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u/allboolshite · 2 pointsr/Apologetics

Thank you for the indepth reply.

God has revealed Himself through creation:

>For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

I won't discuss a generic creator or pantheon because those are not my beliefs. Just the Christian God to which denomination doesn't matter provided the person accepts that they are a sinner and that they may receive the gift of freedom from sin and it's consequences through Christ alone.

Do you ever feel out of place? Or like things are wrong? Christians agree! We believe that because of sin, creation is corrupt bringing about all kinds of pain and frustration. This is another way that God reveals Himself to some people.

But really, existence is a pretty good argument for God. We exist in the "Goldilocks zone" that is one of very few places in the known universe that can support life. Not only that, but life actually appeared here. Just having the ability to support life doesn't automatically make it happen. In addition, we have intelligent, self-aware life. The math for this to occur is impossible. it can't happen. And yet we're here.

The debates are only necessary because God loves you and called His people to love you as well. There wouldn't be a debate if nobody cared.

God isn't a trickster nor an angry child not careless. His perspective as Creator and master of creation is wildly different from ours but always perfect. That includes a perfect love and a perfect sense of Justice.

If you want to know more about the reliability of eye witness accounts of Christ, I'd recommend Cold Case Christianity where an evidence-based approach is used on the gospels and supporting data. Man, Myth, Messiah also touches on this (and if only $1.99 on Kindle right now). And I understand that The Case for Christ written by an investigative reporter also looks into this but I haven't read that book myself yet.

Religious people don't have that much power. People who claim to be religious might. While 70% of Americans claim a "Christian heritage" only 40% of those people attend church. And only 45% of church attenders read the Bible away from church. Believe me, if more people who claimed to be Christian, actually knew the tenants of the faith you wouldn't have any problem with them being in power. The basics for Christianity start with: love God, love your neighbor, and love your enemy. Christians aren't called to hate gays, but to love them just like everyone else.

The instances of Christians being anti-science is mostly media hype. The scientific process began in the church as a method to explore and understand God's miraculous creation. The Bible isn't a science textbook, it's a collection of books and letters that form a singular narrative. It needs to be read and interpreted from that context.

And science has a lot of holes to be filled, including internal contradictions: quantum mechanics says the Big Bang is bunk, for example. Scientists and philosophers have been working for decades on a way to unify those pursuits called "the theory of everything". Science has faith that will happen. Some of what's called "science" really isn't. For science to be accurate it needs to be observable and repeatable. Here again, the Big Bang fails the test. I'm not anti science, and I suspect the Big Bang is valid, but I see it in Genesis:

> In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [...] And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

Maybe that describes Big Bang? Maybe not.

As to how well I know Christ the answer is, "not well enough." Christ followers start by accepting Christ as our Lord and savior for the forgiveness of our sins. Then we change. That change is called sanctification and it happens by getting in relationship and learning from Christ. I mean this literally through prayer and by studying the Bible. God wants to be in relationship with us. The change is to make us more Christ-like. You assume Christ is unaccessible which isn't true. He's alive right now, today. And I am constantly surprised by him and his compassion and sacrifice.

There's a lot of misconceptions about the faith. I'm considering a project to combat that both in popular culture and within the church. That's why I started this thread.

u/squonk93 · 3 pointsr/Apologetics

>Born in 1926, Sathya Sai Baba claims to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a saint who was greatly loved by people of all religions, and furthermore claims that he is an Avatar, and earthly manifestation of the Divine. According to biographical material written by devotees, his mother believes he was divinely conceived when a "big ball of blue light' rolled toward her and seemed to enter her body. When the boy was fourteen, he was reportedly stung by a large scorpion, after which he went into silence broken occasionally by spiritual songs and discourses, weeping or laughing. Spiritual phenomena, his personal magnetism, and his claims of being Shirdi Sai Baba drew people to him...Sathya Sai Baba usually gives darshan daily to hordes of followers, moving among them to accept letters, materialize things such as rings, necklaces, watches, or sacred ash in his hand to give them, and choose some for private interviews in which he speaks as a clairvoyant about matters in their personal lives. His followers also claim that he manifests things in their homes far away, such as turmeric powder, holy water, Shiva lingams, fruits, and gems. Many other miracles are attributed to him, such as controlling the weather, changing the colour of his clothing, disappearing physically, appearing in two places at the same time, bringing a dead man back to life, and healing people...He himself has said that the miracles are trivial compared to "my glory and majesty, as a mosquito is in size and strength to the elephant upon which it squats." On another occasion he said, "I teach that no distinction should be made between the names Rama, Krishna, Ishwara, Sai--for they are all My names."
>Despite the attribution of Godhead to himself, Sathya Sai Baba does not claim to be starting a new religion, but rather preaches the simple universal message of truth, righteousness, nonviolence, love, and peace. (Living Religions, p. 470-471

It's reasonable to believe in the miracles of Sathya Sai Baba, IF he was in fact who he claimed to be. But why don't you consider him to be God, based on what his followers wrote about him, and what he says about himself?

u/jesseagruber · 9 pointsr/Apologetics

I highly recommend Doug Wilson's short book Persuasions. You'll find Christian arguments against various different worldviews in a very conversational matter. Very accessible, and very intelligent.

I highly recommend any William Lane Craig debate. Blows that Ham/Nye debate out of the water. I'd also recommend listening to the Bahnsen/Stein debate. Very very good. WLC provides tons of well thought out philosophical arguments such as the Kalam Cosmological Argument that would lead to the conclusion of the existence of God. WLC also did his PhD studying the resurrection so hopefully he'd be a good help to you in studying that as well. WLC really helped me solidify my faith, so I pray it can do the same for you. Thanks for asking!

u/doofgeek401 · 1 pointr/Apologetics

Right away, a curious observer would find themselves wondering how, if this Theorem is the wonderful instrument of historical objectivity both Craig and Carrier claim it to be, two people can apply it and come to two completely contradictory historical conclusions.  Yet they both use Bayes Theorem to attempt to "prove" historical things.  Something does not make sense here.

Then if we turn to who doesn't use Bayes Theorem to analyse history we find this category includes ... pretty much every single historian on the planet.  Again, this should strike the objective observer as distinctly odd.  After all, if Bayes Theorem can genuinely be applied to determine the truth or otherwise of a historical event or proposition, it's exceedingly strange that thousands of historians all over the world are not applying this remarkable tool all the time.  Richard Carrier maintains that this is because every historian on earth, except him, is too ignorant and mathematically illiterate to understand the wonders of this remarkable tool and only he has been clever enough to realise that it can be applied to history.  Given that Thomas Bayes ' theorem was first published in 1763, our objective observer would be forgiven for finding it remarkable that no-one noticed that it could be used in this way until Richard Carrier, an unemployed blogger (and a person who isn't taken seriously by most scholars), came along.


There are two problems here when it comes to trying to apply Bayes Theorem to history: (i) Carrier and Craig need to treat questions of what happened in the past as the same species of uncertainty as what may happen in the future and (ii) historical questions are uncertain precisely because we don't have defined and certain data to feed into the equation.

Bayes Theorem only works in cases where we can apply known information.  So, in the example above, we know how often it rains in a year and we know when the weather forecast is and isn't correct.  So by inputing this meaningful data, we can get a meaningful result out the other end of the equation.

This is not the case with history.

Bayes Theorem's application depends entirely on how precisely the parameters and values of our theoretical reconstruction of a real world approximate reality.  With a historical question, Carrier is forced to think up probabilities for each parameter he put into the equation.  This is a purely subjective process - he determines how likely or unlikely a parameter in the question is and then decides what value to give that parameter.  So the result he gets at the end is purely a function of these subjective choices. 

In other words: garbage in/garbage out.

So it's not surprising that Carrier comes up with a result on the question of whether Jesus existed that conforms to his belief that Jesus didn't - he came up with the values that were inevitably going to come up with that result.  If someone who believed Jesus did exist did the same thing, the values they inputted would be different and they would come up with the opposite result.  This is why historians don't bother using Bayes Theorem.

So what exactly is Carrier doing by applying this Theorem in a way that it can't be applied?  Apart from being incompetent, he seems to be doing little more than putting a veneer of statistics over a subjective evaluation and pretending he's getting greater precision. 

Not surprisingly, despite his usual grandiose claims that his use of Bayes Theorem is some kind of revolution in historiography, his book Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (2012)   has pretty much sunk without trace and been generally ignored by historical Jesus scholars and historians alike.  His failure to convince anyone except a gaggle of historically clueless online atheist fanboys of his vast genius means that Carrier is most likely to remain what he is: an unemployed blogger and general nobody with a fringe thesis.

u/Calkei4 · 3 pointsr/Apologetics

Paul's OT contained the same books as our cannon. As far as the NT we have other verses. 2 Peter 3:16 talks concerning the letters of Paul, "as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures" Additionally we have Christ's promise of inspired witness to the Apostles in Acts 1. The Bible's best claim to inspiration is the historical fact of the person and work of Christ particularly his resurrection from the dead. A great accessible book on this is The Resurrection Fact on Amazon My podcast has also covered the topic of inspiration. Here is a 30min episode God Breathed Hope this helps.

u/rer02 · 3 pointsr/Apologetics

Law & Gospel.

The Bible is God’s Word and can be distinguished into three categories. The first is information—This is historical, geographical, scientific, genealogical, mathematical, indicative statements, etc. This is, for lack of a better word, informative. But the Bible is more than just information. It imparts wisdom and forms the Christian life. This is where Law and Gospel come in. Simply put, the Law is what God commands us to do—e.g., the 10 Commandments. But within the same Word, God speaks His Gospel. The Gospel is what God has done, is doing, or has promised to do for us—i.e., forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Christ. In order to understand Holy Scripture, we need to learn the distinction within the Word of God itself.

This is only a (very) brief description of how I read the Bible. This is the best book I’ve read on reading the Bible:

u/EsperCS · 1 pointr/Apologetics

There are tons of books with evidence that the events in the Bible actually took place. A book I just bought, but haven’t gotten the chance to crack into yet, is Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. From what I’ve heard, it provides some super concrete evidence for Biblical events. I can’t wait to crack into it when I get home in a few days.

u/HaiKarate · 2 pointsr/Apologetics

There is an excellent book by Bart Ehrman that I suggest you read: How Jesus Became God In it, Ehrman explains how your friend could have arrived at his conclusion.

u/Zachz106 · 2 pointsr/Apologetics


Also, I do have some free audible promo codes I can give out if anyone is interested! Just PM me whether you're US or UK.

u/MacSev · 1 pointr/Apologetics

This book. It's a high level overview of the scholarly practice of apologetics.

u/Eat_Like_A_Snake · 8 pointsr/Apologetics

If you want to know why contemporary Jews dont accept Jesus, look to the Talmud. Remember the Talmud was written a few hundred years after Christ, so he's referenced like 50+ times. None of them positive mind you. Basically The Talmud teaches that Jesus Christ was illegitimate, Mary was a whore who lay with a Roman soldier. Christ was conceived during menstruation; that he had the soul of Esau (Issacs son); that he was a fool, a conjurer, a seducer; that he was crucified, buried in hell and set up as an idol ever since by his followers. If you're interested in the topic read "Jesus in the Talmud" by Peter Schafer, he was a professor at Stanford Princeton that put it all the references to Jesus in one book with explanation of the context of every passage.

So yea, modern Talmudic Jews are not fans of Jesus, and modern Judiasm a false religion. Christ died so that all men be saved.

u/3-10 · 10 pointsr/Apologetics

I don’t think that his point is wrong, but there is philosophical work that strictly uses logic to test each worldview and determine what is rational. Atheists don’t argue from logic their worldview is rational, rather they attempt to show Theism is irrational.

The problem is that logic isn’t a court of law. Atheists have as much requirement to show atheism is rational as do Christians for theism. All arguments for Atheism is based upon Empiricism (or in the case of the multiverse a faith based jump larger than an infinite being) and not pure logic.

Philosophical Foundation: A Critical Analysis of Basic Beliefs