Archive for August 2012

Was Jesus Really Crucified

Was Jesus Really Crucified?

Michael Licona provides three key points during a debate.

Here are the main points that Michael Licona makes:

Almost all scholars (both Christian and non-Christian) agree that three facts support Jesus’ death by crucifixion:

  1. Multiple non-Christian sources attest that crucifixion and scourging was used during the time period.
    • Josephus reports about a scourging that killed a man.
    • Another ancient document, the Martyrdom of Polycarp mentions how Roman scourging would expose veins and arteries.
    • Jewish law prohibited scourging by more than 39 lashes. But the Romans had no such law.
    • Seneca and Josephus both referred to crucifixion in their writing.
  2. Crucifixion and the scourging that preceded it would definitely kill the victim.
    • The word “excruciating” means “out of the cross”
  3. Modern medical professionals have concluded that the scourging and crucifixion reported in the Bible would have killed Jesus
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Who’s Right Muslims or Christians About Jesus’ Death

Who’s Right: Muslims or Christians About Jesus’ Death?

Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. Why? Who’s right, the Quran or Bible? Dr John Ankerberg interviews Lee Strobel in this short video.

Here are the main points that Lee Strobel makes:

Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. In the Quran (Surah 4:157-158), it states:

And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise

Either Allah made it appear that Jesus died or substituted somebody else who was killed. Which version is correct: The Quran or the Bible?

Today, almost all Christian and non-Christian scholars agree with the following five points:

  1. Jesus was executed.
  2. The disciples believed they had encounter the resurrected Jesus.
  3. Saul of Tarsus was converted into a Christian and became Paul the Apostle
  4. James the skeptic and half-brother of Jesus was converted into a Christian
  5. The tomb of Jesus was empty.

In addition, the Bible is supported by writings that go back to the First Century (mere years after the event, not centuries after the fact). On the other hand the Quran was written 600 years after the Crucifixion based on an supposed encounter that Mohammed had with an angel in a cave.

Weigh the Biblical account with the Quran account. Which has more evidence?

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Three Proofs of Jesus Death

Three Proofs of Jesus’ Death

This week’s lesson discusses the proofs that Jesus died on the cross (not merely fainted). To start out, go to the Three Reasons section, where I provide three short videos on the following topics:

  1. Medical confirmation.
  2. Non-Christian source confirmation.
  3. Existing authorities’ confirmation.
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Dumb Luck

Dumb Luck?

In this video the Institute for Creation Research explains why random chance cannot credibly explain how life began. Watch the following short video to learn more…

Here is the main point that is made:

Scientists say that the building blocks of life are extraordinarily complex. Basic life needs a minimum of 200 proteins. Each protein can have from twenty to many thousands of amino acids that must be in the correct order. The odds of those proteins and amino acids coming together randomly is 1 in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.

Does random chance or God make more sense?

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Evolution Refuted

Evolution Refuted

AnswersinGenesis.org has provided a short video that refutes evolution. Watch and see.

Here are the main points discussed. Evolution doesn’t really make scientific sense because of just two reasons:

  1. Life has never been observed to come from non-life.
  2. There is no known observable process by which new genetic information can be added to the genetic code of an organism.

What does explain the origination of life is contained in the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

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Three Proofs of Creation Not Evolution

Three Proofs of Creation, Not Evolution

This week’s lesson is about why creation is a better explanation for the origination of the universe and life than evolution. To start out, go to the Three Reasons section, where I provide three short videos on the following topics:

  1. Transitional fossils do not exist.
  2. Life forms exhibit irreducible complexity.
  3. DNA resembles a written language.
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The Global Flat Tax Revolution

The Global Flat Tax Revolution

In this video, Dr. Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow Cato Institute, reveals that many countries around the world have adopted the flat tax.

Here are some of the points that Dr. Mitchell makes:

There are approximately 24 countries (when the video was filmed) who have adopted the flat tax. Examples include Hong Kong, Estonia, and Iceland. In addition, many former Soviet-bloc nations have adopted it as well, an ironic development since Marx’s Communist Manifesto called for a progressive, not a flat tax.

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A Primer on the Flat Tax

A Primer on the Flat Tax

Dr. Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow Cato Institute, provides a good overview about the need for and benefits of a flat tax1.

Here are some of the points that Mitchell makes:

The present tax code is an unmanageable mess. It is extremely complex. It requires an inordinate about of time and expense to prepare the required forms. It does not treat everybody the same, but rather grants various deductions, exemptions, shelters, preference, exclusions, and credits to favored special interests. It’s time we junk it in favor of a flat tax.

Here are the benefits to a flat tax:

  • Improved growth – A flat tax with its low tax rate and absence of double taxation will provide an incentive for companies to hire and invest. This should contribute to economic growth.
  • Improved competitiveness – A flat tax will remake America as an attractive place to live and start a business because of the low tax rates.
  • Reduced corruption – Tax preferences (exemptions, deductions, etc.) are some of the main sources of political corruption in Washington. A flat tax eliminates most of these except for exemptions for low income households.
  • Simplicity – A flat tax would require a postage card-sized form and be very easy to prepare. This would eliminate errors and the need for a large IRS to check submitted forms.
  • Increased privacy – A flat tax, by eliminating double taxation and taxation on savings and investments at the business level, will also eliminate the need for people to tell the government what assets they own and how much they’re worth.
  • Protected civil liberties – A simple and fair tax system eliminates almost all sources of conflict between taxpayers and the IRS.

There is no reason for us to keep our incredibly complex and uncompetitive tax code.  Let’s adopt the flat tax!

References

  1. Daniel Mitchell, A Primer on the Flat Tax and Fundamental Tax Reform (Center for Freedom and Prosperity, August 12, 2012) Available at: http://freedomandprosperity.org/2012/blog/a-primer-on-the-flat-tax-and-fundamental-tax-reform/; (August 15, 2012)
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The Tax Code Is a Mess

The Tax Code Is a Mess

Chris Edwards, editor of DownsizingGovernment.org,1, explains why the tax code is an impossible mess and why we need a flat tax.

Here are some of the points that Edwards makes:

In the first year of the income tax (1913), the federal tax code was 400 pages long. Today, the federal tax code is 73,608 pages long and requires nine feet of shelf space. The code has tripled since 1970.

In 1913, the instructions to the 1040 tax form were one page long. Today, the 1040 instruction book is 189 pages long. However, that is only for the 1040 tax form. There are 500 other forms.

Not only is the tax code complex, it is constantly changing. In the last 10 years alone there have been 4,428 changes. Paperwork costs to comply with the federal tax code are estimated to be more than $160 billion a year. This is money that individuals and businesses must spend that does not create value, creates uncertainty, and limits business investment.

Why the complexity? Politicians that fall into two camps. There are the “Class Warriors” politicians who try to social engineer society and spread the wealth. there are also the “Subsidy Warriors,” who try to micromanage the economy by favoring certain industries and families.

What is the result? 1) A big time-wasting mess.  For example, money spent complying a complex law and filling out forms could go towards business investment and economic growth. 2) Unequal justice under the law. For example, why should homeowner and renter with similar incomes pay different taxes?

The answer? Let’s adopt a flat tax.

References

  1. Chris Edwards, The tax-code mess (The Daily Caller, April 16, 2012) Available at: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/16/the-tax-code-mess/ (August 15, 2012)
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Three Reasons Why We Need a Flat Tax

Three Reasons Why We Need a Flat Tax

This week’s lesson explains why we need a flat tax. To start out, go to the Three Reasons section, where I provide three short videos on the following topics:

  1. The flat tax saves money because it is simple.
  2. A flat tax is more transparent.
  3. A flat tax closes loopholes and reduces special interest lobbying.
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