15
votes
4answers
233 views

What qualifies as work on Sunday?

I have a lecturer who wanted me to attend a seminar. However, the seminar is on Sunday. I don't study on Sundays so I declined this offer. My lecturer is, however, a Jew and he understands the ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church?

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church? Were these beliefs of Luther's and his disagreements with the Catholic Church the origin of the Lutheran Church?
15
votes
5answers
825 views

Should women give sermons?

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let ...
15
votes
2answers
340 views

When did Arabic enter into usage as a liturgical language among Orthodox Christians?

Today, many Orthodox churches in the Middle East use Arabic as the language of the Divine Liturgy, often mingled with Greek. When did this practice begin? I assume that at the time of the Muslim ...
15
votes
4answers
459 views

Does God hate Sinners like he hates Sin?

I've heard it a thousand times, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Recently I came across a verse in Psalms 5:5 Psalm 5:5 (KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all ...
15
votes
1answer
317 views

What is the Biblical basis for Irresistible Grace?

Calvin, among his other points, includes the point that when we are saved, we are irresistibly drawn to God and that there is nothing we can do to prevent this or cause this. What is the Biblical ...
15
votes
1answer
624 views

What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

This distinction is often called tripartite division of the law. I ran across this series of blog posts: http://maelandcindy.blogspot.com/2008/06/is-mosaic-law-tripartite.html ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the major differences between Eastern and Western Orthodox Christianities?

I've looked around but can't really find a proper answer. Would anyone mind clarifying this for me? I'm a Western Orthodox Christian, and I attended the baptism of my young cousin on Sunday, and this ...
15
votes
1answer
802 views

What translation of Augustine's Confessions is the easiest to read in English?

Not all translations are created equal, and often the public domain ones freely available online are some of the worst. Augustine fans out there - whose translation of Confessions or City of God is ...
15
votes
2answers
243 views

At what point did humans evolve enough to be considered special to God?

Disclaimer - Even though my personal views are well-established, I'd like to point out that I am not out to make a point with this question, and I am absolutely not out to establish whether any ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the significance of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden?

If Adam and Eve were created perfect and without death (immortal), then what is the significance and purpose of the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden of Eden?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the pool of Bethesda have healing powers?

Recently while reading John 5 with my wife's family, we had a discussion about whether the pool of Bethesda really had healing powers. Some said the story is written as if the pool really could heal: ...
15
votes
1answer
287 views

In Theistic Evolution, when did the alleged evolutionary animal/ape/man become accountable for his sins?

One answer to this previous question asks, One of the problems I have with theistic evolution is: when did this alleged evolutinary animal/ape/man become accountable for his sins? [sic] It would ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

The voice of God vs the voice of Satan

I listen to heavy music and I have had people tell me on numerous occasions the vocals sound like the voice of Satan, even when the band is clearly Christian (see For Today if you are curious). Movies ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
14
votes
9answers
5k views

Are there any examples of sarcasm in the bible?

The closest in tone to sarcasm, though somewhat different, that I am aware of is John 1:45-46 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the ...
14
votes
13answers
46k views

Why was God so upset with Moses for striking the rock the second time in the desert?

In Exodus, God commands Moses to strike a rock, and promises to make water flow in the desert for the people. Later on, God tells Moses to speak to a rock, promising to make water flow in the desert ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Biblical evidence against the perpetual virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she never had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man)--either before or after the miraculous ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Should a Protestant read the apocryphal books of the Bible?

The Protestant Bible has 66 books. Should we read apocryphal books (e.g. 1&2 Maccabees and Gospel of Thomas)?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How far is too far when it comes to drinking alcohol?

Why does the Bible praise the effects of alcohol? How are we supposed to know when those effects have gone too far? I am mostly confused about this verse: Give strong drink unto him that is ready ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Are silent prayers heard?

Growing up in the church, silent prayers are pretty much part of how I pray. However, challenging assumptions, I'm curious to know how biblical this is. Every prayer I read about in the Bible is ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Are inter-faith marriages prohibited by the Bible?

Setting aside marriages of couples from two different Christian faiths, does the Bible address whether a Christian may marry a non-Christian? I believe that the Old Testament prohibits Jews from ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

Why does God not show Himself beyond reasonable doubt? [closed]

In this answer I commented that Christians believe that "God does not show himself as this would take away free will", to which I was answered "The only reason he would not show himself it's that it ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the basis that many mainstream Christian groups justify labeling groups like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as Non Christians?

If there is no clear definition stemming from the Bible of what makes one a Christian, how does mainstream Christianity justify labeling groups like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as Non ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Did God create darkness?

Without Light, there is darkness. Darkness is not made, it is just there. However, before the creation there was nothing. Does that mean that darkness was also not there? Let us look at Genesis 1:5: ...
14
votes
3answers
415 views

Is it possible to be both a humanist and a Christian? [closed]

The following definition of a humanist was given by Andrew Copson As a humanist I try: • To be rational, looking to science in an attempt to understand the universe • To be ethical, ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Praying for someone's salvation. Is there a point?

According to I Timothy 2:4 (NIV), God "...wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth". But since we have free will, God cannot make us choose to accept the salvation that is ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What does Matthew 5:27-30 (“Cast off your eye/hand/etc”) mean?

For reference, here's the text of Matthew 5:27-30: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already ...
14
votes
3answers
441 views

Why did God create such complexity in man?

During Creation, God created man: Genesis 2:7 KJV And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Why ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What does the Bible say about Science?

It's a debate that atheists seem to thrive on. Fact vs. Faith. Personally, I believe in a co-existence of the two, but I'm interested in what the Bible has to say about us learning about our ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Why didn't Jesus allow demons to say he was God?

After Jesus cast out demons from possessed people, he made sure that these demons didn't reveal his true identity. Why? Example from Mar 1:24-25,34 (NIV): 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of ...
14
votes
8answers
433 views

How do schisms in the church fit into the plans of a monotheistic God?

Before 1054 a reasonable claim could be made that there existed "one holy catholic and apostolic Church", as the Nicene Creed puts it. Since then, the visible church has divided into at least three ...
14
votes
3answers
936 views

What is the connection between Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, etc?

Coming from a Protestant tradition, I grew up hearing about Lent but never having any practice associated with it. In the years since, I've gathered that there's some sort of connection between ...
14
votes
3answers
12k views

Does God test us?

I was working on a different question and I found that I couldn't actually find anywhere that shows that God actually tests us. Psalms 26:2 (NIV) Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and ...
14
votes
4answers
293 views

What was the problem at Babel?

In the Genesis account of the tower of Babel a bunch of guys got together to build a really tall tower somewhere in the desert. God gets wind of the affair but it doesn't sit well: Genesis 11:5-6 ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

Why did the apostle John call himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”?

John refers to himself, on at least four occasions, as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"? (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7 & 21:20). Why is this? It seems a bit arrogant, especially as Jesus loved the ...
14
votes
8answers
12k views

What does Bible say about possibility of seeing/hearing people on Earth from heaven?

I mean, for example, could my dead grandmother see me from heaven? This was bothering me as a Christian and I was frustrated not to find the answer, because this is important to me personally. For ...
14
votes
7answers
7k views

Why isn't God mentioned in Esther?

As you may know, God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, either by name (Yahweh), title (Adonai), or being (El). Neither is prayer. Why not? I realize this is rather open ended, so I'll try to ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Under what conditions does the Bible support divorce?

It seems that Jesus talks out against divorce. But in other places, divorce is allowed. How does this all play out and where does the bible really stand on this? Is it a sin or is it just part of ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Did early church fathers understand the doctrine of trinity?

Many historians and religious scholars ... attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. ... the ...
14
votes
1answer
593 views

Why did Paul say “I am pure from the blood of all men”?

In Acts 20 Paul is saying his farewell to the elders of Ephesus. He is bringing to their memory the manner, in which he had spent all that time with them - in humility (Acts 20:19). Then he says: " ...
14
votes
2answers
556 views

Is there Biblical basis for unitarianism?

I ask this mostly in reaction to this question: Biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity From what I've seen, the majority of Christians believe in Trinitarianism, but some believe in ...
14
votes
2answers
519 views

Is it possible to know God from nature?

Is it possible for someone to learn about God without learning about him from the Bible or another believer, such as from nature?
14
votes
6answers
296 views

How old is the idea of premillenial rapture?

Wikipedia claims that the doctrine of rapture was first formed in the 17th century: The concept of the Rapture, in connection with premillennialism, was expressed by the 17th-century American ...
14
votes
2answers
640 views

How should Reformed Christians deal with homosexual marriage of individuals prior to their conversion to Christianity?

I've been pondering this for several weeks and I believe that the reformed church (really, the church in general) is woefully unprepared to answer the following question: How should the church deal ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Where was Jesus during the period from His death to resurruction? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Did Jesus spend time in Hell between the crucifixion and resurrection? Jesus died and was raised from death on the third day. Where did Jesus go during the period from ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Where do the names of books of Bible come from?

Where does the name of each book come from? (I am not a Christian and this should be treated like a novice question.)
14
votes
5answers
540 views

What exactly IS Hell?

I'm not disputing that Hell exists, what I want to know is WHAT IS HELL? In my opinion there are only two possible answers, but you might inform me of something else. Many people have argued that ...
14
votes
3answers
759 views

How do JW's scripturally support the idea that humans will live on earth after death?

A Jehovah Witness and I spoke the other day and he explained to me that JW's believe that we'll live on earth after we die. Is there any scripture to back this up? Any point of view from any ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why were both criminals that were crucified with Jesus abusing him in Mark, and not in Luke?

Two thing stick out to me in the gospel accounts of Jesus on the Cross: Mark 15:27-32 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults ...

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