Archive | Fringe Q&A

Could Jesus Have Gotten a Math Problem Wrong?

Can you imagine it? Jesus, five years old, sitting in math class, 1 A.D. (Okay, maybe he was homeschooled, but just roll with me here!) He gets back the quiz he took the previous day. The result? 95%. Jesus missed one! But wait…could Jesus have erred?

Back up. Pop quiz.

  • Did Jesus ever stumble and fall down?
  • Did Jesus ever get sick?
  • Did Jesus have any grey hairs?
  • Did Christ ever get depressed?
  • When did Jesus know he was God?
  • Could Jesus have gotten a math problem wrong?

These are interesting questions, as they all center around the relationship of Christ’s humanity to his deity while here on the earth. I think I know the answer to most of these. I am sure that Christ could have misstepped and fallen down. Yes, I imagine he got sick from time to time. Grey hairs? Why not? No, he did not have a sin nature, but he did live in a fallen world whose inhabitants suffered the effects of the fall. Concerning being depressed, I imagine that Christ was depressed from time to time. He was a “man of sorrows” and even cried.

When did Jesus know he was God? That is a good question. I am not sure about this one. It seems as if he knew by the time he was twelve, at least, as he expresses this self-realization in Luke 2:42-49. But how long before that? Who knows? However, I do think his understanding was a realization that was communicated to him by the Father and the Holy Spirit according to “the plan.” In other words, I don’t think he knew it from his time in Mary’s womb. I think his human self had to grow as any normal human would; therefore, his knowledge was limited by his humanity. After all, Luke 2:52 says that Christ “grew in wisdom.” In other words, he went from the lesser to the greater in his humanity, even in knowledge and wisdom.

This brings us to the question of the hour: Could Jesus have gotten a math problem wrong? Here are some options and their implications:

1. Yes, he could get a math problem wrong. He was human. Continue Reading →

17 Pure Speculation and/or Fringe Questions About Theology – Help Me Out

Here is a list of seventeen questions that either qualify as pure speculation (i.e., there is no way to know) or fringe (i.e., questions that are odd and hardly ever asked). I came up with 17 of them. Please add to the list in the comments. I may start a blog series dealing with each one in the near future.

1. Had Christ not been killed, would he have died?

2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?

3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration?

4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in Eden?

5. Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

6. What was God doing before creation?

7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (e.g., stoning)?

8. Why did Christ say, “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement, or did he mean, “It is just about finished”?

9. Did Christ ever get sick?

10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden, would they have lived forever, even after the Fall?

11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

12. Is there a hierarchy among demons like in the animal world, and do they experience the noetic effects of sin?  Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing?

13. Can a believer be demon-possessed?

14. Will there be sex in heaven?

15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice)

16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5)

17. Does Satan actually think he might win?

 

Praying Over and Over and Over and Over . . .

How do you pray for things? Is it possible to pray enough that the hand of God is twisted to the point of concession? Seriously, does that please him? Does he expect it? Does he require it?

Twisting the hand of God is probably a bad way to put it. But what does he expect? I am specifically talking about when we have a request. An important request. You know, one of those things that are “emergencies.” It can be a remedy for difficult present circumstances (cancer, wayward child, financial difficulties) or hope for some future blessing (saved souls during church service, prayer for safe travels, a successful outreach). Or, speaking of what Sam and I are talking about with regard to spiritual gifts, maybe it is praying for the gift of tongues or prophecy.

It often confuses me. I know we are to pray without ceasing, but that does not mean pray for the same thing without ceasing, does it?

I know about the pestering lady seeking justice from the judge (Luke 8:5). But this means just the opposite, doesn’t it? God is not like the judge. God answers quickly.

When people say they have prayed all day for something, does that mean they simply repeat the same prayer over and over? Doesn’t that get impersonal? Doesn’t it show more trust just to pray and be done with it?

I don’t know. I don’t even know if my question makes any sense. But I would enjoy your thoughts. And, from the time of this writing until tomorrow, I will pray for your edification. Well…sometime between now and then I will pray for it, and then leave it in his hands :)

Why I Believe Adam and Eve Fell Within 45 Minutes (Warning: PG-13)

Warning: this post may not be suitable for younger audiences.

I have often heard it said that Adam and Eve had perfect fellowship with God for a long period of time before the fall. Some say years. Some even say that it could have been hundreds of years. Some say that they walked with God in the cool of the garden for an unknowable amount of time and were, because of this, the most educated and perfect beings the planet has ever known.

Nope. Can’t be. I say that the fall happened within 45min of creation.

That is right. I believe that the fall occurred 45 minutes after the creation of Eve. At the very most, I will give it a month—but that is pushing it.

First, a few things to make clear. 1) This is a part of the “fringe” series (look at the category placement). This is devoted to those questions that we don’t really have answers for. Most of the time, they are pure speculation. Most importantly, they don’t in any way contribute to essential (or even important) doctrine. No reason to split your church over this one. We are just having some fun. 2) I am assuming that Adam and Eve were real people specially created by God, not mythological accommodations. If you don’t agree, then this “fringe” post will be an even greater waste of time than it already is!

Okay, why do I believe that the fall happened so quickly? Children, cover your ears . . . sex. Continue Reading →

Fringe Q&A: Do Dogs Go to Heaven?

Question:

Do dogs go to heaven?

Answer:

I had the greatest dog that God ever created. I’m serious. If there were a way to objectify the “greatness” of dogs, Rocky, my German Shepherd, who a got when I was 11, would be number one on any top ten list. At times, I felt like he was my only friend growing up. He was always there for me. He died when I was 25. It broke my heart. I have not tried with a dog since.

Just before he died, I told him that I would see him again. But is that the truth? Do dogs go to heaven?

Some would say definitely not, referencing this passage of Scripture:

“Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, which goes down to the earth?” (Eccl 3:21).

However, I would be careful using passages out of Ecclesiastes as theological proof-texts without a great deal of consideration. Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of one who is full of doubt and turmoil about how he perceives life to be “under the sun” (without God). Its purpose is not to help us build a theology, but to show the utter despair of life outside the pursuit of God. In this particular passage the writer is simply saying “Who knows if man is any better off than animals? Who really know. From my perspective under the sun, it does not seem so.” That is all I would take from it.

There is no direct support in the Scripture for or against the idea that dogs go to heaven. Continue Reading →