Hot Topics

by Thursday, 23 October 2014 01:24

Q: Is Your Belief that God Intervened in Evolution a Cop Out?


Do you know that a theory scientifically is a fact? Don't confuse theory's perjorative and colloquial use with its actual definition.  Also, just to state the obvious, referencing your q&a on evolution... Introducing supernatural forces makes everything easier.  Duh. That fairies took my box of halloween decorations and hid it underneath a box of old clothes in the basement is simpler and easier to describe how it happened rather than trying to remember why (put it there when I last reorganized the basement). However this neither makes it true or reasonable. An easy explaination is a cop out. Sorry.
by Monday, 20 October 2014 11:21

Q: Why is Hebrew like Ugaritic, a Semitic language, if the Jews are Hamitic?


Why is the Canaanite language, Ugaritic specifically, so similar  to Hebrew? The words such as Yam (Sea) Mot (Death) and Yarikh (Moon) are found exactly the same in Ugaritic and Hebrew writings. If the Canaanites are a Hamitic people, why is their language classified as semitic? Is it possible that the Israelites borrowed or even worse, stole from the Ugaritic people's language? Here is this article I found on the subject. Feel free the read it. Thanks.

by Thursday, 16 October 2014 01:11

Q: Can Extremely Hard Situations Justify Sinning?


I have a question regarding practical Christianity in light of these verses:

For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  - Romans‬ ‭9‬:‭15-16‬. He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.- Proverbs 18:22  Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. - Proverbs 30:8-9

We know the Lord does give jobs, marriages, healthy environments to some people, both Christians and non Christians and these situations seem to correlate at least to some extent with more stable morals and less crime rate or health concerns.  But what is expected of those who have been unemployed for several years and unable to support his family or find a wife?  Basically, what I am asking is: what if we do not have God's mercy, His compassion, His favor, or a way to support ourselves?  Would the Lord then approve or at least understand that we need to do what we can to survive/ fulfill natural urges/ respond accordingly to these circumstances ( such as with stealing ,prostitution, anorexia, suicide)?   So as Christians, is there some type of contextual standard that God takes into account as He is the one that places us in these different environments?  Does a pastor and his middle class American family have a higher expectation to act according to the Bible than a poor orphan in a 3rd world country who needs to steal?  These hypothetical verses have been slightly confusing. Thank you for any thoughts.
by Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:48

Q: Is El, the God of the Old Testament, Derived from a Caananite God?


I have a question concerning the usage of numerous names for God. I have been reading that Yahweh developed from the word El which was a Canaanite god. In addition El Elyon was a different deity from Yahweh and was a Caananite god in the city of Salem inhabited by the Jebusites. Why would Melchizedek bless Abraham in the name of Elyon? Also I have read that El Shaddai, namely the Shaddai portion is also just another Canaanite god. Lastly the usage of Baali for God is very unusual due to its similarity to Baal which is a Canaanite god. I fear that there are many parallels between Israelite terms for God and actual Canaanite deities. Was this usage a form of disrespect for the Canaanites by using the name of their gods for the Israelite's God or gods? I am quite confused. Thanks again.
by Monday, 13 October 2014 19:53

Q: Should Musical Instruments be Used in Worship?


My question that I am struggling with and seeking help for is on the subject of instrumental music. My church says its sinful. Is it? I'm seeking the Bible's answer in the New Testament and I know that the apostles never taught it. Would 2 John 1:7-10 apply to instrumental

by Tuesday, 07 October 2014 16:00

Q: Do You Have a Good Resource for Refuting Calvinism?


1. What is a good resource for learning more about Calvinism and how to refute it?

2. How do you best defend the Word of God with someone who says “the Bible is not perfect?”  We obviously know of a few clerical errors, but he uses those mistakes and others to justify his own lack of conviction about the Bible.

by Monday, 06 October 2014 01:00

Q: Was it God or Satan who Incited David to Take a Census of Israel?


I recently  read 2 Samuel 24 and I don't understand how I should understand it. Why did God burn against Israel (2 Samuel 24:1)? And why did he incite David to take a census?  Also, why does it say in 2 Chronicles 21:1 that it was Satan who incited David (2 Samuel 24:10)?  Also, why did David say he sinned greatly against God? What sin is that?

Why did God stop the plague (2 Samuel 24:25) because of a burnt offering and a fellowship offering? Please help me to understand this one. Thanks.

by Saturday, 04 October 2014 10:31

Q: Informational Entropy and Christian Theology

Editor's note:  The following is a series of questions and answers. The tone is more familiar than usual because this discussion is happening with a good friend.


I just read your paper, “A Closer Look at the Laws of Thermodynamics.”  It was great.  Thanks.  I have a comment, though.  From Pr 16:33 we learn that anything that appears random is actually controlled by God. When a cell divides or when a Radon or Carbon 14 atom fissions.  This is also true of the path of every molecule in a gas, the path and position of every electron and quark. In my view, God is very hands-on, and He can multitask. There are a lot of electrons and quarks in the universe.  Heb 1:3, He sustains all things.  Even with all the information content in a living cell, to the best of my knowledge, which isn’t great, we don’t actually know how it does what it does. I tend toward believing that God commands and controls cell replication and perhaps more of what a cell does.  A further thought:  Thermal entropy can decrease in a transfer of heat, with the input of energy. Can information entropy decrease with an input of energy? I am inclined to think that it can’t.  I am inclined to think that it takes a transfer of information to decrease information entropy; thought, intellect has to be put in.  Am I wrong?

by Saturday, 04 October 2014 10:23

Q: What About the Doctrine Known as Molinism?


Have you ever heard of the doctrine Molinism?   I haven't studied concerning the process of salvation in awhile. The last place I essentially left off was being convinced of the ideology of this doctrine. And as of now I still hold to Molinism.

Thanks much.
by Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:54

Q: Could Isaiah 9:6 Refer to Hezekiah, not Jesus?


Hello Dr. Oakes. I recently have had the desire to study out the biblical support for Jesus being the Messiah and why the Jews don't consider him to be the Messiah. I listened to a podcast by a Jewish Rabbi on the Trinity.  He talks about a few things: he referenced John 10 saying that the verse in the Psalms Jesus quotes about "being gods" points towards the meaning of the word God in the Hebrew Scriptures being different that how we would interpret the passage. He claims that the word in this context means a mighty warrior or strong individual because it uses people and calls them gods in the Psalm. He also analyzed Isaiah 9:6-7 saying that these verses are talking about Hezekiah because his name in Hebrew means mighty God. Therefore the verse is taking about him. He explains more but I am shortening it for the sake of my question. Also, he uses Isaiah 37 to claim that these historical events are the fulfillment of Isaiah 9. I want to consider both sides and their interpretations. How would you explain this verse?