It has been around 2,000 years since Jesus left earth, and many wonder why he has taken so long to return. In his book, Why I Am Not a Christian, atheist Bertrand Russell accused Jesus of breaking his promise to return.¹ So is it possible that Russell is right, and Jesus did break his promise? [Read more...]
In the centuries prior to Constantine’s reign over the Roman Empire, Christians had been severely persecuted. But then, while entrenched in warfare, Constantine reported to have seen a bright image of a cross in the sky inscribed with the words “Conquer by this.” He marched into battle under the sign of the cross and took control of the empire.
Constantine’s apparent conversion to Christianity was a watershed in church history. Rome became a Christian empire. For the first time in nearly 300 years it was relatively safe, and even cool, to be a Christian.
No longer were Christians persecuted for their faith. Constantine then sought to unify his Eastern and Western Empires, which had been badly divided by schisms, sects, and cults, centering mostly around the issue of Jesus Christ’s identity.
These are some of the kernels of truth author Dan Brown uses in The Da Vinci Code, and kernels of truth are a prerequisite for any successful conspiracy theory. But the book’s plot turns Constantine into a conspirator. So let’s address a key question raised by Brown’s theory: did Constantine invent the Christian doctrine of Jesus’ divinity? [Read more...]
In Genesis, the God of the Bible is revealed as Creator of everything from the tiny atom to the magnitude of space with its billions of galaxies. Thus, it would have been heresy for a Jew to think an angel or any other created being was the Creator. Isaiah confirms that God (Yahweh) is the Creator:
“This is what the Lord, the Creator and Holy One of Israel says…I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the millions of stars are at my command….I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!” (Isaiah 45:11a, 12, 13b)
So, did the apostles view Jesus as part of creation, or as the Creator? [Read more...]
The tomb was indeed empty. But it wasn’t the mere absence of a body that could have galvanized Jesus’ followers (especially if they had been the ones who had stolen it). Something extraordinary must have happened, for the followers of Jesus ceased mourning, ceased hiding, and began fearlessly proclaiming that they had seen Jesus alive. [Read more...]
No serious historian really doubts Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the cross. However, many have questioned how Jesus’ body disappeared from the tomb. English journalist Dr. Frank Morison initially thought the resurrection was either a myth or a hoax, and he began research to write a book refuting it.¹ The book became famous–but for reasons other than its original intent! [Read more...]
“Marley was deader than a doornail, of that there was no doubt.” So begins Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the author not wanting anyone to be mistaken as to the supernatural character of what is soon to take place. In the same way, before we take on the role of CSI (crime scene investigator) and piece together evidence for a resurrection, we must first establish that there was, in fact, a corpse. After all, occasionally the newspapers will report on some “corpse” in a morgue who was found stirring and recovered. Could something like that have happened with Jesus? [Read more...]
Why did we get these incredibly complex brains with both the hardware and software for language? And where did consciousness and acts of heroism come from? Is there any evolutionary explanation for these uniquely human qualities? [Read more...]
Once again this year, the American Atheists launched a Christmastime campaign baselessly claiming that Jesus is no more than a mythical character. This year’s campaign placed a billboard in New York’s Times Square which urged people to “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” A picture of a smiling Santa Claus appears above “Keep the Merry!” A picture of a statue of Jesus is then displayed with a caption underneath that reads, “Dump the Myth!”
The billboard speaks of Jesus as mythical, but no leading scholar, Christian or secular, believes Jesus didn’t exist. In fact, his life has influenced our planet more than any other person. [Read more...]
Does the world end in 2012? December 21, 2012 is the end date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar¹, which some have interpreted as a prediction of the end of the world. [Read more...]
You may believe that aliens have sent life to Earth from a far distant galaxy (the premise of that memorable drama from 2004, AVP: Alien vs. Predator). You may believe that the American government is hiding something outer spatial in Nevada’s mysterious Area 51. Or you may simply believe that there is undoubtedly intelligent life on other planets. In any case, we have all been raised on the assumption that, given enough time, intelligent life will spring up anywhere in the cosmos (with perhaps a few more eyeballs or reptilian features). Yet new evidence from cosmology is really saying the opposite. [Read more...]