You believe the bible is gods word because it (the bible) says so. You believe god is the creator of the bible because it (the bible) says so. You believe the bible is perfect because god wrote it and he is perfect and you know this because the bible says so. The bible proves god and god proves the bible. All these lines of evidence come down to words on a page in a book. What about If either was wrong you're the whole fails but you would never know as there is not external reference. I could write the same on a piece of paper; would that make it right? No as it would be circular reasoning to assume that the two pieces of evidence (both presented only on that piece of paper) add up to proof. There would in this case only be one source of evidence and so with no corroboration (and to prove an extraordinary claim extraordinary corroborative evidence is required) the evidence is circular. One proves the other which proves the one which is a circular argument and so logically false.
My response is in Green:
Thanks for telling me what I believe. There is just one problem, you got it wrong. You make a bunch of assumptions with no basis at all.
Before I go any further, let me say right up front, that I am not here to prove anything to you or to convert you or to force my views on you, however, since you wrote me I will assume you would like to hear my response. In the end I have no illusions, you will believe whatever you want to believe. You will either be open to looking at things intellectually or you will be closed minded and no matter what I say or its validity you won't look at it objectively. I wanted to point that out so that if you think you can distract me or crush me by refusing to listen to my points, you won't. Been there done that. I will, however, respond as if you are a true seeker of truth who is interested in my view.
First you assume that I believe the Bible is God's Word just because it says it is. Further you believe that I believe God wrote it because again it says so. Both have an element of truth in them, but you are wrong on the overall assumption. I have looked at the Bible objectively, have you? Have you read it? You can tell me anything you want, because I have no way of knowing the truth, but you can't lie to yourself. You have either truly read the Bible and looked objectively at what it says, or you are only parroting what you have heard. There is no third option. So if you have never really read it and taken a deep look at what it says and what it means, you owe it to yourself to do so.
As I said I have. I grew up in a Christian home and was taught that the Bible was God's Word. That was fine while I was a child, but you know what I grew up in the age of distrust and true to my generation I distrusted everything I was told. I walked away from my faith when I joined the Marine Corps as Vietnam was winding down. I led a pagan life just as much as anyone who did not grow up in a Christian home. For nearly twenty years I was away from God and His Word. Don't for a moment think that one day I woke up and "remembered" those childhood beliefs, it does not happen that way. After the Marine Corp I spent 7 years as a Police Officer. I held no illusions about anything after that. I saw death up close and personal. I even thought about suicide. I had an emptiness inside that was all consuming. At 30 years old I felt as if I was 80. I did not trust anyone or anything.
So what has this got to do with believing the Bible? Well, my point is that I was not a blind sheep who believed anything just because someone (anyone) told me. I got out of Police work because I realized it was destroying me. I did not come back to God quickly or easily. I did realize there was something missing in my life but I refused to admit even to myself that it was God.
When I finally did let Jesus back into my life He changed me. He gave me a peace I had never really known before. He was no longer part of my Father's religion, now He was my personal Savior. He changed my life, and by doing so proved to me that He is real. Then... I started reading His Word, but I still did not take it at face value, I studied it. I look at what people say are inconsistencies. I also looked at what the Bible was compared to every other book that has ever been produced. You know what I found? I found that the Bible can stand on its own and prove itself as God's Word.
So if you have an open mind, let me ask you a couple of questions. If you will truly look for the answers to these and open your heart and mind objectively I think you will find what you are looking for. Here they are.
1. If the Bible is just a book written by a bunch of guys to fool the world, or even because they were simpletons who did not understand anything, then how is it that it has changed so many lives? How has it managed to stay in existence when so many people and governments have tried to destroy it?
2. Again if it is nothing but a book, how do you explain all the things that were predicted thousands of years ago that are just now coming true? Be honest with yourself, don't just write it off and say they were predicted after the event. In fact don't look at the ones that happened long ago, look at only the ones which have come true in the last 100 years. Here is an example. In Revelations it says that in the end times two witnesses will be killed in Jerusalem and that the whole world will watch their bodies laying in the street for three days. Now that was written almost 2,000 years ago and it was impossible until when? The Gulf War! That is when CNN was able to telecast live pictures via satellite to the whole world. Not bad for a prediction by an uneducated fisherman 2,000 years ago. When those witnesses are killed in Jerusalem it will be possible for the whole world to watch.
3. How about the Jews as a people. They are different then any other peoples group. No other group has ever been dispersed throughout the whole world and yet after 2,000 years retained their ethnic identity. Better still this too was predicted 2,000 years ago. It was predicted that the Jews would be dispersed throughout the whole world but that sometime later they would become a nation and would have struggles over Jerusalem. What happened in 1948? Wow pretty good for a book that is just fairy tales!!
4. In His Word, God says that we are not to take His name in vain. How do you explain that in almost every civilized language in the world the names God, Jesus and Christ are used as curse words? Have you ever heard some one exclaim, "Muhammad! I'm so mad!" or how about "Buddha!! I can't believe you said that!!" How about Allah!! Now be honest that has to make you wonder, what is so special about those names? I won't even tell you what I think, you have to answer that for yourself. Or not, its up to you and how honest you really want to be with yourself.
I am sorry this has gotten to be so long, but it is hard to answer questions like you posed in just a few lines. If you have further questions I would like to try to help you with them, if on the other hand you are closed minded and just want to attack me, don't bother, as I said been there done that, got bored.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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