Wednesday, April 6, 2011


A good friend pointed out a mistake I have made in my posts and comments. He told me that when I say "Skeptics say," I am implying all skeptics believe this and I am making skepticism seem wrong. I agree with his criticism of me, and will be more careful how I phrase my points. I never intended to lump all skeptics together or imply that all skepticism was wrong.

In fact skepticism is a Biblical principle. The center scripture of this blog; 1st Peter 3:15 is based on having a healthy practice of skepticism, so that you may be able to explain why you believe what you do. The writer of Acts also pointed out the importance of skepticism.
Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The Bereans were skeptical of what Paul was saying and searched the scriptures to make sure he was rightly representing the word of God. It was skepticism that caused me question my own beliefs and see if this Bible stuff had anything to it. It is skepticism that has strengthened my faith as I have sought out answers for all those doubts and questions I have had. I am very skeptical of most so called Bible teachers, because there is a lot of flat out false teaching out there. I am even skeptical of some of my own Pastor's views from time to time.

This skepticism is not based on any great wisdom I have, but on what the Bible actually says. Many people disregard the Bible because so many churches have different interpretations of what it says. However, I have found in most cases where churches diagree on doctrines, the disagreements are not based on an ambiguity in scripture, but in a refusal to accept what the scripture says on the matter. Core doctrines are not open for interpretation, the Bible is clear in almost every case. This is why skepticism is so important. A lack of skepticism in the church causes people to blindly follow leadership that is not representing God's word. The Westborough Baptist Church is an example of this. This heretical church is an agent of hate, not the love of Christ. There are many examples I could cite, but suffice it to say that a lack of honest skepticism in the church has given the church a bad name.

There is a balance however. I also have spoken with individuals who are skeptical just because they refuse to even entertain the possibility they might be wrong about something. Some may even accuse me of this. I admit I have been overly passionate in some discussions I have had about God. I am sure in some cases it was more about my pride than my desire for truth. I have been convicted of this on a couple of occasions, and I admit I was wrong in the tone I took. Believe me I am convinced that the Bible is indeed the word of God. I have many reasons for this. This does not mean I claim to know everything. I know I lack understanding about certain things. However I have experienced God intervening in my life on a daily basis for over 10 years. Because of this and the evidence I see in scripture, I don't believe anything will destroy my faith. I do pledge, however to listen to all points of view with an open mind and an open Bible.


  1. Good post, Tim. We'll be in touch soon.

  2. I agree, Method. Ideally, it would be nice if everyone took the stance of "this is what I believe/think, and I could be wrong and if I was convinced through evidence I WILL change my mind".

    I think this is how I presented my "coming out" to TIm: I said that I am probably an atheist and I am open to changing my mind.

    I hope that Tim feels the same way and even if not, I think the talk I had with him showed him a different take on skepticism...or at the very least atheists won't try to eat babies.

    What say you, Tim, are you 100% convinced that you are right, or do you take the skeptic's view that if you were shown wrong, you would change your world view?


  3. Again we know from christian and non christian historians in the first and second century that the central faith of Christianity is His diety, His death, His resurrection, and the birth of the church that spread throughout Rome in the first century. Legends dont turn the world upside down as Christianity did.

  4. Bob, I am certain of God's existance and that the Bible is written by His Holy Spirit through the prophets and apostles. As for how God has done things or why He has done them, I admit I do not always know as scripture is sometimes silent on the hows and whys. I am open to hearing what science says about things. However theories are not facts and theories do not take into account God. Sometimes science assumes a linear world and do not take into account non linear events such as a world wide flood for example. So I am open to the latest scientific theories but skeptical ofcourse.

  5. Tim, I think when we next meet, we should try to iron out what the colloquial understanding of theory and the scientific understanding of theory are. So, at the very least, we can come to an agreement that when the "theory of gravity", for example, is used we can understand what is meant.

    I am still a bit skeptical (pardon the pun) of your skepticism in that you hold that you are 100% sure of your stance on the world, which is a bit disadvantageous for those you argue against and also for yourself. But we're getting there. :)

    We'll talk soon!

    So, we'll be in touch soon about a coffee.

  6. I have spoken with Jews and heard Jewish Rabbis try to explain scriptures like Isaiah 7, 9, 53 and Daniel 9 and what I have found is that before Jesus came the majority of Rabbis saw these scriptures as Messianic prophecies. After Jesus, those who rejected Him changed their interpretation of these scriptures and the explanations are weak.

    Anyway upon further study of this Isaiah 7:14 prophecy. Isaiah points to a physical fulfillment of this in that Israel would be delivered from Assyria. This is spoken of in the next chapter. However throughout scripture we find many double fulfillments. One example of this is the Abomination of Desolation which Jesus referred to as a historical event that would happen again in the future with the antichrist. The virgin birth of God incarnate is not only supported by New Testament testimony (which I know means nothing to you) but is supported by Isaiah himself in chapter 9 verse 6. I know you will most likely reject this explanation but scripture does tell us that the sum of Gods word is where we can properly interpret and understand prophecy.