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R. C. Sproul: Jesus can’t be a false prophet because my faith would be in vain

September 30, 2014

RCSproulR. C. Sproul, American Calvinist theologian, author, and pastor, on why he rejects evidence presented by critics of Christianity (and even some Christians themselves) that shows that Jesus was wrong in his predictions:

Maybe some church fathers made a mistake. Maybe our favorite theologians have made mistakes. Now I can abide with that. I can’t abide with Jesus being a false prophet, because I can understand that if Jesus is a false prophet my faith is in vain. (R. C. Sproul, Eschatology Symposium, 1993, Mt. Dora, Florida)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Remi permalink
    January 19, 2015 7:28 pm

    The reality of each and every follower of Jesus. Trying to “Prove” Jesus, if not their faith is in vain. 4 years of trying to prove Jesus in the old testament, in the talmud. At a messianic congregation, all the D’var are trying to prove Jesus. I have heard people saying they were angry that they were thought a lie for so long when they left xtianity. I felt a relief, I don’t have to “prove” Jesus, I don’t have to see shadows and double prophecies, Hint and types. What a relief to know that I worship the true G-d of Israel, not a man. Unfortunately, for so many xtians, the need to prove Jesus consume them. To see something wrong in the new testament would be denying their god. So they prefer to believe in Jesus even if the word of G-d say they would worship the creator…

  2. January 19, 2015 10:43 pm

    Remi, your comment is good enough for a post.

  3. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 20, 2015 2:39 am

    Remi and Gene, just ask yourself for a moment (sarcasm and attempts at proofs for our respective positions aside,) how you would feel if you were born into a Christian household, ( and not raised to believe in the trinity,) who knew from studying history that Christianity lead to the downfall of European polytheism, but then you were told your faith was groundless lies? Just from a purely Christian standpoint how would you feel if someone always told you that you were idolatrous, and that you experienced no salvific knowledge of G-d? Wouldn’t that contradict your own experience? You have the Tanakh, you call on Hashem’s name, but yes, you learned about the bible from Christians, through the Lens of Jesus.

  4. January 20, 2015 8:47 am

    CR, I would at first be no doubt quite heartbroken to learn that my world had been built on a lie, but then I would probably be relieved and overjoyed to learn the truth.

  5. Remi permalink
    January 20, 2015 12:04 pm

    Dear CR, I was preaching the D’var, a 20 mintues preaching from the 5 first book of Moses to prove Yeshua for over a year. True, it was not since I was a baby, but I invest 4.5 years of my life fully as a born again xtian to live according to the new-testament. Now I believe that G-d, through His word, told me that I believed a lie after checking the trinity. I don’t think that all Jews believe that G-d will be angry forever with those that believe in Jesus, as the xtian do. I think that there are true honest xtians and G-d will have mercy on them, but each should seek to worship the True G-d, and those that know should definitely repent. It is the same with Buddhist, they have been thought all their life something false, now when they find the truth, they should discard the lies and follow the truth. My pastor told me that I will never find happiness in the path that I am right now. The truth is, it has been a relief, I don’t try to be self-righteous like he thinks. Xtian think that all Jews are miserable because they never can do enough for G-d. But G-d does not expect the same for everybody. A thief, who was born from alcoholic parents, and it happen that he would be tempted to steal, but does not do it, for him, it is something that was hard and he overcame the temptation. But a rabbi that follow the Torah and seek to live would have no reward to think not to steal. Also, I do not see G-d rewarding us for each good deed and punishing us for each bad. G-d is merciful and expect us to love Him and Keep his law with all our hearts. That’s what we should seek, regardless of rewards and punishments.

  6. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 20, 2015 2:26 pm

    Remi, I have no doubt that you will find fulfillment in Judaism, as it is a very profound and good path. I have nothing against Judaism, nor it’s ethics, as they are biblical. I am unsure what denomination of Christianity you were involved in, but I know that the Christian tradition is deeper than a fundamentalist Protestantism, or “hellhound” threat game. I wish you the best In your new religious endeavors.

  7. Remi permalink
    January 20, 2015 2:31 pm

    Thank you CR. For your information, I was involved at the beginning of my xtian walk in a calvinist congregation that follow John MacArthur’s doctrines. Then I went to a “messianic” congregation for 3.5 years. I am not planing to convert to Judaism as the rest of my family still believes in Jesus. Right now I am a noahide and let see where G-d leads me. Cheers


  8. January 20, 2015 2:36 pm

    “Remi, I have no doubt that you will find fulfillment in Judaism, as it is a very profound and good path. ”

    CR, to quote someone, “you (CR) are not far from the Kingdom of G-d”:)

  9. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 20, 2015 6:08 pm

    Remi, perhaps I could share where I’m coming from partially. I was baptized at age 7 in a non denominational environment, though half my family is Catholic, (and I greatly respect the Eastern Orthodox approach to the book because it reflects older tradition.)

    I was raised non trinitarian (so Jesus was deemed to be Son of G-d, but fully subject to G-d’s will.) I didn’t believe in the deity of Jesus, until I went to college, and learned how integral the teaching was to the Text. That said, even in trinitarianism, Jesus is still said to be functionally subordinate to G-d’s will, though in essence, his personality is the reflection of G-d’s will, (Logos.) I later went to university and got degrees in comparative religions, and history, so I’m very open to the history and historical developments of these two great faiths.

    No rational person who has studied the sources of the NT can doubt that Jesus and his earliest followers were Jews, (or the second temple equivalent of Noachides, ie G-d fearing Gentiles.) When Christians doubt Jesus’ observance of traditional Jewish norms, it seems to me that it stems from a Protestant interpretative bent. When you look at documents like the didache, Tertullian’s treatise on Idolatry, and Etheopian orthodox manuals for practice, the source of ethics (Judaism) becomes evident, (even accounting for Roman Cannon Law)

    I know that the Church is responsible for horrid things including contributing to the climate that lead to the Shoah, and I don’t dare detract from that fact, but my acknowledgement of that fact doesn’t mean I can label all of Christianity as false or evil. I can’t justify calling all of Christianity evil without falling into the same error that historic Christendom has fallen into with respect to Judaism. (Ie it’s always wrong to typecast entire heterogeneous groups.)

    I can see (from history) how some Jews could have come to believe in Christian ideas from within a Jewish framework, but I also see the enduring relevance, and indeed unavoidable presence and strength of Halacha.

    I have been called a universalist, and I’m glad of it, (not to detract from the Bible,) but I think that the universal interest (on behalf of G-d) in human goodness and justice is the biggest gift the Jewish people have given to the world. Before Judaism, relativism, and hierarchy of power were the only rule of the world. Through Christianity, Judaism’s ethics have reached millions. It is in respect to this knowledge conveyed by Jesus’ movement, that I do not hesitate to call Jesus’ work redemptive, or his role messianic. That said, History has shown that Judaism contains every bit of the information that lead ( historically speaking) to Christianity’s existence. In other words, Judaism is self sufficient. Ideally justice and mercy are the rule for both testaments. Sadly, traditional human conceits often impede that simple truth.

    Hope all is well


  10. January 20, 2015 7:43 pm

    CR, I like you, you’re a good chap, but Christianity’s whole worshiping of a dead Jewish man as god thing, that’s still such an obvious idolatry (unless one is thoroughly indoctrinated into Christianity or even Christian culture), no matter any positive teaching which are to be found in that religion. Idolatry confuses and distracts humanity from the only true source of life and knowledge. It can redeem no one (but it’s really good at illusions of grandeur and heavenly bliss) and it has hurt a lot of people (who gave up on their Maker altogether, disillusioned by unfulfilled promises of Christianity) , with worst repercussions for humanity still to come, I am afraid.

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