1. Standard memberdj2becker
    Tiger's ghost
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    31 Oct '06 08:28
    I don't work crossword puzzles regularly, but I love trying to solve them
    on airplanes. On a recent lengthy flight, my enjoyment of the puzzle I
    was working waned swiftly as I realized there was no way I was going to be able to complete it. Though I had filled in about ninety percent of the boxes, the remaining ten percent had stumped me, and there was no one in the seat next to me to bail me out. The beauty of crossword puzzles is that as you fill in the answers you know, you become able to fill in even answers to the clues you don't know, based on the letters that overlap.

    But it wasn't working this time.

    When I finally gave up and looked at the solution, I discovered the
    problem. One of the answers I had been most certain about was incorrect.

    I was sure that a five-letter word meaning "GLOWER" could be none other than "FROWN," especially since I knew that the fourth letter needed to be a "W". In fact, the answer that I needed was "SCOWL," which made the rest of the crossword fall nicely into place. It was an honest mistake, but one with calamitous implications for the rest of the puzzle.

    The search for a coherent worldview is not unlike solving a crossword
    puzzle, in the sense that the pieces of the puzzle must all fit in order
    to get the solution. There is no one starting place from which one can
    build a worldview. Premises stand or fall together, and the coherence of
    the premises as a whole outweighs the importance of any one premise.

    A coherent worldview must answer the questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. A watertight answer to one of these questions is utterly useless if the worldview can't answer the others, and answer them in a way that isn't self-contradictory.

    Of course, when I set out to solve a crossword puzzle, my assumption is
    that someone has designed the puzzle, and it is workable. The same sort of assumption is made by the person who seeks a coherent worldview. He or she follows the clues where they lead. Examining any sort of theistic worldview this way makes sense. If God exists, the clues should lead to Him. Perhaps some of our beliefs about Him may get overturned along the way (just as a wrong answer throws my crossword off track), but in the end, all will be coherent if it has been designed by an omniscient, omnipotent creator.

    On the other hand, it mystifies me that people expect to find answers by
    applying the same sorts of tests to atheistic worldviews. They line up
    premises and search for coherence, all the while ignoring the fact that if
    atheism is true, they shouldn't expect to find coherence. Seeking
    coherence from atheism is like trying to solve a crossword puzzle without
    any clues. If God does not exist, we shouldn't expect to deduce this
    conclusion through the clues that He hasn't left for us!

    When I could not make the crossword puzzle work, I did not question my
    initial assumption that there was a solution. I knew that there were
    pieces of information that I was missing. This did not mean that the
    puzzle had not been designed. When we come to questions that we don't yet have the answers to, we do not have to give up our search for coherence. There is a difference in recognizing that we don't have all the answers yet, and recognizing that we are working from answers that just don't fit.

    In the wilderness, Moses told the people of Israel, "The secret things
    belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever" (Deuteronomy 29:29a). We do not have all the pieces of the puzzle, but we have many of them. We must start from what we know, continually testing for truth, doubting our own understanding, but never doubting the God who made us.

    -Betsy Childs

    Betsy Childs is associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International
    Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.
  2. Cape Town
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    31 Oct '06 10:201 edit
    So what is your claim?
    1. No puzzle is solvable unless it has a designer.
    2. We should not attempt to solve a puzzle unless we know it has a solution.
    3. The assumption that God exists guarantees that you can find out about him.
    4. Atheism is untenable because by some weird crossword puzzle logic it implies the impossibility of knowing anything.

    My opinion:
    If God exists he has given us all the wrong clues to make sure that we cannot solve the puzzle by following the clues.
    [edit]
    Trying to make sense of Christianity is like filling out the crossword with words from the Bible then trying to modify the clues till they fit.
  3. Joined
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    31 Oct '06 11:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So what is your claim?
    1. No puzzle is solvable unless it has a designer.
    2. We should not attempt to solve a puzzle unless we know it has a solution.
    3. The assumption that God exists guarantees that you can find out about him.
    4. Atheism is untenable because by some weird crossword puzzle logic it implies the impossibility of knowing anything.
    Yup, that's exactly what I got too.
  4. Standard memberdj2becker
    Tiger's ghost
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    31 Oct '06 18:19
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So what is your claim?
    1. No puzzle is solvable unless it has a designer.
    2. We should not attempt to solve a puzzle unless we know it has a solution.
    3. The assumption that God exists guarantees that you can find out about him.
    4. Atheism is untenable because by some weird crossword puzzle logic it implies the impossibility of knowing anything.

    My ...[text shortened]... lling out the crossword with words from the Bible then trying to modify the clues till they fit.
    I think it was Chesterton who said: "The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but it has been found to be difficult and left untried."
  5. The sky
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    31 Oct '06 20:35
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    I think it was Chesterton who said: "The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but it has been found to be difficult and left untried."
    A lot of people have tried it and found it wanting.
  6. Territories Unknown
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    31 Oct '06 20:39
    Originally posted by Nordlys
    A lot of people have tried it and found it wanting.
    Name one.
  7. Standard memberDavid C
    Flamenco Sketches
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    31 Oct '06 22:04
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Name one.
    Telerion. Want more?
  8. Territories Unknown
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    31 Oct '06 22:37
    Originally posted by David C
    Telerion. Want more?
    He tried something akin to religion, not Christianity. Keep trying.
  9. Standard memberfrogstomp
    Bruno's Ghost
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    31 Oct '06 22:40
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Name one.
    Your church. haha
  10. Donationbbarr
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    31 Oct '06 22:40
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    He tried something akin to religion, not Christianity. Keep trying.
    Really? By all accounts, telerion was a true believer and evangelical. Why do you think that he didn't try actual Christianity? Just because his beliefs didn't survive reflective scrutiny doesn't mean he didn't, in good faith, try Christianity.
  11. Territories Unknown
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    31 Oct '06 22:53
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Really? By all accounts, telerion was a true believer and evangelical. Why do you think that he didn't try actual Christianity? Just because his beliefs didn't survive reflective scrutiny doesn't mean he didn't, in good faith, try Christianity.
    Although not privvy to Tel's individual beliefs, my experience has been that men will turn away from that which is not true or will turn away from that which is true in favor of that which is seemingly more pleasureable.

    'True believer' and 'evangelical' coincide nicely with any religion; therefore existence of the same cannot necessarily be equated with truth.

    Given the arguments that Tel has provided herein do not suggest that he ever understood Christianity in the first place. And, as always, no insult is intended by this assertion.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    01 Nov '06 02:50
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Name one.
    Me.
  13. Standard memberdj2becker
    Tiger's ghost
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    01 Nov '06 07:261 edit
    Originally posted by David C
    Telerion. Want more?
    A lot of people have tried a cheap version of Christianity and have found it empty.
  14. Standard memberdj2becker
    Tiger's ghost
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    01 Nov '06 07:30
    Originally posted by amannion
    Me.
    Were you ever set free from the power of sin in your life?
  15. Cape Town
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    01 Nov '06 07:37
    It would be impossible to try certain versions of Christianity and find them wanting. This is because to 'try' them requires unwavering, questioning faith. So if you found it wanting - you didn't try.
    However there are many people (myself included) who have been Christian in the past (lets leave the 'whose a true X X Christian' argument) and found it wanting. More importantly though I cannot 'try' it now as I find it wanting before the trial and since trying requires belief, it becomes impossible for me.
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