Showing posts with label Hard Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hard Questions. Show all posts

13 June 2016

Hard Questions #7

Hard Questions #7

What are key similarities and differences between the world's major religions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism)?


A1 Problem
B1 All religions lead to the same thing.
B2 The main thing to be concerned with is forgiveness of sins and an eternal home with blessings.

A2 Answers
B1 Chart


*Though atheism is essentially NOT religion, it is a belief system, so it is included.

26 April 2016

Hard Questions--Is Christianity a less intelligent worldview than atheism?

Is Christianity a less intelligent worldview than atheism? Why or why not?


A1 Problem (according to the atheist)

  • B1 Atheism is based on reason and logic.

  • B2 Christianity is based on blind faith in imaginary beings.

  • B3 Many modern day scholars have questioned the reliability of the Gospels and the real intentions of Jesus and what He wanted to do. Many have stated that Jesus did not intend to establish a new religion and himself as Messiah. These scholars offer suggestions of reforming Judaism to over throwing the Romans. (For a discussion of this from a Roman Catholic view see here).

A2 Answers

  • B1 Christianity is a reasonable faith, not blind faith.

  • B2 Jesus is a real, historical being.

    • C1 First century Christians (the Bible and early church fathers) and non-Christians write about a historical Jesus. See here and here

    • C2 The Gospels in particular and the whole of the New Testament was written when witnesses pro and con were still alive and could refute these writings.

  • B3 The scholars mentioned above accept some sayings and teachings of Jesus and reject others. They accept those sayings and teachings that lend credence to their views. It is best to take it all as real history or simply reject it as fiction.

  • B4 J. Warner Wallace offers the view of the chain of evidence from his book (Cold Case Christianity) and regarding the reliability of the New Testament here.

A3 Sources


05 February 2016

Hard Questions—All religions are the same?

Do all religions ultimately point to the same God? Why or why not?

hard questions

A1 Problem

B1 The claim is that all god/s are the same. Universalism--basic tenets

C1 Bible verses

D1 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22, EMTV)

D2 So then, as through one man's transgression judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For through the disobedience of the one man the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One many shall be constituted righteous. (Romans 5:18-19, EMTV)

D3 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He might show mercy to all. (Romans 11:32, EMTV)

D4 See also 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14

C2 Basics points

D1 Seven principles

E1 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

E2 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

E3 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

D2 Six sources

E1 Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

E2 Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

E3 Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

E4 Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

E5 Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;

E6 Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

C3 Universalism--errors

D1 Contradict the basics of orthodoxy. See the 5 basics doctrines

D2 Contradict the common creeds. See here.

B2 All ways lead to heaven. This is very common.

A2 Answers

B1 All god/s are the same. Obviously they are not. One can search online to find more basic tenants as here for example.

C1 Allah

D1 Trinity= Islam has NO trinity. Allah has no son.

D2 Salvation= submitting to the will of Allah to enter Paradise.

C2 Yahweh

D1 Trinity= Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit

D2 Salvation= all humans are sinners (except Jesus). Salvation is through Jesus alone. Works do not save but confirm.

C3 Hindu

D1 Trinity=Brahma (creator), Vishnu (protector), and Shiva (destroyer). See here and elsewhere.

D2 Salvation= all humans are in bondage to ignorance and illusion, hope for a better reincarnation.

B2 All ways lead to heaven. Obviously not. See above.

B3 Why Christianity is alone true. I've discussed this before and so will include some links that add to that.

C1 Do All Religions Lead to God?

C2 Many ways to God? Aren't all religions basically the same?

C3 Did Christianity Borrow From Pagan Religions?

29 January 2016

Hard Questions—personal experiences

How can Christians think their personal religious experiences with God are any more "true" than those of adherents to other belief systems?

hard questions

A1 Definitions

B1 Experience

C1 Something physical as a burning in your bosom, tingling in your leg, pain,or some other physical sensation.

C2 Something mental including hallucinations, delusions, physical sensations that accompany it.

C3 Something spiritual as visions, dreams, trance, occultic experiences as out of body, automatic writing, messages from the other side, etc.

B2 True--reality

B3 More true--my subjective experience is real, yours is either deception or fake. This is subjective, not objective.

B4 Faith

C1 In the Christian sense would be believing what Yahweh said. If Jesus says He will return, He will. That is faith. Abraham believed God (Genesis 15.6). That is faith.

C2 In a general sense would be believing what was read, said, or seen.

A2 Answer

B1 A Christian should not place faith or trust "just because" or based on some experience.

B2 Faith

C1 If this famous person...

...walked up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Richard Dawkins." I would think it most reasonable to have faith. I would believe him, because it would be most reasonable. Faith is belief.

C2 If I were to see a motorcade with a number of official cars and saw President Obama's face, it would be most reasonable to believe that I saw the president.

B3 Trust

C1 Faith can lead to trust or mistrust depending on the circumstances.

D1 Would you trust this person?

D2 Or this one?

D3 Would this help make the decision?

D4 This one?

D5 Why or why not?

D6 Faith or trust in these people and those we meet and know every day is based on most reasonable facts.

B3 The Christian faith is based on what is most reasonable.

C1 A man named Jesus did exist. Tacitus (Annals XV, 44), Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars 26.2), Pliny the Younger (Epistles X, 96) and many others.

C2 If so, what type of man was he? The New Testament had many witnesses. There were over 500 who saw the resurrected Jesus. After that He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, while some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15.6, WPNT)

C3 The Chain of Evidence as outlined by J. Warner Wallace in his book "Cold Case Christianity."

C4 If this Jesus is what the Gospels say He is, then we must accept that as the most reasonable evidence. See among many books "The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell

C5 Other references and books can be found on this page.

B4 The experiences of other faith/religious systems would on the surface of it be equal. The question is which is most reasonable? Jesus, as is taught in traditional theology, would be the most reasonable option. An experience may be interesting, but it is not a proof or most reasonable.

23 January 2016

Hard Questions—about eternal hell

Isn't hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?

hard questions

A1 Definitions

B1 Hell

C1 Hebrew

D1 H7585 שְׁאוֹל sh'owl (sheh-ole'), which grave or world of the dead. It is described as down to the grave as Genesis 42:38, to the world of beings below the surface of the earth as Psalms 55:15, a place of punishment for the wicked Deuteronomy 32:22, a place to avoid that has sorrow and punishment. There is hope, however, as in Job 19:26, Psalms 16:10, and Psalms 19:45.

D2 H6900 קְבוּרָה qbuwrah (keɓ-oo-raw') is the grave. This is a place for the body. It is just like our grave of today. It is not hell.

C2 Greek

D1 G1067 γέεννα geenna (ge'-en-na) was a valley near Jerusalem. Since it was the garbage pit of the area, there were fires continuously burning, thus a picture of the future hell.

D2 G86 ᾅδης hades (ha'-d̮ees) is the same as Sheol in Hebrew.

D3 G5020 ταρταρόω tartaroo (tar-ta-ro'-ō) which is a special holding area for especially wicked, rebellious fallen angels.

D4 Lake of Fire is the final, true hell. God created this for the rebellious, wicked angels. The rebellious, wicked humans will also go there at the final judgment.

C3 For further study see

D1 \


B2 Punishment

Law Dictionary--What is PUNISHMENT?

In criminal law, Any pain, penalty, suffering, or confinement inflicted upon a person by the authority of the law and the judgment and sentence of a court, for some crime or offense committed by him, or for his omission of a duty enjoined by law. See Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 320, 18 L. Ed. 356; Featherstone v. People, 194 N. E. 084; Ex parte Howe, 20 Or. 181, 37 Pac. 530; State v. Grant, 79 Mo. 129, 49 Am. Rep. 218.


A2 Answer

B1 People don't go to hell because of their doctrine (truth claims) or if "they asked Jesus in their heart."

B2 People go to hell because they are blasphemers, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, etc. Every person (except the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 4:15)) has done these things at least in their thoughts but many times in actions, too.

C1 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, EMTV)

C2 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." (Galatians 3:10, EMTV)

B3 Nevertheless why would these sins result in eternal damnation?

C1 God's holiness is eternal.

D1 Holiness is a state of not ever breaking a law in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds. If holiness is nothing more than "being separate," then God would be an introverted loner. There has to be some standard of what is sacred and profane. This standard is perfect adherence to the Law of God.

D2 God is holy.

E1 The very definition of "god" would have to have this.

E2 If the definition of "god" could include the idea of not being holy, then what laws would he/she be breaking. Would it be their own laws? Then he/she would be a hypocrite. If it was someone's law, who would that be? Would there then be a higher being than "god?"

D3 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11, ESV)

D4 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy. (Psalms 99:9, NKJV)

C2 God's warning that punishment never ends.

D1 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31, NKJV)

D2 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

D3 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8, NKJV)

D4 And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:46, EMTV)

C3 God's forgiveness is based on faith, not sight.

D1 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24, NKJV)

D2 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. (Romans 8:3, GNB92)

D3 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)

C4 Humanity's refusal/resistance to God's plea.

D1 "How stubborn you are!" Stephen went on to say. "How heathen your hearts, how deaf you are to God's message! You are just like your ancestors: you too have always resisted the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51, GNB92)

D2 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37, EMTV)

14 January 2016

Hard Questions—danger of using common sense?

What is the role and danger of using "common sense" in evaluating truth claims?

hard questions

A1 Common sense

B1 Defined

C1 Wordsymth: practical judgment based on experience or native intelligence, and not on education or training.

C2 Infoplease: sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence. Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

C3 The Law Dictionary: Sound practical judgment; that degree of intelligence and reason, as exercised upon the relations of persons and things and the ordinary affairs of life, which is possessed by the generality of mankind, and which would suffice to direct the conduct and actions of the individual in a manner to agree with the behavior of ordinary persons.

C4 Sense can be both

D1 Common in that people and animals recognize a certain shape, smell, taste, etc. to be the same. Salt is an example.

D2 Special in that people know their culture and cultural thinking, which would influence a decision or opinion.

B2 Example

C1 We don't step in front of a speeding car, because we know what will happen. We have seen pictures of it, etc.

C2 We don't drink poison, because we know what poison does.

A2 Atheist explanation

B1 Some may consider common sense true, but it really might not be. It used to be people considered tomatoes poisonous, but obviously they are not.

B2 Our common sense may reject things that we cannot see or experience but are in fact true as the movement of continental plates or a heavy and light object fall at the same rate (resistance as air, etc. influences the slower fall of feathers compared to a rock).

A3 Answer

B1 Christians have a reasonable faith, not a common sense faith (even if that is true).

B2 Christians appeal to facts as history, archeology, and the great number of eye witnesses.

B3 People may have different philosophical definitions of truth, but when they are short-changed by the cashier, they throw their philosophy out the window and want the correct change back.

B4 Faith is based on truth.

B5 Faith in someone is based on prior dealings with him/her. They are proven.

B6 Jesus existed. This is most reasonable.

A4 Resources




07 January 2016

Hard Questions—Christians have objective truth?

How can it be reasonable for Christians to claim knowledge of an objective truth?

hard questions

I'm not positive of her full question. I think she is asking if believing in God can be an objective truth.

A1 Objective truth

B1 Basically is reality.

B2 It is raining outside. True or false?

B3 God exists. True or false?

B4 How do we test if these are true?

B5 Does God exist?

A2 Reasonable truth is what a Christian claims.

A3 Christians don't believe in blind faith.

B1 Many may have not thought this through, and so they are ignorant.

B2 We have a reasonable faith.

A4 Again I refer to Cold Case Christianity and Please Convince Me.

24 December 2015

Hard Questions—What is the difference between objective and subjective truth?

What is the difference between objective and subjective truth?

hard questions

The article below is from my ongoing book on basic doctrine.

Truth (Basics)

A1 Defined

B1 Eyewitness: as in testimony

B2 Repeatable: as in math

B3 Consistent

B4 Legal: based on law, as in speed limit

B5 Faithfulness: as in true to a person or cause

B6 Fact vs. Opinion. This would be difference subjectively/objectively.

B7 Comment from IVPBBC--

The Greek concept of truth emphasized reality; the Old Testament word translated "truth" had more to do with integrity or faithfulness to one's word or character. Jewish thought characterized God as the Truth, so Jesus' hearers should realize that he refers specifically to God's truth in the Jewish sense. [Comment on John 8:32--The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener]

B8 The Hebrew, 'emeth, has to do with stability.

A2 Theories

B1 Objective: the description of an object is correct

C1 Correspondence theory: verifiable

D1 How a statement's truth or falsity corresponds to the world of reality.

D2 How thoughts and statements correspond to things and facts. [1]

D3 Examples:

E1 It is raining outside. Is it or isn't it?

E2 The dog ate the hot dog. Did the dog eat the hot dog or not?

D4 Difficulties

E1 God exists. Is this true or not?

E2 How can this be verified?

E3 Usually statements need to be checked as true or false have to be verifiable and repeatable.

B2 Subjective:

C1 Coherence Theory of Truth: not verifiable. This deals with how something lines up with subjective reality. Something may be true because it lines up with our belief system.

C2 Constructivist theory: truth is what society has struggled with and come to a conclusion. It is not based on any transcendent facts. "...perceptions of truth are viewed as contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. [2] Basically truth is whatever society says it is, thus changeable.

C3 Consensus theory: truth is whatever is agreed upon by a person or group. That group may be a group of one or the whole human race.

C4 Pragmatic theory: does a belief work; if it does, then it is truth. Thus some believe an idea must be tested by a group or individual. There is also negative pragmatic theory that holds that if it works may or may not be true, but it is for sure that if it fails, then it is NOT truth.

D1 Negative pragmatism: any statement can be true, but if it doesn't work (it fails), it has to be false.

B3 A flow chart concerning truth can be found here:

C1 Truth cannot be known: nihilism

C2 Truth can be known

D1 Inflationary (substantive) theories: (truth can/may be defined)

E1 Correspondence: the idea that there is a "correspondence" between belief and reality.

F1 Need to define terms

F2 Examples:

G1 That leaf is green; need to define leaf and green.

G2 I love my wife; need to define love and wife.

G3 God exists; need to define God and exists.

E2 Coherence

F1 Defined: a statement must cohere (stick together) to other statements known to be truth

F2 Examples:

G1 "It is raining cats and dogs outside."

H1 True or false?

H2 How does it compare to commonly accepted truths.

I1 Is it wet outside?

I2 Are drops of water falling from the sky?

I3 Are cats and dogs falling from the clouds?

I4 Are other people standing here see the same?

G2 A common example

Coherence Theories are valuable because they help to reveal how we arrive at our truth claims, our knowledge. We continually work at fitting our beliefs together into a coherent system. For example, when a drunk driver says, "There are pink elephants dancing on the highway in front of us", we assess whether his assertion is true by considering what other beliefs we have already accepted as true, namely,

  • Elephants are gray.

  • This locale is not the habitat of elephants.

  • There is neither a zoo nor a circus anywhere nearby.

  • Severely intoxicated persons have been known to experience hallucinations.

But perhaps the most important reason for rejecting the drunk's claim is this:

  • Everyone else in the area claims not to see any pink elephants.

In short, the drunk's claim fails to cohere with a great many other claims that we believe and have good reason not to abandon. We, then, reject the drunk's claim as being false (and take away the car keys).

E3 Pragmatism

F1 Defined: If it works, then it is true. (Relativism).

F2 Post-modernism

F3 No absolutes except the absolute--there is no absolute truth

F4 Not practical as it is subjective and changeable.

F5 Is it falsifiable?

D2 Deflationary theories: (truth cannot or needs not to be defined)

E1 Redundancy: adding "it is true" to any statement. It is true that the dog is barking. It is true is not needed.

E2 Prosententialism: this deals with prosentences. A prosentence is a sentence that stands for something. "My dog is black, so I didn't see it at night." The word 'it' means the dog. If I say, "That's true," the sentence "that's true" is a prosentence.

E3 Disquotationism: removing quotations marks around statements. The statement "it is true," simply becomes it is true.

B4 Ways to know something [see 3]

C1 Empirical

D1 What sense organs (taste, smell, see, feel, hear, also instruments that may extend these as microphone, telescopes, microscopes, etc.)

D2 The senses may be wrong as in optical illusions, delusions, hallucinations, ventriloquists, etc.

D3 We may know our own stimulated senses but how do we know others?

C2 Rational

D1 Not what is sensed but what is arrived at by reason using mathematical proofs

D2 Descartes: I think, therefore I am. (also rationalists as Spinoza and Leibniz).

D3 Criticism:

E1 The world out "there." How does someone know the sun is shining.

E2 Reality would be different for different people. How do I someone else thinks?

C3 Mystical: a feeling or sense inside someone as premonition, burning in the bosom, tingling, "peace"

C4 Pragmatical: finding out what works

C5 Authority: because someone (an authority) says so. This is no more than "trust me" and is often manipulative.

B5 The Bible and Truth

C1 Words for truth

D1 "emet" H571 with the idea of stability, truth. This would be as a stable object that when pushed, blown on, tested is various ways proves unchangeable (unalterable) thus constant, lasting permanent. Stability includes the ideas of resistance to change. It comes from the root "aman" (TWOT entry 116). There is an idea of reality in what is said and done. God is truth.

D2 "aletheia" G225. It means not hidden or covered up. It is something out for all to see. "It denotes a reality that is firm, solid, binding, and hence true. With reference to persons it characterizes their action, speech, or thought, and suggests integrity." [4]

C2 How can we know that this sentence (Jesus is God) is true?

D1 All the above theories fail. God cannot be studied or analyzed.

D2 What direct proof would be adequate?

D3 Does circumstantial evidence adequate?

D4 Is there a difference is "proof" and "reasonably?"

E1 Proof: an absolute found in math and logic but not science.

E2 Reasonable: the preponderance of circumstantial evidence

B6 Only God can know and reveal truth, so whatever the Lord Jesus says and does is truth. That is the only measure of truth. In this sense logic, science, and math are not perfect.

C1 Can only true Christians know what is true or not?

C2 Is the phrase, "All truth is God's truth," true?

B7 Jesus--this is the only correct one. (Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. --John 14:6)

B8 Theory and how we live our lives

C1 Theory is interesting and philosophical but what about how we live our lives. People do not live their lives totally in the theoretical. Is it raining or not? Does God exist or not? Since God cannot be tested with the senses, we must find these out by what is most reasonable. This is a view to circumstantial evidence. The more circumstances there are, the more likely it is true.

A3 Contrasted

B1 Lie

C1 He said to him, "I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ' Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.' " (He was lying to him.) (1 Kings 13:18)

C2 "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. (Ezekiel 13:22)

C3 A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies. (Proverbs 14:5)

B2 Deceit

C1 My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. (Job 27:4)

C2 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. (Proverbs 12:17)

B3 Hypocrite

C1 The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? (Luke 13:15)

C2 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:28)

B4 Belief systems that fear the truth with uncomfortableness, exposure,

C1 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

C2 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us." Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: "Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, (Isaiah 30:9-12)

A4 Importance

B1 Is freeing (And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." --John 8:32)

C1 No need to remember lies

C2 Confidence

C3 Safety

C4 From harm

C5 From deceit

C6 From false teaching

B2 Only known from the Bible (Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. --John 17:17)

C1 Holy Spirit is teacher

C2 Bible is the text book

C3 You and I are the students

C4 We only learn when we study

A5 Bible passages

B1 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, (Exodus 34:6). Thus the very character of God, what He does, what He says, and what He thinks is truth.

B2 And Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak." Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" And he said, "Go and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand!" So the king said to him, "How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?" Then he said, "I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ' These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.' " (2 Chronicles 18:13-16) Thus a contrast between truth and lie; the king saw the difference perhaps from the tone of voice. Micaiah might have been speaking this with a sarcastic voice.

A6 References





A7 Lecture

B1 Define truth

B2 Offer examples

C1 If a=b and 12/4 = 3 and 3 = 12/4, then does truth = fact and fact = truth

C2 If fact is truth, then was Satan's offer to Jesus truth or the words of Satan to Eve were fact?

D1 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "' You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'" (Luke 4:5-8)

D2 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, ' You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ' You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. (Genesis 3:1-4)

A8 Sources

B1 [1] Correspondence Theory of Truth (n.d.). In Correspondence Theory of Truth. Retrieved January 24, 2014, from

B2 [2] The reader is hereby given permission to copy and distribute any or all pages from this website as long as text and graphics is not altered and the copyright and this permission statement is included as part of all copies. Information on this website must not be used for any commercial purposes.

B3 [3]

B4 [4] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged (TDNTa), Kittel, Gerhard; Friedrich, Gerhard, 1985, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Entry: aletheia.

20 December 2015

Hard Questions—Why worship God?

Why would God need people to worship Him (isn't that egotistical and arrogant)?

A1 Question

hard questions

B1 Does God need it?

C1 God needs nothing

D1 "...nor by the hands of men is He served, as though He needed anything, for He gives to all life and breath with respect to all things. (Acts 17:25, EMTV) Nor does he need anything that we can supply by working for him, since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. (Acts 17:25, GNB92)

D2 Psalm 50:8-15

D3 Since He is the source of life and everything that is, He needs nothing.

D4 Since He owns everything, He needs nothing.

B2 What is worship? See below in answers

A2 Answer

B1 Reasons

C1 Being thankful--Matthew 15:36, Romans 1:21, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Philippians 4:6, Revelation 7:12

C2 Praise for good work--Luke 19:37, 1 Kings 8:55-56

C3 For a compliment--Mark 7:37, Luke 23:41

C4 Respect and honor--Matthew 2:2, Matthew 2:11, Matthew 4:9-10, Matthew 8:2, Romans 1:25, Revelation 4:10, Revelation 9:20, Revelation 22:8-9

C5 Singing for our emotional expression--2 Chronicles 5:13, Revelation 5:8-14

B2 God gives these to us

C1 Thanks--John 11:41, 1 Peter 1:7

C2 Praise--Luke 22:28-30, Romans 2:29, 1 Corinthians 4:5

C3 Compliment--Matthew 25:21

C4 Honor--John 5:44, John 12:26

17 December 2015

Hard Questions—Is the Old Testament God different from the New Testament God?

Why does the "Old Testament God" seem different than the "New Testament God?"

hard questions

A1 Problem

B1 The God of the Old Testament is angry, but the God of the New Testament is love.

B2 The Old Testament God is angry, holy, vengeful, punishing; the New Testament God is meek, mild, compassionate, and loving.

A2 Solution

B1 There is a misreading and understanding of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.

C1 Old Testament

D1 God is holy and punishes. Joshua 24:19, Exodus 20:5, Isaiah 27:11

D2 God is compassionate and loving. Exodus 34:6, Psalms 86:15, Jonah 4:2

C2 New Testament

D1 God is holy and punishes. John 2:15, John 18:6, Matthew 23:33

D2 God is compassionate and loving. Matthew 15:32, Hebrews 5:2, Matthew 20:34

B2 God's character

C1 His likes and dislikes.

C2 Heaven is where God "lives." God does not like liars, adulterers, haters, bullies, abusers, covetousness, murder, thieves, etc. So in heaven He does not want these things happening, and they will not happen.

C3 Israel is a nation, a DNA people, chosen by God to be a special people for a special mission. Because they are to represent Him, they must be like Him in their thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. They were and are not, so God becomes angry just as He said.

C4 This is all summarized in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20).

C5 Of the 10 Commandments, 9 are repeated in the New Testament.

Old Testament

New Testament

Do not have no other gods besides meMatthew 4:10, 1 Corinthians 8:4, 1 John 5:20-21, 1 Corinthians 5:11
Do not make any graven imageRomans 1:23, Revelation 9:20, Matthew 4:9-10
Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vainMatthew 5:33-37, Colossians 3:8, 2 Timothy 3:2
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor your father and motherMark 10:19, Matthew 19:19, Ephesians 6:2
Do not killJames 2:11, Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Romans 13:9
Do not commit adulteryJames 2:11, Matthew 5:27, Matthew 19:18, Romans 13:9
Do not stealMatthew 19:18, Romans 13:9, Ephesians 4:28
Do not bear false witness against your neighborMatthew 19:18, Romans 13:9, 1 Timothy 1:10
Do not covetRomans 13:9, Romans 7:7, Luke 12:15, 1 Corinthians 5:11, Colossians 3:5

C6 No sinner will be in heaven.

B3 All people are sinners and will face God's wrath.

C1 God reveals His character. His character reflects His rules.

C2 He warns what will happen if disobedience occurs.

C3 He provides a plan for forgiveness.

C4 Image

C5 Need God

A3 Further study

B1 Is God different?

B2 Isn't the God of the Old Testament Harsh, Brutal, and Downright Evil?

16 December 2015

Hard Questions-- Why does God remain so hidden?

Why does God remain so hidden?

hard questions

A1 Problem—If God exists, why can't we see Him?

A2 Notes

B1 The skeptic's view

B2 The Christian view

A3 Solution

B1 Many people have said, "Just let God show Himself, and I will believe."

B2 Response, "If you saw someone who claims to be god, how would you know?"

B3 What are the characteristics of God? (just a few are given).

C1 Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent

C2 Always existed, just, love

B4 Nevertheless, why doesn't God reveal Himself today?

C1 "Didn't He publicly reveal Himself during the giving of the 10 Commandments, all the wonders to Israel and Egypt, and Jesus on earth doing miracles in the sight of many people? It seems as if He was advertising Himself."

C2 Sin Isaiah 59:2, Isaiah 64:7, Habakkuk 1:13.

D1 God likes some things and dislikes some things. The things that He hates are called sin.

D2 Some examples--lying, murder, hate, adultery, idolatry, covetousness.

D3 There are seven things that the LORD hates and cannot tolerate: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and someone who stirs up trouble among friends. (Proverbs 6:16, GNB92)

D4 These are a few of the reasons that God hides Himself.

C3 Even if God was to reveal Himself to people, most would reject Him anyway. They would not worship and love Him.

C4 Miracles bring the conversion of a few if any. Jesus and the Apostles did many miracles, yet most people rejected.

B5 Evidence of His being. A number of articles dealing with witnesses, clues, and questions about the evidence of God's existence.

11 December 2015

Hard Questions—How can a loving God send people to hell?

How can a loving God send people to hell?

hard questions

A1 Briefly

B1 Two choices

C1 God doesn't love

C2 God does love

C3 Love is defined as

D1 Choice rather than emotion

D2 Has the characteristics of kindness, firmness, commitment, tenderness, gentleness

D3 Is described as (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

E1 Patient

E2 Kind

E3 Without envy

E4 Without conceit

E5 Without arrogance

E6 Good behavior

E7 Not selfish

E8 Calm, no hateful anger

E9 Doesn't bring up the other person's faults over and over

E10 Doesn't rejoice when bad things happen to someone

E11 Rejoices in the truth

E12 Forbears

E13 Has the attitude to believe (one would especially see this in their spouse or child. They listen and take what they say seriously. It does not imply blind faith or believing something that is questionable).

E14 Faith, hope, and patience do not fail.

C4 God does love.

D1 His character is love. Exodus 34:6-7, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:12

D2 He sent His only, begotten Son to die for the sins of humanity. Matthew 16:21, Hebrews 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:6, Romans 5:8

B2 Why not just annihilate them?

C1 Not showing love to the victims. Punishment is needed for their sake to pay back the evil others did to them.

C2 Not satisfying justice. Is there justice in the world? People cry out for justice. If there is no justice, then there is no satisfaction of equal treatment. Bribes, bullying, threats, etc. would be much more common that already exist.

C3 Incentive. What incentive would there be to live peacefully in society, it there was no punishment whatsoever?

B3 Humans exceptionalism

C1 We are created in the image of God, so we live forever.

D1 Created Genesis 1:27

D2 Resurrection Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:46, John 5:29

C2 Moral and responsible for others. This results in that we have duties to perform. See here and here
(also see links on those pages). Genesis 2:15 (some would include Revelation 11:18, for we are to take care of the earth), Psalms 8:6

B4 God has warned about disobedience. Ezekiel 18:4, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Exodus 20

B5 God has given the solution. Acts 16:30-31, Acts 10:43. See Need God.