Saturday, 12 April 2014

Stauros- cross or stake

This blogpost is meant to be very specific and will not have wide distribution. For those who are Jehovahs Witnesses or those who work reaching out to them, this will be of great interest.  The Pop Star Prince talks about 'stauros' in an attempt to communicate his JW background beliefs, so there may be a wider audience than perhaps I think.  Most of the material below is not mine, I make no apologies for that, sometimes rather than writing ones own material promoting another persons work is the best way forward. I may condense this into a shorter pamphlet soon.   Enjoy.........!

As is widely known, the Watchtower Society insists that Jesus did not die on a two-beamed cross but on a single-timber "torture stake". I agree with most people that this issue is pretty pointless and amounts only to a historical curiosity. As most Christians of faith would say, "It doesn't matter what he died on; it matters that he died for us". The purpose of this discussion is not to detract from that theological issue but instead to show that this subject is yet another instance of the Society's intellectual dishonesty and failure to represent the sources they quote. It will also provide a fairly interesting survey of what is historically known about the most heinous form of capital punishment in the Roman world.
The principal argument the Society furnishes is a linguistic one: that the Greek terms stauros and xulon and the Latin term crux (which translates stauros in the Latin Vulgate) did not mean "cross" in the first century. If the words used by the Bible writers referred only to a simple single-timber stake, then Jesus would not have died on a stake that had a crossbeam. So where Christendom get the idea that Jesus was put to death on a cross? The Society claims that the early Catholic church imported the cross symbol from neighboring pagan religions as part of its apostasy from original apostolic Christianity and their use of the cross in worship led them to claim that Jesus had in fact died on one. Of course, if Jesus did die on a cross (or was believed to have done so by the earliest Christians), then the use of the cross symbol by later Christians is certainly intelligible. The following quotation from the Society's literature is quite typical:
***w92 11/15 p. 7 The Cross-Symbol of Christianity? ***

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How 1 Peter 3:15 Teaches The Deity of Christ


It is a verse that all of us who are involved in apologetics have grown to love and cherish. 1 Peter 3:15 is the New Testament’s mandate for being always ready to offer a rational defense for the Christian worldview. It is unfortunate, however, that we have come to be so familiar with this verse that we miss its full significance, for the text teaches far more than the need to provide a defense of the faith. This is best seen when read in the context of verse 14 which precedes it. Here’s the text of 1 Peter 3:14-16. Take particular note of the underlined text.

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Verse 14 in fact contains a quotation (the underlined text) from Isaiah 8:12, in which we read, “Do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.” Verse 15 of 1 Peter 3 continues the quotation into verse 13 of Isaiah 8, but with a subtle change. Isaiah 8:13 reads, “But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy.” Compare this to the start of 1 Peter 3:15: “…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.” Peter has replaced “the Lord of hosts” from Isaiah 8:13 with “Christ the Lord”, asserting that it is He whom we are to regard as Holy. In so doing, the Apostle Peter has here effectively identified Jesus as being of the same essence as Yahweh, another Biblical proof of the deity of Christ.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Qur’an, Muhammad and Modern Science: Scientific Miracles or Blunders?



Anyone who has had even a mild exposure to Islamic apologetics will have encountered the argument for the Qur’an’s divine origin based on its purported scientific miracles — that is, scientific assertions contained within the Qur’an which have only been validated by modern science. Out of all of the arguments for the Islamic religion, this is the one which, in my judgment, comes closest to being a real argument. Indeed, this is probably the best they’ve got, and it is frequently a lead argument by Muslim polemicists. Nonetheless, the argument has always appeared very strange to me. If the Qur’an is unrivaled at anything, assuredly it is only in its ability to conceive of a Universe so wildly disconnected from reality.

One problem with the positive Islamic argument is that it can only be falsified if one allows both correct and incorrect scientific statements to potentially validate or refute the Qur’an’s divine origin. If correct scientific statements provide evidence for the Qur’an’s divine origin, then surely incorrect scientific statements provide support for the opposite conclusion. For the argument to work, therefore, one must demonstrate not only that the Qur’an contains specific scientific information that could not have been known by a seventh century Arab, but also that the Qur’an does not contain demonstrable scientific errors that we might expect from a seventh century Arab. Unfortunately, it is usually the case that only the passages that are believed by Muslims to comport with modern science are presented in Muslim polemical literature.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The 'New' New world translation... A review .


The 'new' New world  translation: A review

Known as the silver sword because of its colour, this is not an update it is a new translation. With a new translation philosophy and approach. We will look at various features of this edition and make comments from more than one perspective.

The bare facts

Sturdy but soft grey cover, with the wording inset into the binding and not printed on it. A new WT invented font and crisp layout with even presentation. This is different to the old NWT which originally had uneven and untidy typesetting. Launched with an 'app'  (JW app )which also includes other bibles from the watchtower, this NWT is not just a revision it is effectively a new translation.

Features of the Bible

Full bible with centre references, summary (outline of contents) of each book in advance. At the front is a section of 20 questions  that people ask with colour drawings and short answers. at the rear is a concordance and a glossary of terms. following this the usual various charts and maps with two important (for the JWs) chapters on the divine name in the Hebrew and. Greek scriptures.
Differences to the 'old' NWT.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Simple Reason Why The Qur’an Cannot Be The Word of God


The Islamic religion claims that the Qur’an, revealed allegedly by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad beginning in 610 A.D., is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Such an assertion, however, is highly problematic, and many, many arguments could be given to convincingly refute it. In this article, I am going to offer one of those reasons, which I perceive to be the most damning. In future articles, we will consider some other serious difficulties with the idea that the Qur’an represents the revealed words of God. My argument here can be summarized in syllogistic form as follows:
Premise 1: Either the Bible is the Word of God or it is not.
Premise 2: If the Bible is the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.
Premise 3: If the Bible is not the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.
Conclusion: Therefore, the Qur’an is not the Word of God.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Incinerated Human Fetuses and Pro-Choice Cognitive Dissonance

Here are my thoughts on the recent Telegraph article where it was recently discovered that some of the aborted fetuses had been used to heat some NHS hospitals.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Twitter accounts worth following

Need I say more...send he man a follow

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ex BYU Professor turned Christian coming to the UK.



Mike_and_Lynn_Wilder_Small

For 30 years, Dr. Wilder and her husband Michael were temple recommend-holding, active members of the LDS (Mormon) church and held numerous leadership positions. Their four children were all faithful and active in the church like their parents, with the three oldest serving missions in Russia, Denmark and Florida. In 1999 the Wilder’s moved from Indiana to Utah when Dr. Wilder was offered a prestigious position at BYU. Then in 2006, everything changed. On Saturday June 14th, they will share their story.
This June, Michael and Lynn are coming to the UK on a ministry tour. Their hope is to meet with various people and churches around the country, this is a very rare and excellent opportunity to be able to meet and learn from this couple. So far we have an event planned on the 14th of June near London.
This is being held at Giggs Hill Church, Giggs Hill, St Paul’s Cray, Kent, BR5 2SA. We are running a morning session from 10am to 1pm and an afternoon session from 2pm to 5pm. Both sessions will be the same, our hope is to be able to have as many people as possible to come along. 

There are 160 seats at the church hall with an overflow room for 40. The price per session is £5, and this will help towards the costs of having the Wilder’s over from the USA. Your place(s) can be bought via paypal below or email me at bobbygilpin@gmail.com. Places may be still available on the day but to avoid disappointment please pre-book.
Additionally Lynn and Mike are hoping to travel around the UK during their trip. The full dates are not 100% yet but they are looking to be around for most of the 2nd half of June. If you would be interested in having them speak at your church or event they would be very interested in this, please contact me. Also if you are an ex-Mormon group or you know of some ex-Mormons that would like to meet with Lynn and Mike, I would also love to hear from you.

The story of Lynn and Michael leaving Mormonism has featured in various media such as: Christianity Today and Christian News Net. Lynn has had her story published in the Book Unveiling Grace, copies will be available on the 14th June or can be bought on Amazon.

                                                       

Please circulate this far and wide and buy your places for the 14th of June, thanks a lot.
                                                      
Morning Session 10am to 1pm.
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Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

My morning at the 'The Sunday Assembly' aka the Atheist Church

So this morning I took the trip up to Holborn to visit the Sunday Assembly with a few other Christian friends, this was mainly because I wanted to find out what it was like for myself after reading about it in the papers. The Sunday Assembly are a savvy and friendly group of people who clearly have a number of skilled people at their disposal, this may explain the spawning of what is really now a global movement of godless 'churches'. There are now Sunday Assembly's in Nashville Tennessee in the heart of the US Bible belt, with several more all over the UK, US and Australia (forty in total I believe). All this in just a year, statistics that any church planting group would probably have to describe as miraculous!

If I'm honest I thought it would be full of single weird men who love to tell Christians how deluded they are on twitter. But I was rather shocked that there were people from all age groups and quite a few young families. Not what I was expecting. 

So what did I think? I had been looking forward to going to the Sunday Assembly since we first arranged going and I wasn't disappointed, I enjoyed it basically because it was fun. When we were singing and dancing I felt like I was at a kinda weird wedding, the sort where I was having fun but I wasn't quite sure what I was celebrating. I suppose that's what alot of Christians have been critical of, after-all what are they celebrating and why are they so happy?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Choose the Right Jesus - A Challenge to Mormons comparing their Christology to that of the Bible

Knowing people is a fascinating part of life, seeing the different aspects, personalities, preferences quirks etc of people is always very interesting. It goes without saying that some people we only get to know to a very limited extent and some we really build relationships and maybe build a life together with.
The more important someone is to us the more likely we are going to know them better, that's again basic stuff, but leads right into looking at Jesus. Those who know Him to any extent know that He is the most significant, life changing person that ever existed.
In the Bible we see that eternal life comes from knowing Jesus.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
This is a massive issue, many people in the world today often think that if they just do their best in life and let the good things they do outweigh the bad then they will be okay. We see Jesus Himself speak to people here that were seemingly doing good things.
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