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1. No it's not. Our saviour died and was resurected three days later. The gospels are accurate, read some literature by Craig Blomberg and other christian scholars. You have proved your own arogance by missing the point and not actually answering the question!
2. No it's not. Prayer is a connection with the infinite intelligence that permeates the universe. Connecting to God is an intellient thing to do. Again, you haven't answered the question.
3. No, God is not secure. God wants our obedience. God's plan works, yours doesn't. It's rather more than obedience god wants. And what exactly is my "plan"?
4. Show me the contradictions in the original Greek and/or Hebrew. You clearly are not a scholar in those languages. Quote the original Hebrew/ Greek and show me the contradictions. Try reading the book by Lee Stroebel, i.e. The case for christ. Try talking to professors of theology. Atheists enjoy taking things out of context and interpreting it the way they want to. The bible is loaded with contradictions! Have you read it?! What difference will it make by reading the original Greek/Hebrew - unless you're saying that all translations to English have been faulty?
For a list of contradictions, see here.
Atheists taking things out of context ... pot ... kettle ... black ...?
5. This is a loaded question. What exactly are you referring to? Is everything in the Bible suppose to lovey dovey? I don't think you understand what you are asking for. My point is that your god is not merciful, forgiving and loving, he's a genocidal maniac!
6. God wasn't too happy with the initial creation. God is always worthy of worship, as God is always right. Instead of destroying his creation, he gave then another chance through the son, Jesus of Nazareth. God entered space time as Jesus of Nazareth to offer a way for humans to be reconciled with God. Why wasn't god happy with the initial creation? Isn't he supposed to be omnipotent - in which case, how could he have made such an error?
7a. God is beyond space, time and human logic. Have you ever asked God? There is no logical contradiction here. See my blog post on intelligent design for my thoughts on this subject.
7b. Another loaded question. Again, what exactly are you looking for. Are you looking for the formula that God used? Do you want the source code God used? Why don't you ask God for it. Even if you did, why would God need to explain it to you? So the light god created didn't come from the stars? What was the point of creating them then, if light can somehow just "be there"?
7c. Another useless question that doesn't deserve a response. Read Genesis and talk to christian scholars to get a better understanding of this. Again you've missed my point. The creation myths were from a time when the Earth WAS the universe - that's even before it was thought of as a sphere in the centre of the universe.
7d. What do you mean the star's are not set in anything? They must be set in something, otherwise what is holding them together? Again, what are you looking for? Please be more explicit. The stars are not set in the solid dome firmament that covers the Earth though are they ... see this picture which illustrates my point.
8. Paper and computers were not around back then, so Joseph and Mary couldn't tell us the story from their perspective. What kind of evidence are you looking for? scientific or historical? I'll take this on faith, just like you accept that everything came out of nothing. My point is that there can be no evidence. It can only be taken on faith, which for me is not enough.
9. After reading the book by Lee Stroebel, and the evidence presented by the christian scholars, I'm convinced this happened. The written accounts about the alexander the great were done 500 years after his death, but this acceptable, and the history about Jesus is not? My answer to this is the same as my answer to the previous question. What about the conflicting accounts?
10. He had to do this to reconcile us back with God. This is a fallen world. I don't think you understand the meaning of the word perfect. Once again, you've missed the point. Surely god could have forgiven us without having to go through this charade?
11. I'm not sure about this one. There will be different degrees of punishment that God will give out. No one will be treated unfairly. I wouldn't want to be you on judgement day, I've read your nasty, outrageous comments about God. You should look forward to the day when you will have to account for them. God is a rather pathetic creature if he's bothered by what a mere human writes on some website. My crime - is it worse than murder? Child molestation?
I'd hope if there was a god that I'd be judged according to whether I was a good person or not, not by the amount of time I'd spent in worship. If god just wants me to kiss his arse all the time then I think I'd be better off in hell (which is where anyone who's vaugely interesting will be going anyway!)
Additional. Read Lee Stroebel's book, the Case for Christ and look at the evidence he presents. The professors of theology can shed a better light on this than I can. I've read rebuttals to the book, but haven't actually read it so can't comment - although as I've stated here, most of what is in the bible is non-verifiable and can only be taken on faith.
I don't think the name truth_seeker is very accurate - you are not seeking anything. You already have fixed ideas of what counts as "truth".
Name: ffyona [Home]
1. no, because by choosing a religion you are saying that all the others are wrong. i am a christian because i believe christianity is true and the others are false. just as hindus believe that hinduism is true and christianity is false. just as atheists believe their belief is true and all others are false. it doesn't imply disrespect to other religions, just that you've picked this one. it is necessary to make judgements about what it is true and false. that's what having an opinion about anything else is. Why do you believe Christianity is true? Have you studied any of the other religions? Most people know very little about other faiths. Can you be sure that the Muslims or Hindus aren't the ones with the real answers?
2. three reasons - one, that prayer is for us as much as god. by praying, we're not only thinking about our problems and issues and sorting them through in our head (like having a good think), but allowing time to listen to god. the point of prayer is that it's a two way thing - we need to make time to hear what god has to say to us because, unlike him, we don't already know it all. prayer is about intimacy with god as much as 'getting what you want'. two - god already knows what you're going to pray, but you don't. you hear instances where prayers are answered before they're spoken. for example, if you pray for a red bus, in order for your prayer to be answered, someone must have decided to drive the red bus rather than the green bus that day. it's not a case of getting him to change his mind because, like you say, god already knows what he's going to do. prayer is (as before) to listen to god, but also so that we can see him working. it's necessary to pray to see prayers answered. otherwise that red bus would just be another red bus. three - prayer is a time to say thank you to god. it's a continuation of worship in that you can tell him how thankful you are for good stuff that's happened. Point 3 - see below. Points 1 and 2 are a bit rambling and nonsensical. If you think that a god is talking back to you or in some way answering your prayers, you are delusional, although I understand your point about the busses and being able to "see him working". Perhaps prayer can help you to get things straight in your own mind, but it's a one-sided conversation.
3. haha. either. maybe because he loves us and he wants that love returned (as anyone would), maybe because he just deserves it. it's not egomania though, because if you're worshipping god then you're acknowledging that he deserves it. it's not like telling an ugly friend that they're beautiful, it's telling a beautiful friend just how beautiful they are. The point I am making is that you are commanded to worship him. "He wants that love returned" . . . you can't force someone to love you, even if it is deserved. Punishing people for not loving or worshipping you - sounds like egomania to me.
4. that particular one i assume to be a discrepancy between the writers, one thought it was heli, one thought it was jacob. silly apostles. seriously, you're right, the historical parts of the bible have got so many holes in i wouldn't use them to store jelly. but that, to me, is not the point. the bible is not god's word in the same way that, *booms* I AM THE VOICE OF GOD *end booms* would be, it's the word of god as written down by some blokes. the gospels aren't god talking, they're matthew, mark, luke and john talking about what god said and did. human beings are fallible, thus the bible is fallible. to take it all at face value is foolish. that's why they call it bible 'study'. there is a certain amount of compromise, you have to try and get through the context of the book to find the meaning. like the farmer sowing the seeds on the rough ground. not about farming - about faith. and, yes, there's the inherent risk that people can then pick and choose and wilfully misinterpret the bible to cause trouble and generally be gits, but that's a risk with any belief system. There's not a lot I can add to your response here, the question is really aimed at people who do take the bible 100% literally (and there are a worryingly large number of such people).
5. the bible is called the 'good book' because it has a good message. forget the old testament, because when jesus came, he made a new covenant. he said, forget the old ways, we're gonna do it differently now. the good news of the good book is that, no matter what your opinion of the bible or god is, god loves every last one of us. and life with god is life eternal, life to the full. the bible tells you that you can be saved, you can live a life with a god who will comfort you, support you, help you and make the best of you. what's so bad about that? the problem is that, as i overlook the bad bits of the bible, people like Paine overlook the good. no mention of the psalms, the love songs to god. no mention of song of solomon, the celebration of love between two people. not a peep about the gospel, christ's sacrifice, god's love, salvation. hell no, it's much easier to overlook the good stuff when you're trying to slag off the bible. how do i reconcile it with my faith? the old testament is a history. it tells of a lot of messed up people who did a lot of messed up things, as Paine described. and, yes, it tells of a vengeful god. but the new testament tells of a god who will no longer be vengeful, who will no longer punish us. he will no longer give us punishment, he will give us unending love. Other people have told me that the new testament is the relevant part, which makes me wonder why the old testament comes as part of the package. Buy one testament, get the other free maybe . . . ? And in your answer to the previous question you said that you didn't classify the old testament as valid history.
6. you referred to the 'good book' when only talking about the old testament. christians follow the new testament. the old testament is the history of the jewish people. it is the new testament in which the origin of christianity, the new covenant, is found. this is deep theological territory here. my take on it is that we had a chance here on earth to do things right and we mucked it up. several times. the bits about adam and eve, noah's ark, soddom and gomorrah - it's humans fucking it up and being punished. from what i know of god, i think he must have known we were going to fuck it up, so i see it as a learning curve. jesus sacrificed himself to show us that the old way was gone. we were no longer gonna be punished for fucking up because he loved us too much. why did he punish us before? i have no idea. *raises hands* the old testament is not my territory. Why the change in god's attitude? Humans have always, and probably always will, fuck things up, and presumably god would have known this. But the bad stuff in the bible (mainly OT) is not only people fucking up - it's god being one hell of an arsehole. Flooding the whole world (N.B. didn't happen, impossible) and killing all living things apart from a family of humans and a couple of each species of animals? Sounds to me like this god is a genocidal maniac.
7a. outside of time and space. god is not limited by time and space as we are. he is outside them, he created them. as such - he just was. he wasn't doing anything, he wasn't anywhere or anytime, he just was. he created a world with time and space for us to live in, and that is as far as our understanding can reach. "he wasn't doing anything, he wasn't anywhere or anytime, he just was" - that statement makes no sense (see my second point on the intelligent design post for more on this).
7b. because he's god, and he can do whatever he want. seriously, i'm not being childish. if god created the universe, he can create light and dark without stars. That's absurd. God created some photons of light just sort of hanging around, then later decided to make some large fiery things to make light (the light from most not reaching the earth for millions of years) . . . ?
7c. because the creation story is an interpretation of creation written by someone thousands of years ago who didn't know about science and billions of stars. that person (that fallible human) who wrote that story down would have only seen the stars he could see from our planet. and they look tiny down here.
7d. again, written by a man who had no grasp of science. not written by god. written by man. These questions are written for people who do take the creation story literally, so I can't argue with you on this.
8. who is this thomas paine by who you set so much stock? lol, now you're gonna say, who is this god by who you set so much stock. and i'll have deserved it as well. i believe mary was a virgin mother because i believe that god is capable of miracles. it is believable for me that a child like jesus, who performed miracles, could have been conceived by miracle. however, i have no other evidence other than that given in the bible and if, as paine said, it is hearsay upon hearsay, then who am i to say it is right. the virgin birth is far from the cornerstone of my faith. i believe it is possible by god's power, but it's also possible that it was 'added in' to make the story more jazzy. however. i believe in the resurrection very strongly, it IS the cornerstone of my faith and as it was described by the same writers as the virgin birth, i have no reason to doubt that particular claim. Thomas Paine was a British born American writer during the "Age of Enlightenment" - the quotes I've used are from the book The Age of Reason. As for the lack of proof for the vigin birth, well, extraordinary events require extraordinary proof, at least for a rational thinker to believe.
9. i believe in the resurrection for these reasons: 1)it is described four times in the bible, and more times in the gnostic gospels as well. i cannot see why anyone would make it up, honestly. why would a group of people make up a tale of resurrection and start a religion, risking rejection, imprisonment and death just for a giggle? academically, i believe that to think the apostles just fabricated the story is less likely than it being true. 2) spiritually, though you might not like this as a reason, i associate a spiritual presence with the cross. i believed in god, but not the resurrection, and felt none of god's presence. i looked into religions such as paganism, wicca and buddhism, sikhism, and felt nothing more than an intellectual interest. with christianity, i felt an instant feeling of belonging. the cross held such a sense of mystery and importance to me, more than any other symbol of faith had. when i became a christian, i was, and still am, aware of god's tangible presence. i have felt god, and the holy spirit, i have seen a physical and emotional change in me since accepting jesus and i have as much proof (miraculous incidents and the like) as i will ever need. when i pray to jesus christ, things happen. i believe. Read the accounts of the resurrection in the bible - they are hopelessly contradictory. As for people making it up, that probably is unlikely - I'd guess that they themselves believed. But remember that this was an age of fear and superstition and people were ready to believe pretty much anything. And again, such an extraordinary event would require some serious proof for me to believe it.
I suppose in a sense you've answered the first question with this, but is "an instant feeling of belonging" enough?
10. because we are made in god's image. i see anger as being part of a person, it's not a sin, letting your temper control you is,lashing out is. as i say, i don't know why god didn't forgive us in the first place. my gut instinct is that we have a lesson to learn. you have to appreciate your sin before you can be forgiven and we had to experience a wrathful god before we could experience a loving god. i say loving god, god's love has always been real and tangible (psalms, etc) but now we are just spared his wrath. sorry if that didn't answer your question, i've been typing for a very long time now... To me, it seems a strange way of making a point (for more on this, see my post on the resurrection here).
11. ahem. i don't feel the word damnation. i believe that god's grace is big enough for anyone who realises their mistakes. when you die and see god, if you finally figure it out and accept him, it's as good as if you'd known it all along. if you don't, i think hell is not a place, with fire and brimstone. hell is being without god. when you die you're outside time, so you'll just never experience being with god again, you'll just be nothing, feel nothing at all. i personally think that there is no hell. i think that even spending a human lifetime without god's presence is punishment enough for whatever you've done wrong. but i'm very liberal in that respect. You're rather more liberal than god himself . . . "when you die and see god, if you finally figure it out and accept him" - obviously I'd accept if I died and found myself "face to face" with him, that would be knowledge rather than faith. Can't see it happening though.
Additional i'm aware that all of the questions i've just been asked are the ones designed to trip me up. i'm sure you'll be able to rip them all to shreds but it's ok, i hope at least i'll have made you think. it's good being challenged, thanks for making me think about a lot of areas of my faith that i've never tried to explain in words before. it's nice being given a chance to state exactly what i believe. sorry i've rambled so incredibly much. yours, ffyona xxx The questions are designed to make you think about your beliefs and possibly see the problems there - if what you believe has some validity, it should be able so withstand the challenge. As I've said before, this questionnaire is really aimed at the fundamentalists and creationists who take the bible as 100% fact, which you obviously don't. I get several responses to this questionnaire a week, most from fundies who don't answer the questions and tell me they'll pray for me and I'm going to burn in hell and all that.
1. Name 1 other person in history who performed miracles, rose from the dead, and claims to be the Messiah other than Jesus? You are a fool! I don't know of anyone who performed miracles or rose from the dead!
2. The point of prayer is focused conversation with God. You make prayer sound like it is supposed to be the time when God gives us everything we want. You're an idiot. "Focused conversation" ... so your god actually answers back does he?
3. Because he created us! You're an idiot!
4. All of your opinions on contradictions in the Bible are irrelevant. Did 500 people (Followers and Jews) witness the resurrection? That is the question. Can you provide accounts from 500 individual people? One person claiming that 500 people witnessed the event is not the same thing.
5. That is the old testament. We are not in Heaven. We disobeyed God and now we are all separated from him. You obviousily have never read the New Testament. God doesn't do evil... The Devil does. The greatest trick the Devil ever told was convincing the world he didn't exist.
6. The Jews.
7a. : I cannot believe that you would ask such a stupid question. Does that mean that you are unable to answer it?
7b. God is the Light. The Fallen is the Darkness. The "Heavens" (moon, sun, stars) are merely physical representations of that.
7c. I cannot believe that you would ask such a stupid question. part deux Does that mean that you are unable to answer it part duex
7d. I cannot believe that you would ask such a stupid question. part trois Does that mean that you are unable to answer it part trios
8. Because Jesus walked on water. Jesus (apparantely) walking on the water proves that his mother was a virgin?!?
9. There is no conflict. You either haven't read the New Testament or you're dyslexic.
10. Again... I cannot believe that you would ask such a stupid question. part quatre Again, does that mean that you are unable to answer it part quatre
11. There doesn't have to be a justification. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus/God say he loves a person after death and nowhere does Jesus/God say that life is fair. You are about as ignorant as the Jews are. I pity you.
Additional You should speak to a theologist. Jesus: Truly I say unto you, as they have hated me - they will also hate you!
Name: Rick Dupea [Email]
1. It is no more arrogant to think that your faith is the true one than for Gallileo to think that his interpretation of the solar system was the true one. In simple terms, SOMEthings are true, and should be believed (if they are true they don't need to be believed) . Those who believe a true thing are not arrogant. The real question you should ask is whether or not Christianity offers a comprehensive, accurate, truthful account of God, man, and their relationship. (Which it doesn't) Just becuase there are 1000s of counterfeit 20 dollar bills does not mean there are no true 20 dollar bills. The supporting logic of your question is flawed.
2. The central Christian doctrine of free will explains the necessity of prayer. Like the good parent of a 17 year old, God has given you freedom and areas under your control. Prayer is that natural communication in a healthy relationship where you ask a wiser person, 'How should I handle this', or say 'thank you for helping me.' It is how mature persons relate. However, because the world has been given to man, God does allow us to persuade him. Moses provides several examples of this.
3. There is a third possibility that has not occurred to you in your limited 'heaven and earth, Horatio'. What if it is intrinsic to the nature of all things in a created universe to naturally glorify the creator? But if we have free will, a decision to not worship will mar our natural state, and mar our hearts. God calls us to worship because a sentient being created by an all loving and powerful God by nature owes him worship, in the same way that even a rebellious child owes honor to a kind and forgiving parent, simply for their existence if nothing else. You'd have to be an egomaniac or insecure to refuse to honor them.
4. Hmmm. So no one in the world ever had two names before? You have proven that it is a physical impossibility that Joseph's father was named Jacob Eli (Yacob Heli)? So many supposed Bible contradictions are cases of one account reading 'a man came into the room and sat in a chair', while another account says 'a man came into a room and read a book'. People like you believe it is impossible for a man to read a book before, during or after sitting in a chair, apparently. **As a Bible student for 25 years I can safely say that there are no unexplained contradictions in the Bible, only people who ignore obvious explanations for equally obvious reasons.** You may have a point with that one particular contradiction (others have made the same point) - although that wasn't the question. You can safely say that there are no unexplained contradictions in the Bible? I find that unlikely, but you are welcome to try - you can send in your comments to this article.
5. It is called the good book because it tells the truth about what both depraved and righteous people did, and shows the results of those actions. If the Bible showed people living cruel and debauched lives with no negative consequences (like Hollywood does) it would not be a good book. The Bible is a true account of the relationsip between God and man, and man to man, and those relationships are full of sin, as explained in Genesis 1 and 2. These horrific things are done by people, by people in the name of God, and by God himself! Apparently Thomas Paine was a prude! Why would that be relevant?
6. Your editorializing mischaracterization of the God of the OT makes the whole question a fallacy. However, it comes from a common misunderstanding. In the OT, the Israelites were given the law of Moses, which carried rewards and punishments. The NT states that these laws could never change the heart, but were like a protective fence, or a teacher. The NT (the new agreement between God and man) was all about God fulfilling the requirements for us through Jesus, because law may protect us, but will never change our heart. Jesus changes hearts. You are mistaking a new 'covenant' for a new God. Under the new agreement, our relationship changes. If you worked for a woman boss, you have one type of relationship. If you marry her, all the work relationship details change. I won't even start on where YOU get standing to define the rules of right and wrong by which God must behave in order to be called good. Suffice it to say that you are using circular reasoning, trusting to a limited understanding of God's law to judge God. I merely dispute your mental ability and moral authority to do so.
7a. You are so silly. Are you unable to imagine something beyond the material universe? As if Christians think that God currently resides at some locality in the created universe! Where was Shakespeare before he wrote Hamlet? What part of the play did he reside in before he began it?! God transcends the material universe. He created it by mere force of His thought. I have no idea what he was doing before then, and as a creature of this universe, I really don't need to know. Neither do you! The whole question is irrelevant petulance.
7b. Well, how about physics. From the big bang theory we learn that at the first second of creation everything was a unified energy. Light, gravity, electricity, magnetism, nuclear energy were all combined. As they cooled, the forces separated. Eventually, as the universe spread, there was enough space between masses of cold atoms that darkness could exist. But at the start, all the universe (at that unexpanded time) was light. Go read a few books (see below).
7c. Keep reading those books. You'll learn that billions of stars are necessary to create an environment where solid planets can exist. (Our planet, and your body, are made entirely out of materials formed only in supernovas.) And a belief in the inerrancy of the Bible doesn't mean every Christian believes that Genesis is a chronological, 7x24-hour account. It is an account of epochs, of significant activities, revealing the character of God and our relationship to Him. A large proportion of Christians do believe that Genesis is chronological, and the question was aimed at such people.
7d. 1. The word 'firmament' is a highly disputed term in Hebrew. You can't say what it means with any certainty, except 'the unreachable sky overhead'. Are stars up there? Yes. Do they give light to earth? Yes. Are there more that don't give light, and don't really matter to us directly? Yes. OK, no biggie. 2. You apply a plain English interpretation to translated Hebrew terms. It would also be worth seeing if the Hebrew for 'set' means 'placed or located', and if the word for 'light' carries the implication of revelation. If so, the translation could read 'God placed them securely in position in the overhead sky to give all people revelation.' This is not a farfetched interpretation. But you allow your ignorance of the original language to become your standard for proving the errancy of the Bible. Better leave that to Hebrew scholars. Again, many people do take all of this literally.
8. If a person tells you 100 true things, and no lies, you will likely believe the next thing they say. I believe the virgin birth because the Bible says so. ... and why do you believe the bible to be true in the first place? There is no great need for this story to explain Jesus' miracles. Other prophets did miracles. However, it is consistent with him being both 'the son of God and the son of mankind'. So, the Bible has been accurate about other things, and the story is theologically consistent. Heck - we can have virgin mothers today with artificial means. What's the big deal? It's a big deal because Mary was supposed to have been impregnated by "the holy spirit"! PS- I hold the Bible in higher regard than I do Thomas Paine. It has been tried for several more centuries by billions more people.
9. You don't explain any conflicts, but I will refer to my previous statement about supposed Biblical account conflicts. Different people report different details of the same complex event. You mistake variety for conflict. To the second point, the real question is 'Do you believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God?', because if so, it is no big deal for him to rise from the dead. You ask the wrong question, and so, get unsatisfying answers. My reasons for believing that Jesus really is the Son of God are too long for this text box. Email me for details.
10. 1. You answer your own question but don't even see it, because you make a childish assumption. God is a perfect being. Your false assumption is that this means he is perfectly safe for nasty critters like you and me to be around. You want 'a good God', meaning ease or pleasure for you. That makes you ascendant in the universe and god your servant. Wrong way around. Christians don't look at God as a Cosmic Santa giving gifts to good children. He is the holy one, the creator,the only being worthy of worship and total allegience. The holiness of God is so immense, that you can no more approach it in your sin that you could swim on the surface of the sun. 2. Jesus, being in nature God, was the only creatire in the universe able to bridge the infinite gap between the consuming holiness of God and the inherent depravity of fallen mankind. Unlike all other religions (BS, as you say) only in Christianity does God seek man and remove the infinite barrier himself. Only in Christianity do men become humbly more contrite for their sinfulness as they mature. 3. Anger is not always negative. The lack of anger when a child is abused could be considered a mental disorder. God is angered by all things that destroy people, because he loves us. That's not negative. Your argument sounds like a mad 3 year old: "Mommy is bad because she took the knife away from me. She stole it!" Your mention of the knife reminds me of an analogy of Christianity being like someone stabbing you half to death but then offering you a bandage ...
11. You are eternal. God has already created you with an eternal spirit. You will exist forever. Where you exist is up to you because of your free will. If you don't want to exist with God, he has made an alternate. BUT, hell is by nature the absence of God, and as such, the absence of all his character, most of which you like: things like honesty, mercy, justice, love, respect, honor, integrity, life itself. If you chuck God, you chuck all his attributes too. And you can't dwell with God without the intercession of Jesus' death on the cross in your place, as stated above. So you're stuck: you don't want worship of/submission to God, you won't receive the sacrifice of Jesus which cleared the only way into the unapproachable presence of God, and you can't stop existing. So you go to a new place, called hell, which will be what you make of it, without any of the attributes of God which you take for granted in this life. God has done everything possible to keep you from this, other than remove your ability to choose. I wonder how YOU can justify eternal damnation, since He has made a way for you to avoid it!
Additional Your problem is that you are making false assumptions about what the Bible teaches, and destroying positions we don't even hold. (Well, some who don't read the Bible believe the mishmash theology you describe, but not diligent students.) Try reading Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce, by CS Lewis, and for science visit the Reasons.org website where you can ask specific questions about the advances in paleontology, astronomy and physics that consistently prove the Christian worldview. Go ahead and write back if you have any further questions. I'd be happy to correspond. I have read enough rebuttals of "Mere Christianity" to gain a sort of familiarity of it. I haven't actually read it and probably never will. Does that make me closed minded? I don't think so, I mean, Christianity is based entirely on faith with most of it being unverifiable - did CS Lewis travel back in time to witness the resurrection of Jesus? Did he DNA test him to prove his paternity? As for reasons.org - I have visited this site many times and never know whether to laugh or cry ...
1. If the claims of Jesus were false (such as I am the truth, life and no man comes to the father but by me..and there is no name given under heaven which men must be saved) then yes, it is arrogant and self centered to make such a claim. IF however, his claims were true then it is not arrogant as much as saying it was wrong for Hitler to murder 6 million jews.
2. I think this question misunderstands the whole point of prayer. Throughout scripture the main purpose of prayer is to praise God, give thanks etc. God is not a genie in a bottle waiting to grant us wishes.
3. Why do parents insist their children obey them? Are they insecure or egomaniacs? This question is an either/ or proposition. There could be other reasons, such as a Being who created you rightly deserves to be worshipped because he made you! I don't insist my children worship me, or obey my every command. Does god "own" me then?!?
4. In Greek there is no parenthesis, this was added by the translaters. Luke 3:23 says that Jesus "being supposed the son of Joseph" which is the interjection. All this is saying is that Jesus was the son of Eli--Eli was the father of Mary. I'm sure your aware of the differing genealogies given in Matthew and Luke (one from joseph's line and one from mary's) which explains these genealogical "contradictions". As far as the bible being "full of contradictions" and then reviewing your list, all I see is a desparate attempt to prove your case by citing passages out of context and failing to understand sound biblical exegesis. Christian theologians have never said that translations are without error. Have you read the early churh fathers on this subject of innerancy? Christian theologians have maintained that only the originals were the inspired infallible word of god, not the translations. I guess I can preempt your objection on "how we know what the word of god is if we don't have the originals?". If your serious about this, you can do a study of textual criticism and canonicity. You can try the works of Bruce Metzger for example. Suffice to say I don't think this is the real issue, I think it's that you don't like the idea of some Being judging you for your sins.
5. Thomas Paine was a Deist who abhorred the God of the bible and instead chose a God of his own making (idolatry) so it's no surpise he has made some comments of God's word. As far as his quote, which reflects many "unbelievers" is that one fails to understand or acknowledge that the bible is not only a recording of God's dealing with man but man's dealing with fellow man. Since the bible and history clearly show man is sinful it is only obvious that the bible records the sinful acts of men towards each other (often under God's command!) which does not mean it endorses the act (such as slavery, incest (didn't Adam and Eve's offspring incestually populate the world?), etc.). As far as God's punishment on people which may seem to be "extreme", such as the flood--I don't see the problem. If God has set forth laws and men break them God has every right to punish them. Then God is a tyrant. With Mr. Paine's last comment, he shoots his own foot because he himself has been cruel and is himself wicked for breaking Gods laws.
6. When one is a criminal they look at those representing justice as angry, vengeful and not worthy of respect. They do so because they are law breakers and they know it. There are numerous instanced where God in the OT is loving, patient and kind. Why didn't you quote Ezekiel 33:11? "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live" ???????? Quite the contrary, God in the OT is not different from the God portrayed in the NT. If you want to see his vengeance look at all the passages Jesus warns people about hell and also check out the book of Revelation if your not convinced the God of the OT is inconsistent as recorded in the NT.
7a. There is a misunderstanding in this question. Time is a physical dimension and was created at the moment of the Big Bang or creation. There was no "time before time" which is a logical fallacy. This is akin to thinking God is some guy who has "lots of time".
7b. HOW did God make light? This question is absurd because it is asking an impossible question. How is light a particle and a wave? In the book of Revelation it says there is no need of light because God provides the light from himself.
7c. Why not? If there's a Being who decides to create stars after making planets what does it matter, even if He takes aeons?
7d. I'd be careful about accusing a Being who created the cosmos but also yourself about being "ignorant". How do you know the stars are not "set in anything"? Are you aware that matter warps space and creates depressions in it? The planets for example are "set" in an invisible track in which they revolve around the sun and it could well be the case that stars also are set as well. If you take Genesis literally, the stars are set in the solid dome surrounding the flat earth.
8. If God exists miracles are not only possible but probable. Prophecies written hundreds of years before he was born predicted this event and I'm sure your aware of them as well. The only reason Mr. Paine rejected this is because he rejected miracles, yet he believed in the greatest miracle of all, the creation of the world!
9. As I stated before, if God exists, then miracles are possible. Again there are prophecies about Jesus rising from the dead, testimony of early church fathers and faith in the God of the bible. Just because there are conflicts doesn't mean the event didn't happen. Go and read newspapers covering the same story and see the minor details differing--do you then question the veracity of the story, or is it because the supernatural is involved that you cannot accept it? It's the veracity of the story I can't accept - if god existed then he presumably could raise a man from the dead, but I'd need some seriously strong evidence to believe such a thing (if I believed in god in the first place).
10. I'm sure I don't have to remind you of the sacrifical system in the OT and the concept of justification in the NT. Why does God, a perfect being have "negative", "human-based" emotions like anger and wrath? Think about this for a second. IF God is Holy and just, would He be so if He was simply indifferent with evil occuring? I, quite frankly find the reasons you have given for rejecting God to be absurd.
11. How do I justify eternal damnation? Well, for one Jesus taught it. If the most moral person who walked the face of the earth (along with his disciples and the vast majority of church fathers) believed in the reality and justification of hell--who are we to question this? Do you really think your moral intuition is better than Jesus? Remember that the punishment of a crime is not only commensurate with the severity of it, but also who it is perpetrated against. If man commits a crime against an infinite being, an infinite sentence is just. Btw, I agree with your last statement, but I think you may have not really thought this out because it doesn't help your case because you claim to know what is just yet accuse an omniscent God He's making a mistake.
Additional These questions are typical for an "unbeliever" and what I see is a intellectual smokescreen covering sin. I don't know your background but I'm assuming you probably have had some christian influence, and, have chosen a sin or sins and used so called arguments to defend your sin. Because you don't like the idea that God will judge you, you have chosen to build another relgion for yourself. You've brought up hell as an objection. I think you are terrified of hell because you are going there. I think this goes to show God gives people chances, yet man is free to choose. For those who reject God they seal their own fate--they are sending themselves to hell. Oh come on, if I was genuinely terrified of going to hell I'd be the model Christian! I don't believe such a place exists. As I don't believe in god, I'm not likely to follow his rules - therefore "sin" is meaningless to me. I don't consider myself to be a "bad" person - I have morals, they are just based on rational thought rather than fear of punishment.
Name: James [Email]
1. its not self-centred its not about us its about God and the truth. we try to tell people the way to God before its too late and decision time is over. if you dont believe in Jesus and dont give your heart to him, confess and ask for forgiveness of sins and ask God to wash you by the blood of Jesus, be baptized and follow him you will not enter heaven. we just want to tell everyone that Jesus loves them and wants to have a personal relationship with them. im not sorry for telling you that if you dont accept Jesus before you die you will go strait to hell. that is not self centred or arrogant to show someone the truth to introduce them to God and prevent them from going to hell. self centred and arrogant is not warning someone of where they are headed. everyone deserves to know the truth. everyone deserves to know God. He died so all could be saved, healed, set free, live abundant life, live without fear, join him in heaven for eternity. But before you set about telling me to ask god for forgiveness, you have to prove that he actually exists. Can you do so? Can you also prove that all the other gods from other religions are false?
2. Prayer can actually change the course. its in the Bible. God also gives you answers by prayer and talks to us constantly. You've sort of missed the point here ...
3. God doesnt insist that you worship him he commands us to. (what a git!) he also created us and not created us like robots to all worship him. but he gave us choices. we have freedom to choose our actions. now what are the choices going to be. everyone has broke at least one of the commandments. which therefore make us unholy. the pope sinned believe it or not. Jesus died for our sins so when we are washed by the blood of jesus we are made pure and sinless which therefore we are now able to stand in Gods presence. Jesus is the onlyone who lived a pure life and sinless life. if God was an egomaniac why would he leave his throne in heaven and come to this earth and become a human and feel this great pain and save our sins, let himself get spit on, made fun of, get beaten, whipped, stabbed, and get killed on the cross by his own creation. thats humble. God just wants a relationship with us.
4. ask God Err, how ...?
5. what is the outcome of the stories? what does it teach you? The bible shows you the way to God, The way to heaven, the ways you should live your life, the truth. that to me is a good book That's not actually answering my question though.
6. ask God
7a. it is not said. we may one day find out. there is only so much our minds can comprehend.
7b. God doesnt need the sun moon and stars to make light. God can do that. So why create the sun moon and starts then?
7c. He spent all of this previous time on this small planet for us. look at how wonderful the earth is for us. there is so much on this earth that we have never discovered. God Loves us and wants the best for us
7d. God created them to give light to us. stars seem really interesting and magnificent. Gods creations are so amazing. he gave us some cool lighting. he did set them in the fermamant of heaven. they are "set in something." why do stars stay in place and are not moving in crazy directions and not constantly hitting earth? That would be gravity.
8. Faith. did you know that before i was born my parents friend that was a prophet prophesied that my parents were going to have a son. they did and then once the baby was taken out by c section they tied my moms tubes and cut them. a while later my dad runs into this guy again and this guy says to my dad that they are going to have a son. Mydad was thinking to himself we did and now that my wife had the operation it wouldnt happen. without speaking to the man about this the man said dont think what ever you are thinking you are going to have a son and he is going to be a minister. that child is me. the same doctor that did the operation on my mom delivered me. they all knew it was a miriacle
9. what do you mean conflict? a state of opposition between persons or ideas or interests; an incompatibility of dates or events; Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction. (some relevant definitions from dictionary.com)
10. a sacrifice had to be made and Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. do you think God would send his son down to die for us if it wasnt needed? You've missed the point - why was it needed ?
11. All hell is is being totally absent from God and his presence. Jesus died so we wouldent have to go to hell. God doesnt want anyone to go to hell. we choose where we want to go and now im giving you the choice. get saved, ask for forgiveness, ask for God to wash you by the blood of Jesus, repent, be baptised, believe in him and you will not enter hell. Only those who are holy are allowed in Gods presence. if you are saved God sees you as blameless and sinless which therefore are allowed in heaven. lucifer was kicked out because he sinned and wanted to become and take over Gods place. he was throwen out because Gods Glory is too Holy for that.
Additional ill pray for you constanly that the Holy Spirit would talk to you because its by the spirit you belive. i dont want you to go to hell. God doesnt either. God is calling for you. i will be by your side until you believe. its not because i want to push this all on you its because i love you and i want you to know what i know. Awwww, I'm touched!