Dear Jehovah's Witnesses...

I was on your official website today, and read the following:

...the Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God.

and

Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God.

Admittedly, I knew you believed this before I visited your site.  In fact, previous research had revealed to me that you believe Jesus to actually be one and the same as Michael the archangel.

I can't agree with this.

Read More

Who Was Jesus of Nazareth?

“Jesus of Nazareth is easily the dominant figure in history…the historian disregarding the theological significance of his life, writes the name of Jesus of Nazareth at the top of the list of the world's greatest characters.” ~ H. G. Wells

 

Few can say that they have never heard of Jesus Christ.  In a 2010 TIME Magazine article entitled, “Who’s Biggest? The 100 Most Significant Figures in History,” in which the authors attempted to rank “historical figures just as Google ranks web pages, by integrating a diverse set of measurements about their reputation into a single consensus value,” Jesus came out first1.   Loved or hated, the name of Jesus Christ is a “household name,” and has been for centuries.  Everybody’s heard of Jesus.

Read More

This Low Ground

“He came to this low ground of sin, sickness, and sorrow. . .” Here is a beautiful slice of poetry which a brother incorporated into his prayer. Low ground . . . the world of man; “You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.”(Heb. 2:7 / Ps.8:5-6) Low ground . . . Jesus’ world; “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”  (Heb. 2:9) Though angels could dine with mortals (as when they met with Abraham at Mamre), they were not made lower than their station.

Read More

In Order to Love

Heb. 13:12 - 14 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. II Cor. 5:14-17 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Read More

Jesus & the Evidence III

In this third installment, we turn to the question of the gospels’ authenticity and accuracy. Even though the texts of the gospels have come down to us in reliable form, their believability is another question altogether. Is there reason to believe that the gospel accounts were ever true to begin with? Or are they just carefully copied frauds? LOTS could be said on this, and we will have to content ourselves with only scratching the surface.

Read More

Jesus & the Evidence II

Last week, I cited multiple ancient authors who referred to Jesus in their respective works. These individuals, who lived in the same and/or following century that Jesus lived, spoke of him as a real historical figure. None of them were Christians, and at least two of them were quite hostile to Christianity, yet they spoke of Jesus as someone who had impacted their world in recent times. There is no reasonable reason to doubt their testimony on this point, and so the overwhelming majority of scholars don't. But what of those who wrote about Jesus in the first century who were Christians? What about their testimony? In other words, what about the so-called “gospels”—the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Can we trust their accounts? Is there evidence one way or the other? These are questions worth answering…for the gospel writers not only affirm that Jesus walked the earth, but that he came from heaven to save us from the consequences of our sins against God. If there’s any chance that might be true, we definitely want to give the gospels a fair hearing.

So let’s see where the evidence leads....

Read More

Jesus & the Evidence I

Some doubt that Jesus ever existed. But they’re in the minority. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary: The first century Roman historian Tacitus (born c. AD 55) mentions Jesus in his Annals (15:44). Tacitus’ Jewish contemporary, Josephus (born c. AD 37), references Jesus twice in his Antiquities of the Jews (18.3.3; 20.9.1). Pliny the Younger (born AD 61), the Roman magistrate, mentions Jesus in his letter to the Emperor Trajan (Letters, vol. 2, 10:96). And the second-century satirist, Lucian of Samosata (born AD 125), speaks of Jesus in his work The Death of Peregrine (11-13).

Read More

The Elephant in the Room

Are you familiar with the idea of religious pluralism? Pluralists believe that all religions are essentially teaching the same things and directing their practitioners to the same goal. You may have seen the “Coexist” bumper stickers where the word is spelled with the various symbols of major religions. That’s a pluralist message. Pluralism is best illustrated by the parable of the elephant.

Read More