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30

There is a subtle difference in the responses of Zacharias and Mary. Zacharias says, in Luke 1:18 (NASB) Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” Zacharias is essentially asking the angel, "How do I know I can trust you? Prove it." Furthermore, Zacharias's only basis of ...


24

In Acts 9 there were witnesses when Jesus Christ spoke to Saul. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get ...


19

No. God's ways and thoughts are so much above ours it's difficult to understand. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)  8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.       “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, ...


19

Reasoning can take you a long way. Just look at this community. Being a part of the StackExchange network, a good percentage of the members (including myself) come from a highly technical, scientific background, and would likely revolt at the thought of rationality being incompatible with Christian faith. The problem is that reasoning is only a process. ...


17

Yes. In questioning God, we are admitting that his knowledge and wisdom is superior to ours: “Why are you doing this?” “This doesn’t make sense to me.” “When will you rescue me from this situation?” Whereas to judge him would be to assume that our knowledge and wisdom is superior: “You are wrong to do this.” “You’ve forgotten about ...


16

It would be unnatural to never have doubts. If you blindly accept everything you are told then you will end up believing in lots of contradictory things. When you have a doubt, turn it into a challenge to get answers. Read the scriptures to find answers and pray for affirmation and your doubt will be replaced with confidence.


15

In addition to the Isaiah reference listed by Dancek, the end of Job asks powerful questions of a mortal who dared to question God's motives: Job 38 1-3 (NIV) 1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? So no, humans cannot judge whether God is fair from our ...


12

The Apostle Peter believed him to be "authentic": Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of ...


11

It should be noted that the entire Jewish race began with a miraculous birth of an old man and woman who was "past the age of childbearing". Additionally, women who were barren became mothers through the provision of God--not only Sarah, but Rebekah and Rachel as well. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, "Shall a child be ...


10

Yes. And God's grace is such that you can just be honest. Consider Mark 9:24, one of my favourite NT verses: 'Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”' Doubt mixed with faith is natural. Jesus' response is not recorded - so apparently He was neither surprised nor condemning.


10

Trinity is a Dogma of the Catholic Church. Hence as with all dogmas a Catholic is bound to believe it in order to maintain the bond of faith. You have asked: if someone is not 100% comfortable..... Who is this someone? If they are non-baptised person, Catholic church has no official stand regarding them, only God will know. If they are baptized Catholic ...


8

Warren has already noted that the apostle Peter vouched for Paul's authenticity and a_hardin noted that there were other witnesses to his conversion and life before and after. We could continue with these references of people that vouched for him personally. Another approach can also be taken. An interesting thought experiment can be played by taking Paul ...


8

One concrete example from the Bible of a prophet judging God is from the book of Habakkuk. The book begins with the prophet Habakkuk judging God for His inaction: Habakkuk 1:2-4 2 How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, “Violence!” Yet You do not save. 3 Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me ...


8

The truth should not hide from argument. Truth is like an anvil: you should be able to take the biggest hammer you have and bang on it all day and not break it.


8

If I may, here is my idea of the scientific view: yes, it can. If you look for arguments against Christianity, thinking that you may find some, but you don't find any, this is evidence in favor of Christianity. Evidence, you see, is all about correlation. Whether or not your shoes are untied is strongly correlated to whether or not they appear to be untied. ...


8

Isaiah 1:18 (ESV) “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. The Christian God is a God of order, and He is the author and sustainer of all of creation, which, I believe, explains the transcendental ...


8

I'm focusing here on the aspect that you are finding it possible to relate to; namely Deism. Deism is, in the conventional form, the "light the blue touch paper and retire" deity - i.e. that sets up the initial conditions, and then bows out. And this is where it gets interesting, since Deism traditionally breaks the link with all supernatural activity, and ...


8

Historically, there have been four sources of Theology: Scripture Tradition Reason Experience Each of these is a tool that we can use to answer questions about God, and each has its pros and cons. The best theology draws from all of these sources. A good resource for understanding the pros and cons of reason as a source of theology is the "Theology ...


6

I hate to be the only one to throw down scripture on this, but I think it's important in order to get a full view of this answer. James 1:6 NIV But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Romans 14:23 NIV But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, ...


6

The answer is simple and these fragments all support it: No - we shouldn't test God. We shouldn't demand revelations, we shouldn't demand signs and miracles, as it is stated in the fragments you are citing. Yes - we should test revelations. As Saint John the Teologian states: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of ...


6

Taking an action based on your belief is not the same as acting in faith, if the thing you are placing your faith into has criteria which do specify the requirements for being a true member of that faith. The Christian faith sets out the criteria which will indicate if the follower is truly faithful. These criteria are set out in the words and example of ...


5

I have never read a line that claimed God or life in general was "fair". Fairness seems to be a concept that we have developed to evaluate our interactions with each other. In addition fairness is largely subjective and relative. Is there a need for fairness in our dealings with God? I suspect that if you consider what God offers for devotion and ...


5

Personally, I do believe all events portrayed actually happened. However I do not think there is any requirement in Christianity that you understand or even believe everything just perfectly so -- cross your t's and dot your i's -- in order to be saved. You can not be convinced of the exact details in the gospel accounts and still believe in Jesus as ...


5

My father once told me that choosing the right person for your wife is a much bigger decision than choosing the right religion (and he has degrees in theology, so I like to think he knows what he's talking about). The reason being that if you break the union between a man and a wife, chances are you're not going to be welcome back. However, God always ...


5

The fact that Zechariah had a negative consequence to his question while Mary did not tells us more about God than it does about the two individuals. For God does not judge whether a work or a question is a good work or a sin on the basis of the outward work or obvious question. Rather God is clear that He judges the heart as to the motivation. The ...


5

The key difference is that the Torah is speaking to the letter of the law, Paul is speaking to what Jesus says of it. As Jesus says in Matthew 5: 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not ...


4

Absolutely yes! It is okay to have doubts. In fact, doubt is an important part of a journey of faith. A good friend of mine (and many others) likes to say The opposite of faith is not doubt, but apathy I would venture to say that God would much rather us be honest doubters than dishonest believers. God can handle all of our doubts. He is not ...


4

Judging God to be fair is akin to judging God to be good. Fairness is one of the key attributes of goodness. If you believe God is good, it can only be because you have judged him so. Compare these two positions: "Joe is good, but I cannot judge him to be good." "Joe is evil, but I cannot judge him to be evil." Are they really even different? They both ...


4

Many religions claim to be the only true religion, including most branches of Christianity. Among the major Christian traditions, are there any documented statements of faith that include the possibility that their own beliefs might not be the "one true religion"? In other words, is there any literature treating religious doubt accepted in the ...



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