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Showing posts from 2015

What do I say to those who claim that religious people cause all the violence?

Hey David!! I had a question about something I see come up a lot online when atheists and theists/religious believers debate the reasons why mass murders occur around the world. For example, with the Paris attacks, the murderers are clearly motivated by Islam, and this gives fuel for the atheists’ fire to say "See?!  Religion causes all the bad things in the world and all the wars!  Atheists are the superior beings, both morally and intellectually!"  And every time someone brings up the evil, murderous atheists that have existed throughout history (i.e. Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.), atheists ALWAYS say, "Well, those murders weren't done 'in the name of atheism.'"  So, apparently, they think this gets the atheism worldview out of being the cause of any wrongdoing among atheist murderers, but religion is bad because these other mass murders are done "in the name of (some religion)."  Even with Christianity, they will constantly point to the Crusad…

"Did Jesus have to die?" A conversation with a Friend

Hi David, hope you are doing well...
Just listened to your latest podcast on the meaning behind Jesus dying for our sins. Very good stuff... I appreciated the historical explanations and context behind the various similes used in the NT.
Question for you, and this is something I've asked myself that I don't think was addressed in the podcast but, why was his death the means of atonement and not something else? Could something different have been done, like have Jesus stick a white flag in the ground and say "it is finished and it's cool now between you and God"? Why not $50 or some specific amount of money? I'm being silly here but I think you see my point.
Just wondering if there is an explanation in the Bible about why THE God-man’s death WAS the price? Thinking about it I could possibly say:
1) Since humans are "special" in that we have dominion over the Earth just like God has dominion over the universe nothing could possibly be more sacred in …

"What about those who have never heard the Gospel?" My response.

I was having a discussion with some friends the other day and it found its way around to discussing religion. One question was raised and I wasn't quite sure how to answer it. One of them asked, "If God is all powerful and all knowing, why does he let people (those who haven't heard the Word) die? They're given no chance be believe or not and are condemned to hell because of it."
It being very late when we were having this conversation and I was unable to come up with an adequate response so I'm curious what you would say to someone if they posed that question to you.
Thanks for your time
~Cheryl

Hey Cheryl!
That's a good question.
This is question is called the "fate of the unevangelized" in theology. I think you mean, "why does God allow them to go to hell" rather than "why does God allow them to die." I think you mean that, of course, because non-Christians die all the time. Physical death is the final event of (nearly) a…

"Why doesn't the Spirit show up more in the Church?" A Conversation with a Friend

Hi David,
I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions (and correcting me that it was Matthew not Mark that had the quote from Jesus about adultery in the heart) . I have so many questions it's ridiculous and have another one for you (just one for now ;) ). 
A funny side note - you were really fired up last week on the atheist and the ridiculous demands they place on the Bible and the whole morality podcast. Coincidentally, I was listening the WLC debate with Shelly Kagan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiJnCQuPiuo) so your diatribe was in context with other things in my week ;) I have more questions and comments about what Kagan said ...but that is for later.
So to my question... spurred on by Ravi Zacharias. He said the single apologetic that he wrestles with is that the seemingly lack of effect the Holy Spirit has on Christians. I'm not quoting him directly by my understanding of his point was that you would think the all powerful Holy Spirit would be more app…

"Can Christians be tormented by Evil? Can married couples watch pornography?" - A Friend Asks

Hi David!  I first just wanted to say I really enjoy your podcasts, and I will definitely be getting your book "A Skeptic Challenges a Christian."  That's always a very interesting topic to me, and I know you'll have very intelligent, insightful responses like you do in your podcasts. Thank you for all that you do for Christ and His Kingdom! Anyways, I do have a couple of questions for you that I'd love to get your thoughts on:
1)  First, do you believe that a Christian can be tormented by a demonic spirit, or have a demonic spirit indwelling within them?  I went to a Christian healing ministry in Livermore, CA a few weeks ago, and the leader there said that Christians who believe they can't have a demon are believing in a false theology.  I was always under the impression that a demonic spirit could not indwell a believer because we have the Holy Spirit in us. I guess maybe being tormented or tempted by a demonic spirit would make more sense, but to actuall…

Resources concerning the Trinity

Hey David;

How have you been? I have been in discussion with some Mormon friends of mine on the topic of the Trinity. The more I research this topic the more I get confused. Apparently the bible never directly mentions the Trinity. The text I come across on the internet will reference the plural nature of Genesis's God and how Jesus referred to Himself as God (Basically) in John. The more I read I have discovered that the Trinity was term used by early Catholics. But there are several religions who do not believe in the Trinity as an all in one persona.

Anyway any help you could give would be great.

One last question, what is good place to start studying languages of the bible and their translations.. I did buy The New Interpreter’s Study Bible you recommended in one of your responses a while back. Good source for certain.


Mark 

Hey Mark,
Yes, the term “Trinity” is Latin, which means it’s not in the Bible. Proto-Trinitarian formulations are found in several places in the New Testame…

"My family is paranoid about the end times." A conversation with a Friend

Hi Dr. Pendergrass!
I've really learned a lot from reading your blog and listening to your podcasts. Thank you for all your hard work and the effort you put into making all of this available!
I have 2 items I'd like to get your input on.  First, I listened to one of your podcasts that mentioned getting the Translators Study Bible.  Is this something that would be beneficial for a layperson?  Do you have any other suggestions for materials for study purposes?
Next question is concerning my in-laws and their (what I perceive to be) obsession with prophecy and the apocalypse.  They read every John Hagee, Perry Stone and Jonathan Cahn book out there.  They are thoroughly convinced that a big event is coming this September and are even planning to spend $6,000 on a back-up generator.  Now, I know it's their business how they want to spend their money...but I just wonder if there's a way to get them to think about these things rather than just whole-heartedly believing them.  T…

"How do I know if it's God?" A conversation with a Friend

Hello Dr. Pendergrass,

I'm enjoying your tweets, articles and podcasts. Thank you! I have a question. How does one discern whether a happening is from God, fate, free choices/decisions, right time and place, etc. I know the assumption is whatever happens is God's will...but you go left..one thing happens...right the other thing happens. So sometimes it seems dependent on what one FEELS is right...? Ex:Was the chance meeting meant to be or just that...chance. I know we are to pray and trust and then things should seem clear but if they don't.... any suggestions?!

Hello Friend,
Thank you for the kind words! I'm so glad you're enjoying my material. I hope it helps you act like Jesus more.
This is a great question. I have a few reflections:
(1) The term, "fate," has gone through many changes in nuanced meaning throughout history. I assume you mean it in the sense of "destiny" or "predetermined actions or results." In the Christian worldview…

"I don't believe in religions because they can't agree." A conversation with a Friend

Hi David,
I hope you had a great 4th of July :)
David, I don't know what to reply to this person: He Believes in God, but on the other hand he does not think that the Bible is the only source to establish a relationship with him.
For example: He does not believe in Hell afterlife. He is open to other religion ideas, like reincarnation. He believes that people (Adults) can still enter heaven without Jesus. Do you have any sources or blogs that you may have written that would help me? Here is his response to me below in blue. (I sent him a link to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU  The moral argument)
Thanks for your help David.
"Hey Bro,  Whats up
Thanks for the video, I saw it already, but I think this video is about something else. Or maybe our talk was not so clear. This video talks about how moral values cannot be objective without God, and raises that argument for atheists. But I´m not atheist, I do believe God exists. I also agree that morals cannot…