Christian Apologetics Essay, Research Paper
Religion is a hard basis for some people to talk about. For me, quite simple, I just tell people about my Lord God. Some people argue that is an outrageous idea but no more outrageous than any other religion. In C hristianity, you have to communicate and glorify the Lord whereas in other religions, you just simply refer to the “teachings”. Many that do not believe in Christianity use pride, moral problems, and ignorance as excuses. The foundation of everything that I believe in is found in the Bible. Since I have lived my life through the Lord and the things he wants me to do, I have lived a more productive life. Before I moved to Charlotte, I didn t even know who God was. When I was about 12 years old, my best friend made me go to church with her. All through church, I didn t listen and I goofed off, two days later something was bothering me about how I had acted in church so I called my friend and told her that I wanted to go to church with her next time she went. From then on out, I began to learn about my Lord and how much he loves me. I began to read the Bible and about where and what the Christian religion is based on. Although the Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 or more authors over a 2,000 year period, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout. The Bible is 98.5% textually pure. This means throughout all the copying of the Biblical manuscripts of the entire Bible, only 1.5% has any question about it. Nothing in all of the ancient writings of the entire world even approaches the accuracy of transmission found in biblical documents. The 1.5% that is claimed questionable does not affect the doctrine. The areas of interest are called variances and they consist mainly of variances in spellings or word (http://www.carm.org/chrdoc1.htm). It is such a unique book because of it s continuity, circulation, and it s survival. Bringing up a good point would be, if the Bible is not such a reliable book, where have all the mistakes been proven? They haven t because no real mistake has yet been discovered in the Bible, science, history or any other subject. The next religious book that has a great number of surviving manuscripts is Homer s Iliad which has 643. Yet and still, the Bible has 24,633 surviving manuscripts. It is unbelievable that one book can be survived over such a time period, going through translations and still have no inconsistencies.(The Uniqueness of the Bible, McDowell) If one will seriously investigate these Biblical evidences that the Bible claims, “He will find their claims of divine inspiration which is stated over 3,000 times in various different ways in the Bible.” (http:://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t003.html) For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in Daniel 9:24-27 that in 538 BC, Christ would come as Israel s promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem. Hundreds of years later, what happened? Because of such things, and the simple reason that the Bible states it, I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. You think may think I m crazy for having faith in a book that was written by more than 40 authors but God had to be writing the Bible through them because each author wrote from a different cultural background, with a different style and a wide range of controversial topics. The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek and in three different continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.(Uniqueness of Bible, McDowell). The Bible is not at all irrelevant for today s culture either. Of course the world has changed since it was written but the message of the Bible remains the same.(Uniqueness, McDowell) As I said earlier, science nor history has been able to disprove the reliability of the Bible. Now I know that the Bible is not a book about science but when it does speak about it, it is definitely accurate. Although the scientific method is unreliable in proving historical events because they are controlled and time cannot be a factor. Archeology is the best scientific method in roving Biblical facts. Think about the spherical shape of the earth, in Isaiah 40:22 it states, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and it s people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” For an explanation of the earth being suspended in nothing read Job 26:7. The best way to prove an historical event is by the Evidential method. When you were a little kid did you ever try to count all the stars in the sky? I did and I m sure you did too but I could never quite get them all counted. Upon reading the Bible, I came across Genesis 15:5 that states that the stars are innumerable. “He took him outside and said, Look up at the heavens and count the stars if indeed you can count them. ” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Scientists are all the time trying to disprove the Biblical theories but no discovery has ever disproved a theory. Certain Biblical passages have even been proven and supplied us with valuable information about the culture and traditions of people all around the world. Good example of this would be the 20,000 tablets that were found at Ebla dating back from the third millennium. These tablets prove the existence of the the Hittites which were a group of people that no one knew existed. Again, when the Dead Sea scrolls and the Masoretic (an Old Testament ,manuscript) were discovered some hundreds and hundreds of years later in Qumran, a set of manuscripts were discovered. They have been named the Dead Sea Scrolls and have served as the basis of the earliest known copy of Isaiah and most Old Testament books. These discoveries would give us an indication of accuracy. In the two text there was only the difference of ten misspelled words (I Know Why You Believe, Paul Little). That is unreal but once again it just shows the reliability from over the years. There are many other discoveries that prove that Biblical events are not only reliable but accurate in the same hand. What about all the witnesses and Apostles that gave that testify as they wrote the Gospel accounts of Jesus, they wrote it properly? Most of the great works have oppositions. People not of the Christian religion have always hated the Bible. Some have never even read it. Everybody wanted to be a part of the decease. But no matter how closely they watched, and tried to disprove theories, no witness accounts have been found saying that the Bible is unreliable or false (The Reliability of the Scripture, McDowell). No person has even been able to write any book or anything about the contradictions of the Bible because there is always someone or some Scripture that can prove them wrong. Some say that they would believe in the Bible if we lived many generations ago and we based our lives upon an original copy of the Bible but today, they say that the rewritten versions are even more accurate. Jesus made sure that the many safeguards they took in rewriting it, would continue it s survival and accuracy. Each time it was recopied, a certain ink recipe had to be used and recorded, between each letter, there had to be a breath of hair but they could not touch the line or another letter. The scribes could not touch the Bible with their hands, they had to use something to turn the pages. They were only allowed three correctable mistakes and on the fourth, the Bible had to be discarded and they had to start all over. If they made one mistake that was uncorrectable, they had to throw it out and start all over too. It had a specific number of columns that it had to be, and they had to copy it letter by letter. No memorization was used (Reliability, McDowell). I believe that the Bible is without a doubt the word of God which makes it perfect and reliable. Every book is in agreement with the other and it still has yet to be proven that there is an inconsistency in the book. With such being passed through time, translation, and today s culture and the consistency and inaccuracies are still being believed by so many, obviously something in the Bible or somebody up in Heaven is telling the people what is right. If there are parts of the Bible that you still do not understand or misinterpret, it is not the Bible that is wrong, you just don t understand the complete and thorough word of God. God is the only Supreme Being. He is Holy (Revelations 4:8), Eternal (Isaiah 57:15), Omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17,27), Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12), and Omniscient (1 John 7:11), Love (1 John 4:8,16), Light (1John 1:5), Spirit (John 4:240, Truth (Psalm 117:2), and Creator (Isaiah 40:12,22,26) (McDowell). God is a Trinity. One God who exists simultaneously in three persons. Each is coequal, copowerful, and coeternl with the other. Each, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is not the other. Without either there is no God; all compromise to the one God, our God (Know Why You Believe, Paul E. Little, pg.63). The idea that there is only one God, who created all things, is repeatedly emphasized in such Scriptures as Isaiah 45:18. God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. “The Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality (christiananswers)” God is unique from all other Gods we have ever known about because he is three Gods in one. If all Gods were the same, where is their teachings, where are their words, where is their proof? Although it is not possible to prove God in the scientific sense of the word, it can be said with equal emphasis that one can t prove Napolean either. God loves all and the proof of that is him giving his only son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. There is no measurable amount of love that God has for us because you cannot measure out love but God loves you more than anybody else in this world. If God did not love us so much, he would not have sent his son to suffer and take our sins away. Generally when something doesn t go someone s way, they have to find someone to blame it on. Many who go through suffering and pain in their lives, blame it on God. We must not forget though, that when God created man, he created him perfect but capable of making his own decisions. Man was not created evil but yet, he still had the ability to obey or disobey God. Had Adam and Eve obeyed God in the first book of the Bible (Genesis), there never would have been a problem. Man would have lived an eternal live with God and been able to enjoy him and all that he created for man. The thing that we must remember today is that God is not responsible for sin, man is. “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” (Romans 5:12) The most important thing that I have learned through living my life through God is that he has done something about suffering and evil. He has done the most costly thing in his life by giving his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for evil men. It is possible for man to escape God s inevitable judgment on sin and evil (Why Believe, pg. 80-81) God s goodness consist not only in his justice, but also in his love, mercy, and kindness. Man should thank God that he does not take each man aside and personally punish him for his sin. God created us so he knows that there are traits that lie deep within our character that show through only during suffering. To shield us from this suffering would be robbing us from our fulfillment of life. Is it not true that in Christianity we hold a sense that suffering is punishment from God? Why do we do that? The first thing people say when something in their live goes wrong is “why do I deserve this, what have I done?” To be sure, God is not the all-American, beard stroking grandfather that everyone portrays him to be. He is more of a challenging type of guy. Since God is all powering, people wonder why evil exist. Obviously they don t know why evil is. Evil is that which is against God. It is anything morally bad or wrong. It is injurious, depraved and wicked. Second of all, if we want God to stop evil, do we want him to stop all of it? Evil is in this world partly because we give it it s place and ultimately because God permits it and keeps it under his control. God punished Miriam with leprosy to challenge her authority with Moses, her brother, whom God had appointed a leader. He took David s child, born of an adulterous relationship(http://www.carm.org/40-4.htm#_1_31). People wonder why God doesn t just make us perfect but he already tried that. He created man perfect, Adam, and he sinned, he created woman perfect, Eve, and she sinned. He created a perfect angel, Satan, but too sinned. God knows what he is doing whether we know or not. If we trust in him and let him decide the fate of our lives, we will live prosperous. One of the most profound truths of the Scripture is that God s judgment is proceeded by warning. God does not find pleasure in making man that he created suffer. For he states in Ezekial 33:11 “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?” God is greater than that of man because he is the creator of man. There is the law of cause and effect. Nothing can be produced without a cause and the production of man is an uncaused cause called God. (Why Believe, pg.9) God is sovereign. He has the right to do as he wishes. He has the right to permit evil for accomplishing He ultimately will. It would be quite easy. Look at the cross, it was by evil means that men lied and crucified Jesus. Yet, Jesus took our sins and held them inside of his body for us. It is because of the cross that our sins can be forgiven. The bottom line is that God is so great that nothing happens without His permission, His ultimate plans for us and our universe. In his plans for us, he intends to use good for what man thinks is evil.
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. He is fully God. He is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, has a will, and can speak. He is alive. He is a person. He is not however particularly visible in the Bible because His ministry of Jesus as stated in John 15:26. The Holy Spirit can be compared to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations. God uses his Holy Spirit to enlighten those who serve him. God spirit can supply “power beyond what is normal” to those who serve him (www.watchtower.org/library/it/active_force.htm). By his spirit, God carries out his judgment on men and nations and His spirit can reach everywhere, acting for people or against them. The Bible says that when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit came down upon him appearing like a dove, not like a human form (Mark 1:10). This active force of God enabled Jesus to heal the sick, make the blind see and raise the dead. Although the spirit came down on Jesus in the form of a dove and not a human, the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit in personal terms as well. In the Scriptures however it is not unusual for something to be personified. Wisdom is said to have children in Luke 7:35. Sin and Death are called kings in Romans 5:14 and 21. Similarly in 1 John 5:6-8, not only the spirit but also “blood and water” are said to be “witnesses.” But water and blood are obviously not persons, and neither is the holy spirit a person. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a spirit but it speaks through humans and angels. The action of the Holy Spirit transmits messages to people far away from each other through things like radio and television waves. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as a “helper,” and he said it would teach, guide, and speak. When Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit in John 12:16,26; 16:13, the Greek word that he used for helper was parakletos which is in the masculine form. However, when Jesus referred to what the helper would do, he used masculine pronouns. The Holy Spirit is not a person but it is a part of God. The holy Spirit is God s active force that he uses to accomplish his will. It is a part of God and is always at his disposition. The Holy Spirit will enter into a person s life after they have been saved. After they agree to accept Christ into their lives and love and acknowledge him. The Holy Spirit will stay with that person for the rest of their life and it will help them to make the right decisions and will help their judgment of things. I believe that a person can be filled with the Holy Spirit but I don t think a person can be “empty” of the Holy Spirit. I don t think God would allow someone to live a life of pure humanity. Jesus Christ is God in flesh. “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2,3) Jesus said that if you do not believe that “I am” you will die in your sins. Besides being God in flesh, Jesus is the proper object of faith. It is not enough to have faith because faith is only as valid as what is put into it. Jesus loves every single person that God has put on this earth, for if he didn t he would not have died for us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Many say that the only reason he died for our sins was because God, his Father made him. Children disobey their parents all the time and Jesus had a choice whether he wanted to die for us. If we say Jesus is not the Truth, we are automatically affirming that he is either a liar, a lunatic or a legend. Jesus clearly claimed attributes that only God has, he has immutability, omnipotence, omniscience and more. When a paralytic was let down through a roof and placed at his feet, he said “My son, your sins are forgiven.” (Why Believe, pg.16). If Jesus was not really the son of God and he was a liar or a lunatic, he would not having given the most valuable gift he had to us his life. If Jesus wasn t someone of higher power, explain how he gave his life for our sins and then rose from the dead. The baby Jesus and his parents lived in Nazareth, where he was an unusual child for by the age of twelve, he confounded the scholars and rabbis in Jerusalem. Until he was thirty, he lived in oblivion until he began his own ministry. He began to refer to himself as a remarkable teacher or prophet. He began to say that he was clearly deity. He made who he was the focus of his teaching point. Anyone can preach to people and make themselves look as though they are God but can they heal the sick, make the blind see, and come back from the dead?Many who are not Christians claimed that Jesus did not speak the truth. Talk is cheap. Anyone can say that they are God but the question is do they have the credentials to prove it. Can they heal people, would they give their children for other s sake, do they have the works to prove it? Jesus Christ was sinless. We may read the temptations of Jesus but one has never heard the sins of him. His attributes would not allow him to sin. His basic nature never changes (Hebrew 1:12,13:8). He was holy in eternity past, and would remain holy now. This was his immutability. Falling to temptation shows moral weakness and lack of power and ability. Jesus Christ had infinite power and was therefore, not susceptible to sin. Satan tempts us by attempting to deceive us just as he did God. Jesus had infinite knowledge and could not be deceived (christiananswers) 1 Peter 2:22, “He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips, in him there is no sin.” Jesus Christ, the son of God demonstrated a power over natural forces which could only belong to God. He stilled a raging storm of wind and waves on the Sea of Galilee in Mark 4:41. He turned water into wine, fed 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish, and gave a grieving widow back her only son by raising him from the dead. The deity of Jesus claim was his resurrection from the dead. Five times in the course of his life, he predicted he would die. He also predicted how he would die and that three days later he would raise from the dead. Jesus proclaimed himself to the people of his time. He spoke with authority like no other had done. When spoken to by Peter and called down as the son of God, he did not the deny the fact. When the Jews wanted to stone him for calling himself the son of God, he said, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30-33 refers to how the Jews thought that Jesus Christ was equating himself with God and they did not understand why, even though he had proved himself already. If you died tomorrow, could you rise from the dead with no help from God? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most powerful sign of all that he is who he claims to be. Facts have been proven about the death of Jesus. Jesus actually died due to the rigors of the crucifixion, He was buried. After he was buried, his disciples lost hope, until Jesus tomb was discovered empty a few days later. Then and only then did the disciples believe that this real experience of Jesus rising from the dead. The disciples became proclaimers to his death and resurrection and all were willing to die for this belief. Would you die for something that you believed in if you didn t really believe it? The resurrection was proclaimed in Jerusalem where the empty tomb was found. Many were converted due to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, even James, His brother (Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, Gary Habermas, pg.23) Is it not almost impossible for Jesus to have gone through such a crucifixion to simply get up and walk out of his tomb? The Roman soldiers clearly proved that Jesus was dead when they poured a mixture of his blood and water out of a wound that they made. Jesus suffered on the cross, and the Apostle explains the suffering in Romans 3:25. Christ s death was not optional, for it was central to God s plan of salvation. Two things happen when we sin; one to God and one to ourselves. When we sin, God is offended for he gave his only Son to clear you of your sins. We are breaking God s Law. Also, when we sin, we are killed. We will not drop dead right on the spot, for we will suffer a far more severe death, “eternal separation from God.” (Isaiah 59:2) God hates sin and sin must be punished. Because of our sins, God had to give his only Son to die for our sins, there was no other way. Man is not only the crown of creation but he is also the object of God s special care. Man was originally made pure, without sin. “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27) Man is divided into three parts, Body, Soul and Spirit just as God. The origin of the soul does not come directly from the Bible but rather from the history of it. Man was created in the image of God. Man has moral and intellectual abilities similar to God though not as perfect and vast. “God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness ” (Genesis 1:26) God created all to be born without sin just as Adam and Eve but because of the sin that they committed, all men now sin. God created them with his Law written on their hearts and until Satan came to deceive them, they were pure. Adam and Eve are to blame for man s sinful condition. Man can do nothing but follow the Lord and obey him and his sins will be forgiven. Theoretically speaking, a Christian is someone who has received the Lord Jesus as Savior, trusts Him for the forgiveness of sins and puts trust in his own efforts to please God. To get God into your life, you have to ask him. You have to invite him into your life to have a pure and devout relationship with him. If you want to inherit an eternal life, you must live by the Law of God and trust in Him at all times. Once you have received God into your life, He will always be there with you. Just communicate to Him, teach about Him and learn more about Him. Obviously God s love for you is deep because He gave his son Jesus Christ to die for you. Just accept Him into your life and live by and under Him and that will be the thanks that he wants. Once you become a Christian, God will not hate you for anything. God doesn t hate anyone. Because Jesus died for you, you can ask for His forgiveness. God forgives everyone for their sins, you just have to let Him into your life. Through its prophetic and direct statements, the Bible reveals the indisputable fact of Christ s Resurrection. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter stated in Acts 2:27 “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we all are witnesses.” Many eyewitnesses who saw the resurrection of our Christ have given us proof. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also revived how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas. Then of the twelve: after that He was seen of above five hundred brethen at once.” (Corinth. 15:3-6) Without doubt, the empty tomb shows that Christ has risen. Because Jesus rose from the grave for me and for you, certain blessings and promises are afforded to those who have put faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. The Resurrection proves that Christ is sacrificial of accepting the payment of God for our sins. He shed His blood for us. He was killed because God accepted the death of his Son as the only payment of forgiveness of our sins. Christ is the firstborn from the dead. He was resurrected from the grave and the promise is that we will be similarly raised as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. The resurrection is a fact that Jesus lives today. He imparts life to those who believe in Him and in His Father. The Lord died to pay the penalty for your sins!! He rose victoriously from the grave! Believe in Him and you he will come back to us to. John 5:24, “I say unto you, He that heareth my Word and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”Why does God send people to hell? The Scriptures tell us that God sends no one to hell, people send themselves to hell. God has done all he can do for us to be forgiven, redeemed, cleansed and made fit for heaven. All we have to do is believe in the Lord, communicate with him and have faith in him. If we choose to receive his gift to us then we will go to heaven, if we choose to refuse this gift, God has no option but to give us our choice. Heaven, for the person that does not want to be there, would be hell. Believe in God and there is no doubt that you will live an eternal life with Him. If you do not trust in God and believe in Him then how can you have a life with Him after you die. I believe that once you die, your body stays on earth and your spirit is taken to Heaven by the Holy Spirit and there you stay and can have that eternal relationship with God. I believe that once you maintain that relationship for God for a while, you will become an angel sent to watch over someone and help them to learn about God and how to accept Him.