Just before Christmas, it was my pleasure to share a celebratory hour or so with members of the Faith & Law Society in the Longworth HOB, hosted by the group’s extraordinary executive director, Lauren Noyes.
It’s been an argument of critics for much of the modern era, the contention being that humans yearn to know what happens after they die, so they invent religion to supply the answer.
“So a lot of people will try and say ‘well, yeah, if you become a Christian, you’re going to go to Heaven,’ but it’s not just fire insurance,” Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek says in response to a student’s question in the following video.
Unless there is some way to determine if the rock from which sprung Mithras — the ancient mythical god at the heart of the mystery cult known as “Mithraism” — was a virgin, that is.
That Jesus’ virgin birth was stolen from the Mithras myth is one of the many allegations raised by Christianity’s critics, ancient and modern. They contend the New Testament authors borrowed heavily from multiple pagan religions to elevate an obscure itinerant preacher named Jesus to divinity.
Not so, contends Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, an expert on such matters who teaches at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). Jones addresses a bunch of the supposed parallels.
Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, is in jail, accused by the Communist government in Beijing of “inciting subversion of state power.”
The pastor absolutely denies the charges, which are based on the fact he preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including His claim to be “the King of Kings” and His injunction to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s to God.”
Not sure of the answer to the question of what are you living your life for? Check your bank account and time sheets. Whatever you think you live for, the truth is your heart is wherever your money and your time are.
If you work on the Hill, maybe it’s status or recognition of some kind. Or becoming influential, an “insider.” Could be having a certain title linked to your name. Or perhaps having as much fun as humanly possible.
Now that the presents are unwrapped, the pretty bows and paper have all been picked up and the kids are out playing with their new delights, take a few minutes of the fleeting quiet time and give some thought to the question posed in the headline above.
Free-Thinking Ministries’ Timothy Fox (a former student of Prof. Sean McDowell at Biola University) cuts to the chase:
“It’s truly the season of More. Kids want to receive more toys than last year. Businesses want to make more money. People want their decorations to be bigger and better than ever.
“We want more holly, more jolly, more rest and relaxation, more, more, More. Of course this can all be attributed to greed, to our culture obsessed with consumption and excess. But I think there’s something deeper going on.”
Have you ever noticed how few people get upset when the names of the various founders of the world’s religions are spoken in public forums and private discussions?
Mention “Mohammed” or “Buddha” or “Confucius” and nobody gets their shorts in an uproar. But say “Jesus” and the reaction will range from quizzical impatience to cold stares, pursed lips to rude retorts, or worse. Why is this? What is it about Jesus that sparks such reactions?