There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.
The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.
So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.
And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.
And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.
It’s an oft-heard tale these days that Jesus was just a “copy-cat” god, thanks to multiple characteristics of existing pagan deities of His day that the fabricators of the Christian myth allegedly “borrowed.”
Such claims have a whisk of credibility, thanks to the apparent depth of historical knowledge wielded by those making them. Probe just a little deeper into the historical facts, however, and the claims’ flaws soon become clear.
Among the most common objections to Christianity is the rejection of the disciples’ claim that they saw and talked to the resurrected Jesus three days after his crucifixion on the cross and burial in a grave carved out of stone. He didn’t actually die on the cross, the critics claim.
This objection is one of the several ways, for example, that Islam rejects the resurrected Jesus Christ as proof of His claim to be both God and man. Similarly, atheists came up with the claim that Jesus could not have been resurrected from the dead because He didn’t die on the cross. He was buried, then revived in the cool grave, escaped and walked all the way to India or maybe Japan where he married, had kids, and died. (No, I’m not making this up, you can Google it!)
Palm Sunday is right around the corner, so odds are good this objection will be heard in coming days in the mainstream media, in online college classes and in the popular culture. But NBC “Dateline” Cold-Case Detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video why people who claim Jesus didn’t die on the cross have no idea what they are talking about:
Take an introductory astronomy or physics class on a typical college or university campus these days and at some point there will be a great deal of attention paid to the Three Laws of Planetary Motion discovered by Johannes Kepler, one of the chief movers of the Scientific Revolution.
What will almost certainly get little or no attention in the class will be the fact that Kepler was a believing Christian who recognized the deep theological implications of those laws. The reason little is said about Kepler’s faith is the myth that Christianity and science are opposites.
In the following video, historian Michael Keas takes viewers on a detailed and enriching review of the facts that make clear Christianity was an enabler of science beginning very early on and without it much of what we take for granted today might well not be with us:
You’ve almost certainly never heard of Ota Benga, a diminutive young man taken from the Belgian Congo early in the first decade of the last century, and literally put on display in New York City in a cage with a monkey.
There is much discussion in America’s public forums about the country’s historic racism, with the New York Times’ “1619 Project” being among the most notable. But the Times defended putting Ota Benga on display in a cage, as did many of the most respected scientists of the day.
This award-winning documentary produced by Discovery Science is 55 minutes in length, much longer than the typical video I post here on HillFaith. But it will mesmerize and horrify you, both for the evil it documents and the realization that those who promote the narrative underlying “1619” leave out of their account the most important truths.
If you’ve ever been involved in a debate on campus or in a typical Washington discussion group about religion, odds are good you’ve heard somebody claim the following:
“You can’t trust the Bible because Jesus was a man who was a great teacher but still no more than a man, and besides, in the decades after his death, his followers invented Christianity by embellishing his words and actions to turn him into this mythical God-man figure.”
It may sound sophisticated and smart, but the reality, as NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, is the Gospels are solid and credible testimony that you could stake your life on in court:
A common objection heard from atheists, agnostics and other skeptics these days is that the God of the Old Testament was immoral because He allegedly endorsed such horrors as forced servitude, genocide and rape.
As RZIM’s Brandon Cleaver explained recently in a lengthy analysis of the issue, “slavery in the Bible was vastly different. First, according to many scholars, the Hebrew word (ebed or eved) that is often translated as slave in the Old Testament is more reasonably rendered as servant.
“Furthermore, slavery among the Hebrews in the Old Testament often occurred when individuals sold themselves into servanthood to pay off debt. Therefore, it was voluntary.”
In the following video, crossexamined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek makes that point and more in responding to a series of questions that taken together frame the argument that the God of the Bible is a moral monster:
You may if you’re susceptible to conspiracy theories, love to get high with the assistance of natural or chemical “friends,” or just can’t be bothered with coming to grips with the central fact of history.
Meet well-known comedian, religion critic, and podcast host Joe Rogan, who, according to The Federalist’s Hans Fienne, has fallen under the spell of a little-known Dead Sea Scroll scholar, John Marco Allegro, who back when real Hippies roamed the Earth authored the book “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.”
Allegro explained away the resurrection with a theory that said Jesus never really existed but was instead simply the product of a mass hallucination among a bunch of muchroom-loving ancient Sumerians. Somewhere along the way, the early Christians took it all way too literally and the rest is history.
Fienne, a Lutheran minister with a genuine sense of humor and an impressively learned mind, disassembles this conspiracy theory that helpfully illustrates the absurd lengths to which we humans will go to avoid “the man (or woman) in the mirror.” That’s a reference to the book, by the way, not the Michael Jackson recording (the lyrics of which are also worth pondering).
I guarantee you will enjoy reading Fienne’s analysis, and you will probably also come away with a better understanding of the genuine significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Go here.
It’s a truism in much of today’s ecumenical efforts that Christians worship the same deity that Muslims do because both are monotheistic, that is, they each contend there is one god, not many.
The reality is that there are profound differences between the essential concepts of God held by orthodox Christians and the two major branches of Muslim belief.
Philosopher William Lane Craig contends the Muslim concept of god is “morally defective” and explains why in this video by first describing the Christian concept:
“As the greatest conceivable being, a morally perfect being, God must be all-loving. And this is exactly what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that God loves sinners, His love is impartial, it is universal, it is unconditional,” Craig says.
“And this is a world of difference from the god of the Quaran. According to the Quaran, god does not love sinners. God in the Quaran only loves those who first love him,” Craig continues.
“So that his love rises no higher than the sort of love that Jesus said tax collectors and sinners exhibit. They love those that love them,” he said. “The Quaran says god does not love the very people that John 3:16 says that God love so much that He sent His only son to die for them.”