If we are not to lean on our own understanding, then who's??
DID GOD CREATE MAN?
OR DID MAN CREATE GOD??
IS THE BIBLE THE WORD OF GOD???
DOES CHRISTIANITY STAND UP TO SCRUTINY????
IS CHRISTIANITY TRUE?????
"Truth never fears honest scrutiny." author unknown
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." Thomas Jefferson
"The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." Proverbs 18:17
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo Galilei
"No poison is more fatal to divine faith, than the subtle and insidious spread of rationalism." Pope Leo XIII
"But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it" Charles Darwin
"Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder." Homer Simpson
We all have our own reasons for asking the question in the first place. But once asked, it cannot be un-asked, we can only strive to answer it. So for the past few years now, I have been on an internet quest for the truth. I have surfed the web until I thought I would go blind, searching and reading and studying as many religious websites as I could find, carefully considering all sides of the arguments, armed with nothing but my own logic and reason. This site is a summary of what I've found. I hope it will help you on your quest for truth.
"Can we really expect to find the truth on the internet?", you may ask. Well, yes....sort of. Of the thousands upon thousands of sites out there on the internet, representing virtually every religious viewpoint known to man, surely SOMEONE out there must be right, surely SOMEONE out there must have the truth! If SOMEONE isn't right, then EVERYONE must be wrong!, which may well be the case also?? So, I think the truth IS out there somewhere. Its just that discerning the truth- THAT'S the hard part.
Are our logic and reason enough to understand God? "Who are we to question God", many will say. Well, the answers are "no", and "nobody". It may be true, that our logic and reason are pathetically inadequate, our minds infinitesimally small, when compared to an infinite mind that could create the entire universe and all life in it. If such a being does exist, then our own wisdom and understanding compared to his would be like an ant's compared to a human.... No, it wouldn't even be that. We would be more like the bacteria living INSIDE the ant. So no, our own logic and reason are definitely NOT enough. BUT!!! its all we've got. Our only alternative is to accept the claims of ANYONE who says they speak for God. We would have to believe Joseph Smith, Mohammed, and the many others who have written holy books. We'd have to believe the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, who said God told him to do it.
So until God speaks to ME directly, all I've got, are the claims and books of MEN. Some modern, some ancient, some known, some unknown, but only MEN have claimed to speak for God. So yes, I WILL use my own logic and reason, inadequate as it is, to critically question their claims. "But God's ways are higher than yours", many will say. "Some things are beyond our understanding, you must just believe", they say. Isn't it funny how those who say this mean that we should only suspend logic and reason when it comes to the claims of THEIR religion, or THEIR holy books. Yet these same people have no trouble at all applying logic and reason to critically examine the claims of OTHER'S religions, and OTHERS holy books.
Don't let ANYONE (including me) tell you what to think. Don't let ANYONE tell you what is the truth. Think for yourself and decide for yourself. Consider all sides with an objective, open mind, and an honest heart. That's what I try to do.
WARNING: This site contains material that may be hazardous to Christian beliefs! If you can't handle a critical consideration of Christianity, and if you're not prepared for where it might lead, then I suggest you click away. Nobody is forcing you to read this material. WHY THIS SITE? I do not seek to take away anyone's beliefs. If you are Christian, I respect your beliefs provided that you respect the rights of others to believe differently, and do not seek to impose your beliefs on others. I created this site to:
Undertake my own study and express my own thoughts, as well as organize the internet links I've found
Assist others who are on a similar quest for truth
Help curious believers to understand the skeptic's position, even if they don't agree, help them to see that skeptics do have compelling reasons for doubt, that its not just a matter of "being too proud to submit to God", or "not wanting to believe in something bigger than yourself", or "wanting to live an immoral life", or any of the other misconceptions believers tend to have about non-believers.
The Investigation: The Points of Contention
Part 1, the Bible- the internal evidence: Is the Bible really the word of the creator of the universe? How do we know that it is? Its not like God is printing these Bibles up in heaven and sending them down to earth, is it? Isn't it a book printed by men? So how do we decide if its really a book written by, or inspired by God? Is it any different from trying to decide whether the guy on the street corner is really telling the truth when he claims that God talks to him? Don't you just have to consider the words that he claims God said, and use your own logic and reason with a healthy dose of skepticism to decide whether God would REALLY say such a thing? Should it be any different just because the people that claimed God talked to them lived thousands of years ago?
Holy War! or "Bad Stuff in the Good Book Part 1" Did God really command his people to attack their enemies, take their stuff as plunder, destroy and burn their cities and towns, kill every single person- man and woman, young and old, and even kill the babies?
Bad Stuff in the Good Book Part 2 or "More Verses They Never Talk About in Sunday School" Some miscellaneous atrocities, killing, and questionable commands from the Bible.
Is the Bible God Unjust? A look at some apparent cases of Biblical injustice.
Is the Bible Degrading to Women? A look at whether the Bible teaches that women have an inferior status.
Does the Bible Condone Slavery? Slavery is clearly immoral but why does God not seem to know that?
Science and the Bible Does the Bible contain basic science blunders? Or does the Bible show amazing scientific foreknowledge thus demonstrating its divine origin?
Come Again, or "I'll Be Baack" Did Jesus and the Apostles say that Jesus' return and the end of the world was imminent, and was to happen within only one generation?
The Jesus Prophesies Was Jesus REALLY prophesied throughout the Old Testament? Is Jesus the one of which the prophets had been speaking when they foretold of a Messiah to come?
Christian Family Values? and Other Questionable Jesus Sayings The heart-warming, feel-good statements of Jesus to "love your neighbor as yourself", "forgive your enemies", and "turn the other cheek" are always the ones that get all the attention. But what about these other statements that don't sound so nice?
Bible Prophesies (non-messianic) Does the Bible REALLY contain fulfilled predictive prophecies, giving positive evidence of its divine inspiration? Or does it contain lots of unfulfilled prophesies, as the skeptics say?
Bible Contradictions Does the Bible really contain hundreds of errors and discrepancies, as the skeptics claim? Or is it entirely without error, thus indicating its divine origin, as the fundamentalists claim? Does it really matter if it DOES contain contradictions?
The Evolution of the Afterlife and Satan in the Bible Why is the Old Testament so silent on the concept of the afterlife? Why does the character of Satan only gradually evolve? Does this indicate that these concepts are of human and not divine origins?
Human Sacrifice Though thoroughly condemned by later Bible writers and editors, was human sacrifice accepted as a form of worship in early Judaism/archaic Yahwehism? Do a few vestiges of this abhorrent practice remain in the Bible?
Did Jesus Claim to be God? It is generally assumed that Jesus claimed to be God. But is that really the case?
Part 2, other issues and arguments from external evidence: Extra-Biblical issues and arguments for and against Christianity and theism (though some may still be Biblically related)
Mesha Stele, the Moabite Stone Christian apologists say that this outstanding archeological discovery is one that "proves the Bible is true". Is that really the case? Or does it actually show that the thoughts and religious beliefs of the ancient Israelites were not unlike those of other Semitic people of the time.
Philosophical Arguments for and Against the Existence of God A look at various arguments from logic. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Prayer, Does it Work? Is there any evidence that prayer really works? What about those prayer studies? (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Near-Death Experiences Do near-death experiences provide concrete and rational evidence that there really is an afterlife? (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Part 3, other stuff:
Links: There's a whole world-wide-web out there with thousands upon thousands of web sites devoted to various religious viewpoints. Here are some of the more notable ones. including skeptic sites, apologists sites, and others.
My Story In case you want to see where I'm coming from, how I got here, etc...
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Seeker of Truth Presents: A Rational Investigation of Christianity
Surfing the Net for Answers to the BIG Question