by John Oakes — Thursday, 22 January 2015 02:49
Question:I have been guilty of skipping over the Old Testament, but am reading it now with renewed vigor. I love that I can now search for Jesus in the Old Testament as well. My problem comes in with Jesus' teaching about the greatest commandment being that we must "love God with all our hearts". I get that God reigns over everything and is infinitely wiser than me, but the more I dig into the Old Testament, the more I come across His character and the less I like what I see. How can an all powerful God create such a messed up world, give people the green light for things like raping and plundering [Deuteronomy 20:10-14, and some more] and expect us to love Him? Am I missing something? I get Jesus, and want to follow as best I can. How can I start on the path to loving God as well? Sorry for the heavy topic, but it is something that I am really struggling with at the moment.
by John Oakes — Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:25
Question:Do DNA tests prove Jesus had two human parents? Recently, the Shroud of Turin has been re-dated within the range of 300 BC to 300 AD. As a result, the blood found on the Shroud was type AB and had both X and Y chromosomes. Where did the Y chromosome come from? If God is an immaterial being, how could He have randomly created the Y chromosomes and additional 23 chromosomes to constitute the 46 chromosomes needed for an embryo out of nothing? If all things that begin to exist require a cause, surely these 23 chromosome needed to make up all 46 chromosomes require a biological origin. Is there any solution to the virgin birth in light of modern science? Thanks.
by John Oakes — Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:19
Question:I have a question on God's will. Romans 12:2 and many other passages suggest that doing God's will can be pleasant, pleasing and perfect, yet It was incredibly hard even for Jesus to do God's will. Also there are many passages that suggest that doing God's will entails suffering and hardship. How do we reconcile the seeming contradictions?
by John Oakes — Friday, 16 January 2015 05:04
Question:If evolution and abiogenesis have simply naturalistic explanations behind the origins and development of life itself, then wouldn't this replace any need for a god? Abiogenesis for example gives forth purely scientific and naturalistic reasons behind how life came into existence, why at this point would there be a need for such a deity? The same is true with evolution, which gives reason behind the emergence of species, surely there is a strict naturalistic reason behind the appearance of all life forms that exclude God. Is there any method in which God can be integrated into these processes?
by John Oakes — Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:24
Question:I was so grateful for your sermon yesterday in the Cape Town church. I was wondering how you would assist someone who comes from the quantum physics background to believe the Bible. In particular my friend adheres to the teachings of Bruce Lipton "The Biology of Belief"?
by John Oakes — Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:24
Question:Dr. Oakes, I have a question about Isaiah 11. I understand that the chapter is a messianic prophecy, but how do you interpret verse 14? Is it fair to say that this would conjure up images of a restored kingdom of Israel (God) and is symbolic of the breaking in of the kingdom in the time of Jesus? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this passage.
by John Oakes — Thursday, 25 December 2014 01:32
Question:A religious friend of mine shared this with me. Basically a “theologian” friend of hers wrote it showing “support” for Jesus actually being born on December 25th.
"Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th? Dec. 25 was chosen because the 25th of the 12th month (Chislev) is the first day of the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah) in Israel. The earliest written record of Christians believing that is the correct date goes back to the 2nd century. And no legitimate challenge to the date has ever made sense. Shepherds remain in the fields as far as February in the Holy Land and it almost never gets cold enough to snow in Bethlehem. It's a desert after all. 5BC (the likely correct year of His birth) is interesting as December 25 falls on the same day as Chislev 25 on the Hebrew calendar if you calculate the Western calendar backward. The foolish notion that the date is related to the Roman Saturnalia feast is ludicrous because early Christians were mostly Jewish, not pagan. And the Jewish feast is a more obvious antecedent. It also fits the timeline. From Josephus we know when Zechariah's priestly course (Abijah) was on duty in Septemberish of BC 7. 6 months later Mary was visited by Gabriel in March. 9 months later is late December-Early January. And Herod the Great died in 4 BC. So...Why dispute ancient authorities when all the documentary evidence from the period points to the authenticity of December 25, 5 BC.” Here’s the entire article. http://www.struggler.org/birth3.htm
by John Oakes — Saturday, 20 December 2014 23:54
I recently came across a video titled "A History of God" and it suggests that Josiah ordered religious reforms commanding the Deuteronomists to delete all Polytheistic themes in the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and Kings. Additionally the Israelites were supposedly always polytheistic and that the "Yahwists" apparently enforced strict monotheism as late as the 8th, 7th, and 6th centuries. Here is a link to the video. Thanks.
by John Oakes — Tuesday, 16 December 2014 13:21
Question:Does the account of the Last Supper as a Passover meal indicate biblical errors and historical unreliability?
1. Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, and Luke 22:7-38 call the Last Supper a Passover Meal as described in Deuteronomy 16:5-6, occurring on Thursday Nisan 14, and that Jesus was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday.2. John 13:1 and 18:28-19:16 described Jesus and His disciples eating the Last Supper on Wednesday night Nissan 13, meaning that Jesus was crucified on Thursday and resurrected on Saturday.3. Mark 14:17-15:47 records events that contradicted Jewish Passover festal regulations and infringing upon their levitical purity for Passover: (1) Jesus left Jerusalem and visited Gethsemane; (2) the temple guards carried weapons; (3) the high priest tore his clothes at Jesus' perceived blasphemy; (4) the removal of Jesus body from the cross; (5) Mary Magdalene prepared spices for His body; (6) the Jewish people participated in the Roman trials; (7) Jesus was executed on the first day of the feast; (8) Simon from Cyrene had traveled a long distance from the country; (9) Joseph purchased a linen shroud for Jesus' burial; (10) The Sanhedrin met and condemned Jesus during the night of the Passover feast.
4. Acts 2:42 indicates that the early Christians celebrated the Last Supper daily while the Passover was an annual event.
5. 1 Cor. 5:7 describes Jesus as the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed, and the Passover lambs were sacrificed on Thursday Nisan 14 implying that He was sacrificed on Thursday and therefore resurrected on Saturday.
6. 1 Cor. 15:20 describes Jesus as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep and the Jewish first fruits were offered on Saturday Nisan 16 implying that He was crucified on Thursday and resurrected on Saturday rather than Sunday.
by John Oakes — Tuesday, 16 December 2014 12:03