Why is it that every year around Christmas and Easter, popular media outlets tend to run articles that are clearly designed to discredit and undermine the Christian faith? I am all for challenging one’s beliefs, digging out the facts, and learning the truth about how and why one’s faith is what it is. However, I am totally opposed to using outright lies and misinformation in the process. Continue reading
Critics have tried for at least 2,000 years to discredit the biblical texts. One of their most common charges is that the Bible is full of contradictions that prove it is neither “divinely inspired” nor “inerrant.” Rather, it is just another example of fictional literature, produced by primitive people trying to explain the world around them. Is the Bible really “full of contradictions” as some claim? Or are there reasonable explanations for these textual difficulties that can maintain the Bible’s credibility and authority? Let’s take a look. Continue reading
The Gospel According to Luke: 2, 4-20 (New King James Version):
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
A favorite charge brought by some “scholars” and atheists is that the New Testament is not reliable because it was assembled hundreds of years after the birth of Christianity at the third Synod of Carthage in 397 AD. They further claim that by then, politics and power struggles had more to do with the selection of New Testament books than reliable theology. As such, certain books were “deemed” Holy Scripture and other, more accurate books (e.g. the Gospel of Thomas) were cast away and banned.
Therefore, they assert, Christian practice and doctrine today look very different from the early church and from what Jesus intended. This claim cuts to the very core of Christianity. Does the New Testament accurately reflect Jesus’ teachings or is it merely a collection of the most politically expedient books that happened to “win out” at the time? Let’s take a look. Continue reading
In so many ways, Christmas is the best time of the year. People seem friendlier and more generous, decorations and parties abound, delicious food is served in abundance, and most people get to enjoy a much needed vacation. But many of the traditions associated with Christmas, including Christmas trees, gift giving, Santa Claus, and even the date of December 25th, have no direct biblical basis. Some are even rumored to have strongly pagan roots and may be actually opposed to Christianity! As a result, some Christians criticize these traditions while some non-Christians point out that they are just more examples of what makes Christianity fraudulent in their minds.
Well, what is the truth? Continue reading
A central and defining tenet of Christianity is that Jesus is more than just a good teacher or even a prophet; He is God incarnate. This fact is traceable to claims and evidences offered directly from Jesus himself. However, certain fringe academic circles such as the “Jesus Seminar” and popular authors like Dan Brown have popularized the idea that Jesus never claimed to be divine. They contend that this perception of Jesus was a product of much later “mythologizing,” and would have been roundly rejected by Jesus and early Christian followers.
A review of scripture and history tells a very different story. Continue reading
Sometimes, great stuff just falls in your lap. Currently, we are in the middle of our “10 Lies” series, in which we take on 10 anti-Christian lies that seem to get repeatedly foisted on unsuspecting people. Recently, I was reminded of another one, thanks to a friend on Facebook. So, our “10 Lies” series is getting better because, in the words of Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, it now goes “up to 11.” Continue reading