God is...

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by studentofthemarkets, Jul 3, 2021.

  1. God is our Creator.
    God is Good.
    God is Holy.
    God is Love.
    God is the Righteous Judge.
    God is the Savior.

    God called Abraham His friend, Moses was referred as one whom God spoke to as a man would speak to his friend, and Jesus told his disciples that they were His friends.

    Jesus also said to His disciples, "...the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him." John 14:21

    Thought I'd start a new thread with the theme that God is, and we can know Him.

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  2. Wallet


    Beyond our comprehension but personally knowable.
    Unfettered by time, always present; now, past and future simultaneously. The Creator is not bound by His creation, time being a byproduct.
    Limitless but bound by His own Righteousness and Holy Character.

    When Moses asked God his name. God responded “I AM THAT I AM”, tell them “I AM” has sent you.
    studentofthemarkets likes this.
  3. John Lennox is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics[2] at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford University.

    John Lennox answers the question: “If you’re correct about there being a deity, why Jehovah, why not Osiris, why not Buddha? Why is one myth or folktale more true than another?”

    Some quotes from his answer:

    1. “First of all, I don’t think they’re all myths.”

    2. …”Why this one God? My answer to that...is very simple. I have to decide that like I decide everything else: on the basis of the evidence. And the evidence in the case of the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ, has convinced me that He is God incarnate.”

  4. In this second video John Lennox answers the question, “In a society where we have access to many religions, how do we decide which one to follow?”

    Some quotes from his answers and time stamps are as follows:

    5 seconds: “I only know one way of deciding which of anything to believe, is on the basis of evidence.”

    15 seconds: “There’s a confusion about faith. Many people have accepted Dawkin’s definition of faith as believing where there’s no evidence. That’s nonsense. Faith is an ordinary word, it’s not just a religious word. It’s an ordinary word, it means trust. And usually, I suspect that all of you, you don’t trust either facts or people without having evidence.”

    1:17 “Christianity is evidence-based.”

    1:21 “John, at the end of his gospel, he says”...”these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. In other words, here’s the evidence on which faith is based.”

    1:46 “How do you decide between religions?”

    1:53 “Think of the three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. When it comes to Christ, my Jewish friends, and I have many of them, believe that Christ died and did not rise. I, as a Christian, believe He died and rose. My Muslim friends believe he didn’t die. Those three things cannot be simultaneously true. And therefore, I simply invite people to investigate the evidence.”

    2:28 “One of the most seminal experiences in my life was sitting on the ground in the bright sunshine at Trinity College, Cambridge, listening to one of the world’s top lawyers, actually an expert in Islamic law, but a Christian. And he was a credence counsel, amongst many other things. Sir Norman Anderson. I think his book is still obtainable. And he got up and says, “I want to do a forensic investigation of the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.”

    “....I’ll never forget it, because that was the beginnings of understanding that there is rational, forensic defense of this.”

    3:17 “But there’s another method of approach and it’s this”......

    3:32 “What is the shape of the religion, how is relationship with God determined”

    6:34 “In religion, acceptance comes at the end, on the basis of an assessment of merit. Well if that’s religion Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship and acceptance comes at the beginning.”

    7:00 “I believe in our country, and in my original country, many people have rejected Christianity. Why? Because they’ve never understood this. They don’t realize that Christianity is not a merit-based religion. Because Christ came into our world and He told us that if we listen to Him and accepted His word and believed on Him as the Savior, the Son of God, we would have in that moment eternal life and we would not come into judgment. That’s utterly radical. So the acceptance comes at the beginning. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t give lectures like this and discussions like this to earn God’s forgiveness. I do them because I’ve got it.”

    In the next few posts to this thread I plan on summarizing parts of the online free version of the book he referred to by Sir Norman Anderson, as well as another document examining the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection from a legal standpoint. Both are linked below.


  5. Overnight


    Here's how it really went down...(And I cannot believe people still do not understand this at all.)

    John Lennox is just another person making money off of total BS. Like they have been doing for thousands of years.
    Zodiac4u likes this.
  6. tomorton


    All the stuff I have seen concerning evidence of Christ and evidence for the historical basis for the bible and also for the existence of God is all just like advertising. That is, that it confirms and strengthens the choices of those who are already committed, rather than finding new customers.

    So, the effect of cigarette advertising is to bring customers to the advertised brand from the competing brands, it does not induct people who are non-smokers to start smoking cigarettes. The effects of advertising sugary carbonated drinks is to bring people to the brand of drink advertised - it is not aiming to encourage people to suddenly take up drinking sweet gassy liquids.

    In just the same way, evidence for the existence of the Christian God is just for the comfort of Christians. People who are not religious are not going to be persuaded that now the evidence is strong enough to stand up in court therefore they ought to become religious and believe that gods exist.

    Evidence is certainly not going to bring converts in from other religions - great conversions in the past have come from only two scenarios - physical compulsion and the prospect of immediate personal gain.
    murray t turtle likes this.
  7. Both of you addressed a similar concern in your posts, that the motivation for sharing one's faith is that of personal gain. So I thought I'd answer with just one response.

    I don't deny that there have been many "wolves in sheep's clothing" who have used Christianity for selfish purposes. However, that is not characteristic of many others who share from a different motivation.

    God is Wonderful.

    He stepped into our world of suffering and willingly went to the cross.

    A real sense of awe and love for God can come from knowing Him in this way.

    Jesus described His love like this: "No greater love has anyone than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."

    There is something very wholesome and good about thinking of One who is entirely Good (Jesus) and yet was willing to succumb to the tortures of a cruel death so that some of His rebellious creatures would come to understand His goodness, see their sin, and turn to Him to deliver them from their rebellion against Him.

    One who has come to know God in this way should have love for God and concern for others as his or her motivation for sharing this relationship they have experienced with God.
  8. I attempted to summarize the first 5 pages of pages of Sir Norman Anderson’s book, The Evidence for the Resurrection, but there was too much that I wanted to put into the summary and it was taking too much time, so I have quoted this portion of the book. Very briefly, I will mention that this is the introduction to the rest of the book that gives a much deeper look into evidence contained primarily within the written documents of six of the New Testament writers, and includes supporting information about the primitive church at that time.

    I have used bold lettering to emphasis what I believe are key points.

    "[p. 1]

    Easter is not primarily a comfort, but a challenge. Its message is either the supreme fact in history or else a gigantic hoax. This seems to have been realized in the days of the early Church. On the one side there was a little company of men and women who turned the world upside down by their passionate proclamation of that miracle which had transformed their lives: on the other, those who vehemently denounced the whole story as arrant blasphemy. We ourselves find it hard to see the issue so clear-cut, for ours is a tolerant age and one suspicious of all fanaticism. Most people have not the slightest desire to attack the Easter message; and yet they only half believe it. To them it is a beautiful story, full of spiritual meaning: why worry, then, whether it is literal fact?

    But we miss the point. Either it is infinitely more than a beautiful story, or else it is infinitely less. If it is true, then it is the supreme fact of history; and to fail to adjust one's life to its implications means irreparable loss. But if it is not true, if Christ be not risen, then the whole of Christianity is a fraud, foisted on the world by a company of consummate liars, or, at best, deluded simpletons. St. Paul himself realized this when he wrote, 'If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching meaningless, and your faith worthless. More, we ourselves are found to be false witnesses'.[l]

    So that is the issue, and it is vital for us to come to a decision about it one way or the other But how can we, when it all happened so long ago? How can we sift the evidence?

    [p. 2]

    This is not really quite so impracticable as it sounds, for there are at least two ways of setting about it. We can examine the historical evidence and try to determine whether it is contemporary, honest and convincing, and whether it is susceptible to any naturalistic interpretation. Alternatively, or in addition, we can apply the test of experience, and put the risen Christ to the proof in our own lives and those of others. In this paper we are primarily concerned with the first of these alternatives.

    On what documents, then, is the Easter story based? Primarily, on the written testimony of six witnesses (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and Peter), supported by the testimony of the whole primitive Church.

    Now it is not sufficiently realized what strides modern research has made in determining the date and authorship of these written records. In the nineteenth century a number of unbelievers, equipped with considerable scholarship, made the most strenuous efforts to prove that the Gospels were written in the middle of the second century, A.D. (or about a hundred years after the events described), when legend and imagination could have played their part. But this attempt has failed, crushed under the weight of historical proof which grows in strength with the passage of the years.

    The written testimony, then, is extraordinarily early. Let us concentrate attention on three examples.

    (1) Paul, in the fifteenth chapter of his Epistle to the Corinthians,[2] gives a detailed list of several resurrection appearances. Now there is scarcely a scholar who has doubted the genuineness of 1 Corinthians, and its date is generally accepted as about 56 A.D. But the apostle writes that he had not only previously given his readers this information orally

    [p. 3]

    (i.e., in 49 A.D..), but had himself 'received' it. presumably from those who were apostles before him.[3] This may take us back to 40 A.D. or to within some ten years of the crucifixion.

    (2) Mark, in his Gospel, gives us another account of the resurrection appearances, preceded by the story of the empty tomb. Now it is generally accepted that Mark's Gospel represents Peter's oral teaching, and that it was written at a very early date. Some modern scholars believe that an Aramaic version was in existence as early as 44 A.D.

    (3) Luke is our third witness, and he adds considerably to our knowledge both of the visit to the tomb and of the subsequent appearances, as well as providing the fullest account we have of the early apostolic preaching. And not only have the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles been widely accepted as the genuine composition of Luke, the 'beloved physician', but Sir William Ramsay and others have shown how minutely accurate an historian he was.

    Such, then, are our first three witnesses, selected because their testimony is such as no unbiased critic can disregard, either from the point of view of authorship or early date. But we must also remember the testimony of Matthew, John and Peter, equally authoritative as we believe it to be.

    Now what of this evidence? It is certainly extremely early, much of it going back to the very first decade of the Christian era. This means it is contemporary, and must be accepted, at the least,[4] as substantially the record of eye-witnesses. How, then, can we avoid its implications? A number of different

    [p. 4]

    attempts have been made, the leading examples of which we shall now briefly examine.

    The most radical theory of all is to dismiss the whole story as deliberate invention. But there is scarcely a single intelligent critic who would go so far. The adverse evidence is overwhelming. Think, first, of the number of witnesses. Paul tells us that in 56 A.D. the majority of some 500 original witnesses were still alive; and we must remember that most of the early records went out, as it were, with the collective authority of the primitive Church. Think, too, of the character of the witnesses. Not only did they give the world the highest moral and ethical teaching it has ever known, but they lived it out, as even their opponents were forced to admit. Again, think of the phenomenal change which these men underwent because of this alleged invention. Is it conceivable that a deliberate lie would change a company of cowards into heroes, and inspire them to a life of sacrifice, often ending only in martyrdom? Surely psychology teaches that nothing makes a man more prone to cowardice than a lie which preys on his conscience? Is it likely, moreover, that even in disillusionment or agony not a single one of these conspirators would ever have divulged the secret?

    Others would use a somewhat kinder term and describe the accounts as legends. But this is equally impossible, for we have already seen that the records were too early to allow time for their growth: 'legends' put in circulation and recorded by the original eye-witnesses are scarcely distinguishable from deliberate inventions. But besides the reasons we have already seen for rejecting this suggestion, the intrinsic evidence of the stories themselves emphatically contradicts the theory. Such episodes as legend-mongers could scarcely resist describing (such as the scene of

    [p. 5]

    the resurrection itself, or an appearance of Christ to confound His enemies) are conspicuous by their absence - as is also any attempt to describe His appearance to James and others. What forger, moreover, would depict the first appearance as being granted to Mary Magdalene, a woman of no great standing in the Church? Would he not rather give this honour to Peter, or to John the beloved, or to Mary the Lord's own mother? Who, too, can read the story of the walk to Emmaus, or of the appearance to the Magdalene, or of Peter and John running to the tomb, without being profoundly conscious that these are no legends? The accounts are too dignified and restrained, the details too true to life. Finally, both these theories break down hopelessly before the fact of the empty tomb.

    Very few scholars have any use for the above theories. On the contrary, the only rationalistic interpretations of any weight are such as admit the sincerity of the records but try to explain them without recourse to the miraculous. All such attempts, moreover, are characterized by a sharp distinction between the records of the visits to the tomb and the records of the actual appearances: first the former are explained in a variety of ingenious ways, and then the latter are regarded as psychological or psychic phenomena." https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_resurrection_anderson.html
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  9. Gary Habberas work is well written. Trying to find out why Kasparov considers himself a “Christian thinker”, do you know?
  10. I have no idea what Kasparov believes.

    There are several you tube videos of Gary Habberas debating skeptics over the resurrection.
    There is also a lot of free written material at his website. Thanks for recommending him!

    This is an excerpt from one of his articles found at this link:

    Jesus' bodily resurrection occupies the very center of the Christian faith. After His death to pay for our sins, Jesus was raised from the dead. He appeared to many in His own, physical body that was now immortal (I Cor. 15:1-20). This is not only the theological and evidential core of Christianity, it is intimately related to our daily walk with God. Paul fearlessly asserts that our faith is vain if Jesus was not raised (15:14, 17). He adds that the truth of this event insures the resurrection of our loved ones, too (15:18-23). Without it, we may as well seek pleasure as our life's goal (15:32).

    The resurrection of Jesus is supported by an awesome array of historical information. Even skeptics who reject the inspiration of Scripture typically admit a number of crucial facts. For example, they almost always agree that Jesus died by crucifixion. His earliest disciples believed that they had seen Jesus afterwards. Their lives were transformed by this conviction. They proclaimed this message shortly afterwards in Jerusalem.

    Modern critics additionally concede that Paul (Saul) and Jesus' brother James had both been antagonistic to Jesus' teachings. But they, too, were later convinced that they had also seen the risen Jesus.

    Virtually all contemporary scholars recognize these and other facts, whether or not they believe the Gospel message about Jesus. They also grant that attempts to invent alternative scenarios have failed. In other words, they usually realize that those who have tried to explain all of this in natural terms have failed to prove their case.

    Here we must note that these facts are not true simply because the critics say so. The best reason for believing them is that there is plenty of historical confirmation for each one.

    What are some of these reasons? Today, most scholars think that Paul provides the key testimony for Jesus' resurrection. We have a number of unquestioned writings from his pen. In them he passionately explains that he was converted by an appearance of the resurrected Lord (I Cor. 9:1; 15:8; Gal. 1:16). Jesus also appeared to many others (I Cor. 15:3-7), and His apostles were giving the same report as was Paul (15:11-15). Later, Peter, John, and James specifically approved Paul's Gospel message (Gal. 2:1-10).
    #10     Jul 12, 2021