Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Why prefer Jesus to gods, emperors, and other ancient figures associated with miracles?

Critics often draw comparisons between Jesus and other ancient figures who had miracles attributed to them. It's often suggested that there's no or insufficient reason to favor Jesus over those other figures. A few points, among many others that could be made:

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Early Roman Opposition To Praying To The Dead And Angels

One of the most neglected issues in debates between Protestants and Roman Catholics (and Protestants and Eastern Orthodox) is who we should pray to. Prayer is a major aspect of life, and there's strong Biblical and extrabiblical evidence for the Protestant view that we should pray only to God, but the issue is seldom brought up in discussions between Protestants and Catholics. And when it is brought up, the evidence for the Protestant view is typically highly underestimated (including by the Protestant side). For a collection of links to some of our posts on the subject, see here.

What I want to focus on in this post, however, is the evidence we have for early opposition to praying to the deceased and angels in the city of Rome. That has a lot of significance in the context of evaluating Roman Catholicism. Regarding some evidence from Hermas, an early Roman Christian, see here and here. On Justin Martyr, who spent some time in Rome, see here. Irenaeus also spent some time in Rome. The post here discusses his view of prayer, among other issues. And see here on Hippolytus. Since Hippolytus is sometimes misrepresented as having supported prayers to the dead in his commentary on the book of Daniel, I want to note that we have some posts in our archives refuting that misrepresentation, such as here.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Life After Our Resurrection

We should think far more than we do about what life will be like after our resurrection and how we're preparing for it:

"The importance of clarity about what lies at the end of the Christian pilgrimage seemed to [Richard] Baxter incalculable….The more strongly one desires an end, the more carefully and diligently one will use the means to it. [Baxter:] 'The Love of the end is the poise and spring, which setteth every Wheel a going.' But an unknown end will not be loved. 'It is a known, and not merely an unknown God and happiness, that the soul doth joyfully desire.' Such desire will then give wings to the soul. 'It is the heavenly Christian that is the lively Christian. It is strangeness to heaven that makes us so dull. It is the end that quickens to all the means; and the more frequently and clearly this end is beheld, the more vigorous will all our motion be….We run so slowly, and strive so lazily, because we so little mind the prize.'" (J.I. Packer, cited here)