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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post

    I wish I could make you see how ironic it is for you to call science "unproven theories" even as you appeal to the Bible as absolute fact.
    This isolated sentence strikes at the heart of the debate between the scientist's faith in science to provide ultimate answers and the christian's faith in the Word of God to provide ultimate answers.

    It's not that all scientists have cast away their faith in the Bible nor have all christians cast off their faith in science even though this tension exists between the two. On one hand, the christian scientist seems willing to accept the apparent contradictions between Scripture and Science being confident that God's Wisdom will eventually prevail in reconciliation of those differences.

    On the other hand, the unbelieving scientist seems willing to abandon Scripture, choosing rather to accept that the unification of the two is impossibly beyond human reason.

    The significance between these two approaches seems to be that for the christian scientist, the Bible answers the central questions of origin, purpose, morality and destiny, whereas for the unbelieving scientist, only the peripheral questions are answered. Evolution, random selection, mutation and chance seem destined to make such answers, eternally elusive.

    At least, this is how it is for me.

    Richard, I truly appreciate that we can exchange thoughts on what appears to be a never ending dialog on the topic. The good news for the believer of course is that one day, this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction.

    Your friend,

    John

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Premise not applicable to God as the phrase was contrived by corrupt men in characterization of corrupt men. The Bible defines the human race as corrupted whether powerful or powerless. It's just that the former enables man to accomplish greater ill. Not to imply that history is wanton of corrupt rulers governing with fairness, they are just few and far between.

    As usual Richard my friend, thanks for keeping all of us on our toes.

    John
    Hi John

    The premise is totally applicable to god, because the only god that man can know is the one who is contrived and perceived through mans intellect. Man has no other way to conceive of god except through his own senses coming from his own mind, that is why the biblegod is identical to tribal warriors of the time period. Just think of it, how can any of us know anything except what is perceived through our own senses, so our perception of god is no different...kind of makes you stop and wonder.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi John

    The premise is totally applicable to god, because the only god that man can know is the one who is contrived and perceived through mans intellect. Man has no other way to conceive of god except through his own senses coming from his own mind, that is why the biblegod is identical to tribal warriors of the time period. Just think of it, how can any of us know anything except what is perceived through our own senses, so our perception of god is no different...kind of makes you stop and wonder.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Thank-you Rose for your comment.

    I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

    May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

    Your friend,

    John

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Thank-you Rose for your comment.

    I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

    May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

    Your friend,

    John
    Believe me John I know how you feel, I was there for almost 30 years...I knew, that I knew, that I knew, the biblegod was real and no one could have told me otherwise. Through all my years as a Christian it was only my intuition that I attributed to god, because all the other thoughts that would come to mind I had no way of discerning which were my own thoughts from what was suppose to be gods. I know now that everything I perceive has to be filtered through my own senses and intellect and the things that I perceived to be from god would mean something totally different to someone else.

    Each of us forms our own meaningful image of god through the things we are told from the society we live in and what read, and are taught from the Bible. This is the reason there are so many doctrines and interpretations...everyone perceives god a little differently than the next person. We are all creators of our own god formed in our own image.

    Take care,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    This isolated sentence strikes at the heart of the debate between the scientist's faith in science to provide ultimate answers and the christian's faith in the Word of God to provide ultimate answers.
    It is not accurate to speak of a "scientist's faith in science" as if it were of the same class as a believer's faith in the Bible. There is a world of difference between the two. Scientists base their conclusions of verifiable facts. You base your beliefs on your own fallible interpretations of mere words written in a book. There is no way to verify that those words or your interpretations are correct. There is no way to verify even that the Bible is the Word of God in the sense that you take it.

    And there is no reason to think that science will provide "ultimate answers." Questions about "ultimate" things are philosophical, not scientific. And besides, the Bible does not really give any "ultimate answers" anyway. Just think of how many questions Christians are forced to answer with "God's ways are higher than our ways" or to borrow a phrase from your post, the "good news for the believer is that one day this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction." In other words, you have admitted that the Bible does not give us answers to many of the "ultimate" questions." This is common knowledge amongst all who have debated the Bible. The Bible fails to answer many, if not most, of the "ultimate questions." That's my critique of the book of Job. All God did was tell him to shut up because he was an ignorant human. He did not give him any answers at all.

    It would be good if you addressed the points I raised. Here they are again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    This is why it is wrong to suggest that there is some sort of equivalence between faith in the Bible and "faith" in scientific theories. Scientific theories are based on facts that can be tested. If they fail the test, they are rejected. Your faith in the Bible is not like that at all. There is no fact that would cause you to reject it. And worse, there is no way to verify most of the things you believe it says. Your beliefs are based on your own fallible interpretation of words written thousands of years ago in languages that you don't understand and you have no way to objectively verify that your interpretation is correct. Case in point, Christians have strongly differed on the meaning of death and whether it existed before Adam sinned. There are four primary views:

    1) There was no death of any kind (including plants).
    2) There was no death of animals (including humans)
    3) There was no death of humans (though plants and animals died)
    4) The "death" that came from the curse was "spiritual" death, not physical.

    Each of these four interpretations have Christian advocates who passionately believe they have the true interpretation. There is no way to objectively verify which is correct because there are no experiments that could settle the issue. There is nothing but speculation and wrangling over words. This is why the Bible remains an obscure book that people can argue about "till kingdom come." The argument has continued for 2000 years because there is no test to discern between the true and the false. It is utterly fallacious to compare it in any way with the scientific method and scientific theories.
    You posted a long list of conflicting scientific opinions about the reason for death as if that was supposed to prove that only the Bible could give us "certainty." That's why I showed that the Bible is subject to just as much, if not more, contrary opinions. The Bible gives no certainty about anything because the book must be interpreted by fallible humans. Only science gives us the hope of actually settling such issues with objectively verifiable facts. Look around you. TVs, cars, computers, cell phones, rockets to the moon. All those things are proof of science. The Bible has no support like that at all.

    Again, it would be very good if you addressed the issues I raised above.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    It's not that all scientists have cast away their faith in the Bible nor have all christians cast off their faith in science even though this tension exists between the two. On one hand, the christian scientist seems willing to accept the apparent contradictions between Scripture and Science being confident that God's Wisdom will eventually prevail in reconciliation of those differences.

    On the other hand, the unbelieving scientist seems willing to abandon Scripture, choosing rather to accept that the unification of the two is impossibly beyond human reason.
    Again, this constant comparison of "faith in the Bible" vs. "faith in science" is fundamentally fallacious. Science is based on EVIDENCE that can be verified. The Bible is based on FAITH without evidence. They are as different as night and day.

    It's not impossible that the Bible and Science are to be "reconciled" and "unified" but for that to happen many of your current beliefs would have to be radically altered. You know this, because you know that modern science radically contradicts the traditional interpretation of the Bible. For example, you would have to incorporate evolution and the 13.75 billion year age of the universe. And you would have to reject the non-scientific world view of the Bible, such as the idea that there was a recent worldwide flood that killed all the land animals, or that placing striped sticks in front of mating sheep would cause them to produce speckled offspring, or that there is a dome holding up the waters above, etc., etc., etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    The significance between these two approaches seems to be that for the christian scientist, the Bible answers the central questions of origin, purpose, morality and destiny, whereas for the unbelieving scientist, only the peripheral questions are answered. Evolution, random selection, mutation and chance seem destined to make such answers, eternally elusive.

    At least, this is how it is for me.
    The Bible gives no explanation for those things. Case in point: Death can be caused by destroying the integrity of the body. It has nothing to do with God cursing anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Richard, I truly appreciate that we can exchange thoughts on what appears to be a never ending dialog on the topic. The good news for the believer of course is that one day, this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction.

    Your friend,

    John
    I'm loving our conversation my friend! You are a real trooper,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Thank-you Rose for your comment.

    I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

    May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

    Your friend,

    John
    Hi John,

    I understand your belief that God has answered many prayers. But that doesn't give any objective evidence for the truth of your beliefs. Muslims believe that Allah answers their prayers. Mormons believe that God gave them a "burning in the bosom" that proves their faith. Hindus believe their prayers are effective. This indicates that the sense of "answered prayers" is very subjective. We see the same thing with "transformed lives" - it offers no objective evidence of the truth of what the believers believe. It only proves that belief itself can have transformative power.

    All the best to you my friend,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Believe me John I know how you feel, I was there for almost 30 years...I knew, that I knew, that I knew, the biblegod was real and no one could have told me otherwise. Through all my years as a Christian it was only my intuition that I attributed to god, because all the other thoughts that would come to mind I had no way of discerning which were my own thoughts from what was suppose to be gods. I know now that everything I perceive has to be filtered through my own senses and intellect and the things that I perceived to be from god would mean something totally different to someone else.

    Each of us forms our own meaningful image of god through the things we are told from the society we live in and what read, and are taught from the Bible. This is the reason there are so many doctrines and interpretations...everyone perceives god a little differently than the next person. We are all creators of our own god formed in our own image.

    Take care,
    Rose
    Hello Rose

    While you retain your biblical quotes in your signature, we have this paradox of you not believing in the God of the Bible, but still happy to quote from the Bible. Unless you receive a direct revelation from God, what other way can anyone come to know God? God has revealed Himself through His word, whether you agree with God's ways or not. Given that God is portrayed a a fearful destroyer of evil people, is there nothing good about God you can hang onto? What about God's love, mercy and gift of eternal life? Is there nothing "good" in these things? Even the word "goodness" is akin to God-ness.

    Please keep reasoning from the Bible, even though you do no longer believe in the God of the Bible; we can keep praying and hoping you can see reason again. The fact that others can recognize the Bible is the handiwork of God, means that your assertion that the Bible is work of fiction has to be challenged. If you just take out the parts of the Bible you do not like and that shows God to be a "tribal warrior", you still have a substantial amount left upon which to draw a different conclusion.

    All evil is attributable to man in the first instance. If man had not done evil (and that takes many forms) God would not have punished man or had the need to take vengeance. That is abundantly clear in the chapter of Isaiah from which you quote; "come let us reason together". That is what God is asking you do to; the same as He was asking/reasoning with His people to whom Isaiah was addressing. For the sake of those who have not read all our correspondence that we have engaged in where reasoning has been unbalanced, I think it should be made clear exactly what God was saying. I can hear God pleading with His people to cease from evil and wickedness and how fair can God be? It is not fair that God should allow allow the wicked to continue. That was one of the many questions King David asked of God' "How long..." and which we can ask of God now as we see man's atrocities taking place in the world today. Rose, you have no answer to curing the wickedness in this world and you have no judgment to make on the wicked, and you prescribe no punishment. I can speak as one who knows of God's judgment though I know that I have to leave all judgment to God and His son and that I have to refrain from performing the task I would advocate because God says; Vengeance belongeth to me" and in God's good time, He will perform His judgement and get rid of all the wicked who have not associated themselves with Him and His Son and sought forgiveness.

    God has spelled out these things and that is why I see God as being fair. He has done nothing in secret and the punishments given out by God stand as examples that we should learn and fear God and fear that He could so easily wipe us out, if He had not also committed Himself to His promises to save those who are faithful and obedient to His will, which if done, is also to the benefit of mankind. Hebrews 10:31 says;It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. and from what we have read about God's punishments given to reprobates that should stand as a clear lesson to us. I fear that your teaching about God (not having read anything positive about God from you ) is that you are leading potentially innocent children astray from finding the way to life eternal that is on offer from God and we know the warning Jesus has given about preventing little children coming to him.

    Just so everyone gets the full context of; "Let us reason together", here is chapter 1 of Isaiah. Note how God wants men and women to refrain from evil. God does not punish those who do good and shun evil. Blame man for putting God in the position whereby He has punished men and women severely as they deserved. How can you stay blind to the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah and nations like the Canaanites? Had circumstances been different, God would not have dealt with them so severely. Blame man for the punishment of God brought on themselves. See reprobates for who they really are!!!


    Isa 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
    2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
    3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
    4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
    5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
    6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
    7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
    8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
    9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
    10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
    11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
    12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
    13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
    14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
    15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
    16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
    17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
    21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
    22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
    23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
    24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
    25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
    26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
    27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
    28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
    29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
    30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
    31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.


    In this chapter God has told us how we should live, which is part of the same coherent message throughout the Bible. Refrain from evil in whatever form. Let us also examine ourselves to see if there is any evil in us and seek the Lord's forgiveness and mercy if we find anything that is evil. If we say we have no sin in us, that makes us a liar and therefore it does not surprise me that we all need forgiveness on a daily basis. This is the reality to which we should not be blind.

    All the best,

    David
    Last edited by David M; 06-07-2012 at 02:00 AM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It is not accurate to speak of a "scientist's faith in science" as if it were of the same class as a believer's faith in the Bible. There is a world of difference between the two. Scientists base their conclusions of verifiable facts. You base your beliefs on your own fallible interpretations of mere words written in a book. There is no way to verify that those words or your interpretations are correct. There is no way to verify even that the Bible is the Word of God in the sense that you take it.
    Richard
    Hello my friend.

    There is always so much to respond to in your replies. So, to keep it interesting and productive I'll respond to your phrase, "mere words".

    Mere words are the essential tools of communication... who would know that more than you, one of the biggest peddlers of them. One problem with mere words is that they can be inadequate to describe things which we do not understand.

    Consider these mere words: "Is it possible to turn an inflated basketball inside out without altering its compositional state by simply adding one more spatial dimension? If it can be verified mathematically, can it be demonstrated in a laboratory? What if a 5th dimension were added? What could be done with that extra space? What if we added several more dimensions? What magical, miraculous things could we do then? How about things that would be impossible, even inconceivable in 3 dimensions. This illustration merely serves to remind us of how very little we know.

    Here's another example of a few mere words spoken rather concisely by the New Testament Christ:

    "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

    I know, that you know, and once believed, these mere words, and I understand that you need no reminders. I write them merely for the benefit of others.

    May God Guide your path my friend,

    John
    Last edited by jce; 06-07-2012 at 11:16 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Hello my friend.

    There is always so much to respond to in your replies. So, to keep it interesting and productive I'll respond to your phrase, "mere words".

    Mere words are the essential tools of communication... who would know that more than you, one of the biggest peddlers of them. One problem with mere words is that they can be inadequate to describe things which we do not understand.

    Consider these mere words: "Is it possible to turn an inflated basketball inside out without altering its compositional state by simply adding one more spatial dimension? If it can be verified mathematically, can it be demonstrated in in a laboratory? What if a 6th dimension were added? What could be done with that extra space? What if we added several more dimensions? What magical, miraculous things could we do then? How about things that would be impossible, even inconceivable in 3 dimensions. This illustration merely serves to remind us of how very little we know.

    Here's another example of a few mere words spoken rather concisely by the New Testament Christ:

    "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

    I know, that you know, and once believed, these mere words, and I understand that you need no reminders. I write them merely for the benefit of others.

    May God Guide your path my friend,

    John
    Good morning John, yo:

    I think it is an excellent idea to keep each post focused on a single point if possible. Of course, it's not always possible but it's a good target to shoot for.

    When I said "mere words" I used the word "mere" to distinguish between words that can be confirmed by some sort of objective test as opposed to words that have no such constraint on their meaning. Most of the words in the Bible are "mere words" in this sense. That's why the disputes never end. There is nothing to judge between the competing interpretations except more words.

    As for your example of higher dimensions. We don't have access to those dimensions, so we can't test those words directly in the laboratory. But we do have a lot of knowledge about higher dimensions extrapolated from our direct knowledge of the three dimensions in which we live, and so we can make educated guesses. And we can even prove mathematical theorems concerning what you can do with a basketball in higher dimensions. There is no dispute amongst mathematicians about such things once a proof has been given because mathematicians all agree about the fundamental axioms and logic of mathematics. We don't have anything like this in the general study of literature, and much less so in the study of Scripture. Hence, my assertion about the meaning of the Bible as based on "mere words" with no general agreement upon the correct interpretation.

    Case in point: "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" This seems to imply that "heavenly things" are not subject to verification, yet the central message of the Bible concerns "heavenly things." Hence the endless dispute, even amongst those who take the Bible as the "very Word of God." They often interpret the same words with opposite meaning. How then can anyone have any confidence that they got it right?

    Great chatting, as always,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Good morning John, yo:

    Case in point: "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" This seems to imply that "heavenly things" are not subject to verification, yet the central message of the Bible concerns "heavenly things."
    Of course they are not subject to verification. That is the point Jesus was making with those to whom He spoke those words. He very simply and eloquently put the world on notice that there are things in existence that are beyond the comprehension of men. And if beyond their reach, they are not verifiable. Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us? Of course not, otherwise we would discard Quantum Theory. There are things taking place around us that mathematics cannot fully explain.

    So the point being, if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless. Now how about that for irony... God pre-determined that faith would play the major factor in coming to know Him. The virgin birth, His miraculous works, His resurrection from the grave, all are beyond scientific verification.

    Here's the challenge... God's plan puts His people at a distinct disadvantage due to this faith factor. We don't have access to proofs and verifications which are so readily available to the opposition, and so many things which can't be confirmed with physical evidence are found in the Bible.

    God simply states to hold fast to our faith in Him and His Word for it has potential for great reward... Eternal Life!!! The Bible presents this one glorious hope for man to live forever in the Beauty and Glory of the World to come. Why would anyone want take aim at this inspiring hope and turn it into a target?

    As Cheow so often states... May God have Mercy on us all.

    Your friend,

    John

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