Ask Your Preacher
Who wrote the Gospel of Mark, and how do we know the author was inspired by God?
Dear Genuine Article,
The Gospel According to Mark is generally agreed to have been written by John Mark. This is based upon early church historians and comments made by early christian writers. It isn’t necessary that we know who penned the book of Mark, but that is the general consensus. John Mark would have been in a perfect position to write an account of Christ’s life having been a traveling companion of both Paul and Barnabas (Acts 12:25) and being a part of a family of early converts to Christianity (Acts 12:12).
We know that the Gospel of Mark is inspired for the same reason that we know the rest of the New Testament is inspired. Mark’s book repeats the same details as the other gospels, it shows all the same characteristics of inspiration as the rest of the Bible, and the early christians (who would have personally known the writer) accepted it as an inspired account of Christ’s life. Read “Who Wrote The Bible?” for a more in-depth explanation of evidence that God authored the Bible.
How do you respond to someone saying they do not believe in God because they think believers are brainwashed from an early age?
Thinking For Myself
Dear Thinking For Myself,
When faced with someone who believes that Christianity is based off of a mindless faith, we try and show people the evidence that points toward Christianity. After all, many people convert to Christ after growing up in atheistic and anti-religious households. You might point out to this person that not all christians were raised to be that way; many choose it later in life. If that peaks their interest, you might point them to some of the evidence for God's existence. We recommend that you read the post “Does God Exist?” for a list of some of those evidences.
I have gone to church all my life. I have never had an issue with my faith; I’ve always believed, but recently, with a lot of negativity towards religion and science explaining everything, I feel like I am losing my faith rather quickly. Do you have any words of wisdom that can help me believe truly again?
Need To Believe
Dear Need To Believe,
Everyone faces times of doubt in their life; the key is to strengthen the weaknesses in our resolve. Like the man who cried out, “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24), all christians must recognize that faith must grow and increase over time.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). We can’t see God, but there is plenty of evidence that He exists. The whole creation cries out as evidence of God’s existence (Rom 1:20). As science and our knowledge of the natural world have increased, the proof of God’s existence has increased as well. Books like Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel, Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, and Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell are excellent resources that make clear the existence of the God of the Bible. Take the time to fill your mind with information from sources like those mentioned above, and you will find yourself more confident in no time (Php 4:8).
God tells us to come and “reason together with Him” (Isa 1:18). There are entire scientific communities such as Answers In Genesis that are dedicated to the study of the science that proves God’s existence. There are reasons and evidences that prove that God exists, and it is surprising how few people ever talk about those evidences. We have an entire category in our archives dedicated to evidences that God exists and the Bible is His Word because we here at AYP are so frequently asked about that topic.
Not only is it possible to prove God exists, it is possible to prove that He authored the Bible. The Bible is the most unique book in the world. The Bible is scientifically accurate (though written long before modern science), historically accurate (down to the last archeological detail), prophetically accurate (the Bible predicts events down to the smallest detail hundreds of years in advance), and it never contradicts itself (even though the Bible was written over the course of hundreds of years by dozens of different writers). In a world of rare writings, the Bible stands alone. For further details, read our post “Who Wrote The Bible?”.
There is no doubt that God exists – the evidence speaks for itself.
I am currently a Deist, not tying myself to any one religion or belief; however, I do believe that there is a Supreme Being, One who orchestrated the birth of the universe. However, I also believe in the findings of our scientists, such as the Big Bang theory and the scientific theory of evolution. Because I believe in a god, but not a Christian god, where does that leave me on that Great Day (according to Christianity)? I just figure that if Christianity WAS the correct path after all, would that "kind and just" God send me to an eternity of damnation, or would He understand my doubts because He created me in His own image?
It is understandable with all of the opinions that are thrown around as science for you to feel torn between belief in God and the belief in evolution, but it isn’t enough to believe in a generic god – we must place our faith in the God. After all, even the demons admit belief in deity… but that won’t save them on the Day of Judgment (Jas 2:19). Jesus is a very exclusive Savior. He very boldly claims, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no comes to the Father, but by Me.” (Jhn 14:6). If you don’t have a life of faith built upon following Christ, you won’t be saved. That may sound harsh, but let’s talk about the evidence that God provides to make it possible for a deist to turn into a christian.
First of all, all faith is built upon some sort of evidence. That evidence may be historical data (like when you trust traffic lights to work properly because they have statistically done so in the past), it may be personal experience (i.e. when you trust a friend because they have shown good judgment and loyalty in the past), or circumstantial evidence (like when a jury convicts a murderer based upon the evidence presented to them – even when there weren’t eyewitnesses at the scene of the crime).
Your belief that there is some sort of Supreme Being is probably based upon some sort of basic evidence from the world that you see around you. Rom 1:20 says that God has provided evidence of His existence in the creation around us. From galaxies to atoms, this world shows the signs of design. A design requires a Designer. God’s handiwork is seen in the finely-tuned craftsmanship of the human eye, just like Nikon’s handiwork is shown in the craftsmanship of their cameras. You’ve done well to acknowledge His existence in a general way… but we would beg you to keep digging deeper.
Don’t be dissuaded by the scientists that say we evolved from goo. First of all, not all scientists are evolutionists – no matter what the media tells you. Thousands of biologists, geologists, doctors, paleontologists, etc. believe in the Creator of the Bible, and they are intellectually honest in doing so. The scientific evidence has led them to the Bible, not away from it. Second of all, things like evolution and the Big Bang are a way of interpreting the scientific data, not a concrete finding from the data. One scientist sees a bed of fossils, and because he doesn’t believe in God, he interprets that the fossils were created over millions of years. Another scientist sees the same fossil bed, and because he does believe in God, he interprets that a catastrophic event (like Noah’s Flood) is what caused such a sudden build up of fossils and silt. They see same evidence, but come to vastly different conclusions. Read “Atheism-Colored Glasses” for further details on the subject of scientific bias.
Next, after looking at the general evidence of God’s existence, it is time to look at the specific evidence of the Bible’s supernatural origins. The Bible is a unique book; it is a book that no human could ever write. We would encourage you to read “Who Wrote The Bible?” for a comprehensive list of reasons why the Bible is a book that only God could have written. Once we begin to see the evidence for the Bible’s divine origins, we have no choice but to ask ourselves, “Will I follow God’s Word?”.
God expects us to follow Jesus because He has given us plenty of evidence that Jesus is the one and only true Son of God. We would encourage you to follow the evidence – it will lead you straight to Jesus the Christ.
All the major faiths of the world preach that only through following their teachings and believing in their god will one reach heaven. This means everyone else goes to hell. To a christian, all the muslims are hell-bound. To a muslim, all the christians are infidels and will never reach God. I find it hard to believe that a loving God would set up half the world for failure. Each faith is strict about the requirements to spend eternity with God. How do we come to terms with this concept that ours is the only way?
Dear Too Exclusive,
One of the key components to any religion is that we accept that particular religion’s god as he is. It isn’t fair to simultaneously try and find which god is real (Allah, Buddha, Jehovah, etc.) and also have a pre-conceived notion about how we want God to behave. If the Muslim’s are right, then Allah exists, and it doesn’t matter whether Allah is loving or not – Allah is what Allah is. If the Buddhists are correct, it doesn’t matter whether we like reincarnation or not – reincarnation exists. The same is true with Jehovah, the God of the Bible. God is who God is, without regard to our opinion of how we feel He ought to be. We may feel that He has “set up” a large portion of society for failure, but if the God of the Bible is real (and we feel confident He is!), we must take Him at His Word that all have evidence of His existence and are without excuse if they don’t follow Him (Rom 1:20).
The key to finding which god is the true God is to look at the evidence – primarily the key documents for each religion. When you compare the Koran, the Dharma, the Veda, and other books of faith to the Bible… there is no comparison. The Bible is accurate scientifically, prophetically, historically, and contextually consistent; it never contradicts itself and contains truths that only God would know and yet can be proven true by practice. We highly recommend you read our article “Who Wrote The Bible?” for further explanation of the proof that the Bible is from God. When analyzing religion in the search for truth, follow the evidence, and it will always lead you to the Bible.