A look at an alleged contradiction in the gospels: Did the centurion ask Jesus directly to heal his servant, or did he send others to ask?

If you’ve ever been in a discussion online with atheists, you know that one of their favorite moves is to dump a heap of alleged contradictions in the Bible and act like it is game over time. It’s probably a strange way of thinking about it, but I liken it to throwing a bucket of snakes into a crowded movie theater. It only takes a few seconds to dump some slithering serpents and watch people scatter, but it takes a lot longer catch them one by one and deal with them. It can be a pain to play the role of animal control, but someone’s gotta do it. These things do bother people. One of … Read more

18 Passages From Mark’s Gospel That Prove That Mark Had a High Christology

Biblical critics like Bart Ehrman say that the deity of Christ was a later invention that developed near the end of the first century. Bart and others of his ilk say that Mark, the earliest gospel, has a lower view of Jesus than John, who says he’s the pre-existent Word made Flesh. Quoting Bart: “If Jesus went around Galilee proclaiming himself to be a divine being sent from God…could anything else that he say be so breath-taking and thunderously important? And yet none of the earlier sources (read: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) says any such thing about him. Did they (all of them!) just decide not to mention the one thing that was most significant … Read more

Historical Truth or Holy Fiction: Did Herod really order the Massacre of the Innocents, or did Matthew just make up a story?

When we think of the Christmas story, our minds go to some dingy, yet warm and cozy places. We picture Mary, Joseph and a swaddling baby in a manger. We see angels, shepherds and the Magi bearing gifts. I can almost hear “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” now. But smack dab in the middle of the Christmas story is a grim and gory tale. In Matthew 2:16 we read of Herod learning of the Messianic king’s birth, feeling threatened and then ordering the slaughter of all the male children 2 and under in Bethlehem. It’s a grizzly story, but it’s a part of the account of the birth of Christ nonetheless. But not everyone believes … Read more

Why does the Biblical God need our worship? Is he some sort of egomaniac? Was David Hume right when he said God has a “restless appetite for applause?”

The Biblical God requires worship. Some find that repulsive. Isn’t someone who wants constant adoration prideful? Is God some kind of narcissist? David Hume was a famous 18th-century philosopher. He was also no fan of Christianity. He wrote: “It is an absurdity to believe that the Deity has human passions, and one of the lowest of human passions, a restless appetite for applause”. Before becoming a Christian, even C.S. Lewis struggled with the idea of a God who required worship. While reading the book of Psalms, he thought God was longing “for our worship like a vain woman who wants compliments.” So what’s the deal here? Is God an egomaniac? An egomaniac is someone would … Read more

Atheists like Sam Harris say that the Bible advocates chattel slavery. To say that’s an uncharitable reading is an understatement.

Is the Bible pro-slavery? “If God loves us and wanted to guide us with a book of morality, it’s very strange to have given us a book that supports slavery.”  Anti-religious atheists like Sam Harris love making statements like these. They do carry a lot of rhetorical force. And they do seem to throw the character of the God of the Bible in question. Is the “Good Book” not so good after all?   When modern people think slavery, our minds go to pre-Civil war times in America. We’ve all heard the horror stories of the horrible chattel slavery in the South. And the sad reality of it is, there were clergymen who condoned and even promoted … Read more

Are you defining faith the same way Richard Dawkins does or the way Jesus does?

There’s this really annoying thing that I see many atheists do. Not to overgeneralize, but I’ve heard it far too often. And it’s that they will persist in defining faith as belief without evidence. Here are some notable examples: “Faith is pretending to know what you don’t know” – Peter Boghossian “Faith is belief without evidence and reason; coincidentally that’s also the definition of delusion.” — Richard Dawkins “Faith is generally nothing more than the permission religious people give one another to believe things strongly without evidence.” – Sam Harris   There’s also this thing annoying thing I see Christians do. And it’s that they’ll basically agree with the atheist. The famous reformer Martin Luther … Read more

There’s one terrible reason to believe the gospels were written late, and there are 7 historical reasons to believe that they were written early

Here’s a question that’s raised by skeptics from time to time. Why were the gospels written a generation after Jesus died? I mean, it’s only the “Greatest Story Ever Told.” Why did it take them so long to write this thing down if it was so important? One terrible reason to believe the gospels were written late: The consensus of critics tells us that the first gospel was written around 70 AD. The other three followed within the next 5 to 20 years. But where does this consensus come from? I’ll be straight up here. This dating comes from historians who rule out the supernatural. You see, Jesus had a lot to say about the … Read more