How Much Evidence Is Enough?

When I wrote “The False Prophecies Approach” chapter of my book, I faced a quandary.

The stated objective of the approach is “to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower organization is not the reliable guide it claims to be in that it has made numerous false prophecies.”

The challenge I faced was this: How much evidence should I recommend that you present to the Witnesses? Clearly, one or two examples will probably not be enough. They can always be shrugged off as an aberration or as not representative of Watchtower literature as a whole.

After all, “nobody’s perfect.”

But there’s the opposite problem of overkill which destroys everything we’re trying to accomplish. You don’t want to drive them further into the Watchtower organization by triggering their persecution complex.

In other words, less can sometimes be better. Continue reading

Justifying Investigation of Watchtower Prophetic Claims

 When Christians point out Watchtower errors or flip-flops in the area of prophecy, Jehovah’s Witnesses often get defensive.

Nobody’s perfect, right?

They accuse us of persecution.

Because of this, when discussing prophecy with Jehovah’s Witnesses, we first need to establish our motivation and our right to examine what the Watchtower Society has taught since its inception. Continue reading

When Prophetic Speculation Flops

  1. You study the scriptures intently.
  2. You develop unique insights into Bible prophecy.
  3. You check and recheck your assumptions and calculations.
  4. Everything makes sense—everything fits.
  5. Multiple lines of analysis confirm your conclusions.
  6. Now confident, you make specific predictions and teach them to others.
  7. You develop a significant following.
  8. Then the day arrives and nothing you predicted comes to pass.
  9. Your disappointed followers demand an explanation and threaten to leave you.

Now what do you do? Continue reading

The Lure of Prophetic Speculation

The Emmaus disciples were devastated. Not knowing that it was the resurrected Christ they were talking with, they disclosed that they had hoped that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel. But then he was crucified.

Now there was a report that his body was missing from the tomb and that angels told some of his women followers that he was alive. They were trying to make sense of it all. Continue reading

The Watchtower Chameleon

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses simultaneously adopts two contradictory personas—one to establish its right to demand constant obedience and trust from all Jehovah’s Witnesses and the other to defend itself against criticism when it is proven to be wrong about something.

Persona #1: The “faithful and discreet slave” of Matthew 24:45—chosen by Jehovah and Jesus to be the sole dispenser of spiritual truth in these latter days.

Persona #2: Humble Christian brothers who do not claim to be inspired, infallible, or perfect.

Let’s look first at Persona #1. Continue reading

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