Apologetics Class 4/22/2018

Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible / Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?

Tomorrow, we’re planning to watch 2 videos.  First is lesson 11 of the DVD series

and a second video “The Bible’s Reliability & Accuracy”:

Here is the note taking form I will be handing out with the discussion questions for each video:

Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible (4/22/2018)

    1. Who is Jesus? S. Lewis “I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’  That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would rather be lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of hell…You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.” (Mere Christianity p. 55-56)
      1. Liar – that doesn’t make any sense – if He was a liar, He died for a lie that He knew was a lie
      2. Lunatic – No, He made the clearest, greatest moral teachings ever made.
      3. Legend – the evidence we’ve seen so far in this class makes this unreasonable
      4. Lord – This is the only other option left.
    2. Jesus is God, and whatever God teaches is true!
    3. Jesus claimed to be God and He predicted it and proved it by accomplishing His own resurrection from the dead.
    4. What did Jesus teach about the Bible (the Old Testament):
      1. It is divinely authoritative (Mt 4:4, 7, 10) – when talking with Satan
      2. It is imperishable (Mt. 5:17-18)
      3. It is infallible (Jn. 10:35) – the Scripture can’t be broken
      4. It is inerrant (without error) Mt. 22:29
      5. It is historically reliable – Noah and Jonah really occurred – (Mt. 12:40, Mt. 24:37-38)
      6. It is scientifically accurate – although it’s not a scientific text book (Mt. 19:4-5) – God created them male and female.
      7. It has ultimate supremacy (Mt. 15:3,6) – you nullify the word of God in favor of your traditions.
    5. Christ affirmed (vs. critics denied):
      1. Daniel was a prophet
      2. God created Adam and Eve
      3. Jonah was swallowed by a fish
      4. World was drowned in a flood
      5. One prophet wrote Isaiah (critics say it was written by 3 Isaiahs)
    6. Jesus affirmed:
      1. Beginning at Moses…, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27)
      2. The Scriptures testify of Me (John 5:39)
      3. From Abel to Zechariah… (Mt. 23:35)
      4. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets… (Mt 5:17-18)
      5. “It is written” – The authority of the Old Testament is cited that way 92 times in the NT
    7. Jesus promised the New Testament (John 14, 16)
      1. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach the apostles “all things” and lead them into “all truth”. (see John 14:26) – By the way that verse has the Trinity in it. Also see John 16:13.
    8. Canon – standard or measuring rod.
      1. Bruce Metzger (Princeton University) – “The Canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books.”
      2. He’s saying that what should be in the Bible is not determined by us, it is discovered by us. What should be in the Bible are the books that God inspired and we need to discover what those books are.
      3. The church didn’t decide what would be in Bible, we discovered what the inspired books are. And they had some criteria to do so.
    9. What books should be in the New Testament (how did the church discover the canon) – they used these criteria:
      1. Was it written by a prophet of God (or somebody that knew a prophet of God and was confirmed by that prophet)?
      2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God or someone who was confirmed as an eyewitness (e.g. Paul confirmed Luke)? Paul quotes Luke as Scripture.  (this is how we know Muhammad was not a prophet of God – when he was asked to do a miracle, he declined saying that he doesn’t do miracles – he just writes a book.  The miracles attributed to Muhammad came much later and they were not written or observed by eyewitnesses.  They’re written in the Hadith, which are later writings of the traditions about Muhammad).  On the other hand the New Testament writers did miracles.
      3. Was the writing accepted by the people of God? Here is confirmation of the authorship and authority of these documents:
        1. 25 of 27 books quoted as authoritative by 110 A.D. They only don’t quote 2nd John and Jude.
        2. Gospels and Acts are cited during the lives of the Apostles
        3. Quoted as authoritative and unique
        4. They’re collected early in one volume
        5. Publically read & expounded upon it.
        6. Commentaries written
        7. Opponents of the early church admitted Gospels written by disciples
        8. No other “gospels” were treated this way. Da Vinci code – what about the other “gospels”?
          1. They are all forgeries
          2. Written well into the 2nd century
          3. You write something steals someone else’s name that has authority and puts their name on it. They put the names of eyewitnesses (Apostle).  Would not accept “the Gospel of Ed”.
          4. Back handed complement that they’re putting the Apostle’s names on them. It admits that the Church would only take as authoritative something that came from an Apostle.
          5. Gospel of Thomas
            1. Forgery written 100 years after the NT Gospels
            2. Help of Thomas contains blended saying from the 4 NT Gospels; the sayings are in Syriac and originated in 175 A.D. The language wasn’t even available in the 1st
            3. Females are not worthy of life. Must become men to be saved.
          6. Gospel of Peter
            1. Forgery found in a 9th century monk’s coffin in Egypt in 1880.
            2. Could be forgery ancient church historians warned was attributed to Peter.
            3. It’s Anti-Semitic, so it is not written by a 1st century Jew
            4. The author is ignorant of first century practices and rulers (anachronisms).
            5. Has embellished resurrection account with a talking cross and Jesus’ head stretching to the clouds. Cool, but not true.  The real Gospel writers report this like they’re just news reporters.  They were not writing theology, they were writing history.  They unpack all the theological implications of the resurrection in the epistles.
          7. Gospel of Judas
            1. Forgery, cited by Irenaeus (2nd century Bishop) as fictitious.
            2. Does not teach monotheism
            3. Says that humans are divine.
            4. Judas was a hero
            5. Salvation is by special knowledge (Gnosticism)
            6. New insights about the relationship between Judas and Jesus. Analogy with Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth.
        9. On Internet prevalent idea that the New Testament documents were copied from Pagan resurrection myths. “Not everything you read on the internet is true”.
          1. Resurrection myths came after Christianity, not before (earliest 2nd century A.D.)
          2. Copying was the other way around.
          3. Osiris – was not a resurrected figure (zombie in the underworld) – predates Christ, but no parallel.
          4. Just because you have parallels doesn’t mean there’s borrowing going on
          5. NT writers make historical claims – were not writing mythology like resurrection myths.
          6. Theory can’t explain:
            1. Numerous eyewitness details in the NT
            2. Embarrassing details of disciples and Jesus
            3. Martyrdom of the disciples
            4. Growth of the Church (especially in Jerusalem)
            5. Why non-Christian writers tell same story
            6. Jewish, not pagans were the founders of Christianity
    10. Conclusion is that your NT is the one Jesus promised.

Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?

      1. More than ½ of all college professors believe the Bible is a b________ of f__________.
      2. 60%-80% of American College students walk away from their f__________________.
      3. The heart cannot exalt in what the mind r_______________.
      4. There are ~24,000 hand-wr___________ c_________ of the 27 books of the New Testament.
      5. The oldest complete N_____ T_____________ is less than 300 years from the or___________s. (Codex Sinaiticus)
      6. The New Testament has 40 lines of textual corruption with an ac____________ of 99.5%.
      7. There are as many as 400,000 te__________ va________s across the New Testament.
      8. Most of the variants consist of sp______________, gr____________ and other scribal errors and less than 1% of those variants affect the m_____________g of the text.
      9. Not one Christian teaching or belief is d__________ on or ch____________ by any variant.
      10. The C___________ is the list of books considered to be Scripture.
      11. The C___________ consists of works that:
        1. Were from tr_________________ sources.
        2. Were consistent with Ap______________ Te_____________.
      12. An early canon that was discovered ~150 years before the Council of Nicaea was the M_______________ fragment (170AD).
      13. 6 lines of testimony that the Bible is historically reliable (Frank Turek):
        1. E_____________________ (most written before 70AD)
        2. E_____________________ (140 confirmed historical details in Acts and John)
        3. E_____________________ (Details in the text that the writers wouldn’t have made up)
        4. E_____________________ (Died as martyrs-by recanting could’ve saved themselves)
        5. E_____________________ (Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in NT)
        6. E_____________________ (Non-Christian sources within 150 yrs of Jesus’ life)
      14. The crucial gap is not the gap between the time of the ev________ and t_____; the crucial gap is the gap between the ev______ and the events d________ by that evidence…. Good ev_______ doesn’t become bad evidence simply because of the la______ of time… We have better sources for the life of J________ of N__________ than we do for most of the major figures of Antiquity. (William Lane Craig)
      15. John’s “Chain of Custody” consists of à (Papias, Ignatius and Polycarp) à (Irenaeus) à (Hippolytus) – J. Warner Wallace
      16. The 1st council that af__________ the C___________ is the Council of Laodicea in 363 AD.
      17. When you take the book of Daniel, written late 500’s (BC) and you put it “pro-forma” onto Al________ the Gr_______ in the 300’s before Christ, you see specific prophecy centuries before hand…No ancient document – NONE – has the kind of doc__________y sup_______t that the Bible has. (Ravi Zacharias).
      18. The Bible was written th______________ men, by G________. (Mark Spence)
      19. Man was the in__________ used by God to convey His th_______ in the Bible. (Mark Spence)
      20. The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that, ultimately, it has o____ A________ – God. (Mark Spence)
      21. Modern science was birthed in the 17th century because of a belief in an unchanging God of or___________, pu________ and cons__________y. (Mark Spence)
      22. Skepticism is the hallmark of university education today. (Ravi Zacharias)
      23. I saw him take out a Bible and I thought, “Alright, another op________ to take down a Christian!” (Nabeel Qureshi, author of “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity”)
      24. The people who wrote the New Testament were the di_______, and they were multi-lingual – they could understand Aramaic, they could understand Greek, they could hear in one and write in another without losing the m__________ whatsoever. (Nabeel Qureshi)
      25. The corroboration test: there are 9 n___-C________ sources that mention Jesus within 150 years of His death. Jesus has 4 times as many h________ sources that speak of Him than T________ C__________, the Roman Emperor at the time.
      26. The Bible is not just a book, it is a lo_____ le_______ that God wrote to touch the hearts of people here so that they can know Him.
      27. Why in the world should you believe the Bible:
        1. It’s R____________________
        2. It has E__________________
        3. It’s been P________________
        4. It points to T______________

Discussion Questions (part 1)

      1. S. Lewis claims that there are 3 possibilities regarding the identity of Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic. Why are Liar and Lunatic implausible?
      2. Jesus affirmed as true many of the most disputed passages of the Old Testament (Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, Daniel, etc.) What is the significance of this for Christian apologetics?
      3. Jesus certainly affirmed the Old Testament. Where did He promise the New Testament?
      4. Why were the Gospels of Peter, Thomas and Judas never included in the New Testament?
      5. Skeptics like to claim that the resurrection of Christ was not an actual historical event, but was instead copied from pagan resurrection myths. Why is this claim not plausible?
      6. In light of all the evidence we’ve discussed in this class, who has to have more faith – the Christian or the non-Christian? Why?  Explain your answer.

Discussion Questions (part 2)

      1. What is currently the oldest fragment of a New Testament text and what does it contain? What is the estimated dating of this fragment and how close is that to the writing of it?
      2. How does the New Testament compare to other literary works from antiquity in terms of “Number of Copies” and “Years from Original”?
      3. What is the discipline of Textual Criticism and why is it important in helping to establish biblical reliability?
      4. How can we “know” anything that was written 2,000 years ago?
      5. What is the “Chain of Custody” that J. Warner Wallace describes and why is it relevant to the historical reliability of the New Testament?
      6. How can we trust the Bible when it was written by men?
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mid-week apologetics booster (4-19-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. What To Teach Kids About Unanswered Prayer: https://crossexamined.org/what-to-teach-kids-about-unanswered-prayer/
  2. Can You and Your Kids Answer These Skeptics of Christianity? (Part 1 of 5): http://christianmomthoughts.com/can-you-and-your-kids-answer-these-skeptics-of-christianity-part-1-of-5/
  3. What Influences Our Kids to Walk Away? | The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/04/15/what-influences-our-kids-to-walk-away/
  4. Teacher Gives Student Ultimatum, Deny God, Or Drop My Class! What He Did Next? Is Unbelievable! – Faithreel.com: https://faithreel.org/teacher-gives-student-ultimatum-deny-god/
  5. 3 Lies Students Believe About Freedom That Will Ruin Their Lives – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/3-lies-students-believe-about-freedom-that-will-ruin-their-lives/
  6. Why the New Definition of Tolerance Is Dangerous – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/03/why-the-new-definition-of-tolerance-is-dangerous.html
  7. Changing My Mind – Experimental particle physicist Dr. Michael G Strauss discusses the relationship between science, God, Christianity, and reason.: http://www.michaelgstrauss.com/2018/03/changing-my-mind.html
  8. Were the New Testament Authors Biased?: https://respondblogs.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/respondblog-were-the-new-testament-authors-biased/
  9. Atheist-Turned-Youth Minister Starts High School Bible Clubs Across California: https://stream.org/atheist-turned-youth-minister-starts-high-school-bible-clubs-across-california/
  10. In Intellectual Neutral | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/apologetics/in-intellectual-neutral/
  11. Does Atheism Require Blind Faith? Matthew Ruttan: https://matthewruttan.com/2018/03/21/does-atheism-require-blind-faith/
  12. Is Christianity at War with Science? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/is-christianity-at-war-with-science
  13. Four Things You Can Do When Someone Challenges Your Faith – February Mentoring Letter 2017 | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/article/four-things-you-can-do-when-someone-challenges-your-faith-february-mentoring-letter-2017#.WtSqWeplA0P
  14. Remembering the Christian roots of science – creation.com: https://creation.com/origin-of-science-christian
  15. Ligonier Defending the Faith Conference (Seattle) – 2018 West Coast Conference: https://www.ligonier.org/events/2018-west-coast-conference-seattle/register/
  16. Gary Habermas Questions Why Atheists Believe in Alexander the Great, but Not Jesus’ Resurrection: https://www.christianpost.com/news/gary-habermas-questions-why-atheists-believe-in-alexander-the-great-but-not-jesus-resurrection-221370/
  17. 5 Things Christians Should Know about Wal-Mart’s Decision to Pull Cosmo Magazine – Nicole Weider: https://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/guest-commentary/5-things-christians-should-know-about-wal-mart-s-decision-to-pull-cosmo-magazine.html
  18. When were the books of the Bible written?: http://www.provethebible.net/T2-Integ/B-0402.htm
  19. The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/the-comparatively-rich-archaeological-corroboration-of-the-old-testament/
  20. Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/16/can-a-person-believe-in-both-god-and-darwinian-evolution/
  21. Why It’s Okay Not to Have All the Answers – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/okay-not-all-answers/
  22. Did Jesus Have To Do Apologetics? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/did-jesus-have-to-do-apologetics-5/
  23. A Case for Bible 101: Manuscript Evidence Part 7 Were There Books Left Out? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-7-were-there-books-left-out/
  24. If Faith Involves Making An Inference From Evidence, Why Do We Call It Faith?: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/if-faith-involves-making-an-inference-from-evidence-why-do-we-call-it-faith/
  25. Early Christian Martyrdoms: Persecution in the Roman Empire Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2018/04/15/early-christian-martyrdoms-persecution-in-the-roman-empire/
  26. Examine Evidence for the Bible’s Reliability: http://faithphilosophy.com/en/bible-examine-evidence-for-the-bible-reliability.php
  27. Real People and Real Places: The Biblical Archaeological Approach | Mormonism Research Ministry: http://www.mrm.org/sharing-with-mormons-archaeology
  28. Are the New Testament manuscripts reliable? (Part 1) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtOWUUMoc6Q
  29. 5 Ways Apologetics Strengthens Our Faith | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/apologetics-2/5-ways-apologetics-strengthens-our-faith/
  30. Answering the Age Old Issue of Religious Relativism | The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/04/02/answering-the-age-old-issue-of-religious-relativism/
  31. The Professor: Why Are You a Christian? – When Challenged, Can You Defend Your Faith in Christ: https://probe.org/the-professor-why-are-you-a-christian/
  32. You Need to Know Why Young People Leave Church: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/you-need-to-know-why-young-people-leave-church
  33. A Biblical Image For How Apologetics Helps Build the Church – Hope’s Reason: https://www.stephenjbedard.com/2017/10/05/biblical-image-apologetics-helps-build-church/#.Wtc2Y4jwaUm
  34. You Can Do A Show About Christianity, Unless You Believe It’s True | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/you-can-do-a-show-about-christianity-unless-you-believe-its-true/
  35. Historic Heresies Related to the Nature of Jesus | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/historic-heresies-related-to-the-nature-of-jesus/
  36. Francis Schaeffer: Pastor, Evangelist, Apologist, Prophet – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/francis-schaeffer-pastor-evangelist-apologist-prophet/
  37. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: How to Use Questions to Help Defend Your Faith: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/11/how-to-use-questions-to-help-defend.html

Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/15/2018

Atheist Role-play Brett Kunkle

Yesterday in our apologetics class, we watched a video where Brett Kunkle transformed himself into a character he calls Pagan Bob, who is an atheist.  Here’s the video:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before hand, including discussion questions at the bottom:

Brett Kunkle Atheist Role-Play (4-15-2018)

  1. “Pagan Bob” – a “fr_______________” atheist (not a serial killer J)
  2. Christians say: “How can you prove that God d_________ exist? – you can’t prove a n_______.”
    1. Bob’s answer: You don’t need to go looking for a “square circle” or a “married bachelor”
  3. Bob: Christian conception of God is a logical c_____________________ – 3 beings in 1 being
  4. Bob: you don’t need to go search every square inch of planet earth to say there are no u______
  5. Bob: there’s no e______________________ for God
  6. Bob’s question to the audience: Why do you believe in God?

Audience Responses

  1. First lady (2nd row) – Good and evil? Murder/child abuse, asked where morals come from.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  2. 2nd lady –lying in bed, heard audible voice that said “go ask Sue why she believes in Jesus”
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  3. 3rd young man – address issue of morality, does not help from an evolutionary standpoint.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  4. 4th lady (white hair) – Jesus Christ is historical figure & resurrection historically validated.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  5. 5th young man – 2nd law of thermodynamics – entropy, evolution contradicts this.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  6. 6th middle aged man – belief in God a “spiritual thing”. Body is too complex if by chance (DNA).
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  7. 7th young man – referred to history, Roman persecution of history. Do you believe in Satan?
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  8. 8th young man – loves the tool of reason and logic. Talked about evolution from single cell organisms. Would a system evolve that had no need for the organism to survive?
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________

Debrief Session

  1. Grade yourself:
    1. 1 ———————————————————————————————————10
      Owned by Pagan Bob                               Owned Pagan Bob
    2. 1 ———————————————————————————————————10
      We hated Pagan Bob     Pagan Bob experienced love & grace
  2. We want to present the truth not only p____________, but with love, grace and c____________
  3. I’m ok with you failing “i___ h________”, but I don’t want us to fail “o____ t_________”.
  4. Think about this question as you share w/ atheist/skeptic: Why are you a Christian?
    1. Not enough to say “that’s what I was r_____________ in”
    2. Not enough to say “that’s my surrounding culture”
    3. Not enough to say “because the Bible t____________ me so”
    4. Not enough to say “I’ve e_______________ God”
    5. The reason why you should be a Christian and an atheist should be a Christian and a Muslim should be a Christian is b______________ it is t_________! John 17:3
  5. How do we show that Christianity is the truth about reality? Not only do we have our personal experience, we have evidence and reasons.  Difference between k____________ and s________
  6. Biblical mandate: 1 Peter 3:15 “…always be ready to make a defense (apologia)…”
  7. 4 key questions for you to answer:
    1. T___________ exists & is knowable (objective truth)
    2. God exists (if God exists, this changes everything)
    3. God a__________ (Miracles)
    4. God s__________ (the Bible)
  8. Don’t be discouraged by failure here, but let the Holy Spirit m_________________ you to action (2 Tim. 2:15).

Discussion Questions

  1. What responses did the audience not give to Bob that they should’ve given?
  2. What questions did the audience not ask that they should’ve asked Bob?
  3. What answers did the audience give that were wrong, or not helpful? Maybe even bizarre?
  4. Were there any responses that were good, even in part?
  5. Pagan Bob made some statements that could’ve been challenged. What are some examples?
  6. When Brett said we want to present the truth with love, grace and compassion, can you think of a verse that supports this?

mid-week apologetics booster (4-12-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Parenting in the Power of the Gospel: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/parenting-in-the-power-of-the-gospel
  2. How and When the New Testament Was Written – Logic & Light: http://www.logicandlight.org/how-and-when-the-new-testament-was-written/
  3. Rhode Island Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide Could Allow Secretly Euthanizing Patients Against Their Will | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2018/04/05/rhode-island-bill-to-legalize-assisted-suicide-could-allow-secretly-euthanizing-patients-against-their-will/
  4. Where Did the Bible Come From? | Zondervan Academic Blog | Zondervan Academic: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/where-did-the-bible-come-from/
  5. Does Religion Cause War? | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2013/03/does-religion-cause-war.html
  6. This Was Your Life Tract (cartoon, but not funny – very serious): http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp
  7. The Circular Reasoning of Atheists: http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2013/03/the-circular-reasoning-of-atheists/
  8. 40 Influential Christian Books: https://www.christianpost.com/news/40-influential-christian-books-217650/
  9. 5 uncomfortable facts atheists need to hear: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-uncomfortable-facts-atheists-need-to-hear
  10. 10 Biblical Reasons God Allows Suffering – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/10-biblical-reasons-god-allows-suffering
  11. Unbelievable Unbelief – If Jesus would only show Himself to me, if God would just work one dramatic miracle, then I’d believe in Him…This kind of person overestimates himself. Even miracles can be denied or dismissed: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2010/03/unbelievable-unbelief.html
  12. Love + Apologetics = Evangelism: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2013/04/love-apologetics-evangelism.html
  13. Advice for Christians who discuss their faith with atheists from an atheist | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2013/05/01/advice-for-christians-who-discuss-their-faith-with-atheists-from-an-atheist-2/
  14. Has Science Disproved God? Q&A | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/a-new-column-good-question-quick-answer/
  15. Is the Old Testament Reliable? by Chad A. Gross: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/08/article-is-old-testament-reliable-by.html
  16. 3 Reasons Why Christians Should Be Evidential Investigators Instead of Experience Junkies – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/3-reasons-why-christians-should-be-evidential-investigators-instead-of-experience-junkies
  17. The Book of Revelation: How Difficult Was Its Journey into the Canon? Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-book-of-revelation-how-difficult-was-its-journey-into-the-canon/
  18. The Bible Does Not Approve of Everything It Records – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/03/the-bible-does-not-approve-of-everything-it-records.html

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:7-11

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/8/2018

On Sunday’s Apologetics class, I was unable to lead due to a weekend “go live” at work, but there was a guest facilitator.  Here was the video the class watched:

 

Here are the notes that were handed out:

Truth and Tolerance – Peter Kreeft

Introduction

  • Truth is “hard” Tolerance is “nice”
  • In today’s society truth is relative
  • “Dictatorship of Relativism”
  • Democracy needs truth
  • Tolerance without truth is not tolerance
  • Brave New World book
  • From the time of Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes we have known how to define truth
  • Modern man is a teenager
  • The reason to be open-minded is to know truth
  • If reason cannot find the truth
  • Freud said “our brains are at the service of our desires”
  • Civilization is based on “Let us reason together”
  • If there is no truth, then we will just fight
  • Truth is needed for civilization to exist
  • “There is an objective truth” is a humble position

If there is no truth, then only three ways:

Emotional force

Physical force

Totalitarianism (Democracy -> Soft totalitarianism (Democracy In America book)

Let’s define Truth.  What is truth?

-Truth is telling it like it is.

It’s true that I wasn’t born on Mars

-Common sense

-Naive

-Universally known

-Feelings are subjective

-Hard, impersonable, non-negotiable

-God is an artist.  Man’s art is copying God’s creation.

  • Common sense
  • Role of faith, we believe what we are told
  • We don’t repeat experiments
  • Religious faith in God
  • Philosophy (We are all philosophers)
  • Science/scientific method (for understanding the physical universe)

 

Truth in Western Civilization –   Greeks – “alitheia” = not forgetting

Romans – “Veritas” = rightness in thinking

Jews – “emet” = trustworthiness

Tolerance

Old meaning:  tolerate evil things, but not all, eg.  Not murder

Judgmental

Pragmatic, tolerate the lesser evil, eg. War

 

New meaning:  Tolerate everything.

Being non-judgmental (Didn’t Jesus say “Judge not”)

Judge sin not sinners

Good scientists judges ideas

Good politician judges ideas

You are your actions

Homosexuality

Hate the sin, love the sinner

Transgenderism

When we condemn the sin, we are not condemning the sinners

Moral relativism in our society is mainly in one are – SEX

The sexual revolution is a philosophy

Something you do

Moral relativism -> Intolerance (doesn’t include itself)

Only with moral absolutes can there be tolerance

Like the Gnostics (we know better, and the physical world is an illusion, doesn’t matter what you do with your body)

This has overcome the motherhood instinct

Abortion is accepted

Divorce is accepted and prevalent in our society

50 % divorce rate

No society can last with family life de-valued

The Jews, Confucians, Romans, Islam valued the family

So the sexual revolution affects everybody

Moral relativism

Absolutizes the relative, eg.  The Inquisition

Or Relativize the absolutes is worse

Without an Absolute/God, nothing is left (“Whatever!”)

CS Lewis’s the Abolition of Man says

Relativism changes your nature

Your heart is ripped out, humanity is abolished

mid-week apologetics booster (4-5-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 Reasons the Resurrection of Jesus is NOT a Copy of Ancient Pagan Myths – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-reasons-the-resurrection-of-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-ancient-pagan-myths
  2. The 3 Most Important Conversations about Easter that Most Sunday Schools and Parents Aren’t Having with Kids: http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-3-most-important-conversations-about-easter-that-most-sunday-schools-and-parents-arent-having-with-kids/
  3. The Hidden Science That Proves Jesus Definitely Died on the Cross Charisma News: https://www.charismanews.com/world/70320-the-hidden-science-that-proves-jesus-definitely-died-on-the-cross
  4. Atheists and Unreasonable Objections: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/05/atheists-and-unreasonable-objections.html
  5. Three arguments you’ll face on why faith and science are incompatible | Beyond Teachable Moments: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/three-arguments-youll-face-on-why-faith-and-science-are-incompatible/
  6. Rapid Response: You Can’t Trust the Gospels Because They Were Written by Christians: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/rapid-response-you-cant-trust-the-gospels-because-they-were-written-by-christians/
  7. We leave ourselves open to the charge of being uncritical and not caring to examine our faith: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/03/we-leave-ourselves-open-to-the-charge-of-being-uncritical-and-not-caring-to-examine-our-faith.html
  8. 10 Reasons to Accept the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Fact: https://crossexamined.org/10-reasons-accept-resurrection-jesus-historical-fact/
  9. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources
  10. Four Reasons To Believe Jesus Was Really Crucified | Word On Fire: https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/four-reasons-to-believe-jesus-was-really-crucified/5458/
  11. CSI Calvary the compelling case for the Resurrection | The Conservative Woman | The philosophy not the party: https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rebel-priest-rev-jules-gomes-csi-calvary-the-compelling-case-for-the-resurrection/
  12. Why I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus – Bernard J Mauser: http://www.bernardjmauser.com/philosopher/why-i-believe-in-the-resurrection-of-jesus/
  13. 3 Syllogistic Arguments For Jesus’ Deity: https://crossexamined.org/3-syllogistic-arguments-jesus-deity/
  14. 53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically – Biblical Archaeology Society: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/50-people-in-the-bible-confirmed-archaeologically/
  15. Why should we be punished for sin when sinning is our nature?: http://www.blogos.org/theologyapologetics/punished-for-sin-nature.php
  16. How Can I Know Which Bible Promises Apply to Me? – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/09/how-can-i-know-which-bible-promises-apply-to-me.html
  17. Apologetics Film in Theaters on April 24th – Fragments of Truth: https://www.str.org/blog/apologetics-film-theaters-april-24th#.WsN1SIjwaUk
  18. Reasons Why One Should Accept the Traditional Authorship of the Gospels | Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2016/11/14/reasons-why-one-should-accept-the-traditional-authorship-of-the-gospels/
  19. The Resurrection Answers Three Big Questions – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-resurrection-answers-three-big-questions
  20. Stephen C. Meyer lectures on intelligent design and the origin of life | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/03/stephen-c-meyer-lectures-on-intelligent-design-and-the-origin-of-life-6/
  21. 3 Startling Truths about the Early Church from the Pre-New Testament Texts: https://crossexamined.org/3-startling-truths-early-church-pre-new-testament-texts/
  22. Responding to the objection by Christians who say I don’t need any evidence for my faith! THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/responding-to-the-objection-by-christians-who-say-i-dont-need-any-evidence-for-my-faith-4/

After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:15-23

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/1/2018

Yesterday in my apologetics class, for Easter Sunday, we watched 2 videos.  First was a short animated video from Impact 360 institute “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?”:

Then we watched Tim Barnett of Stand To Reason, speaking on the topic of “Did Jesus Really Rise?”:

 

Here is the note-taking form I handed out for these videos along with discussion questions and the end:

Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? (Easter Sunday 4/1/2018)

Short Animated video about evidence for the resurrection

  1. What’s the difference between Jesus rising from the dead and all those other fairy tales?
  2. My belief in the resurrection of Jesus is r_________, it’s based on h__________ f_______.
  3. Here are the facts:
    1. Jesus d_______ by crucifixion: Did Jesus really exist? Yes, even skeptical atheist Scholars agree that Jesus existed.
    2. His disciples were c___________ that he rose from the dead and a___________________ to them.
    3. P__________ became a Christian.
    4. J___________ became a Christian.
    5. The tomb was e_____________.
  4. These facts demand an explanation, otherwise you have a big hole in human history.
  5. Skeptical explanations:
    1. They all l__________. It was the most monumental prank ever perpetrated.
  1. That’s the conspiracy theory. The problem is it doesn’t explain the facts. How could they overpower the Roman guards, rollaway a 2-ton stone, and why would they lie? People don’t willingly die for known lie.
    1. The disciples thought they saw Jesus.
  1. The h_______________ theory also lacks explanatory power. 500 Witnesses saw Jesus at the same time, and the disciples touched him. Hallucinations don’t occur in groups. This Theory does not explain the empty tomb.
    1. Did people did people stay dead. Rising from the dead would be a supernatural event. Science has proven that M____________ don’t happen.
  1. Science has not disproven miracles. Science deals exclusively with natural phenomena. A miracle, by definition, is not a n_____________ phenomenon. It’s s_________natural, which is outside the boundary of science.

 

Tim Barnett Speaks About Evidence for the Resurrection

  1. What if the bones of Jesus were discovered tomorrow (with absolute proof)? Would you walk away from the faith?
  2. Faith in a dead Jesus is absolutely w_______________. That’s not Tim Barnett’s opinion, it is what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15!
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20: if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile in you’re still in your sins. There’s no h__________!
  4. If Christ has not been raised:
    1. Preaching is in vain.
    2. Faith is useless.
    3. We are liars.
    4. We are still in sin.
    5. Former believers have perished.
    6. We should be pitied by the world.
  5. The resurrection is the linchpin of Christianity. It is the most c__________ d_______________.
  6. We have a way of testing Christianity.
  7. If Christ has not been raised, Christianity is false, he is either:
    1. L___________.
    2. L___________.
    3. L___________.
    4. L___________.
  8. Other religions use internal experience as their test.
    1. M__________s point to a burning in the bosom.
    2. M__________s point to the literary excellence of the Qur’an.
  9. The Christian test is external evidence.
  10. If you want to start on a truth quest, start with Christianity.
  11. Evidence, establish the facts.
  12. Explanation, Explain the facts.
  13. Three lines three lines of evidence.
    1. The c__________ produced a dead body.
    2. The t__________ contained no body.
    3. People s____________ and t_____________ somebody.
  14. Gary Habermas read ~3500 scholarly papers (liberal and conservative) and compiled the facts that they all agreed on – these are called the “Minimal Facts” (12 of them)

The Cross Produced a Dead Body

  1. People could not survive a Roman crucifixion.
  2. The flogging itself could kill someone.
  3. The convicted person would eventually die through asphyxiation.
  4. Crucifixion was so horrible, that the word ex______________ came from it, which means (in Latin) out of the cross.
  5. This is attested by both biblical and non-biblical sources (e.g. J_____________, T__________, Pliny the Younger)
  6. Jesus’s crucifixion is one of the most certain facts of history.
  7. If you want to prove a resurrection, the person has to be d___________

The Tomb Contained No Body

  1. The J_______________ Factor: Jesus was crucified and buried in Jerusalem, and the disciples proclaimed is resurrection In Jerusalem. How can Christianity get started, if the body is still in the tomb?
  2. The enemies implicitly confirm that the body is gone. Their explanation was that the disciples s______________ the body.
  3. If student claims “my dog ate my homework”, this implicitly confirms that their backpack does not contain their homework. In the same way if people claim that the disciples stole the body, this implicitly confirms and e______________ t_______________.
  4. In the 1st century Jewish culture, a w_____________’s testimony was not highly regarded (e.g. Talmud, Josephus). But the women, were the first ones to report the empty tomb. If you’re making up a story, you don’t have women as your chief witnesses! This is the principle of embarrassment.
  5. In 1968, construction workers stumbled upon a crucified individual who was buried in an ossuary, which confirmed that this was a common practice. Also the person’s legs were b_______________, confirming that part of the story as well.

The People Saw & Touched Somebody

 

  1. Oral c____________ dates back to within months of the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. It describes six appearances of Jesus.
  2. During the life of Jesus, his half-brother James did not believe his message. But after the resurrection, James became a key figure in the Jerusalem c___________ and a believer in Jesus.
  3. Paul did not believe in Jesus until Jesus appeared to him. He was actually an e_____________ of Christianity.

 

What Are the Explanations Given by Skeptics for these Facts?

  1. Jesus wasn’t really dead (the s_____________ theory).  Here are the responses to this:
    1. You’d have to believe that this half dead Jesus revived in the coolness of the tomb, rolled the 2-ton stone out of the way, beat off all the guards and appeared to his disciples. They would respond “you’re in desperate need of medical attention!” If the Roman guards did not do their job making sure that you stayed in the tomb, they were the next ones to be put on the cross.
  2. The disciples stole the b_______________.  Here are the responses to this:
    1. We have good evidence that the tomb really was empty.
    2. The disciples were willing to die for this belief.
    3. Liars make poor martyrs.
    4. Paul and James would not have been convinced by a lie, since they were not predisposed to believe in Jesus.
  3. H________________ Theory.  Here are the responses to this:
    1. Paul and James wouldn’t have hallucinated seeing Christ.
    2. There’s no such thing as a mass hallucination. _______ (number) people saw the same thing. They ate with this hallucination, they touched this hallucination.
  4. The best explanation is that Jesus actually r_________ from the dead.
  5. Some people say that s_____________ has demonstrated that miracles are not possible. But they would be inaccurate.
  6. Science looks at the natural world, but what we are studying is not natural, it is supernatural-something beyond nature!
  7. Only two possible responses:
    1. For u_________________, believe the works. John 10:38. Jesus doesn’t tell us to take a blind leap of faith. It is active trust based on evidence.
    2. For b_________________, this information should compel us to fall on our faces in reverent worship. John 11:25-26. Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. But how do I know that he died for my sins (that’s logical/spiritual)? The resurrection is proof of purchase!

 

Discussion Questions

  1. According to Tim Barnett, what is the most commonly held objection to the resurrection? Why does that objection fail?
  2. If someone asked you to provide evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, what would you say?
  3. Why is Jesus called “the Lamb of God”?
  4. What is the “Jerusalem Factor”? Why does that matter?
  5. What is the most crucial doctrine of Christianity, according to Tim Barnett?
  6. What is C.S. Lewis’s “trilemma”?
  7. Name a non-Christian source from the 1st century that corroborates Jesus’s death on the cross.

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-29-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Dear Dr. Peterson: The Resurrection is Credible. Dear MSM: Just Stop It. | The Stream: https://stream.org/dr-peterson-resurrection-credible/
  2. Study Shows Only 10% of Americans Have a Biblical Worldview | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/culture/study-shows-only-10-percent-americans-have-biblical-worldview/
  3. What Are the Two Dominant Worldviews? | Dr. Henry M. Morris III: http://www.henrymorris3.com/dominant-worldviews/
  4. The Resurrection, An Event To Be Confident About: https://pluggedintoleadership.com/2016/12/15/the-resurrection-an-event-to-be-confident-about/
  5. Is Your Transformational, Religious Experience Evidence Enough? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-your-transformational-religious-experience-evidence-enough/
  6. The Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection — Part 2: How To Do History: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-evidence-for-jesus-resurrection_25.html
  7. Manuscript Evidence Part 4 Can we trust the Bible translations we have today? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-the-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-4-can-we-trust-the-bible-translations-we-have-today/
  8. Apologetics is Unassuming: http://www.travisdickinson.com/apologetics-is-unassuming/
  9. Who Were Cavemen? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/cavemen/who-were-cavemen/
  10. How Did the Early Christians Influence Their Culture?: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/07/how-did-early-christians-influence.html
  11. Witnessing to Zen Buddhists | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/guests-and-authors/dr-john-ankerberg/witnessing-to-zen-buddhists/
  12. Evidence, History Supports Jesus Resurrection – Stand Up For The Truth: https://standupforthetruth.com/2018/03/evidence-history-supports-jesus-resurrection/

But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Isaiah 26:19

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/25/2018

Yesterday in my apologetics class, with it being Palm Sunday, we watched a video lecture on the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the Old Testament prophecy He fulfilled in doing that.  Here is the video:

 

Here is the note-taking form I passed out before the video, with discussion questions we covered afterward:

Daniel’s Prophecy of Palm Sunday (Andrew Russell) 3/25/2018

John 12:12-19; Daniel 9:24-27 (the “backbone” of biblical prophecy)

  1. Jesus’ tr____________ e_________ is mentioned in all 4 gospels – John’s account is the briefest.
  2. John 11:35 – Lazarus died – Jesus wept about this because:
    1. He was filled with grace, mercy and compassion – grieving for those who were hurting.
    2. Because of what sin has done to mankind and what He was going to do about it.
  3. The original creation was perfect: __________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
  4. The fall of man occurred in an instant. World is now g_________________ (Romans 8:22)
  5. God had a plan to r___________________ mankind which would take thousands of years.
  6. “The time has come” (Mark 1:15) – all history has been moving towards this moment.
  7. Christ makes it clear that the kingdom is not p_______________, but is within you (Luke 17:21).
  8. 2 things capture the “heart” of this thronged assembly:
    1. Christ has won the v_______________ – His will has been done.
    2. The wedding feast of the Lamb – we’re not just invited to wedding, we’re the b_______!
  9. The proclamation of the good news (Mark 1:15) includes a call to r__________________. Radical change in heart, resulting in a radical change in a person’s l___________.
  10. The coming of the King is the best news. Change is possible because the King has come.
  11. What to do when another believer acts in a discouraging or sinful way:
    1. Don’t allow a person/relationship to d__________ you from your relationship with God.
    2. Forgive them and refuse to harbor any r____________________ towards them
    3. Draw comfort from the H__________ S________________.
  12. We don’t offer people a “system”, we point them to the R________________. He is the hope!
  13. During Passover in Jesus’ time, there were 250,000 lambs slain in Jerusalem. During this time, the population swelled to about 2 million people in (not even) a square m___________.
  14. The 1st promise of Messiah was Genesis 3:15. Israel’s job was to w___________ for the Messiah
  15. God told the Jews that the Messiah would be:
    1. A J______ from the tribe of Judah
    2. From the lineage of King D___________
    3. Born of a v______________, conceived by the Holy Spirit
    4. A worker of s__________, wonders & miracles (sight to the blind, hearing for deaf, etc.)
    5. D______________ would be no match for Him
    6. Bring f________________ of sins and salvation to the world
  16. The above description narrows down the field of possible candidates for Messiah.
  17. God actually predicted the e__________ d______ that the Messiah would make Himself known.
  18. Zachariah 9:9 predicted that he would come on a donkey’s colt.
  19. Daniel 9 is the most i______________ piece of prophecy in the entire Old Testament
  20. Jesus says this is the key – Bible scholars say this is the b________________ of biblical prophecy.
  21. Daniel 9:24-27 – the “70 W___________ of Daniel” (given by angel Gabriel [v.21])
  22. This prophecy is talking about J__________ C___________ – the Messiah:
    1. To make an end for s________
    2. To make reconciliation for i_________________
    3. To bring everlasting r_________________
    4. To seal up the vision and the prophecy
    5. To a_______________ the most holy
  23. These 70 weeks refer to 70 “weeks” (7’s) of years – 70 weeks of years = _______ years
  24. God wanted Israel to know the exact day that the Messiah would come – wasn’t a mystery
  25. 69 weeks (_______ years) after this decree to restore/rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will come.
  26. From a book called “The Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson
  27. Jewish calendar has 360 days in it (vs. 365 days in Gregorian calendar), so 173,880 days after the decree was the time the Messiah would come.
  28. The decree was given to restore/rebuild Jerusalem was given in Neh. 2:1-8 (March 14,444BC)
  29. 173,880 days later is April 6th, 32 A.D., which was P_____ S_________ (5 days before Passover)
  30. There are 116 days for leap years that have to be subtracted. So considering the leap year days, the prophecy is fulfilled exactly.
  31. In Daniel 9:26, there are 3 specific prophecies:
    1. The Messiah will be “c__________ o_________” (executed) for us
    2. The people of the prince – Rome to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Temple (70AD)
    3. Jews s___________ to the 4 corners of the earth (until 1948, when Israel is established)
  32. The 70th week (Daniel 9:27). The gap of time between the 69th week and the 70th week is what is known as “The Church Age”. This will end with the r______ of the church before the tribulation.
  33. The 70th week of Daniel is the great t______________ – the start is the coming of the anti-Christ
  34. Israel, who rejected the t_____ Messiah, will buy in whole-heartedly to this f________ Messiah.
  35. The world will be “great” for 3½ years at which time the anti-Christ will stand up and proclaim himself to be G_____ and that is the abomination that Jesus was talking about (Matthew 24:15)
  36. After that, all hell breaks loose on earth which is described the judgments in Revelation.
  37. Picking up the palm branches is a symbol of victory. H______ means “save now” / “please save”
  38. Maccabean revolt – after Judas Maccabees defeated Greeks, they were waving palm branches
  39. The people were not looking for s______ deliverance, they were looking for political deliverance
  40. Jesus wept over the city – “…You did not know the time of your v______________” (Luke 19:44)
  41. Jesus says because they missed the day, there would be b__________. (Luke 19:42; Rom. 11:25)
  42. There is a day of visitation for each & every one of us – 2 options, a_______ or r_________
  43. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not h______________ your hearts…” Hebrews 3:15
  44. He becomes Lord of all your life (your schedule). End times – are we ready for Him?

Discussion Questions

  1. In what way is Daniel’s prophecy (and Jesus’ fulfillment of it) evidence that the Bible is divinely inspired?
  2. What are some other important Old Testament prophecies of Messiah?
  3. What are your views about the rapture and end times? On what Scripture do you base these views?

B.S. Detector

I thought this was great advice from the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday March 20th, 2018.  It reminded me of Greg Koukl’s Colombo Tactic:

  1. What do you mean by that?
  2. How did you come to that conclusion?

Here is the article:

Fine-Tune Your B.S. Detector: You’ll Need It

In the digital age, misinformation—from nonsense to lies—spreads faster than ever and is becoming an area of serious research

By Elizabeth Bernstein

B.S. is a form of persuasion that aims to impress the listener while employing a blatant disregard for the truth, the researchers explained. It can involve language, statistics and charts and appears everywhere from politics to science.

Of course this isn’t new. But false information moves faster and farther these days, thanks to social media. A new study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published earlier this month in the journal Science, analyzed the spread of 126,000 rumors tweeted by 3 million people over more than 10 years and found that false news spreads faster than truth. “We have reached epidemic levels of information pollution, and we need to do something about it,”

How Can You Spot B.S.?

Check the source. Is this person an expert or in a position to know the information? Why is he or she telling me? What does the person have to gain? “Sometimes it’s just a coolness factor,” says Jevin West, a professor of information science at the University of Washington, who teaches a class in how to spot B.S. in data.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that we all suffer from confirmation bias—we’re more likely to believe something that confirms what we already think or want. “It’s hardest to spot B.S. we agree with,” says Gordon Pennycook, a postgraduate fellow at Yale who studies B.S. “Question it if it supports your own beliefs.”

Ask questions. Research shows people are more likely to B.S. when they feel they can get away with it. “Ask them simply: ‘Why do you think that? How do you know that is true?’” says John Petrocelli, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., who studies B.S. “This will get them thinking critically.”

Don’t trust your gut. People who pause and think about whether information is true are better able to detect false information, research shows. “Rely on your prior knowledge,” says Lisa Fazio, an assistant professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University.

Ask for evidence. This is different than an explanation, which people can continue to spin. Facts don’t lie—but check them to make sure they are real.

Pay attention to people who discount evidence. “I don’t care what the experts say” is a red flag that the person is using B.S.

Stay offline when you’re tired. Research shows we’re more vulnerable to false claims when our cognitive resources—that is, brain power—are depleted.

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-22-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Early mosaic calls Jesus ‘God’ – creation.com: https://creation.com/early-mosaic-calls-jesus-god
  2. Why Don’t Brilliant Scientists Like Stephen Hawking Believe in God?: http://christianmomthoughts.com/why-dont-brilliant-scientists-like-stephen-hawking-believe-in-god/
  3. Longest Evolution Experiment Dead-End: http://www.darwinthenandnow.com/2018/01/longest-evolution-experiment-dead-end/
  4. “It’s In the Bible, So Believe It! Won’t Help Youth At All: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2018/03/its-in-the-bible-so-believe-it/
  5. Who Was Saint Patrick and Should Christians Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/who-was-saint-patrick-and-should-christians-celebrate-st-patricks-day/
  6. 12 Types of Truth the Scientific Method Cannot Prove – Candid Apologetics: http://candidapologetics.weebly.com/blog/12-types-of-truth-the-scientific-method-cannot-prove
  7. Defend Without Getting Defensive: http://apologeticsguy.com/2010/06/defend-without-getting-defensive/
  8. How Do You Talk to Kids About God? Interview with Author Natasha Crain. – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/talk-kids-god-interview-author-natasha-crain/
  9. Why Do We Need Apologetics? | Women in Apologetics: https://www.womeninapologetics.com/why-do-we-need-apologetics/
  10. How to respond more effectively when someone questions your faith Matthew Ruttan: https://matthewruttan.com/2018/03/13/how-to-respond-more-effectively/
  11. Objections to Apologetics: its arguing and debating Christian Worldview Discipleship: http://www.discipleshipphilippines.org/objections-to-apologetics-3/
  12. A Very Challenging Task: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/a-very-challenging-task-answering-jewish-objections-to-jesus/
  13. 4 Reasons the Internet May Influence Your Kids’ Faith More Than You: http://christianmomthoughts.com/4-reasons-the-internet-may-influence-your-kids-faith-more-than-you/
  14. Get Ready, Youth Group Leaders: Teens Twice as Likely to Identify as Atheist or LGBT | News & Reporting | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/january/youth-group-leaders-generation-z-atheist-lgbt-teens-barna.html
  15. Why Is Christianity So Closed-Minded and Exclusive?: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/why-is-christianity-so-closed-minded-and-exclusive
  16. False Claims About Jesus in the Popular Press | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/false-claims-in-the-popular-press/
  17. Atheist Police Detective Examines the Resurrection of Jesus becomes Christian – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjXMsq6SscA
  18. Brain = Mind? Craniopagus Twins Argue Otherwise | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/brain-mind-craniopagus-twins-argue-otherwise/
  19. Why Do You Need a Fighting Faith? – Tim Challies: https://www.challies.com/why-do-you-need-a-fighting-faith/
  20. Verifiability Is A Christian Distinctive | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/verifiability-is-a-christian-distinctive/

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, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. Luke 21:37-38

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/18/2018

Today in our class we watched J. Warner Wallace speak about the case for the resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of a Cold Case homicide detective:

 

Before the video started, I read Matthew 28:1-10:

1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, ” Do not be afraid ; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead ; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ” Do not be afraid ; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before the video:

J. Warner Wallace – the Resurrection 3/18/2018

  1. What is r_________________ (not what’s possible), this is the judicial standard.
  2. Presuppositional bias, you tend to see things through the lens of your presuppositions.
  3. Although archaeological evidence exists to support the locations of the New Testament, it doesn’t mean that the miracles are true. It could be mythology set in a historical setting.
  4. The most singularly important piece of evidence in the Christian worldview is the r___________
  5. Gary Habermas surveyed the writings of 3400 scholars and came up with a list of m_____________ f__________ agreed by all of them regarding the resurrection.
  6. Here are the minimal facts according to J. Warner Wallace:
    1. Jesus was c___________ and b______________
    2. The tomb was e_______________ and no one ever produced his body.
    3. The disciples b__________________ they saw the risen Jesus.
    4. The disciples were tr______________ following their alleged Resurrection observations.
  7. Explanatory possibilities-the first six of the following are possible, but not reasonable:
    1. They were w____________:
      1. From Luke 22, “His sweat became like drops of blood”, this is a scientific condition known as psychogenic hematidrosis. This condition is most often seen in death row inmates.
      2. We have a tendency to underestimate what He endured, because Renaissance paintings don’t show Him as bloodied.
      3. John 19:34, “bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” Pericardial Effusion produces blood in a fluid that looks like water. The other possibility is Pleural Effusion.
    2. They were l_____________: Conspiracies take 5 things to work:
      1. A small number of conspirators.
      2. A short conspiracy time span.
      3. Excellent communication.
      4. Strong familial relationships.
      5. Little or no pressure to confess
      6. On the contrary, the disciples:
        1. Had to hold the conspiracy for about 60 years
        2. Were separated by 1000’s of miles
        3. Were men from all walks of life
        4. Never recanted their testimony
      7. 1st person who saw Jesus was a woman (not be trusted in 1st century society).
    3. They were d________________:
      1. Paul and James, as skeptics, would not have wanted to see Jesus alive
      2. No one has group dreams or group hallucinations
      3. There’s still an empty tomb
    4. They were f_________________:
      1. If you want to be successful conning someone you have to know more about the topic than the person you are trying to con.
      2. After His resurrection, He appeared miraculously, Luke 24:36.
      3. He performed miraculously, John 21:6, Acts 1:3.
      4. He ascended miraculously, Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9.
    5. They were i_________________:
      1. Mary couldn’t influence others.
      2. Peter was seldom alone. Would Mary and the women then lie in retrospect?
      3. Paul didn’t wish it was true.
      4. Resurrection appearances are from multiple eye-witnesses w/extensive detail.
      5. If you run back to the tomb, and the tomb is empty, you don’t have an imaginary vision problem, you have a conspiracy.
      6. The tomb was empty and no one ever produced his body.
    6. They were d______________________:
      1. We know these are early accounts, and have been attested repeatedly by the “chain of custody”.
    7. They were a__________________ (the Christian explanation):
      1. Jesus was crucified and buried.
      2. The tomb was empty and no one ever produced His body.
      3. The disciples believed they saw the risen Jesus.
      4. Disciples were transformed following their alleged resurrection observations.
  8. Every single one of these 7 explanations above have s______________ and w_______________
  9. Weakness of Christian explanation is that it requires a resurrection, a belief in the supernatural.
  10. Are supernatural events possible? The evidence regarding these events was:
    1. Timely
    2. Quoted
    3. Verified
    4. Described
    5. Transmitted
    6. Attested
  11. Atheists begin with conclusion that supernaturalism is not possible. That is circular reasoning.
  12. There are only one of two possibilities about what happened to Jesus.
    1. Jesus rose from the dead: Only one barricade to overcome, anti-supernatural bias. I’m the reason that barricade is there, I won’t consider supernatural explanations!
    2. Jesus did not rise from the dead: Many barricades to overcome as listed above.
  13. Do your part to make c___ for the resurrection, & let God do His part to convince the individual.
  14. Not like game of tennis, like game of baseball. Just get up to bat & advance runner to next base.
  15. You are f__________ and o______________ to God when you get your butt up off the bench and get in the batter’s box. That’s it! If you “make contact” great.
  16. The writers of scripture claimed to be eyewitnesses, Luke 1:1, 2 Peter 1:16, 1 John 1:1-3
  17. I’m not a case maker to win an argument, I’m a case maker to be able to pull down the barriers between you and the G_______________
  18. You may not consider yourself to be an evangelist, but none of you gets out of the responsibility to be a case maker. If you are a Christian, you are a case maker according to 1 Peter 3:15.
  19. The first decision you made was for Christ, the second decision you need to make is to become A Christian Case Maker.
  20. It easy to call yourself a Christian, but it’s hard to d______________ what you believe.

Discussion Questions

What were the main points J. Warner Wallace was trying to make in this video?

mid-week apologetics booster (3-15-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Why sexual immorality should be repudiated rather than debated – Washington Times: https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/4/why-sexual-immorality-should-be-repudiated-rather-/
  2. This Is Apologetics: An Argument from Christian Hypocrisy JOEL SETTECASE: https://settecase.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/this-is-apologetics-an-argument-from-christian-hypocrisy/
  3. The Limitations of Apologetics and Belief That and Belief In THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/the-limitations-of-apologetics-and-belief-that-and-belief-in-2/
  4. WALSH: Many People Have Asked Me To ‘Tone Down The Jesus Stuff.’ I’m Going To Do The Opposite. | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/27897/walsh-many-people-have-asked-me-tone-down-jesus-matt-walsh
  5. Does Jesus Really Want Me to Hate My Family?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/does-jesus-want-hate-family/
  6. Why Generation Z is less Christian than ever | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/11/why-generation-z-is-less-christian-than-ever-and-why-thats-good-news.html
  7. Who Wrote the Gospels and When Did They Write Them? – Logic & Light: http://www.logicandlight.org/who-wrote-the-gospels-and-when-did-they-write-them/
  8. A Case for the Bible 101: Manuscript Evidence Part 1, A Few Important Facts Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-the-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-1-a-few-important-facts/
  9. Why Are Stories Such Powerful Means of Communication? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-are-stories-such-powerful-means-of-communication
  10. Science Confirms Climate Change! | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/climate-change/science-confirms-climate-change/
  11. Loving Christ – How can I get out of my evidentialist hole and find Jesus? How can I come to know my faith is true? | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/loving-christ/
  12. Isn’t the Christian View of Sexuality Dangerous and Harmful?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/isnt-the-christian-view-of-sexuality-dangerous-and-harmful/
  13. Is Christianity Intolerant? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-christianity-intolerant/
  14. What is the Most Recent Manuscript Count for the New Testament? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-most-recent-manuscript-count-for-the-new-testament
  15. How Not to Teach Your Kids the Bible: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-not-to-teach-your-kids-the-bible/
  16. The Difference Between Knowing and Showing God Exists THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/the-difference-between-knowing-and-showing-god-exists/

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:7-14

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/11/2018

Today in our apologetics class, Lord willing, I will be showing the following video lecture by Abdu Murray titled “Does Prayer Really Help?”

Below is the note-taking form with discussion questions I will hand out to the class:

Does Prayer Really Help?  Abdu Murray – 3/11/2018

Abdu Murray’s Testimony

  1. I thought I_________ was true, and that if it was true, you should believe it too.
  2. Relativism – “what’s true for you is true for you, what’s true for me is true for me” – Nonsense.
  3. He used to ask people, “Why are you a Christian?” Most common response, “I don’t know…”  Another common response was, “Its tradition.”  If its tradition, how do you k______ it’s t_____?
  4. Most Christians had no response to the objections Abdu would raise.
  5. Dave and Pete came to his apartment at university every Thursday to share their f___.  He grew to love Dave and Pete, because they wanted me in heaven, and he wanted them in heaven.
  6. Abdu, looking for contradiction in the Bible, comes across Luke 3:7-8 (John the Baptist):
    … do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.”
    He was saying, you’re relying on your t_________ (children of Abraham) to save you, but t___________ doesn’t save, truth saves.  Abdu realized that John the Baptist was agreeing with him, and those words applied to him as well – he was in love with tradition and not with truth.
  7. Apologetics is about p_______________ – why the Christian faith is true.  It was the B___________ that got Abdu thinking about all this in the first place.
  8. May you never speak with lofty a_______________ and a closed Bible.  Use that Word of God!
  9. There are plenty of things you can lose if you’re a Muslim and you become a Christian.
  10. He began to see the beauty of the Gospel and that God is a t_____ God, when all of that became real to him, not just intellectually, but also in his spirit/heart, he gave his life to the Lord.

Does Prayer Really Help?

  1. He studied different religious systems, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, Confucianism, Etc.
  2. He’s convinced that the Christian worldview is u______________ t_________. It teaches us who God is, and who we are in relation to God. It conforms to reality.
  3. Does prayer help? Depends on what you mean by prayer & depends on what you mean by help.
  4. George Carlin made some very serious challenges against the Christian faith.
  5. Carlin prayed to God, and got what he wanted half the time, so did an experiment. He prayed to Joe Pesci instead. The results were the same. Therefore, he concludes, maybe there is no God?
  6. Carlin says, when you don’t get what you want, you say “it wasn’t part of the divine plan”. That’s a c_________ o__________. You’re just “talking to the wall”.
  7. In your darkest times, you may think I’ve been praying the same thing for 15 years and nothing has changed. Am I just talking to nobody? Is anybody l____________________?
  8. George Carlin presents a caricature of prayer-he only has it half right. So, only having it half right, he gets it all wrong. God is not a “Divine v______________ m______________”.
  9. The common misconception of prayer: it is the avenue through which we ask God for “stuff”.
  10. Matthew 6:7-13 (The Lord’s Prayer). Unfortunate name for it-isn’t the prayer the Lord actually prayed, because the prayer requests forgiveness. Yet we know that He needed no forgiveness.
  11. Don’t babble & don’t pray a “f______________”. God wants your heart, speak from your heart!
  12. 2 examples of short, simple prayers: 1) tax collector: “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:9-14). 2) The father who prayed, “I believe, help me with my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
  13. If the Lord already knows what you need, then w_________ a_________ Him?
  14. Prayer not just about asking for a bunch of things, but asking for our needs, based on God’s w__
  15. Plenty of things we want, but only a f______ things we need. We have way more than we need!
  16. He wants to change what we think we need to c______________ us so that we seek Him.
  17. Familiarity breeds contempt. The more you h_______ something, the less important it is to you.
  18. Abdu comes from a worldview where it is considered blasphemy to call God your Father.
  19. It is it is Christianity alone that allows you to call the One who created the universe “D_______”. It isn’t just D_________, or father, but His very name is holy.
  20. It is only the Christian faith that allows for God to be father, and yet majestic, at the same time.
  21. You begin to see who you are through prayer. You are a c___________ of the k__________!
  22. The primacy is for God’s will to be done. But God gives us our needs every day. It’s God’s basic will that you have your n________ m_____. He wants to give you more, but that’s his basic will.
  23. What needs? Food & clothing – yes, but the very next words are forgive us our debts. Our most fundamental need isn’t food, but to be forgiven. We’re in desperate need of daily f___________
  24. Every other worldview says we can f__ ourselves. Malcolm Muggeridge said that the doctrine of original sin is the most hotly-contested doctrine of all, yet it has the most evidence in its favor.
  25. If you want evidence that humans are in need of a Savior, just turn on the news for 5 minutes.
  26. If I could put your t____________ for the last 24 hours on screen for everyone, how many of you would say, “oh no problem!” or how many of you would run out of this room screaming?
  27. Jesus does not tell you what you want to hear. He says, “out of the heart comes evil thoughts, adulteries” (Matt. 15:19). i.e. you’re evil, come follow Me! That’s a terrible recruiting poster. He’s not telling you what you w________ to hear, He’s telling you what you n________ to hear.
  28. Story about woman whose only son was murdered-ended up inviting that murderer to live next to her. He was so impacted by her example of forgiveness, that he gave his life to the Lord.
  29. Your job in prayer is not to get s_________ from God, it’s to get in c________________ with God. He wants to give you character, and not stuff. He wants to change the world through you.
  30. Prayer is not about conforming God’s will to your will, it is about conforming your will to God’s will. If this is what you mean by prayer, it a______________ w_____________!
  31. Example from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (…there was given me a t____________ in my flesh…)
  32. Idols will eat you alive, what you need is contentment!
  33. The best thing you can get from God this side of heaven is c_______________.  What a gift!
  34. Matt Chandler w/ brain cancer – “I now get to live the faith I preach”.
  35. Have I been treating prayer as my A___ machine?  Or have I been seeking God’s will for my life?
  36. What God wants you have more than anything is to be l___________ His Son!

Discussion Questions

  1. What was the main point made by George Carlin related to prayer?
  2. Does unanswered prayer mean that God does not exist or Christianity is not true?
  3. What request that you’ve been praying to God for a long time about, where you’ve not received an answer yet?  Have you wondered why there is no answer?  Is it according to God’s will?
  4. What other Scriptures tell us about prayer?  What are great examples of prayer in the Bible? (Philippians 4:6-7; Luke 18:1-8 [the persistent widow]; Luke 18:9-14 [the Pharisee & tax collector]; Psalms 55:22; Psalms 139:13-16,23-24; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 119:11; Psalms 51:1-17; Revelation 4:11)
  5. According to Abdu Murray, does prayer work?  What about according to you?

 

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-8-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. American Atheists Hide Behind the Fairy Tale of Evolution – The American Vision: https://americanvision.org/11504/american-atheists-hide-behind-fairy-tale-evolution/
  2. Why Belief in God is a Rational Position Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-belief-in-god-is-a-rational-position/
  3. 3 Startling Truths about the Early Church from the Pre-New Testament Texts Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/03/28/3-startling-truths-about-the-early-church-from-the-pre-new-testament-texts/
  4. Atheist Garage – Adam4d.com: http://adam4d.com/atheist-garage/
  5. The Right and Wrong Reasons to Pursue Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-right-and-wrong-reasons-to-pursue-apologetics/
  6. 10 Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-things-every-christian-should-know-about-islam/
  7. Dinosaur Questions and Answers – creation.com: https://creation.com/dinosaur-questions-and-answers
  8. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 1 | Origins :: Cornerstone Network: http://origins.ctvn.org/2012/11/12/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made-part-1/
  9. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 2 | Origins :: Cornerstone Network: http://origins.ctvn.org/2012/11/19/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made-part-2/
  10. Neanderthal Man and the Bible: http://aliveapologetics.blogspot.com/2012/03/neanderthal-man-and-bible.html
  11. The Three D’s of Tolerance | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-three-ds-of-tolerance/
  12. Islam’s Claims of Biblical Corruption Actually Impeach the Qur’an: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/islams-claims-of-biblical-corruption.html
  13. Keep Praying for Melinda | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/keep-praying-melinda#.WpxfBOjwaUk
  14. China, officially atheist, could have more Christians than the U.S. by 2030 – Houston Chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/China-officially-atheist-could-have-more-12633079.php#photo-15118937
  15. The Impossibility of Life’s Evolutionary Beginnings: http://www.icr.org/article/10456/
  16. Science and God | Andy Bannister: http://www.andybannister.net/science-and-god/
  17. Can Christians Answer One Simple Question? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/can-christians-answer-one-simple-question
  18. Is Global Sea Level Rising?: http://www.icr.org/article/10403/
  19. Something Fishy about Global Warming Claims – Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10460/
  20. Top 101 Theological Questions in 2018 (According to Google) – Theolocast: http://theolocast.org/blog/top-101-theological-questions-in-2018-according-to-google/
  21. Is Christianity Useful Anymore? The Younger Generations Don’t Seem To Think So: https://crossexamined.org/christianity-useful-anymore-younger-generations-dont-seem-think/
  22. Who Decided What Books to Include in the Bible? 5 Principles | The Stream: https://stream.org/decided-books-include-bible-5-principles/
  23. Are There Different Degrees of Punishment in Hell? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/are-there-different-degrees-of-punishment-in-hell/
  24. Fact Check: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence: http://candidapologetics.weebly.com/blog/fact-check-extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence
  25. What does it mean to say Christianity is true? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/what-does-it-mean-to-say-christianity-is-true-3/
  26. Extremely Early Testimonies to the Deity of Christ: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2018/03/extremely-early-testimonies-to-the-deity-of-christ/
  27. 5 Ways Progressive Christianity and New Age Spirituality Are Kind of the Same Thing – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-ways-progressive-christianity-and-new-age-spirituality-are-kind-of-the-same-thing
  28. How Can We Know Prayer Works? A Response to Neil deGrasse Tyson Relevant Belief: https://relevantbelief.com/2018/02/24/how-can-we-know-prayer-works-a-response-to-neil-degrasse-tyson/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
  29. Does Prayer Make Any Difference? | RZIM: http://rzim.org/just-thinking/does-prayer-make-any-difference/
  30. Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/why-doesnt-god-answer-all-my-prayers/

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:14-16

Blessings to you all

Teaching for Men’s Bible Study – Nehemiah 4:15-23

Nehemiah 4:15-23

Given March 6th 2018

The Work Resumes

15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.

17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. 19 I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 “At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.” 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water. (NASB)

In this part of Nehemiah chapter 4, we see the method that Nehemiah uses to motivate the battling and at the same time to maintain the building.  It was vital that the walls be built up.  The temple was in jeopardy and the people were in jeopardy.  The enemy could come in at will.  Roving bandits could move into the city, even without a great deal of armaments, and take what they wanted.

By way of application, this is a picture of what the defeated Christian is like. The Enemy comes in and runs rampant through his life, doing what he pleases.  Satan is out to defeat the Christian in every circumstance. He loves it when there are no defenses that are built up.  The book of Nehemiah talks about physical fortifications, but in the same way, a mature Christian must have “spiritual fortifications” built up.  These spiritual fortifications in the life of a believer represent maturity.  We need to be spiritually self-sustaining and able then to nourish others and to build them up.  This is particularly important with us men as spiritual leaders in our families.  We need to be mature, not spiritual babies.  The writer of Hebrews addresses this:

Hebrews 5:11-1411 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Verse 12 is saying that, considering how long you’ve been a Christian, it is a necessity that you ought to be a teacher.  V. 13-14 says you ought to be on Porterhouse and instead you’re on Pablum.

In the book of Nehemiah, the MacArthur Study Bible lists 7 attempts to stop Nehemiah’s work:

  1. 2:19 – Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem mocked Nehemiah
  2. 4:1-3 – Sanballat and Tobiah mocked Nehemiah
  3. 4:7-23 – the enemy threatened a military attack
  4. 6:1-4 – Sanballat and Geshem attempted to lure Nehemiah outside Jerusalem to Ono
  5. 6:5-9 – Sanballat threatened Nehemiah with false charges
  6. 6:10-14 – Shemaiah, Noadiah and others were paid to prophesy falsely and discredit Nehemiah
  7. 6:17-19 – Tobiah had spies in Jerusalem and wrote Nehemiah letters in order to frighten him

Up to this point in the book, the Jewish people had been experiencing 4 things:

  1. Daunting and intimidation (4:1-3)

    1 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?” 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are building – if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!”

  2. Discouragement (4:4a,5b)

    Hear, O our God, how we are despised … for they have demoralized the builders.

  3. Defiance, threats of open attacks (4:7-8)

    7 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.

  4. Doubts (4:10)

    Thus in Judah it was said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish ; And we ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.”

 

The enemy was using all of these tactics to attempt to prevent them from “building the wall”, but Nehemiah had answers for all of this, because he was in touch with God.

In the beginning of our passage for today, we see that Nehemiah’s guards, and the overall show of force, had the effect of not just defending the Jewish people, but also intimidating the enemy.  When the enemy learned that Jerusalem was armed and ready, they backed off. God had frustrated their plot.

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:10–11 NKJV)

As they were getting back to work, Nehemiah knew that he couldn’t interrupt the work every time he heard a new rumor, so he set up a defense plan that solved the problem: Half of the men worked on the wall while the other half stood guard. He saw to it that the people carrying materials also carried weapons and that the workers on the walls carried swords. In this way, the work would not be interrupted, and the workers would be ready in case of an alarm. The man with the trumpet stayed close to Nehemiah so the alarm could be given immediately if trouble came and they were attacked.

So, in the same way, we as Christians must build and we must battle.  We cannot stop battling to build and we cannot stop building to battle.  We must do both simultaneously.  We see this principle in James:

James 4:7-8a 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

When Charles Spurgeon started his church magazine in 1865, he borrowed the title from Nehemiah and called the publication The Sword and Trowel (note – trowel is a small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster):

He said it was “a record of combat with sin and labor for the Lord.” It is not enough to build the wall; we must also be on guard lest the Enemy take it from us.

Building and battling are both a normal part of the Christian life if we are faithful disciples (Luke 14:28–33).

28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

** Question: What are some areas (in our personal lives, in the church and in the culture at large) that we as Christians need to be battling against?

** Question: What are some areas (in our personal lives, in the church and in the culture at large) that we as Christians need to be involved in building up?

There are 3 prominent things in this passage of Scripture – the plan, the promise and the perseverance:

The Plan

  1. Why do we need a plan? Vengeance of the enemy, vitalness of the work and vastness of the wall
    1. The vengeance of the enemy demands that there be a plan that we might have victory. We saw this in v.7-8 of this chapter:

      Nehemiah 4:7-87 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.

    2. The vitalness of the work. In the book of Nehemiah up until this point, the emphasis has been how important this matter of building the wall is to the people of Israel:

      Nehemiah 1:3-43 They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

    3. Because of the vastness of the wall:

      Nehemiah 4:19 – I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another.”

      They weren’t all together in one place when working on the wall, but they were individuals, working on individual parts of the wall – they were separated by great distances. In the same way, we as Christians are not always together all the time (maybe once or twice a week).  But, during the times when we’re not together, we may be living or working in close contact with unbelievers. We not called to just stay inside the “Christian bubble”, but we are to go out and penetrate our society and infect them with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20):

      18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

      God doesn’t want us to sit around as a bunch of Christians and hold hands all the time.  When we come together, it strengthens us.  But we’re not just one big happy family living together all the time (for example, like the Amish or Mennonites).  That’s going to happen in heaven.  Rather, we are soldiers of Christ (2 Timothy 2:3-4):

      3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

      And ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20):

      Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

      We have been sent out on a mission – and the mission is the lost world (Acts 13:47):

      “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'”

  2. Who’s involved in the plan? Everyone:

    Nehemiah 4:16 – From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.

    The load bearers and the builders were both working and were holding their weapons.  The rulers were in a supporting role.  They were feeding the people and were encouraging them.

    Nehemiah 4:17-1817 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.

    Those who built on the wall were the laborers – they had one hand doing their work and one hand holding their weapon.  It also speaks about those who carried burdens.  The trumpeters stood by Nehemiah.

    This is a beautiful Old Testament illustration of a New Testament concept – “Spiritual Gifts”.  So everybody was doing his job – everybody was involved.  1 Corinthians 12 talks about the importance of these Spiritual Gifts.  God gives every single believer in Jesus Christ a spiritual gift.  We’re all to be involved and using these gifts for “the common good” – it’s not just the pastor, it’s not just the elders, Nehemiah put everyone to work (1 Corinthians 12:4-7):

    4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

  3. What is the plan? The plan consisted of 3 elements – they were to be armed, active and alert:
    1. They are to be armed – prepared for battle. They were carrying their weapons while working.  We as believers need to be armed and the Word of God is our weapon (Hebrews 4:12):

      For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

    2. They were to be active (v.15b-18):

      15b all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.

    3. They were to be alert (v. 20) for the sound of the trumpet:

      Nehemiah 4:20a – “At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there.”

      No matter what the workers were doing, or where they labored on the wall, they all kept an ear open for the sound of the trumpet. What an example for us to follow as we await the return of the Lord!

      “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thess. 4:16)

The Promise (v.20):

Nehemiah 4:20b – “Our God will fight for us.”

This concept is communicated a multitude of different times in Scripture.  This is God’s promise repeated so often to the nation of Israel.  The “Plan” involves something you can do.  The “Promise” involves something you receive as a result of God’s marvelous grace.    For example:

Ex. 14:14 – The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Deut. 20:4 – For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

Joshua 10:24-2524 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”

Ps. 60:11-1211 Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. 12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.

2 Chronicles 32:7-87 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

Isaiah 54:17 – “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from Me,” declares the LORD

The Perseverance

Nehemiah 4:21 – So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared.

They didn’t let anything stop the building.  They “carried on” the work.  That involved hard work and long hours (from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared – that was probably a 15 hour day!)  That’s a long day, but that was required, because it was a large task.  Jesus says:

John 9:4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

They were so dedicated to this purpose that they were always clothed and always armed.  It would’ve been uncomfortable, but they were always ready.  Even in the matter of sleeping, they were always on alert.  Nehemiah had instituted a “second shift” and required the workers from the other towns to stay in Jerusalem at night and help guard the city:

Nehemiah 4:22-2322 At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.” 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.

It is often while we sleep that the Enemy does his most insidious work and so we must be on guard:

Matthew 13:25 – But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.

Nehemiah not only organized the workers and guards and encouraged them to trust the Lord, but he, as a good leader, also set the right kind of example for them (Nehemiah 4:23):

So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.

The “Perseverance” then, is a great picture of what the Christian life really is all about.  It’s a battle from the start to the finish.  But it’s also a building process from the start to the finish.

The late Dr. Alan Redpath explained why the Jews succeeded in getting their work done and keeping the enemy at bay. The people had:

  1. A mind to work (4:6):Nehemiah 4:6 – So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
  2. A heart to pray (4:9a) and an eye to watch (4:9b):Nehemiah 4:9 – But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.
  3. An ear to hear (4:20):Nehemiah 4:20 – At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.

And this gave them the victory.

They also had a godly leader with the faith to stand. Nehemiah was a leader who served and a servant who led. He stayed on the job and was alert at all times. He inspected the city’s defenses every night and made sure that the guards were on duty.

“Therefore … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58 NKJV)

My sources in preparing this talk:

  1. BE Determined: Standing Firm in the Face of Opposition (Old Testament Commentary on Nehemiah by Warren W. Wiersbe)
  2. Faith Life Study Bible Commentary (included with Logos Bible Software)
  3. The MacArthur Study Bible
  4. The “Bible Nuggets” app I wrote for Android (used the “topics” feature)
  5. Sermon on Nehemiah 4:15-23 by Paul E. Steele senior pastor of the ‘Valley Church’ Cupertino, CA from Sermon Audio (https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=816081429374):

Apologetics Class 3/4/2018

Today, we watched an hour long lecture from Greg Koukl titled “Never Read a Bible Verse”.  Here is the video:

Here is the note taking form with discussion questions I handed out before the video:

“Never Read a Bible Verse” – Greg Koukl (3-4-2018)

  1. Greg Koukl says, “When I was going to school at UCLA, I thought I was too s______ to become a Christian. I thought Christianity was for people who were, I’m ashamed to say it, d________ or u____________.”
  2. I’m really talking to followers of Christ, so I hope you brought your Bible.
  3. If I could give one talk, or impart one skill to a group of Christians it would be this teaching.
  4. Some of you are going to get mad at me, because I’m going to talk about a m____________ almost every single Christian makes when reading the Bible to understand what it m_________.
  5. Sometimes we seize on promises from the Old Testament and claim them as promises for ourselves, but they weren’t m_____________ to be taken that way.
  6. A young lady’s favorite verse was E______________ 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” She thought that this was a promise that applied directly to her.
  7. In 1551, French printer Robert Stefani’s added v_________ n_____________ to the Bible.
  8. The passage applies to us when understood in context, but the verse does not directly apply to us when taken in i_________________, out of context.
  9. When you face opposition on campus, is this God’s instruction for you … that you’re supposed to stay silent and He will fight for you? Read Matthew 10, that isn’t what he told the disciples!
  10. Chapter divisions are also a____________________, and were not part of the original.
  11. First problem: treating your Bible as if the verses s___________-a______________.
  12. Second problem: called the “j________ Bible verse”. Reading surreptitiously, waiting for a verse to jump out – indicating that the Holy Spirit is talking to you specifically about your situation.
  13. Example given was an adulterous woman who found the verse that says, “put on the new man”, and believed that it confirmed her decision to leave her husband and go with her boyfriend.
  14. This does not refer to reading Scripture, seeing something applies to your c_____________. E.g. Eph. 5:25, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church & gave himself up for her.”
  15. What is being talked about is when we isolate certain verses and get d________________ meanings from them than what was originally i_________________ by the author.
  16. People say, “the Lord gave me this verse.” People normally say that when it is something that wouldn’t naturally a___________ to their life.
  17. The person is saying, “this verse is true for me, but not necessarily true for you.” That is like r_________. Once we approach the Bible that way, we destroy the original meaning of the text.
  18. There is no biblical justification for finding p_________, p________________ messages in texts originally intended by God to mean something else. A text can never mean what it never meant.
  19. With the exception of P_____________, you can’t get the meaning of verses by reading them on their own. You have to get the meaning from the larger context.
  20. Four Biblical arguments Greg provides to bolster his claims:
    1. The Bible teaches that there are no p_____________ i_____________, 2 Peter 1:20-21
    2. The Bible teaches that S______________ is i______________, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    3. The Bible teaches we are to be diligent & study to get the c______ meaning, 2 Tim. 2:15
    4. The Bible teaches we must guard correct meaning from being t_____________ or d_________________, Jude 3
  21. The scripture never even teaches this approach (getting your personal interpretation). You don’t see the d__________________ doing this.
  22. Rule: Never Read a Bible Verse. Never read only a single Bible verse – read a p_______________ or more to be confident that you’re getting the correct meaning, the correct flow of thought.
  23. Here are some verses that have been understood and used inappropriately:
    1. John 12:32 – if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself. Often used by worship leaders. But Jesus is talking about being c__________________.
    2. Proverbs 23:7 – as a man thinks in his heart so he is. Often used to demonstrate if you have a p___________ m______________ a______________ you’ll succeed.
    3. Sometimes by reading a passage, you can see what it does not mean.
    4. John 20:29 – I will not believe unless I put my finger in the hole. Blessed are those who did not see, and yet believe. This is commonly understood to mean that Jesus is commending a kind of b__________ f____________. In the very next verse, John gives the reason that he wrote this gospel.
    5. John 8:32 – you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The context is John 8:31-36. Jesus is not just talking about any truth, but the truth that He provides. He needs talking about providing freedom f_________ s_______.
    6. Jeremiah 29:11 (the most frequently abused verse in the Bible) – For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. When you read the New Testament, do you see a promised life of welfare and prosperity or rather calamity? Where do we get the idea, then, that God has promised welfare and not calamity for Christians? The context of Jeremiah 29:11 is Jeremiah 29:10-14. This promise is for a very s___________ g_________ of p____________, the Jews who are in captivity in Babylon.
  24. Our understanding of God’s word is foundational for our Christian lives. This is the Book that tells us about reality. This is the Book that tells us how to live. It’s critical that we u________________ it a____________________.
  25. If it is not being u__________________ in the sense that He gave it, it is not His word.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the “jumping Bible verse” approach to reading Scripture? Why is it wrong?
  2. How then should we approach the practice of Bible verse memorization? Is there anything wrong with memorizing just a single verse?
  3. How can we “speak up” when we hear someone quoting a verse out of context or in an inappropriate way?
  4. How can we “speak up” when someone is apparently using the “jumping Bible verse” approach?
  5. In which part of the Bible can verses typically be understood in isolation?
  6. What is the some of the ways to determine the meaning of a passage in its context?
  7. What’s the difference between receiving a “private, personal interpretation” of a passage and experiencing conviction or encouragement that occurs when a passage applies to your situation?
  8. Do you take exception with Greg on any of the “correct interpretations” he provides?

 

 

AWANA Teaching on Faith 2/28/2018

The topic at Awana Truth and Training Wednesday was faith – our memory verse for the night was Hebrews 11:6 –

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The teaching focused on Mark 4:35-41, where Jesus calms the storm:

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!””

First, I started off by having them read the memory verse as a group, then asked the group to define “faith”. I got some answers. Then I moved on to show this short (~3 min) video:

The clubbers enjoyed it. I reinforced the 3 points in the video that define what faith is. Then I had a clubber read the passage (Mark 4:35-41). I went through answering the questions in the handbook and we were talking about the story in Mark 4:35-41. I then showed this short (~2 min) video that depicts what happened in that passage:

Afterward we talked about the passage and the disciple’s faith (or lack thereof). I reminded them that just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that your life will be smooth sailing and that all your prayers will be answered. In fact Jesus promised that in this world you will have trouble.

Then we dismissed for book time. During book time I was able to have a wonderful time getting one of the 5th graders to consider why Jesus is called the Lamb of God (based on one of the questions in her silver sections). I saw the “light bulb go on”, and I love when that happens!

Then we had the clubbers go to the “store” to spend their Awana bucks for the snacks, then afterward games – it was kind of a “free for all” volleyball – it was fun.

At the end I reminded them that next week is hike night and that they’re not to wear open toed shoes. Then prayed, announced the leader from last week and gave the winners more snacks!

We got several gifts/cards from the clubbers since it was “heart for leaders” night. It was funny – during the main opening time, the Awana director was asking the clubbers for examples of good leaders – answers were, God, Einstein and one 5th grade clubber shouted out “Trump!”

mid-week apologetics booster (3-1-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Nabeel Qureshi // Why I stopped believing Islam is a religion of peace – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2htOWOF4gqs
  2. Do You Love Your Reputation More than Christ? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/do-you-love-your-reputation-more-christ#.Wo7JnOCp40M
  3. 50 Alleged Bible Contradictions Refuted | The Domain for Truth: https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/50-alleged-bible-contradiction-refuted/
  4. Thoughts on urgency and apologetics Thinking Matters: http://thinkingmatters.org.nz/2017/11/thoughts-on-urgency-and-apologetics/
  5. William Tyndale: Reformer, Translator, Martyr | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/william-tyndale-reformer-translator-martyr/
  6. Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences: The Ring Of Truth: https://crossexamined.org/undesigned-scriptural-coincidences-the-ring-of-truth/
  7. Is God Selfish and Vindictive? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/god-is-good/is-god-selfish-and-vindictive/
  8. Developing An Apologetic That Works | Faith & Self Defense: https://faithandselfdefense.com/2017/11/21/developing-an-apologetic-that-works/
  9. 10 Reasons to Accept the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Fact: https://crossexamined.org/10-reasons-accept-resurrection-jesus-historical-fact/
  10. Just the Facts: The Minimalist Approach for Talking about the Resurrection Relevant Belief: https://relevantbelief.com/2017/04/13/just-the-facts-the-minimalist-approach-for-talking-about-the-resurrection/
  11. Saved by Faith or Works? by Living Waters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwR7zT9NtZM
  12. Which side of the abortion rights debate is backed by scientific evidence? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/02/27/which-side-of-the-abortion-rights-debate-is-backed-by-scientific-evidence/
  13. Sharing Your Faith: Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional – Amy Orr-Ewing – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQllrDz1qU
  14. Is There Absolute Truth? by Living Waters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lvSGCaicEg
  15. Is There Meaning to Life? – Dr. Craig Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKGnXgH_CzE
  16. Apologetics: Getting to the Gospel as Soon as Possible Here’s the thing: https://heresthething.blog/2018/02/09/apologetics-getting-to-the-gospel-as-soon-as-possible/
  17. Greg Koukl – What is faith? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuxYaiTg4g
  18. Did Humans Evolve From Apes; Examining the Anatomy – DyerThoughts: http://www.dyerthoughts.com/home/did-humans-evolve-from-apes-examining-the-anatomy
  19. Why did God Create People He Foreknew Would Go to hell? – GiveAnAnswer.org: https://www.giveananswer.org/why-did-god-create-people-he-foreknew-would-go-to-hell/
  20. What Is Christianity?: https://thereforegodexists.com/what-is-christianity/
  21. Contentment is its Own Apologetic – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/contentment-is-its-own-apologetic/
  22. A Life-Changing Trip for Students: https://mailchi.mp/8cc65cf8733b/a-life-changing-trip-for-students
  23. 10 Ways to Get Your Kids More Interested in Their Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/10-ways-to-get-your-kids-more-interested-in-their-faith/
  24. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: https://churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:13-17

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/25/2018

Today in the Apologetics Class, Lord willing, we will be watching the video Sharing Your Faith- Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional (Amy Orr-Ewing of RZIM Trust is the speaker):

Here is the note-taking page I handed out before the class:

Sharing Your Faith – Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional – Amy Orr-Ewing RZIM Trust, February 25th 2018

  1. A_______________ comes from Greek word “Apologia”, 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared …”
  2. Describes what a defense lawyer would do in a court – give a reasoned, persuasive d_________
  3. Why is it unusual for us to feel unembarrassed, naturally to talk about Jesus?
  4. Sometimes there is an “inner cringe” at the fear and a______________ of evangelism

2 “Motions” that happen in evangelism at our work places:

  1. The P____________ Effect – be ready, so that when opportunity comes, you’re able to take it. You’re pulled into conversation about your faith.  4 characteristics of the kind of person:
    1. Spend time with the Lord in p_______. “Coincidences” happen a lot to those who pray
    2. Something different about them – their lives call forth questions. They r______ Christ.
    3. People for whom “everything is on the altar” for the Lord-completely on f____ for Him.
    4. People who are in c_____________ with other believers, where the quality of Christian love in that community speaks to their work colleagues.
  2. The P____________ Effect – being pro-active. We are to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).  We worry about seeming “weird”, we worry about being o_______________. Few ideas about how we can be pro-active in sharing our faith:
    1. Pray daily for o_______________ and breakthroughs. We should have a mentality of expectation that God has put is in our workplace (or school) and wants us to be there and wants us to speak for Him.  Sometimes, we’ll sow seeds that others will reap.
    2. Ask people q______________. Sometimes we feel afraid of evangelism because we think, “I don’t know all the answers” and “I don’t know what I should say”.  In the Gospels Jesus asked 1___ questions. Everyone can ask questions.
      1. Questions can help “i____________” apathetic people (John 1:38)
      2. Questions can help get a friend really t____________. Thinking is not the enemy of evangelism (Luke 18:19 – “Why do you call Me good?”)
  • Questions can bring the f______ to J_________ in a conversation. We want people to encounter the person of Christ, to introduce Jesus into the situation.
  1. A question can “r______” an i_______. Especially in “tense” situations – sensitive topics.  Jesus did this in Matthew 22:15-22.  Lady on train in Britain asked, “What would it take for you to believe in God?”
  2. A question can demonstrate e______. John 11:34 – “Where have you laid him?”
  3. A question can reveal m___________ (John 5:6 – “Do you want to get well?”).
  • A question can open up frank discussions about b________ to belief (John 8:46)
  • A conversation needs questions-just talking/p____________ won’t work.

Conversations I’ve Had at Work and How They Got Started

Sharing Christ with my boss over lunch

  1. We were alone together in the company cafeteria eating lunch
  2. V. was on talking about a church shooting in N.C. (shooter in Bible study prior)
  3. He characterized it as “he was sitting there listening to and reading the Word of God and yet he still did that”. This led to an extended conversation (~ 1 hour), & sharing the Gospel with him

Another conversation with Boss at end of the day

  1. Conversation about weekend-I was preparing for class I teach at church & other church activities
  2. His comment was, “Wow, that’s a lot of religion!” Then he admitted, “I’m not religious…“
  3. This led to a 5 minute conversation about our respective spiritual histories

Conversation with an Associate at Work Before We Were Leaving for the Day

  1. Talking about what we were doing this weekend – she was going to see a movie
  2. Talked about “Silence” – Liam Neeson – missionary in Japan & missionaries killed by drowning.
  3. Then I asked her if she’d ever seen the Passion of the Christ
  4. Led to a conversation about why Jesus had to die on the cross.

Conversation with an Agnostic Former Youth Pastor

  1. Conversation about football-mentioned having season tickets interfered w/ church activities
  2. Led to him sharing why he became an agnostic due to the “problem of evil”
  3. I was able to share a response to his objections and he later attended a Bible study with me

Conversation with Atheist in Lunch Line at Work Cafeteria

  1. I can’t remember exactly what started the conversation
  2. He was bringing up all these objections about Christianity (in a rapid fire fashion)
  3. Suggested we go out to lunch. He sent calendar invite and we went to Espo’s
  4. 1 hour talk about Christianity-I shared testimony & answered his questions about the faith.

Conversation with an Agnostic at Work

  1. We were making small talk at my desk.
  2. The topic came up about feeling old and things that make you feel/look older
  3. This led to a ½ conversation walking around the lake (at work) talking about Christianity

Other conversations

  1. With an ex-Catholic while on a business trip to San Antonio
  2. With a Mormon (LDS) who sat next to my cube
  3. With a Chinese lady while on a business trip to Germany
  4. With an British work associate on a trip to Manchester
  5. With a Muslim who mentioned his Friday weekly prayers
  6. With a Hindu couple from work whom my wife is watching their middle school child
  7. A Hindu couple over lunch at Aunt Chilada’s
  8. With Hindu lady asking her about Karma/Reincarnation– led to talk about faith
  9. Several Roman Catholics while serving at St. Vincent de Paul with them
  10. A Chinese atheist and a Malaysian Roman Catholic while on business trip in Australia
  11. With German guy who didn’t want to become Christian b/c he’d have to give up beer!

You can read more about these at: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/category/conversation/

 

mid-week apologetics booster (2-22-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Two trees, one root: the link between evolutionism and Eastern spirituality – creation.com: https://creation.com/evolution-linked-with-eastern-spirituality
  2. Studying the Works of Our Creator: http://www.icr.org/article/10434/
  3. A Response to Joy Behar: ‘More People Should Listen When Jesus Speaks’: https://www.christianpost.com/amp/a-response-to-joy-behar-more-people-should-listen-when-jesus-speaks-218006/
  4. 10 Biblical Reasons Jesus Is God | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/jesus-is-god/10-biblical-reasons-jesus-is-god/
  5. How to Turn a Conversation Toward Spiritual Things | Radical Worldview: http://radicalworldview.com/how-to-turn-a-conversation-toward-spiritual-things/
  6. Benny Hinn Is My Uncle, but Prosperity Preaching Isn’t for Me | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/october/benny-hinn-costi-uncle-prosperity-preaching-testimony.html
  7. 11 False Assumptions about Christianity – Do you know how to graciously refute these common assumptions?: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/11-false-assumptions-about-christianity
  8. The Nature of Apologetics | SES: http://ses.edu/the-nature-of-apologetics
  9. If You’re Sick of Thoughts and Prayers Because Shootings Still Happen, You Don’t Understand Christianity: http://christianmomthoughts.com/if-youre-sick-of-thoughts-and-prayers-because-shootings-still-happen-you-dont-understand-christianity/
  10. A Lifestyle of Peace: Philosophy, Jesus Christ & Apologetics: Seven Honest Questions Regarding Christianity: A Challenge: http://www.lifestyleofpeace.com/2017/02/seven-honest-questions-regarding.html
  11. What do Christians mean when they say ‘God spoke to me?’ | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/18/what-do-christians-mean-when-say-god-spoke-to-me.html
  12. Can There Be Any Meaning in a Universe without God? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/can-there-be-any-meaning-universe-without-god#.Woq9LajwaUk
  13. Why we all need to be trained in Christian Apologetics Take the test Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/defending-your-faith-101-why-we-all-need-to-be-trained-in-christian-apologetics-take-the-test/
  14. Greg Koukl – Tactics & Calvinism | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/videos/greg-koukl—tactics-calvinism#.Wo1f36jwaUl
  15. A BIBLICAL CASE FOR LIMITED GOVERNMENT – J.P. Moreland: http://tifwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/JP-Moreland-Limited-Govt.pdf
  16. Converting from Atheism – 7 years ago today: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2012/09/22/converting-from-atheism-7-years-ago-today/
  17. The war on Christians | The Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/10/the-war-on-christians/
  18. The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design on Vimeo (Casey Luskin): https://vimeo.com/77175512
  19. Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/does-distant-starlight-prove-the-universe-is-old/
  20. 7 Positive Ways You Can Respond to Criticism – Dr. Ray Pritchard, Christianity.com Blogs: https://www.christianity.com/blogs/dr-ray-pritchard/7-positive-ways-to-respond-to-criticism.html
  21. Bloody Mosquito Fossil Supports Recent Creation: http://www.icr.org/article/bloody-mosquito-fossil-supports-recent
  22. Sun Paradox Challenges Old Earth Theory: http://www.icr.org/article/sun-paradox-challenges-old-earth-theory
  23. Mike Licona explains the As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Es of New Testament reliability | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2013/10/29/mike-licona-explains-the-as-bs-cs-ds-and-es-of-new-testament-reliability-3/
  24. Taking the Bible Literally (Stand To Reason Solid Ground – 11 pages): https://www.str.org/sites/str.org/files/Media/Default/Publications/Enhanced%20Solid%20Ground%2011-13%20Do%20You%20Take%20the%20Bible%20Literally%20-1.pdf
  25. Rubber Crutches | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/quickthoughts/rubber-crutches#.Wo1lH6jwaUl
  26. Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower – Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I’m the most surprised (KIRSTEN POWERS) | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?paging=off
  27. Spiritual Spackle: Reaching the Lost: Apologetics and More: http://spiritualspackle.blogspot.com/2013/11/reaching-lost-apologetics-and-more.html
  28. Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index: http://www.oldearth.org/young_earth_creationist_argument_index.htm
  29. My Blind Faith Failed Me | The Stream: https://stream.org/blind-faith-failed/

But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Jeremiah 10:10

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/18/2018

Sunday in our Apologetics class, I personally delivered a “book review” of the first 3 chapters of the book:

Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science, by John C. Lennox

The teaching lasted about an hour, with a 10-15 minute discussion afterwards.  I recorded myself and overlaid the slides I used into the following YouTube video.  Initially (for the 1st 4 slides) I forgot to turn on the recorder, so there is no sound until slide 5.  Also, in order to hear any of the comments made by the class, you’ll likely need to turn up the volume to the max.  At the end of the video, there is one class member, who holds the young earth view, that asks me a question about the Sabbath day.  Also, there is one class member, who holds the ancient earth view, that asks several questions throughout the presentation and talks extensively at the end during the discussion time.  It was a good class on an important topic.

The class consisted of a total of 11 people – 5 adults, 5 youth (highschool or middleschool) and 1 college-aged person.  Here is the video of slides with audio of me speaking in the background:

 

Here was the note-taking form I passed out before the presentation started:

7 Days That Divide the World – Dr. John C Lennox (2/18/2018)

  1. Intro:
    1. I’ve not made up my mind on this issue yet
    2. Need to be willing to look at b__________ sides (Prov. 18:17)
    3. Danger of “S_______-M_______” arguments
  2. Chapter 1: But Does It Move? A Lesson From History
    1. 16th Century controversy – Copernicus. The e__________ moves, and not the s______
    2. “Fixed earth” and “moving sun” fit well with the Bible (1 Chron. 16:30; Ps. 93:1-2; Ps. 104:5; 1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 19:4,6; Eccl. 1:5)
    3. Reformers Calvin and Luther were “fixed earthers”
    4. G__________ challenged Aristotelian view of fixed earth – attacked by academia/church
    5. Took many years to establish h__________ view (the view of fixed sun/moving earth)
    6. Now we comfortably accept the heliocentric view
  3. Chapter 2: But Does It Move? A Lesson From Scripture
    1. Controversy with Galileo was about B_____________ interpretation
    2. How did the author i_____________ it to be taken?
    3. We must consider the n______________ understanding of a passage
    4. The meaning of word ‘l______________’ – natural or customary meaning, not mystical/allegorical
    5. Can be more than 1 “natural meaning” of word or phrase
    6. Examples: car “flying” down the road, Jesus is the door, “God said…”.
    7. Literal vs. Literal_______
    8. Christians eventually accepted the “new interpretation” of moving earth
    9. Cannot keep Scripture and Science separate – Bible/Science address some same things
    10. God started s__________ – told Adam to name animals – “t__________________y”
    11. Bible uses phenomenological language — the language of appearance.
    12. Message of Augustine – if my views on something not fundamental to the gospel, on which equally convinced Christians disagree, attract ridicule and therefore disincline my hearers to listen to anything I have to say about the Christian message, then I should be prepared to entertain the possibility that it might be my interpretation that is at fault.
    13. The Galileo incident teaches us that we should be h___________ enough to distinguish between what the Bible says and our interpretations of it. The biblical text might just be more s_____________________ than we first imagined
    14. 2 e____________ to be avoided. The first is the danger of tying interpretation of Scripture too closely to the s______________ of the day. The opposite danger is to i____________ science.
  4. Chapter 3: But Is It Old? The Days of Creation
    1. Christians divided into two main groups. 1: days of Genesis are the 24-hour days of 1 earth week-universe is around 6,000 years old. 2: those who believe that the universe is a__________________.
    2. Reformers L___________ and C_________________ held the 24-hour view
    3. Some of early church f__________________ held to “day-age/epoch” view.
    4. 3 main views of Genesis days: The 24-hour view is that the days are 24-hour days, of one Earth week, about 6,000 years ago. The “d____ a_______” view is that the days are in chronological order, each representing a time of unspecified length. The “framework view” says that the days exhibit a logical order, rather than a chronological order.
    5. We should try to read Genesis 1 as if we had never read it before
    6. Outline of first section of Genesis:
      1. Statement regarding the creation of the heavens and the earth: 1: 1—2
      2. Six days of God’s creation and organizational activity, culminating in the creation of human beings in his image: 1:3-2:1
      3. The seventh day, day of God’s rest—Sabbath: 2:2-3
    7. Correlation with Exodus 20:11.
    8. M____________ and uses of the word “day” in the early chapters of Genesis are many.
    9. Insertion of the “d___________ article” in days 1-5, vs. day 6-7
    10. Lennox thesis that:
      1. Initial creation took place before day 1
      2. Days of creation could be 7 c_____________ 24 hour days separated by l_________ or indeterminate periods of time.
    11. Problematic 4th day – Sun, Moon, Stars created – were they “revealed” from behind clouds or “appointed”?
    12. Cannot determine truth by appealing to how many people held this interpretation, and for how long. Have to ask why they understood it this way.

     

    Discussion Questions

    1. What points is Dr. Lennox missing about the debate?

mid-week apologetics booster (2-15-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Where Are All the Women in Apologetics? | Confident Christianity: http://confidentchristianity.com/?p=1754
  2. Sex carnivals, drag queens are welcome, Ken Ham and other creationists are not, university says | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/07/sex-carnivals-drag-queens-are-welcome-ken-ham-and-other-creationists-are-not-university-says.amp.html
  3. Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/
  4. Why People Believe in Evolution : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/567-why-people-believe-in-evolution
  5. The problem with naturalism, the problem with empiricism (PDF): https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j22_2/j22_2_28-31.pdf
  6. How should a Christian view rationalism vs. empiricism?: https://www.gotquestions.org/rationalism-vs-empiricism.html
  7. 10 Reasons Why Friends and Family Struggle to Believe the Gospel: http://thomrainer.com/2014/10/10-reasons-friends-family-struggle-believe-gospel/
  8. Objection: Christianity is completely irrational and not testable: https://www.bethinking.org/is-christianity-true/christianity-is-completely-irrational-and-not-testable
  9. Why Would God Send Good People to Hell? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-would-god-send-good-people-to-hell/
  10. U.S. judge rules it would be tyranny to force Christian to bake cake for lesbian marriage | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-stuff-of-tyranny-christian-baker-scores-major-victory
  11. Origin: Probability of a Single Protein Forming by Chance Reasoned Cases for Christ: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/origin-probability-of-a-single-protein-forming-by-chance/amp/
  12. Answering Two Kinds of Relativism about Religion: Modernity vs Postmodernity – Christian Apologetics Training: http://christianapologeticstraining.com/answering-two-kinds-of-relativism-about-religion-modernity-vs-postmodernity
  13. DO THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES PREACH THE SAME SALVATION AS THE NT?: http://mannsword.blogspot.com/2018/02/do-hebrew-scriptures-preach-same.html
  14. How Your Teen Can Defend the Faith | Insight for Today’s Culture: https://www.shepherdshillacademy.org/blogs/traceembry/defend-the-faith/
  15. Salty seas: Evidence for a young earth – creation.com: https://creation.com/salty-seas-evidence-for-a-young-earth
  16. Happy Darwin Day! Our 2018 Censor of the Year Is Wikipedia | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/happy-darwin-day-our-2018-censor-of-the-year-is-wikipedia/
  17. The 8 Beliefs You Should Know about Mormons When They Knock at the Door: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/the-8-beliefs-you-should-know-about-mormons-when-they-knock-at-the-door/

Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure. Proverbs 20:28

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/11/2018

Yesterday, we watched 2 videos from Dr. Hugh Ross:

 

Here is the notes page that was passed out to follow along:

Long Creation Days Apologetics Class Lesson – 11 February, 2018 – Kevin Bronson

Creation Miracles – Hugh Ross Lecture

How do we reconcile Genesis 1 with findings of Natural Science?

Genesis 1:1 No Hebrew word for “universe”.  Old Testament uses “heavens and earth”

Space-time did not exist until Genesis 1.

Space-time theorem (Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity).  If space-time had a beginning, then there must be an outside Agent that created space-time/everything.

Genesis 1:2 Frame of reference changes to surface of the waters

Job 37:9.  Thick clouds, dark earth.  Ps 104 waters over the earth. Global sea.

Yom, Hebrew, no word for age for epoch.

Creation Day One: Light gets through the atmosphere

Creation Day Two: Water above and below.  Water cycle begins.  Job 37

Creation Day Three: Land forms.  Plate tectonics.  Plants appear

Creation Day Four: More atmospheric clearing.  Moon, sun and stars visible.  Oxygenation by plants.

Creation Day Five: Small seas animals appear.  Cambrian explosion.

Creation Day Six:

Creation of birds and mammals.  Soulish creatures.

Long legged mammals – easy to tame

Long legged mammals – hard to tame

Urbanization increases à Atheism increases

God creates human beings.  The only spiritual beings

Who Was Adam – Human Origins by Hugh Ross

The fossil tree is more of a bush, not a tree

Bipedal primates go back 6 million years.

New bipedal specie discovered every year.

Who is Homo sapiens?

Who is Homo sapiens Neanderthal?

We have Mitochondrial DNA (Maternal line) of Nean.  11 specimens, from Spain to the Caucus, 150,000 to 35,000 ya. Not evolving, nor related to humans.

Human Mit DNS back 40,000 years.  Not evolving.

Y chromosome (nucleic DNA from fathers) from humans.  No evolution.

In comparing Great ape Y chromosomes: Mountain gorilla different from orangutans

Not evolving and not related to humans.

Bible and natural science record says no new species appearing since humans appeared.

Insects

Soulish creatures (Job 39 nephesh created to relate to us/benefit

Humans

Abraham 4000 ya.

Genesis 11:  Peleg when earth was divided

Bering Straight grain C14 age 12-13,00o y.a.

30,000 ya Noah

50,000 ya Adam

Big Bang of Antropology

Jewelry with Homo sapiens 40,000 ya –  None with Neanderthal, no clothing

Tools with Neandethal – primitive

Cave art in France and Spain – 33,00 ya

Mitochondrial DNA Eve – 150,000 ya, divide by 3 to account for male contributions = 50,000 ya

Y chromosome – male line – 42 to 50,000 ya

References

Hugh Ross.

Creation and Time

Who Was Adam?

Navigating Genesis

Origins of Life

Why the Universe is the Way it Is.

Improbable Life

Gerald Schroeder.  Genesis and the Big Bang.

Alan Hayward.  Creation and Evolution.

 

mid-week apologetics booster (2-8-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Evolutionary Theorist Concedes: Evolution Largely Avoids Biggest Questions of Biological Origins | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/evolutionary-theorist-concedes-evolution-largely-avoids-biggest-questions-of-biological-origins/
  2. “People Do Not Come to Faith by Arguments!” 4 Objections to Apologetics | Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2016/08/30/people-do-not-come-to-faith-from-arguments-4-objections-to-apologetics/
  3. Playground Apologetics Tactics Question 2: How did you arrive at that conclusion? – Mama Bear Apologetics: http://mamabearapologetics.com/pa2-how-arrive-conclusion/
  4. Does Religion Cause War? | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2013/03/does-religion-cause-war.html
  5. 3 Lies Students Believe About Freedom That Will Ruin Their Lives – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/3-lies-students-believe-about-freedom-that-will-ruin-their-lives/
  6. Defending Your Faith 101 Now what? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/defending-your-faith-101-now-what/
  7. Can the Bible Be Reliable if It Had Human Authors? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/can-bible-be-reliable-if-it-had-human-authors
  8. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: Becoming an Effective Apologist by Forgetting All You Know: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2010/08/becoming-effective-apologist-by.html
  9. Does the Bible Conflict with Itself in the Matter of Incest: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/950-does-the-bible-conflict-with-itself-in-the-matter-of-incest
  10. The Importance of Hell: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/the-importance-of-hell
  11. Responding To Newsweek’s Take on the Bible, Part 1 On the Base Biblical Text- Do We Really Know What We Have? | Bible.org Blogs: http://blogs.bible.org/bock/darrell_l._bock/responding_to_newsweeks_take_on_the_bible_part_1_on_the_base_biblical_text-_do_we_really_know_what_we_have
  12. The Power of De-Conversion Stories: How Jen Hatmaker is Trying to Change Minds About the Bible Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-power-of-de-conversion-stories-how-jen-hatmaker-is-trying-to-change-minds-about-the-bible/
  13. Think Kids Can’t Handle An Apologetics Conference? We Just Did it… And Here’s How it Went! – Mama Bear Apologetics: http://mamabearapologetics.com/kids-apologetics-conference/
  14. What Does the Bible Say about Defending the Faith? – Christian Apologetics Training: http://christianapologeticstraining.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-defending-the-faith
  15. Questions in Study Guide to Basic Training for Defending the Faith: https://d1s6yijfrvmtp9.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/08182147/Answer-Key.pdf
  16. America’s Founding Fathers Influenced by a Christian Worldview – New York Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/americas-founding-fathers-influenced-by-a-christian-worldview/
  17. How Can I Believe Incredible Stories in the Bible? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/how-can-i-believe-incredible-stories-bible#.Wnm1k-Cp40M
  18. Reasons To Believe : Five-Point Logic Checklist: http://old.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/five-point-logic-checklist
  19. 15 Ex-Gays, Lesbians ‘Come Out of Homosexuality’ in Documentary Film by Christian Ministry: https://www.christianpost.com/news/15-ex-gays-lesbians-come-out-of-homosexuality-in-documentary-film-by-christian-ministry-216574/

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: Psalms 103:7

 

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/4/2018

Tomorrow in the Apologetics class, I plan to show the following videos:

 

Then this Living Waters video of the Way of the Master TV episode on Atheism (please note – you can purchase this video online here):

 

 

 

Here is the note-taking form with discussion questions that I plan to hand out:

Apologetics @ Ohio State & Atheism (WotM) 2/4/2017

Give Me an Answer – Cliffe Knechtle at Ohio State (~17 minutes)

  1. God’s forgiveness and penalty for sin
    1. God only forgives us when we a________ for forgiveness.
    2. According to Christ, it’s God who we’ve sinned against. According to God, when I sin, what I owe him is my life-the wages of sin is death.
  2. God is selfish/jealous. Doesn’t God owe me something?
    1. God doesn’t owe us anything. God gave us g_______ of l_______, we messed it up.  God gave His only Son, Christ to bleed and die on a cross, so God has given Himself for us.  Question is, how are we going to r_______ to God’s g_______, love and generosity?
    2. If children are drugs, & I’m not jealous, something wrong with my love! If wife is committing adultery, and I experience no jealousy, then I don’t understand what love is.
  3. He’s so committed to us that he gives c_____________ to good people.
    1. God doesn’t give cancer to good people. You and I live in a cursed, messed up world, in Genesis 3, we read about a big fall (not stubbing toe).  Adam and Eve commit cosmic t_____________ against God. Book of Job…  Did Job sin?  Is that why he suffered?  No!  Job suffered because he was born into a cursed, unfair world.
  4. Job s______________ because God had a bet with Satan!
    1. Satan challenged integrity of Job’s faith. Satan’s point was, The only reason Job has faith in God is because he gets good things from Him and once He take those away, he’ll curse God to His face. Is Job’s faith based on based on having the good things in life?  Or is Job’s faith based on the character of God being good, in spite of the circumstances of life?  When the circumstances of life turn unfair and cruel, Job’s faith is so magnificent, because his faith not based on circumstances of life, it’s based on the character of God.
  5. When you say that every other religion is wrong, who are you to say that?
    1. Jesus Christ contradicts Buddha, Muhammad and the Avatars of Hinduism. The law of non-contradiction applies.  ‘A’ and ‘non-A’ cannot be both equally right in the same way at the same time.  Now, the question is, does the evidence support Jesus Christ as being reliable?  Or Siddhartha Gautama Buddha? Or Muhammad?  Or Shirley MacLaine? Or whoever you’re seriously considering?  Jesus lived a sinless life, He taught amazing ethical teachings (Robert Cole, Psychology Professor at Harvard University, points out ‘All the writings on ethics over the past 2,000 years are simply footnotes to the Sermon on the Mount). The evidence is, you can t________ C_________, because He’s credible.
  6. Your evidence is eyewitness accounts from a couple thousand years ago. Christians have a series of anecdotes, not hard evidence (e.g. videos) …how can you disclaim other evidence?
    1. New Testament documents more than anecdotal. NT has so much more m_________ e____________ than any other documents from antiquity. Over 5,000 vs. 20 for others.
    2. Belief with no evidence is blind gullibility. Faith had better be based on evidence.
    3. Used example of not giving wallet to street person, but give to friend. That’s faith/trust.
  7. A robot or machine can’t love. Love, in order to be real, has to be f___________.
  8. Why does God allow terrible things to happen?
    1. Genesis 3 – when we human beings r_______________ against God, He took a step back from planet earth and chaos filled the gap. We’re born into cursed world, not because God created it that way, but because we told God to “get lost”.
  9. The only way there can be a moral a_____________ is if there’s a God that created it.
  10. Do you think that the Nazi’s did wrong in gassing J_____? Student: “By my view of justice, of course”. Is there justice above cultural law?  Cliffe cites the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1949).

Way of the Master – Atheism Episode (~28 minutes)

  1. Atheism: the belief that there’s no God. Takes more f____ to be an atheist than believe in God.
  2. The Atheist’s nightmare – the b____________. Designed for our consumption:
    1. 3 ridges on the far side, 2 ridges on the close side, matches hand
    2. No slip surface with outward indicators of inward contents (green, yellow, brown)
    3. Tab at top like soda can, when you pull tab contents don’t squirt in your face
    4. Wrapper (skin) bio degradable and has perforations
    5. Banana is curved toward the face to make eating it easier.
  3. A building is absolute proof that there was a builder. Creation proof of C___________.
  4. Like a car, that was obviously d____________, our bodies were designed by a Creator.
  5. “There is no God” an absolute statement. I would have to have absolute k___________.
  6. “There is no gold in China” – I would have to know everything about China.
  7. “There is gold in China” – don’t need all knowledge about China, just a little.
  8. A_______ (absolutely sure there is no God) vs. A_________ (based on limited knowledge only)
  9. During discussion with atheist: 1) Changes m____, 2) Deliberate s______, 3) J_________ himself
  10. Ray asks atheist, “Do you know what God has done for you so you don’t have to go to Hell?”
  11. Atheist asks, “How good do you have to be…?” Ray answers, “You have to be p__________”.
  12. Principal: Swing (the conversation) from the i__________ to the c______________.
  13. An atheist may not want to believe in God, demanding absolute proof of His existence.
  14. The atheist is not your enemy, so don’t argue with him. Help him see he’s really agnostic
  15. Apologetics is like b____, God’s law is like the h_____. If no hook, fish swim away fat and happy.

Discussion Questions

  1. 1st video answered & didn’t avoid intellectual questions. 2nd video taught you shouldn’t dwell in the intellectual, but swing to the conscience.  Which is the better approach, more biblical? Why?
  2. Were any of the students in the 1st video humbly seeking the truth or really open to it?
  3. Do you think there were unbeliever’s questions avoided during the 3 conversations presented?
  4. How would you answer the woman near the end who said, “I believe everything on this earth was either accidental or created by man”?
  5. How would you answer the young man who asked, why you should believe in a book written by people thousands of years ago, who were superstitious?

Upcoming

  1. https://camelbackclassic2018.homeschooldebate.net/ (March 22-24) Apologetics Judges needed

mid-week apologetics booster (2-1-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Is It Real? 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation – John MacArthur: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/45REAL/is-it-real
  2. Five Ways To Answer A Question: http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2012/11/five-ways-to-answer-a-question/
  3. The Crusades: Were they Justified? (2015) NORMAN GEISLER: http://normangeisler.com/the-crusades-were-they-justified/
  4. Why I Continue to Hold to Inerrancy – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2018/01/23/continue-hold-inerrancy/#.WmndrqinGUk
  5. Apologetics Begins at Home – Christian Worldview | Christian Worldview: http://www.christianworldview.net/2015/02/apologetics-begins-at-home/
  6. An Extra-Biblical Case for Christianity Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2017/04/16/an-extra-biblical-case-for-christianity/
  7. Why are there so many religions? Do all religions lead to God?: https://www.gotquestions.org/so-many-religions.html
  8. Why the KJV Only Movement is Wrong | RunningAwayFromMyChurch.com: https://runningawayfrommychurch.com/kjv-only-king-james-bible-controversy/
  9. Forensic Faith 101: Do you have an accidental or evidential faith? Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/forensic-faith-101-do-you-have-an-accidental-or-evidential-faith/
  10. Is Defending the Faith Biblical? | Real Issue Apologetics: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/01/28/is-defending-the-faith-biblical/
  11. Ten Steps to Becoming an Effective Tent-Making Christian Case Maker: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/ten-steps-to-becoming-an-effective-tent-making-christian-case-maker/
  12. Making a difference as a Christian doesn’t mean doing dramatic, reckless things | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/01/27/making-a-difference-as-a-christian-doesnt-mean-doing-dramatic-reckless-things/
  13. Handling an Objection: How can Jesus be God when the Jewish Scriptures says God is not a man? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/handling-an-objection-how-can-jesus-be-god-when-the-jewish-scriptures-says-god-is-not-a-man-2/
  14. Examining Islamic Apologetics (Part 2) – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/examining-islamic-apologetics-part-2/
  15. Shock: Reporter Allows Stephen Meyer to Respond to God of the Gaps Challenge | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/shock-reporter-allows-stephen-meyer-to-respond-to-god-of-the-gaps-challenge/
  16. 5 Ways Christian Parents Fail to Prepare Their Kids to Engage with Questions of Faith and Science: http://crossexamined.org/5-ways-christian-parents-fail-prepare-kids-engage-questions-faith-science/
  17. Eric Chabot -Skeptic Role Play With Local Church – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db_mhABR9z8
  18. If Christians Are Supposed to Rely on Evidence, Why Call It Faith? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/if-christians-are-supposed-to-rely-on-evidence-why-call-it-faith/
  19. The Religion of Nature: Social Darwinism | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/charles-darwin/darwinism/religion-of-nature-social-darwinism/
  20. How can we be sure we have the Word of God? How accurate are our copies of the Bible? – creation.com: https://creation.com/bible-word-of-god
  21. Is The Bible True? – Theolocast: http://theolocast.org/blog/is-the-bible-true/
  22. Finding God in the Room. Can Atheism Account for Human Dignity and Value?: http://www.breakpoint.org/2018/01/finding-god-in-the-room/
  23. Why Did Jesus Tell His Disciples to Be Silent about His Identity? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-did-jesus-tell-his-disciples-to-be-silent-about-his-identity
  24. Why the Gospels Were Written Much Earlier than We Thought – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/85175-2/
  25. Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z – Barna Group: https://www.barna.com/research/atheism-doubles-among-generation-z/
  26. Why Aren’t Boys and Girls Allowed to Be Boys and Girls? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/why-arent-boys-and-girls-allowed-be-boys-and-girls#.WnHK0eCp7qA
  27. Donald Trump Did Not Die for My Sins | The Stream: https://stream.org/donald-trump-not-die-sins/
  28. Ex-Lesbian Receives Death Threats After Religious Conversion: https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/ex-lesbian-leaves-lifestyle-for-christ
  29. Court orders university to reinstate Christian club booted for refusing to elect LGBT activist | News | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/court-orders-university-to-reinstate-christian-club-booted-for-refusing-to

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalms 36:9

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 1/28/2018

Although I’ve been having the Apologetics class at Church this year, I’ve not been posting the content.  This year, I’m not teaching, but rather showing videos and facilitating discussion afterwards.  Here are the videos from yesterday’s class:

First, “The Fine Tuning of the Universe”:

Second, “Evolution vs. God” movie:

Here is the note-taking form with discussion questions at the end:

Fine Tuning of the Universe and Evolution vs. God (1/28/2018)

The Fine Tuning of the Universe (Reasonable Faith)

  1. The fundamental c________ and quantities establish the structure and function of the universe.
  2. If any one of these numbers were altered, by even a hair’s breadth, no physical, interactive life of any kind could e___________ anywhere.
  3. Gravity – if the gravitational constant varied by just 1 in 1060 parts none of us would exist
  4. For comparison: # of cells in your body=1014, # of seconds ticked by so far = 1020
  5. Expansion rate of the universe – driven by c______________ constant. If it changed by 1 part in 10120 would cause the universe to expand too rapidly or too slowly. In either case, the universe would be “life prohibiting”.
  6. “Wherever physicists look, they see examples of fine tuning” – Sir Martin Rees
  7. “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the d______________ of l________” – Stephen Hawking
  8. “If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features are surprising and unlikely.” – David Deutsch
  9. Best explanation? The fine tuning is due to either:
    1. N______________: the universe MUST be life permitting. But there’s no reason or evidence to suggest that fine tuning is necessary.
    2. C___________: Did we just get really lucky? The probabilities involved are so ridiculously remote as to put the fine tuning well beyond the reach of chance.  So, they postulate a “Multiverse” (a universe generator).  But no scientific evidence for this.
    3. D_____________: Given the implausibility of necessity or chance, the best explanation for why the universe is fine-tuned is design.
  10. “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a s__________________ has monkeyed with physics … and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” – Fred Hoyle
  11. “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all … it seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the universe. The impression of d__________________ is overwhelming.” – Paul Davies

Evolution vs. God (Ray Comfort)

  1. A scientific method is based on “the collection of data through o_______________ and e____________________” – Science Daily
  2. Ray (Comfort) asks believers in evolution, “Can you think of any o___________ e_____________ for Darwinian evolution?”, but they respond with speculation about the distant past.
  3. Girl says monkeys are the only ones that have a 5th digit like us, but Ray responds that Koalas have a 5th digit as well.
  4. Ray asks, “Did we have l___________ or g__________ when we came out of the sea?”
  5. Believer in evolution says “Faith is something that-u___________-I have to believe it”. Ray asks, “Do you believe evolution?” Person responds yes.  Ray asks, “Is evolution a belief?”
  6. Believer in evolution cites f_____________ on the Galapagos Islands. Ray asks, “What do the finches become?”  Of course, the answer is still “finches”, still birds – no change of kinds.  Ray says, “That’s called ‘a________________’ – it’s not Darwinian evolution.
  7. Believer in evolution admits that he can’t think of any observable evidence for evolution. Ray asks, “Well, how do you know it’s t_________?”  He replies, “I’m not sure.”
  8. Ray says, “It’s [evolution] unobservable, because you need millions of years.”
  9. Ray asks if they think creation is “intelligently designed”. They say no.  So, he asks them to make a r_____________.
  10. Professor says, “Why do you think no one is teaching intelligent design at UCLA?” Ray replies, “Because you’re not a______________ to.”
  11. Relative morality: Ray asks professor, “Is rape wrong?” He replies, “It is wrong in our culture.” Ray challenges, “Is rape a___________ wrong?”
  12. Ray asks, “Who makes the r______________?” Professor replies, “We do.” Ray asks, “So, if Hitler made the rules and he had the majority…?”
  13. “I don’t believe in blaspheming, since I don’t believe in God. So, if you don’t believe in God, how can you blaspheme?” Ray replies, “Well, if I don’t believe in certain laws and still violate them, ignorance of the law is no e__________.  So, we’re still guilty even though we deny a law exists”
  14. Ray says, “Not believing in h________ doesn’t make it go away”.
  15. Ray says, “You know that creation is proof of a Creator…the reason you choose evolution is because it gets rid of m________________ accountability”.
  16. Ray asks, “How old are you?” She replies, “22. “ He says, “When are you going to die?” Her: “I have no idea.” Ray, “Well God knows exactly the moment of your d_____________. It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow.  I’m not using scare tactics, this is just straight reality.  150,000 people every 24 hours die, and all making plans for next week, no doubt.”

Discussion Questions

Fine Tuning

  1. What is the argument from the fine tuning of the universe?
  2. What are the 3 possible explanations for the fine tuning of the universe?
  3. If scientists acknowledge the “appearance” of design in the universe and life, why don’t they believe in a “Creator God”?
  4. What is the “multiverse”? Why has this theory been proposed?  Is it a scientific theory?

Evolution vs. God

  1. What did Ray Comfort mean when he asked people for observable evidence for Darwinian evolution? Were the people he interviewed able to provide any such observable evidence?
  2. What is the difference between adaptation and Darwinian evolution?
  3. Are finches on the Galapagos Islands a good example of Darwinian evolution? Why or why not?
  4. Are bacteria a good example of Darwinian evolution? Why or why not?
  5. In what way did the people interviewed exhibit blind faith?
  6. Why are universities and high schools prohibited from teaching intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinian evolution?
  7. What is the difference between absolute morality and relative morality?
  8. How many people die every day? Why is that important?

mid-week apologetics booster (1-25-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Atheist Computer Scientist Becomes Theologian Because Of Evidence | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheist-computer-scientist-becomes-theologian-because-of-evidence/
  2. Ravi Zachariah sharing gospel with Hindus – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6yqfMFSLME
  3. How to Defend the Christian Faith: Four Principles to Get Started Park Community Church: https://parkcommunity.church/blog/2018/1/16/how-to-defend-the-christian-faith-four-principles-to-get-started
  4. Confusion over moon origins – creation.com: https://creation.com/confusion-over-moon-origins
  5. How to Become a Better Apologetics Communicator – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-to-become-a-better-apologetics-communicator
  6. Why Belief in God is a Rational Position Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-belief-in-god-is-a-rational-position/
  7. The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/the-real-murderers-atheism-or-christianity#.WmSJ4KinGUk
  8. Core Christianity | 7 Simple Ways to Share Your Faith with Others: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/7-simple-ways-to-share-your-faith-with-others
  9. Brody File: Trump Gets A+ on ‘Evangelical Report Card’ for His First Year | CBN News.  Normally I don’t send “political” posts, but this seems to have relevance to us as evangelicals, whether you support or oppose Trump: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/january/brody-file-trump-gets-a-on-evangelical-report-card-in-his-first-year
  10. Core Christianity | Our Faith is Historically Verifiable Or It’s Nothing: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/our-faith-is-historically-verifiable-or-its-nothing
  11. Melinda Is Showing Signs of Progress | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/melinda-showing-signs-progress#.WmcjEKinGUk
  12. God is a Genocidal, Immoral, Murderer Exe-Jesus: http://exejesus.com/god-is-a-genocidal-immoral-murderer/
  13. What is the fine-tuning argument for Gods existence, and does the multiverse counter it? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/01/17/what-is-the-fine-tuning-argument-for-gods-existence-and-does-the-multiverse-counter-it/
  14. Lobster eye design – creation.com: https://creation.com/lobster-eye-design
  15. Does God Exist? Big Bang Evidence for God – Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek : http://crossexamined.org/does-god-exist/#toggle-id-4
  16. The Kalaam Cosmological Argument: Short, Sweet, and Stout PastorBrianChilton.wordpress.com: https://pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/the-kalaam-cosmological-argument-short-sweet-and-stout/
  17. The [Mormon] missionary surge is officially a bust… | Recovery from Mormonism: http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Mormon-missionary-surge-is-a-bust
  18. Why is Christianity true over and above all other religions? 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/why-is-christianity-true-over-and-above-all-other-religions/
  19. 5 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have If Your Kids Walk Away from Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/5-regrets-you-dont-want-to-have-if-your-kids-walk-away-from-faith/

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32

Blessings to you all

Annihilationism

I found a YouTube video on a critique of William Lane Craig’s (WLC) response to a question about hell.  The speaker is Glenn Peoples.  Here is the video:

 

I am not an annihilationist and I do have interest in WLC, so I watched the video and took some notes on the views presented therein.

The speaker misquotes a verse reference early on:

I think he meant to put 2 Thessalonians 1:9.  Even so, I can’t find any translation with exactly that wording shown.  As the speaker correctly mentions in the video, all of them that I can find mention destruction, not exclusion.  But the destruction is “away from the presence of the Lord”, so I would ask how someone could be annihilated (put out of existence), but still be located “away” from anything.  The speaker says

what they’re actually recalling is simply their own understanding of the doctrine of hell – and not a passage of Scripture at all.

I would definitely take issue with that. The 2 Thessalonians 1:9 talks about “punishment” and of course Jesus talks about conscious punishment (Matt. 25:46).

Since the guy made a point about the 2 Thessalonians 1 passage, I looked up the Greek on it.  Here is the interlinear page for 2 Thessalonians 1:9 in the most literal English translation (NASB):

https://www.biblestudytools.com/interlinear-bible/passage/?q=2+thessalonians+1:9&t=nas

Notice that the word ‘away’ is in the Greek (he seemed to suggest that it is not in the original language). Here is the information about this word in the Greek:

The definition of away (Apo) seems to allow for physical separation of one thing from another.  Additionally, I don’t think that the language of destruction in this verse must be understood as annihilation as he was suggesting.  Again, if you look at the Greek word for destruction (Olethros), it can also mean ruin.  Like some kids who have the annoying habit of “destroying” pumpkins on Halloween by smashing them on the streets – unfortunately they don’t cease to exist, but rather litter our streets and are no longer fulfilling the purpose they were made for.

The speaker says (4:49) “The reality, is that Scripture nowhere speaks about hell or Divine judgment as something that locks them up somewhere to be miserable with their bad self”.  Here is the graphic he presents:

It is interesting that he doesn’t mention Revelation at all in here.  For example Revelation 14:9-13 (NASB).  The first part of this passage talks about the people who worship the beast, his image and receive the mark of his name.  These will be tormented and have no rest day and night…  The second part talks about the believers:

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger ; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever ; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘ Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ ” “Yes ,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

Now, we can try to understand if this passage covers all people (all believers and all unbelievers), or whether those who worship the beast are in some special class of unbelievers, but it seems clear from the above that there is in fact a place of eternal torment for someone…

He also conveniently skips Matt. 25:46, where hell is referred to as eternal punishment and heaven as eternal life – both using the same Greek word for ‘eternal’ (Aionios) in the same verse.

I think he made a decent point about WLC’s argument, where, if we understand hell as a person being left with their “bad selves”, then it doesn’t follow that Jesus “stood in our place” for that specific definition of hell.  However, he neglects to mention that if we understand hell in the sense of Matt. 25:46 or Revelation 14:9-11, then Jesus was punished in our place and took the wrath of God upon Himself, which would’ve been ours to endure.

I will admit that some passages he cites seem to suggest “annihilation” (e.g. Heb. 10:27), however, Jesus warned people about going to hell (e.g. Luke 12:4-5, Matt. 18:8-9, Matt. 25:46).  And if we’re going to warn people about going to hell, like Jesus did, we shouldn’t warn them about the “lesser” version of hell (annihilation), but rather of the more severe/scary version of hell (eternal conscious punishment).  I would hate for a person I’ve witnessed to to walk away thinking that if I don’t go to heaven, I’ll just be annihilated out of existence.  That doesn’t sound too bad… Then after death, they find out that they’re being cast into hell where the worm doesn’t die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:47-48). And they wonder, why didn’t he tell me that this was my fate if I didn’t accept the free pardon of Jesus?  I would’ve made a different decision!

If you’re a believer in the doctrine of annihilationism, I’m probably not going to convince you of my view, though hopefully you’ll acknowledge the validity of some points.  Likewise, you’ll probably not convince me of your view, having read many writings about annihilationism and viewed this video, but again, I acknowledge that when the Bible talks about hell, it is not unanimously clear that it will involve eternal conscious punishment (ECP).  As I stated above, if I’m going to communicate with a non-believer on this topic, I would like to communicate the worst case scenario to them (ECP), rather than softening the blow to annihilationism.  If I’m wrong and they get annihilated out of existence after death, they won’t even exist to be able to reflect on the fact that misled them by overstating the consequences for rejecting Christ.  However, if I’m right that hell is ECP, then they’ll be conscious and will know that I warned them in a truthful way.

Hopefully, I’ve handled this in a fair manner, not overstating my case and communicating that my claims are provisional in nature.