The Beckoning of God's Reality

Articles about "theology"

religion

What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?

Have you ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) come to your front door trying to tell you about Jesus and Jehovah? Have you been agitated by the interruption of your valuable time? I empathize. Most people are annoyed enough to cut the conversation short and quickly get back to what they were doing. However, irrespective of the way Jehovah’s Witnesses may try to spread their message – some may still wonder – what is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe? What are they about?

Having spoken to a few Jehovah’s Witnesses and having delved into their belief system has been revealing. One would definitely need to ask more than a few questions to clarify what the exact beliefs of JWs are, how they differ from those of other belief systems and what makes them unique enough to be of the very few who would proselytize door to door. (more…)

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bible

Christmas and the Prophecies about Jesus

One of the reasons that the Bible is thought by so many to be the inspired word of God is because it has writings which predict events far future from the dates of those writings. Through linguistics, archaeology and general historical analysis of various kinds, we can determine the approximate dates (sometimes very precise dates) of certain Old Testament (OT) writings, and we can clearly see the writings to have taken place long before the events they predict. To then be confronted by writings which predict things hundreds of years into the future is quite extraordinary. As they pertain to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the writings of the OT demonstrate the amazing quality and accuracy.

The OT writings, which were also canonized as the inspired word of God, contain many predictions of events to come. The main focus of these predictions rests on one central figure – the Messiah, the coming Savior. Judaism expected and continues to expect a future Messiah. However, those closest to Jesus, who became the earliest Christians, did at one point or another see the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies written centuries before were being fulfilled in their presence, and though they mostly recognized them in hindsight because of their otherwise inaccurate expectations of what the Messiah would accomplish, the fulfillment of the multitudes of OT prophecies were nonetheless quite staggering. So what were some of these predictions about the Messiah that they found compelling reasons to identify Jesus as that foretold Messiah? There are far more than we can look at. For this specific piece let’s look at some of the ones that pertain to his birth, the celebration that we’ve come to know as Christmas. (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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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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