Why can’t Christians just accept Darwinian Evolution as a fact so that we can finally all get along and be Best Friends Forever?
Is it true that God is really unchanging? Aren’t there verses in the Bible that both affirm and deny this belief, therefore establishing that there are contradictions in the Bible? To put it simply put, No.
For those who may not know about the trinity, it is the Christian doctrine which says that there is one God who has eternally existed as three distinct persons. While it may sound confusing at first, it is not illogical or impossible by any means, and I do my best to cover that issue in the article linked to above.
The Bible tells us that God is all powerful and is not in need of anything (Acts 17:24-25), therefore he is not dependent on us or our worship and obedience. However, we are fully dependent on God for everything we think to be good (James 1:17) and even that we see as evil (Job 2:10). So what’s the big deal with praise and obedience to God? If he doesn’t need it, why does he tell us to do it so much (Deut 6:13; 1 Chr 16:29; Zech 14:17; John 4:23, etc.)?
The Bible teaches us many things about God. Two of the things that it reveals to us, is that he is both knowable (Jer 9:24; John 17:3) and incomprehensible (Ps 139:6, 145:3, 147:5). To adequately understand how God can be both, we must properly define the two terms we are using to describe him; knowable and incomprehensible.
Often found among the groups of people who call themselves ‘;Agnostics’ or ‘;Deists’ is the claim that it is arrogant and prideful to say that we as Christians (Or adherents to any theistic system of belief) can know anything about God, let alone have a [personal] relationship with him. To respond to this accusation, we need to really answer three questions in one:
Revelation refers to the revealing of something that was previously unknown to a person or people group, but there are two ways that people receive these revelations; generally and specifically.
In multiple places the Bible makes authoritative claims about itself. To mention a couple verses where it does this, it says it is the word of God himself (2 Timothy 3:16) and contains commands for how we ought to live (Exodus 20, 1 Corinthians 14:37). So as a result of verses like these, does the Bible in fact Argue in a Circle?
There are a lot of reasons that I believe lead people to badly interpret the Bible, but if I were to give my top three reasons that I think this occurs, it would have to be the following:
Pantheism is the belief that God is everything; the air I breathe, the chair that I sit in, the tree outside, the person reading this post as well as the person writing it. Omnipresence on the other hand, is the attribute of God’s which explains that he sees everything because he is present in all places at all times; he is there when you are speeding down the freeway, getting an attitude with your coworker and lying about your diet.
The Bible is a resource that will teach us many things about God, others and ourselves; but we should in no way expect that it will teach us everything about anything. In coming to the Bible for answers to our questions, we should keep the following in mind.
There are many reasons why it is important that we make the Bible the basis for out beliefs; some of which include:
Yes, homosexuality is a sin. While there are many people trying to popularize the idea that the Bible does not label it a sin, Romans 1:26-27 says that “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” There are those who say that this is not referring to homosexuality, but in honesty I can’t figure out what else it is talking about.
This is a newer claim that is voiced by proponents of same-sex marriage. They state that denying them the ability to marry their same-sex partner is an intrusion on their rights. But in reality it is not. Homosexuals are not excluded from any piece of the Bill of Rights at all. To put it shortly, we all have the same rights. Whether homosexual or heterosexual, we both have the same freedom to legally marry someone of the opposite sex.
The claim that homosexuals are born that way is one that is often flashed into the public view yet is starkly contrary to the studies done in the area. According to Francis Collins, Director of the Genome Project, homosexuality is “… not hardwired by DNA, and… whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.”1
Why did God create us knowing that most of his creation would spend eternity away from him? How can I tell people that this same God loves them?
People of other faiths who truly believe that they are pursuing God are going to hell. How do I deal with this in terms of telling people that my God is loving and just?
God has given us the ability to choose him (John 1:12), but because our sin has so poisoned us, we refuse to choose him (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:11-18). As fallen people, we do not seek for God or desire to choose him. Jesus said that as a result to our constant sin, we are enslaved to our sinfulness (John 8:34); we are held captive by it and cannot in any way ‘;will’ ourselves back into freedom, but must be set free by someone with authority over the slave master. That person is Jesus Christ, and the Spirit he has sent pursues us to salvation.
Prayer is simply communication with God, and is important much like communication between a husband and a wife is important. Part of it is the act of releasing our stresses and our burdens onto him and part of it is thanking him and admitting our faults to him despite the fact the he already knows these things. Much like a husband may know that his wife struggles with a certain habit, her confession of that to her spouse greatly affects both parties, because now they can work together to resolve the issue. In addition, though my wife knows she got me exactly what I wanted for my birthday, my act of expressing my gratitude to her brings her great joy and draws us closer together.
Considering that we read how Thomas was not willing to believe that Jesus was risen from the dead unless he saw him physically and was able to put his hands into the wounds that were in his hands and side (John 20:25), I think it’s safe to say that the 500 people who saw Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:16) after his death and resurrection were made up of a mixture of believers and nonbelievers. However, I will assume that upon seeing Jesus risen from the dead with their own eyes and hearing him speak to them, it is likely that very few of them left that location as nonbelievers.
Did God choose to make the rules so that sinners could not go to Heaven? Why not forgive everyone? Why did we need Jesus apart from God’s rules about salvation?
Because of Jesus’ two natures, which are divine and human, he would as a man have someone he would call God. This does not imply that there are multiple gods since the doctrine of the Trinity states that there is one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5, 14, 18, 21-22) who exists in three persons (Gen. 1:26-27; Amos 4:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). The second person (the Son) was born here on the earth as a man under the law (Gal. 4:4), and being under the law he emptied himself in service to God the Father (John 8:28; Phil. 2:5-8).
If Jesus is God, then why in Matthew 24:36 did he say, “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”? Jesus told his followers that no one (Including him) knows when the judgment day will come, but only the Father does.
If Jesus is God, then why in Mark 12:29 did Jesus say “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” The words “our God” indicate that Jesus had a higher God over him, a stronger God than him. Jesus didn’t say “your God,” he said “our God” which includes Jesus as the creation of God.
If Jesus is God, then why in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 did he cry “out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”
Why in John 20:17 did Jesus say “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” If Jesus had not yet ascended to the Father, how could He have committed His Spirit to the Father?
The verses in the Bible which teach that no man can see God are in fact referring to no mortal man in this life. Even Moses was refused this honor (Ex. 33:20-23). Mortal man is simply not suited for that exposure. However, what man cannot see in this life, he will see in his immortal life (1 Cor. 13:12; Rev. 22:4). This is known as the beatific (blessed) vision and will be the spiritual climax of the believer to see God face-to-face, to know Him directly in His essence and not merely indirectly as reflected through created things (Rom. 1:18–20).
If Jesus is God, then why in John 5:37 did he say “the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,”? Jesus and God are different. People heard Jesus, but never heard God.
Because of Jesus’ two natures, which are divine and human, he would as a man have someone he would call God. This does not imply that there are multiple gods since the doctrine of the Trinity states that there is one, (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5, 14, 18, 21-22) who exists in three persons (Gen. 1:26-27; Amos 4:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). The second person of the Trinity (the Son) was born here on the earth as a man under the law (Gal. 4:4) and was temporarily lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9). He was the Word of God, which was God, and was made flesh (John 1:1, 14). As a result to all these criteria Jesus would properly pray to the Father. Since Jesus is not the Father, there is nothing in the verse that contradicts Jesus’ divinity.
If God cannot be tempted, then how was Jesus tempted in Matthew 4:1-11, if he was God in flesh?
This is simply a misunderstanding of what is written. If you read the verse in context it makes itself clear. But to put it simply yet descriptively, the intellectual world did not know God. A crucified messiah defied all the Jewish expectations and was dismissed as absurd by the Gentile world. But God’s wisdom and power are located in Christ. While what he did during his life, on the cross and after his resurrection may be seen as foolish and weak by men, God is wiser and stronger then they are. That is what the verse is saying.
If Jesus is God, then why in John 5:30 did Jesus tell his followers that he can’t do a single thing of his own initiative?
There is a bad idea that has been making it’s rotation around the skeptic club over the last several years. This idea states that if God exists, we would be able to observe Him ‘under a microscope.’ This statement has been transmitted by such prominent atheists as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet. Their appeal is obviously strictly to science. It is their belief that God, like everything else in existence, should be observable by science.
John 18:38 says that Pilate asked Jesus “what is truth?” There are two possible answers that can be given for this verse. The first is that the question is rhetorical, which is a question that is asked in such a way that a answer is not necessary. I think it is safe to say that we all know what truth is. Aristotle probably provided the best definition which is, ‘saying it like it is.” When you read the verse in context, it even reads like a rhetorical question.
If Jesus is God, then why in John 8:28 did he say “I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”? Can’t God do anything he wants?
If Jesus is God, then why in John 20:17 did he say “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”? This tells us that both Jesus and us have a common God.
Why in Matthew 26:39 did Jesus beg God to have mercy on him and kill him, before he went through the pain of crucifixion?
If Jesus is God, then why did he ask God for the forgiveness of his persecutors in Luke 23:34?
If Jesus is God, then why in Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 did he say “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”?
In John 14:28 Jesus said “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” Since the Father is greater than Jesus, doesn’t that mean that Jesus is not God?
According to the Numbers 27:1-11, widows and sisters don’t inherit at all. Daughters can inherit only if their deceased father had no sons. Isn’t this unfair to women?
In Ezekiel 26, it says that King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city of Tyre, but history records say that it was Alexander the Great who conquered it.
In Isaiah 7:14 it says that “The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” If this was speaking of Jesus, why was he never called by that name?
In Isaiah 7:14 it says that the virgin will conceive and bear a son. But doesn’t the word Hebrew word used there (Almah) really translate to simply a young woman and not necessarily a virgin?
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) Did the author believe he was living in the last days?
In one place of the Bible it says, “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night.” (Jer. 36:30) But then in another place it says, “So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.” (2 Ki. 24:6) Is this a contradiction?
In Matthew 8 Jesus heals the leper before visiting Peter’s house in (Matt. 8:2-4, 14). However in Mark 1 Jesus heals the leper after visiting Simon Peter’s house (Mark 1:29, 40-42). When was the leper healed?
Jesus said to him (Peter), “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22) Is Jesus implying that he will return to earth during the lifetime of John?
Was God satisfied with his works as mentioned in Genesis 1:31 or dissatisfied with his works according to Genesis 6:6?
“Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:30-31) Doesn’t this verse imply that Jesus would return during his listener’s lifetimes?
In Matthew 8:5-13 the Centurion approached Jesus, beseeching help for a sick servant; but in Luke 7:1-19 the Centurion did not approach Jesus, but sent his representatives. Which account is correct?
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” (Mark 9:1) It is also written, “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:27) Aren’t these verses stating that Jesus would return within the lifetime of some of his disciples?
How many generations were there between Abraham to David? Matthew 1:17 says fourteen generations but Matthew 1:2-6 lists only thirteen.