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Table of Contents
The Question of Evil
Lesson 1 What does Job have to do with the problem of evil? 1-26 1-14 8-10 4-7

Answer 1 – Satan is a possible cause. Lesson 2 Answer 2 – Sin is a possible cause.

10-13 15-26 15-18 19-23 24-25 27-56 27-39 31-33 33-39 42-55 43-45 45-48 48-52 52-54 54-55 51-77 51-65 59-61 61-63 63-65 67-77 67-77 79-90 78-84 85-90

Answer 3 – God uses evil for good. Answer 4 – God is great. Answer 5 – Evil is temporary

The Question of Authority
Lesson 3 The Bible Claims to be God’s Word

Lesson 4

Evidence Supports that Claim

The Bible contains a timeline.

The Bible contains various genre.

The Bible contains difficult passages. The Bible contains unique material. The Bible’s content has been preserved.

The Question of Origins
Lesson 5 Definitions

The Bible’s Teaching on Origins Lesson 6 Lesson 7

Faults in the Theory of Evolution Faults in the Theory of Evolution

The Question of History The Question of Intolerance

The Question of Evil “Why do I have trouble?” Part 1
Introduction
When my youngest child, who was just learning to walk, he was bothering my oldest daughter who was practicing piano on a small keyboard in our living room. Hannah successfully his way with a hamper. Asher tried and tried to access the sounds coming from the piano just a few feet away but was hindered by one small object. After repeated efforts, he quarantined Asher from the entrance to her area by blocking

eventually squirmed successfully around the hamper and was able to pester Hannah again. The roadblock was removed.

Often a person’s way to God’s truth is ‘road-blocked.’

Whenever they think about the good news of Jesus there is a question deep in their mind (or perhaps not so deep in their mind) that blocks them from accepting the truths of Scripture. This roadblock is usually nothing more than a bump or a small

pot hole that can easily be circumvented with the right Gospel just a bit ahead, and yet unable to progress in their faith. instruction. Nevertheless, they stay agitated, looking on to the

The truth is that Satan has used the same minor road hazards to distract people for centuries. allegory, “Pilgrim’s Progress” he tells of a man burdened to cross was blocked by a miry pit called “the slough of despond.” This pit deterred his companion, “Pliable” from continuing to In John Bunyan’s classic

have his sin removed from his back; however, the way to the

travel with him. However, Christian continued to fight his way attention to stepping stones which helped Christian navigate

through the pit. A friendly man named “Help” turned Pilgrim’s

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this detour and safely make it to the other side. The pit that or philosophy, the opinion of friends or family, fear of loss of

Satan uses can take several forms: a difficult question of ethics

financial gain or a sinful habit, a painful past event or the heavenly way. But these are all easy to navigate around if

relationship. 1 All of these can be used to detour a seeker from

you allow a helpful neighbor to show you the steps that others have navigated before.

This booklet is an attempt to answer some of the common questions that have blocked people from accepting the truth of Christianity. The answers are not new and have been

developed and presented in many ways since Jesus walked the earth and even before. However, just because they are not worn, "helpful" path actually testifies to its value to help you. novel does not mean they are not valuable. In fact the well-

The first question I would like to answer is one of the most question of evil.

common because we all feel pain and tragedy in life – the

Answering the Question of Evil
One of the reasons I love living in NYC is meeting people with diverse backgrounds. Each person’s life could fill a library of stories and many of these lives intersect and cross with so many other lives that it is like a tapestry of world history intersecting in one place and time. One part of that tapestry some of the worst parts of world history.
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is dark. As we view many strands of life, we can connect with

Bunyan’s description: “As the sinner is awakened about his lost

condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears and doubts, and settle in this place . . .”

discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and

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I remember speaking with a dear lady in Brooklyn several years ago.

conversation about spiritual things. She was not interested in and did not even want to hear what I had to say about God’s goodness in conquering evil. In listening to her story I realized

I approached her on the street and tried to begin a

changing her opinion about God. She thought God was evil

that she had faced more evil than I will ever even see. She was one of the few survivors of a Nazi prison camp. She showed stormed away in disgust. She was determined to remain bitter at God and the world for how humanity had treated her. me the number tattooed on her arm and with a snarling look

Although I realize her plight, I wish she would have given me ten more minutes of time not just to listen but to share more greatly in life and was able to come out on the other side a That person is Job. about another individual from the Jewish people who suffered better person full of faith and contentment in Who God is.

One of my favorite parks to block or two away from

jog in here in NYC is just a where our church meets. In that park is a statue of this same Bible character. This

sculpture was donated by local residents and is made by Nathan Rapaport, a

Nazi atrocity and eventually immigrated to NY. The statue was made as a memorial of the holocaust on the twentieth anniversary of the Nation of Israel. It represents the great suffering that the Jewish people endured during the holocaust. of life and the biblical character of Job. Rapaport saw the correlation between the horrific sufferings

Polish born man who fled

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What does Job have to do with the problem of evil?

Why do bad things happen? Several answers are given in the book of Job so we will use the story as a guide through this question. Just as Rapaport used the biblical figure of Job to chapter and the next to help us answer this very difficult epitomize sorrow, you can use this Biblical character to bring you out of your sorrow and pain of the past to look to your future in a positive way.

Before we do we must understand who Job was and what was so difficult about His story.

Job’s Success
Part of Job's sorrow comes from the fact that he started with so much! Look at the great pinnacle from which Job fell. He was extremely wealthy. livestock. 2

world. In fact he was one of the richest men of his day. He

This was the literal stock market of the ancient

He owned great property and

would have made it to the cover of Forbes magazine. And yet, his financial blessing did not come in expense of his physical health. He enjoyed a sharp mind and physical wellbeing.

His blessing went deeper than his wallet. Job was very well respected as a man of wisdom and power. He mentions that when he spoke in the gate (similar to our city hall) everyone

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oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3).

“His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of

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was quiet to listen to his words. respected and wanted to hear. 3

Job was one that they

And yet Job’s fortunes went even deeper still. Job was a godly

family man. What a beautiful picture is painted in the first chapter of a loving father and his grown children. He had ten seems that each year the family would get together on each of that individual in the family. What a wonderful home to be a children in all - 7 boys and 3 girls, a good round number. It the children’s birthdays for a large celebration rejoicing with part of! And yet after every birthday party, Job would offer or did something even in their heart against God. He was preoccupied with pleasing God with all his heart!

special sacrifices for each member just in case they had said

Job’s integrity was unquestioned. The press could bring out nothing from his closet to impugn his character. He was a example. What a great life! godly father a godly husband, a godly neighbor. What a great

Job’s Fall
But then everything went wrong. In a day, Job lost everything.

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” is nothing compared to Job’s bad day. Let's read this tragedy and let it sink in:

“Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house 4,
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square, the young men saw me and hid themselves, and the old men arose and stood. The princes stopped talking and put their hands on their mouths; the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to their palate” (Job 29:7-10).
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"When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the

what was going on most likely – horrible time for a tragedy!

Remember we mentioned the birthday bash for each child – this is

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a messenger came to Job and said, ‘The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with While he was still speaking, another also came and said,

the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’ ‘The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’ While he was still speaking, another and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the

also came and said, ‘The Chaldeans formed three bands servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have

escaped to tell you.’ While he was still speaking, another

also came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the

young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said,

tell you.’ Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his

return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. not sin nor did he blame God” (Job 1:13-22).

‘Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall

Blessed be the name of the LORD.’ Through all this Job did

What a horrible day. If you ever feel like your day is the worst of world history, read Job chapter 1 and you will have to admit that your day was a picnic. And yet, what a great response by Job! He does not blame God, he blesses God. Soon he curses the day he is born, but he never curses God.

Things get even worse. To add insult to injury, the next day

Satan plagues Job with oozing sores all over his body. There is nowhere that he can gain comfort – he can’t find rest sitting or lying or standing. What a test.

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The one person left alive, Job’s wife, gives him horrible advice– “curse God and die.” You can see why this is such a practical book dealing with the issue of trouble in life. Job has not just one tragedy, but a tragedy in every area of life where we experience these tragedies. Tragedy in family, in health, in finance/possessions, invasion are all experience by Job in one day. with close relatives, with foreign

The Rest of the Book
Now you know the story. How can we learn from this book

then? If you look at the remainder of the book you will find it is made up of several conversations. There are conversations between Satan and God, between Job and his friends, and with His people and with the enemy of His people regarding the problem of evil. And it is in those conversations that we look at five answers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

between Job and God. In these conversations, God wrestles

find some answers to our question of the problem of evil. Let’s

Satan is a possible cause of evil (The Author’s Perspective Job 1-2). Job 2:11 - 31:40). Sin is a possible cause of evil (The Friend’s Perspective God uses evil for good (Job’s Perspective Job 23:10) God is Great (Job 32-41). Evil is temporary (Job 42).

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Answer 1 – Satan Is a Possible Cause (The Author’s Perspective Job 1-2:10).

So, in answer to the question of evil, one answer is that Satan Satan is hate. He causes as much evil as he is able.

is evil and causes the evil in the world. Just as God is love,

I neglected to share with you one important point in our story. was the one that orchestrated and perpetrated the evil.

Satan was the one that requested that this evil be done and he

It is so interesting that when evil things happen or when

tragedies occur people get mad at God. There is no reference to the possibility of an evil being as the primary cause of these things. Yet on the other hand, when something goes good they make sure they get the credit (not God). In Job’s case, Author of the evil.

Satan asked God to allow him to perform evil. God is not the

We have to realize in life and in death (for all of us will face primary cause. these verses He permits the agents of evil to do their

death), there is no evil on earth at which God is the first or bidding and uses it for His good (as we will see soon). Read

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).

by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot

“For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you” (Psalm 5:4).

look on wickedness with favor” (Habakkuk 1:13).

When you see evil God is not the author of it. That event is written by someone else. It is written by Satan. Last year, I

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was so disgusted with a response given by a local Rabbi to a horrible event when a young Orthodox Jewish boy was slaughtered by a neighbor. The Rabbi was being interviewed by the local news and said “We don’t know why God does these things.”

No! I can’t allow you to say that. A sick, twisted, depraved, man filled with sin and evil did that, filled with the motivation did. of Satan himself! That is the explanation. God did not . . . evil

And so first of all we have to put the blame where it lies. The blame lies at the feet of the men that perpetrated the crime, one - Satan who put it in their hearts. God did not perpetrate evil. the organization that taught and enabled them . . . and the evil

From here we do need to ask and answer more questions. For some enough. of But there is another described it as you this may be

issue. One of my professors in seminary “watermelon theology.” 5

some truths in Scripture, you

With

can believe any two of three truths, but the difficulty comes from trying to grasp all three.

You can carry one under one arm, the other under another arm but it is difficult to carry that third one.

In this case, the first watermelon is the problem of evil. We all experience the effects of evil. The second truth is that God is good and does no evil. And the third truth (watermelon) is that

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Dr. Robert D Bell, Systematic Theology, Bob Jones Memorial

Seminary and Evangelistic Center.

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God is all powerful. We believe all three. But it is difficult to hold all three of those watermelons at the same time; you have to drop one to pick up the other two. So, some deny the first

fact – some streams of Buddhism deny that evil is a reality. Evil is a myth. I find that hard to swallow. Others deny God’s power. They say that there is evil in the world and God is working at eradicating it. This view is popularized by Rabi Kushner in his book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

everything but He can do some important things.” This is a very weak view of God. If we remove this leg of the three God of the Bible. legged stool we will fall on our backs. A limited God is not the

The seventh chapter is entitled “God can’t do

Others drop the third watermelon.

good. All too often people take this view. Instead of thinking drop God’s goodness and refuse to believe. Let me suggest a few more answers from the book of Job to help you.

They deny that God is

of other ways to get all three watermelons in their arms, they

Answer 2 - Sin is a possible cause (The Friends’ Perspective Job 2:11 - 31:40).

Job’s friends quickly attend his side and bring up this option 30 there is this back and forth and back and forth of Job's friends saying he is wicked and Job maintaining his integrity. It eventually becomes a difficult read. They are not comforting him. Listen to one “friend.”

through a huge chunk of the book. Actually from chapter 4-

him at all they are just gloating over him and trying to belittle

"I have seen the foolish taking root, and I cursed his abode oppressed in the gate, and there is no deliverer.

immediately. His sons are far from safety, they are even harvest the hungry devour and take it to a place of thorns, His

and the schemer is eager for their wealth. For affliction

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does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from upward” (Job 5:3-7).

the ground, for man is born for trouble, as sparks fly

How insensitive! He refers to the children of the foolish and

the crops of the foolish and how they will all fall. He is calling

Job a fool to his face and maintaining that his foolishness is what has caused his calamity. But Job keeps searching his heart and stating – I don’t think this is the problem, men. I really am trying to live before the Lord in the right way. I’m between me and my Creator (See Job chapter 31).

not perfect, but I’ve searched my heart and there is nothing

This is a possible answer to the problem of evil in a situation. This was not the answer in Job’s case. stepping on a friend when he was down. I like Job’s response

These men were

to these friends - "I have heard many such things; miserable case. And at the end of the story, God confronts these men tells Job to pray for them. comforters are you all” (Job 16:2 ESV). They were wrong in this

for their lack of help and “misdiagnosis” of the problem. He

Although they were wrong, this does point to a valuable principles from this answer that will help you understand, at because of sin.

answer with regard to the problem of evil. Let’s look at two times, why evil is evident in the world and in our own lives

The principle of original sin
God made a perfect world. What a great thought that is! In His perfect world no one mistreated anyone. business world where no one is mistreated. Imagine a nursery or a third grade class with no bickering. That was the original plan. There was no death or parting. There were no tears. Imagine a

There was joy and only joy. There was no cancer. If you read

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things like this again. However, there is this big gap of time original sin.

the end of the story (Revelation 21:1-7), God will make all

where sin is reeking devastation. This is the principle of the

Adam and Eve were made without sin, but with a choice to sin. where this happened in Biblical history. God made a perfect

They had the possibility for rebellion. You know the event garden of harmony and peace – peace between all of humanity

and God. But humanity chose to rebel against God’s original command in the garden (eat of the fruit); they fell. This fall had an impact on all of God’s creation.

Our first parents – Adam and Eve, declared war on God by

disobeying His one command. After that time, we are all born face death. The result is that the effect of this sin has spread

at war with God and under the same effect of that sin. We all to all of creation. The Bible teaches that all of creation is now groaning under this curse of sin like a woman in childbirth, longing for the end.

The story of the Bible is the story of how God is erasing the effects of original sin by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. God came in flesh to take upon Himself the punishment of that sin and every sin in order that humanity can enjoy fresh fellowship with God again–just like the Garden of Eden! Those Message” will remember this principle. everything back to his perfect order. God is bringing

of you who have gone through our “Summary of the Bible’s

Much of the evil we see in the world–disease, natural disasters, are not caused because God is mad now.

distorted, broken world that God is redeeming. At the end of History all will be made new and this principle will be revoked.

They are the

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The principle of sowing and reaping
Consider also the principle of reaping the effects of sowing a sinful lifestyle. This is a definite possibility. Of course we have to realize that this is not always the problem. As in the case

of Job, just because you or I are going through a difficulty, it does not mean that we are paying for the results of our sin. At times, God has other purposes for trials and tragedies just like we will see in the next lesson.

However, at times, you are paying for the results of your personal sin. This is the principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow wickedness you will reap evil.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Reaping Pain in Love
Perhaps it would be good to consider that the sowing and reaping principle is actually a loving thing for God to orchestrate. As a loving Father, God allows pain to keep us from touching a fire in the future. Parents realize that the school of hard knocks is often the only way a child will learn a realize they better not run full force in the house. If God never allowed us to feel the consequences of bad choices, then we would always do those bad things and destroy our lives. Pain is one of the best gifts of God to humanity.

lesson. We don’t want them to fall. But when they fall, they

We have considered the first two answers to the question of other valuable answers.

evil. In the next lesson we will finish this and bring up three

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

List some of the events in life that could be considered evil.

2.

What is an example of sin causing trouble?

3.

What are the three “watermelons” that are difficult to carry when considering the problem of evil?

4.

God causes evil (True/False).

5.

enemies! Discuss ways to be a friend to another person when they are going through a difficult time in life.

Group Discussion – With friends like Job’s, who needs

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The Question of Evil “Why do I have trouble?” Part 2
As we consider the problem of evil and its effects on our lives it is never an easy issue to deal with. Usually this question be considered patiently. The Lord gives us several examples of suffering in Scripture that come along side us like a friend brings up deep seated pain or loss from our past and should

that has walked the same weary road and can give us a shoulder on which to cry or a hand to hold to gain stability in moving forward. Job is just such an individual. He has lost everything and is grappling with his new life as he reveals to things to happen? Why is there evil in the world?

us answers to the questions like – Why does God allow bad

In this lesson we will give three additional answers to last week’s two answers.

Answer 3 – God uses evil for good (Job's Perspective - Job 23:10).

Although this is not a primary theme in the book of Job, it is as an answer to the question of evil. Job tells us that God uses

mentioned, and is a prominent theme elsewhere in the Bible trials to test His servants. The first answer above came from the author of the Book of Job, the second answer came from Job’s friends, and now we have a third answer recommended by Job.

Although he does not understand completely what is going on, and he prefers death to what he is experiencing, he can still attest while in the midst of the valley–he will come through on the other side a better person.

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"But [God] knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

What an amazing perspective to have! Job is not looking back his conceited, so-called friends that are accusing him of guilt.

on the tragedy. He is patiently dealing with the arguments of

And he concludes that this is just a furnace that is melting away the dross his dross. This is just a fiery trial of testing through which he will be become a more pure, more valuable,

more useful instrument.

Try to think of the positive that the Lord is working in your life in any case. In our church in Brooklyn we had a dear believer

and if you don’t see it immediately, trust that God is doing it who was a beautiful testimony of this. While putting herself

through Nursing school–coming close to finalizing her degree,

she looked in the mirror one day and noticed a black spot right to expand until she completely lost her vision.

in the middle. This black spot did not go away but continued

Because

occupation, and shortly after this, her husband left her. difficulty! such a tragedy? Why would God allow What a

of

this

she

lost

her

MAKE YOUR
STUMBLING BLOCKS STEPPING STONES.

allow this to stop her. She secured social work. borough

Sandra did not

a dog to help her and finished a degree in a different area – to What a brave lady, taking the subway from borough Anyone who knew her, would agree that with her somewhat disciplined

companion dog.

Sandra was such a joy to be around, never allowing to let her more respected testimony to the Lord. humbled by her faith. I am amazed and

circumstances ruin her. They actually made her a stronger and

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A similar testimony is given by Ron Hamilton – a Christian minister that influenced me in a great way as a child. As a young man, he went through a trial of cancer in his eye – he

did not lose his vision but lost his left eye and had to wear an the pirate.

eye patch. As he returned to church everyone called him patch stories and inspirational children’s music as “Patch the Pirate”.

He began making Christian character building

The Lord has used his ministry all across the world to instruct using this trial for good, Ron wrote the words to the song “Rejoice in the Lord.”

both children, families, and churches. As he reflected on God

Give thanks to the Lord though your testing seems long; In darkness He giveth a song.

When trying His servant and molding a man.

God never moves without purpose or plan.

So I looked at the cross of my Saviour instead, I bowed to the will of the Master that day; Then peace came and tears fled away.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;

God strengthens His children and purges in love. My Father knows best, and I trust in His care; Through purging more fruit I will bear. Refrain:

Now I can see testing comes from above,

He knoweth the end of each path that I take, For when I am tried and purified, I shall come forth as gold.

Rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake,

Job knew too that although his trial brought him low, God gain” has much weight in every area of life.

would make him grow through it. The phrase “no pain no

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Allow your trials to grow you. Keep from stumbling over them and instead use them as stepping stones in life. I trust you over tragedy. are able to trust in the Lord today and His ability to triumph

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

The greatest example in world history is the example of Jesus. Father did not hold back evil from coming upon Him. Even allowed Jesus to suffer the greatest evil ever suffered. Why?

Here is God’s only Son–perfect in every way. And yet God the though the Father could not have loved the Son more, He

Because Jesus was paying the penalty for your sin and for cross. Here we see the greatest agony and the greatest good

Why did Jesus die under the wrath of the Father?

mine. Great good was coming out of the great evil of the in one event. So we know that although we hate evil, if God does not hold it back from Himself in order to bring good, we too can endure evil to bring ultimate good to others.

God’s suffering allows Him to bear with us in suffering. “If we went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength

embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he to face the brutal realities of life on earth. We can know that sufferings.” 6

God is truly Immanuel – God with us – even in our worst

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pg. 31.

The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Timothy Keller,

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Answer 4 – God is great (Elihu and God’s Perspective Job 32-42)

There were a total of four friends who came to talk with Job –

at least we have a record of the conversation of four of them. because of his sin. But one other friend – the youngest, had another view. His name was Elihu, and his view was the closest to correct.

Three friends fixate on the idea that Job’s suffering was caused

However, the view is not too comforting unless you are a believer. If you are a believer, this reason will minister peace discussion with him. to your soul. And this is actually what God answers Job in His

Elihu’s Message
As the youngest, Elihu could not speak until the other men were through–that was the way their culture respected age (our culture could learn much from that principle). In this was very angry. Angry at the friends for not helping Job.

case, the youngest knew what he was talking about. But he Angry at Job for casting aspersions at God’s name for suggesting that what he was going through was wrong.

You could summarize Elihu’s message (Chapters 30-37!) as

God is great you can’t fault Him or His ways. His ways are not trust Him. The main emphasis is upon God’s greatness.

our ways so although we cannot understand them we have to

"Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, For God is greater than man” (Job 33:1-12).

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You can see what Elihu is doing here. He is trying to get Job’s eyes off his problems and on to the greatness and majesty of God. And this is pretty much his only answer – “God is great!

Job, you are asking God ‘Why, Why, Why?’ . . . Let me answer eyes off of yourself and on to the greatness of God. Look at how great He is! You cannot find fault with Him. You cannot even conceive of Him or understand Him!” you with a phrase. God is not a man. God is great. Get your

God’s Message
If you read chapters 38-42, this is God's answer too. And I

think you will see that this is something of a panacea, a cure all, of all evils and problems that you will face in life. That is why this book is so profound.

God's response to Job’s questions about the evil in his life is His own (God’s) greatness. And God focuses on one primarily aspect of His greatness - His creative control of all things. God speaks in a great poem about His creative activity, and asks

Job many questions about what He has created and shows how small Job is in comparison. If you take time to count them, in are 13 question marks. chapter 38 there are 28 question marks. In chapter 39 there chapter 41 there are 16 more question marks. That’s a total question marks. In chapter 40 there are 6 and in

of 63 question marks . . . and even more questions within the (chapter 38), biology (chapter 39), and two interesting animals in chapter 40-41. Job what do you know about these things? God asks Job questions about geology

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:

‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand’” (Job 38:14). knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you,

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Job's response is to the greatness of God is cathartic. God is just keep my mouth shut and glorify You for Your greatness. This is a wonderful lesson for us.

so great he had no need of any answer to his suffering . . . I’ll

“Then Job answered the LORD and said, ‘Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my twice, and I will add nothing more’" (Job 40:3-5). And so Job's problems melted away mouth. Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even

in the glory of God. And so this is more of a way to deal with tragedy and evil than it is an answer to the question. This gives us a release. It tells us how to deal with the

GOD IS A PANACEA
TO THE TROUBLED SOUL.

THE GLORY OF

stress and pain of evil. Put your eyes on the greatness of God. The greatness of the glory of God gives perspective on how small you are and therefore how small your problems are. And so Job repents of his demanding spirit and he sits in silence. This is the primary salve for a sorrowful soul. of God. answer for really every problem of life. Get a view of the glory This is the

God’s Botanical Gardens
I love to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; it is probably my

favorite spot in NYC. Its immense, 52 acres are filled with

5,000 rose bushes and 1,400 different kinds of roses. Also, there is a fragrance garden, a children's garden, an herb blossoming together. garden, more than 200 cherry trees - which are brilliant when unlimited beauty that points to God's magnificence in creation.

different gardens-beautiful gardens like the rose garden with

So in this garden there is nearly

21

What if I went there and shortly after coming in to take a nice stroll I stepped up to one of these brilliant double bloomed cherry blossoms and pick off a pedal to smell it. I smell the pedal and let it fall from my hands and begin to walk away - I

stop and look back and see that someone has rushed over and picked up the pedal from the flower. And the man that picked up the pedal seems despondent.

The little angry man tries to put it back on the blossom only to see it fall again. So he goes off the deep end screaming in horror at what has happened! He takes pictures as he

documents every little detail. He ignores me completely and storms off to the curator of the park to sling outlandish accusations.

He blames him for my actions. He starts belittling him and You don't know how to run a garden!

threatening him. “You people don't know what you are doing!

control of the people walking in here and you can't let this happen? Why can't you stop this terrible mess?”

Why don't you get

His tirade increases still as he threatens to sue the gardens for the negligence. full bloom!” sends out a press release – “Blossom plucked of rare beauty in

He documents his claims on his blog and

Would he get much of a hearing? The mad little man would not be taken seriously. In fact, we could put are arm around him and say, “Look, friend, there are hundreds of thousands of beautiful blooms and they are all being maintained as well

as possible - you can come back and enjoy them each year!

least find fault with me. I’m the one that caused the evil, not the curator of the whole park.

Here is another blossom over here – smell this one.” Or at

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That pedal was small and almost insignificant in comparison

to the beauty of the whole. So when you step back and view perspective Job has. He looks at his life and realizes - he is

the whole garden - the pedal is minor. And I think that is the just one pedal on the blossom of a beautiful tree of God’s goodness.

If he examines how huge the garden is and how detailed and how well maintained the pedal is not very significant. someone comes and plucks the pedal of his life. The blame the pedal. If

should not go to the Creator, but the individual who crushed

At first, Job is up in arms at the pedal of his life that has been snatched away by the whim of the devil. And he is tempted to find fault with God for allowing it. So, instead of God

answering him as to the direct cause, God puts His arm around all the different aspects of that garden.

Job and guides him around the rest of creation, showing him

Instead of addressing the specific issue God gets Job's mind great tragedy . . . in comparison with how great God is and how majestic He is it was not that big an issue. off of himself and his problem - because even though it was a

And so Job is humbled - as God gives him a tour of the garden of creation Job concludes – “I am insignificant.”

We have looked at four reasons so far that there is evil in the given to us in the book of Job.

world, but we still have to look at one of the most helpful ones

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Answer 5 – Evil is temporary (God’s Perspective Job 42).

Job’s story ends well. The final chapter tells us that the Lord repays Job twice what he lost.

“The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had than his beginning” (Job 42:10-12). twofold... The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more

Of course, this does not always happen, but it does teach us a valuable principle. No matter what happens in this life, we know that suffering is temporary. God will eradicate all evil one day.

We should not take the presence of evil as God’s approval of

evil in the world. We know the end of the story. He hates evil

so much that He came in human flesh to bring us out of the evils of sin. It took His life – His suffering the greatest evil to bring us out of evil one day. And so His death is for our life. He came to suffer evil in order to put an end to evil forever.

I never like when someone tells me the end of a movie or book.

Some people like to look at the final chapter to see how things case, we read the end and see that God does away with all these trials, pains, all evil.

work out. That normally bugs me. But not in this case! In this

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… And I heard a

loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of

God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be

his people, and God himself will be with them and be their no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old

24

order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new’” (Revelation 21:1-5)!

This is God’s desire, His end goal. Don’t let His patience and forbearance with evil today be misinterpreted as acceptance.

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

What is the ultimate example of God turning evil upside down and using it for good?

2.

Summarize God’s perspective on Job’s trials.

3. a.

Match the answer to the correct situation. Answer 1 – Satan causes evil. __ Fanny Crosby rejoices that although she is blind the Jesus’ face. Repeated people. Get first face she will see is __ attempts over

b.

causes evil.

Answer 2 – Sin

history to destroy the Jewish your eyes off

c.

Answer 3 – God uses good. evil for

__

problems and your trials.

your

d.

Answer 4 – God is great.

__

Paul and Silas led the jailor in salvation after being beaten Philippi to eternal

e.

Answer 5 – Evil is temporary.

__

and imprisoned there.

Billy is loses his license and driving.

his job after drinking and

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The Question of Authority “Can I trust the Bible?” Part 1
Introduction
The next question I would like to answer is central to all other questions. It is the question of authority. In Pilate’s words “what is truth?” How do you know the Bible is true? Or, we

could broaden the question a bit; how do you know anything believe to be true of God and this world is based on something – the Bible. That is the ultimate authority.

is true? I say this is the question of authority because all that I

The question of authority is a question of worldview. What do

which you view your environment and make sense of your existence. Your authority base colors all you see. They are the glasses through which you make decisions and think.

you base your life on? Your ultimate authority is the basis for

Cultural Glasses - Some people base their values and beliefs,
their worldview, on the culture around them. These people are chameleons. As the population goes so do they. They shapes them into a

don’t just pick up on the culture around them, their culture particular thinking. culture mold of

mirroring This is

is

At times that close Biblical

to

authority, often it is not. worldview because it is the easiest

27

passive and does not cause friction. But it is also spineless, and in the end empty. You are a person. God has given you a mind to think for yourself.

the counter cultural chameleon. These people choose ways to

Counter Cultural Glasses - Similar to the cultural chameleon is

be extreme in their counter culture. The goal is not adopting here.

a biblical worldview, but to be anti-culture. Quite a spectrum bizarre, but the group itself is still a subculture. So they are There are countercultural trends that can be quite

not thinking through an objective worldview but are adopting person’s pier group in their particular niche of culture or counter culture affects their decisions.

the group’s worldview. You would be surprised how much a

placed around them by their parents like a nice fence around their back yard growing up. strength of the fence, but all in all they trust and go along with the values they have inherited at birth. This is me by nature. I love my authority as I’ve been blessed with parents who nurtured and loved me. But eventually, I had to come to the place where I investigated other options. I could not stay in their back yard. At times they may test the

Family Glasses - Other people simply accept the worldview

Religious Glasses – Other religions, too, foster a system of
viewing the world that colors the adherent’s thoughts and actions. Usually there is a group of teachings on which the worldview is loosely or strictly based. Christianity should fall in this type of glasses. I’ll develop that more below. There are Islamic cultures where every thought and decision in the day is permeated with what the Koran says or how their religious case you have people as cultural chameleons following a takes on.

community has interpreted that book (sharia law). So, in this religion based on that being the set of values the entire group

28

I’m currently working with a young man from Uzbekistan who

is very interested in reading about Christianity. When we gave

him a Bible, he covered it with a paper placemat from the

restaurant where he was working. He was afraid to take it into the house where he lived with his sister. He is now in the what he has learned in the Bible to his parents or friends in makes him wear. They are religious/culture glasses. There is no freedom to discover for himself. process of being deported and fears to say anything about Uzbekistan. He has been given the glasses that his culture

American culture who are adopting this view. And so, there is a growing cultural pressure to act and live by this standard. The worldview is continually evolving. nothing objective about where its values are based. But many pillars of our society are championing these glasses as the ones to wear. Entertainment and educational system enjoys After all, there is

Secular Glasses – There is a growing number of people in

this view. In this view you can believe, just don’t talk about it. it in the margins of life so no one really knows or cares. The

The secularist does not want to eradicate religion, but just put problem with this worldview in the past is that it has no

right or what is wrong, then the society can state what it desires as right or wrong.

mooring. It is a ship at sea. If you have no basis for what is

worldview. This goes beyond a nominal Christian to someone who actually believes that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s God wants them to live. This worldview, then is not based on birth, internal feelings, or imagination. ancient book you know as the Bible. Word. They take the Bible seriously and go there to find how a religious communion, historic tradition, current experience, It is based on an

Biblical glasses – What I would like to present is a Biblical

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I believe that we have in the Bible the answers to the big questions of life, and that the Biblical worldview gives the greatest way forward for my life and for culture.

Answering the Question Authority
Those who disagree with the Biblical worldview, will try to other than the Word of God. attack the source. They have to discount the Bible as being Christianity have done so by attacking the Bible. will either deny its source or its preservation.

People who have discounted Their

objections usually fall along two lines of reasoning. Someone usually follow along these two lines as diagramed below. Statements questioning the Bible’s Divine Source The Bible was written by a bunch of men to gain power. errors. Questions

Statements Questioning the Bible’s Divine Preservation not in touch with reality. The Bible is out of date and

The Bible is filled with

I believe in Jesus’ teachings, but they have been distorted and changed by religion over the years. What we have in the Bible was written generations after Jesus inflated by heroes.

The Bible contradicts itself.

culture’s infatuation with Other writings give

additional accounts about Jesus that contradict the Bible.

These are formidable questions. Books have been written on each of them, so we will have to be brief in our answers. We

30

will examine each one briefly in the next lesson. Before we get down to answers, let’s take a minute to summarize some of the evidence in favor of the Christian Bible.

THE BIBLE AS GOD’S WORD
As we look at the evidence together, first let me gather together some of the claims that the Bible has of being God’s the claim must be taken seriously. back up that claim. Word. Does the Bible actually claim this for itself? If so, then claims, we will examine whether or not there is evidence to

After we look at these

The Bible claims to be the Word of God
The Bible was revealed to us over many years through many us will have to be left to a different study.

different individuals. How this collection of writings came to important for us to recognize that each section of Scripture claims to be the Word of God. Let's look first at the claims of Testament. the Old Testament (Tanakh) and then the claims of the New

However, it is

bookshelves. These bookshelves also have separate sections just as a library may divide books into history, biography, and to be God's Word. poetry. Each of these sections and each of these books claim

You may want to think of these as two

Old Testament Claims
The first section of the Old Testament (O.T.) is the Torah or he wrote was actually commissioned by God directly.

Law and was written by Moses. Moses clearly states that what

a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua" (Exodus 7:14).

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this as a memorial in

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And the LORD said to Moses, "Write these words, for in you and with Israel" (Exodus 34:27).

accordance with these words I have made a covenant with And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare

the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, ‘Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God’" (Deuteronomy 31:24-26).

The next section on the Old Testament shelf is the prophets. These were men that God commissioned to speak His Words to the people, just like Moses. Often these were words of warning to turn them back to Him. One phrase that occurs repeatedly in the prophets is "thus says the Lord." In fact, out of the 419 times this phrase occurs in the English O.T., over

300 occur in three of the prophetic books (Isaiah, Jeremiah, his own but was given to him from the Lord.

and Ezekiel). The prophet is claiming that his message is not

The section of the writings is similar to the prophets in that throughout these records of Israel's history and poetry, there something of the dynamic of this through David's account of what happened when he wrote poetry. and His word was on my tongue.'" speaking through him. 'The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, God was actually is a repeated phrase - "Thus says the Lord." We learn

New Testament Claims
The New Testament (N.T.) is no different. It also clearly shows that the Bible is God's Word.

disciples, He told them that they would be a conduit of new

Just before Jesus left His

revelation from God. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom

the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you"

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(John 14:26).

Testament (N.T.).

These writings are recorded in the New

Once these documents were written, the authors and early Christians realized that they were part of that group of Holy books referred to among Jewish believers as "Scripture." This N.T. books as they began to be collected and distributed by hand (See 1 Timothy 5:18, Luke 10:7, 2 Peter 3:16). was a technical term only used of the O.T. books and of the Two

pillars of the early church, Paul and Peter described how it was that God spoke through these men like a musician speaks through instruments.

There is Evidence to Support that Claim
It is obvious that the Bible claims to be God's Word. However, will discover next, the answer is absolutely yes. We will look at two different types of evidence. come to through examining the text itself (internal evidence). evidence that supports the text (external evidence). external evidence below. First, evidence that we

is there evidence that points to the same conclusion? As we

Second, evidence that we come to through examining other

consider two types of internal evidence and three types of

We will

Internal Evidence
Unity of Content This may seem to be a small thing. However, when you

consider that the Bible had about 40 different authors

spanning over 1,500 years this is an astounding fact! There are so many different values, languages and cultural norms that change from one civilization to the next. However, the

33

Bible developed consistently throughout all these changes with a single major theme.

One great example of this is the four records called the Gospels. These are the first four books of the New Testament and they each tell the Gospel (Good News) that Jesus lived and died for our sins. There were three different authors, each One was a historian who researched the facts through local writing from a different perspective. Two were eye-witnesses.

interviews and historical analysis. The other was a very simple account by someone who used very simple language. And yet, these accounts do not contradict each other in any point! A reasonable conclusion is that God was superintending each of of the same life. Prophecy Another fascinating evidence that supports the Divine origin

these accounts and bringing about four different perspective

of the Bible is prophecy.

through Biblical authors. If a book did this once or twice we

At times God predicted events

would be interested and perhaps attracted to read the rest. more than just once or twice. The numbers of prophecies that have come to pass and the detailed nature of them are beyond human explanation. They had to have a Divine origin.

However, with Scripture it is not just a curiosity because it is

A large group of these prophecies are classified as Messianic prophecies. specific aspects of Jesus' life and ministry. JP Payne in his book

Many passages in the Old Testament foretell

"Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecies" records 191 different prophecies were events that Jesus had no control over.

prophecies concerning Jesus as the Messiah. Many of these

34

Read a few of the Messianic Prophecies below and then circle manipulate the outcome of these events in his own life. 1. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem 2. The Messiah would come from the tribe of 3. The Messiah, while suffering death would have His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16). Judah (Genesis 49:10). (Micah 5:2). Yes Yes Yes

yes or no depending on if Jesus would have been able to

No No No

4. The Messiah, while suffering death would 5. The Messiah, while suffering death would have his garment bartered over (Psalm 22:18). have His side pierced (Zechariah 12:10).

Yes Yes

No No

6.

7. The Messiah would be raised from the dead (Psalm 2:7; 16:10).

predicted (Daniel 9:24-16).

The timing the Messiah's death was

Yes Yes

No No

A scroll is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem that archaeologists have dated to be many years before Jesus was online at the museum's ever born. You can actually scroll through the entire document website. This is such an

astounding document when you consider some of its clear references to Jesus. Read the following text

remembering that there is still physical evidence that clearly pre-dates Jesus birth,

life, and death by hundreds of years.

35

carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He

of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD 53:4-6). transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah

These are not the only prophecies in the Scripture. There are

hundreds of other specific prophecies that foretell world fall of empires and kings, the destruction of cities and other events that are beyond the power of human manipulation. Some of these are extremely accurate down to specific dates, fulfilled in our own lifetime (see Jeremiah 49:16-17; Ezekiel 26:3-14; Isaiah 11:11). specific people's names and events that we have just seen This does not happen through

events before they come to pass. These include the rise and

happenstance. This points to a Divine origin – God who knew the future wrote about it ahead of time.

External Evidence
The evidence is not merely found in the Bible. As we look at facts that are outside of Scripture we find more witness to the Bible's reliability. Let's briefly survey three of these below. Archeology/Secular History An archeologist tries to examine the physical data left in a the events of archeology support the truths of the Bible. 7
7

region to determine events in history. It is amazing that all

discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of

“It may be clearly stated categorically that no archeological

archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline

36

When you consider all the coins, pots, names, and details of

ancient history that have been unearthed over the centuries, it is truly remarkable that these all document and establish the facts of Scripture rather than contradicting them. examine a couple of these examples. Let's

a river turning into blood; crops being destroyed; fire and way:

Egyptian Plagues: The Ancient Egyptian priest Ipuwer recounts

darkness; the destruction of the firstborn is described this

“Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls . . . The prison is ruined . . . He in the ground who places his brother

everywhere . . . It is groaning that is

is the land mingled with

lamentations (Papyrus 4:3; 2:13; 3:14)

throughout

Senacharib’s

Accounts the siege of

Prism:

Jerusalem recorded in

Isaiah 36-37. (Leaving out the details that are not record in the history of Assyria.) very pleasant to

or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” Gleason Archer Old Testament Introduction.

37

The records of secular history also give assent to what the

Bible records. The secular Roman historians all paint the same picture of historical events that surround the Scriptural accounts. There is corroboration and not contradiction. Perseverance of the Text Another astounding aspect of the reliability of Scripture is how it has withstood the test of time. Usually the years of time This is not the case with Scripture. Old Testament manuscripts erase even the most revered and profitable earthly documents. have been found recently that predated other manuscripts by

over a thousand years and yet there were no major differences between the two. God has preserved His Word to us in the Bible. See the next chapter for more info on this topic.

Let me offer you one final thought on this topic. The concept

of a Bible makes sense. Most people believe in a God who made us. That does not legitimize the claim. I’m just pointing to the fact that it is reasonable. The magnificent beauty and 3) points to a Creator.

greatness of all we see (we will get to that question in chapter conclusion. Most of the world has come to that conclusion. The idea of God is a reasonable

Based on the idea of God, it is reasonable to conclude that God

would speak to us. He made us beings that communicate. We

thrive on self-revelation. It seems that every month (hour?) brings with it a new avenue of social media. People love selfdisclosing. If God made us this way, would He not speak to us? God creating and God communicating are two rational

conclusions. What better way to speak with humanity than with words that can be studied and poured over objectively? If windy day. But if it is written then it is ours forever. He speaks solely in the clouds, His speech is gone on the first

38

Since that is a reasonable conclusion – God speaks with what He makes, and if the Bible claims and demonstrates (based on what we have read in this lesson) to be that revelation. Then try it! Pick it up and read it for yourself. God will speak with you.

There are two ways to convince someone that your product

tastes the best. Let's say you are convincing someone that

add). One way is to state several factors - objective facts that you think would convince them. Perhaps the amount sold or

Coke tastes better than Pepsi (another no-brainer I might

how long the company has been in business. You might tell favored your company. These may all be convincing factors. them to taste for themselves.

them the results of nationwide surveys that substantially But another way is to just take out a coke, pop it open and ask

If you are doubting whether or not the Bible is God's Word,

there is sufficient evidence to give you to show the reliability of its claims. However, it might be best to crack it open for yourself. Have you ever read the Bible? If you have never read yourself. I recommend it to you heartily.

it, then you can hardly say you don't believe it. Taste it for

39

QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

precision for the things written about Jesus hundreds of years before He was born?

What would be another explanation for the amazing

"Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse

anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, 'The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue'" (2 Samuel 23:1-2).

declares, the man who was raised on high declares, the

2. Based on the above portion of Scripture, Who spoke these words according to the first verse above?

3. Based on the above portion from the Bible, whose words were actually being spoken according to verse 2?

teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness . . . " (2 Timothy 3:16).

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for

40

"Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:20-21). 4. How is Scripture given according to 2 Timothy 3:16? ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as

5.

Did people prophecy of their own will (Yes/No)?

6.

If they did not prophecy of their own will, how did they speak?

41

Question of Authority “Can I trust the Bible?” Part 2
Introduction
There are certain places in NYC where you cannot get through a crowd without someone whispering in your ear “Rolex, Rolex.” If your eyes happen to meet you will be given a lengthy sales pitch for a Rolex wrist watch. The cost varies from $50$20. “What a great deal! I have got to shop in NYC more it gets even worse when you pick it up. Definitely plastic. You immediately know that you are not holding an authentic Rolex watch. In this case, finding the authenticity is easy.

often!” Sounds great till you actually look at the watch. And

In our last lesson, we gave some reasons to believe that the try to undercut the Bible’s authority. In this lesson we are

Bible is the authentic Word of God. There are doubters who going to highlight a few of the common questions raised. Although there are some valid questions to be answered, many by people who have not taken time to search them out and are already reached. I hope that is not you. of the questions I have come across on this subject, are given looking for reasons to come to the conclusions they have

common misunderstandings that can be cleared up fairly easily. That is the primary goal of this chapter. As you read perhaps you can help someone else to look a little closer. or hear these misconceptions you will not be fooled, and

There are also

As we saw in the last chapter, these questions fall into two

different categories. Some deny the Bible’s reliability – they

42

say that it is not from God and so it is filled with human error.

Another group may believe that the Bible began well, but over the years it has been changed and manipulated to serve the ends of others.

Statements questioning the Bible’s Divine Source The Bible was written by a

Statements Questioning the Bible’s Divine Preservation in touch with reality. The Bible is out of date and not I believe in Jesus’ teachings,

bunch of men to gain power. The Bible is filled with errors.

but they have been distorted the years.

and changed by religion over The Bible contradicts itself. What we have in the Bible was

written generations after Jesus with heroes.

inflated by culture’s infatuation Other writings give additional accounts about Jesus that contradict the Bible.

Often

misconceptions that we can help work through by examining three different principles. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

these

accusations

point

to

some

common

The Bible contains a timeline.

The Bible contains various genre.

The Bible contains difficult passages. The Bible contains unique material. The Bible’s contents are preserved.

The Bible contains a timeline.
Did you know that the Bible was written over a period of 1,500 and periods of world history? The History of humanity is a

using more than 40 different writers from different cultures

43

history of God’s interaction with us. The Bible is a record of that story. To get a summary of the whole message of the Bible, see our study “What does the Bible say? A survey of the message of the Bible.” As time developed, God’s dealings with humankind developed as well. He did not change. God is always the same. But the main interaction changed.

As you read the first five books of the Bible written by Moses you find God’s revelation to Israel, the Theocracy. In this time of Israel’s history, God was the direct King. He spoke through His prophets, but the Nation was under God in a way that we

cannot understand today. His Laws were the Laws of the Land. to those people of that land. There are some things there that I live under a National Law that is different from the National Law of Israel from 3,500 years ago.

The speed limit was dictated by God. Those Laws were specific God was teaching Israel that are not applicable today because

People read of things that God asked the Nation of Israel to do and don’t understand that these are not written as Laws for we do not obey them in the same way that Moses or Aaron did. Unbelief was punishable by death in that economy. Christian would advise this today. people in America. We derive principles from these Laws, but No

Many questions are answered when you apply this principle. How many times have I read an Atheist throwing down the ‘trump card’ of the Bible telling us to kill witches!? Then with

silly sneer, thinking that is the end of the debate they glare. verse.” “See, what the Bible says there - complete with chapter and Yes. In God’s Theocracy, witchcraft was a capital

offence, as was rebellion, adultery, and several other things.

Was this extreme? Yes! Do Christian politicians use these regulations as their platform for running for office in America? of people at a specific time. This does reveal God’s disposition No. The Laws of the Torah were written for a specific group

44

against things. witchcraft.

God is not for rebellion.

He is not for

Other cultures of ancient days had similar laws. Hammurabi’s Law Code (a few hundred years before Moses) commands impaling adulterers who have killed their spouses to be lovers together. Also, a child who hit their father had their hand chopped off. Muslim law (Sharia Law), according to still have similar Laws. On a lighter

some cities in Middle Easter cultures note, other countries today attach laws

that are specific to that region and time.

The Singapore ban on chewing gum (recently revoked) seems ridiculous in light of the fact that Prostitution is

legal. That being said, the streets are clean.

The Bible contains various genre.
Another very helpful principle to remember when looking at the text of Scripture is that the Bible contains different genre. It contains history, poetry, letters, songs, and prophecy. So you will treat different genre different than others.

Read Genre Normally
A couple groups of questions are answered by this fact. I still remember when I was in a Christian High School growing up a student tried to mock my desire to take the Bible at face value. That Bible is full of mistakes. Haven’t you read where it says corners. The earth is round. Bible is not without error!” I had

the four corners of the earth? Now, we know that there are no

45

not heard that before, neither did I know that this was taken

from poetry. The author was speaking of coming from the

North, South, East, and West – not the corner. This figure of corners of the land of Israel (Ezekiel 7:2). This is a figure of that the land was not divided into an exact square.

speech is used in another passage which mentions the four speech. The author knew the boundary of Israel. He knew

Taking a figure of speech and exacting upon it a literalness yet examples like this are found ad nauseam on people’s

that we do not expect in normal language is dishonest. And blogs. This is another instance of someone who is trying to find fault rather than trying to read the book normally. Read the Bible in the same manner as you would another book, usages in a book to speak to you.

realizing that God used the normal imagery and language

Understand the Author’s Intent
You also need to understand what the author is intending to communicate throughout the whole book. The Bible contains 66 different books. fingers at the conclusions in one. this principle. Another huge group of Read an entire book before pointing

questions are raised because the questioner does not follow people ask me is concerning Abraham or David’s wives. “Look, David had more than one wife. How can I believe this book One of the most common questions I have

that demeans women?!” As you read through the Bible you will find that the heroes made some very big mistakes. In fact, you won’t find many major characters that do not have glaring only exceptions.

errors! One could make a case that Joseph and Jesus are the

However, the Bible nowhere condones these things. In fact it

teaches against polygamy. As you read the whole book of

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Genesis or Samuel you realize that it these mistakes that these men brought horrific consequences. pause to tell you this or that is wrong. He is recording history

The author does not

through the Holy Spirit. History records what God thinks of

these events. And in both cases the results were devastating. This is the case with so many things in the Bible. People ask,

“Did you know that xyz-sin was in the Bible?!” And there is a gasp of air that marks the surprise with an exclamation point. mean the book condones it! The author may share some We have to realize that writing something in a book does not horrific sins to show the need for a solution for sin. The book of Judges is a good case in point.

happen in the book of Judges that would make HBO cringe. that Israel needed a King to keep them in line. So a repeated everyone did what was right in his own eye.”

Some things

But these things actually happened. The author is showing us line throughout the whole book is “There was no king in Israel, someone points to something repugnant in the book of Judges that this person has not read that book or they would have So, when

as a proof that the Bible is not authentic, I automatically think picked up on the repeated phrase. Surely even after a cursory reading they would realize that God is not condoning these things 8.

So remember - observe the author’s original intent in that type

of writing they are using. Most likely the History books of the
8

not great pg. 102. “The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant

Christopher Hitchens uses this type of flawed argument in God is

price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human

for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-

mammals.” Here Kitchens is mistaking the Bible contains to the Bible about Judges in The God Delusion pgs. 272-273. condones. Richard Dawkins makes the same mistake – specifically

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have lived in the past, positive or negative.

Bible are not prescribing a way to live but telling a way others

The Bible Contains Difficult Passages
These first two principles are obvious ones which most honest readers should understand if they take the time to read the entire Bible with an open mind. I’d like to go beyond these obvious principles to the fact that there are some more Many things can factor into this. difficult passages that you may encounter when reading.

Difference of Culture
Usually the distance of culture and time ways in heavily on these differences. original practice, we can be lose the meaning that the text had to the Reconstructing the culture often brings clarity and helps us understand some of what was going on. audience. And that is what we are

When we read of an obscure cultural after.

I’ll bring one of these up here which is still difficult to better it will help us with the problem. I also want to go

understand, but I think if we are able to understand the culture through this because atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins love to bring this up repeatedly 9. Also, the Internet is packed with when Christianity or faith is discussed. The question is this. copy pasting the same argument on site after site after site

slaughter an entire culture of people?
9

Did God command the Israelites to The answer is yes.

to Dawkins arguing for this view – The God Delusion, 277-281.

I won’t waste space to type them out, but I’ll put here one reference

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When Israel came into the Land of Canaan to take the land as to kill the whole culture.

their own possession, they were commanded, in some cities

So, how can we reconcile that? Let me give you three points.

1. In His mercy, God punished.
We don’t like to think that God punishes, and we definitely

don’t (at first) think about God as being merciful in punishing effects sin has on a culture. For instance take one sin that was a part of this culture.

us. But that is because we don’t understand the devastating As part of their religious ritual, in

celebration of the god Molech, the ritual demanded burning your child on the arms of the idol as a sacrifice. Infanticide.

God knows that a cultures’ sins spread. The culture in Canaan

had become irreparable to the point that its spread to other cultures would then bring them to desolation and harm. The order to destroy a culture was stopping the bleeding, cutting off the gangrene before it spread to a different culture. This two other points. does not completely answer the question until you consider

2. In His Patience, God waited.
Don’t take just that factor. Yes, God punishes. But also, God

waited. In Genesis 15, when God originally promised the Land to Abraham He said that he could not go to the land yet. There “iniquity was not yet complete.” So God waited. The culture

was allowed to continue, and like the record in Jonah, God the people continued to rebel. How long did God wait? How years? A generation? He waited about four hundred years to bring an end to the sin. At times, people are upset because

would have sent messengers to warn and to call to repent but long was He patient with the sins of the culture? A year? Two

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God waits too long. The argument on the other side of this to mistreat that person?!” Well, He waits patiently, and in the end all will be judged. coin is – “How could God have allowed this person to continue

3. In warfare, God warned.
Consider a third point here. There were cities and individuals

who actually saw God’s miraculous dealings with the Israelites an option where the army of Israel is advancing to leave or Israel declared war.

and joined them, or made peace with them. And so there was make peace. Following these factors of patience and waiting, rejoicing because evil is vanquished. We do not celebrate

When Hitler is overthrown there is

death but we understand at times that the violence of war cannot be avoided and is the correct choice.

Differences of Chronology
Another portion of difficulties involve chronological

differences. These questions are often raised when comparing the events recorded in the four Gospels in the New Testament.

the reigns of the Kings or the Judges in the Old Testament, or

When sorting through these difficulties, it is very helpful to tool someone has looked through all of the verses in the four

grab what is called a “Harmony of the Gospels,” because in that Gospel accounts and organized them to fit together. They work together without contradiction when compared correctly.

So, if someone has done the work for you, why re-invent the wheel, right? These are resolvable differences. Let’s look at jump to unbelief. one to help you see what happens when people are quick to about four thousand people with seven loaves of bread. Now

In Mark 8:5-9, Jesus miraculously feeds

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if you read another Gospel, in the same Bible, John records Jesus miraculously feeding more five loaves of bread and fish as than five thousand people with well. Comparing the two, the Here is a This

guns start blazing.

contradiction, one might say. But there is a simple answer. happened two times. You may

IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE THAT WE CANNOT COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE UNUNDERSTANDABLE NATURE OF GOD

think I’m taking the easy way out there, but it is the solution.

mentioned) actually records both events. So there is not a contradiction at all, you just had to keep reading!

In fact, Mark (the first one I

I remember a professor telling me something very helpful one day, helpful and scary. He said that Scripture will give you enough rope to pull yourself up out of doubt, or hang yourself. evidence and hang yourself. Take the evidence and believe.

And faith is the difference between the two. Don’t take the

We can’t go through every difficult passage in this booklet. But let me encourage you to respond to these things with faith, seek help, or perhaps leave the mystery in God’s hands to clear up at the end of time. We realize that there are things about not with doubt. If there is something that you cannot answer,

the nature of God that we will never completely understand. It is understandable that we cannot completely understand the un-understandable.

One final thought on these difficulties, if you are caught up on there if you will look in the right place. I would be happy to

a particular issue, seek out reference works. Answers are out direct you to a source if you are studying a particular difficulty.

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The Bible contains unique material.
By this I mean that there other writings have survived to this date that are about Jesus, but they are not like the NT writings. comes out with a “New View” of Jesus based on other sources I get a little perturbed each year around Easter, when someone outside of the New Testament record. The same material that was written a year or two ago is copied and pasted into a new new but the argument is not. author who has slapped a new cover on a book. The cover is

Christian scholars are not ignorant of other documents that separate the two. First, the type of literature. There are some in the New Testament.

talk about Jesus. But they are not the same. Several big factors very silly thing said that have no correlation to what we read

The primary difference, is the time of writing.

dateline specials that are drummed up as new investigations Let’s take the Gospel of Philip – on a few scraps of this Gospel

Usually the

refer to Gnostic writings from hundreds of years after Jesus. there is a possible assumption that a disciple asked Jesus why He loved Mary Magdalene more than the rest of the disciples. From that little fragment, Dan Brown became a millionaire on misused other ancient records too). One paragraph. But what time to tell you is that these additional Gospels (Gospel of heretical group hundreds of years after Jesus lived. selling the Da Vinci Code (ok, that’s an exaggeration, he

Dan does not say – and what a PBS special will not take the Judas, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of Thomas) are written by a

The New Testament was written by the first eyewitnesses and that time. An entirely different account written hundreds of

their close companions. What was written could be verified at years after the even should not be taken seriously. And yet it is. I still remember a co-worker approaching me about the Da

52

Vinci code when it first came out. To Him Christianity was now fed this type of hype. Let me illustrate.

a myth. How quick people will jump to false conclusions when

George Washington and the founding of our country? Let’s say

What if I re-wrote a separate history of

that I start to make accounts on my blog that George Washington actually was a British General and he worked with sides. The Revolutionary War is actually a myth complete with the colonies so that there would be peace between the two false historical accounts over the past three hundred years. Silly, right? Yes. Now, consider a couple thousand years from now someone finds my record as well as a few other documents that I have shared with others. Would a historian of what actually happened, clearly recorded by others? be honest if he gives credence to my story over the accounts

This is similar to what is happening here. And it is dishonest. How can you compare eyewitness accounts to accounts written writings? And yet this is what people do. In the jump toward reason 10. hundreds of years later? How could you side with the later unbelief some will work very hard to believe a lie over clear

The books in the Bible are unique. others to be discovered.

uniqueness of these writings not authenticating them, but authenticating. recognizing that they were authentic.

The church recognized the

We are not waiting on

They are self-

10

takes an unbelieving stance, as a Muslim, at least acknowledges

The most recent example is Zealot by Reza Aslan, who although he

form the outset that scholars disagree with him. “For every well-

attested, heavily researched, and imminently authoritative argument made about the historical Jesus, there is an equally well-attested, equally researched, and equally authoritative argument opposing it.”

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The Bible’s contents are preserved.
One final group of questions about the reliability of the Bible.

This is one that is not raised as often, so we will address it briefly. The essence of the question is that although the Bible started as a good thing, it has been changed so much now we was really said? Usually the questioner includes the fact that there are so many versions and Bibles available. don’t know what it said originally. How can you get to what

This is actually a commendation of Christianity. In Archer’s A

Survey of Old Testament, he compares the portions of texts and there is overwhelming evidence for the Bible compared with any other ancient writing. earliest one dates back to 900 AD! instance. We have 20 ancient copies of his writings and the Take Plato for

scripture we have of the Bible compared with other ancient

existed, or doubt his writings because of the lack of extant manuscripts. The same treatment is not given to the biblical text 11. There are over 20,000 copies of portions of the NT in

We don’t doubt Plato

the original language. 20,000 compared to 20! Some of these original. In fact, one portion of John’s gospel dates as early as the second century – just 50-100 years after it is written.

copies date to within two or three hundred years from the

The idea that someone went back and changed all these documents is ridiculous. Beyond these Greek manuscripts, we the original documents have records of historians and theologians who wrote about

11

objection as to the trustworthiness of the [Biblical] text is hardly

Archer puts it well “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the

sincere, but rather it appears as special pleading on the basis of a A Survey of Old Testament Introduction.

hostile bias that is scarcely worth of responsible scholarship” Archer,

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Scholars spend their entire lives dedicating their talents to examine the thousands of existing portions of Greek text to know exactly what the original text is. 12 compare where the copies differ (The are all hand copied!) to

The differences of versions lies primarily in the nature of language. Use a thesaurus some time. You can say the same thing multitudes of ways. The tricky part here is translating constantly changing). the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic into English (which is also

accurate to represent the wording of the original language. Other translations are more interested in making the meaning of the text clear and readable.

Some translations try to be more

In conclusion, what data do you focus on? Are you constantly scouring the internet or other books to find contradictions and errors in the Bible? That is proof that you do not have an

authentic desire to hear from God. If you will approach God’s Word as from Him and listen to His voice, you will see that His not doubt again. Words are self-authenticating. Respond in Faith and you will

If there is a specific question that bothers you, I would be happy to communicate with you and offer a reasonable explanation that someone has already found for you. Please let me know, and may God use His Word mightily in your life.

12

for the reliability of the Greek text. If you would like to pursue Study of New Testament Manuscripts. Among other books –

We don’t have space here to go into all the arguments and proofs

further study see Daniel Wallace resources with the Center for the “Reinventing Jesus” and “Revisiting the Corruption of the New

Testament.” Where Wallace takes up these issues in great detail.

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

What does “read the Bible normally” mean?

2.

Match the following principles on the left that solve the “problems” on the right. The Bible contains a timeline.

a.

__

If you add up the number of

years each Judge reigned, the years given to the time

they would far outnumber of the Judges in the Bible. the Gospel of Thomas? that
__ __

b. c.

The Bible contains various genre. The Bible contains difficult passages.

__ __

What about the discovery of How can you obey a book witches? tells you to kill

d. e.

The Bible contains unique material. The Bible’s preserved. contents are

Constantine changed the Bible to reflect his bias. Isaiah says that “the trees

of the fields will clap their trees have no hands.

hands”, but anyone knows

3.

What is the best thing to say to someone who is doubting the authenticity of the Bible?

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The Question of Origins Part 1

Introduction
between God and Science. Two major topics come up when discussing God and Science. One question that is pertinent to our study is the balance The first is the matter of

miracles, or the supernatural. How can a Christian believe that God will work outside of what we observe as normal? The second question is an extension of the first, and we will give

most of our attention to that one. Did God create the world without the evolutionary process? What is correct, the Bible’s account of origins, or Darwin’s? I’ll take a little space to look at miracles and then spend two lessons on origins.

What about miracles? Belief in the God of the Bible implies a put it this way: The God who created the laws of nature can question is related to the issue of origins as well. It is laughable how good meaning people try to come up with naturalistic explanations for the miracles of the and fish to feed the multitude. little boy did. Bible. “Jesus did not multiply the loaves

belief in miracles—that He works the miraculous. We could

suspend the laws of nature to work in an unusual way. So this

multitude saw the boy offer his lunch to

You see, when the

The

IF GOD CAN SAVE A SINNER LIKE ME, SURELY HE CAN PART THE RED SEA.

feed others, they in turn did the same and eventually the selfsacrificial act of the boy made everyone share the lunch they had previously hid so there was food enough for all.” This is

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imaginative, but it is not what the Bible says. Why not just take the Bible at face value?

If we believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for forgiveness and eternal life, surely we can believe that He can

the sins of all humanity and rose again to secure our multiply bread or heal the blind. Believing the Gospel makes believing the miracles of the Bible easy. If God can save a sinner like me, surely He can part the Red Sea.

There is one miracle in particular that is constantly challenged the Bible. That is the account of creation. by individuals who are just beginning to hear the message of

Answering the Question of Origins
It has been about 90 years since the ACLU agreed to help schools (To that point it had been illegal in the US). public school teacher John Scopes teach evolution in a public Subsequently, the theory of evolution has been taught consistently for at least 50 years in the public classroom as cannot buy it. According to a recent Gallup poll (2012), 47% dogma. What I find fascinating is that the American public still of Americans believe that God created humans within the last development of humans in some way. Even now, only 15% of Americans believe in evolution as the origin of humanity.

10,000 years, and 78% believe that God had a hand in the

the questions that has puzzled secular philosophers for study, the Biblical worldview has the answer to this question ages—“where did I come from?” As I mentioned in the last

This is such a vital question. It could be rephrased as one of

as well as the other three life questions that philosophers try

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worldview.

that this is one of the building-blocks of the Christian

their hand at answering. 13 We will see during our study now

Another answer was proposed to this question by Charles Darwin (and his colleagues). In this theory, you came here by chance through a series of accidents (mutations) that provided is not a very good description.)

better breeding capabilities over billions of years. (I admit that

As we look at this question I want to come to two primary conclusions. world in a six-day period of time.

First, the Bible teaches that God created the

space and time to show how natural evidence supports the biblical account of creation. Many great books have been

macro-evolution has significant problems. We do not have

Second, the theory of

written that help support this view. Nevertheless, I think we can provide a few thoughts that will make you dissatisfied with you to pursue a more thorough investigation. the popular scientific view of origins and perhaps encourage

Definitions
Before we get to our study, let's define some terms. We need to be clear about what we mean by evolution and creation in this study.

should know the difference between macroevolution and microevolution. Macroevolution refers to the naturalistic

Evolution: By evolution I am referring to macroevolution. You

13 Question #1 - Where did I come from (or who am I)? Answer Answer - To bring God glory and praise. Question #3 - Where am I going? To enjoy God's presence forever. God made me (God's creation). Question #2 - Why am I here?

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explanation for the source of all living things. This theory living things have one single-cell organism as their ancestor. includes cross-species transformations. The theory is that all

If you go back far enough in your family tree you will find a

fish. This is the theory that is taught almost exclusively in

public schools and is the theory that comes to mind when you evolution.

ask someone on the street whether or not they believe in

Microevolution on the other hand, is used to refer to minor

adjustments that occur frequently within the same species. We observe this when viruses develop and change in response to antibiotics. technology in genetics and breeding to profit from this aspect of microevolution. Horse breeders and farmers have used

Although microevolution does happen around us, you will

have to agree that you have never observed macroevolution— may vary in size, habitat, or behaviors but it is still a cat. No are thankful for this). There is a huge difference between

a change resulting in a new “kind.” And so a cat is a cat; it

one has ever observed a cat give birth to a pig (female felines these two ideas (macro- and microevolution). However, both

can be referred to broadly speaking as “evolution.” 14

(microevolution). The other tries to explain life origins based on these differences (macroevolution).

theory recognizes adaptive differences from dad to son

One

spoke all things into being during a six-day period. He was
14 Perhaps this (microevolution) is what Dawkins, a popular to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in atheist/evolutionist is referring to when he says, "It is absolutely safe

Creation: By creation I am referring to God's act where He

evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." The Blind Watchmaker. That is an outlandish claim considering only 15% of Americans believe.

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the one that set up the laws that we study in science. He did not use macroevolution, chance, or billions of years but simply spoke all that we observe into existence.

We will look at this question in two major topics. 1. The Bible's Teaching on Origins

2. Faults in the Naturalistic Theory of Origins

The Bible's Teaching on Origins
At one time there was little debate surrounding this question within Christian circles. evolutionary theory have Christians begun to doubt what the the time to define each way that various groups try to correlate Only since the conception of the

Bible teaches about the beginning of all things. We don't have

Biblical data with the theory of evolution, but let's survey some of the Bible passages that teach about God's creation. As you

read the following verses you will see why it is difficult to marry the theory of evolution with the Bible's account of creation.

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (Genesis 1:1, 31). “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made 148:3-5, Isaiah 42:5). it holy“ (Exodus 20:11; See also Exodus 31:17, Psalm

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…

the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh

created them from the beginning made them male and female’“ (Matthew 19:4)?

“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who

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“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him“ (Colossians 1:16; see also Ephesians 3:9).“

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because 4:11). of Your will they existed, and were created” (Revelation

These quotes from the Bible teach that God created all things this to teach that Jesus is not only the Creator, but also the sustainer or upholder of all that is.

by the word of His power. Other passages go even beyond

representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3).

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact

God not only created all things by His speech, but He also is It is interesting that some of the theologians that would deny that Jesus spoke all things into existence take the above His Word.

holding all things together through that same Divine speech!

passage literally and believe that Jesus upholds all things by

That God is the Creator of all things is not difficult to believe. It seems it would take less faith to believe in an almighty God Who can speak all things into existence than that we came here as a result of several trillion cosmic accidents over billions of years.

Do you believe that Jesus turned water into wine? Do you believe that He was born of the virgin Mary or that He rose from the dead? These are all scientific impossibilities. If your

mind cannot acknowledge there is a God Who made the laws

62

of nature, then you will have a more difficult time believing in

a God Who can suspend those laws. However, if you believe believe that He actually made the eye in the first place? If you

that Jesus healed the blind man, then why could you not disbelieve, on the other hand, that God could not provide sight

to the blind or hearing to the deaf, then your view of life is very naturalistic or even atheistic.

This is the Biblical teaching of the origin of humanity.

Questions are raised in opposition, questions that can be answered. One thing is certain however. There is only One Person Who can call His theory Science. Only One Person

actually observed creation, and that is the Person of God. So you have read the only account we have from an eyewitness.

I’d like to take a little more careful look now into the theory of macroevolution and ask you which theory takes more faith.

Faults in the Naturalistic Theory of Origins
Some assume, falsely, that there are two views on the origin

of life—a scientific one (evolution), and the unscientific (or religious) view. However, this is not the case. Macroevolution is also challenged by the rules of scientific observation. In have to conclude that the theory of macroevolution takes even of four questions. Others questions should be raised but we will only take the time to examine four.

fact, after you grasp some of the holes in this theory you will more faith. We are going to examine these holes in the form

Question 1 - Where did we get all this stuff? Question 3-Where are all the missing species to the puzzle? Question 4: Why don't living dogs lie? Question 2-How can I live with this theory?

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Question 1: Where did we get all this stuff?
The biggest problem with a naturalistic explanation of all

things is that you must have nature to begin a natural

explanation. You are surrounded by nature—by stuff. That is not very technical and it may not sound like a big deal but it is significant in this debate. Not only are you surrounded by able to see with the most powerful telescopes! Where did all this stuff come from?

stuff, but the stuff stretches on and on, further than we are

Macroevolution proposes a primordial soup of sorts, but who the big bang would have to begin with something. This is a major problem. Where did the cloud of gas and energy come from that provides us with a big bang? Evolutionary scientists made the soup? 15 That's easy—the big bang, right? But, even

have no plausible solutions to date. You cannot believe that there was an eternal cloud of dust and energy—it would be much more plausible to believe in an eternal, personal God.

Why should you consider this theory viable if you can't answer

this most basic question? In essence the naturalistic scientist evolved from the perfect scenario of the perfect particles and chemicals. But we have no idea where that scientific laboratory came from. wants us to be satisfied without an answer. The first living cell

Logically you have to tell me where you get your laboratory of

I don't want to give you that precondition.

15

In a letter, Darwin explained it this way - "If (and oh! what a big

ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed." Pre-biological soup is about the best that scientists can come up with even to this day.

if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of

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perfect conditions and chemicals before I can even consider your theory of origins.

Let's put this in a different scenario to illustrate. Currently the extremely high and politicians are grasping at straws to come

US is enduring a difficult economic time. Unemployment is up with an economic plan that will provide jobs. What would fund of 100 trillion dollars. Whoever is out of work can apply

you say to a politician with this solution? "Let's make a public to be paid from that fund. If someone occupies their time on

a daily basis, whether that be working on their tennis backhand, fishing techniques or video game prowess, then evidence of their activity in some occupation.” they will be paid for their labor as long as they provide

That theory has many faults. But the first question to be asked is "Where do you get the 100 trillion dollars to pay these folks?" let the politician go without an answer! acceptable response? “Next question please.” because the whole If that question were asked at a press conference you wouldn't That would not be rests on Can you hear the

presupposition that you have 100 trillion dollars and if you viable, has no validity. don't have those resources, than the theory, no matter how

theory

the

The evolutionary theory begins with more than 100 trillion

dollars worth of resources but gives no explanation for these board and come back to me with a better theory.” As it is, the

resources. So I have to say, “Please go back to the drawing theory just can't hold water, much less life.

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

What is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution?

2.

How do Genesis 1:5, and 1:31 define a day?

3.

How many days did it take for the Lord to complete His work?

4.

Matthew 19:4 is a quote from Jesus. What does He believe regarding God’s creation of man as revealed in Genesis 1?

5.

Does Paul allude to God using other natural processes to make things (Col 1:16)?

6.

What does John tie to God's creative ability in Revelation 4:11?

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Question of Origins Part 2

In our last lesson we highlighted the biblical account of origins and began to contrast this account with some of the major problems that are evident in the theory of macroevolution. In of macroevolution.

this lesson we will look at three more questions to the theory

Question 2: How can I live with this theory?
The first question that is a problem in evolutionary theory is where do we get the stuff? But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that we have the building blocks of matter and

energy. Even if you have the stuff, where do you get life from stuff? How can non-life produce a living organism? Where did theory? life come from? So our question is, how can I live with this

This is a foundational question when discussing the origins of life. But it is another question which the evolutionist or even In the past it was thought that amino acids, the building blocks circumstances. But scientists have failed to produce this type of experiment successfully. any naturalist, for that matter, does not have a good answer. of life, could evolve from inanimate material with the right

In an interview with Ben Stein, Richard Dawkins, a leading evolutionist, acknowledged this conclusion.

how [life] started?” “No, no. Nor has anyone.”

happen?” “I've told you, we don't know.” “So you have no idea

“How did this

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I remember recently talking to an atheist about evolution. He

confidently told me that science had discredited belief in a God. I asked him then, what was his theory for the beginning of life. He drew a blank for a while but eventually said that

scientists may have discovered a place in space where things appear and disappear automatically. Perhaps there is even a place in space where something comes from nothing. I was taken aback by this. Finally, here is the missing part of the evolutionary theory—a place in space where things come from nothing. Do you see the leap of faith here? A perfectly logical man would rather believe that perhaps somewhere in space some similarities. there is a place where things appear from nothing. There are Who produced all things from nothing. This man is actually back to the idea of God but his god is a large place in space— something of a black hole.

The place in space is God. He is the One

evolutionary scientist is science—the laws of thermodynamics.

Another major problem in this stage of the game for the

Entropy is “the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a certain

system.” 16 To put it simply the stuff of life tends to wear down

or become disorganized. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that if you hold an open jar full of marbles and then turn organized once they come out of the jar. the jar upside down, the marbles will not tend to become more

Our solar system is tending toward disorder and decay. Even tending to disarray and disorder according to the very laws of things begin against that very law?
16 17

the sun, scientists agree, is losing power. 17 So if things are

science (the Second Law of Thermodynamics) then how did all How is it that more

Miriam Webster Dictionary “Most of the energy we get from the sun is fusion, the combination

of atomic nuclei. The sun is radiating away . . . a lot of light every Essentials for Dummies pg. 164 second, and for that reason, it's actually losing mass.” Physics

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complex organisms grew out of less complex? How is it that an intricately balanced, self-sustaining molecule could ever have just happened? It is not only impossible in the laws of science. Things just don't happen that way. 18 probability, but it is impossible according to the laws of

I am a father of four and know that our apartment does not other way.

naturally tend to get cleaner and more organized. It tends the

Entropy makes sense in the Biblical worldview. According to Scripture, entropy is actually caused by sin. toward disarray and decay because they are groaning for a time when all will be set back in perfect order. The One Who

Things tend

spoke all things into existence will one day make all things breakdown of cells in diseases and the breakdown of the earth

new again. But until then we will continue to see the

in natural disasters. The Bible gives hope for creation and the Christian worldview pictures a time of future glory for God and His creation.

see had a beginning. There was a time of zero entropy when all was created. Creation is a sandglass timer set upside down and winding down. This led agnostic NASA astronomer, Robert Jastrow to acknowledge that evolution has a problem: “Theologians generally are delighted with the proof that the universe had a beginning, but astronomers are curiously upset. It turns out that the scientist behaves the way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict

18 This

also points to the fact that there was a time when all that we

p. 16.) “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the

with the evidence.” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 1978,

mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (God and the

Astronomers, p. 116.)

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Question 3-Where are all the missing species to the puzzle?

Let's review what we have covered so far. The first question that the theory of evolution cannot answer is, “Where does nothing, so when did that first happen? It is scientifically stuff come from?” We do not observe something coming from

impossible. The second question that the evolutionist cannot

are given a cloud of energy and gas (stuff) for a big bang, or a a bowl to a self-sustaining, living organism? So far we do not

answer is, “how does life evolve from the stuff?” Even if you

primordial soup bowl (stuff), how do you go from a bang and have a sufficient answer from the evolutionist. However, even the holes in the theory still do not disappear. The third question fast-forwards a bit.

if you give him a pass on these two extremely large problems,

evolutionary timeline the little single cell organism developed

According to the

development of different species? According to Darwin, to get from one species to the next there were small changes in the organism over long periods of time either by environmental changes or by genetic mutations.

underlying Darwin's theory. How can a scientist explain the

species. That is a tall order! Yet this is the major assumption

further into a fishish species which developed into every other

eventually develop a trait that helped it adapt and reproduce that did not adapt became extinct. developed.

One species would

better in order to survive. The other members of its species An innate hunger for survival developed the

And so the species

evolution of man from fish. Those organisms that were more genetic mutations outlived other species under the same

capable of reproducing through either natural conditions or

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conditions. This survival of the fittest is a major tenant in Darwin’s theory. 19

If one species develops from another by small variations, then one species actually developed into the next.

consider how many variations would need to be made before suppose that if the theory of macro-evolution were true there

You would

between species to account for all these variations. Certainly there would have to be many more transitional forms than from one species to the next. See the diagram below: actual species because the transitional forms are the bridges

would have been many millions of years of transitional forms

Species 1

Transitional Forms

Species 2

Transitional Forms

Species 3

Transitional Forms

19

Ever since Darwin, the core concept in of the theory of evolution

organisms, embodies the most distinctive and radical aspect of Gould).

purposively benevolent deity to the amoral self-interest of

God of His sovereignty. “The downward shift of agency from a

has been natural selection. This is the naturalistic way to dethrone

Darwinism” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay

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Of course we do not observe this happening today. There are

no genetic mutations that actually change a species enough to we do not observe this cross-species evolutionary process all the thousands of years of recorded history are not enough to observe one of these transitions between species.

develop a new species. The evolutionist answer to this is that today because these events take long periods of time. Even

But this does not let the evolutionist off the hook. We do have a steady record of data in the ground—fossils.

skeletons provide scientists with a map to observe past history and see what species have looked like in the past. Considering what we have learned from the evolutionary theory so far you

Fossilized

transitional forms between each species. From one species to

would expect to observe hundreds of thousands of different

the next we would even discover some of the major factors previous transitional form. The current species of animals

that allowed the species to outlive or “out-reproduce” the

would actually be a small minority compared with the

abundance of transitional forms that bridge one species to the next. Is that not a logical conclusion based on the theory of macroevolution?

However, if God created the earth, we would not see such transitional forms in the ground. skeleton.

human or a taller human, but it would still be a human

We may find a smaller

So what does the fossil record tell us? It gives none of these transitional forms. Remember, again what we would expect transitional forms in the fossil evidence. We don't find any. according to the theory to see an overabundance of

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This is a huge problem, and even in Darwin's day, he knew it to be true.

“If we look at each species as descended from some unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of the formation and perfection of the new form. But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” (Darwin, The have existed, why do we not find them embedded in

Origin of Species)

changed over the past 150 years. You would think, since this

So Darwin knew this to be the case; but certainly things have

theory has gained such a widespread acceptance in academic

circles that this major hole in the evolutionary theory would be

patched up. Amazingly, this is not the case. Scientists are still trying to devise or find at least one or two fossilized skeletons that may be considered as transitional forms. 20 finding one or two over 150 years does not help the observation goes directly against this theory. But even

evolutionary theory since it just points to how scientific correct about natural selection (which is the major premise of If Darwin is

his theory) then it must be clearly documented in the fossilized history. Fossils of transitional forms should be everywhere. They should be the overwhelming majority! But they simply are not. 21
20

gradualistic evolutionary process” T. S. Kemp Fossils and Evolution a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major

“The observed fossil pattern is invariably not compatible with a

(Oxford University Press) “The known fossil record fails to document

morphological transition. . . . Evolution happens rapidly in small localized populations, so we’re not likely to see it in the fossil
21

record.” Steven M. Stanley Macroevolution: Pattern and Process. misinformation that have been interpreted as transitional forms For a good account of the several different hoaxes or

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This is a key question because of the nature of science. Science is observation. Fossils are one of the major ways we can observe the past. Of course our observations are flawed and imperfect. But if the major way to observe the past does this theory gained so much ground in our society? not lend support to the theory of macroevolution then why has

Question 4-Why don't living dogs lie?
A fourth question to consider has to do with the origin of I showed no limit to my originality in naming animals. Because morality. When I was a child I had a pet cat named “Kitty.” Yes,

my dad was allergic to cats, Kitty was an outside cat. This

made her pretty tough and made me proud of her. She had once and a while Kitty would deposit a nice surprise for us on

some serious claws and was not afraid to use them. Every the front porch—a dead mouse. My mom was not impressed with where she deposited her trophy but the whole family was proud of our little lioness. After all, a cat killing a mouse and bragging about it is cute.

Why didn't I punish our cat? Why didn't I put her in jail for several years? Cats are not charged with murder or deception. They are not moral beings. The same is true for any animal. This is our fourth question. Why don't dogs lie? Or perhaps

and wrong?

humans lie?” How do we, as humans, have a sense of right

the better question for the evolutionary scientist is “why do

For thousands of years humans have had similar ideas of right and wrong. In fact, some of the Babylonian laws in

between monkey and man read Chapter 4 (Monkey Business in the Family Tree) in Marvin Lubenow's "Bones of Contention.

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same as our laws today (we considered this subject in lesson four).

Hammurabi's code dating back thousands of years are the

“If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition,

and does not so keep it; if then the dam break and all the occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the corn which he has caused to be ruined.” fields be flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break

“If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold; if they belonged to a freed man of the king he

shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay

he shall be put to death.” (Note as well that even though are far harsher.)

the rules are often similar to our own laws, the penalties

How is it that different societies have considered the same types of things wrong for ages?

part of nature, but a human killing a human is murder?

humans do? Why do we call an elk killing another elk just a

Why don't dogs lie but

For the Christian there is a clear and simple answer. Again this is another way in which the Christian worldview makes more sense than the secular worldview. understand that we are made in God's image (Genesis 1:26). ingrained into our nature. The Bible illustrates by saying the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). Biblically we

Our sense of right and wrong came from our Creator; it is

There is no simple answer in macroevolution. And the reason that this is such a big issue is that macroevolution points to a very different and scary answer. What if we are all just evolved evolutionary process that can be thrown out? Perhaps the next fish? What if our sense of morality is just a bi-product of the

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form in which the homo-sapiens species evolves into one does not need morality. You can extend this theory of evolution to a very dangerous conclusion.

If we are all animals then there really is no right or wrong. The only right is what I want.

actions are what will cause harm to me. We are all animals.

Therefore the only limits to my

That sounds preposterous. But it is the natural conclusion to the theory of macroevolution. And it is the conclusion that men like Hitler came to in his application of evolutionary theory to society and government.

As a creationist and a pastor I believe many in society enjoy the theory of macro-evolution because it allows them to of the idea of God is that they are afraid to stand before Him. dismiss the idea of God. Often the reason they want to get rid

Before the theory of evolution men were Deists—they had to believe that God existed because there was no other explanation for reality. So they theorized that God made

everything and then left creation to itself. They too could do as they pleased because God left creation to itself. With the rise of the evolutionary theory, the Deist no longer needs God can be completely eradicated from their lives. at the beginning to set creation in order. So the idea of God

Perhaps this is the case with you. You want evolution to be

true because you want God to be false. You want to believe the naturalistic explanation because you don't want to deal with a Creator in the future. The Bible teaches that God is not only Creator but that He is a loving God Who wants you to Jesus Christ His Son. enjoy His presence. In fact, He provided a way to Him through

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The Gospel gives such a greater hope for the future than naturalistic evolution. naturalistic view of life? It is very bleak and dangerous. What is the future in an entirely

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

GROUP ACTIVITY: Read the verses and answer the following questions

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not

honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in

their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of crawling creatures" (Romans 1:20-23).

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and

1.

How are God's eternal power and divine nature clearly seen (v. 20)?

2.

What exchange did the "professors" to be wise make (v. 22-23)?

3.

Discuss what a transitional form is and why there should more evidence of transitional forms.

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The Question of History and Intolerance
In our last lesson together we are going to answer two final history and the question of intolerance.

questions that are raised against Christianity—the question of

The Question of History
Why has so much evil been done in the name of religion? We could get closer to home and ask. Why has so much evil been done in the name of Christianity? We could get even closer to home and ask: Why have Christians mistreated me?

I hope that is not the case for you. It has been my experience that although any true Christian believer can have bad days where you would do best to leave them alone, they are loving consider mistreatment in these three areas.

and enjoyable people to be with. But let’s take some time to

Religious Cruelty
History is packed with examples. Any religious organization

that gains power uses that power to mistreat those who are

not in the majority. Jesus clearly taught that mistreatment is wrong. He preached against the religious establishment of His day that abused their position to gain power over people. He was quite blunt with them.

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"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because

you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

It is said that power corrupts, and that absolute power

corrupts absolutely. Unfortunately this has been the case with religious systems in the past (and present). Just because an temptation. organization is religious does not mean it is immune to this

demonstrate the Bible’s teaching about the sin of the human root and turn good into evil. heart. Even in humanity’s attempts to “be good,” evil can take

Abuses perpetrated by religious organizations in the past

However, history says the same things about secular society tendency of the heart to oppress the weak.

usurping authority. 22 The issue is not the religion but the

“Christian” Cruelty
History also tells us of persecution and abuse from those who have called themselves Christian. It is not possible to speak
“The Communist Russian, Chinese, and Cambodian regimes of the

22

twentieth century rejected all organized religion and belief in God. A forerunner of all these was the French Revolution, which rejected and secular, yet each produced massive violence against its own tradition religion for human reason. These societies were all rational people without the influence of religion… In the twentieth century, however, violence has been inspired as much by secularism as by moral absolutism. Societies that have rid themselves of all religion God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller, pg. 57).

have been just as oppressive as those steeped in it” (The Reason for

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for all abuses since the beginning of Christianity. When it has acknowledge and repent from.

been present, it is a blight on our faith which we openly

As an example, slavery was practiced by believing Christians in turning a blind eye to the racial prejudice fostered in the in the United States for generations. The church had its part

make it clear that the practice was dissonant with the chord of Christian love. Christianity changed the slavery of the Roman society. In the church, everyone was equal before God. We

American South. Again, this is a horrible past. And I must

are all made in God’s image. The message of the cross is completely antithetical to racial prejudice. And yet Christians fell into that pitfall. On this issue, it is helpful to remember that Christians also had a part in abolishing slavery both in Europe and the States.

Not all Christian Cruelty is Christian Cruelty
I still remember the first time I had a great conversation with that I loved Jewish people. “I thought Christians hated Jews!” he replied.

an Orthodox Jewish person who was so shocked that I said This thought had been fed into him from

childhood. “Christians caused the crusades; Christians caused

the Holocaust; Hitler was Christian.” I tried to explain that born-again Christians. Hitler was no more Christian than

these wars were waged by state churches gone amuck, not Satan. In fact, Hitler even admitted that he wished Germany

had a different religion that had a bit more fight to it. 23 Many

23

“It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t

we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why

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of the things thought to be perpetrated by Christians go done by Christians.

directly against the teachings of Christ because they are not

Christianity is at its core a heart change where God the Holy begins immediately. That person changes. Spirit changes the individual, granting an everlasting life that

Civilizations are not Christian because they say so. Persons are Christian because they transfer their trust for eternal life and acceptance before God on Jesus. Many of the abuses that are flung at the door of Christians are actually not done by themselves by that name because that was their state

Christians at all, but states or civilizations that called “religion.” In their view, the policy was similar to adopting a state flag or bird. They had not been transformed by Christ whose greatest commandment is love.

Christianity Is a Source of Good Much More than Evil
Although there have been times in history where Christians

have given Christ a bad name, there are many more times when Christianity has brought relief, freedom, and help. All too often non-Christians overlook this fact.

When there are natural disasters, the Red Cross and other Christian organizations are the first on the scene. Giving to help end world hunger is fueled by Christian organizations.

in places where no one will go except Christians who desire to share the love of Christ to those in need.

Hospitals are founded and people are treated all over the world

Adolf Hitler quoted in Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, pg165.

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Where Christianity has gone, it has brought equality. It has

heightened the treatment of women in the cultures to which it has spread. It has been instrumental in abolishing slavery in the Roman world upside down. Europe and North America. It was this teaching that turned

Personal Cruelty
Where mistreatment resonates with most is not the

mistreatment of Christianity as a whole, but individual

Christians. Ghandi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” That is a sad indictment.

I know many have been mistreated by someone at a Christian

church and then turned their back on the Bible message. This

is sad. You would think that everyone at church would be Christian. But that is not the case. Think of a church as a hospital. People come to get help and get well. At a church growing to be more like Jesus. Other attenders may not yet past mistreatment to keep you from coming to Christ. That at all; at least know that they were not acting like Christ.

you may have people who have just started their journey of be believers. Let me encourage you not to allow bitterness of person who mistreated you may not have been a true believer

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The Question of Intolerance
Tolerance and intolerance are two huge words today. To be tolerant is to be right; to be intolerant is to be wrong. What as important as being tolerant to what everyone says.

you say is not as important and even right and wrong are not

According to Miriam Webster, being intolerant is being

unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression, especially in define tolerance and intolerance differently. someone.

religious matters. The problem with our culture is that we defines intolerance this way—intolerance is disagreeing with

Our culture

Long gone are the days when people can disagree. Very long view is incorrect. Where did this come from?

gone are the days when someone can say that someone else’s recognize that this is not workable. We have to

Tolerance and the Afterlife
Let’s think about this concept in a very sensitive area—life after death. It was Ben Franklin, who said that nothing can be certain in life but death and taxes. Well, you know what

happens after taxes because we experience that on a regular basis. But what happens after death? That is a question that everyone wrestles with at one point or another in their lives.

I have spoken with hundreds of people about this subject and have found some very interesting views. person, Mr. Finch, who believed he was right with God because

I remember one

of some very good feelings that he experienced while he was

near-death at a hospital. Others might think that his nice killer. feelings were attributed to codeine or some other strong pain-

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was near, the closer he got to a "supreme being!" A third person had a completely different idea of life after death. She is a guru who tries to cross Hinduism with Christianity; she believes that as people do good deeds in their life they will

Another person I spoke with thought that the more blonds he

reincarnate as a better person in history—past or present. form of reincarnation is the person of Jesus. There are enumerable views of

According to her particular form of reincarnation, the highest

next in comfortable fashion. So which one is reliable? Is one to be preferred over another? thinking, that all of these ideas are equally true as long as the adherents believe their particular path genuinely.

recommendations for how one can pass from this life to the

the

afterlife

and

You may conclude, without

To be tolerant do we have to agree with every view? You have the mountain. The idea is that they are all going to the same

heard the illustration of each religion being a different path up place, the top of the mountain, where we will all live comfortably. consider a couple things. This idea breaks down, though when you

Are the different world religions just different ways to the push for tolerance, our culture cries out for inter-faith dialog

same God—different paths, same mountain? Because of the and a religious pluralism that goes beyond just living together. People want to believe that each religion is equally true. However, it is not possible for two opposing views to both be true.

would view as valid. I hope you agree that blowing people up is an invalid way to gain eternal favor. But that is exactly what some would believe; September 11th clearly demonstrates

First, there are religious systems that no inter-faith movement

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that there must be limits to the paths up the mountain. and blowing themselves up with as many others as possible Hitler. In fact, you would have to say that there are some precipice. So not all religious systems are equally true. Some are definitely false.

Certainly people that try to kill others by hijacking airplanes are not going up to the same place that I am. Neither was religious systems that are actually downhill paths to a rocky

Second, two opposing views may be equally valid opinions, but only one can be true. If you think that a certain color is red and I think a certain color is green, only one of us is correct of reality. Two opposing views cannot both be true.

(or both are wrong). We can't both be right. This is the nature culture tries to make this blurry. However, if you take the

Our

interpretation based on your own opinion, you have a serious mess—especially with traffic signals! The nature of truth and error is that there is only one truth. Two opposing views can be equally plausible but two opposing views cannot both be truth.

example of red and green and make them open to

true. There is only one truth. That is simply the nature of

I accept the Bible’s interpretation of life after death. Those

who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from the punishment of eternal Hell. They will experience the joys of God’s presence forever. This is not my opinion; this is the

teaching of Scripture.

In John 14:6, Jesus told His followers that He was the only way. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’”.

Peter preached that salvation only is given in through Jesus.

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"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Truth is not Intolerance
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the one way to heaven. so; the Bible does. Does that make the Bible intolerant? I don’t believe so.

If you do not believe in Him, then you are wrong. I don’t say

Disagreement is not Intolerance
I can disagree with you, and even voice that disagreement without hindering your right to believe the way you would like. Our culture views disagreement as intolerance. In fact, our someone else’s view as intolerance. So not only am I not able

culture goes further than that and equates non-celebration of to disagree with you but I have to celebrate your wrong or I’m

intolerant.

in spite of disagreement over a particular item. As a culture, we need not expect civic unanimity on all matters. That is impossible!

But we can still get along as fellow citizens and even as friends

However, I’d like to go a step further. I suggest that I should the area is important enough, I should voice that opinion. not just disagree, but if I think you are wrong in an area and

Not Saying Something is Unloving
Let’s use another traffic illustration. Perhaps you do not drive

much. Let me share. The only consolation to driving in traffic

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is having a large family and driving in an HOV lane. These

lanes are made for those with passengers riding with them. several lanes between the two sides of the highway which can

Driving on Interstate 95 through Washington DC, there are be opened up in either direction, depending on where the bulk

of the traffic is moving. If you carry more than two people you can use these less traveled lanes.

Let’s suppose that it is your responsibility to flip the switch (or push the button… or however it is done) to close off the HOV lanes from Northbound traffic and open it for Southbound

lever-flipper and you discuss changing the lanes over. Your friends says to you. “I didn’t see you flip the switch, Jim. Are you sure you flipped it? If those two lanes are open to

traffic. You are sitting at lunch with your co-lane-change-

northbound traffic and southbound traffic at the same time we are going to have a heap of cars in the HOV lanes!” You reply, “Of course I flipped the switch. You were with me; or was that

yesterday? Well, no matter, I’m pretty sure I’m right on this are wrong. Let’s go check it out.” You start getting angry at let me believe the way I want to believe!” one, so let’s just sit down and eat.” “No,” he says, “I think you

your co-worker’s persistence. “You are so intolerant!” “Just

First of all, disagreement here would not be considered intolerance. That is certain! But I would go further and say that in issues of importance, we should be prepared to voice from harm.

our opinion—especially if what we have to say will save others

the afterlife. You need to know this news. It is for you to believe. But you must hear the Good News from a speaker.

That is why Christians are very vocal with the Biblical view of

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Intolerance and Arrogance
Perhaps what some people interpret as intolerance in Christians should be labeled arrogance. With sorrow I admit that this attitude is all too often displayed when someone is Christians shared the Good News in the Bible! Paul did so with

sharing the Biblical view. How different this is from the way tears. Most did in the middle of persecution. But they all

shared the truth in humility, believing that there was nothing telling beggars where to find bread.

within them that made them better. Christians are beggars

Please don’t allow someone else’s arrogant attitude or abrasive demeanor as they share the truth of Scripture with you, distract you from accepting its truth. Read it for yourself.

Jesus knew all things and yet He was approachable, a friend to sinners and loved by children. should be. However, the family of Christianity is filled with which they communicate truth may be one of these ways in This is the way a Christian

many people who are growing in many ways. The spirit in which they are growing. Think of the church as a hospital perfect.

filled with people getting better, not a place where everyone is

My family enjoys a great Pediatrician’s office. However, the office is filled with several different Doctors. One Doctor’s too light of the situation and he is not actually communicating problems and solutions. personality makes me laugh. At times I feel like he is making Another Doctor’s personality is

extremely abrupt. His bedside manner gets a negative two rating on a scale of one to ten. But he gets in, gets the job done and moves on. Another Doctor has a perfect balance.

However, I’ve learned that just because the personality is judgment regarding my child’s health. different I can’t let that influence my assessment of their

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Similarly, different Christians may have a horrible bed-side

manner. And yet, if what they are saying is true, then try to administered.

take medicine and overlook the manner in which it is

Let me take the same illustration a different way. What if there was a Doctor at this Pediatric Office who had a great bedside manner. He or she was so great with people that I just wanted loved them and looked forward to getting shots so that they could talk with Dr. Xyz.

to get each of my children a check up to get to chat. My child But as we got to know them, we

realized that they never gave the correct advice. In fact, they Doctor. only miss-diagnosed cases. We would immediately find a new Because I’m not paying to have a good talk. I’m

paying to have professional advice for my child. In the same they have truth.

way, just because someone sounds nice does not mean that which someone has shared truth with you keep you from believing the truth. Conversely, don’t let the poor manner in

wanting to invite you into His family if you will believe that His

are truth. Jesus is the way, and He opens His arms in love

comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). These words

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one

way is true. Won’t you believe in Him today? If we can help

you further with this question of knowing the way to God be happy to share His Way.

through Jesus Christ, please contact our office and we would

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QUESTION AND ANSWER

1.

Why have people been mistreated by Christians. How was Jesus treated? How did He respond?

2.

Give reasons supporting the view that truth is singular. Why is there only one truth?

3.

How can arrogance be misinterpreted as intolerance?

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What are L.I.F.E. Groups?
In the blueprint for church ministry found in Ephesians 4,
God explains that He gives church leaders who will equip

each individual in the church to do the work of building others up. Look at three primary principles from this passage:

done is done through people who are speaking the truth in love. Love is the great greenhouse of the church. Our strive for another person's spiritual maturity. motivation in these groups should not be selfish. We must

Loving—In the Ephesians 4 blueprint, all building that is

Individuals—In the blueprint found in Ephesians 4, the

spiritually maturing church is one where each joint in the

cogs, gears, and other intricate moving parts. Each part in that clock must be working properly for the goal to be in God's blueprint for church ministry!

body is functioning properly. We are like a clock filled with

reached. You are needed in this clockwork—you are needed

the blueprint in Ephesians church ministry—that we

Furthering Edification—In

4, God shares His goal for are all building each other We are to think, act and live like Jesus. So the end goal is that each person will be more like Jesus through meeting together around God's Word. up to be more like Christ.

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