I’m really enjoying reading Kathleen’s response to this - in particular that a truth claim is by definition to the exclusion of the alternative.
I did find it interesting that this is a direct quote from John the Baptist, who was in turn quoting Isaiah’s 700 year old prophecy of his own coming as a forerunner to Jesus.
John 1:23 He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
This is an interesting statement. One could ask ‘Why does he care?’ - I’m wondering if this is what CS Lewis in the book ‘Mere Christianity’ talks about that we all have this ‘ought’ inbuilt (our conscience which is God given). We know we ought to do good, but we can’t even live up to our own standards, let alone God’s standard of perfection - as your brother says ‘Of course, no one is perfect and so we all betray the truth at one time or another.’.
The other question to this is ‘What happens when my truth (sense of right and wrong?) collides with your truth and we disagree?’ - the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0218GkAGbnU is more about relative morality, but raises the question how does this theoretical idea play out in real life when there are disagreements if there is no source of truth higher than you or I ? Can there be a moral law without a law-giver?
When he gets angry and insults (motivated by insecurity at your questions??), is he violating any of his own inbuilt standards that he ought to behave better? If there is no God, then why bother with any sense of morality at all? - and then do you get fairly close to nihilism, a very depressing place to be.
It seems all very theoretical - it’s hard to know where the rubber meets the road. What exactly does this belief system play out like in real life? What happens to a person after death - if it simply ceasing to exist, then why bother with any of it?
I was talking to an atheist (exCatholic) on a forum, and was asking questions to understand more. I had a fair bit of response at this video discussion on the meaning of life with William Lane Craig, Jordan Peterson, and Rebecca Goldstein. Maybe this will be of interest to him if he’s very intellectual, and if nothing else will provoke further thought and reflection? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDDQOCXBrAw (and there is a a followup post on this page if that’s of any interest: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/is-there-meaning-to-life/)
As Sean and Kathleen said, I hope and pray that you will be able to show Christ’s unconditional love in response to any insults and continue to show him what a difference it has made in your life. I hope this is helpful, I feel a bit inadequate with how I’ve worded a lot of this - so feel free to disregard if it’s a bit simplistic
I hope as an encouragement, the passage from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 comes to mind. God will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things to bring down the strong. And in Isiah 55:10-11, God has promised that his Word will not return void, but will accomplish that which it has gone forth to do.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
A Christian may not be the highest intellect, but the power of Jesus’ love can shine through into the darkest heart.