Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
March 13, 2023
A few months ago, a man wearing a Christian T-shirt at the Mall of America was ordered by a security guard to take off his T-shirt or leave the mall. His T-shirt had the words “JESUS SAVES” on the front side and “JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY” on the back side of the T-shirt. The video of the man’s tense interaction with the security guard went viral online.1
This incident at America’s most famous mall raises the very important question that all of us need to answer: Is Jesus the only way to God, or do all religions lead to God?
The Bible clearly says three times that Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus himself claims to be the only way to God (see John 14:6). Peter, the leader and spokesperson of Jesus’s disciples, contends that Jesus is the only way to God (see Acts 4:12). Paul, the church persecutor whose life was completely changed by Jesus, argues that Jesus is the only mediator between people and God (see 1 Timothy 2:5–6).
Both Peter and Paul died for their belief that Jesus is the only way to have peace with God and eternal life in heaven. Jesus himself was crucified for saying that He was God’s Son. Would they have died for a lie, or did they did they die knowing that Jesus really was God’s Son and the only way to God? Peter, Paul, and Jesus himself knew the truth about who Jesus was, and they wouldn’t have died for something that they knew was false.
In my book The Life Changer, I provide compelling reasons for believing that Jesus is God’s Son and the Life Changer who is only way to God. I really want to believe that all religions lead to God, but wishful thinking doesn’t change what is true. I have met a lot of nice and intelligent people who don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to God. I truly want to think that the main spiritual beliefs of these non-Christian friends and acquaintances are true instead of false. However, my positive experiences with other Christians and with people who aren’t Christians don’t determine what is true. God and the convincing evidence that He provides for us determine what is true.
True beliefs must be intellectually satisfying, emotionally appealing, and theologically sound. In chapters 5 to 9 of The Life Changer, I describe five tests that we can use to evaluate different worldviews. I then use these tests to evaluate the Christian faith and eight other worldviews. The results of using these tests show that the Gospels are trustworthy, Jesus rose from the dead, and Jesus is the Life Changer who is the only way to God.
To know more about Jesus, the Christian faith, and other worldviews, you can buy my book The Life Changer online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Books-A-Million, and ThriftBooks. Just type “The Life Changer Josh Peterson” in the search box of these websites to find and buy my book.
1 Helena Kelly, “Man Wearing a Jesus Saves T-Shirt at Mall of America is Ordered to Take it Off or Leave,” MSN, January 16, 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/other/man-wearing-a-jesus-saves-t-shirt-at-mall-of-america-is-ordered-to-take-it-off-or-leave/ar-AA16pkWe.
The Life Changer is Now for Sale!
October 23, 2022
I’m excited to announce that my book The Life Changer is now for sale online!
Please click HERE to buy my book at Barnes & Noble!
Please click HERE to buy the e-book (Nook) at Barnes & Noble!
Please click HERE to buy my book at Amazon!
Please click HERE to my book at Bookshop!
The Life Changer is written for everyone who has an interest in spiritual things. I think that it’s one of the most important, interesting, and impactful books that you will ever read. It’s a good blend of scholarship and readability, and it features powerful quotes from many well-known authors. I thank and praise God that He enabled me to write it!
I’m also grateful for all of the libraries and books that I used to help me write The Life Changer. I thank God for such Christian authors as Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Craig Evans, and the late Norm Geisler. They have written excellent books that I used as sources for some of the information and some of the quotes found in my book.
If you buy the Barnes & Noble Nook version of my book, make sure to that the box “Use Publisher Defaults” is checked. Using the default font of Palatino and adjusting the font size as necessary will enable the numbered lists and five tables in my book to look as good as they can look. Using the Nook app will also enable the e-book to look as good as it can.
If you are interested in the Amazon Kindle version of my book, know that the new and improved “look inside” sample version has not yet been uploaded. The Kindle version that you can purchase right now does have larger and adjustable font, and the five tables in the book look much better using the Kindle app than not using it.
Below is a description of my book from its back cover and also from Amazon:
The Life Changer seeks to help quench our spiritual thirst for joy, peace, and purpose. It shows us how we can enjoy the life that God wants us to live and how we can have assurance of spending eternity with Him in heaven.
The Life Changer provides compelling answers to life’s biggest questions about our identity, purpose, and destiny by using five tests. These five easy-to-understand tests empower us to determine if our spiritual beliefs are true or not. True spiritual beliefs satisfy our minds, hearts, and souls. Discovering whether or not our spiritual beliefs are true enables us to live for God. Isn’t that really exciting?
In The Life Changer, Josh Peterson shares the story of his spiritual journey and his positive experiences with people who have various spiritual beliefs. Peterson takes a fascinating look at the main claims of the Christian faith and the main claims of eight other worldviews. He also shares the amazing stories of more than a dozen people whose lives have been changed by God. After telling these inspiring stories, Peterson encourages us to consider the claims of the Christian faith and the claims of Jesus, who is still changing countless lives all over the world.
Would you like to know if your spiritual beliefs are true? You can discover the truth that sets you free!
Is Christianity Antisemitic?
August 20, 2022
Many people believe that Christianity is antisemitic. Despite this widespread belief, the truth is that Christianity isn’t anti-Jewish at all. The Bible encourages Christians to love Jewish people and tell them about Jesus.
It is true that at least one New Testament passage can seem to be antisemitic. In Matthew 27:25, the onlookers to whom Pilate wanted to release Jesus, say: “His blood be on us and on our children” (ESV). Some interpreters of this passage say that it makes all Jews eternally guilty of Jesus’ death. However, the Bible teaches that all people of all races are responsible for Jesus’ death. Because we all sin (see Romans 3:9-18, 23), all of us are responsible for Jesus’ death. Jesus died for not only the sins of Jewish people, but also for the sins of people of every race and nation and people living before, during, and after his life on earth (see Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 2:2).
The Bible also teaches that many Jewish people will be in heaven. It teaches that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Joseph, Moses, David and many other ancient Jews were heroes with strong faith and an eternal home in heaven (see Hebrews 11:1-40). The Bible also says that many Jews will believe in Jesus as their Messiah, be accepted by God, and live forever with Him in heaven (see Romans 1:16; 9:27; 10:12-13; 11:1-7, 11-17; see also Zechariah 12:7-10).
Besides misinterpreting the Bible, some people have mistakenly argued that Adolf Hitler was a Christian. The truth is that Hitler hated Christianity and wanted to destroy it. He wanted to replace it with his own anti-Christian religion and religious beliefs. Scholars such as Erwin Lutzer and authors such as Ray Comfort have correctly pointed out that Hitler was definitely not a Christian.
Jesus emphasized the importance of reaching Jewish people. His earthly ministry focused mainly on Jews, and he told his disciples to share the good news about his kingdom and the gospel not only with Gentiles (i.e., non-Jewish people), but also with Jews (see Matthew 10:5-7; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
For more about how Christianity isn’t antisemitic, please see my new book The Life Changer, which should be available for sale very soon.
Is the Bible Racist?
July 16, 2022
Is the Bible racist? Many people believe that the Bible condones racial oppression. However, an honest and careful reading of the Bible reveals that it does not condone or promote racism. In fact, the Bible strongly opposes racism.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament make it clear that God’s Word is opposed to racism. The Old Testament teaches that everyone is made in God’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-17; 5:1). It also teaches that people from all nations should be treated with kindness and respect; no one should be oppressed (see Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34). In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter says, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35, ESV). Similarly, the Apostle Paul makes powerful statements against racism (e.g., see Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11). Moreover, the Bible points out that people from every tribe, language, and nation will be in heaven (see Revelation 5:9; 7:9).
Jesus, who founded Christianity, showed that he opposed racism by telling a story called the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37). In this story, a Samaritan man stops to help a Jewish man who was beaten by robbers and left half dead. His kind and unselfish behavior stands in contrast to the selfish behavior of a Jewish priest and a Jewish Levite, who both refuse to stop and help the badly wounded man. Jesus tells his hearers to imitate the good example set by the Samaritan man instead of the bad examples set by the two Jewish religious men (see verses 36-37). Jesus encourages his hearers to imitate the Good Samaritan even though most Jews of his day hated Samaritans, who accepted only the first five books of the Old Testament as Scripture.
Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament can be used to justify racism, and we all know that racism is wrong. The Bible clearly acknowledges this timeless truth. As a result, Christianity is still relevant today, and everyone should be willing to consider Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son and the way to God.
For more about the Bible’s opposition to racism and Christianity’s contemporary relevance, please read my book The Life Changer.
Answering Life’s Most Important Questions
July 13, 2022
Everyone wants and needs to answer life’s most important questions. Finding joy, peace, and our purpose in life require us to have adequate and accurate answers to these crucial questions. These big questions are about our identity, origin, purpose, and destiny. In my upcoming book The Life Changer, I refer to life’s most important questions as the five big questions.
The five big questions are as follows:
1) Who am I?
2) Where did I come from?
3) Why am I here?
4) What has gone wrong with the world?
5) What solution can solve the problem?
The first question is about our identity. The second question is about our origin. The third question is related to our purpose. The fourth question asks why there is evil and suffering in the world. Lastly, the fifth question pertains to how we can overcome the evil and suffering that we experience every day in our present lives and that we might experience in the future.
Our answers to these five questions reveal a lot about our spiritual beliefs and our worldview. They show what are core spiritual beliefs are, and they determine how we live. If our worldview provides us with an accurate view of God, Jesus, and us as human beings, we are able to live for God and to find the joy, peace, and purpose in life that He wants us to find.
Do you know how you would answer these five questions? Are you sure that your answers to these questions are good answers, or do you fear that your answers may not be correct?
Please read my book The Life Changer so that you can be sure that you have good answers to these crucial questions. My book should be in print within several weeks.
To God Be the Glory
July 1, 2022
Do you like Christian music? I do. Like many other Christians, my family and I really enjoy listening to Christian music on the radio and on CDs in our car. Christian music is encouraging and uplifting for us. We like both contemporary Christian music and hymns. This morning, one of my favorite hymns was on my mind a lot. It was well-known Fanny Crosby song To God Be the Glory, which she wrote more than a hundred years ago.
Both the song To God Be the Glory and the Bible tell us that we should live for God and His glory instead of for ourselves. We all struggle sometimes with selfishness and our desire to receive the credit for our accomplishments. We tend to want to receive the glory for reaching our goals and getting tasks done. Some of us might even want people to praise us more than we want them to praise God.
It’s understandable that we want to receive credit and compliments for all of the things that we accomplish at home, work, and school. We want and need to be recognized for what we do and respected for who we are. Our human nature inclines us to want other people to like us. We all want and need to feel loved and accepted.
God knows our human tendencies, and He understands our deepest needs. God meets our needs for love and acceptance if we truly trust in Him and obey Him. Our Heavenly Father wants us to live for His glory instead of for our own glory (see Isaiah 42:8; 1 Corinthians 10:31). He also wants us to live for Jesus rather than for ourselves because Jesus died for our sins and rose again (see 2 Corinthians 5:15).
I wrote my book The Life Changer out of my desire to be a blessing to my book’s readers and my desire to glorify God. If you read my book and like it, please thank and praise God for enabling me to write my book and for allowing it to bless you. May God be glorified in my life and in yours!
Why are There So Many Atheists?
June 19, 2022
The vast majority of Americans still believe in God and believe that He created us. However, a growing number of Americans are atheists. According to a new Gallup Poll released this week, 81% of Americans currently believe in God, the lowest percentage ever reported in a Gallup Poll.1
Young adults are the most likely Americans to deny that God exists. In fact, 40% of young adults today don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.2 Moreover, only 33% of millennials (i.e., people born from 1984 to 2002) believe in God as the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, and just Creator of the universe.3
The title of chapter 4 of my book The Life Changer is “Did God Create Us, or Did We Create God?” This intriguing question is becoming more important each year because the number of atheists is growing. The captivating question can be stated in another way: Does God really exist, or is He just the product of our imagination? In order for us to adequately answer this question, we need to understand why atheism is increasingly becoming a more popular worldview in America today.
One significant reason why atheism is growing in the U.S. is that the amount of suffering that people have been experiencing seems to have increased during the last few years. Millions of us have contracted COVID-19 in the past two years or so, and many people have died from complications related to it. The number of mass school shootings and other violent acts also seems to be on the rise.
Why is there so much suffering if God is good and all-powerful? Many people say that God may not exist or must not exist because there is too much suffering in the world. We have all suffered in some way. However, the existence of evil doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist. The existence of evil shows that God’s ways are different than our ways (see Genesis 50:20; Job 1-2; 42:1-17; Isaiah 55:8-9). In addition, the existence of evil demonstrates that we as human beings have evil thoughts and evil desires, and we freely choose to act upon them (see Genesis 6:5-13). Unlike puppets or robots, we have free will, and we often choose to do what is wrong.
Please see chapter 4 of my book The Life Changer for much more about why we should believe in God despite the existence of evil and suffering.
1 Jeffrey M. Jones, “Belief in God in U.S. Dips to 81%, a New Low,” Gallup, June 17, 2022, https://news.gallup.com/poll/393737/belief-god-dips-new-low.aspx.
2 George Barna, “New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence: Millennials in America,” Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, October 2021, p. 12, https://www.foundationsoffreedom.com/voice-of-reason/file/millennials-in-america-new-insights-into-the-generation-of-growing-influence.
How Can We Know if Our Beliefs Are True?
June 1, 2022
Wouldn’t we all like to know if what we believe is true or false? How can we know if what we believe is true or false? In chapter 5 of my book The Life Changer, I describe five tests that we can use to determine if our main beliefs about ourselves, the world, and God are true or not. In other words, these tests help us to determine if our worldview is true or false.
The five tests enable us to evaluate our worldview by maximizing our critical thinking and minimizing our wishful thinking. While critical thinking involves careful consideration of facts, wishful thinking involves believing what we want to believe without really considering the facts.
In order for our spiritual beliefs to be true, they must be intellectually satisfying, emotionally appealing, and theologically sound. The five tests in my book help us to know if our beliefs satisfy our minds, hearts, and our need to worship God, who is worthy of our worship.
In one of my earlier posts, I described one of the five tests. The test that I wrote about is called the divine glory test. I wrote the following: “The divine glory test enables us to determine if our beliefs about God are true. Our beliefs about God are true if they are theologically sound, and our beliefs about God are theologically sound if they provide us with sufficient reasons for serving and worshipping God. In order for God to be worthy of our worship, He must be both great and good. The Bible reveals that God is great and good and thus worthy of our worship and service.”
In my book The Life Changer, I provide compelling evidence that the Christian worldview passes the divine glory test. I also use the divine glory test and four other tests to evaluate not only the Christian worldview, but also eight other worldviews. Please read The Life Changer so that you can know how to determine if what you believe is true or false.
Responding to the Massacre in Uvalde
May 27, 2022
When I first heard about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, I felt very sad and angry. I prayed for the families and friends of the victims, and I will continue to pray for them. The murder of nineteen children and two adults by an eighteen-year-old shooter is a terrible tragedy. The killer’s massacre was the deadliest school shooting in the USA since 2012.
The shooting raises some important questions. Why did Salvador Ramos kill so many people at Robb Elementary School? Why did he shoot his grandmother in the face before embarking on his killing spree? Was Ramos a monster?
We don’t know for sure what motivated Ramos to shoot and kill so many people earlier this week. We do know that he was bullied because he had a stutter and a strong lisp. We also know that Ramos had few friends, and he exhibited strange behavior before the rampage. For example, he once cut up his face with knives for fun, and he sometimes drove around his neighborhood shooting random people with a BB gun. He was also angry that he failed to graduate from high school this week.1
It’s not helpful to try to explain Ramos’ evil behavior by calling Ramos a “monster.” What Ramos did was clearly wicked, but Ramos was still a human being. Assassinating Ramos’ character by calling him a monster doesn’t enable us to correctly understand why he did what he did. Ramos was an isolated, angry teenager who had acted on his anger and his evil intentions, but he wasn’t a monster.
Although we don’t know why Ramos chose to kill his victims, his bizarre behavior before the shooting and his problems with anger suggest that he probably was under demonic influence or possession when he killed his victims. One writer has correctly argued that the massacre of children is “satanic” and Ramos’ murder of many children was wicked.2 The Bible teaches that demons can possess people, Satan uses human anger to harm people, and Satan seeks to kill people (see Mark 5:1-20; John 10:10; Ephesians 4:26-27; 1 Peter 5:8). Scripture also tells us that those who trust in Jesus can’t be demon possessed because they are indwelled by the all-powerful Holy Spirit (see 1 John 4:4). Ramos clearly wasn’t a follower of Jesus.
It’s possible that requiring stricter background checks for gun buyers might reduce the number of school shootings. However, repealing the 2nd Amendment and taking away the right to bear arms definitely aren’t the solution to decreasing the number of school shootings. The ultimate solution to reducing the number of school shootings is sharing the gospel about Jesus with as many people as possible so that they can trust in him and live for him instead of for themselves. Jesus is the Life Changer, and he changes people from the inside out so that their thoughts, desires, and actions are transformed. People who know Jesus and follow him have a strong desire to help others, not hurt them.
1 Chloe Mayer, “Salvador Ramos Cut His Face for Fun, Would Shoot People with BB Gun—Friend,” Newsweek, May 25, 2022, accessed May 26, 2022, https://www.newsweek.com/salvador-ramos-knives-face-bb-gun-1709987.
2 Dan Sanchez, “The Devil Went Down to Texas: The Utter Evil of the Uvalde Massacre,” FEE Stories, May 25, 2022, accessed May 26, 2022, https://fee.org/articles/the-devil-went-down-to-texas-the-utter-evil-of-the-uvalde-massacre/.
Did God Become Jesus, or Did Jesus Become God?
May 25, 2022
Christians believe that God became a man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they refer to as Jesus Christ. However, some agnostic and atheist authors argue that Jesus wasn’t divine and that he only began to be regarded as divine by Christians many years after he lived on earth.
The Christian belief that God became a man in the person of Jesus is called the Incarnation. It is based on various key Bible passages (e.g., Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-2, 14; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:8). Christians believe that Jesus is the unique God-man—the Son of God and the one and only divine person who has ever lived. They also believe that Jesus claimed to be God’s Son and the way to God (see Mark 14:61-62; John 14:6).
In response to Christians’ belief in Jesus’ divinity, popular agnostic writer Bart Ehrman has written many books, including the book How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014). This book is one of several books by Ehrman that I have read. Ehrman argues in this book that Jesus only came to be considered divine many years after he lived on earth. Is Ehrman right about this issue, or is he wrong about it?
In How Jesus Became God, Ehrman makes some controversial statements. He contends that Jesus was not originally considered to be God by his followers (p. 44). He also maintains that Jesus didn’t consider himself to be divine or call himself divine (p. 87). In addition, Ehrman asserts that exalted self-claims by Jesus are only found in the Gospel of John—not in the other three New Testament Gospels (pp. 125-126). Ehrman also argues that Jesus didn’t actually make the divine self-claims that he is reported to have said in the Gospel of John (pp. 125, 271). Finally, Ehrman contends that Jesus was never given a proper burial after his crucifixion, and his body was probably left on the cross to be devoured by scavenging animals (pp. 157, 160-161).
Ehrman’s main arguments in his book How Jesus Became God are all flawed. Jesus was considered to be God by his earliest followers because he claimed to be God’s Son. He makes divine self-claims not only in the Gospel of John, but also in the other three New Testament Gospels (see Matthew 11:27; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 10:22). These self-claims were recorded by eyewitnesses of Jesus’s ministry. Moreover, a very early Christian creed that went back to the first Christians shows that Jesus’ first followers regarded him as divine, having been buried, and as having risen from the dead (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; see also Philippians 2:5-11). The risen Jesus was also seen in his physical body by over 500 eyewitnesses at one time (see 1 Corinthians 15:6).
Although How Jesus Became God is full of false statements, it does make at least one important point. It correctly states that the four New Testament Gospels are the earliest and best sources about Jesus available to us (p. 90). Other so-called “Gospels” about Jesus (such as the “Gospel of Peter,” which was not actually written by Peter) were written much later than the New Testament Gospels and are thus not good sources of information about what Jesus actually said and did.
God became Jesus; Jesus didn’t become God. In my book The Life Changer, I have a chapter on the why we can trust the New Testament Gospels and a chapter about why we should believe in Jesus’ resurrection. Please read my book to know more about the Gospels and the Resurrection!
God Has Revealed Himself to Us
May 24, 2022
Although some people doubt or deny God’s existence, God has clearly revealed Himself to us. There are two basic ways in which God has revealed Himself to us.
The first way that God has revealed Himself to us is called general revelation. General revelation refers to what nature and the human conscience tell us about God (see Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 2:14-15). God’s general revelation of Himself show us that He is great because He is all-powerful and eternal (see Romans 1:18-20). The beauty of sunrises, sunsets, trees, flowers, mountains, waterfalls, and oceans and the rain that God provides for earth show us that God exists and He is good (see Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17). The human conscience not only tells us what is right and wrong, but also that God exists. We all know that killing, stealing, lying, and committing adultery are wrong because God has given us a conscience. Our sense of right and wrong provides strong evidence for God’s existence.
The second way that God has revealed Himself to us is called special revelation. Special revelation refers to what the Bible, Jesus, and miraculous events tell us about God. The Bible, Jesus, and miraculous events demonstrate to us that God exists and that He is powerful and perfect. The Bible is inspired by God and without error, just as God is pure and holy (see Psalm 19:7; Isaiah 6:3; 2 Timothy 3:16). Jesus is the sinless Son of God, who enables us to be forgiven by God and spend eternity with God we trust in his work on the cross alone for eternal life in heaven (see John 3:16; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:13-14). Miraculous events such as Jesus’ resurrection make it clear that God exists and that He loves us even though we don’t deserve His love.
We know that God exists and that He is good and great. In my book The Life Changer, one of the five tests I use to evaluate our worldviews and beliefs is called the divine glory test. The divine glory test enables us to determine if our beliefs about God are true. Our beliefs about God are true if they are theologically sound, and our beliefs about God are theologically sound if they provide us with sufficient reasons for serving and worshipping God. In order for God to be worthy of our worship, He must be both great and good. The Bible reveals that God is great and good and thus worthy of our worship and service.
For much more about the divine glory test, please read The Life Changer. The divine glory test is a very helpful tool for us to know if what we believe about God is true. Having true beliefs about God makes it possible for us to worship and serve our wonderful Creator.
Should We Believe in God?
May 19, 2022
Most of us believe in God, but the number of atheists in the United States has been growing rapidly during the last ten years or so. One of the reasons that there are more atheists than there used to be is that leading atheists have written influential books promoting their beliefs.
Two of the most influential books written by atheists include The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and Good Without God by Greg Epstein. Although I don’t enjoy reading books written by atheists, I read both of these books several years ago. I’m glad that I read those books because I was able to find some surprising common ground in them between atheism and theism. In my upcoming book The Life Changer, I write about some of this common ground.
Hoping to find more common ground between atheism and theism, I recently read Christopher Hitchens’ book God is Not Great (New York: Twelve, 2009). Unfortunately, instead of finding more common ground in Hitchens’ book, I mainly encountered the author’s arrogant attitude and his ineffective arguments.
Even though I really didn’t like God is not Great, it does feature a few strengths. First of all, it does correctly point out some of the legitimate concerns that readers should have about Islam, the Roman Catholic church, and Mormonism. Secondly, Hitchens’ book correctly points out that the manuscript evidence for one story in the Bible (i.e., the story of the woman caught in adultery found in John 8) isn’t very good. Popular modern Bible versions such as the NIV, ESV, and NASB clearly indicate that this story wasn’t included in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament. This fact is known by all conservative biblical scholars, who also know that the manuscript evidence for the New Testament as a whole is very good.
While God is not Great does have a few commendable features, it has many more weaknesses than strengths. First of all, Hitchens falsely claims that religious faith is ultimately grounded on wishful thinking (p. 4). Secondly, Hitchens mistakenly asserts that religious faith is in conflict with scientific evidence (pp. 47-48). He falsely argues that belief in God is irrational because the evidence for evolution is “overwhelming” (p. 85). The so-called evidence that humans evolved from an apelike ancestor is really not convincing at all. Thirdly, Hitchens incorrectly maintains that religious faith promotes intolerance, sexism, and child abuse (pp. 56, 217). Fourthly, Hitchens mistakenly contends that the four Gospels of the New Testament contain contradictions and historical errors (pp. 111-115). The Gospels are actually based on eyewitness testimony and report the same main details of the stories that they contain. Finally, Hitchens errs in arguing that religion is outdated because of scientific findings that seem to support atheism (p. 282).
The truth is that belief in God’s existence is based on sound arguments and solid reasoning. My book The Life Changer describes three convincing arguments for God’s existence. One of these arguments is so powerful that even atheists such as Richard Dawkins have admitted that it is powerful. In contrast to theism, atheism is much more based on wishful thinking than on good evidence. My book has quotes in which some atheists and agnostics have even admitted that atheism is based more on wishful thinking than on real evidence.
While some religions do seem to promote intolerance and sexism, the Christian faith fosters love and respect for all people, including women and children. The New Testament Gospels show so much respect for women that all four of them describe a group of women as being the first people to see the risen Jesus after his resurrection.
In the fourth chapter of The Life Changer, I seek to make it clear why we should still believe in God. The evidence for God’s existence remains persuasive, and the evidence for evolution remains unconvincing. The vast majority of the most important scientists in human history have been Christians because the evidence for God and for the Bible have compelled them to believe in God and in Jesus. My book contains a list of these very important scientists who have believed in God and also believed in Jesus. Please read it when you get the chance!
How Can We Find Joy, Peace, and Our Purpose?
May 1, 2022
American culture teaches us to focus our lives on seeking money, material things, and other worldly pursuits. We all want to have our dream job. We like to think that our dream job will enable us to earn good money, get enjoyable tasks done well, and give us a sense of fulfillment. Most of us want to live as well as our neighbors do, and we all want to be as happy as our friends seem to be. Their photos posted on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites seem to show how happy they really are. We are bombarded every day by television ads, internet ads, and magazine ads. These ads tempt us to buy products and services that are supposed to make us happy. We all want to show other people that we are successful and enjoying life. We all dream of having a new car and a beautiful place to live in. We want all the good things that life has to offer!
But once we get our dream job, find a nice place to live, and buy a new car, something surprising and disappointing tends to occur. We often still feel like something is missing in our lives. We may even feel like we are running on empty. Dream jobs and material things will not satisfy us because they don’t last forever. They aren’t eternal.
Pursuing the things of this world cannot satisfy our souls. Earning money, having material possessions, and enjoying life’s pleasures will never be enough to satisfy the desire of our hearts. We struggle with stress, negative thoughts, and questions about our purpose when we go after what the world offers us. Our hearts yearn to find real meaning in life.
Fortune, fame, and anything else in the world fail to bring us true contentment. We all long to make a difference in the world. We all want to not only survive and succeed but also to make a significant positive impact on the world. We want to thrive, not just survive. Thriving requires more than having money and a job and more than being in love; it requires knowing God and living for Him.
Besides longing for meaning and significance, we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only God can fill. Even if we aren’t aware of our need for God, we all want and need God in our lives. If we aren’t seeking God, we’ll experience spiritual emptiness. Nothing and no one can make up for the void we’ll experience. Many of us desperately try to fill the void by using money, material things, approval from others, friendships, family, sports, our appearance, fame, popularity, etc. But only God can fill the void within. Our homes, cars, friends, and family cannot satisfy our craving for God. Nothing on this earth can satisfy our souls. Only God can. Only God can bring us lasting joy and peace, and thus our purpose should be to live for Him.
In my book The Life Changer, I have written an entire chapter about our need for God. I encourage you to read my book so that you can know more about our need for God and also read some powerful quotes about our need for Him.
Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
April 1, 2022
This year, Christians around the world will celebrate Easter on April 17th. Christians celebrate Easter every year because they believe that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead three days after he was crucified by a team of Roman soldiers. Did Jesus really rise from the dead, or is the Christian belief in his resurrection only wishful thinking? Is there enough evidence to conclude that Jesus really rose from the dead? The resurrection of Jesus is either a historical fact or it’s a horrible lie.
In order for us to determine if Jesus rose from the dead, we must know whether or not Jesus died on the cross and was properly buried. Some popular books and movies have argued that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross or that he wasn’t properly buried. Perhaps you have heard of the belief that Jesus somehow survived his crucifixion, got married, moved to France, and died as an old man in that country. Or perhaps you have read about the idea that Jesus’ body was buried in a shallow grave and eaten by dogs. These sensationalist claims are interesting, but there is no real evidence for them.
In contrast to these sensationalist claims, there is solid evidence for Jesus’ death on the cross, his proper burial, and his resurrection from the dead. The evidence for Jesus’ death on the cross comes not only from the Bible, but also from secular and Jewish historians. The evidence for Jesus’ proper burial after his crucifixion comes from the Bible, Roman law, a Jewish historian, and archeology. Finally, the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection includes not only the biblical accounts in the Gospels, but also evidence from very early Christian creeds and from archeology.
In my book The Life Changer, I have written an entire chapter about the resurrection of Jesus. This is the most important issue in the Bible and in all of sacred literature. Why? It’s so crucial because if Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body, then we know that he is the divine Son of God, and the Christian faith is true. If he didn’t rise from the dead, then Jesus isn’t God’s Son, and Christianity is false (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 20–28, 42–58). My book includes a new argument for the resurrection of Jesus and a helpful evaluation of alternative theories to his resurrection. I encourage you to read my book so that you can know much more about this very important issue!
May God bless you and your family with a wonderful Easter!
We All Have the Same Basic Needs and Wants
March 3, 2022
Despite all of our different backgrounds and life experiences, we all share some important things in common. We all have the same basic needs as human beings. These common needs are physical, emotional, and spiritual.
We all need joy, peace, and a purpose for our lives. Addressing these emotional and spiritual needs is just as crucial as addressing our physical needs for food, sleep, and a place to live. Having joy in our lives fills us with a sense that God is in control of our lives no matter what is going on in them. Having peace provides us with emotional and spiritual tranquility through a healthy relationship with God. Having a purpose for our lives energizes us, enables us to focus, and infuses our daily activities with meaning.
We also all yearn to enjoy lives filled with meaning, love, and laughter. We strongly desire to find meaning in our lives, to experience God, and to be loved by Him. We long to live a satisfying life that pleases God and makes a positive impact on the world.
Keeping Our Promises
March 1, 2022
Five weeks before my sister Nicole went home to heaven, I promised her that I would continue to share her story with as many people as I could. Like many other people, I prayed so much for God to heal her on this earth. I didn’t know if she would have much time left here, and God chose to heal her in heaven instead of on earth.
This month will be Nicole’s second heavenly birthday. She is having a great time up in heaven, but I and many other people miss her a lot. I thank God that even though I really miss Nicole, I can keep my promise to her. I can continue to share her remarkable story as God leads with everyone who wants to hear it. A chapter in my upcoming book The Life Changer: Finding Joy, Peace, and Your Purpose by Discovering Truth (2022) includes Nicole’s powerful story of God’s work in her unforgettable life.
Jesus says that we should keep our promises (see Matthew 5:33, 37). Instead of looking for ways to break our promises, we can follow God’s example and do our best to keep our word. God is always faithful; He always keeps His promises to us even though we don’t always keep our promises to Him or to other people (see Numbers 23:19).
When other people fail to keep their promises to us, we are deeply disappointed in them. We feel hurt, and we may even feel betrayed. We often struggle to forgive those who break their promises to us.
God and Jesus are much better at keeping their promises than any of our friends, family members, and coworkers are at keeping them. Unlike other people, God never disappoints us because He always keeps His promises to us. Like God, Jesus always keeps his promises to us. Jesus has promised us that if we truly trust in him, he will give us the joy, peace, and purpose that our hearts hunger for (see Matthew 6:25-34; 28:18-20; John 10:10; 14:27; 15:11; 16:33). Jesus will also give us the hope and the forgiveness of our sins that we need in order to follow him and to spend eternity in heaven with him (see John 14:1-3; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9). We can follow Jesus’ example and live for God by keeping our promises. If we keep our promises, God will be pleased with us and bless our relationships with Him and with other people.
Nicole Inman: Remembering an Amazing Person
December 8, 2021
My sister Nicole went home to heaven to be with Jesus in December 2020. As I reflect upon her life, I remember an amazing person who lived for God instead of for herself. Her story is remarkable and inspiring despite the challenges that she faced after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Her story continues to inspire and encourage many people.
Nicole was a Christian with strong, unshakable faith. She was a very kind, caring, energetic, generous, and hard-working woman. Nicole had a magnetic personality, and she radiated warmth and authenticity. Nicole was a devoted wife, a loving mother, an outstanding coach, and a gifted teacher. She was loved by her family, church, and community. Nicole was the most unselfish person I have ever known.
Nicole didn’t get angry at God over her brain cancer or feel sorry for herself. She regarded her challenging life circumstances as an opportunity to grow in her faith and to share it with others. Nicole was determined to make good things result from her challenging life circumstances. Nicole set up a “Hope Warrior” blog, and her uplifting blog posts encouraged and inspired the thousands of people who read them. Her blog posts profoundly touched friends, family members, soccer players, students, the local media, and many other people throughout the USA and in other countries. Her heartwarming interviews with local media resonated with thousands of people. Countless people prayed for Nicole and wore “Hope Warrior” t-shirts, which featured seven encouraging Bible verses about trusting in God and not being afraid (Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 35:4; 41:10; John 14:1; Romans 15:13; 1 Peter 5:7). Nicole frequently spoke about her faith with other cancer patients and anyone else whom God brought into her life. Nicole was an amazing person because she served an amazing God.
My book The Life Changer: Finding Joy, Peace, and Your Purpose by Discovering Truth (2022) is dedicated to the readers and in loving memory of Nicole. The book includes Nicole’s inspiring story and the stories of other Christians who have discovered the truth that sets us free to live for God. Five weeks before she passed away, I promised Nicole that I would share her story with as many people as possible. I want many more people to know how Jesus gave Nicole hope, joy, peace, and purpose in life. Jesus has also changed my life. He satisfies our deepest spiritual needs and wants because he is the Life Changer.