mid-week apologetics booster (12-1-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are some links for you to take a look at:

  1. 11 Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument: http://crossexamined.org/11-objections-kalam-cosmological-argument/
  2. There’s No Balancing This Moral Equation: Human Well-Being Doesn’t Explain Human Morality: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/11/human-well-being-doesnt-explain-morality/
  3. Christian refugees in Germany threatened with beheading for being ‘unbelievers’ by Muslim migrants: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/725193/Christian-refugees-threatened-beheading-German-migrant-camp-Muslim-unbelievers
  4. Ministering to Mormons in Utah Day 3: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/ministering-to-mormons-in-utah-day-3/
  5. Logical Fallacy Series — Part 8: Argument From Silence: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/06/logical-fallacy-series-part-8-argument.html
  6. Does The Bible Need Defending? http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2015/01/does-bible-need-defending.html
  7. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality
  8. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bang? Why Christians should not Run from Science: https://www.hbu.edu/news-and-events/2016/07/18/whos-afraid-big-bang/
  9. How gay theology manipulates the book of Leviticus: http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/965/How_gay_theology_manipulates_the_book_of_Leviticus
  10. What is Hate Speech? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/hate-speech
  11. How Muslim atrocities impacted world history: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/11/how-muslim-atrocities-impacted-world-history/#hDdxWoKFsaKQbz5d.99
  12. How Are People Actually Coming to Faith Today: http://magazine.biola.edu/article/16-fall/how-are-people-actually-coming-to-faith-today/
  13. Frank Turek (February 2017) – Fearless Faith Conference-Catalina Foothills Church (Tucson, AZ)http://subspla.sh/e74cd1f
  14. Transgender: Truth and Compassion – Alan Shlemon: http://subspla.sh/4d0ba56
  15. Can We “Agree To Disagree” On Sexuality and Marriage? | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/02/25/why-we-cant-agree-to-disagree-on-sexuality-and-marriage/
  16. Atheism’s Lucky Bullet Fallacies | The Stream: https://stream.org/atheisms-lucky-bullet-fallacies/
  17. Just Say “Merry Christmas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVpTYez82w
  18. Talking Snakes, Donkeys, and Believing the Bible: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/talking-snakes-donkeys-and-believing-the-bible-11993/
  19. Homosexuality: Compassion and Clarity – Sean McDowell: https://youtu.be/w7a2RJgAGcM
  20. Speaking Up or Keeping Silent in Science Class: https://answersingenesis.org/public-school/religion-in-schools/speaking-up-or-keeping-silent-in-science-class/
  21. A Short Defense of Christianity (to myself): http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/12/a-short-defense-of-the-christianity-to-myself/
  22. What does Christmas mean to Christians? https://winteryknight.com/2011/12/25/what-does-christmas-mean-to-christians/
  23. Ehrman’s Problem 4: Why Won’t We Abuse Free Will in Heaven? http://www.clayjones.net/2012/01/ehrman%e2%80%99s-problem-4-why-won%e2%80%99t-we-abuse-free-will-in-heaven/
  24. The Finely Tuned Genetic Code: http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.com/2012/01/finely-tuned-genetic-code.html
  25. The Bible: http://links.emagnify.com/q/119zwZjDepmd/wv?platform=hootsuite
  26. Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE)http://www.icr.org/rate

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

Blessings to you all

The Reasons Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist

First of all I think that many of the arguments for Five Point Calvinism commit the “fallacy of sweeping generalization”, which is applying a general principle as if it were a universal rule, or the “fallacy of hasty generalization”, which is drawing a generalization from too few specific examples.

For example just because Paul was called against his will with a light from heaven and immediately turned 180 degrees from his original direction (see Acts 9:1-20), does not mean that everyone is converted in that way.  God has the power to do whatever He wants, but it appears that He does not always work in that way. Also in 2 Timothy 2:25 when it says to pray “that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”, it doesn’t mean that the only way a man can repent is by God granting it to him.  In Acts 17:30, Paul tells us that “God commands all men everywhere to repent”. Yet, although God wants all men to repent, and all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth and God, it is an irrefutable truth that not all men do repent, nor do they come to a knowledge of the truth, and as a result are not saved.  Jesus clearly taught this in Matthew 7:13-14:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

As well as his talk in Matthew 13:18-23 about the parable of the sower and the four soils:

Hear then the parable of the sower.  “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Only one of the four soils represents that of a saved person. At least two of the other four soils look to be saved, but in fact are not saved.

Here are the specific problems I with the following Five Points of Calvinism as represented by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

  1. T (total depravity) – I agree with this point, so long as it is defined properly. This does not mean that man is as bad as he could possibly be but, rather, as RC Sproul says that fallenness, original sin, depravity has affected every aspect of man.
  2. U (Unconditional Election) – well it is actually conditional, not unconditional. The condition stated in God’s word is faith. John 1:12 clearly says this:Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

    Notice the order – Receive, Believe, Become. Also, Ephesians 2:8:      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

    By the way, when it says “it is a gift of God” in that verse, “it” refers to the grace, not the faith.

    Additionally, why is salvation pictured as a ‘gift’ (Romans 6:23)?  Gifts must be received (accepted) and opened in order to benefit the recipient.  If you left your Christmas gifts under the tree and never opened them, would they be of any benefit to you?    Are you doing any kind of works to earn your gift by receiving it and opening it?  No.  On the other hand, if the person handed you the gift, and you handed them back a $100 bill to pay them back for the cost of the gift, that would be an offense to the giver.  Same thing with salvation – it is not a “works salvation” to decide or choose to receive a gift and open it.  It is still by grace alone, through faith alone.  I liked this quote given by Dr. D. James Kennedy in a sermon on faith “Faith leads to justification + good works”.

  3. L (Limited Atonement) – this is clearly refuted by 1 John 2:1b-2:Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
  4. I (Irresistible Grace) – This is refuted again by Jesus’ Parables teaching that not everyone is saved although God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9):This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4)He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9)Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezek. 18:23)I do not find the argument convincing that God has “2 wills” and yes, I have read John Piper’s article on the 2 wills of God. I’ve also read a comprehensive, point by point rebuttal to the Piper article which I find more convincing.Paul even tells us in at least 2 places that people are active in refusing to believe:

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:18-19)

    They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thess. 2:10b)

  5. P (Perseverance of the Saints) – I agree with that one. All truly saved people will persevere to the end.  Jesus said “those who endure to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13).  He also said “By standing firm you will gain life” (Luke 21:19).  Paul further clarified how we stand firm “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:21)

So, then, how can I reconcile this view with all the many Scriptures that say that only the elect will be saved and that God predestines only some to be saved?

I think there are at least 2 possible ways to make sense of this:

  1. Election is talking about “corporate election”. God has elected those who will believe in Christ (also known as “the Church”) to be saved.  For example, when Paul is talking to the Colossians, he says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…” (Col. 3:12a), he could be talking just about the church.  Or when he says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4), the ‘us’ could refer to the church (the believers in Christ).
  2. He could be choosing individuals based on His foreknowledge that those individuals will believe. Romans 8:29 seems to indicate this: “For those God foreknew he also predestined…”.  Acts 17 seems to indicate that God places us where we are in this world, so that we can find him: “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27)

It seems like most of the Christians I know are Calvinist leaning.  It is tough because it causes contention in Bible studies and fellowship, but I know that I will be shoulder to shoulder with my Calvinist brothers and sisters praising our amazing God for all the ages to come in His glorious heaven and we’ll probably be laughing at our earthly selves thinking about all those hours we spent writing, discussing (and sometimes arguing) about how someone comes to believe the truth and be saved!

mid-week apologetics booster (11-24-2016)

Happy Thanksgiving brothers and sisters in Christ!

Let us remember and reflect upon the goodness of our God and the many blessings He has bestowed on us.  As we heard in the Thanksgiving message last night, let us not forget the Giver of all these blessings as we enjoy them today.  Jesus said to His disciplesIf you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:13.  Thank you God for treating us so well, even though we deserve only judgment.

  1. The Gospel Message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Ex2FpwqvI
  2. My Favorite Analogy of the Trinity: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-favorite-analogy-of-trinity.html
  3. Reboot Christianity: Why apologetics is critical for youth ministry: http://rebootchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-apologetics-is-critical-for-youth.html
  4. Does the church do a good job of equipping Christians to talk to non-Christians? http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/does-the-church-do-a-good-job-of-equipping-christians-to-talk-to-non-christians-2/
  5. Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: http://michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/
  6. Watch “The Argument from Reason” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xKX-QtEo2fI
  7. Watch “Most POWERFUL video you will see all day.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7n3ZKtvoprY
  8. What your political views say about your suitability for marriage and parenting: https://winteryknight.com/2016/11/18/what-your-political-views-say-about-your-suitability-for-marriage-and-parenting/
  9. Rapid Responses to Difficult Questions (J. Warner Wallace):
    1. Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLdKMA8c9h0
    2. Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pveIBtYNLE4
  10. Does the Bible Advocate Slavery? http://www.exploregod.com/does-the-bible-advocate-slavery
  11. The following passage reminds me of current political environment.  Notice how Pilate asks “Why? What crime has he committed?”, but the crowd refused to give any answer, they just shouted ‘Crucify him’: Matthew 27:21-24“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”   “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.
  12. Christianity is True! Mini-Book/Tract (25 Pack) – Ratio Christi Store (this looks like a good evangelism resource): http://store.ratiochristi.org/christianity-is-true-mini-book-tract/
  13. Lacey Sturm: Suicidal Atheist becomes Christian rock star: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Lacey-Sturm-Suicidal-Atheist-becomes-Christian-rock-star
  14. The 3 A’s of Apologetics: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/dear-ephesus/the-3-as-of-apologetics-18687/
  15. Understanding the Times with Jan Markell – When God’s People Stun the Global Elite: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/understanding-the-times/listen/when-gods-people-stun-the-global-elite-565332.html
  16. Enjoy The Distinctly Christian Holiday We Call Thanksgivinghttp://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/enjoy-this-distinctly-christian-holiday-we-call-thanksgiving/

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Continued blessings to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (11-17-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are some links to help you to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and encourage you to “be prepared” (1 Peter 3:15):

  1. Yes, You Do Have Time to Learn Apologetics | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/yes-time-learn-apologetics/
  2. What Christian Parents Should Tell Their Kids About the Election: http://christianmomthoughts.com/what-christian-parents-should-tell-their-kids-about-the-election/
  3. Why Do So Many People Misunderstand the Word “Faith” – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/why-do-so-many-people-misunderstand-the-word-faith-2/
  4. A Christian view of economics: http://mbcpathway.com/2016/11/10/a-christian-view-of-economics/
  5. Why did Jesus tell people to “go and sin no more” if sinlessness is impossible? https://www.gotquestions.org/go-and-sin-no-more.html
  6. J.P. Moreland on Why God Won’t Force People Into Heaven: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/08/jp-moreland-on-why-god-wont-force.html
  7. OS Guinness, where is America headed: https://boxcast.tv/view/os-guinness-where-is-america-headed-274210
  8. How Did Christianity Prevail in Ancient Rome and What Can We Learn from It? http://crossexamined.org/christianity-prevail-ancient-rome-can-learn/
  9. Make Religious Freedom Great Again | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/11/18221/
  10. Why we need to let Trump have a fresh start: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Why-we-need-to-let-Trump-have-a-fresh-start
  11. Why I Voted for Donald Trump: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/why-i-voted-for-donald-trump/
  12. 5 Misconceptions about the Bible | Sean McDowell Ph.D.: http://crossexamined.org/5-misconceptions-about-the-bible/
  13. 4 Reasons We Know Humans Have a Soul – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/4-reasons-know-humans-soul/
  14. 3 Facts in Genesis 1 which confirms the Biblical Creation: https://samzlogic.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/3-facts-in-genesis-1-which-confirms-the-biblical-creation/
  15. Why are the Gnostic Gospels non- Canonical ? https://samzlogic.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/why-are-the-gnostic-gospels-non-canonical/
  16. Truth Is Narrow and Exclusive for Everybody. This is a fun little video from Impact 360 on relativism, tolerance, and Christianity’s claim to be objectively true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt8bJyiUAhY
  17. Five Apologetics Questions You Need to Think Through: http://www.str.org/blog/five-apologetics-questions-you-need-think-through
  18. Deceit and Lies We Have Been Told on Homosexuality – REALity – scientific evidence not supportive of homosexual myths: http://www.realwomenofcanada.ca/deceit-and-lies-we-have-been-told-on-homosexuality-reality/
  19. 7 Things You Should Know About Temptation ($0.99 on Kindle) – this is a REALLY good little book, filled with Scripture and practical advice: https://www.amazon.com/Things-Should-Know-About-Temptation-ebook/dp/B01FY45DVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479312971&sr=8-1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  Romans 10:1-3

Blessings

Why I Voted for Donald Trump

With this being such a hotly contested and controversial election I felt it necessary to explain why I voted for Donald Trump.

First off, let me say that I cannot and will not defend Donald Trump, his character or his loud mouth and outrageous comments. In reality, I was extremely unhappy to be forced into the choice of voting for Trump.  In fact this may be the one and only thing Republicans and Democrats could agree on during this election!  (that they were unhappy about their choices for president) During the Republican primary, Trump was my last choice among the 17 Republican candidates that were running.  I would’ve taken anyone above him. My first choice was Ted Cruz, but Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie all would’ve been acceptable (even Bush). But the republican voters chose Donald Trump. So, after Trump was announced as the nominee, I was faced with the choice of who I would vote for for the presidency. I did consider voting for a third party (for the Libertarian, Gary Johnson), but was convinced that I would be throwing my vote away – essentially giving it to Hillary Clinton.

There were four main reasons why I voted for Donald Trump:

  1. First off my vote was not so much a vote for Trump, but rather a vote to keep a thoroughly corrupt, career politician and pathological liar from holding the highest office in the land and indeed in the world. We know what happens when you give Hillary Clinton power. All you’ve gotta do is look at the wiki leaks emails that show how she used her power and position for personal gain. The “pay to play” schemes that were revealed when she was Secretary of State. The fact that a public servant can leave the White House “flat-broke” in the year 2000 (even stealing furnishings from the White House when leaving there) and now have a net worth in excess of 200 million dollars tells me that something fishy was going on. As a side note, I firmly believe that if she had not made the arrogant and foolish decision to set up that personal email server, she would actually be our president now – she has no one to blame but herself for her failure.
  2. Secondly, I voted for Donald Trump because I vote anti-abortion. If there’s a candidate who is a pro-abortion, given another choice, I will vote against that person. Hillary Clinton without a doubt is a vociferous supporter of abortion rights – even late term abortions. Whereas, Donald Trump is anti-abortion. It is likely that those in his administration will be pro-life as well.  See this article for a good discussion of the issues involved in the abortion debate.
  3. Thirdly, I voted for the Republican platform. When I look at what it includes, it more closely aligns to my worldview and values than does the Democratic platform. For example, the Republican platform is for the following:
    1. Pro-life
    2. Religious freedom
    3. Traditional Values
    4. America first (instead of globalism)
    5. Smaller government
    6. Lower taxes and spending (fiscal responsibility)
    7. Strong national defense
    8. Strong borders (enforcing illegal immigration laws)
    9. Law and order
    10. Better trade deals
    11. Pro-business
    12. Not penalizing those who’ve succeeded financially in life
    13. Constitution originalists (the constitution is not a “living document” – if you want to change it, go through the amendment process)

Those are all things I stand for. The Democratic platform on the other hand, is completely opposed on all of those issues. So I felt that I had to vote for the platform that most closely aligned to my (Christian) worldview.

  1. Now it’s also important to realize that when you’re voting for a president, you’re not just voting for the president alone, but you’re also voting for the complete administration that will be installed. This includes thousands of political appointees. Much of the damage that was done during the Obama Administration was done by unelected political appointees. So, even though I personally find Donald Trump distasteful, and cannot defend him, I do know that he will appoint conservative people in his administration, who will implement policies that more closely align to my worldview.

Also it gives me great comfort to know that the president has limited power. Because of our system of government having three branches with checks and balances, the president can’t just do anything he wants. He must work with Congress, he must work with others in his administration. So, while I’m disappointed that Trump had to be our nominee, I had no other choice than to vote for the Republican nominee for president. I stand by that choice, no matter what the rioters and the intolerant liberals want to do to silence people like me.  I’m sure people like me will continue to be called many names in an attempt to silence us.  This decision to vote Republican had nothing to do with bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, and whatever other names you can call me. This had to do with standing on principle, principles that more closely aligned to my Christian worldview.

Let’s give Trump a chance and see what he, along with his administration and a Republican House and Senate, can do.  We may be surprised.

mid-week apologetics booster (11-10-2016)

Good morning friends,

Considering the week we’ve had (and continue to have), here is a survey of verses from all over the Bible that speak about governments and nations:

  1. But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain –and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Exodus 18:21
  2. For dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. Ps. 22:28
  3. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Ps. 33:12
  4. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. Ps. 47:8
  5. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.  Ps. 118:8-9
  6. The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. Ps. 21:1
  7. Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?  Prov. 24:21-22
  8. By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.  Prov. 29:4
  9. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6
  10. For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.  Isaiah 33:22
  11. “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.” Daniel 2:20-21a
  12. the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men. Daniel 4:17b
  13. “Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:19-21
  14. “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:10-11
  15. On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Acts 4:23-28
  16. Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” Acts 5:27-29
  17. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Romans 13:1-4
  18. I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  1 Timothy 2:1-2
  19. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good  Titus 3:1
  20. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy  James 4:12a
  21. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  1 Peter 2:13-14
  22. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Now, for your links:

  1. What Trumps Trump and Clinton? What are the issues that should be important to Christians in the election? Democrats vision for America: In their own words. Republicans vision for America: In their own words. Why you are not voting for one person but thousands of people.  This is a great Frank Turek podcast (48 min) that gives a Christian perspective on the issues that were facing us in this election.  Even though the election is passed, I still think it would be a worthwhile listen for everyone.  If you have the Cross-Examined App, you can listen to it there as well: http://player.subsplash.com/80aae55
  2. “Apologetics and RC Kept Me from Leaving Christianity” | Ratio Christi: http://ratiochristi.org/blog/post/apologetics-and-rc-kept-me-from-leaving-christianity/5080?tab=all_blogs_tab#.WBwE7MtlDqC
  3. Was Jesus a Socialist? – The Revolutionary Act: http://therevolutionaryact.com/was-jesus-a-socialist/
  4. Jen Hatmaker: Hermeneutics, Hurt, and Human Affection Part II | Joe Dallas Online: http://joedallas.com/blog/index.php/2016/11/04/jen-hatmaker-hermeneutics-hurt-and-human-affection-part-ii/
  5. Are There Forgeries in the New Testament? (Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians) – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/forgeries-new-testament-ephesians-colossians-thessalonians/
  6. Q&A – God, Alien Life, Kepler-452b, & a Fictional Jesus? | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics.: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/qa-god-alien-life-kepler-452b-a-fictional-jesus/
  7. A Brief Meditation for Election Week – White Horse Inn: https://www.whitehorseinn.org/2016/10/a-brief-meditation-for-election-week/

Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.  Proverbs 10:14

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (11-3-2016)

Good morning friends,

Another week has passed and God’s mercies are still new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!  Here are some links for you to consider:

  1. How to think (not what to think): http://creation.com/how-to-think
  2. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html
  3. Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak Truth: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/love-your-neighbor-enough-to-speak-truth
  4. State of Georgia demands pastor turn over sermons | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/10/26/state-georgia-demands-pastor-turn-over-sermons.html
  5. Did humans and dinosaurs co-exist? Are dinosaurs in the Bible? See what lab tests show about the actual age of dinosaur bones: https://www.facebook.com/icrscience/videos/10154672274024451/
  6. What is the Diwali festival in Hinduism? https://gotquestions.org/Diwali-festival-Hinduism.html
  7. 5 Tips for Young Apologists: http://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/5-tips-for-young-apologists
  8. What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment? https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/god-is-good/what-kind-of-god-would-condemn-people-to-eternal-torment/
  9. Why a Quantum-Mechanical Universe Still Requires a Cause: http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2016/11/why-quantum-mechanical-universe-still.html
  10. Who Wrote the Gospel According to Luke? http://www.logicandlight.org/who-wrote-the-gospel-according-to-luke/

One other item I would like to pass along.  This month (Nov. 18th and 19th in Tempe) there will be a speech and debate tournament called the Cactus Clash.  If you are interested in being a community judge (no experience necessary), you can sign up here.  I did it last year and will be there on Saturday the 19th this year, and I promise, you will be blessed when you see these young people defending what they believe (there is an apologetics focus in the debates as well).

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.  Matthew 10:23a

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (10-27-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are a few items for you to take a look at:

  1. Abortion Argument Destroyed in 6 minute video (this is REALLY good): https://www.facebook.com/PastorSundayAdelaja/videos/10154019515783845/
  2. 50 Recommended Apologetics Resources for Christian Parents: http://christianmomthoughts.com/50-recommended-apologetics-resources-for-christian-parents/
  3. Denzel Washington Reveals The Heartbreaking Journey That Lead To His Life Long Faith In Jesus: http://qpolitical.com/denzel-washington-reveals-the-heartbreaking-journey-that-lead-to-his-life-long-faith-in-jesus/
  4. Watch “What is Religious Pluralism and Why is it False?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jRAGzWrFnOE
  5. Watch “Shattering the Icons of Evolution” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RHmTfIXK1BQ
  6. Transgender: Truth and Compassion | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/publications/transgender-truth-and-compassion#.WA7IgMtlDqA
  7. 3 Reasons Why the Historicity of Jesus Matters: http://crossexamined.org/3-reasons-why-the-historicity-of-jesus-matters/
  8. Media Misleads About Ark Again | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/ministry-news/ark-encounter/media-misleads-about-ark-again/
  9. Watch “What distinguishes humans from other animals?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/j7PeKJjQaF0
  10. Approaching the Existence of God | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/approaching-existence-god/
  11. Jesus Calling:
    1. 10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling: http://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling
    2. The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling”: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16568
    3. Developing Discernment in Devotional Reading: http://www.equip.org/article/developing-discernment-devotional-reading/
    4. Is Jesus Calling a Good Book?  Are there any doctrinal problems with Jesus Calling? https://gotquestions.org/Jesus-Calling.html
  12. What is Halloween? | Can Christians celebrate Halloween? | Origins of Halloween: https://carm.org/halloween

In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time –God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.  1 Timothy 6:13-16.

For those who are interested, I created a 15 minute video collage of our recent trip to Kaua’I here (Note – this has background music and the video can be viewed full-screen. I recommend you use a browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc, not Internet Explorer).  It was a fully paid trip for my wife and I that I received as an “most valuable player” award on my job.

mid-week apologetics booster (10-20-2016)

Good morning friends,

I’m back after my vacation and feeling refreshed and relaxed!  Here are some links for you to look at:

  1. French gvmt announces plan to criminalize websites opposing abortion: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/french-gvmt-intends-to-obstruct-websites-offering-negative-information-abou
  2. Christians and Donald Trump: Our Meeting with Him: http://crossexamined.org/christians-donald-trump-meeting/
  3. Comparison Grid of Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christianity: https://carm.org/comparison-grid
  4. It takes guts for celebrities to be open about their faith. We should support them: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/It-takes-guts-for-celebrities-to-be-open-about-their-faith.-We-should-support-them?j
  5. A Sure Word: Textual criticism made amazingly easy: http://rkbentley.blogspot.com/2016/10/textual-criticism-made-amazingly-easy.html
  6. Challenge: Christianity Is Absurd | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/challenge-christianity-is-absurd#.WAbtjBllDqB
  7. Clues That Corroborate the Traditional Authorship of the Gospels – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2016/09/09/clues-that-corroborate-the-traditional-authorship-of-the-gospels/
  8. Looking for Life on Enceladus: http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/looking-life-enceladus
  9. How Did Judas Die? https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/how-did-judas-die/
  10. Atheists Say Darwinism Means Life is Meaningless, But Their Behavior Shows They Know Better: https://stream.org/atheists-say-darwinism-means-life-meaningless/
  11. Old Testament Believers: How Were They Saved? http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/old-testament-believers-in-god-before-jesus-were-they-saved

The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:5-8

 

mid-week apologetics booster (10-6-2016)

Good morning,

First, a house-keeping item – I will not be sending out this booster next week.  Rather than encouraging you with apologetics concerning God and His creation, Lord willing, I will be experiencing His creation in a place called Kauai!  So, you’ll hear from me again in 2 weeks.

Now, on to the good stuff…

  1. David Silverman Denies That The Holocaust Was Objectively Wrong in a debate with Frank Turek: https://youtu.be/ybiFlsLZU-A?t=2m01s
  2. New Bill Would Repeal Johnson Amendment, Protect Pastors’ Rights to Endorse Candidates | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/29/new-bill-would-repeal-johnson-amendment-protect-pastors-rights-to-endorse-candidates/
  3. How Christianity Created the Free Society | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/09/17405/
  4. A Call to Repentance & Renewal – An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America: http://americanevangelicals.com/
  5. Did Man Get Here By Evolution Or By Creation? Chapter 3 Does Life Come from Nonliving Matter? http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/evolution67/evolution3.html
  6. Five Questions About Evolution that Charles Darwin Can’t Answer: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1579-five-questions-about-evolution-that-charles-darwin-cant-answer
  7. Holy Rebel: http://dangreenup.com/holy-rebel/
  8. Evolutionary dilemma – The more we know about DNA, the tougher things get for modern Darwinism: http://creation.com/evolutionary-dilemma
  9. Help! My Pastor Became An Atheist! https://clearlens.org/2016/09/28/help-my-pastor-became-an-atheist/
  10. Isn’t It Possible That The Jesus Story Was A Conspiracy (unfortunately, this is poor audio)? “Anything is possible, but not everything is reasonable.” A student alludes to the DaVinci Code, saying that it was put forth in the book/movie that Jesus’ follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XV7ajMLYO4
  11. The Imminent Death of Darwinism and the Rise of Intelligent Design: http://www.icr.org/article/imminent-death-darwinism-rise-intelligent-design/
  12. The Danger of Treating the Word “Disciple” as a Noun Instead of a Verb: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/the-danger-of-treating-the-word-disciple-as-a-noun-instead-of-a-verb/
  13. How Christ’s Incarnation Differs from the Hindu Idea of Avatar: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/how-christs-incarnation-differs-from-the-hindu-idea-of-avatar/
  14. The Free Thinking Argument: http://www.reasonablefaithbelfast.com/blog/-the-free-thinking-argument
  15. Canyon creation – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/a/237
  16. Biblical Contradictions are as Scarce as Hen’s Teeth – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/biblical-contradictions-are-as-scarce-as-hens-teeth/
  17. Evidence for Design Grows Like a New Patch of Kudzu – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/evidence-for-design-grows-like-a-new-patch-of-kudzu/
  18. “I Just Don’t Have Your Faith” | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/i-just-dont-have-your-faith/
  19. Cold-Case Christianity for Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective (new book for kids by J. Warner Wallace): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/cold-case-christianity-for-kids-j-warner-wallace/1123269143/2675127321420?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP3038&k_clickid=3×3038
  20. What Is the Essential Truth About the Holy Spirit? (J. Warner Wallace podcast): http://pleaseconvinceme.libsyn.com/what-is-the-essential-truth-about-the-holy-spirit?tdest_id=90058
  21. The Problem with “Friendship Evangelism”: http://www.missioalliance.org/problem-friendship-evangelism/
  22. Creationist receives six-figure legal settlement from public university: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/29337/
  23. Evidence of the Resurrection Accepted Even by Atheist New Testament Scholars: https://cyberpenance.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/__trashed-3/

Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools. Proverbs 16:22

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (9-29-2016)

Good morning friends and fellow co-heirs!

I hope this morning finds you in good health, both physically and spiritually!  Below are some links for you to take a look at.

  1. Did Jesus Commend Faith That Is Blind? | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/jesus-commend-faith-blind/
  2. Three Quran Verses Every Christian Should Know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Nu6EabQD8
  3. Christians ‘Hung On A Cross Over Fire’, Steamrollered And Crushed To Death In North Korea | Christian News on Christian Today: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.hung.on.a.cross.over.fire.steamrollered.and.crushed.to.death.in.north.korea/96190.htm
  4. Did Jesus Drink Alcoholic Wine? | Tough Questions Answered: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2016/09/21/did-jesus-drink-alcoholic-wine/
  5. Failed Atheist Explanations for a Beginning to the Universe. | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/failed-atheist-explanations-for-a-beginning-to-the-universe/
  6. C-3PO Crashes a Pentecostal Revival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGH4HaylaU
  7. Three Levels of Heaven? James R. White: http://www.equip.org/article/three-levels-of-heaven/
  8. Podcasts you should know about (as reported by Apologetics Minion):
    1. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/06/21/podcasts-you-should-know-about-part-1/
    2. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/07/04/podcasts-you-should-know-about-part-2/
    3. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/07/21/podcasts-you-should-know-part-3/
    4. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/09/10/podcasts-you-should-know-part-4/
    5. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/09/24/podcasts-you-should-know-part-5/
  9. Impact events (quote from “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”): Some skeptics may think that a 15- to 40-year gap between the life of Christ and the writings about him is too wide for the testimony to be reliable. But they are mistaken. Think about events that occurred 15 to 40 years ago. When historians write about those events, we don’t say, “Oh, that’s impossible! No one can remember events from that long ago!” Such skepticism is clearly unwarranted. Historians today write accurately about events in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s by consulting their own memories, those of other eyewitnesses, and any written sources from the time. This process is the same one the New Testament writers used to record their documents. Like a good reporter, Luke interviewed eyewitnesses. And as we’ll see in the next chapter, some New Testament writers were eyewitnesses themselves. They could remember 15- to 40-year-old events quite easily, just as you can. Why can you remember certain events vividly from 15 to 40 years ago and (if you’re old enough) even further back? You may be able to remember certain events because they made a great emotional impact on you. (In fact, those of us who are “over the hill” can remember some events from 30 years ago better than those from 30 minutes ago!) Where were you and what were you doing when President Kennedy was assassinated? When the Challenger exploded? When the second plane hit the tower? Why can you remember those events so well? Because they made a deep emotional impact on you. Since an event like the Resurrection certainly would have made a deep emotional impact on the New Testament writers and the other eyewitnesses they may have consulted, it’s easy to see why the history of Jesus could be easily recalled many years later, especially in a culture with an established reliance on oral testimony (more on this below). Furthermore, if the major works of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written within two generations of the events, then they are not likely to be legend. Why? Because historical research indicates that a myth cannot begin to crowd out historical facts while the eyewitnesses are still alive. For this reason, Roman historian A. N. Sherwin-White calls the mythological view of the New Testament “unbelievable.” William Lane Craig writes, “The tests show that even two generations is too short to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical fact.” Inside of those two generations, eyewitnesses are still around to correct the errors of historical revisionists.
  10. How Do You Develop a Public Speaking Ministry? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-do-you-develop-a-public-speaking-ministry
  11. I’m Sorry! But the Church Needs Apologetics: http://www.faithbeyondbelief.ca/2015/09/03/im-sorry-but-the-church-needs-apologetics/
  12. Scientists Discover Camouflaged Dinosaur | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2016/09/26/scientists-discover-camouflaged-dinosaur/
  13. Transgender Identities Are Not Always Permanent | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/09/17753/
  14. Postmodern Realities is a podcast from the Christian Research Institute and the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL. Each podcast features in-depth conversations with our JOURNAL authors: http://www.equip.org/crj-pmr-podcast/

O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I–in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. Psalm 17:14-15

Blessings to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (9-22-2016)

Good morning friends,

Another week has gone by, and we all need to ask ourselves, have we done anything this week to advance the kingdom of God and the Gospel?  The Apostle Paul said

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (Philippians 1:12-14)

I suspect that you were not actually physically in chains for Christ this week, but there are other ways that you may’ve been advancing the Gospel.  Maybe you were at AWANA last night advancing the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.  May you gave money to a faithful ministry that is advancing the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.  Maybe you made a meal for brothers and sisters at Church, or did some cleaning or maintenance at the Church.  Maybe you served the homeless in our community at one of the many relief organizations.  Maybe you spoke up in a personal conversation, communicating and defending you faith in Christ.  I know of one of my brothers who led someone to Christ this week in a faraway land over the phone and internet (WeChat).  She prayed to receive Christ and her life was changed forever!  Praise the Lord.  This brother of mine was a faithful witness over several months of weekly calls, teaching and preaching the Word of God to her (after the business talk was finished).  He was advancing the Gospel into a country where she may not’ve heard it otherwise.

God has placed us where we are with our circle of influence.  Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.  This is our chance in this lifetime to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in a dark and hurting world!  I like how Pastor James MacDonald phrases it – “we need to be shouldering weekly Kingdom responsibility”.  He stresses the fact that every born again, Bible believing, follower of Christ should be striving to:

  1. Walk with Christ
  2. Worship Christ
  3. Work for Christ

I pray that you would all make a difference for Christ this week!

Here are you weekly links:

  1. Watch “Catch The Light for Intelligent Design Audio Play – 8th Clip” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/CAgobUvih5Q
  2. Why Abortion Is Unjust Discrimination – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/12/11/why-abortion-is-unjust-discrimination/
  3. The Complete Series: Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize – Canon Fodder: http://michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/
  4. Tom Gilson talks about how to have critical conversations about difficult topics with teens | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/node/42138
  5. Watch “The Kalam Cosmological Argument” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6CulBuMCLg0
  6. Open Biola: Free Educational Content Created & Curated by Biola University | Open Biola: http://open.biola.edu/
  7. Watch “Are Beliefs the Result of Where One Is Born?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/VjHRqToHhCU
  8. Watch “Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  9. New Video Destroys the False Claim That Abortion is Just 3% of What Planned Parenthood Does | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/14/new-video-destroys-the-false-claim-that-abortion-is-just-3-of-what-planned-parenthood-does/
  10. Watch “29. Hasn’t Christianity done more harm than good?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0bOyoAjhUc8
  11. Watch “Was the New Testament Written Early?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pBxoNiTyfHw
  12. Arguing, Quarreling, and Questioning | Think on These Things: https://jaredrabbot.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/arguing-quarreling-and-questioning/
  13. What Is Postmodernism? | NAMB: https://www.namb.net/apologetics/what-is-postmodernism
  14. Faith Actually: Definitions Matter: http://faithactually.blogspot.com/2016/07/definitions-matter.html?m=1
  15. Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend – Evangelical pastor preaches that the Bible isn’t the foundation for the Christian faith: http://creation.com/andy-stanley-rebuttal
  16. Cosmologist Luke Barnes answers 11 objections to the fine-tuning argument: https://winteryknight.com/2016/09/11/cosmologist-luke-barnes-answers-11-objections-to-the-fine-tuning-argument-4/

Blessings to you all!

Highly Esteemed Among Men, Detestable in God’s Sight

In Luke chapter 16, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees about money.  As usual, they were not happy – the text says they “were lovers of money” and that they were “scoffing at Him”.  And he replied with this stunning charge:

You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 6:15)

Of course the whole counsel of Scripture shows that Jesus was right about the Pharisees – they were more about appearances and external compliance to the law, and they lacked the “truth in the inward parts” that King David spoke of in Psalm 51, his great psalm of repentance.

But as I read this account, I wonder about you and me…  Jesus could’ve been talking to us.  Do we justify ourselves in the sight of others?  Do we “highly esteem” that which is detestable in the sight of God?  Here are some thoughts on ways we justify ourselves in the sight of men and that we highly esteem that which God detests:

We justify ourselves by…

  1. When we say, “I’m a good person. I’ve never murdered anyone, I’ve never cheated on my wife, and I’ve never robbed anyone”.  Really?  Jesus clarified that external compliance to the law is not the only thing we’re accountable for.  He said that we’re also responsible for our thoughts about these things.
    1. So, you’ve never murdered anyone? Have you murdered them in your mind?  Have you hated them?  If you’ve hated another, the Bible says you’re a murderer (1 John 3:15).
    2. So you’ve never committed adultery? Have you ever lusted after another woman or man?  If so, according to Jesus, you’ve already committed adultery (Matthew 5:27-28).
    3. So, you’ve never robbed anyone? Have you ever given less than a full day’s work for a full day’s pay?  That’s robbing your employer.
  2. When we highlight and promote our good qualities and good deeds and gloss over or ignore the less flattering aspects of ourselves.
  3. When we are caught lying, we call it a white lie. We say that we didn’t want to cause a dispute or hurt the other person’s feelings.  We justify our lying.  We think it’s no big deal. (Proverbs 12:22)
  4. When we drive over the speed limit, roll through stop signs, make right turns on red when the sign says “No Right Turn on Red”, smoke in non-smoking areas, put more charitable contributions on our taxes than we gave and many other things and then say, “Well, everyone’s doing it”

We highly esteem what God detests when we…

  1. Idolize anything other than God. This can include, but it not limited to:
    1. Money / Material Possessions / Career (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
    2. Your happiness
    3. Sex, Food and other “appetites”
    4. Celebrities / Sports stars / Entertainment
    5. Personal Freedom (to behave however you want with no constraints) – Luke 9:23-26
    6. Your family (Luke 14:26)
    7. Your reputation (being loved by men) – Galatians 1:10
    8. Your sin – Romans 6:12-14
  2. Say that abortion grants a woman the “right to choose” what to do with “her own body”.
  3. Say that homosexuality is not a sin and that homosexuals are just being who they are and loving who they want.

Friends, let’s make sure that we’re not doing the very things Jesus is accusing the Pharisees of.  Let’s not be hypocrites (Matthew 23:24-28).  Let’s live for the Lord.  Let’s say with Paul, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)!

mid-week apologetics booster (9-15-2016)

Good morning friends,

I wanted to let you know of a site that I maintain that has links to many of the sites where I get these articles.  It is http://coolgadgetssoftware.com/random_christian_link.html.  There it has a list of 316 sites that I’ve found that have decent content.  It also has a button at the top that allows you to visit a random site from the list (in a new window).

Here are some articles and videos for you to take a look at:

  1. Thought Snack: We Think God’s Unfair Because We Don’t Hate Sin – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/09/21/thought-snack-we-think-gods-unfair-because-we-dont-hate-sin/
  2. Is God Unfair to Those Raised in Other Faiths? http://www.comereason.org/religious-exclusivism.asp
  3. 5 Popular Christian Teachers To Avoid: http://thereforegodexists.com/5-popular-christian-teachers-to-avoid/
  4. Three False Gospels You May Not Realize Are in Your Church: http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/08/20/three-false-gospels-you-may-not-realize-are-in-your-church/
  5. Verifiability Is A Christian Distinctive: http://crossexamined.org/verifiability-is-a-christian-distinctive/
  6. The unaffiliated: Why more than a quarter of Arizonans are leaving religion behind: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2016/08/17/unaffiliated-faith-why-more-than-quarter-arizonans-leaving-religion-behind/88900344/
  7. In What Sense Is It Impossible for the Universe to Come from Nothing? http://www.reasonablefaith.org/in-what-sense-is-it-impossible-for-the-universe-to-come-from-nothing
  8. Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  9. Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2016/09/tom-holland-why-i-was-wrong-about-christianity
  10. Have archaeologists just unearthed stunning BIBLICAL PALACE once owned by King Solomon? http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/707419/archaeologists-unearthed-stunning-BIBLICAL-PALACE-King-Solomon
  11. Why Doesn’t God “Do Something” About Evil? http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2016/09/why-doesnt-god-do-something-about-evil.html
  12. John MacArthur joke: http://adam4d.com/got-joke/
  13. Is Criticizing God or The Bible A Valid Argument Against Gods Existence? or “On The ‘There Is No God And I Hate Him”: https://agroundfloorview.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/is-criticizing-god-or-the-bible-a-valid-argument-against-gods-existence-or-on-the-there-is-no-god-and-i-hate-him-part-2/
  14. How America Has Gone From the Old Deluder Satan Act to Banning Bibles in School: http://allchristiannews.com/how-american-has-gone-from-the-old-deluder-satan-act-to-banning-bibles-in-school/
  15. “I like apologetics, where should I start?” https://apologetics105.com/2016/09/09/i-like-apologetics-where-should-i-start/
  16. Trusting in Science Alone will Starve Our Ability to Know: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/09/trusting-in-science-alone-will-starve.html
  17. Mundanity as a barrier to faith: http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.com/2015/04/mundanity-as-barrier-to-faith.html
  18. The Basic Facts that Everyone Agrees on About Jesus’ Death and Resurrection: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/20-b4-twenty-the-basic-facts-that-everyone-agrees-on-about-jesus-death-and-resurrection/
  19. 4 Reasons Why Every Christian Should be Pro-Life on Abortion: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/05/03/4-reasons-why-every-christian-should-be-pro-life-on-abortion/
  20. The 9 Forms of Infidelity in Marriage (Hint: 8 of Them Don’t Involve Sex): http://www.faithit.com/9-forms-infidelity-marriage-dave-willis/
  21. Is This the Biggest Barrier to Students Living out Their Faith? http://youthministry360.com/blog/the-biggest-barrier-to-students-living-out-their-faith/

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.  Proverbs 19:2

Many ways seem right…

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12;16:25

This verse, repeated twice in Proverbs, is so “on target”.  I see and hear so many people expressing non-biblical ideas that seem right to them, not knowing that those ways of thinking ultimately lead to death as the Scripture says.  Here just a few of these “worldly wisdom” expressions that are commonplace in today’s American society:

  1. The most important thing is to follow your heart. There several verses in the Bible that contradict this. For example, Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”  So, if this is true, why would I want to follow my heart?  Romans 3:10-12 says “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.
  2. There are many paths to God, not just one way. What really matters is that you’re sincere.  This is certainly not the view of Jesus and His disciples.  He said:
    1. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30
    2. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14
    3. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  John 3:17-18
    4. [John the Baptist speaking] He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36
    5. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. John 5:23b
    6. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. John 5:39-40
    7. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. John 6:27
    8. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. John 6:40a
    9. Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24b
    10. Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. John 10:7-9a
    11. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26b
    12. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. John 12:48
    13. I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
    14. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
    15. [Peter speaking] And there is salvation in no one else ; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
    16. [Paul speaking] Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
    17. [Paul speaking] For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
  3. If you’re a “good person” you go to heaven. Oh how this is anti-biblical!  I could give numerous Scriptures to back this up – here are a few:
    1. For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. Isaiah 64:6a
    2. Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20
    3. No one is good–except God alone. Mark 10:18b
    4. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
    5. At the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:5-6
    6. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
    7. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law. Galatians 3:11a
  4. God greatest desire is for me to be happy. If this is true, I guess He didn’t see His greatest desire fulfilled for the Apostles or even for His very own Son.  Again, the Bible says different:
    1. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
    2. You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Mark 13:13
    3. And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25.  Does this sound like God greatest desire is for me to be happy?
    4. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33
    5. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29
    6. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 1 Peter 4:12-16

All of these statements have the ring of truth – they sound so logical.  Many more could be given.  My only recommendation is – read the Bible and develop a biblical worldview.  As Colossians says “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ

Let me finish with the commentary of J.C. Ryle on the parable told by Jesus in Luke 18:9-14:

The sin which our Lord denounces is “self-righteousness.”

We are all naturally self-righteous. It is the family-disease of all the children of Adam. From the highest to the lowest we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to do. We secretly flatter ourselves that we are not so bad as some, and that we have something to recommend us to the favor of God. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness.” (Prov. 20:6.) We forget the plain testimony of Scripture, “In many things we offend all.” “There is not a just man upon earth, that does good and sins not”–“What is man that he should be clean, or he that is born of a woman that he should be righteous?” (James 3:2. Eccles. 7:20. Job 15:14.)

The true cure for self-righteousness is self-knowledge. Once let the eyes of our understanding be opened by the Spirit, and we shall talk no more of our own goodness. Once let us see what there is in our own hearts, and what the holy law of God requires, and self-conceit will die. We shall lay our hand on our mouths, and cry with the leper, “Unclean, unclean.” (Levit. 13:45.)

One great defect stands out on the face of this prayer–a defect so glaring that even a child might mark it. It exhibits no sense of sin and need. It contains no confession and no petition–no acknowledgment of guilt and emptiness–no supplication for mercy and grace. It is a mere boasting recital of fancied merits, accompanied by an uncharitable reflection on a brother sinner. It is a proud, high-minded profession, destitute alike of penitence, humility, and charity. In short, it hardly deserves to be called a prayer at all.

No state of soul can be conceived so dangerous as that of the Pharisee. Never are men’s bodies in such desperate plight, as when disease and insensibility set in. Never are men’s hearts in such a hopeless condition, as when they are not sensible of their own sins. He that would not make shipwreck on this rock, must beware of measuring himself by his neighbors. What does it signify that we are more moral than “other men?” We are all vile and imperfect in the sight of God. “If we contend with Him, we cannot answer him one in a thousand.” (Job 9:3.) Let us remember this. In all our self-examination let us not try ourselves by comparison with the standard of men. Let us look at nothing but the requirements of God. He that acts on this principle will never be a Pharisee.

J.C. Ryle commentary on Luke 18:9-14

mid-week apologetics booster (9-8-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. The New Face of Atheism (And It’s Not Dawkins!) – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-new-face-of-atheism-and-its-not-dawkins
  2. God’s Foreknowledge Does Not Force – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/07/24/gods-knowledge-does-not-force/
  3. Elementary School with Co-ed Restrooms: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Elementary-School-with-Co-ed-Restrooms.html?soid=1100422530046&aid=yGl2YXsMESA
  4. Atheists Who Convert: A Case Study: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Atheists-Who-Convert-A-Case-Study
  5. LDS Church and Same-Sex Marriage: The DOCTRINE Behind the Policy — dear Ephesus: http://www.dearephesus.org/blog/2015/11/6/lds-church-and-same-sex-marriage-the-theology-behind-the-policy
  6. Pornography and Purity: Pursuing a Biblical Vision of Manhood and Womanhood to the Glory of God – Servants of Grace: http://servantsofgrace.org/pornography-purity-pursuing-biblical-vision-manhood-womanhood-glory-god/
  7. Why isn’t God’s Existence more Obvious? | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/why-isnt-gods-existence-more-obvious/
  8. You Don’t Always Have to Make a Defense – Apologetics 105: https://apologetics105.com/2016/08/31/you-dont-always-have-to-make-a-defense/
  9. How To Answer, “Can You Be Good Without God?” – DyerThoughts: http://www.dyerthoughts.com/home/how-to-answer-can-you-be-good-without-god
  10. Mark Spence videos:
    1. Watch “I Deserve Hell – Mark Spence’s Story” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xci422OZGWE
    2. Watch “Can We Trust the Bible?” by Living Waters on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XyNseXdd260
    3. Watch “Is It Wrong to Judge?” by Living Waters on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ef3P97nz0lU
    4. Watch “Mark Spence ‘The Good News is Great News’” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LdU3y7EIa8Y
  11. Harvard PhD tosses questions at fossil claim: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/09/harvard-phd-tosses-questions-at-fossil-claim/
  12. Bad Arguments Against Christianity: Bible Contradictions – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/08/11/answering-the-bible-contradictions-objection/
  13. Video Shows Mother Teresa Saying “Every Abortion is a Rejection of Jesus” | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/12/27/video-shows-mother-teresa-saying-every-abortion-is-a-rejection-of-jesus/
  14. The Problem of Evil Is Often A Problem of Understanding – Cross Examined: http://crossexamined.org/the-problem-of-evil-is-often-a-problem-of-understanding/
  15. ISIS Is Killing Us Because We Are Not Muslim – by Nabeel Qureshi: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nabeel-qureshi/isis-is-killing-us-because-we-are-not-muslim_b_11793770.html
  16. Lessons for America from the fall of Rome: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/09/lessons-for-america-from-the-fall-of-rome/#67C09EVzvgw1FYx4.99
  17. The Case for Christianity According to a 7th Grader | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/10965/
  18. Our shrinking brains – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/our-shrinking-brains
  19. 4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/4-ways-become-better-listener-better-apologist/
  20. Why Would an Engineer-Turned-Mom Care So Deeply about Apologetics? http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-would-an-engineer-turned-mom-care-so-deeply-about-apologetics
  21. The Church of Chronic Denial and Dementia | Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past…… https://robertbridgstock.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/the-church-of-chronic-denial-and-dementia/
  22. Four Self-Refuting Statements Heard on College Campuses Across America: http://crossexamined.org/four-self-refuting-statements-heard-on-college-campuses-across-america/
  23. What Christian Parents Need to Know About New Age and Occult Beliefs: http://crossexamined.org/christian-parents-need-know-new-age-occult-beliefs/
  24. Greg Bahnsen: The Bible is the Word of God: http://evidence4god.blogspot.com/2016/08/greg-bahnsen-standing-on-scripture.html
  25. William Lane Craig Q&A: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/knowledge-of-god-and-his-will
  26. ‘Increasingly Aggressive’ Atheists Target Children in New Evolution-Promoting Book: http://christiannews.net/2016/09/05/increasingly-aggressive-atheists-target-children-in-new-evolution-promoting-book/

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalms 100:1-5

mid-week apologetics booster (9-1-2016)

Good morning all,

I hope I find you this morning thinking deeply about “the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent” (John 17:3)!  Here are some items to help you defend your faith this week:

  1. Podcast #41: A Clear View of Mormonism with Dr. Craig Hazen – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2016/08/17/podcast-41-a-clear-view-of-mormonism-with-dr-craig-hazen/
  2. How to Talk to Your Kids About Hell: http://christianmomthoughts.com/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-hell/
  3. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: Using Public Funds to Establish Atheist Beliefs: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/08/using-public-funds-to-establish-atheist.html
  4. Talking to a student about God’s existence at The Ohio State University – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/talking-to-a-student-about-gods-existence-at-the-ohio-state-university/
  5. Possible Worlds: My Favorite Apologetic Arguments: http://www.randyeverist.com/2016/08/my-favorite-apologetic-arguments.html
  6. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: Dealing with All Those “Lost Gospel” Claims: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/03/dealing-with-all-those-lost-gospel.html
  7. Shia and Sunni Islam – what are the differences? http://www.gotquestions.org/Shia-Sunni-Islam.html
  8. 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer: http://crossexamined.org/65-apologetics-questions-every-christian-parent-needs-to-learn-to-answer/
  9. Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/adam-eve-really-exist/
  10. Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist – Larry Alex Taunton: http://larryalextaunton.com/articles/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist/
  11. Did Bible Authors Believe in a Literal Genesis? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/did-bible-authors-believe-in-a-literal-genesis/
  12. Why some Americans left religion behind | Pew Research Center: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/24/why-americas-nones-left-religion-behind/
  13. Funsized Fallacies: Post Hoc – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/06/05/funsized-fallacies-post-hoc-3/
  14. 5 Questions to Ask Jesus Mythicists: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/5-questions-ask-jesus-mythicists/
  15. Your Work Matters to God: https://www.probe.org/your-work-matters-to-god/
  16. Parents: Don’t Train Your Kids On Your Own: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/parents-dont-train-your-kids-on-your-own/
  17. 3 WAYS ‘THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT’ STORY BACKFIRES: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/08/25/3-ways-the-blind-men-and-the-elephant-story-backfires/
  18. Transgender Identity-Wishing Away God’s Design: https://answersingenesis.org/family/gender/transgender-identity-wishing-away-gods-design/
  19. Despite Rape and Torture, ISIS Captive Refused to Renounce Christianity Before Execution | The Stream: https://stream.org/despite-rape-torture-isis-captive-refused-renounce-christianity/
  20. FRC Blog » Ending the Secular Witch Hunt: http://frcblog.com/2016/08/ending-secular-witch-hunt/
  21. The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society: http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-5-worst-beliefs-a-christian-parent-can-have-in-an-imploding-society/
  22. The Apostles Wrote the Gospels as Eyewitness Accounts | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-apostles-wrote-the-gospels-as-eyewitness-accounts/
  23. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources – bethinking.org: http://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources
  24. Jesus Is A Myth, Just Like President Kennedy | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/jesus-is-a-myth-just-like-president-kennedy/
  25. Building a case for the historical Jesus – ChristianWeek: http://www.christianweek.org/building-case-historical-jesus/
  26. Reasons To Believe : Universe Cannot Be Created Because That Would Be Magic? http://www.reasons.org/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/universe-cannot-be-created-because-that-would-be-magic
  27. Did Papias Know the Apostle John? – Canon Fodder: http://michaeljkruger.com/did-papias-know-the-apostle-john/
  28. An Essential Key to Understanding the Development of the NT Canon – Canon Fodder: http://michaeljkruger.com/an-essential-key-to-understanding-the-development-of-the-nt-canon/
  29. Watch “Why Can The Bible Be Trusted Sean McDowell” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Jc2wqBfk20E
  30. Football banana-throwing racism – What’s the basis for the racist symbolism of hurling bananas at black football players? http://creation.com/banana-throwing-football-and-racism
  31. A Billion Genes and Not One Beneficial Mutation: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/08/a_billion_genes103091.html

Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  John 12:27

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (8-25-2016)

Good morning followers of Christ!

I ran into an extraordinarily large amount of articles and videos I’m providing you this week.  Hopefully you’ll find something in here to equip you to gently instruct those who oppose you (2 Timothy 2:23-26):

  1. How to Respond When Someone Says, “No One Comes to Faith Through Arguments.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cS2xGUj5KQ
  2. When it Comes to Abortion, No One Talks about the One Question that Matters. It’s the One Question the President Never Asks: http://www.str.org/Media/Default/Publications/December%201997%20-1.pdf
  3. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html
  4. A ‘no brainer’ test for measuring the faith of our young ones – Are your children (and grandchildren) asking the right questions? http://creation.com/no-brainer-test
  5. Three Surprising Facts about Atheists | Paul Gould: http://www.paul-gould.com/2016/08/17/three-surprising-facts-about-atheists/
  6. We are saved by faith alone, not by faith and works | Salvation and works: https://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too
  7. How Come the Bible Doesn’t Condemn Slavery? Reasons To Believe: http://www.reasons.org/articles/how-come-the-bible-doesnt-condemn-slavery
  8. Atheist Vs. Christian Summer Camps: Which More Effectively Taught Their Worldview This Summer? http://christianmomthoughts.com/atheist-vs-christian-summer-camps-which-more-effectively-taught-their-worldview-this-summer/
  9. Why 99 out of 10 Millennials Leave The Church? http://crossexamined.org/why-99-out-of-10-millennials-leave-the-church/
  10. State School? Christian College? Navigating the Many Choices: http://www.equip.org/article/state-school-christian-college-navigating-many-choices/
  11. Is it arrogant to claim you have ‘the truth’? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adxa8Iw8T48
  12. What are the differences between Catholics and Protestants? http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Catholic-Protestant.html
  13. 6 Ways You May Be Raising Your Kids with an Oversimplified Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/6-ways-you-may-be-raising-your-kids-with-an-oversimplified-faith/
  14. THEO101: The Destiny of the Unsaved: https://clearlens.org/2016/08/18/theo101-the-destiny-of-the-unsaved/
  15. What Can’t Science Account For? http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/08/what-cant-science-account-for.html
  16. Witnessing To Jehovah’s Witnesses [Part1] – Most Christians are ill-equipped to handle themselves in discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The simple reason is they know their stuff and most Christians don’t. Most Christians know what they believe, but don’t know why they believe it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ6Pf5ZDSCk
  17. Asking Questions and Calling Bluffs: https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/asking-questions-and-calling-bluffs/
  18. Why Russell’s Teapot Fails: https://clearlens.org/2015/06/03/why-russells-teapot-fails/
  19. Why Every Christian Needs to Be A Sheepdog: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/why-every-christian-needs-to-be-a-sheepdog/
  20. Funsized Fallacies: Tu Quoque: https://clearlens.org/2015/05/01/funsized-fallacies-tu-quoque/
  21. “Ray Comfort on the Banana, in context [HQ]” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BXLqDGL1FSg
  22. “The Greatest Gamble” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4uIZkYqkKqM
  23. azvoterguide.com: http://www.azvoterguide.com/
  24. Do all good people go to heaven? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clJdwHyhJzY
  25. Is atheism a religion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tzxQSFq1iE
  26. There’s Probably No God – a response to Richard Dawkins: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/theres-probably-no-god-a-response-to-richard-dawkins/
  27. Two More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/two-more-ways-learning-to-defend-your.html
  28. More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You! http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/four-ways-learning-to-defend-your-faith.html
  29. Why Would God Have Permitted Any Form of Servitude or Slavery? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/why-would-god-have-permitted-any-form-of-servitude-or-slavery/
  30. Why Natural Selection Cannot Explain the Origin of Animal Development: http://www.equip.org/article/natural-selection-cannot-explain-origin-animal-development/
  31. A Wallet, A Dollar, the Existence of God 1-Theism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vi-FsaEb3Q
  32. Jesus vs. Horus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FR08QtvapM
  33. Questioning Modeled by Jesus | Confident Christianity: http://confidentchristianity.com/?p=1432
  34. Your eyeball has 137,000,000 connections in one square inch.. Evolutionism teaches that it happened by chance… That’s ridiculous: https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1808089622744119/
  35. When did the boat sink? https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1720959891457093/
  36. Evolutionists say “How can you believe that all the dogs in the world came from two dogs on Noah’s ark?” yet they believe that all the dogs in the world came from a rock: https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1808090186077396/
  37. Talk It Up! Major New Study on Homosexuality: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/08/talk-major-new-study-homosexuality/

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  Psalm 51:1-17

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (8-18-2016)

Hi Brothers and Sisters,

An appropriate verse for this morning: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Here are some items for you to take a look at and learn from:

  1. How Jesus Responded to Doubt: http://www.coldcasechristianity.com/2016/how-jesus-responded-to-doubt/
  2. ‘A delivery boy’ for God: Greg Laurie and his Harvest Crusade are back for a 27th year: http://www.latimes.com/socal/weekend/news/tn-wknd-et-socal-harvest-20160806-story.html
  3. Why Polytheism is false and Christianity True? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XmJ_W6Qwrw
  4. Aren’t all religions basically the same? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFaT_qBzzkQ
  5. Jesus among other religions – Ravi Zacharias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjpAC9S0C50
  6. Refuting Noah’s ark critics: http://creation.com/refuting-noahs-ark-critics
  7. Should Christians Fear Profanities? http://www.equip.org/article/christians-fear-profanities/
  8. From the Critical Thinker’s Toolbox: Have You Considered the Other Side’s Best Argument? https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/from-the-critical-thinkers-toolbox-have-you-considered-the-other-sides-best-argument/
  9. Why Young People Lose their Faith–and How to Prevent It: http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Family/Stages/Teen%20Phases/2016/logical-faith.aspx/
  10. Is the Evidence for Intelligent Design “Undeniable”? One Scientist Makes the Case. – Cross Examined: http://crossexamined.org/evidence-intelligent-design-undeniable-one-scientist-makes-case/
  11. Billy Graham Accepts Atheist’s Challenge to Change His Mind — Charisma News: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/59225-billy-graham-accepts-atheists-challenge-to-change-his-mind
  12. To Be Sure….God Loves Us: CULTS & WORLD RELIGIONS: Resources for Study: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2016/02/cults-world-religions-resources.html
  13. Abbreviated Christianity and Christian Case Making: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/abbreviated-christianity-and-christian-case-making/
  14. No Original Documents: A Skeleton in God’s Closet? – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2016/06/22/no-original-documents-a-skeleton-in-gods-closet/
  15. Teaching Your Children To Be Apologists – Chapter 3 Ministries: http://chapter3min.org/2016/03/17/teaching-your-children-to-be-apologists/
  16. Worldviews and Reality | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/worldviews-and-reality#.V7UsZstlDqB

“If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’  if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,  then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.”  Job 31:24-28

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (8-11-2016)

Good morning fellow ambassadors!

Here are some interesting links I ran into this week, in case you have some time to do any reading or watching:

  1. Can Christians claim to have the One, True God? http://crossexamined.org/can-christians-claim-to-have-the-one-true-god-2/
  2. Hiroshima, Obama, and American Morals: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=182245
  3. New Student Resource on Mormonism: Author Interview: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/new-student-resource-on-mormonism-author-interview
  4. Arguing Is Good (short video by Greg Koukl): http://www.str.org/videos/arguing-is-good-2#.V6nVZDXaxtp
  5. How do you approach the subject of Hell in a conversation? (short video by Dr. Frank Turek responding to a question at a Q&A): https://www.facebook.com/drfrankturek/videos/838379222960269/
  6. IS HISTORICAL EVIDENCE CONVINCING TO SKEPTICS OF CHRISTIANITY? http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/07/15/is-historical-evidence-convincing-to-skeptics-of-christianity/
  7. How Should I Talk to My Gay Friend about the Bible and Homosexuality? http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/08/how-should-i-talk-to-my-gay-friend-about-the-bible-and-homosexuality.html
  8. Greek Scholars and the Watchtower | Thomistic Bent – this is regarding the infamous New World Translation rendering of John 1:1, which says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a god”: https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/greek-scholars-and-the-watchtower/
  9. William Lane Craig: churches should focus on apologetics to attract more men | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/07/28/william-lane-craig-churches-should-focus-on-apologetics-to-attract-more-men-4/
  10. A simple case for the pro-life position by Scott Klusendorf – As Stephen Schwarz points out, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo that you once were and the adult that you are today. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant such that we can say that you had no rights as an embryo but you do have rights today. Think of the acronym SLEDas a helpful reminder of these non-essential differences: https://winteryknight.com/2016/08/04/a-simple-case-for-the-pro-life-position-by-scott-klusendorf-4/
  11. Faith and Reason – Michael W. Austin: http://www.michaelwaustin.com/faith-and-reason/
  12. FRC Blog » The Islamic State (ISIS) Lays Out Its Plan for Christians: http://frcblog.com/2016/08/islamic-state-isis-lays-out-its-plan-christians/
  13. Pastor Rick Warren Is Well Prepared For A Purpose Driven Retirement – Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2013/03/21/pastor-rick-warren-is-practicing-what-he-preaches-and-getting-ready-for-retirement/#4a4f91756a1c
  14. Is it a sin to drink alcohol? https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/sin-drink-alcohol/
  15. Watch “The Teaching of Joyce Meyer” on YouTube (7 min video) – In answer to a question, Hank plays an example of Joyce Meyer’s teaching and then comments on her false prosperity message and a misquotation of Scripture: https://youtu.be/bYJW2nWQqfo
  16. Answering atheist arguments – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/atheist-arguments
  17. Paul’s Trial Before Felix, Part 1: The Case Against Paul: https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1791
  18. The Resurrection and the Secular Mind – Pastors and Christian Leadership Resources: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/the-resurrection-and-the-secular-mind-11570590.html
  19. Watch “Planned Parenthood Supporter vs. Christian” on YouTube (27 min street interview) – This guy can be a little bit pushy during the interview, but he has some good arguments as he’s responding to the Planned Parenthood supporter: https://youtu.be/mx7tulUPHMw
  20. Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air – Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith discuss the problems of relativism and moral relativism.  Del Tackett is the host (1 hour 18 min video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s98Z4tlunA

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

mid-week apologetics booster (8-4-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. How Hummingbirds Avoid Collisions: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/07/how_hummingbird103016.html
  2. So , how come there is a stegosaur like creature carved on a building which is 800 years old? http://gen1rev22.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/so-how-come-there-is-stegosaur-like.html
  3. Macy’s Fires Catholic Employee for Disagreement With Transgender Bathroom Policy | The Stream: https://stream.org/macys-fires-catholic-employee-disagreement-transgender-bathroom-policy/
  4. The Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles: the Didaché – Best of the Web – Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org: http://aleteia.org/2016/07/12/the-doctrine-of-the-twelve-apostles-the-didache/
  5. How God Worked Through Reigning Miss Teen USA | The Christian Diarist: https://christiandiarist.com/2016/07/30/how-god-worked-through-reigning-miss-teen-usa/
  6. 3 Key Things Skeptics Will Say to Shame Your Kids for Being Christians: http://christianmomthoughts.com/3-key-things-skeptics-will-say-to-shame-your-kids-for-being-christians/
  7. (Not apologetics related – just interesting) Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here – One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/israel-proves-the-desalination-era-is-here/
  8. Is the Apparent Fine-Tuning of the Universe Simply An Observational Phenomenon? Warner Wallace: http://crossexamined.org/is-the-apparent-fine-tuning-of-the-universe-simply-an-observational-phenomenon/
  9. How to Understand the Distinction Between Islam and Muslims – Mentoring Letter August 2016: http://www.str.org/articles/how-to-understand-the-distinction-between-islam-and-muslims-mentoring-letter-august-2016#.V6JKXstlDqA
  10. A Practical Plan to Equip the Next Generation: http://www.str.org/Media/Default/Publications/SG%20May%202016%20Equipping%20Kids-1.pdf
  11. Watch “447. Who Created God?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/1yY9a2SwNx4
  12. The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: Why Did the Bible Include Certain Books and Not Others? http://roblundberg.blogspot.com/2016/08/why-did-bible-include-certain-books-and.html
  13. Reasons To Believe : Why Argue about Evolution? http://www.reasons.org/articles/why-argue-about-evolution
  14. Part 3 Challenging a Jehovah’s Witness with the Alpha and Omega argument – Biblical Worldview Academy: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/challenging-a-jehovahs-witness-part-3/

Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.  1 John 3:13

Blessings to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (7-28-2016)

Good morning dearly loved children of the Living God!

It’s been a busy week for me as I finished preparing and delivering teaching on Deuteronomy 25 this past Tuesday.  If you would like to see what I taught, take a look here.  In the meantime, I did do some other reading and research – primarily on how the Bible, though written by men, is the Word of God. This research was targeted to help someone I’ve been mentoring deal with a very specific objection he’d received recently. Here are those links:

  1. “The Bible Was Only Written by Men…and Men Make Mistakes.” – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2010/02/the-bible-was-only-written-by-menand-men-make-mistakes.html
  2. How does one convince a nonbeliever that the Bible is the Word of God? http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/how-does-one-convince-nonbeliever-bible-word-god/
  3. Is the Bible truly God’s Word? http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html
  4. Wasn’t the Bible Written by Mere Men? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/wasnt-the-bible-written-by-mere-men/
  5. How Do We Know the Bible is True? Is it Really the Word of God? http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-true-is-it-really-the-word-of-god/
  6. What does it mean, the Bible is inspired? – bethinking.org: http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/q-what-does-it-mean-the-bible-is-inspired
  7. How Do We Know that the Bible Is True? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/how-do-we-know-that-the-bible-is-true/
  8. Why is the Bible, and Not Other Religious Books, the Word of God? | CBN.com: http://www1.cbn.com/spirituallife/the-word-of-god
  9. Is the Bible Really the Word of God? http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibletru.html
  10. Proof, I want proof | Was the Bible written only by man? Should we follow blindly? https://carm.org/proof-i-want-proof
  11. Scientific evidences of the Bible’s inspiration: http://www.bible.ca/b-science-evidences.htm
  12. You Can’t Trust the Bible Because Humans Wrote It | InterVarsity – Evangelism: http://evangelism.intervarsity.org/how/apologetics/you-cant-trust-bible-because-humans-wrote-it
  13. Staring Down Skepticism: How Two Students Cultivated Confidence in the Face of Skeptical Challenges: http://www.str.org/articles/staring-down-skepticism-how-two-students-cultivated-confidence-in-the-face-of-skeptical-challenges

John 18:4-11 – Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”  “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)  When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  “I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”  This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”  Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)  Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?

 

Blessings

Teaching on Deuteronomy 25

It was my turn to teach yesterday in my weekly Tuesday lunchtime Bible study at Mimi’s Cafe.  We are going through Deuteronomy and my chapter was 25.  This content is based on a Bible study I heard on the sermon audio web site:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=23132132519

The Bible study was led by Jim Butler of Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack, British Columbia.  I also received input from this sermon:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2131413375

I started off my teaching with this quote from “A Popular Survey of the Old Testament” by Dr. Norman L. Geisler:

What is significant about these teachings of Christ concerning the Old Testament is that they force us to choose between Christ and the critics of the Bible. Virtually everything major critics deny about the Old Testament, Jesus affirmed to be true. The dilemma is to either accept the authenticity and authority of the Old Testament or to impugn the Integrity of Christ. In plain language, either the Old Testament is the word of God or Christ is not Son of God.

In this section of the book (pg. 13) he was talking about how Christ authenticated many accounts from the Old Testament:

  1. That Adam and Eve were created by God (Matt 19:4)
  2. That Abel was killed by Cain (Matt. 23:35)
  3. That a flood destroyed the world in Noah’s time (Luke 17:27)
  4. That God spoke to Moses through a burning bush (Luke 20:37)
  5. That Elijah performed miracles (Luke 4:25)
  6. That Jonah was in the great fish 3 days (Matt. 12:40)
  7. That Daniel made true predictions (Matt. 24:15)

Here is the outline of the chapter:

  1. Laws on corporal punishment (v1-3)
  2. Provision for workers (v4)
  3. Levirate Marriage (v5-6)
    1. Procedure for the unwilling brother-in-law (v7-10)
  4. Threat to progeny (v11-12)
  5. Prohibition against unjust weights and measures (v13-16)
  6. Remember what Amalek did (v17-19)

V1-3 Laws on Corporal punishment

If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty, then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.

Five things we learn from verses 1-3

  1. There must be a trial (v1). Judicial procedure is big in the law of God – as can be seen in Deuteronomy 17, 19, 22.  There is due process, you listen, you hear witnesses, you give evidence, you give testimony – judges weigh the case, then they give a verdict or a ruling.
  2. Supervision over the beating (v2a). If the man is found guilty, and the decision is made to him (most likely with a rod rather than a whip Exodus 21:20), there must be supervision.  This may seem harsh, but we need to appreciate all the safeguards that were put in place to prevent an abuse of power.  The judge is presiding over the beating.  It is a legal proceeding – it is not “barbarism”.  In this way, the judge was able to see that the sentence was properly executed and that the offender was not treated too leniently.  That’s as bad a problem as too harshly.
  3. There must be proportion (v2b). Notice that the judge will have the offender beaten in proportion to his offense, with a certain number of stripes.  The punishment must fit the crime.
  4. There must be a limit (v3a). You cannot exceed 40 stripes.  This led to the Rabbinic custom of 39 lashes, referred to by Paul in the New Testament:

    2 Corinthians 11:24 – Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.

    The Hittites had something called the “Code of Hammurabi”.  This was a Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia dating back to about 1750 BC.  The code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments.  Their code prescribed a max of 60 stripes (law 202).  The Assyrians permitted between 40 and 50 stripes.

  5. There must be concern for dignity (v3b). Notice the phrase “lest… your brother be degraded in your sight”.  Notice that he’s still called a brother – he’s still in the covenant community – he’s not been ostracized.  This is remedial – he’s going to get his beating, then he’s going to enter back into society, having learned his valuable lesson and having paid the debt to the person he offended against.  So, even in the process of punishment, God is concerned that His image bearers – even the criminals – maintain their dignity.  This wasn’t a spectacle done for sport, rather the punishment that was fit for the crime.

What form of punishment seems to be missing in the Pentateuch? (answer: incarceration)

V4: Provision for workers

“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.”

It seems a bit out of place here to deal with animals, so we might see it as a general principal, dealing with the just recompense of those who engage in labor.  If the oxen is treading out the grain, let him eat.  Don’t muzzle him – let him enjoy some of the fruits of his labor.  Certainly if that applies to oxen, it applies to men as well.  In the preceding section (v1-3) we saw that dignity was to be preserved in the beating of a criminal for his evil works.  Certainly for a man involved in “good work” (treading out the grain – or engaged in a lawful days employ), do not muzzle him – let him eat while he is engaged in that particular task.  We know that the Apostle Paul uses it in the context of paying men who preach the Gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:9-14 – For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.


1 Timothy 5:17-18 – The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.

Paul here appeals to the Scripture, both the Old and the New Testament. They’re both consistent in terms of this provision for those who engage in lawful employment – in this context specifically, men who preach the Gospel.

Levirate Marriage (v5-6)

If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.

Levirate comes from the Latin word “Levir”, which means brother-in-law.  The rule regards a man who dies.  It is the duty of his brother to take his widow as his wife.  In the verse, it says “if brothers dwell together”.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they share the same house, but probably that they share the same property.  Then “one of them dies and has no son” – we can probably understand this to mean “childless”, because if this situation occurs and there are daughters, the daughters are rightful heirs to inheritance:

Numbers 27:8 – And you shall speak to the people of Israel, saying, “If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter.”

The primary focus in the Levirate Marriage law is not on the widow’s well-being, though that’s certainly in there.  Rather, the primary focus is more covenantal in nature.  Remember when God made the covenant with Abraham.  Two vital elements of that covenant were “seed” and “land” and it seems that’s what’s being protected here.  If a man dies, then he is not shunned from his rightful inheritance in terms of seed and land.  He ought to have posterity (definition from Merriam-Webster: “1. the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation, 2. All future generations”).  The idea of seed and land were not confined to Israel and certainly pre-dated the legislation here.  See Genesis 38, which deals with a man named Onan:

Genesis 38:4,7-10 Then she conceived again and bore a son and named him Onan… But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.

Sometimes people understand this passage to forbid certain types of sexual misconduct (i.e. masturbation).  However, it is better to understand it as this idea of the Levirate Law, that it is the responsibility of the surviving brother to take the widow unto himself so that his dead brother may have heir, seed – one who is the rightfully entitled to the inheritance that is promised.

This Levirate marriage arrangement is certainly what was involved in the question posed by the Sadducees to our Lord Jesus:

Matthew 22:23-33 – …the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”  Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead–have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

The Sadducees denied the supernatural and life beyond the grave. They are trying to put together an absurd scenario regarding the idea of the Levirate marriage.  They think the scenario they’ve posed to Jesus had really “got him cornered”.  But, it’s interesting that all the times that people try to “corner Jesus” he just sends them packing…  He is wisdom personified (see Colossians 2:2-3).

This whole idea of the Levirate marriage is for the specific purpose of granting “name” to this dead man, and that’s specified there in v6: “that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.” So, we see it’s a sign of affection, comradery, respect and inheritance for that dead brother. Marriage in those days was not always based on romantic interests, but economic and covenantal interests.  Some of these laws just seem so bizarre to the 21st century mindset.  The only way we’d ever think of getting married is for romantic reasons.  However, most of the time, up until the last couple hundred years people married more for specific reasons than romantic ones.  We ought not to balk at such things.  We ought to realize that God has His purposes.  Christopher Wright says the Levirate marriage institution does 3 things:

  1. Provides for the security of the widow in her bereavement and offered the hope of removing the stigma of not having borne a son.
  2. It prevented any loss of property and land to the wider family, which would happen if she married outside the family
  3. It ensured that the dead man’s name would be carried forward for posterity in his family.

Procedure for the unwilling brother-in-law (v7-10)

And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’

This Levirate Marriage isn’t a “mandatory law” – this brother can refuse.  If he’s willing to have his sandal removed and have his face spit upon, and be termed “the house of him who had his sandal removed”, he’s not going to be corporally punished and he’s certainly not going to be capitally punished for refusing to marry his dead brother’s wife.  He’s going to look like a jerk-one who had no affection for his brother or for his dead brother’s wife.

Notice in v8 – it says “Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him”.  We need to learn from this – albeit an indirect application – to be very careful, cautious and hesitant before we pronounce guilt on a person before we’ve heard both sides. We need to make sure we understand these principles in Proverbs 18:

Proverbs 18:13,17 – He who answers before listening– that is his folly and his shame… The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

When defending ourselves, we don’t always give both sides.  We tend to portray ourselves in the best possible light.  We often don’t share something that looks bad on us, but we promote everything that looks bad in the other person.  Let us learn something here.  She makes the allegation –then v8 says “Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him”.  Notice that they don’t have “paid employee” that removes sandals and spits in faces.  This text provides that victims be a part of the punitive situation.  That helps victims when they see what’s actually being done. Notice that v10 says that his name shall be known in Israel as the house of him who had his sandal pulled off.  It’s not just him, but it’s his entire family that fall under this stigma, so that when his family is seen in the market or around town, people know that they live in “the house of him who had his sandal pulled off”.

The taking off of the shoe (sandal) was an ancient custom in Israel in cases of redemption and exchange, for the purpose of confirming commercial transactions.  The usage arose from the fact that when anyone took possession of land and property, he did so by treading upon the soil and asserting his right of possession by standing upon it in his shoes.  In this way, the taking off of the shoe and handing it to another became a symbol of the renunciation of a man’s position and property.  When we hear about ancient ceremonies like this, it seems really bizarre to us.  But we have ceremonies too.  If someone’s going to “consecrate a ship”, they break a bottle of champagne on it.  If we read about that in 500 or 1,000 years, we’d probably be kind of puzzled about it.  Or, there’s a new building and it’s being dedicated and there’s a ribbon cutting ceremony where they get big scissors and they cut this ribbon.  So, there’s ceremonies that indicate or evidence something very significant.  Ruth 4 alludes to this practice of taking off the sandal:

Ruth 4:7 Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.

This is similar, but not parallel, because in that particular instance, Boaz is not the brother-in-law. The removing of the sandal ceremony (in the case of the unwilling brother) indicated that this man was not entitled to exercise privilege anymore-he had renounced it.  One commentator Allan Harman says that the removal of the sandal indicated that the man was forfeiting any right to his brother’s property, while spitting in the face was an act of contempt.  We don’t need to exegete that – spitting in the face meant then what it means today J

By these regulations (of Levirate marriage), the brother-in-law’s marriage was no doubt recognized as a “duty of affection” towards his deceased brother, but it was not made a command, the neglect of which would involve guilt and punishment.

V11-12: Threat to progeny

When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

Progeny simply means children (offspring).  Notice in v11 “When men fight with one another”.  It’s not suggesting that in Israel, everyone was fighting on the street.  Just to read v11-12 seems a little shocking – she squeezes his genitals, you cut off her hand, you don’t show any pity.  How often did this actually happen – that 2 men would fight in the city street and one of the men’s wives would grab the other man by the private parts in order to try and stop the fight?  It probably didn’t happen a whole lot…  So, when you hear people say, “The Bible talks about cutting off hands of poor innocent ladies!”, wait a minute, there’s a particular context, a particular situation, a specific incident that we need to understand covenantally – Seed, Inheritance, Land – all these things are crucial!  The punishment in view is not for a “modesty issue” necessarily, rather the fact that she is hurting and possibly destroying this man’s chance for progeny (for having children).  In the context of this passage, coming off the heels of the Levirate marriage regulations, seeing how important seed is, that’s probably what’s in view.  If she squeezes and does damage to this man’s genitals, then he could indeed be sterile.

“Lex Talionis” (Law of retaliation) calls for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (Exod. 21:23-24).  She does not possess that genitalia, so what is commensurate is that she should lose her hand.  It’s hard to imagine that what you had within the covenant community was people brawling on every street corner with wives standing there, getting involved and trying to stop it.  So, it was probably very, very minimal to begin with, if ever.  In this respect, Old Testament law is in marked contrast to other ancient near eastern law, especially Assyrian law, where all kinds of very nasty physical mutilations were prescribed for many offenses.  In Biblical law this is the only instance.  This is punitive amputation of an offending individual.  Notice, it’s not a property crime (she didn’t steal), it’s a “life crime”.  It has to do with propagation and destruction of potential life.

V13-16: Prohibition against unjust weights and measures

You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.

A heavy weight would profit in buying.  A lighter weight would profit in selling.  At the heart of this is honesty, justice, equity and fair trade.  You don’t have differing weights and measures so that you can rip off a covenant community member.  Rather, you have just weights and just measures, because it’s wrong and it’s a violation of God’s law to steal from people:

Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.

It’s interesting, when we drop down in this passage, to v16, “all who do such things…are an abomination to the LORD your God”.  Obviously, we would call abortion, sexual perversion, idolatry and other such violations of God’s law an abomination.  God calls an unjust weights and measures an abomination.  Fiscal policy, financial matters, economy, money, fair trade and just weights & measures really are ethical issues.  The same God who says “You shall not murder”, “You shall not commit adultery” is the same God who says, “You shall not steal”.

What’s the implication of verse 15?  Conduct yourself equitably and honestly, in a manner of fair trade in the land the Lord your God is giving you and it will go well with you.  In other words, when you obey the law of God and do what the Lord commands, the Lord attaches that blessing to obedience in the land.  Certainly, we see that the Israelites didn’t always do this.  Unjust weights and measures were being practiced in Amos’s day:

Amos 8:4-6 Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

They were exploiting the poor and engaging in wickedness and lawlessness. And proverbs says:

Proverbs 11:1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight. (NKJV)

Proverbs 16:11 Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s; All the weights in the bag are His work. (NKJV)

Proverbs 20:10,23 Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord … Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord, And dishonest scales are not good.

God hates theft and despises when men engage in deceit.  Men, if you say you are selling a product, then make sure it bears that particular value.  Don’t cheat people or rip them off.  Do not think that having unjust weights and measures will make you prosperous.  It may prosper you in the short term, but God, the Lord will most certainly bring judgement to bear upon you.  We need to deal ethically, uprightly, honestly and justly in all of our financial dealings and doings – in our commerce – in our buying and in our selling.

Leviticus 19:35-36 You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

This is the same ethic we find in the New Testament.  You have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – now live like that!  Live in a manner that is consistent with the Gospel:

Ephesians 4:28 – Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

So, the Gospel ethic isn’t just “stop stealing”, but “stop stealing, work and work hard, so that you can make enough to give to someone who has need.”  That is conduct worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: In what ways do we have unjust weights and measures today?

V17-19 Remember what Amalek did

Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. Therefore when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.

We learn 2 things about the Amalekites here:

  1. Their wicked conduct – Not only did they attack Israel, but they specifically attacked the stragglers at the rear. Those at the rear were probably the elderly, the very young, the sick, and the pregnant.  The strong warriors are probably upfront.  So, Lex Talionis applies on a national level as well.  It’s interesting here that God’s law pertains not only to covenant Israel, but also to the Amalekites as well.  It is fundamental and universal, by virtue of the fact that man bears the image of God, that we don’t prey upon weak people.  That’s something that the Amalekites should’ve known and that every human being has written in their hearts (Rom 2:14-15).
  2. Their religious motive – Amalek does not fear God, so, he certainly doesn’t care about God’s people. The fact that he destroys these weak Israelites is an indicator of his despising and his hatred of the God of Israel. And so God then says “Remember them”.

Do the Israelites actually obey God?  No.  Saul spared Agag and the Amalekites:

1 Samuel 15:3,7-9 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’… And Saul attacked the Amalekites… But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them…

We still see the Amalekites during the reign of David.  Ultimately, its 1 Chronicles 4 that indicates the end of the Amalekites, probably under Hezekiah’s reign.

1 Chronicles 4:41,43 – … in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah… they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped…

Notice these are God’s enemies, He wants Israel to wipe them out.  God has the prerogative, the right and the absolute sovereignty to make this declaration.  We do not. When the psalmist says “Do I not hate those who hate You O Lord?” (Ps. 139:21), he’s not crying out against his enemies, he’s crying out against God’s enemies.  When the Psalmist asks the Lord to smash the teeth of his enemies (Ps. 58:6), they are the enemies of the Lord, not someone at church who forgot to say hi to you on Sunday. Don’t go home and pray imprecatory Psalms over your wife because she burned dinner.  It is righteous for us to use the imprecatory Psalms.  We see them quoted in the New Testament often, but we need to understand the responsible use of them.  It is God’s enemies that we are to despise, not our enemies, not the guy who cut us off on the freeway.

Question: Where do we see “the Gospel” in Deuteronomy 25?

mid-week apologetics booster (7-21-2016)

Hi Friends,

Here are some links for you this week to look at:

  1. Six Ways Christians Can Respond to the Growing Police Dilemma | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/6-ways-christians-can-respond-to-the-growing-police-dilemma/
  2. You Can Hate Christians, But Stop With This Stupid Argument – Peter Heck: http://peterheck.com/peterheck/main1/view/39226/you_can_hate_christians__but_stop_with_this_stupid_argument
  3. Logical Fallacy Series — Part 28: The Masked Man and Conclusion: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/logical-fallacy-series-part-28-masked.html
  4. Logical Fallacy Series — Part 23: Hasty Generalization: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/logical-fallacy-series-part-23-hasty.html
  5. Five Questions to Ask Before You Consume Cannabis | Desiring God: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/five-questions-to-ask-before-you-consume-cannabis
  6. Your Deluded Brain Thinks It’s Conscious! – Evolution News & Views: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/07/your_deluded_br102987.html
  7. Blood brothers – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/blood-brothers
  8. Two-tone twins – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/two-tone-twins
  9. The Existence and Attributes of God Debate: https://youtu.be/2dCc8rAuw5I
  10. America’s Founders at College: http://links.emagnify.com/q/119zqLUqdmg9/wv?platform=hootsuite
  11. Did God Condone Slavery? | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/did-god-condone-slavery#.V4udf8tlDqA
  12. Slavery in the Bible: Does God Approve of It? http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/slavery_bible.html
  13. Does the Bible condone slavery? http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-slavery.html
  14. Slavery in the Bible – Come Reason Ministries: http://www.comereason.org/slavery-in-the-bible.asp
  15. Age of the earth – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/age-of-the-earth

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ”  Matthew 15:10-11

 

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (7-14-2016)

Good morning all,

Here are some links for you to take a look at:

  1. 7 Questions Skeptics Ask – How to answer the tough questions: http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/articles/evangelism/seven-questions-skeptics-ask.html?start=1
  2. Teaching Apologetics to the Next Generation: http://www.equip.org/article/teaching-apologetics-next-generation/
  3. 5 Signs That Someone is Open to the Gospel: http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/the-good-book-blog/5-signs-that-someone-is-open-to-the-gospel.html
  4. Six Things That May Change the Way You Think About Police Officers (J. Warner Wallace – Cold Case Homicide detective and Christian Apologist): http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/six-things-that-may-change-the-way-you-think-about-police-officers/
  5. Bible Contradiction? Was Jesus born in a house or a manger? https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/bible-contradiction-was-jesus-born-in-a-house-or-a-manger/
  6. Who created God? https://coffeehousequestions.com/2016/07/12/who-created-god/
  7. Sorry, Faster Mutation Rate Will Not Explain the Cambrian Explosion: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/07/faster_mutation102984.html
  8. Hermeneutics: The Eight Rules of Biblical Interpretation: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/5846-biblical-interpretation-rules
  9. The Big Bang, The First Cause, and God: http://www.uncommondescent.com/philosophy/the-big-bang-the-first-cause-and-god/
  10. Another Look at the Earliest Complete List of the Canon of the New Testament: http://michaeljkruger.com/another-look-at-the-earliest-complete-list-of-the-canon-of-the-new-testament/
  11. God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally: https://www.probe.org/god-space-where-spiritual-conversations-happen-naturally/
  12. Two Types of Sceptic: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/two-types-of-sceptic/

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.  Isaiah 11:1-8.

Have a great week!

mid-week apologetics booster (7-7-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links – make good use of them for “summer reading”:

  1. The most important thinking skill for a Christian Apologist – great podcast by Dr. Frank Turek – must listen: http://player.subsplash.com/ba83a16
  2. Is There Any Difference Between Islamic Violence Today and the Wars of the Old Testament? | Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/06/is-there-any-difference-between-islamic-violence-today-and-the-wars-of-the-old-testament/
  3. What about Aliens, UFOs, evolution and suffering? – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/aliens-ufos-evolution-suffering
  4. The Blind Men and an Elephant: http://www.cltruth.com/2015/the-blind-men-and-an-elephant/
  5. Christian Anger & Fundamentalism. | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics.: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/christian-anger-fundamentalism/
  6. Christianity for Everyone: Why is Jesus the only way? Part 1: http://christianityforeveryone.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-is-jesus-only-way-part-1_16.html
  7. Christian Quotations from America’s Founding Fathers | Thomistic Bent: https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/christian-quotations-from-americas-founding-fathers/
  8. Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Cause of Your Kids’ Questions About Christianity: http://christianmomthoughts.com/dont-be-afraid-to-be-the-cause-of-your-kids-questions-about-christianity/
  9. Why I Love Atheists | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/why-i-love-atheists/
  10. The Brief Biblical Case for the Eternal Life of the Soul | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-brief-biblical-case-for-the-eternal-life-of-the-soul/
  11. Apologetics Press – Could the Ark Stay Afloat? http://apologeticspress.org/DiscoveryPubPage.aspx?pub=2&issue=1221&article=2616
  12. Cerebral Faith: Logical Fallacy Series — Part 20: Appeal To Ridicule: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/logical-fallacy-series-part-20-appeal.html
  13. What is moral relativism and how can Christians respond? – Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2015/06/24/what-is-moral-relativism-and-how-can-christians-respond/
  14. Stand to Reason | Who Are You to Judge? http://www.str.org/articles/who-are-you-to-judge
  15. Redeemed Royalty | 75% of Millennials Believe This – And It Could Mean The End Of Freedom: http://www.redeemedroyalty.org/75-of-millennials-are-wrong-about-this-and-it-could-mean-the-end-of-freedom/
  16. Colossal Noah’s Ark Comes to Life in Kentucky (today is the opening day): http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/07/06/colossal-noahs-ark-comes-to-life-in-kentucky.html

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:1-7

 

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (6-30-2016)

Good morning friends,

I hope you’re having a good summer!  Here is some good summer reading and watching for you:

  1. Frank Turek Lists Six Lines of Evidence That Speak to the Reliability of the New Testament | Reference Shelf for the Kingdom of God: http://blogforthelordjesusreferenceshelf.com/2015/01/04/frank-turek-lists-six-lines-of-evidence-that-speak-to-the-reliability-of-the-new-testament/
  2. UNC claims Christmas vacations, golf outings are microaggressions: http://campusreform.org/?ID=7751
  3. Reporter Says “Huge” Just Doesn’t Describe the Ark | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2016/06/28/reporter-says-huge-just-doesnt-describe-ark/
  4. Why Are Christians So Defensive? | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/why-are-christians-so-defensive/
  5. Watch “Nabeel Qureshi // Why I stopped believing Islam is a religion of peace” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2htOWOF4gqs
  6. US Supreme Court Rules Against Texas Abortion Restrictions Law | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2016/06/27/us-supreme-court-rules-against-texas-abortion-restrictions-law/
  7. Unbelievable? Is God a God of wrath? Joshua Ryan Butler & Brian Zahnd – Saturday 25th June 2016 02:30 pm: http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Is-God-a-God-of-wrath-Joshua-Ryan-Butler-Brian-Zahnd
  8. The LGBTQ Straw Man: Why You’ve Got Denial of Service Totally Wrong: http://www.redeemedroyalty.org/the-lgbtq-straw-man/
  9. Abortion — Supreme Court Treats It Like a Religion in Its Hellerstedt Decision | National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437243/supreme-court-abortion-whole-womens-health-hellerstedt-religion-sexual-revolution
  10. Watch “The Fine-Tuning of the Universe” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/EE76nwimuT0
  11. Mike Licona Explains Why Apologetics is Necessary: https://vimeo.com/172362102
  12. The Why? Series | RZIM: http://rzim.org/the-why-series?platform=hootsuite
  13. Video: Shattering the Icons of Evolution by Tim Barnett: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2016/06/video-shattering-icons-of-evolution-by.html
  14. How to Evangelise New Atheists | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/evangelism-and-new-atheists-a-little-advice-for-aspiring-apologists
  15. Does Being Old Disqualify the Bible’s Teachings? http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/does-being-old-disqualify-bibles.html
  16. Why Defend My Faith? – Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2015/05/04/why-defend-my-faith/

O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I–in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.  Psalm 17:14-15

Blessings to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (6-23-2016)

Good morning everyone,

Hope you’re having a good week knowing and glorifying the Lord, enjoying Him, making Him known to others and defending the Christian worldview.  Here are some items to help equip you in those endeavors:

  1. 3 Biblical Principles for Worldview Conflict – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/04/15/3-biblical-principles-for-worldview-conflict/
  2. Christian Answers: http://christiananswers.net/directry.html
  3. No Original Documents: A Skeleton in God’s Closet? – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2016/06/22/no-original-documents-a-skeleton-in-gods-closet/
  4. The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God | Reasonable Faith: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-new-atheism-and-five-arguments-for-god
  5. 5 Steps To Save The Next Generation From Godlessness | Redeemed Royalty: http://redeemedroyalty.org/5-steps-to-save-the-next-generation-from-godlessness/
  6. Sing It Together Now: “My Booooooody” [Joy Behar]: http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2016/05/sing-it-together-now-my-booooooody.html
  7. 30 Things You Can Do This Summer to Deepen Your Kids’ Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/30-things-you-can-do-this-summer-to-deepen-your-kids-faith/
  8. WHY I STOPPED WATCHING PORN: http://www.redeemedroyalty.org/real-talk-why-i-stopped-looking-at-porn/
  9. California legislature seeks to shut down Christian colleges and universities: https://winteryknight.com/2016/06/21/california-legislature-seeks-to-shut-down-christian-colleges-and-universities/
  10. What is Social Darwinism? – #4 Post of 2009Tough Questions Answered: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/12/26/what-is-social-darwinism/
  11. Doesn’t Bible Condone Killing One’s Rebellious Child? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-bible-condone-killing-ones-rebellious-child/
  12. Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletters/2016/newsletter20160620.htm#30

Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?” The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?” John 7:31-36

Blessings to you all!

Talking with an Indian family about Christianity

Sometime in mid-May 2016, I spent time with my wife and an Indian family eating dinner.  Then, after dinner, unbeknownst to me, they invited me back to their house to “debate religion” (according to their 4th grade child).  So, we went, and what ensued was a (friendly) 4 hour talk about Christianity and some about Hinduism.  All I can say is wow…  I didn’t convince them to become Christians, but I was able to clearly share the gospel with them and left the door open for future discussions.  The husband/father of the family said that he actually believes in Jesus, which of course I had to clarify what he meant by that (he doesn’t believe in the Biblical Jesus from what I could gather).  The objections I encountered centered around several themes:

  1. The reliability of the Bible
  2. The exclusivity of Christianity
  3. That all religions are similar

I addressed all of these issues, but without really changing their opinions.  This is a family we continue to be involved with and I continue to pray for opportunities to discuss my faith with them.

mid-week apologetics booster (6-16-2016)

Good morning all,

Here are some links for you to take a look at:

  1. 5 Things Christian Parents Must Do to Raise Godly Children in a Secular World – Raisingodlychildren: http://www.raisinggodlychildren.org/2016/06/5-things-christian-parents-must-do-to-raise-godly-children-in-a-secular-world.html
  2. 5 Ways Christians Can Respond to the Orlando Shooting: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-ways-christians-can-respond-to-the-orlando-shooting
  3. ACLU LAWYERS BLAME CHRISTIANS FOR ORLANDO ATTACK COMMITTED BY ISLAMIC TERRORIST: https://winteryknight.com/2016/06/13/aclu-lawyers-blame-christians-for-orlando-attack-committed-by-islamic-terrorist/
  4. Cooper’s Crusade Against Christ – The people of North Carolina and the alumni of N.C. State University deserve an apology. Administrators at the school have implemented a patently unconstitutional policy, which forces students to apply for a permit in order to share the gospel on a public university campus they fund with their hard earned tax dollars: http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2016/06/10/coopers-crusade-against-christ-n2176126
  5. What Really Happened at Nicea? http://crossexamined.org/what-really-happened-at-nicea/
  6. Why Didn’t Luke Include the Deaths of Paul, Peter and James in the Book of Acts? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/why-didnt-luke-include-the-deaths-of-paul-peter-and-james-in-the-book-of-acts
  7. Girl in the Picture: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/girl-in-the-picture
  8. The Reliability of the New Testament Text (Dr. James White): https://youtu.be/LuiayuxWwuI
  9. What Community Demographics Should a Pastor Know: http://thomrainer.com/2016/06/community-demographics-pastor-know/
  10. The Bible vs. The Qur’an – Apologetics Canada: http://www.apologeticscanada.com/2016/05/20/bible-vs-quran/
  11. A Princeton Skeptic’s Journey | Apologetics – C.S. Lewis Society: http://www.apologetics.org/resources/articles/redemption-explained/
  12. Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah – Slaying the Giant of Temptation, Part 1 http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/slaying-the-giant-of-temptation-part-1-534665.html
  13. Liver Function and Its Effects: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/06/liver_function102916.html
  14. Can We Construct The Entire New Testament From the Writings of the Church Fathers? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/can-we-construct-the-entire-new-testament-from-the-writings-of-the-church-fathers/
  15. Does the Old Testament Law Apply To Us Today? http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-us-today/
  16. Why Growing Closer To God Is Such a Slow Process: http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2016/why-growing-closer-to-god-is-such-a-slow-process/
  17. What Did the Word ‘Christian’ Mean in the First Century? https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/what-did-the-word-christian-mean-in-the-first-century/
  18. How to Deal with your Atheist Professor: A student at East Carolina University asked me recently how can he deal with an atheist Professor in class. This piece of advice can be used in and out the classroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMui4GN4A_g
  19. Four Reasons We Don’t Share the Gospel: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/four-reasons-we-don-t-share-the-gospel
  20. 10 Things You Should Know about Apologetics: https://www.crossway.org/blog/2016/06/10-things-you-should-know-about-apologetics/
  21. Evangelism & Apologetics: Answering the Questioner – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/03/02/evangelism-apologetics-answering-the-questioner/
  22. Interview with Apologetics expert Sarah Malcangi | Lone Star Inspirations: https://lonestarinspirations.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/interview-with-apologetics-expert-sarah-malcangi/
  23. 4 Reasons We Should Accept the Gospels As Eyewitness Accounts | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/4-reasons-we-should-accept-the-gospels-as-eyewitness-accounts/
  24. Jimmy Carter Visits Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, Tells Reporters: ‘I Believe in Evolution’: http://christiannews.net/2016/06/14/jimmy-carter-visits-ken-hams-ark-encounter-tells-reporters-i-believe-in-evolution/
  25. Lab Grown diamonds (not apologetics related, just an interesting story): http://www.racked.com/2016/6/14/11872830/lab-grown-diamonds-synthetic

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  1 Peter 5:8-9