Sometimes, when we talk about Christianity, we present it as a great deal. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Jesus says (Matthew 11:30). But other times, it sounds like Christianity is costly. Remember that Jesus also says “he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). So which view is right? Both of them. Here's are two parables that Jesus gives that explain that apparent contradiction.
This Holy Week (and especially today, "Spy Wednesday"), it's worth taking a closer look at the Apostle Judas Iscariot. Here are four things that we can learn from him.
It's more than a little ironic that Protestants who believe that all doctrines need to be found in the 66 books of their Bible claim to be modelling themselves off of the Bereans (Acts 17:10-12), who neither had a 66-book canon nor a belief that all doctrines need to be found in the Scriptures. The Bereans are noble, but they're not Protestant.
Within Christianity, there tend to be three major views of the place of excommunication: (1) We shouldn't excommunicate anyone, because it's not merciful. (2) We should excommunicate, because we want to purify the Church of the damned. (3) We should excommunicate, because it's merciful to sinners. So which of these views is the one endorsed by Scripture?
Why does the angel Gabriel tell Joseph not to "be afraid" to take Mary as his wife?
Contemporary Christianity is fond of pushing Jesus without the Church. Like its secular counterpart (in which people claim to be "spiritual, but not religious"), it's an attempt to have the relationship without the rules. If I'm lonely or going through a tragedy, I can pray, but I don't have to worry about fasting when I don't want to, or being associated with a bunch of fellow believers that I look down upon. But Jesus-without-the-Church is a rejection of Jesus.
If St. Paul is teaching transubstantiation in 1 Corinthians 10-11, why does he refer to the Eucharist as "the bread"?
Protestant Bibles have seven fewer books than Catholic Bibles. These seven books are called "the Deuterocanon" by Catholics, and "the Apocrypha" by Protestants (although, confusingly, they also use "the Apocrypha" to refer to several other books, ones that are rejected by Catholics and Protestants alike). So what's the basis for the Protestant rejection of these books? Matt Slick, at the popular Protestant website CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry), offers six reasons, each of which turns out to rely upon lies, deceptions, or double standards.
Does God owe us salvation? Yes, if Protestant theologians (from the Reformation down to today) are right. No, if salvation is a free gift, as the Bible says.
The weirdest and most troubling of Jesus' parables is almost certainly the parable of the dishonest manager in Luke 16, in which Jesus presents a parable of a manager who, upon being fired, exploits his position to cut deals with his master's clients so that he can try to leverage this into a job with them. Rather than being justly furious, the master *praises him* for his ingenuity. What on earth is going on? Three things to keep in mind with this parable.