As you realise, Va Ndoro’s arguments have nothing to do with desire to stay true to an African identity, rather Va Ndoro’s arguments are arguments of a rebellious man who hates God.

The bible shows clearly how men who reject the gospel behave, they think of themselves as wise though in reality foolish, they are living in rebellion.

Being foolish, say in their hearts that they is no God They are carnal man does not understand the things of the Spirit because the things of the Spirit are Spiritually discerned because they are perishing to them the gospel is foolishness. This, my friends is the sad state of the unbeliever

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Is the Bible horrible just because it was misused by slave traders and owners?


Here is an article where I refute an objection from an unbeliever who asserts that the bible was used to justify and perpetuate slavery as well as to controll masses, Initially I intended to refute this implied objection in his question together with other objections from unbelievers in a single post when it occured to me that they was so much to deal with within this objection, so I decided that it would better if I created a single post specifically to deal with this very common objection. Of course in the phrasing of the question the objection is not even stated, the unbeliever as is in many other cases has merely asserted, however obviously the objection is implied.

So here is the question from the unbeliever in brackets below: 
[[ Have you read it? [ the bible ] Its a horrible boring book that was only used to control the masses. The slave masters and traders used the bible and the bible condones slavery and you follow it? ]]

Immidiately upon reading this question my reaction was: if some slave traders and slave owners made use of the bible to justify and perpetuate slavery does that make the bible horrible, boring and false, Does that make the Triune God non existent? Of course the unbeliever in this question does not explicitly assert that His assertion implies that the bible is false, but its clear as is always the case that when believers bring these kinds of questions, they do so because they want to use these statements to redicule and dismiss Christianity as false.
The unbeliever claims the bible is boring and horrible!
How does the unbeliever know that the bible is horrible, and what’s His definition of Horrible and what reason do I or any believer have to accept that definition as not merely based on opinion and not on fact. What rule and whose rule says that if a book is used to control the masses it becomes horrible? What does it even mean to control the masses? 

The unbeliever asserts that the bible was only used for the sole purpose of controlling the masses.
 By making the above assertion the unbeliever further implies that: he is transcendent and therefore knows that the bible has without exception everytime always been used for mass control. Of course the unbeliever is not transcendent, nor is any other human being, that being the case the unbeliever’s assertion is invalid.

 And then the unbeliever asks ” and you follow it” I follow the Transcendent and Triune God who has revealed Himself in the bible, who is Himself the creator of the universe, originator of all propositions of scripture, the laws of logic, morality and the order in the universe. This Transcendent and Triune God is the originator of His word and all propositions therein by which when I read He uses the occassion to directly communicates His truth to me. So yes I follow the God of the bible.

SLAVERY!

Now the unbeliever brings up two issues pertaining slavery which we deal with in the rest of this article; 

1. That the slave traders and Slave owners used the bible to justify and perpetuate slavery and 2. that the bible condones slavery. Now lets assess the first claim. 

The Slave Masters & traders, He claims used the bible and he does not explain specifically how they made use of the bible, could it be they used its contents to justify slave trade and slave ownership or did they make use of the bible to subjugate the the slaves. 

Either way the claim that the bible was used by slave masters is common and keeps coming up. Its almost always emotionally charged and rarely is it followed by a detailed explanation of what “to use the bible in slave trade” even means. The unbeliever’s approach in not explaining the phrase “The slave masters used the bible” may rest in the assumption on his part that everyone is aware of how exactly the TransAtlantic slave treaders and American slave owners used the bible. 

Now the first question is, on what moral basis does the unbeliever consider slavery to be evil? He may argue that humans have built in kindness and goodness thus are surely aware of right and wrong torwads each other. How does the unbeliever know this? Can he know for sure that he has an incorporeal and nonmaterial mind in which goodness is inherent? How does he know? 
If a believer said all men have an inbuilt knowledge of what is right and wrong, I would not have a problem with his statement for He could easily explain according to Romans 2:15 that God has written the law in the hearts of men. Of course the unbeliever having realised He cannot explain the source of the goodness and kindness within, will argue that it doesn’t matter how one knows slavery is wrong, well I could as well argue and say Slavery is right, why would that be wrong? He may say that Slavery is wrong because its illegal. 

I could argue that Once upon a time slavery was actually legal in the United States of America and in many other places, but does the legality of something make it right? We can go back and forth and its clear the unbeliever cites his human nature, the law of the particular nation in which he resides in as a source of morals, but as we have already seen the laws of nations do change as citizens and rulers thereof may decide over time, some even believe to this day that slave trade and ownership of slaves in the context of the TransAtlantic slave and consequense thereof is a good thing. Why would those who support slavery be considerd to be immoral and wrong? and by whose standard can their view be considerd to be wrong? The unbeliever might again claim that those who support slavery are wrong are going the human nature, but he has no way of proving this yet as a believer I can easily understand that I must love my neigbour as I love myself because the bible says so. its clear that humans are not the utimate reference point, for by human standards apart from God, what maybe right today maybe wrong tomorow.

 Prostitution was once considerd a crime in many countries accross the world however nowadays many have decriminalized prostitution. 

The question is, why is prostitution wrong to some and right to some, Why are prostitutes in Country A arrested and jailed while Country B does not arrest prostitutes? Why is polygamy illegal in the United States, Israel but legal in Zimbabwe and Kenya? 

Why is homosexuality considerd a crime in Russia and legal in Australia? Isnt it apparent the laws of the nations themselves cannot come up with an objective standard, for objective in human terms is subjective not objective.

 Therefore its clear that the unbeliever has no objective moral basis for claiming that anything is wrong. Anything objective must come from that which transcends humanity itself, since finite minds cannot even formulate a uniform legal system and justify it as objective. That which transcends humanity is God and its God who is the creator and Law Giver! Thats not to say that the unbeliever will not disagree with the law written on His heart, of course living in rebellion the unbeliever will disagree that the source of the law is beyond him and many times will go against this law.

The unbeliever cannot even claim that slavery, abortion, adultery, prostitution, theft, fraud and lying are objectively wrong! because the myriad of human wordviews will soon contradict each other, Some worldviews justify lying and even murder under certain circumstances. Some justify adultery and prostitution. 

Yet only the Biblical worldview is self evidently true and consistent, The bible is the revelation of a Trancendent Triune God who is Creator of all including morality and Its on the basis of the Bible that a coherent worldview can be formulated and its on this basis that I can objectively declare biblical slavery was right while American slavery and the TransAtlantic slave trade where very evil.

Unbelievers reject the fact that God created the world and most usually accept evolution as a correct explanation for the origin of human life.
 However evolution cannot explain the origin of morals. The unbeliever by rejecting God must accept an explanation for the source of morals from the theory of evolution, humanism, naturalism or from all three or more, that nevertheless cannot explain the source of morals other than simply saying “humans are naturally kind”. If the unbeliever accepts evolution then the question is, If humans evolved out of tiny pieces of matter, the matter which had also come out from nothing, then humans are just heaps of matter. 

As the theory of evolution asserts the animals best suited to the conditions of nature survive, how are good morals even necessary to help humans survive? I mean having slaves must mean more food can be produced for the slave owner in order to help Him survive, Therefore slavery has nothing or should having nothing to do with morality if the unbeliever accepts evolution since evolution must justify slavery on the basis that the enslavers are merely trying to survive and thus have enslaved other humans to accomplish this goal.

 Evolution would not even account for the reason why its bad to enslave fellow humans. In fact slavery was largely out of racial predijuce based on the theory that Africans where less human and therefore found proper use as slaves. 

The Unbeliever will assert that even if racism was key in the slave trader’s philosophy the bible too was used as basis for slavery because according to the believer the bible condones slavery. 
This is despite the fact that while American slavery was way different from biblical slavery, Among othe differences are, In the bible the slave owner who murderd a slave was to be killed in turn, The slave was to enjoy sabbath rest, In the bible the slave was not to be chained and mistreated, This, the unbeliever will not even bother to look at, yet clearly this is way opposed to the brutual slavery of the U.S where the slave was by law mere property of the owner, property that the slave owner could treat and dispose of as he willed.

When the unbeliever asserts “but the bible condones slavery” we dont even have to open the bible to respond to his implied objection for two reasons. First of all the unbeliever has no moral grounds to assert that slavery is wrong, none at all in fact its the evolutionary worldview that has everything in common with slavery since by its survival of the fittest narrative slavery cannot be possibly wrong.

 Even if He does not believe evolution is the correct explanation, there is no other worldview that he can turn to in order to expplain morality.
Secondly the unbeliever does not accept what the bible says anywhere, to Him we can not be possibly right, to him the bible is false and of course the unbeliever’s arguement that the bible is false refutes his claims that the bible condones slavery, here is why: If the bible is false then slavery actually never existed in the ancient Israel contrary to what the bible explains. In fact, it means Israel actually never existed contrary to what bible says, also it also means that the accounts pertaining slavery in the new testament are false. 
Thus the unbeliever has no right to point to the bible and say “look they is slavery therein”, because having already asserted that the bible is false it follows that the false bible is unreliable and cannot be used as basis for extracting truth claims since its a false document. One might actually think that its impolite not to explain to the unbeliver what the bible has to say about slavery. This is not at all impolite, in fact its the correct way to deal with the beleiver.
 Unbelievers no matter how corteous are pretentious at best, they live and speak in rebellion and are just as much in spite of your careful explanation bent on concluding that the bible is a lie. Unbelievers commonly say the bible is a lie and never accept any of what it says for instance about the age of the earth, the creation of humans by God, why would anyone think contary to what the bible says that unbelievers all of a sudden will accept that the bible is true and hence slavery accounts in the bible are true? See! You cannot have unbelievers accepting what they want out of the bible and rejecting what they dont want just so as to further their own rebellion and disbelief.
 To accept certain parts of God’s revelation and reject other parts is illogical, The pressuposition of a Christian is that the Bible as a whole is the word of God and its true.
 The Bible cannot be possibly true and false at the same time to us Christians, Rather its true in its entirety.
 Since the bible is not true and false at the same time then the bible does not contradict the Law of Non Contradiction, which says that Something cannot be both true and false at the same time. 
Yet since God Himself is Logic and Truth it follows that God’s word is TRUE and always TRUE. Well unbelievers and even some false believers may disagree about God aand and Logic but here is an explanation from W. Gary Crompton on the subject of God and Logic
“This is what the Bible teaches. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is a rational being, the “LORD God of truth” (Psalm 31:5). So much does the Bible speak of God as the God of logic, that in John 1:1 Jesus Christ is called the “Logic” of God: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God” (the English word “logic” is derived from the Greek word Logos used in this verse). John 1:1 emphasizes the rationality of God the Son. Logic is as eternal as God himself because “the Logos is God.” Christ, then, we are told in the Bible, is the logic (Logos) of God (John 1:1); He is Reason, Wisdom, and Truth incarnate (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; Colossians 2:3; John 14:6). The laws of logic are not created by God or man; they are the way God thinks. And since the Scriptures are a part of the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:16), they are God‟s logical thoughts. The Bible expresses the mind of God in a logically coherent fashion to mankind. Hence, God and logic cannot be separated, because logic is the characteristic of God‟s thinking. Gordon Clark taught that God and logic are one and the same first principle in this sense, for John wrote that Logic was God.” – W. Gary Crampton, The Trinity Review no. 298, 4

However to the unbeliever who is illogical and abitrary, The word of God is not a wholesome unit, therefore its true only when He sees it fit and false when he sees it fit. Thus to the unbeliever the bible is true and false at the same time, and like we already said this is a logical impossibility, and since its a logical imposibility the unbeliever must be shown His folly and must not be fed with precious scripture on the issue of slavery.
[ PROVERBS 26:4-5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit KJV ]
The unbeliever must never be answerd on the basis of His otherwise false pressupositions for instance when the unbeliever asserts that the bible is bad because someone misused and misinterpreted [ of course the unbeliever wont say the bible was misnterpreted, or wont even accept this fact ] to perpetuate slave trade, I am to respond to the believer in a way that proves His worldview as faulty,For its His worldview that helps shape a false assertion. I am not to even open the bible to prove to him that his assertion is unfortunate, I am to show Him that His worldview that gave birth to the assertion is faulty and carries no basis for even dismissing scripture as faulty on the basis of its misuse such as in the case of slave owners and traders.

N O T E S
1. Vincent Cheung, Ultimate Questions, 20
2. W. Gary Crampton, The Trinity Review no. 298, 4

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