Over the years I marvel at how biblically illiterate some are who claimed to have walked away from the faith. (I must note here that I think biblical illiteracy is also an issue among those who profess faith). One thing I often hear from those that have left the faith is their stated reason for leaving Christianity is because they had a particular problem(s) that didn’t go away when they became a believer. So they didn’t see why they “need” Christianity. This typically indicate a misunderstanding of what is a biblical view of life’s “problems.”
Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category
Posted in Apologetics, biblical counseling, christian apologetics, Christianity, Hardship, life's problems, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology, Trials on June 28, 2016 | 18 Comments »
I believe that in my previous three posts in this series I have adequately refuted the main point from a piece from the Huffington Post titled “Did Jesus Predict Muhammad?” This post is a “mop up” of some of the other fallacies the author committed in his attempt to argue that the Jesus prophecied about Muhammad.
One of the interesting argument that the writer gave is based upon 1 John 4:2. I will quote 1 John 4:1-3 for context:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
The quotation comes from the NASB.
Here’s the guy’s argument:
The author of 1 John is especially worried about Docetic versions of Christianity that had developed denying that Jesus “came in the flesh”; in these versions of Christianity Jesus was not an actual human being but rather an angelic being that only appeared to be human. Such a version of Christianity, obviously, would have been quite disconnected from the actual teachings and values of Jesus of Nazareth and his earliest followers, who knew him as a real human being. It is worth noting that Muhammad meets these criteria insofar as the Qur’an affirms that Jesus is the Messiah and that he “came in the flesh.”
He thinks Muhammad meets the requirement of 1 John 4:2 that therefore makes Muhammad a true prophet. Hm.
Apologetic Sermon Illustration #34: Army Ants’ Death Circles and Living Life without a point but going with the flow
Posted in ants, Apologetics, apologetics illustrations, christian apologetics, Christianity, death circles, Ecclesiastes, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology on May 24, 2016 | 9 Comments »
Point: Many in our world today are going through life without a purpose or following God’s purpose. I thought a fitting illustration of what people are like can be gleamed from Army Ants.
Picture: Animal behaviors fascinate me. Earlier today I read of a phenomenon known as Ant Death Circles or Death Spirals. Here’s a description of it over at NPR:
This is a species of army ant, Labidus praedator. These ants are completely blind so they get about by sniffing trails left by the ants in front of them. They, in turn, leave chemical trails of their own. The system works smoothly when everybody’s going in a straight line in one direction…
But when the lead ants start to loop, bad things can happen (and remember we humans loop too, we can’t hold a straight course over long distances without external points of reference). If the ant-in-front loops and intersects with its old trail, the whole crowd then turns in on itself and everybody gets caught in the endless circle.
Eventually these Army Ants walking in circles would die from exhaustion. Here’s a short video and explanation from an expert:
Posted in Apologetics, bible difficulties, bible interpretation, christian apologetics, Christianity, Jesus, Jesus Christ, logical fallacy, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology on May 20, 2016 | 9 Comments »
Over at liberal Huff Po Religion there is a piece I want to respond to that’s titled “Did Jesus Predict Muhammad?” This is part 2 of my response and earlier I wrote Part 1: Starting already in the Wrong Direction. In this post I will start to look at the bad exegesis found in part 2 of the article “Did Jesus Predict Muhammad?” Obviously Huff Po makes this out to be a great article. One starts wondering if there’s great exegesis going on here. But what I learned about Huff Posts Religion is that there’s a lot of huff and puffs, but no bites as far as exegesis or sound thinking is concerned. For instance, half a year ago they have on their website another piece that I responded to titled “HuffPost is wrong: Islamophobia is Racism?”
While it isn’t the main focus of the writer’s core argument that Jesus predicted Muhammad, we see right off the bat that the writer’s first effort in looking at a Biblical passage results in a bad interpretation. It’s like a sign of things to come.
Over at liberal Huff Po Religion there is a piece I want to respond to that’s titled “Did Jesus Predict Muhammad?” I’m responding to this because it’s a terrible article that no doubt probably has many people reading it but one that is plague with the lack of clear thinking. HuffPo Religion often have articles that provides many examples of how not to do theology. This is one of them.
Our writer begins his essay saying
The time has come for Christians and Muslims to make peace between our communities. Christians and Muslims already make up more than half of the global population, and these numbers are expected to grow in the coming decades; according to the Pew Research Center, by 2050, two thirds of humanity, some 5.7 billion people, will be either Christian or Muslim.
Our planet simply cannot afford another century of misunderstanding and violence between these two communities. The challenges we face as a global human family are profound: ongoing warfare and nuclear proliferation, global poverty and economic inequality, climate change and ecological degradation. How will humanity handle these crises and others if our two largest religious communities are embroiled in constant conflict, if misunderstanding defines our relationship?
- As a Christian I definitely don’t want violence between Christians and Muslims.
- What does our writer think is the source of the problem of lack of peace between these two communities? It’s very telling when he says “Our planet simply cannot afford another century of misunderstanding and violence between these two communities” and “misunderstanding defines our relationship.” According to the writer it’s a result of misunderstanding between the two communities.
- I do think there are misunderstandings among those in the two communities.
- But misunderstandings is not enough of a reason to explain violence. People often have misunderstanding of my ethnic minority background. But that doesn’t mean somehow there’s violence done towards me in of itself. It’s an inadequate explanation on the part of the author; ironically, it’s a misunderstanding that doesn’t account for radical Jihadists who commit violence against Christians who have been exposed if not even raised up in largely Western countries where one can’t just say it resulted from a mere misunderstanding. Something deeper and more complex is going on and the author’s explanation is too simplistic.
- If one identify what’s the problem wrongly, then don’t be surprised that the solutions offered would also be wrong.
So what’s our writer’s offered solution? Here’s one suggestion he offered:
The picture for this post is just for fun.
But seriously our friend Wally Fry made a good point in the comment section: Why not make it easier for readers to find as an easy reference the posts we have written answering alleged Bible contradictions? I concur. With his advice I’ve gone back to my posts and filed them under the category of “Bible contradictions.”
For convenience I’m also posting them on here my provisional list of posts answering Bible contradictions. I know the list is small since I didn’t intend to make a series on contradictions. Also the posts took some time for me to consider the context and a close examination of the verse in question at the level of consulting the Greek even when the resolution finally didn’t need to invoke the original languages.
So here’s the few posts I have done thus far on our blog (remember it’s a provisional listing!):
- Did or did not the Samaritans receive Jesus?
- Burying and Saying Bye to Parents in Luke 9:59-62
- Did Herod think Jesus was John the Baptist?
- Who can cast out devils in the name of Jesus?
- Who is for or against Jesus?
- Was Jairus’ daughter alive when Jesus was approached?
- What was Sodom’s sin?
- Was Jesus born in a house or a manger?
- Was Mary (the mother of Jesus) blessed?
- How many men were possessed with demons at the country of the Gadarenes?
- Were the Pharisees baptized by John?
- Where did the devils ask not to go?
- Bible taught Jesus and His Disciples were thieves?
- Does God sleep?
- How did David kill Goliath? And did he killed him twice?
And an “oldie:”
- Reconciling James 1:13-14 that God is not the source of temptation with Matthew 6:13, “And do not lead us into temptation”
This is a look at another alleged Bible contradiction from Luke 9 according to the Skeptic Annotated Bible.
Today’s question: Who is for or against Jesus?
Those who are not with Jesus are against him.
He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” Luke 11:23
Those who are not against Jesus are for him.
for he who is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:50
I think when we examine the passage carefully this will be shown to be not a contradiction. Let’s take a closer look: