The Beckoning of God's Reality

Articles about "Bible"

bible

Are Biblical Testimonies Inadmissible Because of Christian Bias?

Are biblical testimonies inadmissible because the writers had biases informed by personal convictions? So goes the charge frequently made against the biblical narratives – that what the authors of the New Testament documents were expounding were lies they were holding on to because of their prior personal convictions. But just how reasonable is this claim? Are prior personal convictions by themselves sufficient to lead people to espouse certain truth claims? And would those claims on their own be justification for their beliefs? Can we not trust the historical contents of the biblical narratives because its writers were committed to the ideas they espoused, and would be in favor of the propagation of those ideas? (more…)

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theology

The False Assertions of the Pamphlets of Jehovah’s Witnesses

On the heels of finally completing the booklet I was writing critiquing Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings based on their faulty translation of biblical manuscripts, come to our door, you guessed it – Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). Though I was unable to speak with them, they did leave us with yet another of the pamphlets of Jehovah’s Witnesses – this one even more patently misleading and factually incorrect than the last.

I could move along and critique the entire pamphlet, but since I just recently wrote a booklet of my own highlighting many of these false notions and wrote about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a previous article, it may be out of scope here. So what I am going to do instead is to take just a few of the claims made in the pamphlet and briefly examine them. We will examine the back cover of the said pamphlet, titled The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, subtitled Do We Need God? (more…)

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history

Can We Trust the Old Testament?

The Old Testament (OT) consists of a combination of writings spanning thousands of years of Jewish history. The Old Testament writings depict Jewish customs and theology that are consistent with what we know to be true. Obviously, as the self-ascribed Word of God, those writings have religious subject matter. Oddly enough, however, those religious topics are entrenched within a historical background in incredible detail, as if people were actually witnessing these events at the times and in proximity of their writings. It puts itself out there to be historically tested, which is something that not all religions can say. It also allows us to get some insight into whether or not these writings can be trusted. (more…)

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history

Can We Trust the Bible?

One of the most popular sentiments of the day is that the Bible cannot be trusted. How can we trust the Bible if it’s said that there are errors and inconsistencies in it? The biblical text was copied over and over and pieces were added onto it, and other portions removed to suit the theological inclinations of the specific generation or individual scribes. Right? Well, not so fast. But the Bible, especially the New Testament, was written so much later after the events that it purports to have occurred. Right? Well, not so much. But we can’t really can’t trust the Bible because the writers were utilizing their memory to tell us what happened generations ago. Right? Has the text of the Bible been dramatically changed? Was the Bible written generations after the events it is depicting?

Let’s look into this. We need to look at the transmission of the text, and the manner and shape in which the text gets to us. We look at the time gap between the events and the writings. We try to determine if there was anything special about the way the writings were preserved, and how reliable the written copies are. (more…)

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history

Was Jesus Real?

Was Jesus real? Was he a person who lived or a fictional character around whom a religion was formed? It appears as though many atheists and skeptics of all kinds like to argue that Jesus was not real and did not exist. This presumption is generally made because the Bible conveys supernatural events, and therefore, those who hold that supernatural events cannot occur see it fitting to deny the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

However, as professor of biblical criticism and exegesis F. F. Bruce states,

“Some writers may toy with the fancy of ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.”1

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life

The Life of the Heart

As we are often reminded by that nudging, that jerking of the heart just when we’ve erected our walls of rationale, we need our hearts just as much as we need our minds. For when our theories leave us cold and lonely inside ourselves, only the warmth of another will be able to break through the mist and darkness. It is very telling that when we usually utter phrases like, ‘I don’t need her,’ we are doing it with contempt for the truth of exactly the opposite. We do need one another! A man who lives merely by the theories of his mind is a man who lives alone with a callused heart hardened by the illusion of his self-sufficiency and crumbling under the weight of his autonomy.

Yet, the heart will not only show us a new light by which we may see all things with a different perspective, but it will also give us the warmth and intimacy that we intrinsically crave. And though our love resonates from within us, when we love we are allowed to come outside ourselves into the world where our heart is able to direct its affection toward another. Our selfishness is then defeated by our love allowing us to see the world through others, for whom we choose to make life a bit more radiant.  (more…)

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history

Top 8 Reasons to Trust the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Roughly 2,000 years ago Jesus of Nazareth caused the greatest shift in thinking in human history. Amidst the clash of the Roman and Jewish mindsets emerged a figure that would change the course of human history and among other things establish the intrinsic worth of every person. Days after he was crucified by the Romans, his followers claimed the resurrection of Jesus; that this Jesus had appeared to them in the flesh. As miraculous as it may seem, the reasons for their attestations are consistent with many of the reasons why we can trust that Jesus of Nazareth had come back to life in the flesh. What follows are the most broadly accepted facts across the different viewpoints by scholars of various convictions giving us compelling reasons to believe in this most miraculous event in human history. (more…)

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bible

The Flood and Noah’s Ark – Part 2

Is the story of the great flood and Noah’s ark a myth? Or are there good reasons to think them to be true? Previously we looked at the first challenged leveraged against the story of the flood and Noah’s ark. We continue with challenge #2: God is irrational for whimsically exterminating all humanity and wiping away all life for some immoral acts of a few individuals. Since God is demonstrated to be irrational and God cannot by nature be irrational, then it is said that God does not exist, and therefore, the biblical account of the flood is simply untrue.

This claim is charged with quite a few preconceptions. First, God is not so capricious in His judgment of humanity and nature to suddenly call for a mass extermination of all living things without any warrant, and this is precisely what we find in the flood account. What had humanity done to deserve this judgment?

Well, for one, in the initial chapters of Genesis after Cain slays Abel, he is banished by God, perhaps not only for practical reasons of being away from the victim’s bloodline but also because it was not God’s intent for the two bloodlines to intermarry. Ironically one interpretation of Genesis 6:2 (“the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose”) suggests this to be one of the final straws for the reasons for judgment. This interpretation, which also echoes other interpretations of its kind equates “sons of God” with godly men (perhaps Abel’s worthy line), and “daughters of men” with the wicked line of Cain. (more…)

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society

Is Jesus Christ Coming Back?

If you’ve seen the billboards around town headlined with, “We Can Know…” or “Save the Date…” with a statement, “Return of Christ May 21, 2011,” you’ve probably been a little puzzled. What is this? Is this serious? Does the Bible really say Jesus Christ coming back to judge the world on May 21, 2011? If you ask the organizer of this movement, Harold Camping, you will hear him say it is a certainty. Where does he get this information? Has he gleaned it from some supernatural experience? Has God told him personally? Does the Bible say this?

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bible

The Flood and Noah’s Ark – Part 1

The biblical text gives us an account of a catastrophic flood that is said to have wiped away all humanity from the face of the earth and Noah’s ark which is said to be the only thing to have survived it. Throughout the ages, the core events surrounding this account have been fairly consistently told by various people across the world at various times. The flood has never really been looked at with skepticism throughout the ages, that is until the modern age. The modern era has seen scientific advances shaping the way in which we think, and we now start to question such biblical historical narratives as that of Noah and the ark. But are these charges against the veracity of the flood narrative really warranted? Let’s dissect some of these charges and see if there are indeed logical reasons to hold that the flood never actually took place. Just one thing we have to keep in mind – the flood is a supernatural judgment of God.

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