Was the Flood Global?

“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die” (Genesis 6:17).

Was the Flood a localized disaster or a worldwide destruction of all human and animal life?

Many geologists and Christian scholars do not believe there was a single universal flood of history, yet acknowledge that there were many devastating local floods in earth’s history. On the other hand, there are geologists and Christian scholars who contend that only a worldwide flood could account for the earth’s sedimentary layers and the fossils that have been formed. 

The Scripture states that “all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky…Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks” (Genesis 7:11,19-20). This passage can be interpreted at least two ways. One is that the Flood covered the highest mountains of Planet Earth. This interpretation comes from translating the Hebrew word erets as “earth” or “world,” meaning worldwide. However, erets can also be translated as “country” and “land,” which refer to limited land areas. So scholars have differed on the extensiveness of the Flood.

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Did New Testament Writers Twist the Meaning of the Old Testament?

The 39 books of the Old Testament were written to and about the children of Israel, or the Jewish nation. Some critics charge that writers of the New Testament twist Old Testament passages and take them out of context to make them fit their views of Jesus and his teachings. What are these purported distortions that critics refer to?

For example:

Matthew quotes Isaiah 7 and declares that it was prophesied Jesus was to be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel (Matthew 7:14). Critics point out that a full reading of chapter 7 of Isaiah shows it is more likely referring to the birth of Hezekiah, who became a godly king of Israel.

Hosea the prophet says when Israel was a child, God loved him and “called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1). We all know that God did in fact call his people out of Egypt. Yet Matthew says this was a prophecy about Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Egypt and their later return. They did this to escape Herod’s decree to kill all the newborn Jewish males in Bethlehem.

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Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

The Bible contains 66 books authored by over 40 different people writing on hundreds of subjects, including who God is and how he interacts with his creation. Could all these different authors, who wrote hundreds of years apart, be consistent and in harmony regarding its message? Critics claim that is impossible and assert there are thousands of errors and contradictions in the Bible. Is this true?

When conservative Christian theologians say the Bible is without error (inerrant) they mean that, when all the facts are known, the Scriptures as they were penned by the authors in the original writings and as properly interpreted will be shown to be true and not false in all they affirm. This is of course the case if God is actually the author of Scripture. It stands to reason that if he inspired certain men to reveal his words, he would be sure not to contradict himself, so that his Word would be error-free.

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Did God Create Aliens?

Are we the only finite intelligent beings in the universe? Are there others out there somewhere that God created who are our “alien relatives”? Many have speculated that intelligent life exists somewhere in the distant universe—it’s just that we haven’t made contact with it yet.

King David wrote, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4). The space that God created, in its vastness and wonder, is majestic and awesome and beyond our comprehension.

Scientists say matter is spread over a space at least 93 billion light-years across. There are probably more than 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, with countless billions of planets.  10 That blows the mind! And it may cause us to wonder, are we the only intelligent beings God created in this vast universe?

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Does God Love Everyone Regardless of Sexual Orientation?

Not long ago the news media released a picture of a man and a young boy protesting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The young boy was holding a sign that read, God Hates Fags. This particular church group believes that God hates gays above all other kinds of sinners and that homosexuality should be a capital crime. On their website they assert that every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality, specifically society’s increasing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle.

The resentment garnered by this church group is not just a problem for these few picketers. David Kinnaman, in his book UnChristian, indicates that, sadly, more than nine out of ten outsiders view all Christians as anti-homosexual as well.

So what does God think about homosexuals? Does he love them as much as he does heterosexuals, or does he really hate “fags”?

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Is God Racist?

A racist is one who believes that a certain human race is superior to any or all others—that one race or some races have distinctive characteristics determined by hereditary factors, and this endows them with an intrinsic superiority. And this means that racial discrimination is justified. So based on this definition, is God a racist? Some say he is.

In the book of Genesis it tells us God singled out a man named Abram and said,

Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you. I will make into you a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:1-3).

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A Former Pastor Tries Out Atheism

I'm all for creating spaces in which people can doubt safely. I've even written about it. But can the doubting process be pushed to an absurdity?  Well, I think it just has.  

Ryan Bell, a former pastor and adjunct professor at a Christian college and seminary, is giving atheism a try:

“I’m making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will ‘try on’ atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances.”

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Was God Ever Lonely?

Was God lonely and wanted someone to relate to…so he made humans? Was he bored and one day got really creative and produced a universe that included people? Just why did he create human beings?

After God created the first human he made a startling declaration, “It is not good…” (Genesis 2:18). He had created everything before this, and after each stage of creation he “saw that it was good.” Yet in this perfect world, before humans sinned, God stated something wasn’t good. What was this “not good” thing? It was man’s aloneness.

Some people have speculated as follows: Since aloneness was not good even in a perfect world, God must have felt alone too and that is the reason he created humans. Perhaps he wanted or needed a human relationship, so he created human beings to remove his own aloneness. One big problem with this thinking is that it implies something is lacking in God. And yet if he is perfect, nothing can be lacking.

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The Devil Made the Serpent Do It!

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1).

 

Difficulty: Where do people get the idea that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was the devil?

 

Explanation: There are a number of reasons the serpent in the Garden of Eden is considered to be the embodiment of Satan. Revelation describes a time when Michael and his angels went to war with Satan and his angels. This is when the devil was forced out of heaven. Scripture describes him as “this great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Later in Revelation it describes a time when Satan was locked in a bottomless pit. “He seized the dragon—the old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:2).
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Is God Intolerant?

We all know that God has a serious problem with sin, but why can’t he be less demanding and more understanding of our imperfections? We may think something like Why can’t God just be more forgiving and overlook our weaknesses and failures? If he is truly loving he should be more tolerant of our shortcomings, right?

 

The reality is that God is merciful, but that isn’t quite the same as being tolerant. First, many people fail to understand the seriousness of sin and the great cost to God personally to forgive us our sins. When we see the combination of his holiness and justice we gain a greater understanding of his mercy. And that will go a long way to answering why he can’t tolerate sin and yet can be merciful at the same time.

 

There is a reason God can’t stand sin. You see, his core nature is holy and pure. There is no impurity of motive or action with him, for he is perfect and without sin. (See Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 54:5; and Revelation 4:8.) So a holy God cannot be in relationship with sin in any manner. The Bible says of him, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13 niv). He is so holy that he “cannot allow sin in any form” (Habakkuk 1:13). To do so would violate the very essence of who he is.
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