Author Topic: The Great Christian Debate...umm yeah how about "grate" instead  (Read 145 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Hello, everyone. As Tyler insisted multiple times, I am finally getting onto Marshall Brain’s second e-book Why Won’t God Heal Amputees.

For the record, Marshall Brain’s second book is, to me, a redo of his other e-book 50 Proofs except this happens to be much longer and more in-depth. Frankly, it’s not that much different to read than listening or reading one of his videos or his books. Now enough of literary critique, onto actual refutation to his writings.

Chapter 5, which is where Marshall Brain begins his real arguments, deals with a prayer question, “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” He goes through what he believes is the biblical principle of prayer. Below is the link:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm

I believe that Tyler has sufficiently dealt with prayer, and when I’m done with the chapters dealing with prayer I’ll make a whole post relating to how Brain has been far wrong in his beliefs. So what shall I do with Chapter 5 of the book? I think I’ll answer the question more directly. Why won’t God heal amputees?

The simple answer is that God will heal amputees. Paul explained this subject in his first letter to the Corinthians:

    But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies… The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:35-36, 42-44) (Ellipsis mine)

Paul compared the body to a seed. If a seed perishes, it creates a tree. So what this means is that if your “seed”, the body, has been amputated, that will not matter when you are resurrected because your arm will have grown back from the power of God.

One of the main complaints of Marshall Brain is that the verses relating to receiving what you ask for does not work. I beg to differ, though. I think that if you pray for your arm to be given back to you, you’ll receive it, just be patient.

Besides praying, we need to be forgiven first. Of course, prayer only would work if you already have been forgiven since you need a new relationship with God.

So Marshall Brain is wrong, amputees will receive their limbs back when God says so. They’ll receive exactly what they want when they have done their part of the bargain.

Of course, that is not what Brain wants. He wants to see people’s limbs grown back now, or else God is imaginary. This is what I think many people want from God instead of trusting his timing. Even a prophet believed that God’s timing was wrong.

Habbakuk asked God why he tolerates evil and why He won’t do anything about it. God’s answer: I do not tolerate evil and I will do something about it. In Habbakuk’s scenario, God did something about the evil in Israel.

Marshall Brain is asking the same thing only for suffering. Why won’t God heal everything now? It is obvious, though, that God will heal everything. He even promises a whole new universe and comfort in this one. Why don’t we trust His timing, which is better than ours all the time, instead of our own?

Maybe instead or praying God to heal amputees, we should ask God to heal the heart of that amputee if he has not been saved. If that problem is solved, then that arm or leg will not be a problem later on.



It has been a while since we got back with Marshall Brain, author of God is Imaginary and Why Won’t God Heal Amputees. Last time, he asked us why doesn’t God heal amputees. I found it a simple-minded question and pointed out that God really does answer this prayer. God will heal that amputee with faith in a new body. A commenter also noted that Brain fails to attribute any healing to God if it happens. This is precisely what we are getting onto next.

Before we go further, I want to point something out about last time. When I say that God heals amputees, I mean that God answers all prayer. Therefore, let’s go through several verses Marshall Brain pulls out  from the Bible.

    If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)

God really does answer your prayer. That is, unless you have a selfish prayer labeled in James 4:3.

    When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

“But Jacob,” Marshall would say, “amputees just want to have their arm back. What about those people in Boston whose legs were removed due to so much shrapnel? Their prayer can’t be selfish.”

First of all, the example is logically invalid as an appeal to pity (which Brain commits whole sections to in his e-book). Second of all, those prayers could very well be selfish. We don’t know what is actually desirable, so God will show us what to do when he redirects the answer, which He always does. Job in his book wanted to die with all his sufferings and wanted God to do just that, but God didn’t kill him just because that’s what he desired. No! Instead, God rebuked his simple-minded prayer and argument — “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” — and answers with doubling Job’s fortune and shows us that He was sending Job through refinement, as Peter would say in 1 Peter 1:7.

So how can this relate to someone like a Boston massacre victim? Well, what if a Christian amputee has time now to minister to a fellow victim and it changes his or her life? For someone who is already going to live forever and not only have their arm back but a whole body to go with it, is it not more desirable to reach out and minister than never have such an opportunity? A painful and absolutely tragic opportunity, yes, but one that has its reward.

So now we get on with the question of why do we have things such as health insurance if God is supposed to heal us just like the Bible says? Marshall Brain has this to say –

    “Simply think it through. If what Jesus says about prayer in the Bible is true, and if all the stories about medical miracles in inspirational literature are true, and if the cure of Jeanna Giese is true, and if your belief in God and the power of prayer is true, and if God has a plan for you, then why do you ever need to visit a doctor or go to the hospital? Why don’t you simply pray for a cure whenever you get sick? In fact, why not pray preemptively every day — ‘Dear God, I have faith that you will protect me from all illnesses today, Amen’ — and go through your life completely healthy?”

The commenter I mentioned above, Daniel Wilson, I believe hits the nail on the head. He said this after my first post.

    “If God healed amputees the way he wanted, he would respond ‘Obviously the human body is capable of reginerating limbs.’ … He chooses to not see miracles and when he witnesses miracles, he attributes it to science.”

This is exactly the point I wish to make. If God created everything, then He created health insurance or at least the means for people to make it. Everything good that happens is thanks to God. None of it is accomplished solely by human power. If God never structured our world to include health insurance, many would not have the money to pay for expenses such as medical care.

I love this example and I’ll use it again. Consider a man stranded at sea for days. He calls out to God to rescue Him before he drowns. A boat comes along and spots him. It throws out a life preserver and the captain calls for the man to hold onto it so they may pull him in.

“No, no,” the man responds, “God will rescue me, I prayed to Him.” After failure to reason with him, the captain moves the ship away.

The man cries out again when he realized he was sinking. Then, a helicopter flies over and the pilot tells him to grab onto a rope he threw down. The man gives the same response and the helicopter flies away.

The man, as he is about to drown, cries out one last time. A rowboat comes through and the man holds out his hand saying that it was his only hope. The man gave the same response and then drowned.

In Heaven, the man asked God why he just allowed Him to drown and didn’t save him. God answered, “I sent you a ship, a helicopter, and a rowboat, what did you want to be saved by?”

So I ask this to both you readers and Mr. Brain, is God only allowed to perform miracles the way you want Him? Is He only the God who heals people by saying so to their faces and not the God who sends people a good insurance policy? God can control all things, but only those things that look cool.

It is understandable that we focus on the great miracles God performs and not the small ones. After all, would we be inspired by a sermon on God’s omnipotence when the pastor says God can do the dishes or vacuum the floor? However, we cannot overlook the fact that God made everything and made it so that the normal things of life become our miracle.

So next time you are in the hospital and you ask God to provide the means to heal you, expect a check from your insurance provider.

~Jacob

My favorite:

First of all, the example is logically invalid as an appeal to pity (which Brain commits whole sections to in his e-book). Second of all, those prayers could very well be selfish.

Oh yeah, for asking a supposedly all wise being with infinite power who wants to help us he just has to take the current route of being absolutely indistinguishable from being non existent....except in an ancient book of tales just at a time when people didn't understand science or could fact check.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Aaron123

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Re: The Great Christian Debate...umm yeah how about "grate" instead
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 12:55:34 AM »
That's a very long-winded way of saying "you should expect god to do nothing, and shame on you for expecting him to do something!"

Despite all those words, I still have no idea how this is any different than what we'd expect from a non-existence being.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: The Great Christian Debate...umm yeah how about "grate" instead
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 08:55:18 AM »
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Offline Hatter23

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An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: The Great Christian Debate...umm yeah how about "grate" instead
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 11:08:36 AM »
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One of the main complaints of Marshall Brain is that the verses relating to receiving what you ask for does not work. I beg to differ, though. I think that if you pray for your arm to be given back to you, you’ll receive it, just be patient.

This stood out like a sore missing thumb.

Isn't it funny how only amputees need to "just be patient" when pretty much any other malady can be "cured" as quickly as instantaneously (as with some of the alleged Lourdes "miracles")?
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