When talking to some Mormon missionaries in March I encountered an interesting line of thinking. One of the elders gave the standard claim that the Bible is missing books that should have been included.
I asked, “Which ones?”
He answered: Works that the Bible makes mention of.
So I asked, “So, mere mention of a work in scripture (of something presumably written by another prophet) indicates that the work should have been included in the canon as scripture?”
They answered, “Yes, because what prophets write should be considered scripture.”
This later was downgraded to a more modest claim: That the majority of what prophets write for public consumption should be considered scripture.
This is the default, functioning, practical view of mainstream Mormonism:
“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Article #9)
This is “functionally” (in practice) taken to encompass most of what the LDS Church teaches and publishes, especially General Conference messages. I call this approach prima ecclesia. (It is far different than the standard LDS apologetic approach, which is something akin to sola scriptura.)
Just to dig this in, I asked: “Would you agree that prophets should be held to a high standard of expectation and accountability over what they publicly teach about God and the gospel?”
They answered, “Yes.”
These kinds of principles are important to pull out and explicate. Get them on the table. Help your Mormon neighbor commit to these principles — out loud. With words they commit to. This might seem simple but it’s radical. It implicitly presses the point that prophets should not be given a free pass for false teachings — especially and most obviously for public false teachings about God and the gospel which are never repented of.
The more clear and heavy you make the point, the more powerful things like Adam-God and the priesthood ban are. Jesus said to inspect alleged prophets by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20). Serious fruit-inspection is a way of obeying Jesus. We’re also helping Mormons obey their own scripture: to study things out in their mind instead of depending on mere emotional epiphanies (D&C 9:7-8). I love what my friend Matt says about fruit-inspection: “Don’t do it with binoculars.” Peel the skin off and get dirty. It’s our responsibility.
Cannon should be canon and Da Vinchi should be Da Vinci code.
Sorry about the ever present poor spelling and grammar.
I can’t recall the discussion but one of our posters advised another (poster) recently to basically begin living in the New Covenant. When Ralph and our other Mormon posters want to live under the Old Covenant and the Law (albeit even LDS Law), it shows that they are not under the Blood of the Lamb. Christ’s sacrifice freed us from the Law. We no longer obey by the letter but by the Spirit. Something keeps running through my mind: If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is in you, though your body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive through righteousness. We live by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s righteousness is imputed to us by faith in Christ. We don’t earn anything. It’s a gift.
The reason, I believe, that Mormons want to live under the Old Covenant is because it had a lot of rules and regulations. It also has some sort of mystical attraction to them, thinking they have a prophet just like the OT prophets.
Who are the NT prophets? Are there any? Are there any born again Christian prophets alive today?
Let’s face it. Mormonism is a hybrid version of all sorts of ideas that was created by Joseph Smith and those who followed him. I can never figure out why the LDS folks follow these guys when their track record is so dismal and what they taught can so easily be dismissed.
Like I said, Some men aren’t looking for anything logical like Truth. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to Believe.
Every time I read the title of our article, it looks like “The Mormon Book of Lost Logic”. I’m serious. I’m not being sarcastic. I think Mormons would be better off just saying that they believe what they do because they like it and it makes them feel good. That would be honest and they wouldn’t have to defend it.
I can’t remember who the former Mormon poster was but when asked why he left said, “I just got tired of trying to defend Mormonism.”
I’m sure there are Mormons who really like dressing-up in the costumes, going to the LDS temples and participating in the rituals. They love the idea of forever families and dad becoming a god and mom a goddess. There are probably also those who like the rules and living a clean and wholesome life and appearing righteous.
So why not just go with my suggestion? Well there is a group known as “social Mormons”.
My point is, why even mess around with coming up with absolutely unsustainable “evidence” regarding “lost books of the Bible”, the BoM, the BoA, polygamy on-and-on-and-on.
Just say, “I like it!” and leave it at that.
This issue of ” lost books ” is a easy problem that your prophet can fix . He receives on going
direction from God to guide your church so why has’nt this issue been rectified ? Why is he not
going to restore any alleged ” lost “epistles of the New Testament to the official canonized
number of N.T. books that Mormons accept today ? You feel the Bible should contain more
books , yet your prophet does’nt seem to want ask God to reveal to him what these are and place
them in the Bible canon . So to me this is a silly argument , and as I stated earlier it is simply a
red herring — a diversion to convince people that these lost books contain doctrines that are
necessary to believe to have a correct understanding of God and salvation , doctrines that
more clearly vindicate what Mormon leaders claim about God’s identity and such .
This makes it easier for unsuspecting people to accept Mormonism as Jesus’ church and gospel
of salvation . It’s a clever tactic : try to convince people that the Bible is’nt sufficient , thus a
correct knowledge necessary to receive salvation was not available to man for centuries, but
this was all fixed because a prophet came on the scene in 1830 and claimed to have exclusive
authority from God to rectify this problem . Now salvation was again available to mankind !
Apostasy made the true gospel unavailable for 1700 years according to Mormon leaders .
Sorry Ralph but that type of claim is what we would expect from false prophets who come on
the scene in the latter days —– Mormon prophets are such prophets . Mk 13:22-23 .
I think the BoM and the BoA and possibly the D&C and the Journal of Discourses cover the bases for the lost books of the Bible. Then throw in everything that Brigham Young ever said and the King Follet sermon and you’re in bonus territory.
I don’t know what Mormons could possible get out of the Bible since they view it as corrupt because it doesn’t contain any Mormonism. The Bible is really an ancillary text to Mormons and I to am waiting for a Mormon to tell us what parts of the (Bible) are corrupted.
You’re right. The LDS prophet ought to be able to clear it all up or perhaps we’ll have to wait for Warren Jeffs to do it. At least he practices real Mormonism.
Falcon said: “I think the BoM and the BoA and possibly the D&C and the Journal of Discourses cover the bases for the lost books of the Bible. Then throw in everything that Brigham Young ever said and the King Follet sermon and you’re in bonus territory.”
Except, of course, everything else that makes the church look bad. Those were never REALLY said, and if they were, it was only his opinion…
Let’s face it. Mormons accept Mormonism emotionally and then try to justify it logically. The problem is, the logic is faulty. In fact it comes across more than a little nutty. We’ve had more than one Mormon report that the FAIR/FARMS apologetic approach was more of a turn-off than faith building. In-other-words they found it so embarrassing that it led to further erosion of their faith.
FAIR/FARMS helps the TBM Kool-Aid drinkers because it provides something for them to grasp a hold of as doubts begin to enter their minds regarding Joseph Smith, the BoM, and the LDS church. There is a tipping point that is hard to recover from.
Falcon, yup. And we’ve all heard the line about how faith in face of such adversarial evidence is a virtue in Mormonism. In no other area of their lives would they hold such a standard. It is baffling to me, too.
I guess people have to make a choice of which prophets/ apostles to receive instruction from
in order to correctly understand who God is and how to be forgiven , reconciled to Him and
receive eternal life with the fullest of blessings thereof : Either the prophets and apostles in
the Bible , or the men who 1700 years after Jesus’ apostles died off, claim to be their modern
day counterparts i.e. Mormon apostles . That spiritual safety is involved here goes without
saying — Matt 24:11 . God preserved His word but not enough of it according to Mormon
leaders . We disagree . Since He preserved His word then the Bible will contain enough to grant
anyone reading it and accepting what the apostles taught will know enough about Him and how
to be saved . That squares more with common sense than what Mormons claim .
Mormon apostles claim that the writings of Jesus’ apostles which contained the truths they
taught — the gospel that saves Rom 1:16 — were corrupted , lost , and thus truths necessary
to know about God and salvation were not able to be known by mankind for many centuries
until 1830 . This is why we need Mormon apostles — they have allegedly been used by God to
fix the ” lost writings ” problem , and thus salvation is now through submitting only to them
and accepting their teachings .
Once we look into what these alleged modern day apostles of Jesus taught about God, Jesus ,
and salvation , we can see why the right choice to avoid spiritual deception is to keep with
the bedrock of the christian faith , as the Bible has been called , and not been detoured into
following latter days prophets / apostles who attempt to imitate Jesus’ true apostles so that
people will accept their teachings — 2Cor 11:4, 13 . The Mormon people have been detoured,
and our hearts break for these precious people .
I thank God for MRM and those who run this ministry and also for those here who take time
to use this venue to reach out to the Mormon people with the love and truth of Jesus .
Man am I late to this party. Just wanted to comment to Ralph on his post about no living on bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God.
Sometimes the arguments on here really make me laugh. Consider when God spoke to ALL of Israel at Mt. Sinai. He spoke instructions to them about how they were to live, how they approached God, and how they dealt with eachother. The people whined about food and God sent bread from heaven. They were thirsty and he gave them water. Although the bread and water give life to the body the body will eventually die. If we eat of the words of God, in otherwords apply them to our lives and allow them to nourish our soul than it will bring life to us. We will have life in this world and in the world to come. His instructions give us life!
That passage has absolutely nothing to do with what books are included in the bible. That is silly.
One more thing. The word epistle in that passage means letter. He wanted them to share the letters with the other believers in order to provide encouragement to eachother and to update them on what was happening. They did not view these letters as holy writings during those days. Any scriptures that were considered holy writings were the OT scriptures. Paul never said “hey go get my holy letters I sent you last week, ya right there in the arc next to the Torah”. My goodness. Do you see how crazy that sounds? That is nonsense.
Well, Catty, some believe Paul’s writings may have been viewed as scripture at the time.
See this from 2 Peter 3:
14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
If anything is certain, its that people took Paul very seriously, even at the time of his writing the letters.
You’re a off kilter with your statement about Paul’s letters to the christian congregations
scattered about . If they accepted him as a apostle they accepted his teachings as authoritive.
He taught the fuller revelation on the things about Jesus , salvation , contained in the O.T.
It’s why we have the N.T. record . Sadly Mormons have been taught to think the N.T .
record was not preserved with enough of the gospel truths necessary for a person to accept
in order to know correctly who God / Jesus were , to be forgiven and receive eternal life .
That particular ” problem” lasted many many centuries , until 1830 . That scenario is a lie .
The O.T. is awesome . The N.T. is where we learn that it’s Messiah has finally come .
Jesus is that Messiah . For us to know God in a fullfilling, intimate way now is through a
personal meeting with the risen Messiah , Jesus . see Matt 11:28 .
Do you like talking about Jesus ? Do you desire to verbally offer praise to Him in prayer?
To glorify the Father properly is to honor His Son as you would honor Him — Jn 5: 23 —
that pleases Him .
Please ponder these things .
MJP and Mike R,
I have already tried to comment twice from my phone and it wouldn’t post.
Remember who Paul was. He was highly respected in the Synagogue and among the leaders of the community. He was probably the most educated among the apostles in understanding the writings of the Torah and the Prophets because of who he studied under. People respected his interpretations of the scriptures because of that and because of his education he probably was difficult to understand sometimes. Paul was not a prophet and neither were any of the other sent ones (apostles). But Pauls opinion was respected because of who he was. His writings were not considered Holy like the Torah and the Prophets. They were not the same back then.
I am not saying to throw out the new testament accounts, im just saying to consider how the people of that time would have received these writings during their times from a Hebrew perspective.
I know that I am correct on the interpretation of that passage about living by bread alone.
I have considered how the people with a Hebrew perspective in N.T. times would have received Paul’s writings . They no doubt were leary . But after hearing men who also grew up with a
Hebrew perspective such as Paul , Peter , John etc , preach about Messiah they realized that
the O.T. prophecies were fullfilled in Jesus of Nazarath . He is the long awaited Savior . Paul and
Peter record some of their experiences how more of their fellow Jews also became believers in
Jesus . Their message — Acts 13:32-39 . Do you want to join Paul and many others like them
who found the Messiah and gave Him the adoration and honor He deserves , or will you be like
some people who let pride stumble them over this —Acts 13:45-46 .
If Jesus is the Messiah then He will be your focus , because He is the Way , the Truth , and the
Praying for you to discover this life changing truth soon
Catty, be that as it may be, it still does not change the reverence to scripture Paul’s writings of his contemporaries.
Now, in the 2 Peter passage I quoted, Peter says Paul’s writings can be hard to understand. Do you understand them?
here is a summary of the way that God speaks to his people
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world………………..It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,
(Heb 1:1 to 2:2)
The OT is about the Christ who was to come the NT is about the Christ who came. It really is quite simple
The recipients of Paul’s letters would have immediately recognized the ones that “attested” in a special way to the great salvation that God proclaimed through his SON.
Those writings along with the rest of the writings of “those who heard” that met the same condition are the New Testament.
Other writings did not make the cut no matter who they were authored by or what they claimed for themselves
Again this really is quite simple. No secret conspiracy, No slowly developing canon.
Just God speaking to his people and his sheep hearing his voice
Read all of psalms 2 in context. That passage is referring to Israel the nation. There are many places where Israel is called Gods son. I dont know why Paul chose to interpret that passage as referring to an individual. Psalms 1 is speaking of those who are righteous and do what is right and Psalms 3 is speaking of when David was fleeing from Absalom. These are not speaking of “that last day” or any prophetic time. So how can 2 suddenly stand alone as prophesy about the Messiah? There are no seperations or chapters in a Torah scroll. It is one text so it must be read as one text and in context.
Its interesting to see you write this, too:
“I am not saying to throw out the new testament accounts, im just saying to consider how the people of that time would have received these writings during their times from a Hebrew perspective.”
I have to ask, have you thrown out the New Testament?
Psalm 2 – Israel being God’s son. Yet, most Rabbi’s can see that Psalm 2 is an interpretation referring to King David not Israel. Why is this?
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Verse 12)
Can anyone take refuge in Israel? Can a non-Jewish nation take refuge in an Israel at the time of the Psalms?
Rashii, the famous Hebrew Scholar and Rabbi discusses this as referring to David, not Israel.
[ We find further concerning David (Ps. 89:27) “He shall call Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’” ]
Since Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of the Messianic line, then Paul is using this passage in a Messianic way, the same way Jesus applied the Scriptures that prophesied about his coming.
Read Matt. 22:44 – to see how Jesus used the Psalms to apply to himself.
Hope that helps.
Jesus is the long awaited Messiah . Multitudes of people with ” Hebrew perspective ” discovered
that truth and highly educated Jewish leaders like Paul were used by God to reach them .
What the blood of bulls and goats could not do , Jesus as the lamb of God accomplished — His
shed blood pays the penalty for our sin once for all , so that we can be reconciled to God .
Either you are going to discover this beautiful and wonderful fact or you won’t . But arguing
with Paul over his view of O.T. scriptures is’nt going to convince me to join you and miss out
on the Savior . He saved those who had a hebrew perspective 2000 years ago who bowed
before Him and He still saves anyone who will follow their example today .
I’m confident that if you keep reading the O.T. you’ll one day come to understand why there
is a new testament , and together we have a history of who God is and His love for all
peoples exhibited by how He sent His Son to be the Savior for sinners like you and me .
Now this discussion has gotten away from the thread topic so it’s time for me to move on .
Hope you ponder what has been said here .
You said, “Read all of psalms 2 in context. That passage is referring to Israel the nation. There are many places where Israel is called Gods son. I dont know why Paul chose to interpret that passage as referring to an individual.”
The Apostles did not make this up, but the Lord Himself revealed this to His Apostles. John 5:39-40: “‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.'”
Christ testifies that the Scriptures (all of the OT that they “search”) bear witness to Christ. Then after the Lord’s resurrection, He tells his Apostles Luke 24:44-45: “He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”
If you are reading the Psalms and not seeing Christ in every one then you are reading them in the way that Christ has rebuked. David—and all writers of the Scriptures—were writing themselves, but let’s not forget the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that caused and completed each writer’s work. If you are part of a denomination that is not preaching Christ out of every chapter of the OT then you seriously need to find another denomination to join, or if you are part of a non-denominational church with absolutely no accountability to any other church and they don’t teach the apostolic faith then you seriously need to find a different church to join.
Well said MistakenTestimony
After all of the research that I did on lds and christianity I had decided to convert to a different faith altogether. For the past year I have invested a lot of time, money, and research into this because I thought it was the right path to take. However I have since found some things that I dont agree with in their additional writings as well so that process is on hold and for the time being I do not attend any place of worship. I have some questions that need to be answered and honestly im not sure they can be. I considered trying out a christian church last weekend but I couldnt bring myself to go in because I know that there are things
that will be said that I wont agree with.
I am not a person who can settle with the answer of just have faith. I have to know why. I have to see how things line up with the OT. I dont know why I wasnt like this wiwhen I joined theLDS church . If I would have been then I never would have been misled. I wont allow that to happen again. I know that I am responsible for what I believe and what path I choose to take. I know that one day I will give an account for each bit of information I was provided
You said, “I am not a person who can settle with the answer of just have faith.”
Amen, I wish I heard this more often. I can’t either. Nobody here is saying, “just have faith.” what separates Christianity from other religions? We have maps in our holy book. Our entire religion hangs on the historical event of the resurrection, who was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. This is not just a matter of faith, this is rational philosophy. Belief in God is a not a matter of just “having faith”. It is incredibly illogical to believe that anything can emerge out of absolute nothingness; for someone to say “in the beginning” with regards to absolute nothing is just as absurd as saying that nothing exploded.
And you are defining “faith” in a non-biblical way. You are saying “believe” whereas the Word of God only knows of “trust.” It is the opposite of Christian philosophy to be fideistic (look up that word, please, “fideism”). Christianity knows nothing of a Moroni’s Promise type of emistemology. We believe these things not for the sake of believing in something. We trust these things because they are consistently true. We only can believe in the promises Christ gives His church when we trust in who He claimed to be and proved Himself to actually be.
“I have some questions that need to be answered and honestly im not sure they can be.”
This could only be for 1 of 3 reasons. First, you have rhetorical questions which are not questions at all. Or, you have far outleft field questions like wondering if God could create something so big that He could not have dominion over it. Or, you have questions that you really want to keep as questions rather than hear an answer. Your questions are in group three I’m sure. A question not worth discussing is not a question worth asking even to yourself.
“I considered trying out a christian church last weekend but I couldnt bring myself to go in because I know that there are things that will be said that I wont agree with.”
I say, Good for you. Far too many people go to church who don’t have any trust in the Lord. What caused the liberalism for the 19th and 20th centuries was people in the position you are currently in became the majority and changed their churches from the inside out. If you don’t believe don’t go, don’t feel bad about that. My only question is, who is discipling you now so that you can be regrafted into the body of Christ?
If you have truly “invested a lot of time, money, and research into this”, then who is discipling you in the moment of you making shipwreck of your faith? Surely somebody cares that you are AWOL at church? Or does nobody care from your church? I can tell you that we care, and not in a facade of love bombing.
Thanks that is nice of you to say. 🙂
I have a skype group that I study with once a week. The pastor of that group is the one that explained to me that I would be making a huge mistake by converting to this other faith (the one I was really invested in). Im sure you would agree with him because that faith rejects the NT.
I have a lot of friends in my community but a lot of them are not spiritual or we have very different beliefs about scripture. God and the bible are no longer topics that are legal to discuss between me and my family.
Its a long story. I think if I wrote a book about my spiritual journey over the last two years no one would believe it. Its just to much to go into on a blog.
Very well then. The Spirit is living and active through the preaching of the Gospel from the Word of God. Nobody is going to be converted through debating or raional conviction, but through the God who saves lost men. So then if you have had the Gospel proclaimed to you and you have walked away after believing or have never really believed then there is really nothing that I can do. I wish you the best then, but I can’t wish you the best that I would offer a brother in Christ but rather the best that the world can offer as you struggle through and attempt to cope with this hell we live in on earth. So I wish you the best, and I pray that you will return to the rock of your salvation.
But just so know that I do not simply have faith for the sake of having faith and so you know that I am not asking you to do that either, what are your questions that you do not believe that anyone can answer? Why hold back, what do you have to lose so far?
The things that I am struggling with have to do with the NT. Mainly the timeline that the writings were done and the identity of JC.
Something that I find quite disturbing about the NT is the timeline of the writings. Do you realize that most of the NT was written by Paul yet he does not record anything about the life of JC since he never actually met JC. Another interesting thing is that the only book written before Pauls writings was James who of course was the brother to Jesus. James was written between 43-58. This website has a good timeline http://www.visitingpreacher.org/ntbooksdate.html.
Notice that all of Pauls writings come before the gospels. Why is that? Seems to me that the life of the messiah, the works of the messiah, and how he fulfilled prophecy are more important from the standpoint of those who actually met and walked with him than someone who just saw a vision. This doesn’t make sense to me. John was the last books to have been written and yet he is the one that “made straight the path of the Lord” and was “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”. I don’t understand. The only two books written in Jeruselem were Jude and James and honestly those are the two books that I find to be most authentic.
Another thing that disturbs me is that there are many places in the OT that say that God is one/Echad. That no man can see His face and live. Also that there is no one who is like God. There is no God before Him and no God after him.
Exodus 8:10 , Deut 4:35, Deut 4:39, Deut 32:39, Deut 6:4, 2 Samuel 7:22, 2 Samuel 22:32, 1 Kings 8:60, 2 Kings 19:15, 1 Chronicles 17:20, Nehemiah 9:6, Psalm 18:31, Isaiah 37:20, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 44:8, Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 45:14, Isaiah 45:18
OT states that there is no other Savior besides God himself. Isaiah 45:21
States that God will be the one who is King in the last day. Zechariah 14:9
OT states that God is not a man. Numbers 23:19 We cannot see the face of God and live Exodus 33:20.
The pagans had many Gods and many demi Gods. It was easy for them to accept God becoming a human and the virgin birth. But the OT states that there is only ONE God. I have considered the idea that the Angel of the Lord (not michael the arch angel) could be JC/Yeshua (whatever you want to call him) but is he God? And if he is than how does that fit with all those other scriptures. It has to line up. If he is God than I guess he is allowed to offer forgiveness, but then how is he a man. See it just goes in a circle.
I am seriously trying to believe in the NT but im struggling with making all these things add up. Its not that I am being rebellious, or argumentative. I am seriously TRYING to make sense of the NT. But I keep hitting walls on these points and these are very important points that I have to have answers to. These are the same points that we demand the LDS to be critical of in their doctrine and scriptures but often expect christians to brush under the rug and have faith when it comes to accepting it in the NT. It cant be a double standard.
My response to you is currently in mod jail but I just wanted to add that its not just about hearing. Children all over the world hear about Santa Claus and believe he is real. They even act on their beliefs by leaving cookies and milk for him. Hearing more stories about him doesnt make him more real tho. What happens when one of those kids has doubt or questions the logic behind Santa? How does he get down those chimneys? What about kids without chimneys? How does he get to everyone in one night? Nevermind the flying reindeer. And that is the night the kid stays up and hides in the livingroom only to find out his parents have created quite a glamorous charade.
I believe in God and the OT claims. There is more than enough evidence to support that. Im struggling with my belief in JC as messiah and God. Im also struggling with the timeline of the writings of the NT. I think the NT does support the OT in many ways. It certainly doesnt teach against it. But how do I accept it? God breathed or a writing of man? Thats where im at.
I see. Well, I can accept the NT as the Word of God because I accept Jesus as Lord. Since Christ is who He claims He is, then I can accept His Apostles, And since I accept his Apostles then I can accept what they said, and since I can accept what they said about the Scriptures then I can accept that they are what the Apostles claimed, the very Word of God. Now all of this falls apart if Jesus is not Lord, correct? If you believe that there is just as much evidence for the existence of Santa Claus as there is for the divinity of Christ then you are simply ignorant of the facts. Everything hangs on the resurrection. If Christ was not raised then we are to be pitied above all men. Do you know how much evidence there is for the resurrection of the Lord? Do you know that Atheists and practicing Jews have acknowledged when looking at the evidence that the tomb was in fact empty? Would you like resources to read from former non-believers who have converted after weighing all the evidence? But men are not automatons who are simply fed data, then they all process the data the same way then come to the same conclusion. If that were the case then we would not need to preach the gospel, we would just need to present the data and then everyone would believe. Simple enough, right? But let’s not deny our humanity here. People are stubborn, and liars, and wrathful, and hard hearted. This is why no one is saved by merely processing data, but rather by the work of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word.
Why stop at the Lordship of Christ, though? I have not yet heard you question the very existence of God? If God doesn’t exist then everything falls apart. Christianity knows nothing of “blind faith” or “a leap into the dark.” Belief in the existence God is rational and philosophically defensible, belief in the lordship of Christ is rational and historically defensible. I am not saved because I made a leap of faith, I am saved because of the trust that God has given me in the promises that Christ has given to His church. Santa Clause is a blind jump, the LDS religion is based purely on the subjectivity of an existential state that completely ignores all evidence external to oneself.
First, let me state that if you don’t wish to read what I have to say, just skip this post. No worries at all. We all are here to help you find the answers you need. We realize however, that no matter what we say, we can’t change your mind alone. We are sympathetic to that, and I hope we don’t come across as bashing you over the head. That’s not our intent, I believe. Its certainly not mine. All I try to do is present information or ask questions to get you thinking about your beliefs. I never try to assume I know more than you, or anything of the sort.
You are right. Its a tough thing to accept: the NT was written by God just as the OT was written by God. How do we know? There is so much written on this that I won’t even begin to summarize it here.
A good book to read is The Case for Christ, by Lee Streobel. He actually started out trying to disprove the Bible and had many of the same questions you ask above. His research and findings are really quite interesting.
As to the question of how do you accept it? I don’t know that one. I could tell you to just accept it, but I know that is not satisfactory. I could tell you to pray about it, but that’s no more compelling than is a Mormon telling you to pray about Moroni. I can tell you to study this, that, or the other, and while you may see the logic (or not) accepting it is something entirely different. So, I won’t tell you anything about accepting it. There may or may not be a better answer. I will, however, continue to pray for you.
Now on your post from limbo that just appeared,
John the Baptist did not write the Gospel of John or his letters. You need to do more research on the composition on the NT canon.
Regarding the question of grappling with the Son of God and His two natures, do your historical research on the Third and Fourth Ecumenical Councils. Understand that these have already been grappled and defined Scripturally when combatting the Nestorians and the Monophysites.
And on your grappling with the Oneness of God (Tawhid in Islam) you just need to return the ancient creeds. I will provide you the Athanasian Creed in full:
“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.
“Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.”
None of this is new or damning, the only thing that is new is your ignorance (and I absolutely do not mean in any way “stupidity”) of Christian orthodoxy.
Catty, I just saw your post regarding the specificity of your questions. I’ll just briefly address one of them: the Trinity. First, the you are not the first person to be tripped up by the Trinity. It is truly a difficult doctrine, and every single one of us can put words to it but can never fully capture the meaning.
As evidence for OT support for the Trinity, a good place to start is in Genesis 1. Right off the bat, we see that God’s Spirit is hovering over the waters. In verse 26 of Genesis one we read: “26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind…” Do you see the pronoun used?
There is much more in the Old Testament to speak to the Trinity.
Exactly. But Gen 1:1 also shows the Son when God “said.” That is the Word of God, who was with God and was God. So in the very first verse of the Bible we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom God calls “Us.” And MJP is right, the Trinity is all over the OT.
MT, just to clarify, you are referring to John 1 there with the Word of God reference. I clarify for the sake of any readers who may not know what it is you are referring to.
No, Genesis 1 we see the Trinity. 1:2-3a says, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said…” So in this we don’t just see the Holy Spirit but we also the Son who is the very Word of God. This is further reinforced in 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image,” as you pointed out earlier. I was just reinforcing your point by showing that Gen 1 doesn’t just show the Spirit, it shows all three persons of the Trinity active in creation. The reference to the Word of God is from John 1, however, as you also pointed out.
I misread what you said. Yes, just to clarify I referenced John 1 without acknowledging it, sorry.
I agree and appreciate the clarification, and it is hammered home in John 1, where the Word of God was the beginning, was with God, and was God, and the Word made everything.
I think we are on the same page, but just want to be clear for anyone reading.
I do understand how the Trinity can be confusing, but it is clearly scriptural and these two books very much go hand in hand. You can reach the same conclusion by reading both independently of each other.
I read everyones comments. I appreciate the feedback and I dont feel like your beating me over the head. I actually hace that book. It was given to me a year ago. I forgot I had it. I just wasnt open to reading it at that time.
I dont know anything about islam except that Mohammeds lineage is a fraud just like the rest of that religion.
The torah was written in Hebrew and a portion of it was written in Aramaic such and portions of Daniel.
The Hebrew says Shema Yisroel, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echad. Hear oh Israel the Lord is God, the Lord is One.
Catty, Glad to hear I’m not overbearing. You should read it, if you get the chance/time. It really is quite informative.
Commenting on an aspect of your response to Mistakentestimony, we do claim that the Lord is one. Yet as I demonstrated above, God uses the term “Us” to describe himself in Genesis. This is a question that finds an answer in the Trinity.