New Evidence Shows Luke Didn’t Just Invent The Census In The Christmas Story

Christmas is less than a month away and that means there is a fair amount of discussion in the media and popular culture about the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem.

Critics have long delighted to point out that the census that plays a key role in Luke’s Gospel account of His birth never really happened. Here’s how Luke put it:

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Here’s Why Even Critical Scholars Now Say The Gospels Are Reliable

One of the effects of working on Capitol Hill for any length of time is how it tends to capture your focus within the narrow confines of Washington politics and policy.

There’s a whole world out there in the “real world” beyond the Potomac River, one small but immensely significant part of which is the community of scholars who study things like whether the New Testament are reliable records of ancient history, especially the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now, here’s what is likely a shocker for a lot of folks who spend their working lives toiling away in Congress: Beginning in the early 1970s and continuing today, scholars who once declared the New Testament was not reliable have now come to the conclusion that the Gospels are indeed authoritative and trustworthy.

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Maybe Those Gospel Contradictions Are Intentional

Mention “New Testament” or “Bible” or “Gospels” in a mixed crowd and be prepared to be told there are so many contradictions in the documents that they can’t be believed.

As Prof. Sean McDowell points out, there are indeed what appear contradictions in the Gospels, such as John 3:16 and I John 2:15. “Which is it? Are we supposed to love the world, as God does, or not,” McDowell asks.

“Yet closer analysis reveals they are not thoughtless mistakes from a careless writer, but part of an intentional rhetorical strategy to get readers to reflect upon the deeper meaning of words,” McDowell continues.

If you work on the Hill, such a rhetorical approach might not seem so foreign. After all, liberals and conservatives use the same words all the time, but infuse them with different, sometimes radically different, meanings.

McDowell goes on to illustrate his point with additional examples. Definitely worth your time to read and consider.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Is Jesus’ Resurrection Fact Or Just ‘Fake News?’

You hear it regularly in conversations on Capitol Hill. One guy says X and the other guy instantly dismisses it because “oh, that’s what you expect Fox/CNN/MSNBC to say. That’s just fake news.”

And that raises an interesting question, and not just for men and women working in the House and Senate or one of the congressional agencies like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or Government Accounting Office (GAO).

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Wasn’t The Resurrection Really Just A Conspiracy?

“Conspiracy” is a word one hears regularly on Capitol Hill and it’s almost always in the context of somebody doing something they don’t want somebody else to know about.

After all, as Scripture says, darkness hates the light.

So there is invariably a sinister association with conspiracies, as well as with other words that can mean the same thing, including “plot,” “scheme” and “collusion.” The true purpose behind of any of these can actually be good or bad, but they are usually thought of as representing criminal or otherwise unpleasant purposes.

Which brings us to Jesus. People in high places and low have for millennia tried to dismiss the claim that Jesus was resurrected on the third day after his death on the cross as representing nothing more than a conspiracy among His disciples to fool the world to protect their own hides.

Cross-Examined’s Dr. Frank Turek often hears the claim, as he was recently by a Maryland college student. His response makes it clear that nobody needs a subpoena to get to the truth about the Resurrection:

Can We Think About Jesus Like A Detective? Or A Hill Investigator?

Whether you are a famous cold-case detective like J. Warner Wallace solving 30-year-old murders or a veteran investigator for a congressional committee probing government contract fraud, much of what you do and how you do it is the same.

Take, for example, assessing the credibility of witnesses. Crime detectives and Hill investigators have to do that all the time as it’s one of their most important skills. What if witnesses don’t agree on all the details of an event? Is that reason to reject some or all of the witnesses?

For many critics of the Gospels, the fact Matthw, Mark, Luke and John provide four accounts that appear to differ on important details about the resurrection of Jesus disqualifies them as credible witnesses. And that in turn raises huge question marks about the Resurrection.

“What if witnesses don’t agree on all the details of an event? Is that reason to reject some or all of the witnesses?”

Wallace is well-known for his many appearances on NBC’s “Dateline” program where he showed America how he solved five stone-cold cases from decades back.

He knows about witnesses and in this video he shares four rules derived from California judicial procedures that he has used for many years and that helped him evaluate the credibility of the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection.

Enjoy.

Does The Bible Demean Women (On The Hill Or Anywhere Else)?

It’s a truism in many secular precincts that Christianity has kept women in a subordinate position to men, but is that a reflection on the Bible that defines the faith or on the Christians who misused or misunderstood it?

With at least 100 newly elected women heading to mount the Capitol Hill steps above as a result of the 2018 midterm election, according to Kathryn Watson of CBS News, the treatment and status of women in America is certain to be a huge issue in the new Congress come January. (Photo above by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash)

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Why Does This Historian Say He Got Christianity Wrong?

Imagine for a moment that Jesus never entered history. There would be no Sermon on the Mount. No Crucifixion. No Resurrection. No New Testament. No Paul. Rome is the foundation of everything that comes after its fall.

And Rome, indeed virtually the entire ancient world, was based politically and economically on slavery, the rights and perogatives of elites, and raw, brute, unaccountable power.

Would there be an America if Christianity never happened?

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Do Moral Intuitions Point To God, Evolutionary Experience or Chance?

Ask 100 randomly selected congressional aides whether they think it’s immoral to torture children and I guarantee you all 100 — like virtually any other similarly sized and chosen group — will react in horror and say something like “of course not, only a monster would do that.”

Such responses are evidence of the moral intuitions with which every human being is born. Those intuitions don’t just turn up, Christian apologists contend, they are evidence of the creator, who is the source of the standards of right and wrong underlying the intuitions. Evolutionary materialists argue moral intuitions simply represent the accumulated experience of the results of similar courses of action.

Obviously, something too often intervenes to corrupt or silence the moral intuitions and what that something is generates as much debate among believers and non-believers alike as the source of the intuitions.

Dr. Frank Turek dealt with an aspect of that debate in response to a question posed by a Towson University student. This video of Turek’s response was posted on YouTube November 9.

Today’s Question For Hundreds Of Hill Staffers — What Now?

Tuesday’s 2018 midterm election is followed by a grim morning for hundreds of congressional aides. They work on the personal staffs of losing Democrat and Republican senators and representatives and, on the House side, on the outgoing Republican majority’s committee staffs.

Come the first week of January when the new Congress is seated, with Republicans in the majority in the Senate and Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, these aides will be out of work. It’s part of the rhythm of Congress as every two years, the seats of one-third of the senators and all 435 representatives are open. Many are re-elected, more than a few are not.

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Four Big Bangs Equal Four Huge Problems For Materialists/Atheists

Have you ever wondered why is there something rather than nothing? Yes, it’s an esoteric question and not one any normal person is ever likely to think about without prompting.

So consider yourself prompted because it is an important question, one of the most important of all questions in fact. How important? Well, it’s more significant even than the question of whether a problem is solved if a congressman describes a solution but nobody on C-SPAN is listening?

Or, just to put it in the most personal of terms, why are you here rather than not here?

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What About Christians And Identity Politics?

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Call it “identity politics” or “multiculturalism” or whatever else you like, but America’s public discourse today is often all but dominated by analyses based on speakers’ respective racial, ethnic and cultural identities.

Democrats are deep into identity politics, while Republicans often find it repellant. There are Christians among both, but does the God of the Bible have anything of value to say to Democrats or Republicans on the issue of identity politics?

You bet it does, especially if you happen to work on Capitol Hill where the issues raised by identity politics are especially intense and urgent. So where do we start?

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This Mom Is A Great Argument for God

So you’re walking down a corridor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building during a break in a committee hearing and there on the floor is the word “MOM” spelled out in Cap’n Crunch.

Being a dutiful son or daughter, you love your mom, of course, so you stop to ponder  this odd sight, speculating for a few seconds about how it got there and then going on about your business before the hearing resumes. As the day continues, though, your mind keeps going back to that MOM because something about it is puzzling.

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