No self-respecting historian denies that a Jewish rabbi named “Jesus” walked the earth in the early First Century. However, we live in a world where people get their “history” from the Da Vinci Code and similar absurdities. Therefore, it’s necessary to cover the evidence.
The New Testament is sufficient evidence by itself, being the best attested ancient document, by far. I mean, Paul took beatings and stonings and wrote his letters for a reason. Peter traveled and taught the gospel for a reason. The Gospels were written for a reason.
It’s clear that these documents date to the early First Century. Contrary to the teaching of some European scholars in the 19th Century, the evidence of the age of the New Testament is now over-whelming.
Today, no self-respecting theologian, no matter how liberal, doubts that the real Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as the first or among the earliest New Testament books, sometime around 53 to 57 AD, that is, less than 25 years after Jesus’ crucifixion — when plenty of people who’d been there were still around. Continue reading
The history of the world weighs heavily in favor of Christianity, even when we consider the many missteps taken in the name of Christianity, such as the Crusades, slavery, and the Inquisition.
I had intended to write a post on this subject, but I’ve found several excellent articles already on the Internet that I could not easily better. Continue reading
Making Weakness Perfect
While you’re there, check out the greatly improved look (still under construction), the archives, the forums, and the job boards.
God has a way of turning up in the strangest places. When we look into the skies with remarkably powerful telescopes seeing stars billions of lights away (and so billions of years in the past), we see evidence of creation from nothing, the sudden appearance of light, and the separation of light from darkness.
We see the hand of God. Continue reading
Borrowing once again from C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity –
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say.
C.S. Lewis, a former atheist, wrote in Mere Christianity,
If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents — the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms.
And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts — i.e., of materialism and astronomy — are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.
First Point: If you’ve not already done this, go buy a copy of Mere Christianity. And then read it about three times in a row. It’s short, brilliantly reasoned and worded — and life changing. Anyone can understand Lewis’s clearly worded logic and will come away with a deeper, richer, better understanding of Christianity. Continue reading
We’re done with science and Christianity for a while, and I have no plans to return to the science of origins.
I just want to reflect a bit on one of the deeper issues underlying the last few posts before moving on to very different topics.
One of the common ideas expressed in the Churches of Christ and Protestantism in general is the notion that any person can pick up the Bible and interpret it correctly all by himself or herself. This is obviously just not true, and we need to stop saying it. Continue reading
Eden in the Fertile Crescent
Suppose we move Eden back to something like 65,000 BC, when humans were first in Mesopotamia — the traditional site of Eden. Or if we’re willing to move Eden to Africa, we can move Eden back to when man was first preparing to move out of Africa and into Asia. But the location of Eden seems pretty specific –
(Gen 2:14 ESV) 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
The Flood itself was either a local flood or else God chose to leave no physical evidence of the Flood on the planet. There is no archaeological or geological evidence for a global Flood.
Obviously, God could have caused a global flood and removed all evidence, which one may believe as a matter of faith. But we have no business claiming that science supports the Flood as a global flood. It just doesn’t.
Proposition: Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden are a special creation within the Creation
I believe God created Adam and Eve from scratch, just as is described in Genesis 2. There was a real, literal Garden of Eden, just as is described in Genesis 2. The rest of this is admittedly speculation, but speculation with a purpose — to demonstrate that there is at least one way, perhaps more, to reconcile the archaeology of early man with Genesis 4-9. Continue reading