Tom Wright: Wrong about Soul Sleep

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He’s right about a lot of things, but soul sleep isn’t one of them.

Tom Wright’s scholarly writing on the biblical teaching on the resurrection of the dead is praiseworthy for a number of reasons. He has alerted the evangelical community to the unfortunate way in which popular theologies of “going to heaven” are eclipsing the biblical hope of the resurrection to eternal life. But he does have one major weak spot, in my view, and that is the rather poor treatment of the doctrine of “soul sleep.” Soul sleep is the view that people do not experience any conscious intermediate state of waiting between death and resurrection. They are wholly dead until God steps in and raises them back to life. Continue reading “Tom Wright: Wrong about Soul Sleep”

Episode 038: Zeitgeist

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At the request of a couple of listeners, this episode is a response to the documentary: Zeitgeist.

As I promised in the episode, here are a few links.

First, a link to some astronomical illustrations: http://www.tracer345.org/zeitgeist.html

And here are the links to my three part blog series on evidence for the historical Jesus outside the New Testament, as promised:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

You might also find it helpful to check out my previous blogs on copycat theories about the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Did Jesus preach hell more than heaven?

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If you have any serious interest in the subject of hell, you will probably have either read or heard someone tell you that Jesus taught more about hell than anyone else in the Bible. In fact, you may also have read/heard people telling you that Jesus preached on the fearful idea of hell as a place of endless suffering far more than he talked about heaven. But if anyone says that this is true, then their problem isn’t theology. It’s maths.

Continue reading “Did Jesus preach hell more than heaven?”

The death of the Apostles: Why would you?

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What does the death of some of the first followers of Jesus’ tell us about what they knew?

Easter is a time of year that seems to bring sceptics out of the woodwork. The proverbial Grinches (wrong holiday, I know) find this to be a natural time of year to rain on the parade of Christians celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. I still recall listening to the debate between William Lane Craig and Brian Edwards on the resurrection a few Easters ago (gosh, has it been that long? The year 2001 or 2000, I forget). You can check that debate out for yourself – Link to the debate.

It’s only fair, then, that Christians take this opportunity to capitalise on the surprising flimsiness of some of the sceptical arguments out there (hence my last post on the supposed virgin birth of Buddha), and also to continue to illustrate the way that the biblical account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus stands up well to critical scrutiny.

So here’s a brief thought to consider for today: Why were some (although not all, or even most) of the early disciples martyred? What was the reason for killing them? That’s something of a no-brainer. They were killed for their proclamation of their religious beliefs in an effort to convert the local populaces where they lived. They proclaimed the message of the resurrection of their teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, and it cost them. Continue reading “The death of the Apostles: Why would you?”

Episode 021: Sexing up Early Church History

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Did the Church conspire to hide the truth about other Gospels that did not make it into the Bible?

This time I’m discussing the claim that scholars have uncovered Gospels other than Matthew Mark, Luke and John, other Gospels that deserve to stand alongside the four canonical Gospels as having equal historical legitimacy, but which the churchTM has unfairly suppressed in its quest for dominance over the Scripture and what it is permitted to contain. These include the Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Gospel of Mark and others.

It’s the middle of the night, but some time in the next few days I’ll edit this post and add the reading list that I promised in this podcast episode.

Glenn Peoples

 

Episode 014: Preterism from the pulpit

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This episode is a sermon/talk that I delivered on Sunday the 27th of July at our church, Grace Bible Church, here in Dunedin, New Zealand.

I was asked to preach on Mark 13, the Olivet Discourse. Yes, the whole thing. In one sermon. That meant I had to be pretty simplistic about it, and I couldn’t go into a huge amount of depth. It was an introductory talk to an audience that had never really looked at the issue before (at least, it had never been spoken about in church). So basically, it’s an introduction to Mark 13, and therefore an introduction to preterism.

James, the brother of Jesus and son of Joseph

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Call me slow, but until today I had never heard of the ossuary of James. The what? It’s an ornate box that contains pieces of bone from deceased love ones. This one dates to around AD sixty something, and features the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

It’s fairly obvious why this ruffles some Catholic feathers. Mary, Joseph’s wife, is said to have been a virgin her whole life by the Catholic Church, and James, one of Jesus’ “brothers,” is said to have been a cousin. Some Catholics have chimed in with anyone who says that it is a forgery, but the evidence doesn’t look good for them here, and here the claim of a forgery is debunked. I guess Mary’s first name isn’t “The Virgin” after all. But then, a lot of people have been saying that for a while. They’re called Protestants.