Interesting conversation with a cultural (but non-believing) Hindu

The following is a summary, not necessarily in sequential order, of a conversation I had with an associate at work.

  1. Conversation all got started when we were watching a news show about the church shooting in Charleston, S.C. As an aside, during the conversation, we were talking about how the shooter had sat in a Bible study for an hour and then shot the people. The person I was talking to actually phrased it as “he was sitting there listening to and reading the Word of God and yet he still did that”. I didn’t comment on his characterization of the Bible as “the Word of God, but I certainly was happy to hear him refer to it that way! Unfortunately, later in the conversation, he would contradict this characterization by saying that he didn’t think that Jesus really said some of the things that are in the Bible (particularly regarding hell). And unfortunately, I didn’t do 3 things I wished I’d done:
    – Ask him how he’d come to that conclusion (that Jesus didn’t say some of the things in the Bible)…
    – From that point on in the conversation I should’ve referred to the Bible as the Word of God
    – When He later said that he doubted that Jesus had actually said what the Bible says He said about hell, I should’ve reminded him that he called the Bible the Word of God

    Anyway, he said he knew someone who’d lived there. This person was in a mixed marriage (Hindu and a Christian – Indian man, white woman). They liked a lot of their experience in living in that area, but ultimately moved away because they got a lot of questions from ‘Bible thumping’ people about why she as a Christian would be marrying someone of a different religion (Hindu). It wasn’t a racist thing, but more about the mixing of different religions.

    1. I wanted to tell him that I was a ‘Bible thumper’ too, but I didn’t – I just didn’t think it would be beneficial to the conversation and, also, that fact would come out anyway later.
    2. I told him that I can see why Christians would be asking another Christian why she is marrying someone of a different religion. That is specifically prohibited in the Bible. I told him that it is called ‘being unequally yoked’.
    3. I also told him that no matter what 2 religions were involved, I don’t think it is a good idea for 2 people who are deeply committed to 2 different religions to get married. I think they’re just asking for trouble at some point down the line.
  2. Any god who would send people to hell for not believing in him cannot be good. So, I don’t think he actually said that (about people going to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus)
    1. Thinks that the ‘original guy’ (Jesus, Chrisna, Allah, etc) didn’t say that. Thinks that his followers embellished it.
    2. I asked him what his concept of heaven is? He didn’t know. I clarified: what do you think is going to happen when you die? Again, he didn’t know…
  3. Thinks the core of all religions are the same (love your neighbor etc – how you live). Thinks that men added all this other stuff (churches, crosses, etc) – the original guy didn’t want that to be a part of it.
  4. Stopped me when I said “yeah but” when talking about Islam – don’t think that religions should criticize each other. Whenever he talks to someone about religion, they always criticize the other religions.
  5. He wanted to know why can’t they all (religions) be true – why does only yours have to be true?
  6. Says religious people sound like they’re on their moral high horse – telling him that he’s not living as good as he should etc.
  7. I told him that I’m not trying to tell him about this to get him to join a church or donate his money, or out of a sense of arrogance thinking I’m better than him – rather I’m concerned about his eternal salvation. He then said that everyone (from other religions) always tells me they’re telling me out of concern for me.
  8. He believes that churches and men use the concept of hell to draw more people to be a part of their community. It’s a power play.
  9. Asked him about whether he’s sure (about his assessment of Christianity) – has he considered that he could be wrong?
  10. He said he likes to take what he likes from a religion – doesn’t necessarily feel the need to believe everything they tell you you have to believe. For example, he wouldn’t believe in Jesus walking on the water. I told him you must believe the resurrection to be saved – that’s critical – but you don’t necessarily need to believe Jesus walked on water to be saved.
  11. Why is Jesus called Savior? He said lot of gods have been called savior… Then I clarified my question – “since He is called Savior (and called Himself Savior), what do you think He is saving us from?” He didn’t actually verbalize an answer, he just shook his head in agreement as if he knew the answer. I went on to explain that He is saving us from the consequences of our sins, which deserve hell. When He died on the cross, He was paying the penalty that was due us for our sins.
  12. I told him, I’m not better than him – all people are in the same boat – we are all sinners headed for hell apart from a saving relationship with Christ. I’m just a forgiven sinner, that’s the only difference between us. He acknowledged that is the core of Christianity. Yes, I told him it is more about a relationship with a person. Told him I’m just one beggar telling another beggar where to find food. He said, but what about if the beggar is already got a source of food?
  13. He talked about ‘faking it’ in Hinduism
  14. Talked about historical evidence – 40 different people over 1500 years wrote the Bible, 9 people writing 27 documents – new testament – all within the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses – martyred for their faith, when they could’ve recanted and then the Romans wouldn’t have killed them.
  15. He definitely believes that Jesus exists – that he was a historical figure – just doesn’t believe some of that stuff written in the Bible
  16. Doesn’t believe a lot of miraculous stories of his own religion either.
  17. Talked about what happens when you die – he doesn’t know. I asked if he’d ever really investigated it? I mean you plan for vacations, you plan for retirement, why don’t you plan for what’s going to happen when you die?
  18. That led into a talk about reincarnation because he said the Hindu people who visit him periodically, are also concerned about him and his destination, just like other ‘religious people’. So, I asked him, with reincarnation, doesn’t that mean you always have another chance? Like if you do ‘bad’ in this life you might come back as a cockroach, but if you then do well as a cockroach, in the next life, you can come back as a higher life form and keep improving from there – essentially, you have an unlimited number of “do overs”. He acknowledged that was correct, but he said that Hindus don’t really focus on that part much. They focus more on how you live this life. So I communicated to him that there are no “do overs” in Christianity. You have one chance to make peace with God in this life – if you haven’t done that by the time you die, you won’t go to heaven, which means you’ll end up separated from God forever in hell.
  19. He was talking about the Hindu people who come to talk to him and how they don’t think he’s going to temple enough and not doing enough of the practices of their religion. So, I talked to him about how, in Christianity, you can’t work your way into heaven – that’s one of the distinguishing characteristics of Christianity compared to other religions.
  20. Talked about dilemma –Liar, Lunatic, Legend or Lord – it has to be one of those 4. Explained each one. He seemed to agree and understand. From what he was saying, it seemed like even though he didn’t think Jesus Himself was a Legend, it sounded like he thought that a lot of what was said about Jesus was embellished by His followers.
  21. He ended up saying “that’s fine if it works for you – I’m happy for you”. Of course I told him that I’m not a Christian because it “works for me” in the sense that it allows me to be moral, or have more peace or better luck or anything like that. I’m a Christian because I have good reasons for believing it is actually true.


mid-week apologetics booster (6-25-2015)

Good morning fellow servants of Christ!

Here are a bunch of items for you – this week a lot of videos since I was sick for a day and watching a lot of YouTube on my wonderful Chromecast device!

  1. Genesis 1 and Science: Discord or Harmony? – Hugh Ross, PhD (46 min video lecture with slides):
  2. The Proof For God Without the Bible. JP Moreland, PhD (35 min video):
  3. TrueU: The Toughest Test in College Promo (3 min video promo):
  4. Is Apologetics for Those Who Are Weak in Faith?
  5. Answers for Atheists and Agnostics – this is a whole page of links to various topics, questions, objections – very good:
  6. A Classic Polystrate Fossil:
  7. Christian Megathemes: Believers who don’t know about Easter:
  8. “To Everyone an Answer”: Eight Tips for Sharing Your Faith:
  9. Fossil Discoveries Disrupt Evolutionary Timescales:
  10. Watch: Charleston Victims Forgive the Shooter (This is one of the most powerful Christian witnesses I’ve ever seen. May God bless and comfort these dear people):
  11. The remarkable language of DNA – According to evolutionists, natural processes somehow caused ordinary chemicals to come together so as to produce DNA and all the machinery needed to read it and manufacture complex proteins. Nobody has even shown such a thing to be possible, but scientists who say they don’t believe this often face considerable hostility:
  12. Tim Keller How We Become Believers (34 min video sermon using the story of Naaman from 2 Kings 5:1-14):
  13. Tim Keller How We Live as Believers (42 min video sermon continuing in the story of Naaman from 2 Kings 5):
  14. Book quote: Yet the reason for our faith and the proofs of Christianity are never to be thought of as the final catalyst for someone’s conversion. This tool’s primary purpose is to move aside one argument after another, a removing of the speed bumps as it were, that unbelievers will put up as reasons for not believing in Jesus Christ. Apologetics is the plow that digs into the soil of the unbeliever’s heart and prepares it for the seed of the Gospel to be planted, having removed the stones and roots which impede successful germination. More often than not good arguments fail to produce what we long to see; a sinner come to repentance. However, apologetics is often what God uses prior to converting the person to prepare their heart for the evangelist who proclaims the Substitutionary death of Christ and His Resurrection which secured our Justification before a Holy God. Though very few conversions will occur because of a well formed apologetic defense of the faith, many who are later converted will look back testifying that their wall of argument was systematically removed, one stone at a time, leaving them naked and bear before the Gospel call to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. – Defending the Faith – Nancy Almodova
  15. Same-Sex Marriage: Is Same-Sex Marriage a Good Policy Decision? This is a good quick video summary of the issues involved (5 min 20 seconds):
  16. At major Harvard-affiliated Boston hospital: Physician expelled from staff for telling the truth about homosexual behavior and criticizing hospital’s involvement in “Gay Pride” events.  Hospital says physician’s statements on homosexual behavior constitute “discrimination,” ”harassment,” and “unprofessional conduct.”:
  17. Kennedy Classics: The Spiritual Pulse of America – Dr. D. James Kennedy (28 min video):
  18. 14 minute video interview of Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff:
  19. Scientific Evidences for a Young Earth (52 min video):
  20. A Viral Video on the Problem of Evil – Actor Stephen Fry says God is a ‘maniac”! Dr. Craig discusses two aspects of the Problem of Evil shown in Fry’s statements.
  21. New Genetic-Clock Research Challenges Millions of Years:
  22. Conflating Questions:
  23. A “Sixth Mass Extinction”? Here’s Why No One Trusts Science Reporting Anymore:
  24. Cells: Sophisticated and God-Designed:
  25. Why the Case for Christianity Is More Important Than Ever:
  26. Hey Jude (Hey Jude, don’t make it bad Take a sad song and make it better – Lennon – McCartney) by Dallas Holm:

Bless you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (6-18-2015)

Hi Everyone,

Here are quite a few items for you to look over.  I pray that you’ll find something here that is just what you needed for an issue you’re currently facing:

  1. Do We Really Need to Teach Our Kids Apologetics When God is in Control Anyway?
  2. Should you not teach your kids apologetics because God is in control?
  3. Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones:
  4. Short witnessing clips on interesting topics with Ray Comfort:
    1. Jesus Never Existed:
    2. I believe all religions are the same:
    3. As an atheist, I Refuse to Believe in the Invisible Sky Daddy:
    4. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell:
    5. I’m Jewish & We Don’t Believe In Hell:
  5. Does Defending the Faith Offend the Holy Spirit? Aren’t We Just Supposed to Preach the Gospel?
  6. Carbon Dating of “70 Million Year Old” Mosasaur Soft Tissues Yields Surprising Results:
  7. Professor of New Testament, Craig Keener, explains his journey from atheism to Christianity:
  8. 6 Ways NOT to Lose Your Christianity in the University Classroom:
  9. A Case for Heaven vs. Hell: Why would God send anyone to Hell?
  10. Does God know the future, and if so, how does that knowledge impact man’s free will?
    1. Does God Know Everything Before it Happens?
    2. Does God know the future?
  11. If This Is Such A Grievous Sin, Jesus Would Have Mentioned It:
  12. Mistakes A Brand New Apologist Usually Makes:
  13. The Amazing Atheist Meets William Lane Craig on CNN (~6 minute video):
  14. Former atheist astrophysicist, Sarah Salviander, explains her journey to Christianity:
  15. National Geographic Provides a Pulpit for Atheism:
  16. Have you repented enough? (Video)
  17. Criticism of the Bible Demonstrates the Bible’s Power:
  18. Atheists Intuitively Believe in God and this is Bad News for them:
  19. Lawrence Krauss says people should doubt evolution!
  20. Light-travel time: a problem for the big bang (Dr. Jason Lisle):
  21. Fixed Bird Thigh Nixes Dino-to-bird Development:
  22. Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?
  23. Coal beds and Noah’s Flood:
  24. Freedom go to Hell:
  25. Science Predictions from 10 years ago:
  26. It’s Better to Be Respected Than Liked:
  27. Former atheist Peter Hitchens, who set fire to his Bible, finds God:

Blessings to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (6/11/2015)

Good morning everyone!

A few items for your perusal:

  1. Warner Wallace: practical advice on becoming an effective one-dollar apologist:
  2. Science That Excludes God Is a Faith System of Its Own (Dr. Alex McFarland):
  3. What Is the Role of Apologetics In Evangelism? (Lee Strobel interviewing William Lane Craig – 3 minute 20 second video):
  4. It Takes a Team to Change the Church (J. Warner Wallace – promoting the Poached Egg apologetics web-site):
  5. Dinosaur blood cells extracted from 75-million-year-old fossil:
  6. Jungle-Covered Ruins May Hold Surprising Hints:
  7. Christians Should Be More Accepting?
  8. Please Make a Mess of Your Bible (J. Warner Wallace):
  9. A Jewish take on Jesus: Amy-Jill Levine talks the gospels – Jesus was smack in the middle of the Jewish tradition of his time. Remembering that can make you a better Christian, says this Jewish scholar of the New Testament:
  10. Apologetics Serves Evangelism in a Post Christian Culture:

Have a great day and week!

mid-week apologetics booster (6-4-2015)

Good morning everyone,

Sorry I didn’t post last week.  I was busy updating my church’s web site with new features (I’ve now taken  on the responsibility of webmaster) 🙂   So, I’m back this week with (a lot of) content for you to consider.  Pick one or 2 things that look interesting to you:

  1. Why College students are Really Leaving the Church:
  2. 6 Ways You May Be Raising Your Kids with an Oversimplified Faith:
  3. Interdependence: A Conversation Starter:
  4. Is Christian Exclusivity Arrogant?
  5. Misconceptions of Intelligent Design:
  6. You Should Not Legislate Morality! Really?
  7. Cafeteria Faith Doesn’t Fill:
  8. How to Be a Puritan Husband:
  9. Environmentalists vs. babies:
  10. Challenge Response: When Did You Choose Your Heterosexuality?
  11. Six Reasons for the Need for a Verbal Witness:
  12. Star Football Player Says ‘No’ to Sex Before Marriage:
  13. Christian Apologetics at Ohio State University – (Cliffe Knechtle):
  14. Why evolution cannot produce a mind:
  15. An intelligent defense of Intelligent Design: An interview with Stephen Meyer:
  16. Why You Can Trust Your Bible: An Interview with Peter Williams:
  17. Is It Fair for God to Judge Those Who Never Heard?
  18. Half of atheists’ children fall away into belief:
  19. Does Apologetics Convert People?
  20. 6 Signs Your Kids Will Eventually Believe “Nothing in Particular”
  21. One Trait that Set Apart the Earliest Christians:
  22. Atheists Demand Court Martial for Sharing Faith:
  23. Atheist Matt Dillahunty Goes After Intelligent Design – and Stumbles:
  24. Human-like Fossil Menagerie Stuns Scientists:
  25. 4 Things Christians Need to Know in the New Religious World:
  26. Human Hand Capabilities Impossible to Duplicate:
  27. Pastor: ‘I Never Thought’ My Nation Would Persecute ‘Bible-Believing’ Christians:
  28. Former Atheist Academic Who Rejected God and Believed ‘Smart People Don’t Become Christians’ Reveals What Changed Her Mind Entirely:
  29. John Lennox – Ten quick responses to atheist claims:
  30. Christianity is a Thinking-Man’s Faith:
  31. Did God create an ‘open’ universe? Theistic evolutionists take God out of the driver’s seat:
  32. Warner Wallace: 10 reasons why you hesitate to share your faith
  33. Radical Hindus to Christians in India: Convert or ‘Get Ready to Die’:
  34. Four Questions Skeptics Answer About Christians:
  35. 30 Common New Testament Challenges By Sceptics Answered:

Have a great week!