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Religious Conversation With An Old Friend - Part 3

I would like to use this introductory text tonight to mention something that I feel is important.


You might get the impression from the way these letters are written that our letters are, at best, urgent-sounding, and at worst, rudely cold. You see, these aren't the entire messages. I've been leaving out personal bits that come at the beginning or end of the messages. Stephan and I are actually very friendly to each other at the beginning of all of these messages, and then we get down to business. Anyway, I wanted to say that so you don't read any unfriendly tones either of our letters. And now, the comic:





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I completely agree - most Christians go about defending their text the wrong way (though I believe it is good to clarify discrepancies, especially this particular list leaves much to be desired - including many "discrepancies" that are simply bogus - though some are legitimate issues). 


First of all (bear with me...), I believe the Bible because it is true (I'm obviously biased, I recognize) - God has changed my life through it, and has given me a renewed mind that can see it as truth. I know it seems like a cop-out, but "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor 2) - I proceed to defend the validity of the Bible, even though I know that I can not wholly convince you - God must do a work in you before you can believe.


That aside, I believe the Bible has more things "going for it" that no other Holy book has. First, it is historically verifiable - it jives with recorded human history, which clearly documents the life of Jesus. It is a known fact that he lived, claimed to be God, and died. And there is much evidence of the "explosion" of the church after hundreds claimed to see him resurrected, and no single person or movement has had anywhere close to the impact on the course of human events than Jesus & his church (sadly, the church's impact hasn't always been positive...). Contemporaries of Jesus have much to say about him & his movement in secular writings. Also, the sheer number of fulfilled prophecies is staggering - and the authenticity of the current text vs the original manuscripts is like no other ancient text. The OT prophecies were clearly written many years before Christ was born - few doubt that.


Anyway, I believe the Bible is in a class of it's own among other ancient texts & holy books - though I realize that no amount of "proof" can definitively prove Christianity is true. But I believe the historical record heavily leans in that direction. I have seen no other person or idea or anything, which changes lives & entire peoples like Christ does - no other faith that takes the emphasis off from human self-justification, and puts it on a loving (yet wrathful) God who desires to know & love us personally.


I recognize I am biased, but very much desire to understand conflicting view points... Thoughts? I know that I kind of just spewed out random thoughts with little cohesion or explanation - though if I put more time & thought into it I could argue more specifically, when appropriate.


Have a great Wednesday!


-Stephan
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