Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world? This is an age-old question. Either God is all-powerful but not all-good (and therefore doesn’t stop evil) or He is all-good but unable to stop evil (making Him not all-powerful). The general idea is to blame God for all evil and suffering and pass all responsibility to Him.
No Easy Answers:
Remember that God created Adam and Eve perfect, not evil. But they had the ability to obey or disobey God’s commands. Had they obeyed that one command (Genesis 2:16-17), they never would have had a problem. Since that time, the tendency toward sin has always been with us (Romans 5:12). We must remember that people are responsible for sin, not God.
So, why did God make us so that we could sin? Had this happened, we would no longer be human, but rather machines. Saying, “I love you” in … [ Continue Reading ]
This is a pretty hot question through the ages. The issue could be how data is interpreted; often conflict comes from trying to make the Bible say things it was not meant to answer. Do scientists and some Christians disagree? Yes, like Galileo, the Scopes trial of 1925 or Wilburforce and Huxley.
Well meaning Christians:
Some try to make the Bible say what it does not say. For instance James Bishop Ussher (1581-1656) calculated the genealogy back to Adam and claimed the earth was created in 4004 BC. Ussher’s notes are not part of the original text so the Bible does not really say that the earth was created in 4004 BC. Statements can be philosophic interpretations of data which do not carry the same weight of authority as the data.
When a scientist speaks:
When a scientist speaks on any subject, he is likely to be believed. He may … [ Continue Reading ]
Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. Jesus feeding 5000 people with two fish and five loaves. Did these really happen? Are we to take this literally?
The whole concept of God:
The real problem is not with miracles or prophecy but with the whole concept of God. Once we assume that God actually exists, there is no problem with miracles, because by definition God is all-powerful.
God is not bound by natural laws:
The real question becomes, “Does an all-powerful God who created the universe, exist?” If He does then miracles are possible. A miracle transcends natural law which God is the author. Some people define miracle as a violation of natural law, but this definition practically deifies natural law, and God becomes a prisoner to that natural law, and in effect ceases to be God. It’s fine to believe in natural law, because we can see the usual … [ Continue Reading ]
At first the ancient cities were the targets of study, but soon there were found names and places that are in the OT. Persian governors spoke through their letters and Egyptian Pharaohs in gold-lined coffins can now be identified. Scholars found rich discoveries about the neighbors of the early Israelites. Reliability of the Bible has been affirmed in a number of important areas, substantiating the claims of the Bible.
Mostly the goal is to verify some specific biblical events that were doubted or ridiculed. Another is to help explain biblical culture and practices. When an apparent conflict exists, rather than conclude that the Bible is wrong, it is best to admit the problem exists and hold it open to further discoveries.
Sources for archaeologists:
There have been over 25,000 sites excavated in the Holy Land. Some sites the names have changed and others have remained the same for 3500 years, … [ Continue Reading ]
You have probably read stories about all the supposed errors that are in the Bible. The theory is that mistakes were made through two thousand years of translations and what we have today is a pale reflection of the original writings. But Christianity is rooted in history, and history has not changed. If the historical references in the Bible are not true, we can then doubt the reliability of the rest of the book. We will also ask the question, “Why do we have these books and no others?”
Who wrote the words?
The work of the scribe was a highly professional and a carefully executed task. There are no complete copies of the Hebrew OT earlier than around AD 900 (Masoretic Text), but it is evident that it has been faithfully preserved since AD 100 or 200.
There are translations from Hebrew into Latin and Greek. All copies that … [ Continue Reading ]