In part 1 of this series, I pointed out that God will not allow liars into heaven (Rev 21.8), and then pointed out some of the lies that will keep you from heaven. Some wanted to make a distinction between those actively lying by trying to deceive, and those duped by the lies. But those who read closely understood that objection was answered implicitly with the analogy of poison: It doesn’t matter if you drink poison because someone lied to you and told you it was a harmless soft drink; Or because you’ve deceived yourself and are now convinced that the poison – say arsenic – is not really poison at all, and it won’t harm you, in fact it’s good for you so you consume lots of it. (Think “did God really say…” Gen 3.1) – regardless of what causes you to drink the poison whether you’re actively deceiving (yourself) or are merely deceived and believe the lie, if you drink it, you will die. Continue Reading
A Christmas Day Meditation
The word “story” is a rather ambiguous word. It’s ambiguous in that the word itself does not tell you whether the story is true or not. Thus we’ve come up with phrases to help us with that. When the story is true, we use phrases like ” the true story of…” or ” (story name), a true story”, or “the real story of” – to differentiate true stories from stories full of common misconceptions.
We also have ways identifying stories that are not true. When we tell “fairy stories” we’re telling a story we’re acknowledging to be a fanciful, made up fictional string of events. Or we may end an explanation with “… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” Most people understand this as a tacit admission that parts or all of the story might not true, but the teller of the story is unwilling to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” as you would in a court of law. Continue Reading
Since the limited run of Genesis: Paradise Lost is almost over (there’s a final encore on December 11, 2017), you may be wondering why another review. We’ll get to that in a moment. But first let me note that a number of even handed reviews have already been written. Here are 3 of them: Continue Reading
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’–which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of those standing near heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he’s calling Elijah.’
One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.”
“It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.
Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died.” When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.
Mark 15.34-37; 42-45
Pilate was surprised to learn that Jesus had died so quickly. That was because Roman crucifixion was not merely an execution. It was a slow death by way of torture, filled with excruciating pain, designed by the Romans to extend the amount of time it actually took to die as long as possible. “Historically the process could take anywhere from 3-4 hours to 3-4 days. And there were reports of people living as long as 9 days on a cross.” The Jewish leaders and Pilate were both expecting it to take days for Jesus to die as was typical. That’s why the Jewish leaders petitioned Pilate to have his legs broken (John 19.31). Because when hung on a cross for crucifixion, “Modern forensic research shows that a person whose hands are bound above his head has severe trouble breathing.” The results being that:
“The muscles that run between the ribs are basically fully extended which means the ribs are fully expanded, which means the chest is essentially passively full of air. In order to get the stale air and the carbon dioxide and all the waste gases out, the victim would actually have to actively lift themselves up to get the pressure off of these muscles and allow themselves to exhale.”
Robert M. Morris, MD
ER Chief, Stanford medical center
I was asked by multiple atheists – what if some other religious book were true? Here is the response.
|In the song “Nada One” Heart’s Nancy Wilson sings about an ephemeral, nocturnal love who has glowing, night creature eyes that frequents her dreams. This mysterious love seems to appear only in dreams where no one can see him. For even when wandering through streets, she describes this scene:
With such descriptions, one questions the reality of his existence. Indeed she herself seems to harbor a doubt or two since she must reminder herself “you are as real as I feel.” The one thing that’s not mysterious in this song, is what she means by “nada one.” Clearly “nada one” is a play on the sound of the phrase “not a one,” yet still, one must wonder – since it is always capitalized – if she’s using it as a proper noun – speaking or referring to a being named “Nada One.” The Wilson sisters were purposefully ambiguous for artistic purposes. But as we’ll see God is purposefully clear and unambiguous to eliminate doubt and nurture faith.
I was reminded of this song as I awaited responses to a question I had posed. Let me step back and explain. I saw the below tweet that informed people that last Thursday was “National Ask an Atheist Day.”
This seemed like a perfect opportunity to re-query the unbelieving regarding a question I had asked in a Continue Reading