Advertisement

shaunlepage

Follow

Comment history

The Learning Co-op celebrates 20 years of supporting local home schools

Way to go, Cathy. Thanks for all you do.

December 5, 2012 at 4:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Faith Forum: Should a self-serving prayer request be considered sinful?

Cleopatra (Leslie),You certainly have a way with words. Do you think it matters at all which God/god we pray to? Take a look at "Praying to the Scarecrow" at http://keepyourhead.wordpress.com/200...

January 12, 2009 at 1:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

good grief, Marion. go rent a funny movie and lighten up. good night.

July 23, 2007 at 11:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Marion. The question of "why suffering?" is not an easy one. Some suffering serves a higher purpose. God's way of moving people out of their complacency and unbelief. Some suffering is judgment and also serves to wake people up. But those arguments don't seem to explain suffering children. Why doesn't God end all suffering? I can't tell you why. I won't pretend I have all the answers, but what I do know is this: The Bible tells us things aren't supposed to be this way and God will end suffering someday.

Just because we don't understand does not mean God is not all-powerful or not all-good. The classical Christian explanation is: God is all-powerful, so He is able to end evil. And, God is all-good, so He will end evil someday. This is what I believe.

The Old Testament character Job went through horrible suffering. He trusted God throughout that ordeal, but eventually began to question why these things were happening to him. He demanded that God show up and explain it to him. Chapter 38 says, "Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand..." and He went on for a few chapters asking Job questions to show Job that His (God's) understanding was way beyond Job's understanding. After Job heard all this, we're told, "Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."

God never told Job why he was suffering. But Job was content to know that God was God and Job was not. You probably won't be satisfied with this answer, but I ask you to at least think about it and--dare I say--pray about it. If God is real (as I believe He is) and He is the Creator and Lord and Judge of the universe (as the Bible says He is), then does He have to explain to us why He does what He does? If we don't understand His ways, does that mean He doesn't exist? If we think He is unjust, does that make it so? We've talked about "faith" here a lot. My faith is this: The Bible tells me that God is good. I can live by faith knowing only that. Even when the suffering and evil around me seems to contradict God's goodness (in my little finite mind), I stand on the belief that God is good and just and loving and merciful. He is God and I am not. Can you live with that? Are you willing to let Him be God and accept the idea that He has a much better perspective than you do? Are you willing to live with His promises that He will end evil and suffering someday? Can you agree with Job that we sometimes speak "of things (we d0) not understand, things too wonderful for (us) to know"?

July 23, 2007 at 11:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Thanks ndmoderate. I appreciate what you wrote. I don't have any dillusions that everyone is going to agree with me. I still like to believe we can have civil conversation even if we have to agree to disagree in the end. You're welcome at our church any time, too. I'd love to meet you.

July 23, 2007 at 10:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Yourworstnightmare: If you think your personal attacks and insults will just make me quit commenting, you're probably right. I have better things to do than sit around and be insulted by someone who enjoys being a "nightmare" to everyone around him/her. I have no desire to continue to subject myself to your hateful words. With all due respect, that is more in line with what I remember from my "childish, grade school" days. I've been respectful to you and in return I get your intolerance and venum. I'm sorry you've obviously been hurt so badly that you can't even have a discussion with someone who disagrees with you. As far as the list of similes and symbolism, I could give you hundreds such as when Jesus said He was the "door" and the 'vine" and the "light of the world" and the "bread of life." When these are read in context, it becomes clear that He was not speaking in literal terms. If you really cared to hear me out (please convince me that you do), I'd love to show you how Jesus explains these symbols and the plain interpretation is that He was speaking symbolically. This is the way we read any other literature--this is not a new concept. If you said it was raining cats and dogs, we are all familiar enough with figurative language to know that you're not speaking literally, but saying that it is raining very hard. This is how humans communicate and since God spoke to us in human language, there are times when the Bible too speaks in such ways. Just please get past the idea that all Christians are stupid and brainwashed and secretly wanting to establish a theocracy. If I thought you really wanted to consider my ideas in an adult, college-like way, I'd give you hours of my time showing you reasonable explanations for why I believe what I believe. But it's late and I'm tired and you just want to be mean and argue. You have my pity. If you ever change your mind, you're welcome to visit our church and have an adult, friendly conversation with us. Agree or not, our church family will love you. We'd even serve you some coffee.

July 23, 2007 at 10:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Average: Go to weather.com. It'll give you the times for "sunrise" and "sunset." It's figurative language. A "literal" interpretation of the Bible allows for such metaphors and similies and symbolism, etc. What might my children look at in a microscope or telescope that will contradict the Bible. How about some examples?

Newell_Post: I'd appreciate it if you'd share with me a few of these "many direct factual contradictions and errors." You don't need to "recapitulate all of them here" for me. How about just a few?

July 23, 2007 at 9:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Three couples share reasons for opting out of public, private schools

Wow, gabbo and Navin! "christophobic muldoons"? "fully indoctrinated into a state sponsored value system"? "engage their brains"? What have you been smoking? You two sure are intolerant of my beliefs. Lighten up. My kids aren't being "hidden from LIFE". We have a great life together. There's a big difference between being "hidden" and being protected and better cared for. My kids love me and they're doing great. They very tolerant of other people, too. Go rent a funny movie and cheer up a little. :)

July 23, 2007 at 5:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Part 4 of 4
And there is so much more! Email me at shaun@community-bible.org or stop by Community Bible Church some time and I'll be happy to point you toward more or even loan you a book. Maybe we can go grab a beer and talk it over (I actually prefer Dr. Pepper).

Thanks for reading this far. I'll close with the speech of that so-called "small-minded:screwball"-the Apostle Paul-from Acts 17:22-34:
"Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: 'To an Unknown God.' This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I'm telling you about. He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him-though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' And since this is true, we shouldn't think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead." When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, "We want to hear more about this later." That ended Paul's discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers:"
The End

July 23, 2007 at 5:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can we separate the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the Bible?

Part 3 of 4
As I have examined that evidence, I have found the Bible to be accurate. Do you need a "scholar's" opinion? How about Dr. Nelson Glueck for example--probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archeology? He said: "No archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries."
Are there still questions; things we don't understand? Sure--it's 2,000+ years old. But none of the major teachings of the Bible is in question. So, you may ask, why do so many "scholars" reject the reliability of the Bible? I have examined their arguments and found them to be based on presuppositions and opinions. In other words, I think they rejected the Bible without honestly considering the evidence and they spend all their time trying to sound scholarly rather than dealing with facts. For example, the most famous collection of "scholars" related to the "Historical Jesus" discussion is the so-called "Jesus Seminar". Their arguments are based on the presupposition that miracles are impossible. And, they have chosen to reject what the first-century Christians called reliable (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in favor of texts like The Gospel of Thomas, which was written much later by someone who never knew the apostles and could not have given eye-witness testimony to the life of Jesus as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did.
So please, take a look at the evidence for yourself. Don't base your opinion on the DaVinci Code or a PBS documentary. Try being fair and balanced. After you watch the PBS documentary, try reading a book or article by someone who presents the case for the trustworthiness of the Bible like "Reinventing Jesus" by scholars Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer and Daniel B. Wallace. Want something on-line? How about scholar Paul Copan's answer to the charge that "Jesus' Followers Fabricated the Stories and Sayings of Jesus" (http://www.paulcopan.com/articles/fab... How about scholar Gregory Koukl's article explaining why the conclusions of the "scholars" of the Jesus Seminar are not based on facts (http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=Ne... I really dare you to read "Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources" by Michael Gleghorn (http://www.probe.org/reasons-to-belie...).
(continued)

July 23, 2007 at 5:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Previous