Can the Bible be infallible if it is written by fallible humans? And if not, how can we accept it as literal truth?-for Tom

2 11 2006

There is no logical reason why this could not be true. After all, even fallible humans can get things right some of the time, especially if they are supervised by Someone who is infallible.

Christians do not claim that the humans who penned the books of the Bible were always accurate in everything they said or did. We simply believe that the Bible is right when it claims that God guided these men in their task of writing Scripture, in such a way that the result is an infallible book. The apostle Peter undoubtedly said some foolish things during his lifetime, but God did not allow him to clutter up the Bible with any of those blunders.

2 Timothy 3:16 contains the classic claim that the Bible was produced by God, not just men:

All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

One standard explanation of the concept of “inspiration” is given by Ryrie:

God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs. (Charles Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), p. 38)

We do not know exactly how God accomplished His purpose of providing a totally accurate Bible. But 2 Peter 1:21 gives some insight:

No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

The word “moved” in this verse is also used in Acts 27:15 to describe the way a great storm blew the apostle Paul’s ship off course across the Mediterranean. The people on board could spend the time as they chose (either bailing or wailing!), but the storm determined their destination of Malta. Similarly, God guided the writers of Scripture to produce exactly the message He wanted.

read below in How the bible can be true to get more info

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How do we know the Bible is true?

2 11 2006

There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of the evidences of the divine inspiration of the Bible, and these evidences are many and varied. Most people today, unfortunately, have not read any of these books. In fact, few have even read the Bible itself! Thus, many people tend to go along with the popular delusion that the Bible is full of mistakes and is no longer relevant to our modern world.

Nevertheless the Bible writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree. This is an amazing thing for any writer to say, and if the forty or so men who wrote the Scriptures were wrong in these claims, then they must have been lying, or insane, or both.

But, on the other hand, if the greatest and most influential book of the ages, containing the most beautiful literature and the most perfect moral code ever devised, was written by deceiving fanatics, then what hope is there for ever finding meaning and purpose in this world?

If one will seriously investigate these Biblical evidences, he will find that their claims of divine inspiration (stated over 3,000 times, in various ways) were amply justified.

Fulfilled Prophecies

The remarkable evidence of fulfilled prophecy is just one case in point. Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, often long after the prophetic writer had passed away.

For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in about 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel’s promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins. This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.

There are extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations and cities and with the course of history in general, all of which have been literally fulfilled. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ Himself at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects.

There is no other book, ancient or modern, like this. The vague, and usually erroneous, prophecies of people like Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and others like them are not in the same category at all, and neither are other religious books such as the Koran, the Confucian Analects, and similar religious writings. Only the Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.

Unique Historical Accuracy

The historical accuracy of the Scriptures is likewise in a class by itself, far superior to the written records of Egypt, Assyria, and other early nations. Archeological confirmations of the Biblical record have been almost innumerable in the last century. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archeology, has 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.”

(For more info. on Archaeological  findings relative to the bible then look in the page “Questions of Christ” at the very top right)

 

Scientific Accuracy

Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

  • Roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22)
  • Almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9)
  • Law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7)
  • Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7)
  • Vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
  • Law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27)
  • Paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11)
  • Atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
  • Gravitational field (Job 26:7)
  • and many others.

These are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of the basic world of man’s everyday experience; nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts.

It is significant also that no real mistake has ever been demonstrated in the Bible — in science, in history, or in any other subject. Many have been claimed, of course, but conservative Bible scholars have always been able to work out reasonable solutions to all such problems.

(for scientific findings and theories with the bible look in the above given page or the “Scientific” category of the blog in mid-right)

Unique Structure

The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,000 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout.

The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.

The one consistent theme of the Bible, developing in grandeur from Genesis to Revelation, is God’s great work in the creation and redemption of all things, through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 





How can a God of love send anybody to Hell?

1 11 2006

Before I write this post, I wanted to point you to a new page which is to your right called “Questions….”. Check out guys. Anyway back to this topic:

One of the classic problems that people bring up is: How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Well, there are several answers to that.

One of course is that God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. You send yourself there. God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will and not just a robot. That’s the way He made us–after His image, after His likeness, the power to say “yes” or the power to say “no,” the power to reject our own Creator, and of course to take the consequences. In one sense you can say He doesn’t send anybody to Hell, because across the road to Hell he has placed the cross of Christ. There are also the prayers of parents, pastors and Sunday school teachers, and all the other things that God brings into our lives to stop us on our selfish way and to bring us to the Savior. We have to go wandering on past it all and put ourselves in Hell.

Sometimes you hear people say, “God wouldn’t send His children to Hell.” God certainly doesn’t send His children to Hell because when we’re His children we’re in the family of God. We’re born again and part of our salvation includes deliverance from judgment. We’re not all children of God except through faith in Christ Jesus.

Can a God of love send anyone to Hell? You might as well ask some other question to make just as much sense. Does God allow disease in the world? Does God allow jails and prisons for some people? Does God allow the electric chair sometimes? Does God allow sin to break homes and hearts? Does God allow war? All of these things are the consequences of sin entering into the world, and in some cases the direct result of man’s rebellion, and the result of greed and pride and egotism and hunger for power that doesn’t have any use for people–only the desire to get ahead.

This is the incredible fruit of sin. Sin brings suffering into the world. There’s no way of getting around it. And the greatest sin in the world is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

We have our catalog of sins. We have rape and incest and murder; and we have them all cataloged and classified–but there isn’t one of them (or even put them all together in one big hunk) that comes close to the sin of keeping Jesus Christ out of your life. Did Jesus say, “I’m going to send the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin because they rob banks”– or, “because they believe not on me”?

It is folly to expect that you or I can trifle with the Lord Jesus and not have a penalty attached to it. What ridiculous thinking people have in this area! We expect penalties for doing much less. Life is just built that way.

You jump off a high building, the law of gravity will take care of you. You might say, “God is love,” all the way down, but you’re still going to get splattered when you hit the bottom! You break the law of gravity, and it breaks you! You may love your little child, but if he puts his finger up on that hot burner on the gas stove or the electric stove, he’s going to get burned!

Fire burns. Gravity kills. Water drowns. And you can say, “God is love, God is love, God is love,” until you’re blue in the face. But water will still drown you, fire will burn you, and gravity will kill you, and sin will damn you no matter how much you say about a loving God.

God just set up life that way. He set up the rules. He set up the laws by which we are to live. And if we break those laws, they break us, and we pay the consequences.





Aren’t all religions basically the same?

1 11 2006

Why do Christians insist that one must believe in Christ to be saved?

“When Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and others pray to their god, all of those individuals are actually praying to the same god, but simply using different names for that deity.”

—registered opinion of four of every ten Australian adults (Census religious poll)

Are these Australians right or wrong? Mahatma Gandhi of India once said:

“The soul of religion is one, but it is encased in a multitude of forms.”

Is this true or false?

“In reality, there is only one religion, the religion of God. This one religion is continually evolving, and each particular religious system represents a stage in the evolution of the whole,” claims the Bahá’í faith on its official Web site at bahai.org.

Are the Bahá’ís correct or incorrect? What about the Hindus?

“In whatever way men approach Me, even so do I go to them.”

—quoted from the Hindu scripture by Swami Chidananda of Divine Life Society

Is Christianity’s claim of uniqueness and exclusivity misleading and baseless? Or is it necessarily true?

Even a cursory examination of comparative belief charts and data quickly reveals that different religions make very different truth claims on a number of even basic issues. And they do so in a definitive manner. In other words, as any knowledgeable student of comparative religions will tell you, every religion—not just Christianity—claims exclusivity.

Here are a few examples:

Nature of God

  • Christianity

— Monotheistic, personal

 
  • Buddhism
 

— Monistic, impersonal

 
 
  • Hinduism
 

— Monistic, polytheistic

 

Identity of Jesus Christ

  • Orthodox Christian

— Deity incarnate

 
  • Orthodox Jewish
 

— human only

Dr. Michael Green is an internationally respected author, speaker and scholar. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, England. He recently authored the text “But Don’t All Religions Lead to God?,” Navigating the Multi-Faith Maze (Baker Book House, 2002). In this book, Dr. Green writes:

“Jesus is unique among religious leaders in claiming to bring God to our world in His own person and making good that claim by such powerful evidences.”

Green says that no other spiritual leader or teacher but Jesus Christ…

  1. ever claimed to bring God to man
  2. dealt radically with our wickedness
  3. broke the final barrier of death
  4. offers to “live inside” His followers

Apologist and author, C.S. Lewis said that when it comes to the categorical claims of Jesus Christ regarding His Divinity…

There is no half-way house, and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him, ‘Are you the son of Brahah?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’

If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you.

If you had gone to Muhammad and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut off your head.

 

Sin

  • Christian

— real moral trespass and condition of indebtedness before a holy, infinite-personal God

 
  • New Age
 

— ignorance; susceptibility to illusion; unprofitable behavior

 

Crucifixion and Resurrection

  • Christian

— historic fact

 
  • Islam
 

— deceptive myth

 

Salvation

  • Christian

— a gift of God’s grace

 
  • Islam
 

— only by observing Pillars

 
 
  • Scientology
 

— Dianetic counseling

 

Again, Dr. Michael Green writes:

“Perhaps the greatest difference of all [among religious views] lies in the Christian assertion that none of us can save ourselves and make ourselves acceptable to God, try as we may: all the other faiths assert that by keeping their teachings a person will be saved, fulfilled or reborn.”

Authority

  • Christianity

— the Bible alone

 
  • Mormonism
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Christian Science
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Roman Catholicism
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Unification Church
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Unity School
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Way International
 

— the Bible plus

 
 
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
 

— the Bible as per flawed New World translation

All religions are not the same — Biblical Christianity is absolutely unique among all the religions and philosophies of mankind. Its claim to be necessary for salvation is based squarely on the uniquely powerful evidences for its truth and finality. Actually, true Christianity is not a religion, but a person, Jesus Christ.

“By Him, and for Him, were all things created” (note Colossians 1:16, 17).

Thus, Christianity is unique in the following fundamental respects, among many others.

  1. Only in the Bible is God revealed as the one eternal, personal Creator, who brought the entire universe into existence by His own Word.All other religions start with the material universe as the only eternal reality, with their “gods” being essentially personifications of the natural forces which develop the universe into its present form.On the other hand, the Creator-God of the Bible has all power and is Himself, therefore, not only the One who created the universe but also the One who establishes the basis for human salvation.
  2. Christianity alone is centered in the historical events associated with a Person – the birth, death, resurrection, and imminent, glorious return of Jesus Christ.Other religions are invariably based on the teachings, rather than the acts, of their founders.
  3. Jesus Christ alone, of all men in history, has conquered man’s greatest enemy – death.The founders of other religions are all dead and their tombs venerated. The tomb of Christ is empty, and His bodily resurrection from the grave is the best proved fact of all history. The fact that He alone could overcome death demonstrates that He alone has all power. He Himself said,

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

  4. All other religions of the world are fundamentally just one religion — one of salvation by works. Each religion sets up a particular set of religious rites, of commands and restrictions, and of ethical principles to follow, and then teaches that if a man does these things he will be saved. The human origin of each of these systems is indicated by the fact that each is humanly attainable.The Bible, however, sets its moral and ethical standard as the very holiness and perfection of God Himself, and demands nothing less than this for salvation. Obviously, no man would invent a standard which was utterly impossible for any man to keep.
  5. by The man Christ Jesus, alone of all men who ever lived, maintained in every respect a life of perfect holiness and full obedience to the Father, thus demonstrating that He was the God-Man. He then died for the sins of all men and thus can offer full pardon and His own nature of perfect holiness to anyone who receives Him .Christ alone offers salvationgrace alone, to be received only through faith in Him.To the one who truly believes on Him, He then gives through the Holy Spirit a new nature, enabling that one to live a life pleasing to God.

There is no mere “religion” in all the world like this. Jesus Christ is the world’s Creator, and its only true Redeemer.

“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).





Hypocrisy in the Church–“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”

1 11 2006

It’s good to be back after that long series of exams and I wanted start with something that a lot of people think off. Hypocracy. A lot of people on this site the Church, bible and all the Jazz are hypocrites. But this fellow right, he wanted to reply to me but didn’t want to be rude on the site so he send me an e-mail about 3 days back which basically said ““I choose not to believe in the incredible hotchpotch of superstition which is Christianity… which is all the more understandable if you come from Northern Ireland, a place where religion has been the excuse for appalling barbarity.”

This man, like so many others with whom I have spoken over the years, claims to have rejected Christianity because of what he perceives to be blatant hypocrisy on the part of Christians, historically and presently — people who “profess what they don’t possess” — who are phony, empty, and hollow to the core.

Perhaps you, too, have felt justified in either avoiding or rejecting the Christian faith because of some instance(s) of disgusting hypocrisy that you have encountered in those identifying themselves as Christians. If so read on, as we offer four key responses to the line…

    “Hey, I would never be a Christian. I mean, look at all the hypocrites in the Church!”

“Well, we’d be glad to move over — there’s always room for one more. And furthermore, if you ever find the perfect church, please don’t join it. You’d spoil it.” Pointing fingers. Illustration copyrighted.

    Does that response strike you as a being a bit too smart-alecky? Perhaps so, but before you totally discount it, consider the point that is being made. Is this not a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Are not four fingers pointing back at you as you point at the Church? Are you not a bit like the father who once screamed at his teenage son: “Kid, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times — don’t exaggerate!”

“You’re right. There is far too much hypocrisy in the Church. And there always has been. But it’s certainly not being condoned.”

    An honest admission here may hopefully clear the air enough to make it evident that there are many men of integrity in the Church boldly crying out against hypocrisy today. Ravi Zacharias is one key evangelical church leader who has said, “The Bible’s condemnation of hypocrites is clear. The Bible also clearly pledges that God will judge hypocrites (Matthew 24:51). God is more angered by hypocrisy than we can ever be.” Addressing 10,000 itinerant preachers and evangelists in Amsterdam in the summer of 2000, Dr. Zacharias then went on to challenge his listeners with these words: “Why is it that a community that talks so much about supernatural transformation shows so little of that transformation? We will have to be men and women who embody the message that we are preaching, whose lives are faithful to the claims we are making.”

“Since when do you allow hypocrisy to determine your affiliation and participation?”

We’ve all heard of medical quacks — but have you you stopped going to the doctor? There have been news reports of hamburger contaminated with E. coli — but have you stopped eating Big Macs? Jonathan Pollard and Benedict Arnold were phony, hypocritical Americans — but are you planning to leave the country?

And where would you go anyway? With what faith would you ever align yourself? Certainly there are also hypocritical Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Even atheists. Like the fella who once participated in a formal debate with a minister. The atheist clearly out-debated the clergyman, but the minister was declared the winner because at the end of the debate, in a sudden flush of victory, the unbeliever shouted out: “Thank God I’m an atheist!”

You’re right — the Church is not perfect. But Christ is. Fasten your eyes on Him.”

    Cliff Knechtle in his book Give Me an Answer, © 1986 IVP writes: “We all either try to hide our bad sides or we try to make them look good. But deep inside we all know that we fall short of living the way we know we should. No one can escape the charge of “hypocrite” — no one except Jesus Himself. He is the only One who has lived up to God’s standards; the only One who has perfectly lived what He preached. Only through…Christ can we escape the penalty due our hypocrisy… By living within the security of Christ’s love, we are free to peel off masks and to become real, honest people.” Ruth Bell Graham, wife of international evangelist Billy Graham, shares the true account of a young college student from India by the name of Pashi who once told her, “I would like to believe in Christ. We of India would like to believe in Christ. But we have never seen a Christian who was like Christ.” Ruth Graham says that when she consulted Dr. Akbar Haqq about what might be the best response to Pashi’s challenge, Haqq answered decisively, “That is quite simple. I would tell Pashi, ‘I am not offering you Christians. I am offering you Christ.'”

    (the sudden change of font because this was basically my response to him)