Interesting thread...here are a few thoughts to toss out there... I can understand anyone who takes a look at the world and wonders how could there be a god. There is constand pain, suffering, injustice, and oppression. If there is a god, and he is a loving god like everyone clains, why doesn't he just fix this mess! The problem is that to fix the world you have to fix people and people are pretty messed up. I used to consider myself a pretty decent person. I obeyed my parents. Participated in charities and helped those less fortunate. When I died I expected to my good stuff to outweigh any bad stuff I did and into heaven I would go.... The problem is I'm really not that great of a person. I'm selfish, pridefull, a liar....and this list could go on and on. The truth is even when I think I am doing pretty well I am so far from the standard God sets that I don't even come close. If we had to depend on being good people to get into heaven none of us would have a chance. I have made so many choices that totally go against what God would want for me and as a result I deserve to be seperated from God...I deserve hell. God is a just God and the penaties for sin can't just be brushed under the rug like they never happened. But God is also a relational God that loves each of us more than we could begin to understand. Someone had to pay the price for us, and hell is to large a price for any of us to have to pay, so he paid the price for us. The God of eternity stepped down to walk among us, to teach us and show us what God was like, and to ultimately carry our punishment. All God asks is that you will acknowledge who Jesus is and accept his payment for a debt you could never pay on your own. There are a lot of arguments in this thread over things like creation vs. evolution, free will, science vs. faith, but I think they are all side issues that people get really sidetracted on. The underlining theme throughout the entire Bible is not a laundry list of do's and dont's. God gives the creation account about 2 pages that I would consider pretty vague so I wouldn't consider this an issue that God thinks is too important beyond the basics that He created everything. The common theme throughout the entire Bible is God's love and interaction with his people. Most of the Bible is written about people and their lives. Who they were, their struggles and failings as well as their accomplishments. The big figures in the bible were far from perfect people and the bible doesn't try to gloss over this. Abraham didn't believe God's promise and decided to take matters into his own hands. Moses murdered someone. David slept with another man's wife and then killed the guy so he wouldn't find out. Peter denied Jesus multiple times. And Paul (who wrote most of the new testimate) was a leader in the persection and even killing of many early Christians. God isn't looking for perfect people. He know we are all messed up. He is just looking for people who are willing to be honest and admit their imperfection. We can't fix ourselves. Even the most moral person still has struggles, even if they won't let you see them. Only God can fix us, and rather than turn each of us into mindless drones that have no choice but to obey, he gives us the choice.