Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quoting Questions (61) Through (70) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " As Raised By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Questions (61) through (70), as raised in the book, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " by Stephen M. Miller, are being precisely quoted below for the benefit of those readers who have no access to Miller's book:

" 61.  The Bible says if you raise a child right, the kid will grow up nice and religious. I know some pastors' kids who did not turn out quite like that."

" 62.  Why would Peter condemn Ananias and Sapphira to death for exaggerating their donation ? why not thank them instead ? "

" 63.  Why would a thinking person believe the story that the reason we have so many languages is because God punished people for building the Tower of Babel ? "

"64.  Why did God introduce himself to Moses by speaking from a burning bush, of all things ? "

" 65  Why do preachers tell people they have to tithe 10 percent of their income, when tithing is one of  many Jewish laws that Christians throughout the centuries have said is obsolete ? "

" 66.  Elijah went to heaven in a chariot of  fire ?  Doesn't it sound suspicious that the only witness was his successor, Elisha ? "

" 67.  Why did the prophet Elisha invoke God's name to put a curse on boys for calling him " Baldy, " and is that why bears killed them ? "

" 68.  Why would God order the death penalty for kids who hit their parents or who do nothing more than speak disrespectfully to them ? "

" 69. Did God really clobber Egypt with ten plagues ?  The poisoned Nile River turning red, swarm of bugs, epidemics, three days of darkness--it all sounds over the top. "

" 70.  God killed 70,000 Jews because King David took a census ?  What's wrong with counting warm bodies, and why would God punish innocent folks for something their king did ? "



Friday, February 27, 2015

Quoting Questions (51) Through (60) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible."

By Sodium

Questions (51) through (60) are quoted below, precisely as they have been raised in the book entitled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " by Stephen M. Miller:

" 51.  What was fair and righteous about Noah putting a curse on his grandson, Canaan, for something the boy father did ? "

" 52.  God says it's a sin for Jews to charge interest to each other, but they can charge interest to anyone else. Why the discrimination ? "

" 53.  First the sea parted so Moses and the Jews could cross it. Then the Jordan River stopped so Joshua and the Jews could cross it. Sounds like a rerun. Did someone get their stories crossed ? "

" 54.  Who's going to believe Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale or some other sea critter ?

" 55.  So, the father of God's  chosen people--the Jews--is Jacob, a jerk who cheated both his brother and his father, and then had to run for his life all the way to Turkey ? "

" 56.  Why did God handpick Saul to become Israel's first king only to trash him after Saul broke a nitpicking religious rule--an offense that seemed to warrant no more than a slap on the wrist ? "

" 57.  After God withdrew his Spirit from King Saul, " an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. " If God is good, what's he doing siccing an evil spirit on someone ? "

" 58.  Why should anyone believe there's an evil spirit called the devil ?  He's a no--show in the entire Jewish Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament.

" 59.  Why did God strike a man dead for nothing more than trying to protect Israel's most sacred relic--the ark of the covenant, a chest that hold the Ten Commandments ? "

" 60.  Jesus said we shouldn't judge one another, so why do Christians do so much ? "



Monday, February 23, 2015

Quoting Questions (41) Through (50) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible. "

By Sodium

In his book titled " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible, " author, Stephen M. Miller raises the following questions, given numbers (41) through (50):

" 41. The Bible says, " Prayer offered in faith will heal the sick."  If that's true, why aren't doctors out of business ? "

"42.  Jonah ' s prophecy that Nineven in forty days didn't come true. Why doesn't that make him a fraud ? "

" 43.  God ordered Joshua and the invading Jews to kill everyone who lived in what is now Israel--men, women, children, and even animals. Why would God do such a thing ? "

" 44.  Why does the Bible praise a man who sacrificed his own daughter ? "

" 45.  People in the early church were " baptized for the dead. "  Isn't that a bit late ? "

" 46.  Speaking of his return, Jesus said, " This generation will not disappear until all these things take place. "  That was fifty generations ago. Why do Christians still talk so much about the second coming of Jesus ? "

" 47.  Why does the Bible say homosexuality is a sin ? Don't science and our own observation suggest that some people are naturally homosexual ? "

" 48.  To feed Moses and the Jewish refugees, God sent enough white--flake manna and fresh quail to feed them all. We are supposed to swallow that ? "

" 49.  Why does the New Testament describe Samson as a heroof the faith ?  Almost everything he did seems driven by revenge or lust ? "

" 50.  God's prescribed diet for the Jews included crickets, locusts, and grasshoppers, but no lobster, shrimp, or soft--shell crab. What does that say about God's opinion of Jews ? "




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quoting Questions (31) Through (40) Of the " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible. "

By Sodium

Questions (31) through (40), as raised in the book titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " by Stephen M. Miller, are being quoted below, as they precisely appear in the book:

" 31. Why did Jesus seem to paint God as a genie waiting in heaven to grant our every wish: " Have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours " ? "

" 32. Some respected archaeologists say Jericho was a ghost town by the time Joshua got there. What evidence is there to support the Bible story ? "

" 33. Why did Joshua order a man and his family stoned to death and burned only because the man took a few valuables from Jericho--a city the Jews had just destroyed, killing everyone ?  The man ' s family hadn't done anything.

"34. Daniel 's prophecies about the Greek Empire track nicely with what happened. Isn't that a clue that someone wrote it after the fact--as history instead of prophecy ? "

" 35. Was God okay with polygamy ?  Some of God 's favorite people--such as Jacob, David and Solomon--had a harem of wives.

"36. The only rule God gave Adam and Eve was not to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge about good and evil. What  does God have against people knowing the difference between right and wrong ? "

" 37. The Bible says " sons of God " had sex with human women who gave birth to giants. Doesn't that sound a little like Greek mythology ? "

" 38. Would a loving God really put a good man like Job through horrible suffering just to test his loyalty ? "

" 39. Psalm 44:23 says, "Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up!" Does God catch Zzz's ?

" 40. " We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God--those whom he has called according to his plan." How would you explain that idea to a Holocaust survivor ? Or to just about anyone at a funeral ? "



INTERESTED ?  STAY TUNE.             

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quoting Questions (21) Through (30) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible "

By Sodium

Questions 21 through 30 are being quoted below precisely as given in the book, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible  " by Stephen M. Miller:

" 21. How on earth could the Red Sea have parted so Moses and the Jews could escape from the Egyptian army ? "

" 22. Fire and brimstone destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah--and Lot 's wife turned into a pillar of salt. Evidence ? "

" 23. How could Moses have spent forty years in the desolate badland on the border between what is now Israel and Egypt, with 2 to 3 million refugees ?  That's a bit like Chicago ( population ) in Death Valley ( in U.S.A. ) "

" 24. How could killing a goat get rid of a person 's sin ? "

" 25. When bachelor Paul told women to be quiet in church and always do what their husbands say, was he really speaking for God--and to women throughout all time ? "

" 26. Why do Christians say hell is a fiery place of eternal torture ? Bible scholars say hell is just an English word invented to translate Himmon ( Hebrew ) or Gehenma ( Greek ), the name of a valley on Jerusalem ' s south side.

" 27. Why would a loving God condemn anyone--even humanity ' s worst offenders--to never--ending torture in fire ? "

" 28. Shouldn't we be a tad skeptical when we read that Abraham and Sarah had their first son, Isaac, when he was 100 and she was 90 ( year old ) ? "

" 29. If God knows everything, why did he test Abraham 's faith by asking him to sacrifice his own son ? "

" 30. Why do rich people think they're going to heaven, given what Jesus and James ( one of the disciples who wrote The Bible ) said about the rich ( people ) ? "



Monday, February 16, 2015

Quoting Questions (11) Through (20) Of The Book Titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible. "

By Sodium

Questions 11 Through 20 of the book titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible "
 authored by Stephen Miller are precisely quoted below:

" 11. Given what we know today from science, why do so many Christians say the universe was created in six days ? "

" 12. Why do most Christians believe there was global flood in the time of Noah when most geologists say otherwise ? "

" 13. To seal the partnership contract between God and Abraham, God told Abraham to circumcise himself. How is cutting on the dotted line anything like signing on the dotted line ? "

" 14. Inconsistency alert: John 1:18 says, " No one has ever seen God, " but that's not what other Bible writers say. "

" 15.God 's law said that if a jealous husband merely suspected his wife of having an affair, he could force her into a trial by ordeal. That's what God calls justice ? "

" 16. If Joshua stopped the sun and moon with his battlefield prayer, as the bible say he did, that would have halted the 1,070 mph rotation of the earth. So why didn 't everyone get whiplash ? "

" 17. God made Eve from Adam ' s rib. Are you ribbing me ? "

" 18. Given that the snakes  don 't say much these days, why do many Christians insist that a snake talked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit ? "

" 19. Why do many Christians say the wine and bread of Communion actually turn into Jesus' blood and body ? "

" 20. Wouldn 't it seem more reasonable to believe that Jesus' disciples stole his body instead of believing that he rose from the dead and walked away ? "



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Quoting The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " Precisely As Raised By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

It is highly recommended that the interested reader reads the previous essay titled " The Introduction Of The Book, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller. The date of publication, on this website, is February 6, 2015. However, it is much better to obtain a copy of the book and read it from cover to cover. Please try to appreciate the critical thinking behind raising such tough questions.

The questions being raised, in the book by Stephen Miller, have dealt with both the Old and the New Testaments of The Bible.  Most likely, blindly adherents to either Christianity or Judaism will not appreciate reading such tough and daring questions. To those type of readers, the content of such a critical book is not for them to read. Hence, to such readers, I suggest to stop reading, at this very point and moment in time. I do hate antagonizing any reader of this website, but I cannot shy away from admiring critical thinking, regardless of the source and regardless of the subject the critical thoughts might have touched. Meanwhile, I feel that I must make it very clear that, I, for one, have respected the critical thoughts and truly objective attempts expressed by the author, Stephen Miller. In fact, I have admired the answers he has provided for each question because they are truly engaging in the objective manners they have been expressed and presented. My hat is tipped to Miller's hard hitting efforts.  

To quote correctly the 100 tough questions Stephen Miller has risen, in his book  will be presented  in this blog BETWEEN QUOTATIONS, to remind the interested readers that those tough questions  have been raised by the author of the book, not by Sodium: The one hundred questions will be divided into 10 parts. Each part will be composed of ten questions. That means that the 100 questions will be presented on this website in a total of 10 separate blogs. Attempts will be made to complete quoting them as promptly as possible: The first ten questions are being quoted below, for the benefit of those readers who have, for various reasons, no accessibility to the book to read from cover to cover-hence quoting the questions may provide them with, at least, an idea about the book and what the author of the book has tried to convey to the readers:

" 1. What on earth do Christians mean when they say the bible is " inspired by God " ?

" 2. We're supposed to believe that once upon a time people like Noah lived more than 900 years ? "

" 3. When Israel 's high priest wanted to hear from God, he used some magical stones called Urim and Thumin which gave him a yes or no answer. Isn ' t  that a bit like flipping a coin ? "

" 4. The Bible says God gets jealious, but how is that not petty of him ? "

" 5. The song of songs in the Bible is so sexually charged that sounds like it needs " rated for a mature audience. "  What 's it doing in the Holy Bible ? "

" 6. God said King Hezekiah would die of an illness, but a few minutes later said he would let Hezekiah live another fifteen years. How can someone who knows everything change his mind like that ? "

" 7 How could Mary have been pregnant virgin 2,000 years before in vitro fertilization ? "

" 8. Why should anyone believe that a star led the wise men to Bethlehem when stars do not move like that ? "

" 9. Since Jesus told people to turn the other cheek, why aren ' t  more Christians pacifists ? "

" 10  If Jesus was so great, you would think Roman or Jewish history writers of his own time would have written about him. Did they ? "



Friday, February 6, 2015

The Introduction Of The Book, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible. " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Since I intend to quote, in the next 10 blogs, every question that has been raised in the book titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " by Stephen M. Miller, I wish to let Mr. Miller convey in his own words, to the readers of this website, exactly how he feels and thinks in writing such a provocative book. I wish to do so because I cannot do it for Mr. Miller, regardless how hard I try, because of the obvious reason: I am not him. Below is the INTRODUCTION of the book titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " :



Not being a preacher, I am not inclined to preach to you.
So please do not expect me to tell you what to think.
    I did graduate from seminary, but before that I was a news journalist-- a newspaperman.
    I love hard hitting questions.
    I love digging for answers.
    I want the truth-- even when it 's contrary to what I think. Especially then.
    What I do not want are:
   * Cliches' based on nothing in particular.
   * Answers dodged because it's the safe thing to do.
   * One-sided sermons about complex problems.

   When I ask a question, I want an honest answer. Even if it's " I don't  know. "
   I can handle that.
   I think most Christians can, too. So can non-Christians and Bible newbies, especially those who        are genuinely curious about God and the Bible but do not know what to make of it all.
   Everyone respects openness and honesty.
   Inside this book are some hard questions I 've collected from Christians and non-Christians alike.
  As for the answers I won't be trying to sell on one over the other.
  Think of me as Switzerland.
  I am a journalist covering the Bible beat. I ''ve tried to round up the best answers I can find and report them to you for your consideration.
  I think you will be surprised at some of the answers I found.
  I was. And so was my editor.

A word of thanks

Books don't usually run credits like a movie does. But they should.
  Books like this aren't a one-man show.
  They 'r a three-ring circus.
  Here are a few stars who deserve time in the spotlight:
  Steve Laube, my agent. He pitched the book proposal to select group of editors.
  Tim Peterson, acquisition editor.He caught the pitch.
  Dan Pitts, Ellen Chalifoux, Nancy Renich, Dan Malda, and all the others at Bethany House who helped this became become reality.
  God bless them. Every one.

Note: The next 10 blogs will embody the tough questions. I do hope that I shall be able to do that as promptly as possible.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Author Who Has Suggested To Think Of Him As " Switzerland . "

By Sodium

Perhaps, this is one of the shortest blogs I have written for publishing on this website. And it has to do with a daring author who has truly written critical questions concerning God and the Bible-both, The Old Testament and The New Testament. I have just finished reading his book titled, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible. " And I must admit that I am highly impressed by his critical daring in thoughts and ability to express them in simple English.

Some of the readers of his book may consider his book as too provocative. Others may accuse him of being an atheist who want to condemn both The Old and The New Testaments of the Bible. Provocative ?  Yes, it is in the toughness of the questions he has raised and in the touch of objectivity he has been able to muster.

To conclude from reading the book that he is an atheist is difficult to conclude, because he has given the impression, at least to me, that he has attempted to find answers to tough questions.  Even if he is an atheist, the questions he has critically raised should be brought up in the open and in front and must be answered by devout Christians, devout Jews, as well as by Christian and Jewish scholars. That is one good way through which the narratives of both The Old Testament and The New Testament can be explored and understood, with a degree of objectivity.

What all of the above has to do with a country called " Switzerland " ?

In his attempt to convince the readers of his book that he is NEUTRAL in raising such tough questions about God and The Bible, the author of the book, Stephen M. Miller, has written in the Introduction of the book the following words:

" Think of me as Switzerland. Neutral. "

An original thought and impressive, indeed.