Hot Topics

by Monday, 08 December 2014 23:36

Q: Can you Explain the Supposed Contradiction Between John 16:7 and Luke 4:1 which My Muslim Friend Claims?


Can you explain the supposed contradictions in Luke and John according to Muslims?    In John 16:7 the criteria for the coming of the Holy Spirit is that Jesus has to go away, but the Holy Spirit was already present as stated in (Luke 4:1,14,18) for example.  Isn't this a contradiction?  Please reply as soon as possible because I am in a debate and I want your help.   My facebook Muslim friend asked me that if the Holy Spirit was there before Jesus then why did Jesus say he would send the helper.  This Muslim says that Jesus was talking about Muhammad in John 16.
by Monday, 08 December 2014 23:13

Q: If Quantum Events are Random, How Can God Know Who is Going to Heaven?


Does God play dice?  Quantum events are random. So how can God know who is going to heaven? The Bible mentions that those who are saved have been written in the book of life before creation. You also mention the universe has a sort of free will so how does God know about events like Sodom and Gomorah or other natural disasters?

by Wednesday, 03 December 2014 20:23

Q: Did Early Judaism Include Worship of Baal and Astoreth?


Recently I was browsing an article on Wikipedia titled "History of ancient Israel and Judah" and I read some passages I extracted and wanted to know of you could tell me if there is any actual historical credibility to them.

1 The religion of the Israelites of Iron Age I, like the Canaanite faith from which it evolved[77] and other ancient Near Eastern religions, was based on a cult of ancestors and worship of family gods (the "gods of the fathers").[78] Its major deities were not numerous – El, Asherah, and Yahweh, with Baal as a fourth god, and perhaps Shamash (the sun) in the early period.[79] By the time of the early Hebrew kings, El and Yahweh had become fused and Asherah did not continue as a separate state cult

2 There is a general consensus among scholars that the first formative event in the emergence of the distinctive religion described in the Bible was triggered by the destruction of Israel by Assyria in c. 722 BCE. Refugees came south to Judah, bringing with them laws and a prophetic tradition of Yahweh. This religion was subsequently adopted by the landowners, who in 640 BCE placed on the throne the eight-year-old Josiah.

3 Josiah and the Deuteronomists launched a bid for independence expressed as loyalty to "Yahweh alone" and in the law-code in the Book of Deuteronomy, written as a treaty between Judah and Yahweh to replace the vassal-treaty with Assyria

4 According to the Deuteronomists, the treaty with Yahweh would enable the god to preserve both the city and the king in return for the people's worship and obedience to the legal code.

5 The history books, Joshua and Judges to Samuel and Kings, interpreted the Babylonian destruction as divinely-ordained punishment for the failure of the Hebrew kings to worship Yahweh to the exclusion of all other deities

by Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:45

Q: Can Science be Used to Evaluate the Occurrence of Miracles?


If miracles are to be considered divine singularities, is the scientific method appropriate for evaluating the occurrence of miracles?    Does recognizing the occurrence of miracles halt scientific progress since doing so would require recognizing the miracle as a divine singularity instead of a repeatable regularity, and also result in the scientist's giving up being a scientist by the traditional definition of the title?  Does the recognition of miracles beg-the-question or require special pleading, if naturalistic means are not employable to recognize them?  Lastly, if miracles are to have any apologetic value, what criteria external of Scripture can be employed to evaluate them, if any?

by Monday, 01 December 2014 13:58

Q: Do Ethnic Depictions of Biblical Figures in Movies Matter?


Do the ethnic depictions of biblical figures matter?  I had a discussion with someone regarding an allegedly "white-washed and racist" depiction of biblical figures in a recent movie. Putting aside Hollywood or possible racial agendas, do we really need to be concerned about what color Bible characters are depicted as? Or could history provide potential answers in this area?
by Friday, 28 November 2014 18:44

Q: Can you Respond to the Claim that the Bible Condones Slavery, Child Abuse, Misogyny and Rape-Marriage?


I've been interacting with a lot of punk rockers on facebook and on occasion one will post something anti religious and I've been making some gentle answers.  However, I am hoping you can help me with the question below. Do you either have verses for me to cite or some short hand answers for this list of complaints?  If it's not too much trouble, I'd really enjoy it.  I know this is right up your alley: "I don't care what the Bible says about gay people, the Bible condones slavery, child abuse, misogyny, war, and rape-marriages, and should not be considered a "moral guidebook".  And until you actually prove that God even exists, your argument is irrelevant."

I look forward to your answer.

by Saturday, 15 November 2014 18:32

Q: Does the Old Testament Apply to Christians Today?


Does the Old Testament apply to Christians today or is it only the New Testament that really matters?
by Saturday, 15 November 2014 16:24

Q: Is Ehrman Right that the Evidence for the Martyrdom of the Apostles is Weak?


Hi, Dr. Oakes. I have a question about apostle martyrdom. It has been asserted by people like Bart Ehrman that the evidence for the martyrdom of the apostles is not very strong. I hope this is not true. For which apostles do we have the best evidence that they were martyred, and what are the sources for these?

Thank you very much!

by Friday, 14 November 2014 22:06

Q: Do 2 Samuel 24:13 (7 years of famine) and 1 Chronicles 21 (3 years of famine) Contradict?


In 2 Samuel 24:13 God told David that he could choose seven years of famine, but in 1 Chronicles he could choose three years. Is this a contradiction?

by Wednesday, 12 November 2014 22:21

Q: How can We Explain Examples of "Unintelligent Design?"


Hello!  In my biological anthropology classes at university, the argument of unintelligent design has cropped up a couple of times. In a lecture on primates, the example that came up was that our spine is designed to be horizontal so when primates moved to being bipedal due to erectness it led to many spinal problems. Another example came up in my anatomy class which was that our retina is inside out which forces a number of complex adaptations and gives us a blind spot. I have done a little bit of research on this argument and found many more cases which could be seen as 'unintelligent design'.   I was wondering what your rebuttal to this argument would be? Thanks!