51-75 out of 100 Tough Questions

08 Jun

#51 Isn’t the God of the O.T. a God of hate while the God of the N.T. is a God of love?*

No.  They are both one and the same.  God hates sin and disciplines it and He carries that discipline out in the New Testament as evidenced by the deaths of Ananias and Sappharia.  We see in the Old Testament many examples of what God will do to those who disobey and if we did not have those examples we would not take the final judgment seriously.  In the Old Testament God carried out His judgment where people could see it and learn from it but in the New Testament people are provided with grace so that they can have sins forgiven and continue in the Christian life.

We see by Abraham’s requests for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that God had mercy in the Old Testament and was willing to spare the people from destruction IF there were a minimum amount of righteous people found in the cities. What people do is focus on the results of the judgment and overlook or ignore the other characteristics God has.

#52 Do you really believe the story of Jonah and the whale?*

Yes!  If that story is false then how could we believe the story of salvation and heaven? Every word has to be true or God sinned and He would not be God and if that were so then there would be no hope for everyone as salvation and Jesus sacrifice could be a lie.  We wouldn’t be able to trust God or His word if Jonah was false.

#53 How could all the animals fit onto the ark?*

First, Noah was NOT commanded to take every species onto the ark.  With the way genetics works, he did not have to.  Second, God would have directed him to take the younger animals because their purpose would be to have offspring to replenish the animal kingdom.  Younger animals would be smaller and consume less food.

#54 Where do dinosaurs and other extinct animals fit into the Biblical story?*

Animals die off or are hunted to extinction thus the dinosaurs and other ancient animals would suffer the same fate. The rules do not change from the ancient world to the modern one.  They were all creations of God and man, through fear, hunger, greed etc. over-killed, just like today.  The animals mentioned in the question above, were NOT pre-species who lived millions of years ago but were part of God’s 7/ 24 hour creation.  When dealing with the secular world and their ideas, one must consider the source for non-believers do not follow God but the devil and they concoct some weird ideas to undermine the teachings of the Bible.

#55 Does the Bible allow for the theory of evolution?*

In one word–NO!  The theory of evolution is the product of secular man who wants alternatives to the Biblical accounts and there is not one verse or passage of scripture which alludes, refers, implies or even hints that evolution was responsible.  In fact, EVERY passage that talks about creation are very clear and specific that GOD created through His word and power .  There is NO room for evolution in the Bible or the life of the Christian.

#56 But doesn’t the Bible contain statements that are at variance with science?*

First, science is not an authority nor is it the final word on what takes place in the world. Second, it is designed to look for natural answers NOT supernatural ones thus it is looking in the wrong places and the wrong direction. Third, science is too limited to provide any answer that is far outside of its scope or given to it by God.

Fourth, one must consider the source.  If the people are using secular science then their ideas will be far from what God as they have no concern nor motivation to prove the Bible true. Fifth, science is NOT infallible and it is subject to all the corruption and sin that entered the world at the fall of Adam. The Bible is the only infallible book and what it says is true even though it does not go into all the details man would want.  Too many details would bore the reader, and God gave enough information so we can know what is the truth and what is error.

#57 Don’t all religions teach the same things?*

Again in a word–No.  Only Christianity teaches the life, death and resurrection of Christ and only the Bible has the acts of God recorded in it.  Other religions try to copy the Bible but they all make changes to fit what they want to see in its pages and not what really took place or will take place.

One big difference is the Sabbath day rest.  This was not taught in any ancient religion and is unique to the Bible. All one has to do is compare the words of the Bible to the words of the teachings of other religions to see the difference.  Even reading the other religions one can feel the difference between their words and God’s.

Many cults will adapt the Bible to fit their beliefs but they aren’t really following the Bible but the words of their founder. They need the Bible to ‘legitimize’ their beliefs in the eyes of other humans but if one is cautious they will not be lead astray by such trickery.

#58 Is Christianity a crutch?*

No,  it is a recognition that we cannot do life on our own and in our own strength or understanding.  We recognize that we need help from the One who sees and knows all and has the power to protect and guide. Christianity is also a changing of life, going from the worldly kingdoms and joining God’s. This is an act of bravery not cowardice as we put our trust, by faith, in Someone who we cannot see and only have His word. Plus we give up so much and separate ourselves from the world, families along with facing persecutions, hatred, and even martyrdom to follow Jesus. A crutch cannot help you do all that all that. It is not an easy life as we face temptations as well and a crutch cannot provide the strength and courage we need to overcome such things.

#59 Why should I become a Christian? The worst hypocrites are in the church.*

You are not joining the church or being asked to follow other Christians. You are being called to join Christ and follow His ways.  Your eyes are to be on Christ not other ‘Christians’ and you are forgetting that Jesus even said there would be bad people in the church until He returned, so allowing hypocrites to influence your eternal destiny would be foolish.

Also by pointing out the hypocrites in the church one is merely looking for excuses to justify their desire to stay with their sinful life.

#60 If Christianity is so great, why are there so few Christians?*

The Bible says it best–‘men love darkness rather than light’. it is easier, more fun to be a sinner and follow the world than to turn away from all the world offers and go in the opposite direction of one’s friends, co-workers and sometimes family.  It is not an easy life as Jesus said, ‘pick up your cross and follow me’ and it calls for courage, commitment and dedication, with the help of Jesus, to make it through to the end.

Not many people want to live life that way.  they want friends, good times, and to do what they want.  They do not want to live by God’s rules or ways. In other words people like to rule their own lives, or so they think.

All questions marked with an * are taken from: McDowell, J., & Stewart, D. D. 1993. Answers to tough questions. Originally published: San Bernardino, Calif. : Here’s Life Publishers, c1980. T. Nelson Publishers: Nashville The answers were not quoted from this book, they are solely the product of

61. Was Jonah Swallowed by a whale? @

We read in Jonah 1:17 that ‘God prepared a great fish’ and in Mat. 17:40 that Jesus said ‘Jonah was in the belly of the whale.’ We do know that a whale is a great fish so there is no contradiction here but is it possible for a whale to swallow a man whole and for that man to live for 3 days?

In the book ‘Difficulties in the Bible’ by R.A. Torrey that the ‘cachalot had a 15 foot shark in its belly’ and that ‘ a sperm whale when dying will eject the contents of its stomach.’ Thus it is very plausible that a whale or large fish swallowed Jonah.  We cannot forget God’s involvement in the event . Since he is powerful enough to cause a ‘great fish’ to swallow Jonah, He is powerful enough to stay the gastric juices from doing their normal duty and allow Jonah to live inside the fish.

62. Did the sun stand still when Joshua commanded it?@

We find this account in Joshua 10:12-14 and is it possible.  Of course for we read in the New Testament that ‘nothing is impossible for God.’ So if we believe that scripture then it is not difficult to believe the passage about the sun standing still. God can do it.  What proof is there that this actually took place?

According to the book ‘Difficulties in the Bible’ by R.A. Torrey, there are extra-biblical records which make reference to this event: Herodotus, the great Greek historian, tells us that the priests of Egypt showed him a record of a long day. The Chinese writings state that there was such a day in the reign of their emperor Yeo, who is supposed to have been a contemporary of Joshua. The Mexicans also have a record that the sun stood still for one entire day in the year which is supposed to correspond with the exact year in which Joshua was warring in Palestine. There is nothing of real weight to prove that there was no such day. So, upon careful examination, this which is asserted to be “the most striking incident of Scripture and science being at variance” is found to be in no sense whatever an incident of Scripture and science, or Scripture and history, being at variance.

(Torrey, R. 1998, c1996. Difficulties in the Bible : Alleged errors and contradictions. Woodlawn Electronic Publishing: Willow Grove)

What about nature? Wouldn’t it ‘upset the whole course of nature? (ibid). No, for if God is strong enough to hold the sun still, He is strong enough to sustain all of nature through that time period allowing for no disruption or catastrophic occurrence. God would be well aware of what would be needed long before Joshua made his plea and nature would be protected.

63. Is God a psychotic serial killer ?

This accusation is laid at many a Christians feet by non-believers who cannot grasp that a loving God would command His people to put to death men, women, and children of those who belonged to heathen nations. They usually like how God is portrayed in the New Testament but revile the how He is depicted in the Old.  They consider the Old Testament version as some sick despot who is thoroughly blood thirsty.

What non-believers forget is that love disciplines and punish those who are bad.  It does not allow people to do what they want when, they want that would not be love but spoiling a person.  Then what they do not realize is that the God of the New Testament is going to do what He has done in the Old; He is going to punish those who do not belong to Him. Revelation 20:15 tells us that ‘those whose names were not found in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire.’

God is not a mass murderer, He is not a blood thirsty despot, He is not cruel what He is doing is being consistent with His word and who He is. If Cain was punished for his sin of murdering his brother, then God will punish other people for their sins and God has done so throughout the ages.  The flood, the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child, those who rebelled against Moses’ leadership, and so on.

God punishes people for their sins but non-believers ignore the fact that God has given people much time to repent and change their ways. The Epistle of Peter tells us that Noah preached for 120 years and did not get one person to repent and join him and his family on the ark.  The Old Testament had Melchezidek and prophets, plus Israel’s reputation of having God on their side,(many times the heathen nations mention that fact) yet they do not repent of their evil ways thus God punished them.

Even children get punished if they do not repent, sin is sin no matter who commits it and if they do not repent then God’s judgment comes. God would not be just nor God, if He allowed people to escape punishment without following His rules. The rules apply to all and all have the ability to freely choose which path they will follow.

Thus God is not some wicked ruler who relishes in punishment of His creation, He has provided all opportunities for people to turn from their sins and follow Him yet people reject those overtures so God must punish.  The secular world doesn’t want a God who is just and fair, they want a god who let them do what they want and then give them the rewards as well. That is not right and it won’t happen with God, God will punish whether the secular world likes the method used or the person being punished or not.

The Old Testament punishment is also an example, a lesson for those who follow, warning the of what will come if they do not change their lives. Unfortunately, most people do not heed the warnings and continue to sin.

64. Does God Repent?@

We read in Gen 6:6 ‘and it repenteth the Lord that He made man’ and it is easy to be confused if one is not a believer. The problem that comes with people who read the Bible is that they attach the most common definition to every usage of the same word, they attach their own definition to the biblical words or they just do not know that words have many meanings attached to them and one must do some research to discover the correct meaning of the word used.

Often, the word ‘repent’ means to turn from sin and embrace Jesus and receive salvation but if we attach such a meaning to this passage or many others which speak of God ‘repenting’ then we would be saying that God sinned and was in need of a savior, demoting Him from being God and throwing out His message to the world.

But if we look up the word ‘repent’ we will see that one of the definitions is: feel or express remorse (Oxford English Mini Dict.).  God certainly can feel remorse and not sin and it does not mean that He sinned when he created man or that He shouldn’t have done it or that He erred in creating man BUT simply it means that He was remorseful, sad that He did so because man rejected Him for other pleasures.

God does not repent because He committed a sin, He becomes sad because what He loves ignores Him and turns to things inferior to Him and His rewards.

65. Why do the Subscriptions on the cross differ in all the gospels? Is this not a contradiction?

In Mat. 27:37, Mk. 15:26, Lk. 23:38 & Jn. 19:19 The gospel writers have recorded what was on the parchment Pilate wrote to be placed above Jesus on the cross.  The quotes are not 100% the same and opponents use this to claim that the Bible makes mistakes as it contradicts itself.  Yet upon closer scrutiny, the Bible does not contradict itself as the following shows the many similarities between the accounts:  1. Pilate wrote the words, 2. There was a subscription, 3. It was placed on the cross, 4. It referred to Jesus, 5. It was placed over Him, 6. They all contained the words ‘King of the Jews’

With this many similarities it is impossible to call the accounts contradictions. A contradiction would be if Mat. said there was a subscription placed on the cross with those words and Luke said there was not. Why do the quotes vary in reference? First, if all four contained the exact same words, the opponents of the Bible would accuse the Biblical writers of editing, collusion, copying and that only 1 person probably wrote the Bible.

Second, this proves that 4 different men wrote the 4 different books and they quoted what they felt was relevant to their narrative. We know that different authors throughout history using the same sources will differ in their quotes, even if they are quoting the same text. Why, it all depends upon their point of view, their focus, how it fits to their narrative and we see no charges of contradictions placed upon these men. It is a double standard that leads many opponents of the Bible to make such ridiculous charges against the Biblical writers.

66. Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?@

Simply it was a test of Abraham’s faith and as God said in Gen22:12 ‘…Now I know you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’ Many people do lip service to God, even in the Old Testament times and they say they fear, follow, obey God yet when the time comes to prove it, they vanish or find some excuse to not prove their words.

Abraham proved his words by going to the point of raising the knife in obedience to God’s command and in so doing, God rewarded him many times over. We do not obey God for the rewards but we do as Abraham did, we obey because God commanded it without questioning Him or complaining but use the same faith Abraham used.

67.Did Jephthah really sacrifice his daughter?@

We read in Judges 11:30 that Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and we know from the New Testament that God takes vows very seriously and warns us to ‘not make a vow if one cannot keep it’ (from memory).  If anything the example this story gives us is that we need to be careful of the words we say and the promises we make.  One should not be hasty and say things in hopes of escaping the promise after one receives what they want. Too often , as above, people only pay lip service to God and this story should also be used as a warning that God will hold people to their words no matter how precious the item is that they offer up to God.

Now some people will argue that the Bible doesn’t say he actually burnt her but that is looking for an escape for the girl as the Bible clearly states in 11:39 ‘…and he did as he vowed…’ What is important here is not that the girl was burnt BUT that Jephthah kept his word to God, something all people should do.

68. Did the Bible err in recording Stephen’s words? @

Many critics of the Bible use Stephen’s reference to Abraham’s Sepulcher as proof that the Bible erred or made a huge mistake.  Yet was it really an error by the Bible or by Stephen?  The Bible records many things, evil thoughts, plans, deception (Delilah comes to mind here) yet are those sinful things made holy and right simply because they are recorded in the Bible?

No, of course not. The Bible is infallible and what is recorded does not mean the sinful acts are purified and correct but that what was said, what took place and what was conceived was recorded perfectly and actually took place. The recording does not justify the sin, it just lets us know what took place and that we can have confidence in the Bible that it is giving us the true account of what took place.

Thus if in Stephen’s speech he made an error, it does not change what Abraham did or that the Bible contradicts itself, it simply means that those were the actual words Stephen used. R.A Torrey, in the same book quoted above, states :

But even allowing for the moment that Stephen was mistaken in this case, it would prove nothing whatever against the divine origin of the Bible or its absolute inerrancy, for Stephen is not one of the authors of the Bible. He was not a prophet or an apostle. It is true he was a Spirit-filled man, but he was not the writer of a book in the Bible. The inspired author of the Acts of the Apostles records that Stephen said these words, and if these words that Stephen uttered had been mistaken, the record that he said them would still be correct. It would be God’s Word that Stephen said this, but what Stephen said would not be God’s word. The one who contends for the divine origin of the Bible and its absolute accuracy is under no obligation whatever to prove the accuracy of every statement that every speaker in the Bible, even every Spirit-filled speaker, is recorded as saying.

Torrey, R. 1998, c1996. Difficulties in the Bible : Alleged errors and contradictions. Woodlawn Electronic Publishing: Willow Grove

69. How can we deal with the difficulties of the Bible?@

In his book ‘Difficulties in the Bible? R.A. Torrey asks this question and provides a very good answer with 7 points. I will not reproduce all the specifics here but simply provide the 7 points. If you want the details please buy his book.

He states that when one faces these difficulties one should tend to them; 1. with honesty, 2. humbly, 3. determinedly, 4. fearlessly, 5. patiently, 6. scripturally, and 7. prayerfully.

By doing so and investigating  carefully, one will, with God’s help, find the solutions to the problems.  One should be careful not to be satisfied with the glib answers or the word plays that are found in Mr. Torrey’s book but to look to God to help them find the correct answer and that it will satisfy both you and the those who may ask you about them.

70. How old is man? @

Secular scientists claim that man is millions of years old which is in direct contradiction to what the Bible says.  They base their claims upon fallible dating systems and other methods which are far from perfect and easily corrupted, manipulated and vulnerable to nefarious schemes. None are based upon anything solid or of God.

Even those who study the Bible do not always base their findings on accurate methods or ideas, but like the secular world use assumptions or leaps to conclusions to guide their work. Bishop Ussher is a prime example of this as he assumed the genealogies were consistently father to son.

The Bible does NOT give us an exact date when man was first created. it is not germane nor important, what is important and German is that God created man and it was not done through some secular person’s idea of a process.

What would we gain by knowing the exact date of man’s creation? Will it change any events? Our future? Our sinful natures and need of a savior? no, of course not and we are wasting our time trying to figure out something we are not to know.  For some reason God has hidden that piece of information from us and the devil is using it as a distraction from what we really need to be worried about–our salvation and the salvation of others. There is no answer to that question so take your minds off that issue and turn to what God wants you to do.

{questions marked with an @ indicate that they have been inspired, quoted or similar to questions found in R.A.Torrey’s book, ‘Difficulties in the Bible’. Unless otherwise stated, all answers are the product of with quotes from the same book, any similarities is not proof of plagiarism but that the truth is the same and more than one person has the same answer.}

71. What if there is no God? +

Then there would not be life as we know it.  Anarchy would reign and be rampant as men would do what they considered right  regardless of what other men thought for all ideas of morality and right and wrong would not be greater than another. Which means that there would be no concept of right and wrong and men could do as they please without worry of punishment, discipline or imprisonment.

By removing God and His Higher standard of morality, His definition of right and wrong there is no ideal to meet or be judged by plus there would be no moral legal code to produce the proper punishment for those who ‘violate’ another person’s rules.  it would truly be, ‘the survival of the fittest’.

72. What if there were many gods? +

There would be no real right or wrong, the gods would be at war with each other, they would actually be more like humans than gods as they strived to make their views, their ways dominate over the others.  Humans would be confused and would not know which god had the correct way and would either hedge their bets by accepting more than one god’s rules or just ignore the lot and live as they please.

If they were to actually get together and agree, who would be the supreme god to make sure all the rest stayed with their word? Whose ideas and rules would be followed?  Would they have one objective or many?  There are too many questions that arise with this idea and how could humans be secure knowing that at any time a god would rebel and change the rules?

Soon the coalition would break down or the humans would fight amongst themselves as to who was greater and so on.  We would not have the world we know today if there was more than 1 god.

73. Does their have to be so much evil?+

No, but that is a choice that God has left up to His creation.  They can choose to repent from evil, stop practicing sin, stop pursuing their own desires and from allowing greed and the other deadly sins from controlling their lives and choose to follow God’s ways.  If that took place there would be less evil in the world, unfortunately, as the Bible says, ‘man loves darkness more than light.’ which means that evil abounds because men (and women) prefer it over God’s ways.

74. Are miracles possible, credible, scientific & historical?+

For possible- Yes as Jesus promised believers would do greater works and we have the gifts of the Spirit to help us.

For credible- Of course they are credible as long as they are done within the rules set by God and for His glory.

For scientific- Under the current rules of secular science, they are NOT scientific and science cannot nor is equipped to explain them.  Secular scientists are continually baffled by the works of God and His miracles and tend to dismiss them because they cannot study a miracle.

For historical- Yes they are as the Bible is true and part of history. What Jesus and the disciples did actually took place and was part of the historical record.  Miracles performed by God’s followers throughout the subsequent ages are also part of history as they did take place during man’s sojourn on earth.

75. How was the Bible written? +

As the Bible states the Biblical authors were inspired by God and they penned the words given them by Him. With the prophets of old we read the words ‘ and the words of the Lord came upon him…’ or something similar and it is made very clear that that the words spoken have their origin in God not the men who are His servants.  Peter makes this clear as well when he said ‘we do not follow clever fables…’

The words of the Bible came from God who used different men to record them in the fashion He wanted on the materials He wanted. Since we do not have electronic recordings of these events, we cannot have imposters duplicating the style and deceiving people. God has also given us criteria on how to spot the phony prophets and false teachers, which would be made more difficult if they knew of the exact way God had done it with His legitimate writers.

76. How was the Bible put together? +

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, faith, leadership, theology


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