... how can god be all-benevolent and leave the potential for someone like Adolf Hitler to get into heaven, while someone like John Lennon could perish in hell for eternity?
Because everyone has the same chance. If they didn't it wouldn't be fair.
How can the bible be written through divine inspiration and be completely inerrant, when it can't give us a clear simple message about what is right and wrong, what happens after we die, how we achieve salvation (to name just a few things which the bible isn't so clear on).
All of these are very clear in scripture if you really try to understand it.
If you've got any reasonable answers, I'm all ears....
Reasonable according to who? I think the answers are very reasonable:
"what is right and wrong"
Jam 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Mat 22:37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Mat 22:38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Rom 13:9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Rom 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Rom 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Gal 6:8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature [fn] will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
"what happens after we die"
Rev 21:6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
Rev 21:7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
Rom 5:21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jhn 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
Jhn 3:15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
Jhn 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jhn 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Rev 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
"how we achieve salvation"
Act 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Verses from John 3 above
Jhn 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1Ti 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
1Ti 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1Jo 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jo 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [fn] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
Col 1:14 in whom we have redemption, [fn] the forgiveness of sins.
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Col 1:21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of [fn] your evil behavior.
Col 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--
Col 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
right around 50% of christians believe that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle and it's increasingly shifting higher. I sincerely doubt anywhere close to a majority believe buying things on Sunday will send you to hell.
So what use is the bible if the majority of Christians are beginning to get their own ideas about what is right and wrong, which directly contradicts these sacred and holy texts?
Again, it comes down to free will. God is not going to force people to believe anything or follow rules. They will be held accountable however. Try it this way:
"So what use are books filled with laws
if the majority of people
are going to do whatever they want
, which may violate
If you commit murder because you think it's ok that you do so, will you still not be held accountable if you're caught?