Kyle is a pastor at the People of Mars Hill in Mobile, AL where he lives with his beautiful wife.
Posted 3/4/14 at 9:18 AM | Kyle Beshears |
"We can't trust the Bible because it was corrupted through years of translation."
We've all heard this line before. Recently, I've heard it a lot. It's an argument for why people should not or cannot trust the Bible.
The theory goes that through the ages people copied and recopied the Bible, each time changing it just a bit so as to reflect what they wanted it to say.
It's a bit like a massive game of Chinese Telephone or Chinese Whispers for my British friends. (Either way, what's with the name? Are the Chinese known for a consistent breakdown in long-distance communication or something? What's the deal?)
Usually, people who question whether the Bible is reliable come from a wide array of backgrounds. Anyone from staunch atheists to devote Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have questioned why we should trust the modern Bible.
For atheists, it is a book of myths passed down from generation to generation, suffering severe alterations due to translator bias or Christian agendas. For Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, it is a damaged scripture missing theological points restored only by their scripture. FULL POST
Posted 2/7/14 at 11:33 AM | Kyle Beshears |
If you’re like me, I’m sure you woke up this morning to a barrage of news articles claiming that the discovery of domesticated camel bones have definitively disproved the Bible.
Alarming? Yes. True? Mmmm not exactly.
Unfortunately, the article titles are a bit misleading because they draw conclusions that the researchers, Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef, do not draw. It is a bit frightening to see how irresponsibly the various media outlets have spun Sapir-Hen and Ben-Yosef’s research. Here is just a gleaming of some popular outlets and their article titles.
“Major discrepancy in the Bible” – Huffington Post
A major discrepancy in the Bible would being finding Jesus’ remains, not a camel’s.
Posted 1/21/14 at 11:29 AM | Kyle Beshears |
Among the many unique theological differences between Mormonism and Christian orthodoxy, one stands out among the rest – the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression.
According to this doctrine, part of our salvation process is the potential of evolving past a limited existence as a created human in order to become a creator god. Joseph Smith, the first Mormon apostle, recounts this 'revelation' in Doctrine & Covenants.
"Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them." – D&C 132:20 FULL POST
Posted 1/10/14 at 11:40 AM | Kyle Beshears |
Everyone knows Jesus’ teaching, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” This teaching is so famous that it has its own title – the Golden Rule.
While is is widely acknowledge that Jesus taught it, some believe that this is not unique to him. In fact, critics claim that Jesus actually plagiarized the Golden Rule from those who taught before him. They point out that other religious teachers and philosophers had been teaching the rule to their students long before Jesus ever delivered his famous Sermon on the Mount.
One such critic, the popular blogger Friendly Atheist, posted a cartoon poking fun at the fact that Jesus did not come up with the Golden Rule. Rather, it was around long before Jesus (although the cartoon mistakenly references the Hadiths, which came hundreds of years after Jesus.) FULL POST
Posted 1/2/14 at 12:43 PM | Kyle Beshears
Every Sunday across the globe, most Christians gather together in order to worship Jesus. That is, most Christians. A small group of Christians known as the Seventh-day Adventists maintain that all Christians should worship on Saturday in order to keep the Sabbath day on Sunday.
Adventism, a term from which the group derives its name, began in the 19th century America under the leadership of William Miller who taught the imminent return of Christ (or advent). Like most religious movements in the young American republic, Millerites sought to restore primitive, simple Christianity in response to centuries of European doctrine and dogma they viewed as an intrusion on true Christianity.
As a result, many Christians focused on what they believed was a plain reading of scripture in exchange for whole systems of theology derived from scripture. One of the unique ideas from this religious experiment was a return to observing the sabbath, since it was clearly given as a commandment in Exodus. FULL POST
Posted 12/31/13 at 11:14 AM | Kyle Beshears |
One of the most popular, perhaps most scathing, objections towards Christians today is that we're too "judgy." We hypocritically judge those outside of the church by flying in the face of Jesus' teaching that "Thou shalt not judge." (Yes, always quoted in the KJV language, for some reason...)
In fact, this one verse, Matthew 7:1, is perhaps the most widely known among non-Christians. It is also, I believe, one of the most misunderstood among non-Christians and least practiced among Christians.
Both sides of the fence tend to miss this one. On the non-Christian side, people believe Jesus is telling his followers to never make a judgement about anyone and to just mind their own business. On the Christian side, people believe Jesus is telling his followers to never judge one another but to reserve all judgement for non-Christians.
These two interpretations both fall short of what Jesus was getting at. As a result, it has led to much confusion and heartache for both Christian and non-Christian alike. For that reason, let's revisit Jesus' teaching on judging to find a better way to understand it in three Thou shalt's...
1. Thou shalt not judge! (with a wrong judgment) FULL POST
Posted 12/11/13 at 2:47 PM | Kyle Beshears |
An article was recently published by the Huffington Post drawing attention to the Mormon (LDS) Church's explanation for why the organization banned African American males from obtaining the priesthood until 1978. Citing a newly released article titled Race and the Priesthood, columnist Brady McCombs explains how the LDS Church has finally offered the most "comprehensive explanation of why the church previously had barred men of African descent from the lay clergy, and for the first time disavows the ban."
McComb does a wonderful job explaining the background and importance of such an admission by the LDS Church. He rightly heralds this as a major step forward, something many within the LDS community have undoubtedly already held true. However, the Huffington Post, perhaps unknowingly and to no fault of McComb, neglects to mention an issue that the LDS Church has left out of Race and the Priesthood. FULL POST
Posted 11/13/13 at 3:58 PM | Kyle Beshears |
The Book of Mormon, long a lynchpin of the Mormon faith, has both captivated and perplexed people all over the world. Many Latter-day Saints hold this work as the keystone to their entire worldview. In fact, former LDS President Ezra Taft Benson once said, "Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon."
One of the central claims to the Book of Mormon's authority is that the work completes (rather than compliments) the doctrines of salvation as found in the Bible. The two are seen as separate works, but working in tandem to provide the gospel message to the world. If this is the case, if coherent truth about salvation may be found in both works, then we should expect to see many similarities between the two.
There are, however, substantial differences between the two which deserve our attention.
The Bible Is Translated While the Book of Mormon Was Transcribed FULL POST
Posted 11/6/13 at 11:08 AM | Kyle Beshears |
Apologetics is the art of defending the Christian faith from objection, criticism, and scrutiny. As followers of Christ, Peter gives us wonderful counsel on every believer’s participation in apologetics.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1Pe 3:15
For the concept of ‘giving an answer’ in this passage Peter chooses the word apologia. And it means just that – to give an answer or to make a defense. The defense we make is for Christianity’s place as the only salvation–providing faith, Jesus’ place as the only messiah and savior, and why there is only one God.
Have you ever been told by someone that Jesus is not the only means of salvation or that other ways besides Jesus exist to connect with God? What was your response? If you responded by defending Jesus’ rightful position as the one and only mediator between God and humanity, you made an apologetic argument. You made a defense. FULL POST
Posted 10/14/13 at 9:25 AM | Kyle Beshears |
An article has been floating around the internet about Joseph Atwill's upcoming event "Covert Messiah" taking place in London this week. Atwill maintains a theory that the Flavian dynasty (a Roman aristocratic family) fabricated the Jesus narrative as an attempt to quell Jewish rebellion in Palestine during Rome's occupation of the land in the first centuries. Instead of continuing a costly military campaign, the Roman government decided to wage "psychological warfare" in the form of inventing Christianity.
The event this week will most likely follow the same flow of thought found in Atwill's work "Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus." In it, Atwill, a self-proclaimed "successful businessman" and "long-time student of Christianity", lays out a lengthy argument that the Flavian aristocrats "created [Christianity] to serve as a theological barrier to prevent messianic Judaism from again erupting against the empire (Atwill, 333.)" Additionally, he argues that the Gospels were created as a satire of Titus' military campaign throughout Judea. FULL POST