Hot Topics

by Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:05

Q: Can We be Saved by Implicit Knowledge of Christ?


Is implicit knowledge of Christ saving? Specifically, is it necessary to have explicit knowledge of Christ or is it enough to have faith in God (belief in one leads to the other)? If explicit knowledge is necessary for salvation, what is the soteriological effect of being unable to adequately describe the nature of the Trinity without falling into a heresy of either modalism or subordinationism? Is C.S. Lewis correct in asserting that "there are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it?" What is the role of prevenient grace in non-Christians, given that a recent study suggested that three billion in the world have not heard the Gospel? Was Karl Barth correct in writing: "Where Christians are unwilling to love men, how can they say that God loves them or that they are loved by God? They can only prove thereby that they are not too sure about this themselves, and perhaps that they are not even aware of it. For they themselves are only man, and they are always non-Christians as such. As the friends of God they are also His enemies, as believers godless. If they are aware and sure of the fact that God has loved them as such, they must also be aware and sure of this fact in respect of others too. The decisive presupposition in respect of every man can be only that Jesus Christ has died for his sin too, and for his salvation. They must regard and approach every man from this angle. Hence they can never be against men?"

by Monday, 10 November 2014 18:37

Q: Is Religious Tolerance a Legitimate Value for Christians?


As a disciple of Christ, I want to understand the expression "religious tolerance?" We live in a country [editor's note: the questioner lives in Russia] where we have a lot of the world's religions. On the one hand we need to preach the truth, and on the other hand we need to be tolerant. Where is the line when a person loses this tolerance and becomes intolerant of other religions? Can we say that Jesus is tolerant of other religions? Many of his statements do not seem tolerant at all. And in general, is it good to have such a quality as religious tolerance, as the world understands it?

by Friday, 07 November 2014 10:53

Once Saved, Always Saved

Dr. John Oakes taught a class on the commonly-held doctrine known as “Once Saved, Always Saved,” also known as Perseverance of the Saints. The class was taught in San Diego, California on November 6, 2014 at the Mission Center of Hope.

by Thursday, 06 November 2014 02:27

Q: Is there any Historical Evidence Outside the Bible that Pilate Placed Guards Outside Jesus' Tomb?


Other than the Bible, do we have any historical evidence that Jesus was put in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathaea and that Pilate placed guards around the tomb?
by Thursday, 06 November 2014 02:21

Q: How do I Explain to a Catholic Friend why the Apocrypha is Not Part of the Bible Canon?


How do you explain to anyone, specifically Catholics, the canonization of the Bible and the fact that the Apocrypha is not part of the canon?
by Sunday, 02 November 2014 20:39

Q: Does Joshua 15:63 Contradict Joshua 3:10 Concerning the Jebusites?


In Joshua 3:10 the Bible says that God will drive out the Jebusites, but only a little later it says this: "As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." How can both verses be true?
by Sunday, 02 November 2014 11:29

Q: Does the Existence of Evil Compromise God's Goodness & Omnipotence?


Can you explain how evil exists in the world without either compromising God's goodness, his omnipotence, and/or implying dualism? For instance, in Isaiah it is written "I form light and create darkness, I make evil and create woe; I the Lord do all these things," (45:7) everything is willed into existence by God "I have spoken and it will bring it to pass; I have planned and I will do it," (46:11) even those things that are considered to define evil in chapter 14. Genesis 2 describes all of God's creation as good, because he is good (James 1:17; Matthew 7:11; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 107:8; Mark 10:17-18). God is described as omnipotent (Romans 1:20; Genesis 17:1; Job: 42:2; Psalm 21:13; 71:18; 145:11; 147:5; Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 2:10). Additionally, God is described as eternal (Isaiah 45:17; 57:15; Psalm 45:17; 52:9; 90:2; Habbakuk 1:12; Deuteronomy 33:27; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 4:9-10) so it is arguable that human will cannot be considered responsible for evil because of his omniscience (Hebrews 4:13; Acts 15:18; Job 12:13; Proverbs 2:6; Psalm 147:4-5; 33:13-15) and aseity (John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 115:3; Job 42:2), infinity (Psalm 147:5; 145:3; Job 5:9), not dependent upon the sequential progression of time. Lastly, given his moral purity (Psalm 145:17; 1 Samuel 6:20; Psalm 89:35; Amos 4:2; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Hebrews 7:26) goodness (James 1:17; Matthew 7:11; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 107:8; Mark 10:17-18), and omnipresence in his creation (Romans 8:9; Matthew 6:9; Jerermiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7-12; Acts 17:27-28; John 1:3, 10), why does evil exist?

If so, how, without contradicting any of these qualities, and what is its source in his creation by ex nihilo and characterized by order, not chaos? Consequently, if evil does exist, how does this not imply God is composite instead of simple with regard to his attributes?

by Sunday, 02 November 2014 01:26

Q: Is Daniel 2:43 a Prophecy about the Ptolemies and Seleucids and Daniel 11:6, 17?


We have met in Berlin.  This is a topic that seems to have stuck with me since being a teenager (I am 34 now) and I would be very glad if I could have some exchange with you on this.  To equate the first three empires of Daniel 2 as Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece is beyond doubt. I also agree that the fourth kingdom is Rome for reasons you wrote about in your book (Daniel, Prophet to the Nations from, but I can't make sense of the following yet: Last year, I observed the seemingly parallel prophecies of Dan 2:43 and 11:6, 17, the latter talking about specific, historically recorded intermarriages of Ptolemy and Seleucid kings.  "As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage (Footnote: Aramaic by the seed of men), but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay." (Daniel 2:43 ESV)  Why does Daniel 2:43 seem to be parallel to Daniel 11:6, 17 while Daniel 2:40-45 should actually talk about Rome and not the Ptolemy/Seleucid divided kingdom?  What is the fulfilment of Daniel 2:43 in the Roman empire?  I have an idea about it but am not completely satisfied: Many peoples were unified under Roman rule and married amongst each other but that still didn't make the Roman empire a solid united nation at the end. I think that this explanation is weaker than the link between Daniel 2:43 and Daniel 11:6,17.  What do you think about this?
by Saturday, 01 November 2014 18:04

Q: Does the Type/Antitype in 1 Peter 3 Mean We Are Saved at Baptism?


I have become fascinated with the shadow and reality relationship between the Old Testament and New Testament.  I just bought your book From Shadow to Reality and look forward to reading it.  It had a link to this website, so here I am.  I have a question/thought that I would appreciate your thoughts on if you have the time. In 1 Peter 3:21 Peter speaks of baptism as an antitype.  I raised the point in a lesson I taught (baptism saves, from the beginning it was so) that if baptism is the antitype, then what is the type? If baptism is the real thing, what is the shadow?  If I understand Peter correctly, he said it was salvation by water, since eight souls were saved by water.  Of course we know he is talking about the flood, ark, etc.  I made the comment in my lesson that it seems to me that if baptism does not save us today, (which so many claim to be so) then Noah and his family were not saved in the flood.  It seems that something cast that shadow (salvation by water), and Peter said it was salvation in water during baptism.  You can't have a shadow without the reality which casts it.  Unfortunately, not too many seemed to understand what I was saying.  Maybe I didn't explain it very well, or maybe I just don't understand. I would appreciate your thoughts if you have the time to respond.  Am I missing something here?

by Monday, 27 October 2014 23:22

Q: Is Paul the Thirteenth Apostle?


In my study this morning I came across your Q/A about Paul (the apostle). You say that John does not mention him in Revelation.  John started the church in Ephesus and it was later "taken over" or "led" by Paul.   This led me to a quandry.  First, Paul would make the apostles number grow to 13.  Second, Paul is only directly mentioned by Luke, the author of the gospel of Luke and Acts.  Luke mentioned Paul in his Gospel and the book of Acts.  This brought me to the Book of Revelation that is attributed to John. Revelation speaks of 12 foundations of the church. not 13.  It also regards the number 13 as rebellion and lawlessness.  Surely, then, there cannot be 13 apostles.  Paul also talks about  "lawlessness" in his teachings, comparing salvation of those under the law and by works.  Do you think John was talking about Paul in Revelation 2:2?