Couple of Questions

Discussion in 'Questions for Christians (Q&A)' started by Silmarien, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Silmarien

    Silmarien Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    New York
    Does anyone have any experience converting as an adult? Particularly after having once been hostile towards the religion? I'm all over the place theologically right now.

    I could believe in the Resurrection (non-bodily, at least)--I like the argument that the disciples had to have experienced something to go to such lengths after the fact, but I've also seen the counterarguments so it's a bit of a coin toss. That's a jump I could make, but I've realized that I'm still very divided--on an aesthetic and moral level, I love the religion, but my atheist years were spent going after Christian theology in philosophy classes, so there's a fair amount of intellectual hostility there that I never actually defused. It's getting better, but I'm probably going to have to do a lot of theological reading. C.S. Lewis first, though.

    Would anyone have any advice for this sort of situation? I've moved close enough to the religion now that not being able to believe (or not believing enough) is a bit stressful, but it's a long way back from hostile atheism, especially if you're not entirely convinced that this isn't just some mad flight of fancy (I'm prone to such things).

    Also, I'll have to discuss it with the priest eventually, but at what point is it appropriate to take communion? It'd feel blasphemous to do so right now, since I don't identify as Christian, but I'm not sure when that changes. Episcopal, so the actual requirements are lax.
     
  2. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,116
    Location:
    Texas
    We can start with your inquiry of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The witness was it was bodily:

    Luke 24:

    39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

    40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.(KJV)

    John 20:

    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

    25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

    27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (KJV)
     
    eddif, civilwarbuff and Silmarien like this.
  3. th1b.taylor

    th1b.taylor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    14,825
    Location:
    SE Texas
    Christian:
    Yes
    The first thing you need is to rid yourself of the religion and to seek afterGod, the person. I converted as a middle aged man. Until my Ms put me to bed I religiously attended Church for Corporate Worship but that had nothing to do with my faith and little to do with my Walk with God!
     
    calvin and Northman like this.
  4. Free

    Free Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    13,139
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    Not I. I have a friend who converted as an adult from militant atheism and his family still is.

    In what way? Where are you having difficulties?

    This is what Paul has to say about the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus:

    1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
    1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
    1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
    1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
    1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    ...
    1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
    1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
    1Co 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
    1Co 15:15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
    1Co 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
    1Co 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
    1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
    1Co 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
    1Co 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (ESV)

    Notice what Paul says about Christian belief if Christ was not in fact raised from the dead. This means that it was and is verifiable. Having read a book that is the transcript of a debate on Jesus' resurrection between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann, and read many other articles on the topic, I can hardly see how it can be called a "coin toss." Craig demolishes the counterarguments that Ludemann gives, counterarguments that are very popular in the overall in the debate at large. I highly suggest you read it: Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment? Edited by Paul Copan and Ronald K. Tacelli.

    I don't think I can give any advice but I would once again ask you to share a least some of the points of contention you have.

    Do not take communion until you are a believer:

    1Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,
    1Co 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
    1Co 11:25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
    1Co 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
    1Co 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
    1Co 11:28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
    1Co 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
    1Co 11:30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. (ESV)

    It was given to us by Christ to remember his death and "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." It actually is a very serious business.

    BTW, every time I see your name I think it's Silmarillion.
     
    Pegasus likes this.
  5. Wrg1405

    Wrg1405 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,882
    Christian:
    Yes
    Hi precious lady.

    This may sound a bit weird but the fact that you are all over the place theologically I would say is not a bad place to be considering where you were in your atheistic years going after Christians and their theology and still carrying an intellectual hostility which you still struggle with.

    So think of where you were and where you are now. It's way down the road you were on, maybe a different road.
    I would be interested to know how you come from where you were to where you are now.

    In a sense atheism is a belief system but now you are considering a different belief system. It's one that to certain extent you must research and delve into. Paul commended the Bereans for being open and researching the scriptures to find out if what he was saying is true.

    We find that some Bereans beleived but straight away those who did not came to cause dissent and cause trouble.

    So as you noted above arguments and counter arguments know that it wasn't different when the apostles were preaching the Gospel.

    I'm sure those who beleived must have gone through the same struggle you are having now. To change ones belief system can be very difficult. Our belief system is what we know, it helps us function. To have that challenged and to consider changing that puts us in a place of uncertainty. We can think if we give up our security for something we something what on earth is going to happen.

    We need to be careful today, given the resource on the internet there are those that propagate atheism without having actually researched whether Jesus actually ever existed and call him a myth. Even atheistic well renowned Historians all admit that Jesus was a real person and not a figment if someone's imagination. Even these historians pour scorn on such views.

    I have come alongside someone like you, same journey you are on. He is at the stage now where he accepts the Gospel apart from one thing. He can't bring himself to beleive that Jesus rose again from the dead physically.
    Yes Jesus is the Son of God and died for his sins and possibly spiritually rose again but not bodily.

    I have to be honest I think "Wow you beleive Jesus is the son of God, was crucified and died for your sins, you need him and want to be like him" to me that's the hard part. If you can beleive in that then believing in a physical resurrection then surely that is the easy part.

    The truth is if Jesus did not rise again from the dead then Chistianity falls. We may as well give up, throw the bible in the bin. The only thing to live for is to wait to die.

    The whole premise of the Gospel is.

    Romans 10:9
    that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    This why the apostles were willing to be humiliated, ridiculed and killed for what they confessed and believed.

    In 1 John the writer makes it clear that he/they have seen the risen Jesus.

    With regards to communion you shouldn't take it until you have you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for your sins and was raised physically from the dead.

    Communion is done in remembrance of Jesus and what he has done.

    It causes us to remember our Lord’s death and resurrection and to look for His glorious return in the future.

    I would wait till then. When you can confess as Paul says in Romans 10:9 then you can take it.
    It doesn't have to be stressful even though I know it can. But you/we will never come out of our comfort zone, until we are willing to jump off the diving board of our belief system and let God teach us how to swim in his sea of love and forgiveness and his help.

    Just so you know you don't have to have all the answers to your questions to do this. God in a sense has not asked you to question everything before you believe, he is asking you to put your trust in him then he will be with you and help you.

    Don't look for arguments contrary to what the bible says but reverse it.

    If you haven't done so google atheists who became Christians there are few out there.

    God bless you precious lady. You've come a long way, walked a long road.
     
    Dan Brooks likes this.
  6. Northman

    Northman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    Messages:
    622
    Location:
    canada, western half
    Christian:
    Yes
    As someone that was hostile to God/religion for quite a long time I can relate. Philosophy and the atheism it feeds can be talked about with no horizon in sight. The short of it is what Bill said, it ALL has to be dumped to start fresh. They are just ideas and cant be treated as concrete rules where each one first has to be debunked before moving on. Once God reveals the building blocks of these so-called philosophies to you, entire constructs start coming down all at once.
     
  7. atpollard

    atpollard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Messages:
    541
    Location:
    Florida
    Sure, lots.
    I converted from Gangs and Drug Trafficing and Arson as former atheist and general all round bad person. Our church includes a former warlock, a former member of the Decepts (being from NYC you may know of them), a former Black Panther and a former Muslim. All converted as adults.

    My advice is to read what God says in the Bible and put it to the test. Does the Bible accurately explain human behavior and good and bad events? Does Jesus/God deliver on his side of the promise? There are lots of places that say if X then Y ... so are they true? Do the bad actions result in the predicted bad consequences? Do the obedient actions result in the promised good consequences? Do prayers seem to matter? What does God say will happen if you talk to him (all prayer really is) and what actually happens?

    I didn't just wake up one morning and drink the kool-aid. I invested a solid year taking a long hard look at the evidence and concluded that there were too darn many coincidences to be a coincidence. It failed the statistical laugh test. So if it walks like a God and it talks like a God and it does God-like things, then the evidence suggests that there is a God. If there IS A GOD, then I decided that I wanted to get to know him. Since his Book had the track record for having the right answers, it seemed like the place to start.

    If you have specific questions, people can offer specific answers. These are the best general answers that I have to give. Good luck and happy hunting.

    I hope He finds You. (That will make sense later).
     
  8. Silmarien

    Silmarien Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    New York
    Haha, I was actually thinking about you! Could I ask what made you switch over from deism? Was it a personal encounter?

    Well, part of the problem is that I have a passing academic interest in religion, so pulling things out of that context causes a bit of cognitive dissonance. Theologically I'm very liberal--I know it's a slippery slope, but it is what it is. I see cultural context everywhere, I don't trust the Gospels' historicity, I read John as mysticism, the less said about Paul the better, and I'm aware of how diverse early Christianity was. I won't claim that the version that survived wasn't the true one, but I definitely see other factors at play in its success. One of those actually may have been divine intervention--it's intriguing that there are visions associated with both of the people who transformed it (Paul and Constantine), but this is definitely a tangled knot of problems that aren't going to be solved anytime soon. So I'm trying to be open to the possibility that the all the important stuff actually is true, but it's going to involve a lot of leaps of faith to come to that conclusion.

    The more immediate issue is that I can't really decide what I think or what I want. I was an atheist briefly, then a pantheist for a while, then ended up at panentheism. I had serious problems with organized religion in general--I still have some issues, but had been wilfully misinterpreting the big one. (Submission, not actually about divine tyranny after all!) Now it's spirituality without religion that makes me uncomfortable. So when I say I'm theologically all over the place, it's because I'm not sure whether I'm being drawn to Christianity now because it is profoundly true, or because it's become my favorite. And pride is probably a bit of an issue--a big part of me is still rebelling at the idea of having been wrong all along, but another part is saying that you don't fight something so hard unless on some level you believe it. I'm half skepticism and half mysticism and I keep on going around in circles because of it, it's insane.

    Thank you for the book recommendation! That's definitely the sort of thing I've been looking for. I can find individual scholars easily enough, but debates between them is a different matter.

    Hahaha, I do love my Numenorean princesses. ;)

    It's the same road, actually! The winding road of existentialism, which is so dominated by atheists most people don't realize there are Christian philosophers within the school of thought too. I read a bit of Kierkegaard and it diffused much of my hostility--so much of what I'd run into beforehand within Christian thought was focused on proving things, so someone turning around and focusing on faith as an act of courage was a refreshing, appealing take. It's an odd little corner of Christian thought, but one that addresses concepts in a way that really clicks for me. Way more powerful than the atheistic counterparts too.

    You don't think a spiritual Resurrection would be enough? To me it seems irrelevant whether it was bodily or not, as long as it was real! But my perspective on the issue is obviously pretty different right now.

    Hahaha, that part actually does make sense already. ;)
     
  9. th1b.taylor

    th1b.taylor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    14,825
    Location:
    SE Texas
    Christian:
    Yes
    I was tossed out of my home and divorced in 1989 and was riding a bicycle with two May Pop Tires in the winter rains ten miles to and from work in '89. Beginning about March or early April, the LORD began to trouble my soul and by late November I had promised Him that I would quit the Juke Joints and Private Parties, go to Church and to worship only Him. That year Dollie had her cut of "He's Alive" playing on CMT and every time that video played, loving Dollie, I cried my butt off, thinking what Jesus had suffered, all because of who I am.

    I was playing my last New Years gig, where I would earn the three hundred dollar down payment I needed for a Salvaged, but titled, Pick Up Truck as I sang the New Year in I was overcome by the Holy Spirit. I knew I would never again sing Auld Lang Syne in a bar again.

    The customers wanted to kill me because I picked up my gear, did not sing the last two sets, and I went home. After I put my gear away I picked up the small silver leather Bible I had purchased earlier and could make no sense of other than the four Gospels. When I picked it up in my left hand, I placed it in my right hand so it would fall open. It opened to Isaiah 53, the Gospel according to Isaiah and though it had made no sense at all before I read it just as easily as one of the four Gospel Accounts in the New Testament.

    That Sunday I was in Church and have been in His Service, every day since. I pray this helps you.
     
    dirtfarmer, reba and Silmarien like this.
  10. smaller

    smaller Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Messages:
    12,153
    Location:
    spiritinflesh at hot mail dot com
    Christian:
    Yes
    Go, meet God in Christ, first:

    1 John 4:
    7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

    From there all your questions will eventually come into place, even if it takes awhile and has a LOT of investigations.

    His Spirit doesn't change. He changes us.
     
    Silmarien and Wrg1405 like this.
  11. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,525
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Christian:
    Yes
    Silmarien,

    Why don't you read Norman L Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Crossway Books 2004)?

    If you want something especially on the resurrection of Jesus, I'd recommend Norman L Geisler, The Battle for the Resurrection (Thomas Nelson Publishers 1989). For a massive piece of readable research (817pp) on the resurrection, see N T Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Fortress Press 2003).

    May you be fruitful in your search.

    Oz
     
    Silmarien likes this.
  12. Wrg1405

    Wrg1405 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,882
    Christian:
    Yes
    Good reading suggested by Oz.

    Oz,what's your thoughts about the 'Reason for God" by Timothy Keller?
    Also Geisler 'When sceptics ask'

    I would further suggest 'From Atheism to Christianity' by David B. Malcom.
     
    Silmarien likes this.
  13. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,525
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Christian:
    Yes
    Silmarien,

    I've been looking at this paragraph that you wrote and it seems to be overcome with your presuppositions that are preventing your examining the biblical material at face value. Let me pick up a few of them and I'd appreciate it if you would correct me if I'm wrong:
    1. Your passing academic interest in religion and pulling out of context causes cognitive dissonance. I'm unsure if this 'context' is the academic interest or context in Scripture or something else. I'm unclear on your content. If your context is 'academic interest in religion', then I'll have to know whether that is a university, seminary, college or Christian setting (and whether it's a liberal setting) to be able to try to uncover your presuppositions.
    2. From where did you get your 'very liberal' theological position? Was it from the evidence from Scripture or from 'very liberal' sources who/that dumbed down other views, especially those of Bible-believing Christians? You've admitted that it is 'a slippery slope'. Which means that that position is doomed to destroy faith and cause disillusionment with people and decline of churches. We know this from the decline in theologically liberal denominations worldwide. Take a look at the Anglican church here in Australia (outside of the Sydney diocese), Anglican Church in UK, Church of Scotland, United Church of Canada, Episcopal Church (USA), United Methodist Church (USA), Presbyterian Church (USA), American Baptist, etc. See the article, 'Liberal churches in decline while orthodox ones grow, says study of Protestants in Canada'.
    3. 'It is what it is' is not a very healthy way of examining or correcting one's views. I find the better approach is to investigate the evidence from Scripture without imposition of previous beliefs. Are you a postmodern deconstructionist when it comes to your reading of Scripture?
    4. You say, ' I don't trust the Gospels' historicity'. That seems to be your presuppositional imposition on the Gospels. What primary investigation have you done into the nature of historicity of any document and applying those criteria to the Gospels? Other researchers have gone before you who have already done that and they have come to a positive position on the historicity of the Gospels and the NT. I'm thinking of leading researcher at the University of Manchester, the late F F Bruce: The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (available online). Right beside me on my desk is Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (IVP 2007). What causes you to refuse to accept the historical evidence provided by these scholars?
    5. 'I read John as mysticism, the less said about Paul the better'. That statement is loaded with your presuppositional agenda. You would have to give me lots of other information for me to understand why you regard John as mysticism. By the way, it's a very different kind of Gospel to the Synoptics because it was written for a different purpose, 'The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name' (John 30 30-32 NLT).
    6. Then you give the thumbs down to Paul (presumably referring to his letters and the history about him in the Book of Acts). Without your telling us why you make that statement, I wouldn't try to guess what leads you to that kind of view.
    7. You say, 'I'm trying to be open to the possibility that the all the important stuff actually is true, but it's going to involve a lot of leaps of faith to come to that conclusion'. To the contrary, Christianity does not require you to put your brain/mind in neutral and resort to a 'leap of faith' to accept it. All of the historical basis of Christianity can be subjected to the same tests of historicity that you give to any other historical document about Nero, Martin Luther, George Washington, Captain James Cook or the September 11, 2001 disaster in New York City. However, there is the strong dimension of faith, but that is in the person of Jesus Christ for salvation, the Jesus who is revealed in Scripture. If you don't know who Jesus is (because of theological liberal presuppositions), that leap of faith will be into darkness rather than into the light.
    That should be enough to get us going with a discussion.

    May you have a profitable time in your search.

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  14. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,525
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Christian:
    Yes
    Wrg,

    I haven't read Keller or Malcom. As for When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Baker Books 1992). I have that one and it's a very useful one for dealing with Bible controversies. I use it regularly along with two other books on the same topic, Gleason Archer, and F F Bruce et al.

    I prefer Geisler as a scholar (now aged 84. He's a 1932 model) and Archer and Bruce because of their extensive, life-long research into biblical Christianity. Geisler is a staunch defender of the faith. I also have his 4 vols of Systematic Theology. I love the way he integrates apologetics and theology.

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    th1b.taylor likes this.
  15. Wrg1405

    Wrg1405 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,882
    Christian:
    Yes
    If you get a chance read Keller. How does one get the Systemic Theology volumes?
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,525
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Christian:
    Yes
    In #14, I inadvertently gave you the information for Geisler & Howe on When Critics Ask. I've edited it to provide this title.

    As for When Skeptics Ask, it's an excellent apologetics' volume as well as Geisler's Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. It's a great volume but could have been made better if Geisler had included other authors for certain topics.

    His 4 vols of Systematic Theology were published from 2002 - 2005 by Bethany House (Minneapolis, Minnesota). It's a division of Baker Books. I get my books from Book Depository in the UK (much cheaper landed in Australia than Amazon, but I understand it is owned by Amazon) and Geisler's systematic vols are HERE. However, I see that the individual vols are not available from Book Depository. You'll need to buy from USA. Abebooks.com has them. Be warned that shipping costs from the USA are exorbitant.

    It's now available in one vol. I wonder how much has been edited out of the 4 vols to bring it down to 1 vol.

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  17. Silmarien

    Silmarien Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    New York
    1. No formal training, I've just accumulated knowledge here and there--mostly of a liberal bias, yes. Not specifically Christianity but religion in general. It's uncomfortable for me to switch from viewing something as interesting in the greater scheme of world religion to zeroing in on one and saying, "Maybe this one actually is true." It's getting less strange with time, but it's definitely still jarring.

    2. I would say that everyone has presuppositions when it comes to reading anything--biblical inerrancy is as much a presupposition as historical criticism, and an equally modern take. I can't ignore things like Zoroastrianism's influence on Judaism or Platonic elements in Christian theology, so my options are 1) abandon all religion as inherently manmade, or 2) accept that cultural influences don't negate the truth value of a religion as a whole. I'm actually an existentialist with my reading of Scripture--Paul Tillich right now, a bit of Kierkegaard. But when it comes to actual evidence, I do start deconstructing things into meaninglessness. That part is a problem, but the existentialism is kind of necessary for me.

    3. I don't trust them as an accurate record because I can barely remember things from one day to the next, and these were written decades after the fact! I don't think they fabricated everything out of thin air, and I'm agnostic about the miracles in general, but when I look at prophecies being fulfilled, my instinct is to call foul on the writers, not accept it. It's not a huge issue for me--if they were making up stories, it was because they really did believe that strongly. What's a bigger deal is seeing debate over issues like whether or not there even was a tomb, because then you're tossing out Resurrection evidence. Thank you for the link--I'll take a look at it and see if I can't hunt down the book you mentioned (and the others mentioned earlier as well).

    4. The view of the Gospel of John as a work of mysticism is ancient. It's only a problem in that it puts me on a different page than most people here--mysticism is one of the major reasons I'm not an atheist. I don't discount the claims because I think it's mysticism; I actually take them more seriously. I'm very much on the mystical side, that's a large part of why taking things at face value does nothing for me. As for Paul... suffice to say that I have no love for 1 Timothy. Apparently there are serious doubts as to its authorship, so that's one less problem, but there's still plenty of stuff I'm skeptical about, including his claim to authority when he was never there in the first place. Actually, if you know of any good material on him, I'd definitely appreciate it.

    5. Christian existentialism. ;) I'm all about faith as the ultimate act of courage. It's what cured me of my atheism, so when I talk about leaps of faith, shutting off your brain is not remotely what I'm thinking of.

    I mention that I'm pretty liberal so that people know what they're dealing with. I don't know where to start with conservative scholarship and definitely do want to take a look at the other side of the story. I know there's a lot of bad blood between the groups, but please leave me out of it, haha. The infighting is part of what's stressing me out.
     
  18. th1b.taylor

    th1b.taylor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    14,825
    Location:
    SE Texas
    Christian:
    Yes
    There is a book that you should pick up. It's called The Baker Christian Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. When first printed the single volume cost me fifty dollars but if you do not have to order it in you will see, right away, it is thick and it is on a large format with tiny print.

    This volume took Norman Geisler forty years of research to write and I believe it will answer every question you have.
     
    Silmarien likes this.
  19. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,525
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Christian:
    Yes
    Bill,

    That's an excellent resource. I have a hard-back copy and it cost me over $50. It's called Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler (Baker Books 1998). Amazon has used copies from $11.63. See HERE.

    Oz
     
  20. Douglas Summers

    Douglas Summers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    2,170
    Christian:
    Yes
    Have you ever heard the Gospel?
     

Share This Page