mid-week apologetics booster (6-22-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Condemnation and Grace: Polygamy and Concubinage in the Old Testament – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/condemnation-grace-polygamy-concubinage-old-testament/
  2. The Gracious Heroism of Wonder Woman – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/the-gracious-heroism-of-wonder-woman/
  3. Why Katy Perry’s Rejection of Her Childhood Faith Should Concern Every Bible-Believing Christian Faithwire: http://www.faithwire.com/2017/06/16/why-katy-perrys-rejection-of-her-childhood-faith-should-concern-every-bible-believing-christian/
  4. Professor of New Testament, Craig Keener, explains his journey from atheism to Christianity. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/06/12/professor-of-new-testament-craig-keener-explains-his-journey-from-atheism-to-christianity/
  5. How Can I Respectfully Explain Why I Chose Jesus? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH4quiqAyz0&feature=youtu.be
  6. What Does the Bible Teach about the Cannabis Plant? – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/bible-teach-cannabis-plant/
  7. Cats big and small – creation.com: http://creation.com/cats-big-and-small
  8. How can a loving God send someone to hell?: https://www.gotquestions.org/loving-God-send-someone-hell.html
  9. How Does Growing Apostasy Prove That Christians Are Getting Closer to the Truth? – Michael Brown: https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2017/06/19/how-does-growing-apostasy-prove-that-christians-are-getting-closer-to-the-truth-n2342898
  10. Three Good Reasons to Celebrate Your Christian Worldview – Cross Examined : http://crossexamined.org/three-good-reasons-celebrate-christian-worldview/
  11. Don’t Stop Speaking the Truth in Love | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/dont-stop-speaking-truth-love#
  12. Our Faith is Historically Verifiable Or Its Nothing Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/our-faith-is-historically-verifiable-or-its-nothing/
  13. Roundworm DNA System Plans Ahead | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10008/
  14. Physicist Michael Strauss discusses Christianity and science at Stanford University | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2014/10/18/physicist-michael-strauss-discusses-christianity-and-science-at-stanford-university-5/
  15. J.P. Moreland: The Relevance of Rational Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/j-p-moreland-and-the-revelance-of-rational-apologetics-2/
  16. Alberta Christian school worried school division could ban Bible verses: http://www.humboldtjournal.ca/news/local-news/alberta-christian-school-worried-school-division-could-ban-bible-verses-1.20589159
  17. A Christian Rebuttal to Kaimatai, an Atheist Christian Apologists: https://sjthomason.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/a-christian-rebuttal-to-kaimatai-an-atheist/
  18. Cherry-Picked Age for Key Evolutionary Fossil | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10030
  19. An Atheist Feminist Converts to Christianity, Nicole Cliffe. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2017/06/06/an-atheist-feminist-converts-to-christianity-nicole-cliffe/
  20. Are You an Evangelist? : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1252-are-you-an-evangelist
  21. How Old Is the Earth? : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/7-how-old-is-the-earth

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-15-2017)

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Why are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People? | The Stream: https://stream.org/atheists-generally-smarter-religious-people/
  2. Can a scientist believe in the resurrection? Three hypotheses. – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/can-scientist-believe-resurrection-three-hypotheses/
  3. An Argument for Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jesus Is Jehovah | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/an-argument-for-jehovah-s-witnesses-jesus-is-jehovah#.WTqNe2grKUk
  4. Being Tactical with Jehovah’s Witnesses | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/being-tactical-with-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses#.WTqLoGjyuUk
  5. Ready for the Knock on Your Door | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/publications/solid-ground-july-2016-ready-for-the-knock-on-your-door#.WTqPFWgrKUl
  6. Five Apologetic Topics Every Christian Should Learn About | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/five-apologetic-topics-every-christian-should-learn-about/
  7. Democrat Bernie Sanders proposes rule barring Christians from political office | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/09/democrat-bernie-sanders-proposes-rule-barring-christians-from-political-office/
  8. On the (Evolutionary) Road to Morocco? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/evolutionary-road-morocco/
  9. Why Naturalism is Simply Unbelievable | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/12/why-naturalism-is-simply-unbelievable.html
  10. Cancer Research Confirms the Curse | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10018
  11. Has the New Testament been corrupted? | carm: https://carm.org/new-testament-corrupted
  12. The Reliability of the Bible – 4 Quick Thoughts | ReasonableTheology.org: http://reasonabletheology.org/reliability-bible-4-quick-thoughts/
  13. When Youth Pastors Ought to Feel Responsible | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/when-youth-pastors-ought-to-feel-responsible/
  14. Two More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/two-more-ways-learning-to-defend-your.html
  15. What Ought We Make of the Word Proof? Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.: https://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/04/02/what-ought-we-make-of-the-word-proof/
  16. Foliage in fast forward – creation.com: http://creation.com/foliage-in-fast-forward
  17. What does Oneness Pentecostal teach? | carm: https://carm.org/religious-movements/oneness-pentecostal/what-does-oneness-pentecostal-teach
  18. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: Islam’s Claims of Biblical Corruption Actually Impeach the Qur’an: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/islams-claims-of-biblical-corruption.html
  19. Why Would a Good God Allow Natural Evil? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-would-a-good-god-allow-natural-evil/
  20. Quantum Mechanics and other articles: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101463920939&ca=7afd91f0-5277-4f3b-9b0f-bd5fa97a06d1

He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:13-22

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-8-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 7 ways to live out the gospel in a post-truth, post-fact culture – ChristianWeek: http://www.christianweek.org/7-ways-live-gospel-post-truth-post-fact-culture/
  2. Millennial Skepticism and Despair | Reasonable Faith: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/millenial-scepticism-and-despair
  3. Chicxulub Crater Theory Mostly Smoke | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10015
  4. DNA Science Disproves Human Evolution | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10016
  5. The Relationship Between Evangelism and Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/the-relationship-between-evangelism-and-apologetics/
  6. Communicating Biblical Worldview to Millennials and iGens: Taste and See Apologetics – drcone.com: http://www.drcone.com/2017/04/20/communicating-biblical-worldview-millennials-igens-taste-see-apologetics/
  7. Is God Really Forgiving If He Required Payment for Sins through Jesus? (Video) | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/god-really-forgiving-if-he-required-payment-sins-through-jesus-video#.WTLfnWjyuUk
  8. Why Should I Believe Christianity? – a review – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/is-christianity-true/why-believe-christianity-review
  9. Should we expect to know what Gods reason is for allowing evil and suffering? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/12/11/should-we-expect-to-know-what-gods-reason-is-for-allowing-evil-and-suffering/
  10. William Lane Craig lectures on radical skepticism and the historical Jesus | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/03/william-lane-craig-lectures-on-radical-skepticism-and-the-historical-jesus-3/
  11. WORKS OF 20TH CENTURY APOLOGISTS: Resources for Study: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2015/11/works-of-20th-century-apologiststhat.html
  12. How Critics of Christianity Often Distort the Story of Galileo: http://1peter315.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-atheists-distort-story-of-galileo.html
  13. Is Science Opposed to Faith in God? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/is-science-opposed-to-faith-in-god/
  14. Progressive Christianity is as Much of a Threat to Your Kids Faith as Atheism: http://christianmomthoughts.com/progressive-christianity-is-as-much-of-a-threat-to-your-kids-faith-as-atheism/
  15. Three M’s That Naturalism Can’t Provide | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-ms-that-naturalism-cant-provide/
  16. How to Encourage Intellectual Christians in the Evangelical Church Reflections: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/how-to-encourage-intellectual-christians-in-the-evangelical-church/amp/
  17. Everyone Has Faith – Apologetics Canada: https://www.apologeticscanada.com/2015/03/23/everyone-has-faith/
  18. Islam and Christianity not comparable: Column: http://amp.usatoday.com/story/24847699/
  19. Physicist Michael Strauss discusses Christianity and science at Stanford University | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/04/physicist-michael-strauss-discusses-christianity-and-science-at-stanford-university-8/
  20. Debunking ‘Bible Secrets’ Television Shows: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2013/11/debunking-bible-secrets-television-shows.html
  21. You Need to Know Why Young People Leave Church Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/you-need-to-know-why-young-people-leave-church/
  22. Understanding Islam – New York Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/understanding-islam/
  23. Why Would God Create Mosquitoes?: http://www.reasons.org/articles/why-would-god-create-mosquitoes
  24. Terrorism: Western Values Are Christian Values: http://www.christianpost.com/amp/terrorism-western-values-are-christian-values-186851/
  25. What does it mean to say the New Testament is Historically Reliable? | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/what-does-it-mean-to-say-the-new-testament-is-historically-reliable-2/

“O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel– not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Proverbs 31:2-5

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-1-2017)

Good morning friends,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your weekly links:

  1. William Murray, Son of the Founder of American Atheists, Converts to Christianity | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/william-murray-son-of-the-founder-of-american-atheists-converts-to-christianity/
  2. Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation | carm: https://carm.org/logical-fallacies-or-fallacies-argumentation
  3. Chris Pratt Just Took a Very Public Stand for the Bible: http://conservativetribune.com/chris-pratt-just-took-public-stand/
  4. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/oxford-atheism-to-jesus/
  5. William Lane Craigs intellectually dishonest attack on biblical creationists – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/william-lane-craig-vs-creation
  6. The Core Reason Your Kids Might Leave the Faith | The Stream: https://stream.org/core-reason-kids-leave-faith/
  7. Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/zeitgeist-debunked-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-pagan-gods/
  8. America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations – William Joseph Federer – Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=BtGzlMatpUUC&lpg=PA170&ots=-faMKViJX_&pg=PA164#v=onepage&q&f=false
  9. Transgenderism: Undoing Gods Design | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/simon-turpin/2017/05/29/transgenderism-undoing-gods-design/
  10. Why Certainty Isnt Necessary for Belief in God Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-certainty-isnt-necessary-for-belief-in-god/
  11. The Single Most Damaging Statement to the Christian Faith |: https://beardeddisciple.com/2017/02/07/the-single-most-damaging-statement-to-the-christian-faith/
  12. Three Things First Responders Can Teach Christians About Engaging Culture | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-things-first-responders-can-teach-christians-about-engaging-culture/
  13. Are People Who Believe in Minds Simply Ignorant of the Science? | Apologetics.com: http://apologetics.com/blog/jwallace/are-people-who-believe-in-minds-simply-ignorant-of-the-science/
  14. What is Ramadan? Why should Christians care?: http://bpnews.net/48947/what-is-ramadan-why-should-christians-care
  15. How To Handle Online Disagreements | PlainSimpleFaith.com: http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2017/05/disagreements/
  16. 5 Ways to Share Christ with Ease and Impact (Greg Koukl) 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/5-ways-to-share-christ-with-ease-and-impact-greg-koukl/
  17. The Most Reluctant Convert in all of England: Why Former Atheist C.S. Lewis Became a Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/the-most-reluctant-convert-in-all-of-england-why-former-atheist-c-s-lewis-became-a-christian/
  18. Do These Bible Verses Show You Can Lose Your Salvation? – Come Reason Ministries: http://www.comereason.org/bible-verses-on-salvation.asp
  19. Do I Need Scientific, Forensic Evidence to Prove Christianity Is True? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/do-i-need-scientific-forensic-evidence-to-prove-christianity-is-true/
  20. 32% of People Killed in Assisted Suicides Were Actually Euthanized Against Their Will | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/30/32-of-people-killed-in-assisted-suicides-were-actually-euthanized-against-their-will/
  21. Evidence of biblical inspiration | carm: https://carm.org/evidence-biblical-inspiration
  22. 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/
  23. Research by Barna and Summit: Postmodernism and Secularism Influence Todays Christians – Summit Ministries: https://www.summit.org/resources/articles/research-barna-summit-postmodernism-secularism-influence-todays-christians/
  24. Robert Gagnon debates gay activist Jayne Ozanne on Bible vs homosexuality | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/05/31/robert-gagnon-debates-gay-activist-jayne-ozanne-on-bible-vs-homosexuality-4/

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Blessings to you all

5 Ways to Share Christ with Ease and Impact (Greg Koukl)

I received this email from Greg Koukl this morning as an STR Digest.  It contains some really good fundamentals and I simply had to share it.  Since there was no link in the email, the only way I could think of sharing it was on this blog, so here it is:

Let’s face it. Talking to others about controversial things isn’t easy—and issues like God and Jesus and the Bible and morality and sin and salvation and Heaven and Hell are about as controversial as they come.

I know the concern. You don’t want to get in over your head. You don’t want to come across odd. And you don’t want to get into a fight. I share these same sentiments with you, and these are all noble concerns…unless they secure our silence. If they keep us on the bench, they’ve gotten the best of us, and that’s not good.

Over time I’ve discovered some ways to make the task less troublesome, though. I’ve worked out a few principles I think will make a tough job easier, and I’d like to pass them on to you. The first one is the most important, and you’ve probably heard it from me before, but it bears repeating.

Ask Questions. Lots of them. Your first step in any encounter should be to gather as much information as possible. It’s hard to know how to proceed—or even if to proceed—unless you first get the lay of the land. You need “intel,” so to speak, and friendly queries get it for you.

When you need to buy some time to catch your wits, ask a question. When you face a challenge you’re not sure how to deal with, ask a question. When the conversation bogs down and you think it best to move in a new direction, ask a question. Whenever you’re in doubt about how to move forward, ask a question.

Slow Down and Simplify. On a flight back from the midwest I listened while a Christian brother in the row directly behind me vigorously shared his faith with passengers on either side. I was glad for the effort (my wife and I both were praying for him), and he made some fine points, but his conversation ranged from young-earth creationism to Armageddon. That’s a lot to have to swallow to get to Jesus.

Remember, your goal is to put a stone in his shoe, not a boulder. If controversial issues don’t come up, don’t bring them up. Major in the majors. Don’t try to move too quickly or cover too much ground when tackling tough topics. Take complex concerns step by step and piece by piece. Break them into smaller parts and try to make headway on only one part at a time.

Contextualize. I always look for ways to frame my points in terms of the other person’s interests, discipline, or profession. For example, once when an attorney asked me why he needed Jesus, I used a courtroom scene to make my point. This move made the point more persuasive because he saw it in light of things he already knew or procedures he was already familiar with.

Contextualizing your points by tying your comments or explanations to relevant parts of the other person’s world establishes common ground—and is an important tactical skill of an effective ambassador.

Be Nice. Solomon reminds us of something we already know, but still need to be prodded on…often: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Later he adds, “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (16:21). Obvious stuff, but easily overlooked. Start out brash and thrashing about, and things will turn sour in the end. Start sweet, though, and you’ll probably end sweet.

Do everything you can, then, to help friends feel comfortable with the process. Don’t get mad. Don’t show frustration. Don’t look annoyed. Keep your cool. The more collected you are, the more confident you’ll appear and the more persuasive you’ll sound.

Trust God.  No matter how clever you sound, everything you say will turn to dust if God’s Spirit is not in it. No matter how poorly you think you’ve acquitted yourself, even the most meager effort can turn to gold if God decides to move. Never presume on God either way. Be faithful in the moment, then let God do His part—which is all the rest. I’m not saying you need to “tune in” to the Spirit. Encounters don’t usually work that way. Rather, simply do what you can, then trust in God’s sovereign control.

The very first time I ever shared Christ was less than 24 hours after I’d committed my life to Him. It was a long conversation, I felt entirely inept (I was), my close friends were fuming, and I thought it was a complete wash. It wasn’t. Four years later, out of the blue, I discovered what God had been doing that afternoon, and it was something I never would have guessed. It happens all the time.

And because God is at work in the hearts and minds of people you meet, you need to be ready.

Here is a link to donate to Stand To Reason: https://store.str.org/donate.asp

I would also highly recommend getting both the STR App and the STR Quick Reference app for your smart phone.  You can listen to all sorts of great material and even download the podcasts for “off-line” listening.  Enjoy!

 

Sometimes, I wish I had faith, trust and love like my dog…

1 Peter 4:12-16

As I interact with my dog and observe her behavior, it occurs to me that I could learn a lot from the way she interacts with me (her Master) and apply that to the way I interact with my Master…  As I read Scripture, I see parallels in how she treats me and how our God wants us to treat Him and others.

Sometimes, I wish I had faith, trust and love like my dog because…

She completely relies on me to supply all her needs.  If I didn’t supply her with food and water and shelter, she wouldn’t have them.  She doesn’t go out and try to hunt for her food – she knows her father loves her and will provide it. (See Matthew 6:25-34)  In fact, when she goes outside, hunting is the farthest thing from her mind – she’s more interested in sunning:

Whether I’m sitting at…

View original post 692 more words

Apologetics Class 5-28-2017

We had a good message in the apologetics class today.  Again, as last week, this was not the traditional apologetics class per se, but none the less, I still think it was relevant to apologetics.  In case you wanted to see the video again (or for the 1st time if you weren’t able to make it), here is the video on YouTube (6 part playlist):

America’s Godly Heritage – David Barton:

Below, I’ve pasted in the notes (with fill-in blanks) and attached the notes with answers.

Today was our last session before we break for the summer, it’s been a pleasure facilitating this class all these weeks.  I hope you’ve found this beneficial for your personal faith and that it has enabled you to have more boldness in sharing your faith with others.


 

America’s Godly Heritage (Christian Nation??) – David Barton (~1992)

  1. Most of the 55 founders of America were e____________ Christians
  2. Recounting of incident where George Washington was shot at numerous times, but not killed
  3. The New England P___________ – used in schools for 200 years in early America to teach children to read.  The letters of the alphabet are memorized along with facts from the Bible.
  4. Did the founders want separation of church and state?
    1. John Quincy A_________ speech July 4th 1837
    2. John J____________ – 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
    3. George Washington’s f____________ a_____________
  5. America is the world’s longest ongoing constitutional republic, 200+ years under the same document and under the same form of government.
  6. Where did the founders find the ideas that produced such longevity?  Who did they quote?
    1. Baron Charles de Montesquieu (8.3%)
    2. Sir William Blackstone (7.9%)
    3. John Locke (2.9%)
    4. The Bible (34%)
  7. Charles Finney – preacher, 2nd great awakening.  Came to C_________ by reading Blackstone’s commentaries, because Blackstone quoted the B__________ so much in his writings.
  8. Concepts that our founders derived from the Bible or biblical principles:
    1. 3 branches of government: I_________ 33:22
    2. Separation of Powers: J____________ 17:9
    3. Tax Exemption for Churches: E__________ 7:24
  9. Case: Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) – “…This is a Christian nation…” – cited 87 p____________ to support its conclusions that we are a Christian nation.
  10. Vidal v. Girard (1844) – encouraged reading the New Testament to teach morality in s_________
  11. Case: People v. Ruggles (1811) Attack Jesus Christ = Attack on Christianity = Attack on A_______
  12. The 1st amendment never intended to separate C______________ principles from government.
  13. Here is the 1st amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
  14. “Separation of c________ and s______” appears in NO founding document.  The purpose of this was to prevent the federal establishment of a certain denomination, like they had in England.
  15. It’s source is from a letter from Thomas Jefferson as a response (Jan. 1st 1802) to the D________________ Baptists letter on Nov. 7th 1801
  16. “The great vital and conservative element in our system [the thing that holds our system together] is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the G________________ of Jesus Christ” – House Judiciary Report (May 1854)
  17. Jefferson’s letter had actually been used in the late 1800’s to ensure that Christian principles could r___________ a part of the government.
  18. Case: Everson v. Board of Education (1947) – “The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’  That wall must be kept high and impregnable.”  They selected only ___ words from Jefferson’s letter, taking it completely out of context!
  19. June 25th 1962 – Engel v. Vitale – First time, separated Christian principles from education – removed prayer from schools.  Redefined word “c_______”.  No precedents cited (1st time ever).
  20. Bible study course – New Testament – for Dallas high schools (1946) – 71 years ago!
  21. Case: Abington v. Schempp & Murray v. Curlett (June 17, 1963) – stopped use of B____ in school
  22. 10 Commandments hanging on wall in school (Stone v. Graham case – 1980).  However, founders would’ve supported this, so cannot be un____________________.
  23. 1963, court reported only 3% of the nation did not believe in religion or God.
  24. Prayer which was declared unconstitutional in 1962 covered 4 areas.  Prior to 1962, the court had always ruled consistent with biblical principles in these 4 areas:
    1. “upon us” (students)
    2. “our parents” (families)
    3. “our teachers” (schools)
    4. “our country” (the nation)
  25. S________________:
    1. Birth rates for unwed teen girls up 553% since 1963
    2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases up 226% since 1963
    3. Pre-marital sexual activity up 365% since 1963
  26. F________________:
    1. Divorce Rates up 117% since 1963 (U.S. #1 in world in divorce at time of video)
    2. Single parent families up 140% since 1963
    3. Unmarried couples living together (cohabitation) up 536% since 1963
  27. T_______________:
    1. The SAT Test – decline in student achievement since 1963
    2. 1962, 1,000 Christian schools – by 1984, 32,000 Christian schools in U.S.
    3. SAT scores are nearly 80 points higher for private school students
    4. National Merit Semi-Finalists (the “cream of the crop”).  Private religious schools, although 12.4% of population is producing 39.2% of the “cream of the crop”
  28. C______________:
    1. Violent Crimes surpassed population growth by 794% since 1962
    2. Thomas Jefferson – “The precepts of philosophy laid hold of actions only… [but Jesus] pushed His scrutinies into the heart of man, erected His tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountainhead.” (see Matthew 5)
    3. John Adams “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    4. World’s leader in: Violent Crime, Divorce, Teen Pregnancies, Abortions, Drugs, Illiteracy
  29. State government constitutions established by founders were explicitly Christian (e.g. Delaware)
  30. Accountability to God – I_______ (afterlife) vs. N_______ (calamities). Referred to 1 Kings 16-22
  31. Ben F______ speech June 28th 1787 – reminded delegates we needed God to be our friend/ally.
  32. J_______ “His justice cannot sleep forever”, L_______ “this nation should be on the Lord’s side”
  33. Can a nation be blessed apart from God’s principles?  No.  When we started to “get out” of public life, we handed the nation over to un__________ principles. This is not biblical.
  34. 1961 & 1985 court cases ruled that “Secular H___________” is a viable 1st Amendment religion.
  35. We only hear about separation of church and state re. attempts to invoke Christian principles

Here is a link to the answers.

Summary of Apologetics Class Schedule and Topics for 2016-2017

Date Section Topic / Other Notes
8/7/2016 Intro / Case for Apologetics (Steve Teaching) Introduction
Section: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
8/14/2016 DVD – Does Truth Exist (part 1)? Lesson 1 – The Road Runner Tactic
8/21/2016 DVD – Does Truth Exist (part 2)? Lesson 1 – The Road Runner Tactic
8/28/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 1)? Lesson 2 – Does God Exist (part 1)?
9/4/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 2)? Lesson 2 – Does God Exist (part 2)?
9/11/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 3)? Lesson 3 – Divine Design
9/18/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 4)? Lesson 4 – Origin of Life
9/25/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 5)? Lesson 5 – Evolution (part 1)
10/2/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 6)? Lesson 5 – Evolution (part 2) – Steve out – Hawaii
10/9/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 7)? Lesson 6 – The Moral Argument – Steve out – Hawaii
10/16/2016 DVD – Are Miracles Possible? Lesson 7 – Are Miracles Possible?
10/23/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 1)? Lesson 8 – Do We Have An Accurate Copy?
10/30/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 2)? Lesson 9 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth (part 1)?
11/6/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 3)? Lesson 9 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth (part 2)?
11/13/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 4)? Lesson 10 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth?
11/20/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 5)? Lesson 11 – Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible?
11/27/2016 DVD – Conclusion Lesson 12 – So What if it’s True?
Section: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – End
12/4/2016 Is God Unloving for Sending People to Hell (Steve teaching)
Section: Tactics – Greg Koukl
12/11/2016 DVD – Tactics (part 1)
12/18/2016 DVD – Tactics (part 2)
12/25/2016 Christmas – no class
1/1/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 3)
1/8/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 4)
1/15/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 5)
1/22/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 6)
Section: Tactics – Greg Koukl – End
1/29/2017 The Atheist Delusion Movie Living Waters – Ray Comfort
2/5/2017 Logical Fallacies  (Steve Teaching)
2/12/2017 Abortion The 180 Movie (Living Waters), S.L.E.D. Test (Stand to Reason Quick ReferenceApp)
2/19/2017 Tapestry of New Testament History (Steve Teaching) Undesigned Coincidences
2/26/2017 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Dr. David Menton lecture)
3/5/2017 Darwin’s Dilemma (Discovery Institute)
3/12/2017 If God Exists, Why Does He Allow Evil (Frank Turek)
3/19/2017 Is the Bible Full of Contradictions? Tim Barnett
Section: The Resurrection and the person of Jesus
3/26/2017 Evidence for the Resurrection – 12 minimal facts and theories Dr. Craig Hazen
4/2/2017 Things Which Ought to be better known about the resurrection Dr. Peter J. Williams
4/9/2017 Mystery Religions and dying and rising gods in the ancient near east Sean McDowell
4/16/2017 The Case for Christ (documentary) Lee Strobel
Section: The Resurrection and the person of Jesus – End
Section: Young Earth Creationists
4/23/2017 Was Darwin Right? (Young Earth Creationist view) Dr. Terry Mortenson
4/30/2017 Astronomy Reveals Creation Dr. Jason Lisle
5/7/2017 Why Genesis Matters Dr. Jason Lisle
5/14/2017 Ultimate Proof of Creation Dr. Jason Lisle
Section: Young Earth Creationists – End
5/21/2017 Are You Saved? James MacDonald

It’s been a great year.  There are 3 topics I’m trying to decide between for tomorrow.  I think it’ll be a game-time decision, but prepared well for 2 of them (with notes) and I have the 3rd with me – video, but no notes:

  1. Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
  2. Hell’s Best Kept Secret – Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron
  3. America’s Godly Heritage – David Barton

After tomorrow, the class breaks for 2 months (June and July), then we will resume in August.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-25-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Teaching Series on Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM – This page has 6 embedded youtube videos: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/teaching-series-on-why-the-resurrection-of-jesus-matters/
  2. Apologetic Engagement-Fish or Cut Bait – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/apologetic-engagement/
  3. Are Objective Moral Truths Merely a Matter of Cultural Agreement? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-objective-moral-truths-merely-a-matter-of-cultural-agreement/
  4. Defending the Age of Accountability | SOTERIOLOGY 101: https://soteriology101.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/defending-the-age-of-accountability/
  5. What Happens to Our Pets When They Die?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-happens-to-pets-when-they-die
  6. ACLU and Planned Parenthood Fighting for Teens to Get Secret Abortions Without Their Parents Knowing | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/18/aclu-and-planned-parenthood-fighting-for-teens-to-get-secret-abortions-without-their-parents-knowing/
  7. Atheist Astrophysicist Explains Her Journey To Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheist-astrophysicist-explains-her-journey-to-jesus/
  8. Modalism | carm: https://carm.org/modalism
  9. Creation Clips – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/creation-videos?fileID=YddmGJofbL0
  10. Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know | ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/303966-leading-millennials-core-issues-need-know.html
  11. Six Enemies of Apologetic Engagement – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/six-enemies-of-apologetic-engagement
  12. Are Christians Intolerant Haters? The Charges are Not New – Michael J. Kruger: http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/michael-j-kruger/are-christians-intolerant-haters-the-charges-are-not-new.html
  13. Four Iowa Planned Parenthood Locations Closing After State Cuts Funding to Abortion Facilities | Christian News Network: http://christiannews.net/2017/05/22/four-iowa-planned-parenthood-locations-closing-after-state-cuts-funding-to-abortion-facilities/
  14. Case-Making 101: How does the Bible compare to other ancient documents? Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-how-does-the-bible-compare-to-other-ancient-documents/
  15. Who Has the Burden of Proof When Discussing God? | Strange Notions: http://strangenotions.com/who-has-the-burden-of-proof-when-discussing-god/
  16. Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: True for You, but Not For Me? by Brett Kunkle: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/05/video-true-for-you-but-not-for-me-by.html
  17. Pro-Abortion Students at Catholic Notre Dame Walk Out of Pro-Life VP Mike Pences Commence Speech | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/22/pro-abortion-students-at-catholic-notre-dame-walk-out-of-pro-life-vp-mike-pences-commence-speech/
  18. Is Right and Wrong Simply a Matter of Human Flourishing? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-right-and-wrong-simply-a-matter-of-human-flourishing/
  19. Four Things We Wont Need in Heaven (But Ought to Pursue Here on Earth) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/four-things-we-wont-need-in-heaven-but-ought-to-pursue-here-on-earth/
  20. How to Become a True Student and a Better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/how-to-become-a-true-student-and-a-better-apologist/
  21. Nature & Scripture: Argument for the Early Dating of Christian Theology and Christian Writings: http://natureandscripture.blogspot.com/2017/05/argument-for-early-dating-of-christian.html
  22. The Trinity is Not A Problem, Its A Solution | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-trinity-is-not-a-problem-its-a-solution/
  23. Why I Wish Christians Would Argue MORE (No, Seriously) ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/301281-wish-christians-argue-no-seriously-trevin-wax.html
  24. The Empty Tomb | The John 10:10 Project: http://thejohn1010project.com/the-empty-tomb.html
  25. Matthew 7:1-6 Why the Confusion About Judging? | Dr. Mike Spaulding: http://www.drmikespaulding.com/?p=1993
  26. Apologetics Mission Trips – Brett Kunkle | Stand To Reason – Opening monologue is pretty powerful: http://subsplash.com/standtoreason/v/5nfgovh
  27. Pastor James MacDonald – Are You Saved? – Very convicting sermon, which I like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVRUTknpA7Q
  28. What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson. – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-best-evidence-for-intelligent-design-interview-with-brian-johnson

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest– I would flee far away and stay in the desert; “Selah” Psalms 55:4-7

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/21/2017

We had a good message in the Apologetics class today. This was not the traditional Apologetics material per se, but none the less, I still think it was relevant to Apologetics. Here is the video on YouTube (47 min):

Are you saved? (click on image below to open youtube video in a new tab)

Below, I’ve pasted in the notes (with fill-in blanks) and attached the notes with answers.

We have one more week before we break for the summer

Blessings to you all!


Are You Saved? James MacDonald – John 8:30-36

  1. 100 years from today, this will be the only thing that matters to you – your s______________.
  2. The Bible teaches that you are lost in sin – you have a t____________ condition known as sin.
  3. You’re not saved because you say so any more than you’re in Cincinnati because you know how to get t____________.
  4. To the question, “Are you saved?” rather than telling you how they k_______ they’re saved, they tell you how to g_______ saved.

6 Points in the message from John 8:30-36:

  1. Many people b____________ in Jesus (John 8:30)
    1. Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) – 4 types of soils / people / heart condition.
    2. All true Christians bear f_________.
    3. Parable of the wheat and weeds (Matthew 13) – early on, it’s not obvious which is “the weeds” and which is “the wheat”.  T________ will tell.
    4. Matthew 7:21 and following – it’s what you do that proves the g_________ of your faith
    5. If your faith hasn’t c_____________ you, it hasn’t s___________ you.
  2. Genuine disciples a________ in Jesus’ words (John 8:31)
    1. Salvation happens at a p__________ in time, but it is p___________ over
    2. You can say it, but over time we’re gonna know whether it’s really t_________ by what we see in your life.
    3. How do you know you’re saved? “I have a growing l________ for God’s word”
    4. How am I different because of following Christ? (spiritual self-inventory)
    5. I’m not what I c________ be, I’m not what I s_______ be, but I’m not what I w_____…
  3. Abiding leads to f__________ (John 8:32)
    1. Freedom from the p____________ of sin (penalty of sin is already taken care of)
  4. False disciples don’t recognize their b__________ (John 8:33-34)
    1. You refer to your spiritual heritage as p____________ that you’re okay.
    2. False disciples are not especially c_____________ by their sin

Bondage Checkup

  1. Do you have a s__________ sin? (that’s increasing its intensity in your life)
  2. Do you have a capacity to “hold on” to an o_______________?
  3. Do you have a “reflex reaction” to r_____________ about sin? True Christians know how awful sin is and they want it out of their lives.
  4. Do you find overt discussions about s______________ intensities disquieting or even aggravating?  It’s because you’re not like that and you think that people like that must be making it up because for you to be like that you’d have to make it up.
  5. Do you battle a c____________ spirit toward people who appear devoted to Christ?

Points (cont’d)

  1. False disciples don’t r____________ in Christ (John 8:35) – a message like this could be subtitled “Operation Crowd Reduction”.  It’s not about a quantity of disciples, it’s about a quality of discipleship.
    1. Your assurance of salvation is not based on your conversion story, it’s based on your l__________, looking at it (how you’re living).
    2. Maybe people who’ve walked away from God have just b___________ and He’ll bring them back if they’re really His children.
  2. “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).  So, here’s the question: Are you s____________ or u_________________?

Discussion Questions

  1. In what way was James MacDonald’s message relevant to apologetics?
  2. Is a James MacDonald telling us that a Christian must work for their salvation?
  3. Did you find this message personally convicting?
  4. Do you have anyone in your circle of friends or acquaintances that claims to be a Christian, but is not living that way? (do not reveal names)  How could you approach them?
  5. James MacDonald said hear the end of the message, “I deserve hell and I’m headed for it”. How can anyone believe that he or she deserves hell?  How would you communicate that message to a non-Christian in conversation?
  6. What does it mean to “examine yourself to see if you’re in the faith”? (1 Cor. 13:5a)
  7. What did James MacDonald mean in this message when he referred to having “fire insurance”?
  8. How can believers in Christ have assurance of their salvation?
  9. Is James MacDonald saying that a Christian can lose his or her faith?
  10. If someone grew up in the church and in a Christian family, at what point are they truly saved?
  11. How can we strike a balance between grace and truth in communicating with ‘weeds’ that may be among us in the church?

Here is a link to the answers.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-18-2017)

Good morning brothers and sisters,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your links:

  1. 4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/4-ways-become-better-listener-better-apologist/
  2. Faith Under Fire: Christian Ethics in the Workplace, Part 2 | RZIM: http://ca.rzim.org/let-my-people-think-broadcasts/faith-under-fire-christian-ethics-in-the-workplace-part-2/
  3. Why We Need a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith (Video): http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-we-need-a-more-reasonable-evidential-christian-faith-video/
  4. The Stream:
    1. The Tip of the Transgender Spear in Virginia | The Stream: https://stream.org/the-tip-of-the-transgender-spear-in-virginia/
    2. Ellen DeGeneres Needs a Lesson About Diversity and Tolerance | The Stream: https://stream.org/donald-trump-teach-ellen-degeneres-diversity-tolerance/
    3. An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus | The Stream: https://stream.org/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/
    4. Rage at Rubio’s Bible Tweets: More Evidence of Troubling Bias Against Christians: https://stream.org/rubio-bible-tweets/
  5. 110M-year-old dinosaur discovered with skin and soft tissue (not a Christian article, but again, does not make sense given the supposed ages): http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/
  6. From New Age Blogger To Christian: When I Encountered Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/new-age-blogger-christian-when-i-encountered-jesus/
  7. When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack Christianity | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/when-the-case-for-god-is-strong-skeptics-attack-christianity/
  8. Watch “Basic Differences Between Islam and Christianity.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/N6dkexljCiU
  9. Watch “How To Better Apply Apologetics When Talking to Non-Believers” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iArt_fe-EmM
  10. Watch “How Atheists Steal Science From God | Frank Turek, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gurMfV5Pmus
  11. Does Belief In God Encourage Criminal Behavior? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/does-belief-in-god-encourage-criminal-behavior/
  12. Lesbian bishop in Sweden calls for church to remove crosses and install Muslim prayer space: https://carm.org/lesbian-bishop-calls-for-church-to-remove-crosses-install-muslim-prayer-space
  13. Nabeel Qureshi – Author of the book ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’, regarding his battle with stomach cancer:
    1. Torn Emotions: A Visit With Nabeel Qureshi | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/torn-emotions-a-visit-with-nabeel-qureshi/
    2. Watch “Vlog 29 – Renewed Hope, Mark 7, and More Chemo” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pG2C_Gbzx_s

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/14/2017

This was our last week in the series on young earth creation featuring Dr. Jason Lisle.  This week the topic was The Ultimate Proof of Creation (Presuppositional Apologetics).  Here is the video:

 

Here are the fill in the blank notes, with the link to the answers below:

Ultimate Proof of Creation-Presuppositional Apologetics (Dr. Jason Lisle)

  1. People are not always convinced by a good argument, but people are often convinced by a bad argument – that’s what logical fallacies are, bad arguments that people find convincing.
  2. There is a difference between proof and persuasion.
  3. It’s not our job to persuade people, our job is to give a d____________.
  4. Evidence commonly used to confirm creation:
    1. Information Science / Genetics:
      1. “There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter… When its progress along the chain of transmission events is traced backward, every piece of information leads to a mental source, the mind of the sender” – Dr. Werner Gitt
      2. The fact that we have information in our DNA tells us that DNA could not have come about by a r__________, c_____________ process.
  • “All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it.” – Dr. Lee Spetner
  1. Mutations may increase survival value under certain circumstances, but they don’t add new information to the genome.
  1. Biblical Timescale:
    1. Carbon-14 in Diamonds – All the C-14 on the entire earth would be gone (would’ve decayed into Nitrogen) in 1 million years.
    2. Comets – Comets are made of ice. Every time they pass near the sun, some of this ice is blasted away and the comet loses mass.  A comet could orbit for a maximum of about ___,___ years before it completely runs out of material.
  2. For every one of these lines of evidence that we can come up with, the evolutionist can come up with a “r________ d_________”.
    1. Comets – perhaps there is a vast reservoir of comets beyond the visible solar system: an “Oort cloud”. Comets are occasionally dislodged from this cloud and thrown into the inner solar system.  There’s no observational evidence of this Oort cloud.
  3. Creationists and Evolutionists all have the same facts. Why then do we draw such different conclusions about the past?  The answer is we have a different s______ p_______ (world view).
  4. Your world view is like a set of mental glasses you wear through which you see everything.
  5. Your world view is all of your most basic beliefs about reality, which we call presuppositions
  6. Presuppositions that everyone has:
    1. Your senses are basically reliable
    2. Your memory is reliable
    3. The existence of the Laws of Logic
  7. Creationists and evolutionists have different presuppositions – different rules for i_____________ the evidence.
  8. The battle isn’t really about evidence, it’s about how evidence ought to be interpreted. We have different standards by which we interpret the evidence.
  9. Ultimate Standard: Creationist: the Bible, Evolutionist: Naturalism or Empiricism
  10. Evidence by itself will not resolve a worldview conflict, because your worldview tells you what to m________ of the evidence.
  11. Told story about a man who was convinced he’s dead… (I guess dead men do bleed J)
  12. A philosophically astute person will not be persuaded by mere evidence.
  13. There is no n__________ ground (Mat. 12:30; James 4:4). Can’t take Bible out of discussion.
  14. The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy – Since the Bible indicates that there is no “neutral”, the claim of neutrality is itself unbiblical. Neutrality is non-neutral, and therefore self-refuting.
  15. Ultimate Authority:
    1. Only the Bible provides the preconditions for the intelligibility of man’s experience and reasoning.
    2. If the Bible were not true, it be impossible to prove anything.
  16. We rely on the following preconditions, which are all grounded in God’s Word:
    1. Laws of L_________ – correct standard of reason (why in a ‘chance universe’)?
    2. U_________ of Nature – Gravity, etc. (God upholds the universe in a consistent fashion)
    3. Absolute M____________ – Why ought we (should we) behave in a certain way?
  17. Evolutionist do believe in these things, but in their worldview, no rational foundation for these
  18. Relativism – All things are relative. There are no absolutes.  The statement that “there are no absolutes” is an absolute statement, so if it’s true, it’s false, therefore, it’s false.
  19. Empiricism – the belief that all truth claims are proved by empirical observation. How do you know that the statement itself is true?  Did you prove that by empirical observation?
  20. Unbelievers will stand on Christian presuppositions when it s__________ them. He is standing on Christian ground.  He either needs to get saved or stop trespassing!
  21. Debate on the existence of air: the critics of air must use air in order to make a case against it.
  22. Likewise, the critic of the Bible must use biblical presuppositions in order to argue against it.
  23. Absolute Morality – if God created us, He has the right to set the rules. If we are just ‘re-arranged p________ s_________’, why not do what we want?
  24. The moment the moral relativist says, “You can’t go around telling people what not to do”, what are they doing? Going around telling other people what not to do, which is self-refuting.
  25. Ask a moral relativist, ‘How do you decide “right” from “wrong”?’ Apart from the biblical God, morality can only be r__________.  Yet people can’t live that way.
  26. Possible Responses:
    1. “Morality is what brings the most h__________ to the most people”. But in an evolutionary universe, why should I be concerned about the happiness of others (if they’re just ‘re-arranged pond scum)?
    2. “The moral code is simply electrical impulses in the brain.” Why should I follow it?
    3. “Laws of morality are conventions adopted for the good of s______.” In an evolutionary worldview, we’re just animals. The word ‘benefit’ assumes a standard of goodness…
    4. “People can adopt their own moral code.” If you can, so can I and you might not like some of my moral codes – I might want to shoot you.
    5. You wouldn’t punish vinegar for reacting with baking soda – that’s just what it does. You wouldn’t punish the Lion for killing the antelope – animals kill animals…
  27. Laws of Logic – these are r_______________ of the way God thinks, and the way He expects us to think. These stem from God’s nature.  God is logical. (2 Timothy 2:13; Colossians 2:3)
  28. Laws of Logic are immaterial, universal, invariant, abstract, contingent on the biblical God
  29. N___________ – the belief that nature is all that there is. The naturalist attempts to use logic and reason to support his position.  But logic is not part of nature.  The fact that he’s able to make an argument at all proves he’s wrong.
  30. I’m not saying you have to profess a belief in God to use laws of logic, but you do need the biblical God to have laws of logic. No other worldview can account for them.
  31. Possible Responses:
    1. “Laws of logic are material. They are chemical reactions in the brain.”  If material, they’re not laws.  They can’t be u____________ if they don’t extend beyond your brain.
    2. “Laws of logic are descriptions of how the brain thinks.” If this were true, you could never violate one.
    3. “Laws of logic are conventions.” But some cultures have different conventions (e.g. driving on left-side of the road or the right side of the road).
    4. “They are a property of the universe.” But the universe c___________ with time, so we wouldn’t expect them to be invariant.
    5. “We use them because they work.” But that’s not my question. My question is ‘how can you account for them in an evolutionary worldview?’
  32. “Don’t Answer, Answer” Strategy:
    1. The Bible itself provides a strategy for d__________ the Christian Faith.
    2. This is the biblical way to refute anti-Christian presuppositions.
    3. Proverbs 26:4-5 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
    4. Do not embrace the “fool’s” pr________________. (Proverbs 26:4)
    5. Show where the “fool’s” presuppositions would go if taken to their conclusion (Proverbs 26:5)
    6. Never “put on the suit”, but always “r_______________ it back to him”.
  33. Richard Dawkins – here is a man that is convinced that his purpose in life is to convince people that there is no purpose in life. You see the inconsistency there?
  34. Secular worldviews always blow themselves up.
  35. Any argument against Christianity presupposes Christianity is true.
  36. It’s not our job to open people’s h____________ – that’s the Holy Spirit’s prerogative, it’s our job to close their mouths. – Dr. Greg Bahnsen
  37. Who can contend with the Almighty?

Here is a link to the answers.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-11-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 74% Of Doctors Believe In Miracles, 55% Have Seen Them | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/74-of-doctors-believe-in-miracles-55-have-seen-them/
  2. How Can Students Stand Strong for Their Faith in College? – Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry: http://crossexamined.org/how-can-students-stand-strong-for-their-faith-in-college/
  3. MTV Star Catelynn Lowell: Why is It Illegal to Destroy an Eagle Egg But Not Abort a Baby? http://www.lifenews.com/2014/05/05/mtv-star-catelynn-lowell-why-is-it-illegal-to-destroy-an-eagle-egg-but-not-abort-a-baby/
  4. Public School Shuts Down Bible Club — Todd Starnes: https://www.toddstarnes.com/column/public-school-shuts-down-bible-club
  5. Is The Bible Full Of Contradictions? 6 Quick Responses | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/is-the-bible-full-of-contradictions-6-quick-responses/
  6. “No Uterus, No Opinion” – Can Men Have a Say on Abortion? http://www.lifenews.com/2012/06/05/no-uterus-no-opinion-can-men-have-a-say-on-abortion/
  7. Responses that Stimulate Conversation: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/08/responses-that-stimulate-conversation.html
  8. The Three R’s of Salvation: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/the-three-rs-of-salvation-23599/
  9. Jesus Vs Muhammad: Their Views About Women | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-muhammad-their-views-about-women/
  10. Climate Change / Global Warming:
    1. Scientists Found a Totally Unexpected Source of Climate Cooling: http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/08/scientists-found-a-totally-unexpected-source-of-climate-cooling/
    2. Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/#5f37283d4c7c
    3. Why You Don’t Believe In Facts, And How To Fix It – you may find this very challenging, but I include it to be ‘fair and balanced’.  Apparently, the author has not read the study referred to above: https://lisacharlotterost.github.io/2017/05/07/why-do-we-not-believe-in-facts/
  11. Why Your Children Do NOT Need Apologetics: Correcting Misconceptions – Mama Bear Apologetics: http://mamabearapologetics.com/children-do-need-apologetics/
  12. Postmodernism and the Paradox of Tolerance – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/postmodernism-paradox-tolerance/
  13. Three Things You’ll Have to Say to the World to Live a Surrendered, Godly Life | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-things-youll-have-to-say-to-the-world-to-live-a-surrendered-godly-life/
  14. The Folly of Answering Distracting Atheistic Arguments: http://www.equip.org/article/folly-answering-distracting-atheistic-arguments/
  15. About Those Crusades: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/02/about-those-crusades.html
  16. How To Be Someone People Love To Talk To (not a Christian article, but good none-the-less): http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/02/love-to-talk/

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs – Romans 11:26-28

Blessings

Great Scriptures to Pray

There are some great verses of Scripture that you can use directly in your prayers.  Of course, the ability to use these in your prayers is greatly enhanced if you have them memorized, so I give you the suggestion to not only use these in prayers, but to first memorize them.  Here are the ones that are most effective in opening my heart to God and my conscience to the conviction of the Holy Spirit:

  1. Psalms 141:3-4 – Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
  2. Psalms 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
  3. Psalms 119:36-37 – Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
  4. Psalms 86:11 – Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
  5. James 1:5-7 – If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord
  6. Matthew 23:24-28 – You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

This last one (Matt. 23:24-28) is most effective for me as a Christian Teacher and Ministry Leader.  Whenever I become aware of a hypocritical attitude or a sinful pattern of thought that I cannot seem to get rid of, I will hear Jesus saying this to me.  I’m not a Pharisee, but I am a teacher and I really do want the inside of my cup to be as clean as the outside.  I don’t want to be like a white-washed tomb, appearing to people as righteous on the outside, but on this inside full of hypocrisy, wickedness, greed and self-indulgence.  Thank you Lord for these words of Jesus which are so convicting to me!  Praise His Holy Name!

Nuggets

I wanted to make you aware that there is a resource you can use:
 
 
This is a website I developed where you can read the Bible and view what I call ‘Nuggets’. These are passages from the Bible that I’ve identified over the years of reading that are kind of “bite sized” chunks that will give you a place to start reading. I have 4,641 of these ‘Nuggets’ in there at the present time. If you go to that site, you will see that it starts out by just showing you a ‘random’ nugget from the Bible. The default translation used is NIV, but you can change that to another translation (e.g. KJV, ESV, NASB, NKJV etc). Not only can you view and read ‘Nuggets’, you can just start reading the Bible a chapter at a time (menu item ‘View Chapter’).
 
I’ve also attempted to associate Bible passages with topics. You will see a menu item that says ‘Browse Nuggets by Topic’ where you can see what the Bible has to say about a particular topic. I’ve cataloged 362 topics, which I’ve listed below. You can also search the whole Bible for a word or a phrase. This is a good resource, and I want you all to be able to take advantage of it. Please visit it and make use of it – it works on a mobile phone too!
 
Here are the 362 topics I’ve included in this website (you can also view a random topic):
  1. 10 commandments
  2. 2nd coming of Christ
  3. abortion
  4. accurate science in the Bible
  5. acknowledgement not enough
  6. addiction
  7. adultery
  8. advocate
  9. age of accountability
  10. alcohol
  11. all have sinned
  12. alternate meaning for the word day
  13. angels
  14. anger
  15. animal care
  16. apologetics
  17. approval of men vs. approval of God
  18. ark
  19. ark of the covenant
  20. astrology
  21. atonement of Christ
  22. awesome God
  23. backsliding
  24. baptism
  25. battle belongs to the Lord
  26. be slow to speak
  27. be wary of worldly wisdom
  28. beastiality
  29. bema seat
  30. bible
  31. Bible historically accurate
  32. Bible inspired
  33. biblical authors
  34. birth control
  35. blood of the lamb
  36. bloom where you’re planted
  37. boasting
  38. boldness
  39. born again
  40. bride of Christ
  41. calvary
  42. can’t run from God
  43. cannibalism
  44. capital punishment
  45. carnivores
  46. ceremonial law
  47. Christ concealed Christ revealed
  48. christian
  49. christian behavior
  50. christian freedom
  51. Christianity defined
  52. Christianity is an evidential faith
  53. christianity is evidential
  54. Christmas
  55. Christophany
  56. church
  57. communion
  58. concern for the lost
  59. confession
  60. confronting sin
  61. consequences of sin and disobeying the Lord
  62. contentment
  63. conversation
  64. conversion of Paul
  65. cost of following Christ
  66. courage
  67. court procedures
  68. creation
  69. cross
  70. cross dressing
  71. curse
  72. death
  73. debate tactics of Jesus
  74. debating
  75. debt and borrowing money
  76. deception
  77. decisions
  78. degrees of punishment
  79. Deity of Jesus Christ
  80. deity of jesus christ
  81. demon possession
  82. depending on God
  83. did Jesus claim to be God?
  84. discernment
  85. divorce
  86. do not swear to God or anything else
  87. don’t forget God
  88. dreams
  89. drugs
  90. early church fathers
  91. effects of the fall
  92. empty tomb
  93. enemies
  94. eternal perspective
  95. eternal security
  96. evangelism
  97. evil
  98. exclusivity of Christ
  99. faith
  100. false prophets
  101. family
  102. fasting
  103. favorite
  104. favoritism
  105. fear God
  106. feed the hungry
  107. fellowship
  108. flesh
  109. flood
  110. forgiven by God
  111. forgiveness
  112. free will
  113. Free will vs God’s Sovereignty
  114. friendship
  115. giving
  116. giving to the poor
  117. glory of Jesus
  118. gluttony
  119. God changes His mind
  120. God does not change
  121. God does not lie
  122. God equips those he calls
  123. God helps those who help themselves
  124. God is eternal
  125. God is good
  126. God is not a man
  127. God is the Savior, Jesus is the Savior
  128. God is watching us
  129. God is with me
  130. God spoke
  131. God sustains the universe
  132. God wants to save us
  133. God’s blessing
  134. God’s compassion
  135. God’s compassion for us
  136. God’s fairness
  137. God’s faithfulness
  138. God’s family
  139. God’s holiness
  140. God’s justice
  141. God’s love for us
  142. God’s providence
  143. God’s Righteousness
  144. God’s sovereignty
  145. God’s ways
  146. God’s will for us
  147. golden rule
  148. good dying words
  149. gospel
  150. gossip
  151. government
  152. grace
  153. graduation message
  154. Great Bible Stories
  155. greed
  156. guardian angels
  157. guilt
  158. Hanukkah
  159. hard work
  160. healing
  161. heaven
  162. hell
  163. holidays
  164. holy living
  165. Holy Spirit
  166. honesty
  167. hope
  168. horoscope
  169. human wisdom
  170. humility
  171. humility vs. selfishness
  172. hypocrite
  173. idolatry
  174. immigration
  175. in the world but not of the world
  176. incest
  177. indecision
  178. iran
  179. its whats in your heart that matters
  180. jealousy
  181. Jesus – His humanity
  182. Jesus – I Am statements
  183. Jesus ate with sinners
  184. jesus is the only way
  185. Jesus knows our weaknesses
  186. Jesus poor
  187. Jesus requires total commitment
  188. Jesus talking about faith vs. works
  189. Jesus talking about hell
  190. jewish apologetics
  191. joy
  192. judging others
  193. judgment day
  194. justice
  195. justification
  196. keeping secrets
  197. knowing God
  198. kosher
  199. law
  200. laziness
  201. life in christ
  202. listening
  203. living for the Lord
  204. love
  205. love of others
  206. love the Lord
  207. lust
  208. man must choose
  209. marriage
  210. masturbation
  211. materialism
  212. memorizing scripture
  213. mercy
  214. messiah
  215. middle knowledge of God
  216. miracle
  217. modesty
  218. money
  219. moral decay
  220. murder
  221. mystery of God
  222. mythology
  223. nagging
  224. nature of God
  225. new covenant
  226. no marriage in heaven
  227. no such thing as chance
  228. Noah
  229. not ashamed
  230. not guaranteed tomorrow
  231. obey
  232. old testament
  233. omnipotence
  234. omnipresence
  235. omnipresent
  236. omniscience
  237. one day not more sacred than another
  238. one God
  239. original sin
  240. our purpose
  241. parables of Jesus
  242. parental discipline
  243. parenting
  244. past
  245. patience
  246. paul
  247. peace
  248. pedophilia
  249. persecution
  250. persecution for christ
  251. perserverance of saints
  252. perseverance
  253. persuasion
  254. pleasing God
  255. polygamy
  256. poor
  257. pornography
  258. praise
  259. praise and joy
  260. prayer
  261. pre-eminence of Christ
  262. pre-existence of Christ
  263. predestination
  264. pride
  265. problem of evil
  266. promises
  267. prophecy
  268. punishment from the LORD
  269. purity
  270. put others first
  271. racism
  272. rape
  273. reading the Bible
  274. reasoning with God
  275. reasons Jesus came to earth
  276. regeneration
  277. reincarnation
  278. religion
  279. religious tolerance
  280. repentance
  281. reputation
  282. resist temptation
  283. restitution
  284. resurrection
  285. reward
  286. righteous anger
  287. righteousness from God
  288. romans road
  289. sabbath
  290. salvation
  291. salvation according to Jesus
  292. salvation by faith
  293. salvation by works
  294. sanctification
  295. satan
  296. Satan
  297. saving money
  298. seeking God
  299. self control
  300. self examination
  301. self-denial
  302. selfishness
  303. sexual immorality
  304. shema
  305. sin
  306. sinlessness of Jesus
  307. slavery
  308. sorcery
  309. speaking with God
  310. spiritual gifts
  311. spiritual warfare
  312. state of Israel
  313. strife
  314. suffering for God
  315. suicide
  316. supporting calvinism
  317. supremacy of christ
  318. teachers
  319. teaching
  320. technology of ancient people
  321. temptation
  322. thankfulness
  323. the Way
  324. think before you act
  325. tithing
  326. tongue
  327. traveling mercies
  328. trinity
  329. true believer
  330. true believers obey God
  331. true Israel
  332. trust no one
  333. truth
  334. unbelievers
  335. unrepentant people
  336. use your mind
  337. vegetarian
  338. vengeance
  339. waiting on the Lord
  340. war
  341. warning
  342. we are friends with Jesus
  343. what about people who’ve never heard about Jesus
  344. Who raised Jesus from the dead?
  345. wickedness
  346. widows
  347. wisdom
  348. wisdom of Jesus in worldly proverbs
  349. wisdom of men vs wisdom of God
  350. witchcraft
  351. witnessing
  352. work
  353. working for God
  354. works
  355. worldliness
  356. worldliness / self denial
  357. worry
  358. worship
  359. wrath of God
  360. wwjd
  361. youth
  362. zealous

 

Apologetics class 5/7/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today:

Why Genesis Matters – Dr. Jason Lisle

 

Here are the notes and discussion questions:

  1. Evolution is m______ ideas about how l_____ could come about apart from _________
  2. Jesus quoted from G_______ about as much as all the other b_____ of the B_____ combined
  3. Evolution is not the cause of all problems in society, s______ is the cause, because e_______ gives people a seemingly r________ foundation for their s_____.
  4. Genesis was not written as a metaphor, parable or poetry, it was written as l________ h______.
  5. A lot of people want to embrace the morality the Bible teaches, but r______ the h_______ it teaches.
  6. It used to be that we used a h_________ to h_______ sections of the Bible we liked, but now in far too many churches, we use a b_____ o_______ marker to b________ o______ the sections we don’t like.
  7. God never gave us a l______ i______ v_____ on Scripture.
  8. We don’t just want them to be c__________, we want them to be C______.
  9. Context of passage determines what the word ‘day’ means, e.g. evening, morning, number, day.
  10. God’s powerful enough that He could’ve created the u_______ in an i________; He really had to s_______ Himself down.
  11. There is an astronomical basis for d____, m________ and y_______, but not for w_______
  12. 6 days (of creation) is an i____________ issue, but not a s_________ issue.
  13. The Bible says that it was by man that d_____ came into the world, but evolution teaches that it was by d_______ that man came into the world.
  14. Either the bulk of fossils were deposited in a w____-w____ f_____, or they were deposited n_________ over millions of years.
  15. If “the flood” was just a l_____ flood, then God has broken His promise (re. the rainbow) thousands of times, because there have been many l_____ floods since the flood occurred.
  16. If you understand c______, then the Gospel message just makes s______.

Discussion Questions

 

  1. For all of this Christian influence in our nation, why are we rapidly becoming a pagan nation?
  2. What is your ultimate standard?
  3. How does what you believe about the past influence your worldview today?
  4. Why is it significant that we find Carbon 14 (C-14) in diamonds?
  5. How are laws that protect the weak from being harmed by the strong “anti-evolutionary”?
  6. How is evolution like termites?
  7. How does a literal Genesis make it possible for Jesus to be our Kinsman Redeemer?
  8. If God didn’t get the details right in Genesis, how can we be sure He got the details right on how to inherit eternal life?
  9. What does it mean that 1,000 years is like a day?
  10. Where do we get our pattern for a week?
  11. Why does the death of plants not count as death occurring before sin?
  12. If the flood was just local, why didn’t Noah just move?

 

 

mid-week apologetics booster (5-4-2017)

Good morning y’all,

Well, I guess I’m being influenced by the family guests I have in from Arkansas J  We’ve been taking a whirlwind tour of Arizona, hiking on South Mountain, going to Sedona, Slide Rock, Jerome and eating at Rustler’s Roost so far!  Tomorrow, we’re heading up to Prescott to go canoeing on Watson lake and possibly to walk around Lynx lake.  On the way out, they’re going to visit the Grand Canyon on their own.  As I see all of these sights along with them and see their delight in our beautiful state, I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul told us so long ago:

What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  Romans 1:19-20

When people ask for evidence for God, we can immediately point them to the creation.  God is the best explanation for the beauty and design we see in nature.  And because of this, we praise His name:

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.  Revelation 4:11

Here are your weekly links:

  1. The Art of Raising Kids Who Will Not Bow to the Idol of Science: http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-art-of-raising-kids-who-will-not-bow-to-the-idol-of-science/
  2. Explaining Hell to Our Children | Desiring God: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/explaining-hell-to-our-children
  3. In America, Does More Education Equal Less Religion? http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/
  4. 3 ways Christians can stand up to free-speech bullies who want to shut us up: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/3-ways-Christians-can-stand-up-to-free-speech-bullies-who-want-to-shut-us-up
  5. At the Harvest Crusade, you can volunteer (June 11th) I think I’m going to sign up to be a decision follow-up worker – This is a ten-minute friend to those who make a profession of faith, praying for and encouraging them in their walk with Christ: https://harvestamerica.com/serve
  6. 6 Big Reasons Why Islam Is False | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/6-big-reasons-why-islam-is-false/
  7. Cain’s Wife—Who Was She? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/cains-wife-who-was-she/
  8. Persuasion versus Argument in Apologetics | Apologetics for the Church: https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/persuasion-versus-argument-in-apologetics/
  9. How To Combat The Apologetic Apathy In The Church – Free Thinking Ministries: http://freethinkingministries.com/how-to-combat-the-apologetic-apathy-in-the-church/
  10. Bible reading not allowed before class, professor (Northern Arizona University) tells student | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/05/01/bible-reading-not-allowed-before-class-professor-tells-student.html
  11. James Warner Wallace on asking a simple question: “Why are you a Christian?” | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/james-warner-wallace-on-asking-a-simple-question-why-are-you-a-christian/
  12. Atheists May Not Believe In God, But They Still Live in His World: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/atheists-may-not-believe-in-god-but-they-still-live-in-his-world
  13. All of Us Ought to Agree on the Fallen Nature of Humans: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/all-of-us-ought-to-agree-on-the-fallen-nature-of-humans/

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Blessings to y’all

Apologetics class 4/30/2017

Here is the video we watched in our series on young earth creation:

Dr. Jason Lisle – Astronomy Reveals Creation

 

Here are the notes for this video:

How the Secrets of the Cosmos Confirms the Bible (5 Categories)

  1. Glory of God is revealed in the heavens (Ps. 19:1-3). The s_______ and b_________ of the cosmos are consistent with the mind of God – not chance
    1. Moon
    2. Saturn
    3. The Sun and other stars
    4. Star Clusters
    5. Nebulae (Nebula)
    6. Galaxies
  2. Basics of Astronomy – whenever s__________ e___________ of the day have disagreed, the Bible has always been right
    1. The S______________ Earth
    2. Earth is s__________ in space
    3. E_____________ of the universe
    4. Conservation of e___________ and mass
    5. Uncountable Stars
  3. Age of the Universe – Many lines of evidence confirm that the universe is t________ of years old
    1. Scripture teaches a “young” universe (6 o___________ days, ~6,000 years ago)
    2. Excess internal heat of planets
    3. Earth’s m______________ field decaying (losing strength)
    4. Other planet’s magnetic fields (Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, etc.)
    5. Recession of the moon (1½“ per year)
    6. Comets are made of icy material which can last no longer than ____,_____ years
    7. Spiral G____________ Winding
    8. Blue stars expend their fuel quickly. They cannot last b___________ of years
  4. Earth’s Uniqueness – Science c______ that the earth is unique among the worlds of the cosmos
    1. The moon – a “magnificent desolation” but not designed for life.
    2. Other planets – they declare God’s glory, but they are not designed for l_________
    3. What about Extra-Terrestrial Life? Theological issues inherent in this question.
      1. The Fermi Paradox: “Where are they?”
  5. Starlight (Distant) – the Bible is right about starlight. Distant starlight is not a problem for a young universe.
    1. Light from distant galaxies is thought to take billions of years to reach earth
    2. Light year is a unit of d_________, not t_______. A light year is about 6 trillion miles.
    3. Many of the proposed solutions simply cannot work:
      1. “The distances are not real”
      2. “The speed of light was much faster in the past”
  • “The light was created ‘in transit’”. Light ‘in transit’ requires God to create f____________ images and ‘movies.  Example – Supernova 1987A.  If light-in-transit idea is true, then none of these things have ever actually existed.
  1. “Gravitational Time Dilation” – Dr. Russ Humphreys
  1. Lisle thinks the correct solution is: the o______-w______ speed of light. How do you measure this?  Very difficult to synchronize two distant clocks:
    1. Apparently, it is impossible to synchronize c__________ (exactly) without knowing the one-way speed of light
    2. And it is impossible to measure the one-way speed of light without synchronized clocks.
  • The one-way speed of light is a ‘convention’ – it’s not something we m________, it is something we c___________.
  1. Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) – using this convention, light takes no time at all to get from distant galaxies to here.

 

Apologetics Class 4-23-2017

In our Apologetics class last Sunday, we started a series on young earth creation.  During this year of classes, I’d primarily been exposing students to material that implicitly supported the ancient universe view of creation.  But now, in order to be “fair and balanced” (and because I believe they have some really good arguments), I’ve decided to show the “other side” of the argument.  Our first week started with Dr. David Menton speaking on the topic “Origin of the Species: Was Darwin Wrong?”  We watched this in 1 part, but I also found this on YouTube in 7 parts:

  1. Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UncGAsdIoS4
  2. Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXPGkz5wfyA
  3. Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd-4JLtH9uE
  4. Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=canaOhDOMuY
  5. Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qlfc-D_Xk8
  6. Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlyXcD2lmag
  7. Part 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUiru4dQc_0

Below is the note-taking form I made up for the students.  At the bottom of the post, I have provided a link to the answers.

Was Darwin Right? Dr. Terry Mortenson (Young Earth Creationist)

(He has a Ph.D. in history of geology from Coventry University)

  1. National Academy of Science – “There is no d____________ within the scientific community over whether evolution has occurred…”
  2. Evolution theory is based on assumptions, called “Ph__________ Na___________”, which says:
    1. Nature or matter is all that exists
    2. Everything can and must be explained by time plus chance plus laws of nature working on matter.
  3. “The influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly sp___________ idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age. Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.“ – Michael Denton, Evolution: a theory in crisis
  4. Creationist’s presuppositions come from the Bible (especially in Genesis – “after their kind”).
  5. God created the different kinds of plants and animals distinct. He built into their genetic information potential for v__________ w________ the k________, but not the ability to change from one kind into another.
  6. 2 Key Questions:
    1. How did the DNA In___________ for the supposed first living microscopic creature come into existence?
    2. How did the DNA Information in that “simple” creature get ch___________ and augmented to produce all the different kinds of plants and animals that we see in the fossil record and living today?
  7. 1953 – Miller / Urey experiment. Attempted to create “life” (amino acids) from n___-l_______.
  8. They had to create a “trap” to hold the organic compounds otherwise they would’ve been destroyed in the same environment in which they were created (that’s cheating).
  9. “Nobody knows how a mixture of l___________ chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell.” – Paul Davies (Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University)
  10. Does the fossil record support evolution or creation?
    1. Evolutionists created the Geological Time Scale (or Geological Column). This column does not exist anywhere in the real world, except in the text books and magazine articles.  We find m___________ fossils all throughout this column.
    2. Evolutionists claim that v__________ change has occurred. From single cell à Humans
    3. Creationists say that h_____________ variation has occurred – variation within kinds.
    4. “The extreme rarity of tr______________ forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not evidence of fossils” – Stephen J. Gould – Evolutionist-from Scientific American magazine
    5. The evolutionists can only point to a handful of very controversial examples (of transitional forms).
    6. According to Gould, 2 characteristics of the fossil record are:
      1. Ab__________ Appearance (creatures appear suddenly in the fossil record)
      2. St________ (once creatures appear in fossil record, they basically stay the same)
    7. Living fossils – organisms that we thought to have gone ex________ but are found alive
    8. Many creatures have not changed at all (comparing live specimens with fossils) in the “supposed” tens or hundreds of millions of years of evolution.
    9. Evolutionists sometimes commit misinterpretation based on in________ fossil evidence
    10. Whale evolution given as an example. U.C. Berkeley
  11. Embryonic re_______________ – that the embryo “rehearses” its evolutionary history as it develops (Ernst Haeckel – embryo pictures were a fraud, printed in some text books)
  12. Conclusions (Part 1):
    1. Evolutionists have NO idea how the first living cell came into existence by ch_________
    2. Evolutionists have NO INDISPUTABLE f_______ ev____________ that one kind of creature evolved into a different kind of creature.
  13. Does the study of living creatures support evolution (t_____ of life) or creation (f______ of life)?
    1. There is not an evolutionist on the face of the earth that would look at this (amazing sand sculpture) and say “look at what the ocean washed up on the shore last night!”
    2. Information comes from a m__________.
    3. “There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in m___________” – Werner Gitt
    4. Space shuttle, cell phones and other examples of man-made technology are s_______________ compared to a living cell.
    5. Information in DNA:
      1. DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid or D______ N__ A____________)
      2. DNA to cover a pin tip would be the information equivalent of a stack of books from the Earth to the moon ____ times
  • The amount of DNA in every cell of our bodies is the equivalent of 3 or 4 sets of the 20 volumes of the en______________ Britannica (Richard Dawkins)
  1. It’s the DNA that produces the variety (peas, horses, skin color, etc.)
  1. The Supposed Mechanisms of Evolution:
    1. Natural Selection
      1. Natural selection is a FACT – creationists believe in it
      2. Natural selection is NOT evolution
      3. Natural selection is a CO_________, not a cr________, process. Nature can only select what is already there.  It can’t create something new.
      4. Dogs – the question is “where did the first dog come from”, not how did you get the variety.
      5. This process of variation involves a l__________ of genetic information (e.g. poodle)
      6. Nature selects the long haired dogs because they have the characteristics that will allow them to live in that environment
      7. Natural selection can explain the SU__________ of the fittest but NOT the AR___________ of the fittest.
      8. Natural selection is the God-designed method of pr___________ representatives of the original created kinds
    2. Random Mutations
      1. Fruit fly experiments – bombard them with radiation and see what mutations occur. None of these is an im___________ on the original and none of these would survive in the wild – nature would select the healthy, “normal” ones and weed out these mutants.
      2. Mutations are a FACT
      3. But mutations nearly always re_________ information, they never IN____________ functional information
      4. “All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it” – Lee Spetner, Not By Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution
      5. Evolutionists will say that there are some b___________ mutations
      6. Pylori – bacteria, which is can be killed by absorbing the antibiotic which is converted to a poison. Mutant H. pylori lacks the ability to produce the enzyme.  No enzyme, no poison, no death. Survived by a L______ of information.
      7. “Whoever thinks macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up in volume.” – Lee Spetner, Not By Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution
      8. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:22)
      9. Mutations are the God-ordained c_____________ of His curse on creation because of Adam’s sin.
      10. Undirected, Random, Natural Processes + Time Complex, Functional Design (Information)
      11. Tools found in cave not result of random chance. SETI program (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), listen for organized pattern of sounds
    3. Summary:
      1. Natural selection? FACT
      2. Mutations? FACT
      3. Natural Selection + mutation=molecule-to-man evolution? NOT FACT
      4. Information does not come from matter.
      5. No indisputable transitional fossils
      6. Nature produces no new information
      7. The issue is not micro-evolution vs. macro-evolution
      8. The issue is not the s______ of change, it is the d_____________ of change
      9. The issue is the origin and addition of genetic information
      10. “A man who has no assured and ever-present belief in the existence of a personal God, or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those i__________ and i_________ which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” – Charles Darwin (Judges 17:6b)
      11. If ape is in your past, morality is r____________, man sets the rules
      12. Romans 1:18-20 (we are without excuse because of creation)

 

Link to answers

mid-week apologetics booster (4-27-2017)

Good morning,

I hope you’re having a great week!  Here are the things I’ve run into this week:

  1. KNOW WHY YOU BELIEVE: Connecting Faith and Reason, by Paul E. Little.  This is the free audio book of the month from Christian Audio (normally $14.98).  Great book!  I’m already starting to listen the 2nd time through.  I really think that this could also be given to any of your unbelieving friends, neighbors or family who have questions about the Christian faith.  It seems to be written not so much to the Christian, but rather to the seeker who has honest questions.  Here is the description from the site: How can you know that there is a God? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Why is there pain and suffering in the world? Do science and the Bible conflict? If you have found yourself asking similar questions about Christianity, you need to know….the Christian faith and reason are compatible.  Sunday is the last day to get this for free (it is a set of downloadable MP3s), don’t miss this: http://christianaudio.com/free
  2. Answering the Galileo Myth: http://subspla.sh/rulahty
  3. Case-Making 101: Why Do Christians Need To Understand and Practice Apologetics? – Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-why-do-christians-need-to-understand-and-practice-apologetics/
  4. Florida High School Students Forced to Remove Cross Jewelry and Participate in LGBT Activities | The Stream: https://stream.org/florida-high-school-students-forced-to-remove-cross-jewelry-and-participate-in-lgbt-activities/
  5. Earth Day—A Christian Perspective | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/earth-day-a-christian-perspective/
  6. 8 False Assumptions about Christianity – Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/8-false-assumptions-about-christianity/
  7. Watch “Summary of the Deity of Christ in Mark by James White” on YouTube – this is a whirlwind tour of the evidence from the Gospel of Mark for the deity of Jesus: https://youtu.be/StX81To97dY
  8. Stunning Protein Fossils Confirm the Flood | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/9940
  9. Jehovah’s Witnesses:
    1. Being Tactical with Jehovah’s Witnesses: http://subspla.sh/nvyk8a2
    2. I think this article is the exact text of what the speaker is saying in the above podcast: http://www.str.org/articles/being-tactical-with-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses#.WP0G09LyuUk
    3. Here is an article on how to handle the knock at your door where the Stand to Reason speaker Tim Barnett is talking how to tactically deal with JW’s.  One of the things he explains is how to use their “translation” to make the case to them: http://www.str.org/publications/solid-ground-july-2016-ready-for-the-knock-on-your-door#.WP0HD9LyuUk
  10. Pdf from Gary Habermas – Essential Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus: https://www.summit.org/resources/fact-sheet/essential-evidence-resurrection-jesus/
  11. What Do I Have to Do Before I Can Call Myself a Christian “Apologist”? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/what-do-i-have-to-do-before-i-can-call-myself-a-christian-apologist/
  12. Communism – Conservapedia: http://www.conservapedia.com/Communism
  13. God’s Fingerprints are Everywhere – Marvin Olasky: https://m.townhall.com/columnists/marvinolasky/2017/04/25/gods-fingerprints-are-everywhere-n2317394
  14. Is It “UnChristian” to Execute 8 Murderers? https://www.raptureforums.com/politics-culture-wars/unchristian-execute-8-murderers/
  15. If Bill O’Reilly Followed Mike Pence’s Rules, He Might Still Be On TV: http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/24/bill-oreilly-followed-mike-pences-rules-women-might-still-tv/
  16. An Often-Missed Example of Media Bias: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/an-often-missed-example-of-media-bias
  17. Thought Snack: The Root Fallacy – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/thought-snack-the-root-fallacy/

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners –of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16

Blessings to you all!

AWANA Hike Night – Significance of Mountains in the Gospels

This past Wednesday was “hike night” at AWANA.  We do this once a year, normally in the spring.  Our Church is blessed to have a 14 acre property with 2 small mountains (really foothills) behind it.  The views from up there are really spectacular.  Here is the mountain we hiked up:


Here is the same foothill from the street-view:

From there, we could see all the mountains in our city (Ahwatukee):

After we got to the top of the mountain and looked around, we gathered all the 3rd to 6th grade clubbers around to pray.  I told them how Jesus hiked.  At least He must’ve since the Bible talks frequently about Him going up mountains to pray by Himself, to teach or to heal the multitudes, or to teach His disciples and to be transfigured before them.  He appointed His 12 disciples on a mountain (Mark 13:13-15).  He was even arrested at the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:47-57).  In fact the Mount of Olives is very significant in the whole Bible (it is found by name 14 times – most in the Gospels).  The first reference to it by name is in 2 Samuel 15:30, when David was fleeing from Absalom and the Bible says that the Messiah (Jesus) will return to this world again at the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).  At the end of Jesus’ life, He left this world after giving His disciples the great commission from a mountain (Matthew 28:16-20)   Here are the verses in the Gospels where Jesus is described as being on mountains:

Matthew 5:1-2
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone

Matthew 15:29-30
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

Matthew 17:1-2
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 24:3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 26:30
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said

Mark 3:13-15
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve–designating them apostles –that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Mark 6:46
After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Luke 6:12
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Luke 21:37
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives

Luke 22:39
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him

John 6:3-5
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?

John 6:15
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

John 8:1-2
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them

So many significant events happened on mountains in the Bible.  Moses received the 10 commandments on a mountain.  God showed him the Promised Land from a mountain.  Elijah had his show-down with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.

We are blessed to live in a village that has mountains we can climb. I’ve even talked our men’s Bible study into having our study next Thursday at the top of the same mountain where the AWANA club hiked to!  We’re going to bring fold-up chairs and when it becomes dark, we will use our smart phone flash lights to read. During our study, I plan to start by reviewing these passages about mountains in the Bible.  It ought to be a great time of communion and fellowship with each other and with our Lord!

mid-week apologetics booster (4-20-2017)

Good morning all,

I hope you’re having a wonderful week following our resurrected Savior, Jesus the Christ.  If you are following Him, your wonderful week is likely full of:

  1. Denying yourself
  2. Taking up your cross daily
  3. Following Him
  4. Losing your life for Him
  5. Not gaining the world
  6. Not being ashamed of Him or His words

Jesus made that clear when He said:

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  Luke 9:23-26

Like Paul I hope we can all say, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”  Philippians 3:8-9  That’s the true joy, knowing Him.

And like anyone else we know and love, we will defend our belief in them in the face of attack, but with gentleness and respect – that’s Apologetics – Paul practiced it, Peter practiced it and Jesus practiced it.  Let us do likewise:

  1. Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/april/how-should-we-respond-to-hank-hanegraaffs-switch-to-orthodo.html
  2. 10 Worst Nations To Live In As A Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/10-worst-nations-to-live-in-as-a-christian/
  3. Notecard Answers for Why I Believe the Bible | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/erikraymond/2015/10/15/notecard-answers-to-why-i-believe-the-bible/
  4. World-Famous Physicist Drops Bombshell “God” Discovery… Atheists Will NOT Like This: http://conservativetribune.com/physicist-bombshell-god-like/
  5. Funsized Tactics: Chapter 9 – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/funsized-tactics-chapter-nine/
  6. Why I Put My Son Back in Public School: http://thinkdivinely.com/why-i-put-my-son-back-in-public-school/
  7. It’s Time for Youth Pastors to CH.A.T. With Their Students: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/its-time-for-youth-pastors-to-ch-a-t-with-their-students/
  8. Gender-neutral Chromium code – I’m a software developer and during the course of technical reading I do for work, I ran into this.  I include this just to emphasize how this insanity is permeating every part of society now: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/master/styleguide/gender_neutral_code.md
  9. Four Ways the Earth Is Fine-Tuned for Life | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/four-ways-the-earth-is-fine-tuned-for-life/
  10. Three Important Questions to Balance in the Wake of Gun Violence: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-important-questions-to-balance-in-the-wake-of-newtown/

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Blessings to you all

AWANA Game on Miracles 4/12/2017

Last Wednesday at AWANA, we’d planned to show a short video on evidence for the resurrection:

However, minutes before showing the video, we were concerned that, as a mixed group from 3rd to 6th grade, there may actually be some clubbers who still believed in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, so, since this was a central theme in the video (Jesus is not a fairy tale like Santa), we had to decide to not show the video.  I was very disappointed, because it was a great video with a great message at the right time.

So, we had to improvise.  Fortunately, I had a presentation stored on the computer in our room that I’d given several years ago and could reuse.  It was a game on guessing the miracle by looking at a painting / artist’s rendering of the miracle.  It was a fun time for the clubbers and the rewards for the points were given in candy 🙂  In case you would like to do the same thing with your children, here is the PowerPoint.  Here they are:

 

Apologetics class – Easter 4/16/2017 – Case for Christ

Yesterday in the Apologetics class at my church, I showed “The Case for Christ” – not the current movie that is out in theaters, but rather the documentary.  It is an hour and 11 minutes long, but very good.  We watched from DVD, but I also see this on youtube:

Here are the notes from the movie (with fill-in blanks):

The Case for Christ (documentary) – 1 hour 11 minutes

  1. Lee Strobel thought that, if Jesus existed, he was probably a nice guy and good teacher, but he certainly wasn’t the Messiah and he certainly wasn’t the Son of God.
  2. When Leslie started to go to church, Lee thought nothing good that would come out of it.
  3. Lee saw sermon on ‘Basic Christianity’ and realized that if this is true, this had h__________ implications for his life.
  4. He thought it was going to be so easy to expose the fallacious thinking behind Christianity.
  5. Lee didn’t accept the New Testament as the inspired word of God, but he had to accept it as a set of h__________ d____________, which it undoubtedly is.
  6. The expert witnesses interviewed by Lee
    1. JP Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
    2. Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary
    3. Craig Blomberg, Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
    4. Craig Evans, Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College
    5. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, United Kingdom
  7. What you find in the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John comes up in 3 dimensions and says, “My goodness, this actually belongs, it makes sense, it fits” – N.T. Wright
  8. These (the Gospels) are biographies. They are very clearly attempts by eyewitnesses to describe exactly what Jesus said and did.  – J.P. Moreland
  9. Luke’s prologue is one of the finest Greek sections in the whole New Testament … this is the work of a historian, someone who has done his research – Mark Strauss
  10. We have, actually, very early attestation of the authorship of the gospels – Mark Strauss
  11. Papias (a disciple of the apostle John) identifies Mark’s gospel as essentially the e______________ account of Peter – Mark Strauss
  12. Scholars generally agree that the gospel of Mark was written first, between 60-75 AD. Matthew (60-85 AD) & Luke (60-85 AD) were written shortly after, followed by John (65-95 AD).
  13. The New Testament Gospels are, by far, our earliest and most r______________ records of Jesus of Nazareth – Mark Strauss
  14. Eyewitnesses are still around. If they (the gospel writers) were passing around untruths we expect eyewitnesses to say “Wait a minute, this isn’t what happened” – Mark Strauss
  15. All of the gospel writers were eyewitnesses or they interviewed eyewitnesses – Mark Strauss
  16. In the first century, the primary way that information was preserved and passed on was through o_________ t_______________, which had been memorized. – Craig Blomberg
  17. The first century apostles, who passed on information about Jesus, were deeply concerned to get this information correct, because they saw it has sacred, holy tradition. – J.P. Moreland
  18. Oral tradition is a community event and is self-correcting – Mark Strauss
  19. Most of these ‘apparent contradictions’ between the gospel accounts are quite e__________ r______________ – Mark Strauss
  20. Had every single account given us exactly the same detail, we might’ve accused them of some form of collusion. – Craig Blomberg
  21. Its natural when you have multiple eyewitnesses to the same event, you’re going to get d________________ p____________. And that’s ok, you want that!  What you’re looking for is a “core” to the testimony that’s the same – that’s consistent. – Lee Strobel
  22. We have better m____________ a________________ for the New Testament than any other ancient document. – Mark Strauss
  23. Much of the New Testament is preserved in the quotations of the early church fathers, so that if we had no copies of it, we could r_____________ it from these quotations. -J.P. Moreland
  24. Non biblical Jewish historian Josephus, in AD 93, published ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ – talked about Jesus
  25. The G_________ G__________ – a collection of religious writings from the 2nd and 3rd centuries:
    1. Gospel of Thomas
    2. Gospel of Truth
    3. Gospel of the Egyptians
    4. Gospel of Peter
    5. Gospel of Philip
    6. Gospel of the Twelve Apostles
    7. Gospel of Mary Magdalene
    8. Gospel of Matthias
    9. Gospel of Eve
    10. Gospel of Judas
    11. Secret Gospel of Mark
    12. The Dialogue of the Savior
    13. Secret Book of James
    14. Gospel of Nicodemus
    15. Gospel of the Lord
    16. Pistis Sophia
    17. Acts of Thomas
    18. Acts of John
    19. First Apocalypse of James
  26. These documents are almost universally recognized to be much later than the gospels of the New Testament and to not record historically reliable material related to Jesus – Mark Strauss
  27. There’s a view among some that there were all these c___________ views of Jesus Christ and the one that “won out” became the o_____________ perspective of Christ reflected in the Gospels. All the evidence runs contrary to that.  Jesus was a 1st century Jewish teacher, who revealed and demonstrated himself to be the Messiah. – Mark Strauss
  28. What I’ve come to discover is that, the Gospels in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are our b______ s___________ for Jesus, and I’ve also found that they are reliable and that from these sources we can form a picture that I believe is very accurate – that tells us about Jesus – what He taught, how He was perceived by His contemporaries and what His life was really all about. – Craig Evans
  29. Jesus didn’t come to help me discover who I really am. He came to tell me who He knew I really was and to do something about it, and that’s much better news.  –N.T. Wright
  30. More scholars interviewed to determine ‘Who Was Jesus’:
    1. Michael Rydelnik, Professor of Jewish Studies, Moody Bible Institute
    2. Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Asbury Seminary
  31. People say that no one teaches like Him – he teaches with His own authority. – Michael Rydelnik
  32. He would clarify, even overrule in some ways the Old Testament law – Mark Strauss.
  33. Jesus (Yeshua) went into the s_______________ and read Isaiah 61:1 and claimed that it was r_______________ to Him.
  34. Jesus clearly presents himself as the self-revelation of God – Mark Strauss
  35. Over 80 times in the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as the S_____ of M______ – this refers to Daniel 7:13-14
  36. Jesus’ contemporaries – people who l_____ Him, people who were in__________ (neutral) and people who o_________ Him all acknowledged He did extraordinary things – Craig Evans
  37. The New Testament Gospels record at least 40 separate miracles performed by Jesus.
  38. One of the most astonishing things that Jesus did was when He claimed to forgive sins in Mark 2…Only God forgives sin. – Mark Strauss
  39. A guy typed out Isaiah 53 without any indication where it was from. He showed it to everyone in his office and asked them who it was describing and where it was from. All said Jesus, NT.
  40. In the Old Testament, you have 2 kinds of prophecies. You have those that are fulfilled u_________ in Christ and prophecies that are fulfilled ‘t____________’ in Christ. – Mark Strauss
  41. Some skeptics have said that Jesus could’ve engineered the fulfillment of these prophecies. But many of these couldn’t have been engineered. – Mark Strauss
  42. The odds of any human being f_____________ 48 of these ancient prophecies would be one chance in a trillion (13 times). – Lee Strobel
  43. Jesus recognizes Himself clearly as the c__________ of God’s plan of salvation – Mark Strauss
  44. There were so many reasons why I didn’t want there to be a God, because I didn’t want to be held a________________ for my life – Lee Strobel
  45. Lee got so mad over Leslie being part of this Christian sub-culture he didn’t fit into, that he kicked a hole in their wall.
  46. Expert witnesses for the resurrection of Jesus:
    1. William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
    2. Gary Habermas, Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy, Liberty University
    3. Michael Licona, Director of Apologetics, North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention
  47. The resurrection of Jesus really is the pivotal event of history. Anybody can c_________ to be the Son of God, as Jesus clearly did.  The question is, ‘Can ya back it up?’ – Lee Strobel
  48. Chances of surviving crucifixion were extremely b____________ – Michael Licona
  49. Jesus was being tried and executed as a rebel leader, now in the Roman army, if you were responsible for looking after one p__________ of w_____, even if he was a rather insignificant prisoner of war, if you let him get away, your life would be forfeited in place of his – and life was very cheap. If you were looking after the execution of a rebel leader and you let him get away, you’re in deep trouble … the Romans were very, very good at killing people. N.T. Wright
  50. The presence of Joseph of Arimathea in the empty tomb narrative (in all 4 gospels), indicates that this is a h________ r___________ account of what really happened. – J.P. Moreland
  51. It is highly unusual to find that the person who, alone, has the courage to go Pilate and give Jesus an honorable burial is not: 1) members of His family, 2) faithful disciples who followed Him to the end. Instead it is a member of J__________ S_________, the very high court, all of whom Mark says, had condemned Jesus of Nazareth to the cross.  The fact that it is Joseph of Arimathea who is the person responsible for giving Jesus an honorable burial is an awkward and e_____________ fact for the early church, and yet this tradition is faithfully preserved in almost all of the traditions that we have about the burial of Jesus – William Lane Craig
  52. The empty tomb story features women, which is an embarrassment in 1st century Palestine where women were considered 2nd class citizens. – William Lane Craig
  53. If you were going to invent an account about an empty tomb, then why on earth would you invent p__________ w____________ whom no one would believe? – Michael Licona
  54. Justin Martyr and Turtullian both verify the charge by the Jewish Leaders that the disciples stole His body. If the body is still in the tomb, why are you saying that the disciples had stolen it? Michael Licona
  55. These people (who saw Jesus), Paul tells us, were still alive. The implication is, we have hundreds of people who actually saw Jesus risen from the dead.  If you don’t believe me, you can ask them about it, because they’re still alive.  – J.P. Moreland
  56. The accounts of the r____________ were creedal traditions that were passed onto Paul. So, if 1 Corinthians was written in the early to mid-50’s, these traditions were much earlier than that, going back to the period of Paul’s c______________. – Mark Strauss
  57. Critics say that Paul got this material (1 Cor. 15) in Jerusalem, in about 35 AD – Gary Habermas
  58. The full impact of the event (resurrection) is perhaps best measured by the subsequent growth of the early Christian church in the face of intense persecution.
  59. Without belief in Jesus’ resurrection, the e___________ C_____________ m__________ could never have come into being. – William Lane Craig
  60. When they met the risen Lord, their skepticism was transformed into a very confident faith, a great joy, and a determination to preach the good news to everyone else. – Craig Evans
  61. Somehow you have to explain the e______________ from scared followers, who run away, to “let’s worship Him, let’s sing to Him, let’s pray to Him”. – Gary Habermas
  62. If there was no resurrection, and more to the point, if there were no resurrection appearances of Jesus to those who doubted, denied and betrayed Jesus, we would not be sitting here talking about this today. – Ben Witherington III
  63. The t__________________ of the disciples, from a bunch of cowards to boldly and fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel, even to the point of d_____________, confirms that something happened on that first Easter morning. – Mark Strauss
  64. After Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples lived lives of hardship for 20, 30 or 40 years, suffered greatly in their ministries and eventually suffered martyrdom and execution, without r______________, for their belief that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. –J.P. Moreland
  65. You also have to remember that the disciples died, not just for something that they believed was true – they died for something they actually saw with their own eyes. – J.P. Moreland
  66. In light of this av_______________ of evidence pointing toward the truth of Christianity, it would require more faith for me to maintain my a____________ then to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Lee Strobel
  67. Jesus is the truth – everything hinges on His i___________ – in fact, everything hinges on the r____________. If Jesus really did return from the dead, then He is who he claimed to be and that changes everything!  -Lee Strobel.

In case you want to see the answers you can download the PDF here.

mid-week apologetics booster (4-13-2017)

Good morning beloved of God,

I hope you have a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, contemplating the marvelous sacrifice and vindicating resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Your Kids Need to Think Critically About the Resurrection, because Secular Media Does Not: http://christianmomthoughts.com/your-kids-need-to-think-critically-about-the-resurrection-because-secular-media-does-not/
  2. How to T.R.A.I.N. Christian Students (Rather than Teach Them) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-to-t-r-a-i-n-christian-students-rather-than-teach-them/
  3. Does the Bible Have Contradictions? Quick Response. – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/does-the-bible-have-contradictions-quick-response
  4. Why Some Arminians and Calvinists Need to Calm Down – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/why-some-arminians-and-calvinists-need-to-calm-down/
  5. Why Should I Believe that Jesus Rose from the Dead? – Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/why-should-i-believe-that-jesus-rose-from-the-dead/
  6. How to Defeat Modern Day Atheism With Three Easy Questions | Shadow To Light: https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/how-to-defeat-modern-day-atheism-with-three-easy-questions/
  7. Five atheists who lost faith in atheism | Christian News on Christian Today: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/five.atheists.who.lost.faith.in.atheism/61784.htm
  8. 7 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Saw The Case for Christ – Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2017/04/7-reasons-youll-glad-saw-case-christ/
  9. A Brief Overview of the Jehovah’s Witness Worldview | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/a-brief-overview-of-the-jehovahs-witness-worldview/
  10. God’s Word vs. Roman Catholic Tradition | HOME: http://www.reformingamericaministries.com/single-post/2017/04/03/God%25E2%2580%2599s-Word-vs-Roman-Catholic-Tradition
  11. 5 Signs You Glorify Self: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-signs-you-glorify-self
  12. How To Avoid Being A Hack As A Christian Apologist: http://thereforegodexists.com/avoid-hack-christian-apologist/
  13. GREG KOUKL EXPLAINS THE RIGHT WAY TO HANDLE AN ANGRY, AGGRESSIVE ATHEIST: https://winteryknight.com/2015/09/18/greg-koukl-expains-the-right-way-to-handle-an-angry-aggressive-atheist-2/
  14. Apologetics and Your Kids: Part 2 – Authenticity & Worldview: http://sharperiron.org/article/apologetics-and-your-kids-part-2-authenticity-worldview
  15. How to Raise Your Kids So They Will Remain in the Faith | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/how-to-raise-your-kids-so-they-will-remain-in-the-faith/
  16. “Debunking Christianity” Writer Becomes Christian Because Of Evidence | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/debunking-christianity-writer-becomes-christian-evidence/
  17. Critical Tactic: Surfacing the Question Beneath the Question – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/critical-tactic-surfacing-the-question-beneath-the-question
  18. What the Fallen Governor of Alabama Can Teach Us – No amount of privilege or power can shield us from temptation: https://stream.org/fallen-governor-alabama-can-teach-us/

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ “ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ “ The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13

Have a blessed week!

Apologetics Class and the bias of the publicly funded media

We’ve recently, in my Apologetics class at church, been placing a big emphasis on the historicity of Jesus, the resurrection and biblical reliability.  The reason for that becomes apparent when you take a look at the type of content the public is being served up on our (partially) publicly funded television PBS:

Last Days of Jesushttp://www.pbs.org/video/2365987523/

This was playing on Arizona PBS yesterday afternoon.  From what I could see, there was not a single known conservative scholar on the show (e.g. Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Michael Licona, Dr. Ben Witherington III, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Dr. N.T. Wright, Dr. Craig A. Evans etc), but rather a whole load of liberal scholars (Dr. James Tabor – co-author with Dr. Bart Ehrman, Simcha Jacobovici who was co-author of the Lost Gospel, and others).  Of course, they were coming up with all sorts of speculative theories about Jesus’ last week – namely that it was not a last week, but more of a 6 month period and that it couldn’t possibly have been at Passover time because it would’ve been so difficult to harvest the palm branches for Palm Sunday triumphal entry.

They also mention that all the disciples and their wives were with Jesus, although the New Testament says that the disciples left their wives. It also says that the Last Supper Jesus told them to drink this cup and eat this bread to remember me, which is accurate, but they left out the part about the cup being the New Covenant in His blood. They also seem to indicate that Jesus had influence at the highest levels of government because of the wife of Chusa, and that that is the reason why when He overturned the money changers in the temple, the authorities did nothing about it, however the New Testament records Jesus as saying that His kingdom is not of this world and that He was so poor that He had no place to lay His head.

The show ended with no talk of the resurrection.  There were all sorts of weird theories about Jesus’ motivations.  To be honest, I was not surprised.  I’m always on alert whenever watching any public / secular television programming about Jesus or Christianity in general.

We pay public funds for PBS.  Since that’s the case, shouldn’t they be providing equal time to material presented by conservative scholars who hold the traditional (supported by evidence rather than speculation) view?  Well, that’s why it’s important for me to provide content for believers in the apologetics class, where they’ll hear the other side of the story.  Recently we’ve reviewed the following material:

(yesterday) Sean McDowell, on the Mystery Religions and dying and rising gods in the ancient near east:

http://www.coolgadgetssoftware.com/SeanMcDowellMysteryReligions.mp4

Lecture – Dr Peter Williams – Things Which Ought To Be Better Known About The Resurrection Of Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBVBUeHXZ4

Dr. Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocbtjLgUnQY

Tim Barnett – is the Bible Full of Contradictions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQgR3BrBhss

Remember, your neighbors and family who are curious about Jesus at this time of year are possibly watching these PBS, History Channel and NatGeo shows to get their information about Jesus from “reputable” scholars.  As always, the words of the Apostle Peter are applicable:

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15)

That is what we’re doing each week in the Apologetics class, getting ourselves ready.  Best not to “wing it” on this…

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (4-6-2017)

Hello Friends,

Last night I had the awesome opportunity to speak into the lives of 3rd to 6th grade AWANA clubbers by teaching them the word of God, which I’ve been doing once a month this year.  The Bible says “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17b). Earlier in the same passage, Paul says “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13-14).  Also, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

I was overjoyed to be that “foolish preacher” last night.  The topic was Romans 1:16 – “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”.  I’d planned the message for 5th and 6th graders, but we decided on the spot to bring the whole club into the same room and deliver the message to all of them.  The Gospel was preached.  If you would like to see the contents of the message (slides, speaking notes and a self-examination questionnaire), you can take a look at that on my blog.

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 12 Reasons Millennials are OVER Church. I’ve included this link, not for apologetics value, but for the perspective of a millennial on why millennials are largely absent from the church.  In my opinion, I think he gets some things right and some things wrong.  If I get time, I would like to write a blog giving my comments on these 12 Reasons.  Make sure and read the comments at the bottom of the article too: http://www.recklesslyalive.com/12-reasons-millennials-are-over-church/
  2. Faith and Lifestyle of Born Again Christians Evaluated in Extensive National Survey | American Culture and Faith Institute.  One interesting stat from this article was “only 30% of born again adults have a biblical worldview”: https://www.culturefaith.com/faith-and-lifestyle-of-born-again-christians-evaluated-in-extensive-national-survey/
  3. Biblical Creation Confirmed [Podcast] | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/biblical-creation-confirmed-podcast
  4. Watch “Creation in the 21st Century Creation and Mathematics” on YouTube – this is really interesting.  It talks about how our current human population only makes sense in light of a young earth view: https://youtu.be/1oFAooUFbdY
  5. Is How We Live More Important Than What We Believe? (Christian Mom Thoughts) – http://christianmomthoughts.com/is-how-we-live-more-important-than-what-we-believe-bad-secular-wisdom-series-1/
  6. How does God relate to time? http://creation.com/god-and-time
  7. Quest for Truth: Lee Strobel on The Case for Christ Movie | CBN.com – this movie opens this week: http://www1.cbn.com/movies/quest-truth-lee-strobel-case-christ-movie
  8. Dinosaurs ate birds – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/dinos-ate-birds
  9. The way it really is: little-known facts about radiometric dating – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/the-way-it-really-is-little-known-facts-about-radiometric-dating
  10. Fallacy of Composition | SES: http://ses.edu/fallacy-of-composition
  11. Christian Student Reprimanded for Disagreeing with Muslim Professor about the Resurrection – Christian News Headlines: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/christian-student-is-reprimanded-for-disagreeing-with-muslim-professor-about-the-resurrection.html
  12. College drops charges against Christian student who challenged Muslim prof’s claims about Jesus – The College Fix: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31930/
  13. Did Jesus Ever Do Apologetics? – Hope’s Reason: https://www.stephenjbedard.com/2016/10/21/jesus-ever-apologetics/
  14. Two Things to Remember When Discussing Creation with Other Christians | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/two-things-to-remember-when-discussion-creation-with-other-christians#.WOA9as-p7qD
  15. A Look at Jewish Messianism: A Crucified Messiah: What An Embarrassment! – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/a-look-at-jewish-messianism-a-crucified-messiah-what-an-embarrassment-3/
  16. Microevolution versus Macroevolution: Two Mistakes | Evolution News: https://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/07/microevolution/
  17. The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem – AlbertMohler.com: http://www.albertmohler.com/2016/01/20/the-scandal-of-biblical-illiteracy-its-our-problem-4/
  18. Christian parents, your kids aren’t equipped to be public school missionaries – Matt Walsh: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/matt-walsh-christian-parents-your-kids-arent-equipped-to-be-public-school-missionaries/
  19. A Very Brief Review of Arguments for the Existence of the Soul: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/a-very-brief-review-of-arguments-for-the-existence-of-the-soul-bible-insert/
  20. The Best Question to Ask When Starting a Conversation About God: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-best-question-to-ask-when-starting-a-conversation-about-god/
  21. Top 5 Reasons Most College Students Give Up their Christian Faith – Summit Ministries (at the end, this was an advertisement, but I thought it was a good article): https://www.summit.org/resources/articles/top-5-reasons-college-students-give-christian-faith/
  22. Study: Only 4 Percent of Millennials Hold a “Biblical Worldview” | The Stream: https://stream.org/study-4-percent-millennials-hold-biblical-worldview/

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.  Matthew 20:29-34

Blessings to you all!

AWANA Teaching on Romans 1:16 (4/5/2017)

Today, Lord willing, I will be teaching the AWANA 5th and 6th grade clubbers on one of their memory verses, Romans 1:16.  Below are the slides and the speaking notes (above each slide), as well as a self examination survey (Are You Ashamed of the Gospel):


Can anyone quote this verse from memory?

Someone please read it.  This is a rich verse!  There’s so much in it. Just look at all these important words in this verse!  We’re going to go through this phrase by phrase to make sure you understand it.

What does it mean to be ashamed? (wait for answers)  Ashamed means that you’re embarrassed about something or someone and you don’t want to be associated with them.

Our verse tells us that Paul is not ashamed of “The Gospel” this word appears 91 times in the New Testament, so it’s a pretty important word.  What does the word Gospel mean? (wait for answers)

The word Gospel literally means “Good News”.  Let’s read this definition together: “the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus died and rose again and offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life if we will repent and trust Him as Savior and Lord.”  That is what Paul is not ashamed of.

The Gospel is only made possible because of what happened on Good Friday and Easter.  It is only made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If there was only Christmas (Jesus coming into the world), there would be no Gospel – no good news.  If He only came into the world, but didn’t die for our sins and rise again, we would not even know about Jesus today – and our salvation would be impossible!

This verse says the Gospel is “the power of God”. The word translated “power,” is the Greek word dunamis. That is the word from which we get “dynamite.”

What is the Gospel powerful for?  The next phrase talks about “salvation”.  For the salvation of everyone who believes.

Salvation, means to rescue, to de­liver, to set free.  Talk about picture of guy drowning…

Like the guy drowning in the water, we also need to be saved from something:

1.From the Penalty of Sin – Hell / the Wrath of God – Romans 5:9 says we are “saved from God’s wrath” through Jesus’ blood shed for us.

2.From the Power of Sin – We are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:14 says “for sin shall not be your master”

3.From the Presence of Sin (one day) – when we get to Heaven – Revelation 21:27 says “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful

(may want to ask if they know what sin is – talk about sins of commission [doing or thinking wrong things] and sins of omission [not doing what you know you ought to do – James 4:17])

Then it says “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”. Most of the first believers in Christ were Jews.  But the Gospel was intended for everyone. Jesus said that He was sent to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). Paul initially tried to share the Gospel with the Jews, but they opposed him, so he went on to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). You and I are (most likely) Gentiles.

Now that we’ve gone through the verse one phrase at a time, do you have any questions? (wait for questions)

Now, before we continue, I want to make sure you know that none of what we’re talking about here applies to you if you’re not saved.  So, I have to stop here and ask you point blank – are you saved?  Only you know the answer to that question.  I would suspect that for many of you the answer is a definite yes.  The Bible says “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Now back to our verse Romans 1:16 – I’d like to focus in on the part of the verse where it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”.  This is very important for us as Christians.  God specifically says in His word that He does not want us to be ashamed.

In fact Jesus specifically warned us not to be ashamed of Him and His words. In Luke 9:26, He says “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  Matthew 10:32-33

The Apostle Paul also tells us in other places not to be ashamed, for example in 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul says “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

The Apostle Peter tells us, “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name

Then of course, there’s the AWANA verse: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

So, the Bible is really clear – God does not want us to be ashamed of the Gospel – He wants us to be proud of it and to share it whenever the opportunity comes.

Now we’re going to take a little self-assessment survey.  You don’t have to turn this in and I won’t ask you your answers. It’s to get you to think about whether you’re ashamed of the Gospel.

(here is the survey that I handed out to the clubbers to have them work on it – if they have enough time, in class)

Self-examination Test: Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Question Your Answer
Do your friends and those at school know you’re a Christian?
Have you ever talked with someone about your faith?
Have you ever invited someone to church or AWANA?
In a group, if others were making fun of Christianity, would you speak up?
Are you worried about offending people?
Are you worried about pleasing people or pleasing God?
Do you care more about what people think of you than what God thinks of you?
Are you afraid that you won’t be able to answer people’s objections or questions about your faith?
Have you ever had to go against the crowd when they were all doing something wrong?  If so, when they asked you why did you mention your faith?

Finally, this is my last night of the AWANA year for teaching the 5th and 6th graders.  It has been such a pleasure teaching all of you, that I want to give you some small gifts as a token of my appreciation.

(end of presentation)


I pray that this teaching would draw any non-Christians in the group to repent and place their faith in Christ, and that it would embolden any Christians in the group to not be ashamed and to share their faith with those in their circle of influence.  Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and one of the things He has commanded us (that we have to teach to the disciples we’re making), is the command to go and make disciples.  So, I’m trying to teach the believers to go and make more believers – it’s a self-replicating process – that’s how God designed it!

Apologetics Class (4/2/2017)

As Easter is approaching, in the apologetics class that I teach / facilitate at my church, I’ve started a series on the resurrection.  Yesterday we watched an excellent video.  The speaker was Peter J. Williams. He was a fast (and engaging) speaker and dumped a lot of information on us.  The video can be watched here:

Lecture – Dr Peter Williams – Things Which Ought To Be Better Known About The Resurrection Of Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBVBUeHXZ4

Here is the note-taking form and the discussion questions we used:

Non-Christian Accounts of how Christianity Began

(Dr. Peter J. Williams)

Cornelius Tacitus

  1. Cornelius Tacitus from R_______ who was a R_______ H________ who lived 56 A.D – 120 A.D.
  2. Tacitus was writing about the f_________ in Rome (set by emperor Nero) about 64 A.D.
  3. How many times does the word Christian appear in the New Testament?
  4. Christians were being called Christians by outsiders as a term of derision.
  5. Tiberius was emperor from the year _______ to the year _________.
  6. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from the year ______ to ________.
  7. Tacitus talks about v________ n__________ of Christians being arrested.
  8. Knowing how f_____ and how f_________ Christianity has spread is some of the background knowledge that we need to use when we come to judge whether it would’ve been possible for the story of the resurrection to have been made up later.

Pliny the Younger

  1. Governor of Bithynia, which is Northwest T___________.
  2. He wrote this letter to the R___________ E____________ in 1___ ___ A.D.
  3. His argument is this: don’t kill everyone who’s been called a C____________, only kill those who persist stubbornly to call themselves C__________ once you thr________ t_______.
  4. Here are the 3 tests you apply to check that people aren’t Christians:
    1. They have to w____________ other gods.
    2. They need to make s____________ to these other gods.
    3. They need to c__________ C____________, which it is said that no true Christian can ever be compelled to do.
  5. This is a later stage than Tacitus (~68 A.D. vs. ~112 A.D.). Not only are Christians willing to call themselves Christians, but non-Christians are also identifying themselves as Christians!
  6. Christians only worship o_______ G________.
  7. Pliny the Younger describes a first c___________ (approx.. 92 A.D.) Christian meeting, according to people who have renounced the Christian faith.

Josephus

  1. Josephus was a J_______ historian writing about what happened (~62 A.D.) in his home town when he was about 25 years old.
  2. Josephus mentions both J__________ and J____________.
  3. Josephus agrees with the New Testament that Jesus has a brother called J________ (Mark 6:3)
  4. Josephus reports that James was s_________ for belief in his half-brother J_________.
  5. Josephus reports that Jesus was called C_________.

 

Tacitus and Pliny tell us that people a long way away (in Rome and Bithynia) who are d____ for their b_____ and Josephus tells us that we also have people close to the events that are d___ for their b____.

Christian Accounts

Bias does not mean that something should not be c____________.

1 Corinthians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

Galatians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

The resurrection wasn’t a p______________ Christian belief, it was something that was really c______ and was there u_________.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to be able to speak about non-Christian accounts?
  2. Why does Peter J. Williams make a big deal about Tacitus saying that vast numbers of Christians were arrested?
  3. In Tacitus, believers were called Christians by outsiders (as a derogatory term), but in Pliny, believers called themselves Christians.  Why is this significant?
  4. Why is it significant that Christians were singing to Christ as a god in 112 A.D.?
  5. In what ways do both Tacitus, Pliny and Josephus agree with the New Testament?

 

Why is Christianity true over and above all other religions?

If someone asked you why you think Christianity is true as opposed to all the other religions, what would you have to say?  Could you defend your belief?  Why couldn’t Judaism, Islam, Mormonism and other religions be true?  How do you know Christianity is true and the others are not?

I’ve given some thought to this question recently…  For me, it all starts with Jesus.  According to the apostle Paul, writing in 55 AD (~25 years after the resurrection) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, if Christ was not raised, then Christianity is useless and of no value (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).  Of course, if Christ did predict and accomplish His resurrection, then that would validate His claim to be who He said He was.  So, I have to ask…  Who would’ve been in the best position to know the facts about Jesus?  There are 3 groups that were closest to the events:

  1. The Jews – they were the ones opposing Jesus at that time. Many passages affirm this.  The phrase “the Jews” appears 127 times in the New Testament.  In many of these verses where the Jews seem to be in opposition to Jesus are in the gospel of John.  Here are the verses in John where it seems that the Jews are in opposition to Jesus:2:18, 2:20, 5:10, 5:16, 5:18, 6:41, 7:1, 8:48, 8:52, 8:57, 9:22, 10:31, 10:33, 11:8, 18:14, 18:28, 18:31, 18:36, 19:7, 19:12, 19:21, 20:19
  2. The Disciples of Christ (of which most were Jews as well). Not only was Jesus thoroughly Jewish, but so were His disciples.
  3. The Romans – they were the occupying force in Palestine during the time of Jesus.

Many religions have something to say about Jesus.  For example:

  1. Judaism says that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that his disciples stole the body.
  2. Islam says he was a prophet, but not the Son of God and was not crucified, that Allah put a substitute on the cross, but instead took Jesus directly to heaven.
  3. Mormonism says that he was the spirit brother of Lucifer

So, if I’m going to pay attention to any historical source, I would be wise to consider those who were closest to the events.  It seems to me that the disciples were closest to the events of Jesus since they lived and walked with Him for 3 years, directly experiencing His miracles, teaching and post-resurrection appearances.  The Jews were also very close to Jesus and they acknowledged some of the key facts in the story – namely that He was a miracle worker, that He was crucified and that His tomb was empty Sunday morning.  John 12:10-11 tells us that “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.”  Acts 6:7 tells us “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”  Since the faith increased in Jerusalem, which was the center of Judaism, we can assume those priests being spoken of were Jewish.  So, the biblical record is clear that even though the Jewish leadership in large part rejected Jesus, many Jews did actually believe in Him.

So, in relation to the religions that had something to say about Jesus, I would not trust Islam, since it does not record eyewitness testimony about Jesus, but rather personal revelation written down more than 500 years after the events.  Nor would I trust Mormonism, since it’s writings come ~1800 years after the events.  The New Testament writings are the most credible source of information about Jesus.  We have excellent historical evidence that the resurrection is the best hypothesis to account for the known facts about Jesus.  Here are the facts:

  1. Jesus died by crucifixion
  2. He was buried
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope, believing that his life was ended
  4. The tomb was discovered to be empty just a few days later
  5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus
  6. The disciples were transformed from doubters who were afraid to identify themselves with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection
  7. This message was the center of preaching in the early church
  8. This message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem, where Jesus died and was buried shortly before
  9. As a result of this preaching the church was born and grew
  10. Sunday became the primary day of worship
  11. James, who had been a skeptic, was converted to the faith when he also believed he saw the resurrected Jesus
  12. A few years later, Paul was also converted by an experience which he, likewise, believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus

Here is a chart that shows theories that attempt to explain these facts:

So, you can see that the only theory that accounts for all the known historical evidence is either that Jesus was an Alien or that He was bodily resurrected.

As good historians, we must go with the theory that accounts for all the facts, therefore, the most likely explanation is what the New Testament reports – that Jesus was resurrected bodily.  Therefore, Christianity is true, beyond a reasonable doubt and anything that contradicts it is false.