Category Christianity

pagan origins of christmas

The Pagan Origins of Christmas

Break out the lights and the mistletoe – it’s the Christmas season once more! As in years passed, families are decorating trees and preparing for the holiday, retail stores are stocking the shelves with festive goods, and churches throughout the world are planning their Christmas services. Though easily forgotten amidst all the Santas, trees, and candy canes, there is a religious component to the celebration...

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Did a Miracle Occur at Fatima?

According to many believing Catholics, a strange and miraculous event occurred on October 13th, 1917 near the town of Fatima in Portugal.1 In the months before the purported miracle, three children named Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco had allegedly received visions of an apparition of the virgin Mary. One of three predictions made by the children was that this apparition, known as “Our Lady of Fatima,” would reveal herself through a miracle that would take place on October 13th...

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The Cosmos of the Bible

The Cosmos of the Bible

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos

The question of the world that we find ourselves in, as well as our role within it, is one that has fueled debate for many centuries. What answer we give to it will have implications about who we are, why we are, and perhaps even how we ought to be...

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Why the Resurrection is Historically Improbable

Generally, the resurrection is taken as an article of faith, perhaps the central most tenet of Christianity. According to some scholars, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 contains an early Christian creed professing belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the apostle Paul, “the message of the cross is foolishness” that he nevertheless delighted to believe in (1 Corinth. 1:18,21). More recently, however, Christian apologists like William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas have attempted to take the resurrection outside the realm of faith and into the field of history...
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New Testament origins

Origins of the New Testament

The New Testament is one of the most important documents in the history of humankind. It has shaped Western civilization as we know it, serving as the backbone of the Roman Catholic and Protestant faiths, which together account for the most prominent religion in the world.1 The New Testament writings also opened the doors of universality, teaching a message meant for everyone, and so helped to establish Christianity as one of the three main missionary religions of the world...

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Old Testament origins

Origins of the Old Testament

Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
-Maimonides

The Hebrew scriptures tell the epic story of the ancient Israelite people. Many of the tales are already familiar to us, having been imprinted on Western culture over the centuries. There is the garden of Eden, with the first man and woman, the forbidden fruit, and the infamous snake. The burning bush from whence God spoke to Moses, instructing him to lead his people out of Egypt...

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Is the Bible historically reliable?

The Historical Errancy of the Bible

In 1868, a German businessman named Heinrich Schliemann published a book arguing for a historical Troy, located at a place called Hissarlik (in modern Turkey). As a boy, Schliemann was greatly fascinated by the epic tales of the ancient Greeks, particularly Homer’s classic writings, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and when he had made enough of a fortune to retire at the young age of 36, he devoted himself to finding the legendary city of Troy mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. Despite having no training or formal education in archaeology, he began excavating the site of Hissarlik in 1871.

Although a num...

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Did the Disciples Die for a Lie?

If Christianity is a lie, if Jesus was never really raised from the dead, and if his followers never actually witnessed his empty tomb or ascension, would the disciples have died for their faith? There are many examples through history of men and women dying for a cause they believed to be true, but what about dying for a cause that you know is false? A martyr is someone who willingly endures persecution and often dies for refusing to renounce a particular belief or principle...

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Psalm 22 – Now With Less Jesus!

Alongside Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 is one of the favorite and best known Old Testament passages for Christian apologists. According to Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and many others, Psalm 22 prophesied the crucifixion of Jesus Christ before crucifixion as a torture method had even been invented...
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Prayer in Public Schools

You may have heard that prayer has been taken out of public schools, that throughout much of the United States, students are forbidden to exercise their freedom of religion. According to many conservative believers, the 1962 court case of Engel v. Vitale resulted in a ban on school prayer which has led to a gradual moral decline in America.1 Petitions and pleas to reinstate prayer for school children can be found all over the internet, as well as many other places. But amidst all the fury, there is a glaring and slightly amusing misconception...

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