To call this a work in progress is to insult works in progress everywhere. Blogging is like pulling your own teeth in rush hour traffic. This is mostly a collection of links.
So you’re a theist but you don’t know which way to turn. Good for you. Theism is the right philosophical position. It has nothing to do with believing anything on faith. Ask Aristotle, Leibniz, Descartes, Maimonides, al-Ghazali, Duns Scotus, and Aquinas, to name a few, and these are just for the Cosmological argument. Read this on the Teleological. And this. It’s a rational philosophic position, not a “religion.” It requires no leaps of faith. Naturalism leads to theism.
But does any religious tradition get it right? Maybe G-d is a quiet introvert. We’re inclined to think in terms of a bogus disjunctive syllogism: either some flavor of Christianity is true OR skepticism. That’s philosophical sloppiness bordering on irrationality. Christianity presupposes the prior truth of Judaism, which has evidence of a different order of magnitude. Skeptical problems with the former leave the latter unscathed.
This isn’t apologetics. This is obvious. If you’re impressed by the philosophical evidence for theism, why wouldn’t you naturally start with the first monotheistic tradition? New things have to prove themselves against what’s already been established, which involves examining the foundational religion on its own terms, without presupposing the truth of any subsequent traditions. Note how this is rarely done.
HaShem wrote the Torah. Humble Moses made the ultimate Boswell. The Torah is the absolute and ultimate Revelation, never canonized by mortals, given directly to a nation. It contains 613 commandments for Jews and 7 Laws for Gentiles (score). Not one says anything about accepting the Messiah (much less worshiping him as a god). When he comes it will be obvious.
The argument for the Torah’s Divine status is called the Kuzari Principle. Note the audacious singularity of the claim, proving itself via some mysterious dynamism. How could such a story arise in stages? Trace the Unbroken Chain.
The Torah is the only self-authenticating revelation in History. No other religion starts like this (though Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Baha’i, and Mormonism presuppose the evidence). The Torah boasts of its unique proof with such braggadocio you don’t notice these are prophecies fulfilled.
HaShem spoke to Moses face to face, as a friend. He did not speak in riddles. He told him that anyone who adds to the Torah or subtracts from it, anyone who tells you to follow a god unknown to Abraham, needs to be killed — even if he can see the future and perform miracles. This reflects poorly on sequels, regardless of their special effects.
Don’t think of the 7 Laws as a religion. One of them prohibits “religion.” You’re neither converting nor doing Judaism Lite. The 7 Laws were binding on all humans prior to Sinai. It’s moral realism grounded in monotheism based on the Kuzari Argument. All Western religions presuppose this foundation. You’ve been approaching it from a great distance. A Noachide (also spelled Noahide) accepts the 7 Laws per the Divine authority of the Torah. It’s the prohibition of six categories of evil and the obligation to establish courts.
Read Secular by Design by Alan Cecil, an anti-religious magnum opus. “This work explores the corrosive mores and values from Greek and Roman thought, the influence of these destructive ideas on modern intellectualism, and gives critical insight into the theoretical and practical application of Noahide Law in our society.” Free download!
When you have doubts, or feel like you’re the only sane person in a madhouse, wondering if solipsism admits of degrees, read The Redneck Rastafarian, the ablest defender of Noahidism. His writing will endure. If you read nothing on this site PLEASE read his. (See his outline of the “Old Testament.”)
Aleph Beta Academy (Animated parashot!)
Yuri Yosef’s Refutations (download the PDFs)
Who is The Messiah? I can’t recommend this site too highly.
Are the Jews blind? Is there a veil over their hearts?
Yeshu-HaNotzri A Torah View of the Founder of Christianity
A Critical Review of Dr. Michael Brown’s “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.”
CONTRA BROWN: Answering Dr. Brown’s Objections to Judaism
Prince of Peace!? King Messiah must usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) If this doesn’t happen, he’s not the Messiah.
The identity of the Messiah is one of many disagreements between Judaism and its deniers. Consider the idolatrous autonomy Satan assumes in the New Testament, becoming “the god of this world.” When was the promotion? In the Tanakh he’s no different than Slugworth from Willy Wonka.
Consider repentance. There’s a book in the TaNaKH about a nation of Gentiles repenting and obtaining forgiveness en masse — without blood sacrifices of any kind. The TaNaKH never says Adam’s sin prevents his descendants from repenting and enjoying forgiveness.
“The Scriptures explicitly state that the forgiveness of sin is achieved through sincere repentance. This teaching is repeated many times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures in a clear and unambiguous manner (Deuteronomy 30:1‑10, Ezekiel 18:21‑23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33:11, 14‑16, 19, Isaiah 1:16‑18, 55:7, Hosea 14:2‑10, Jonah 3:10, Micah 6:7, 8, Psalm 51:19). These passages directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin, yet they make no mention of a blood offering. Some of these passages actually preclude the requirement of a blood offering as a necessary component in the process of forgiveness from sin. Yet on the basis of the misinterpretation of one solitary verse (Leviticus 17:11) from a passage that does not directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin at all, Christianity teaches that repentance cannot achieve atonement without a blood offering!” Yisroel Chaim Blumenthal
Quit lying about the Talmud you Nazi f*cks