The best Christian apologetics book

I believe that the best Christian apologetics book is “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek. Here is the argument it lays out:

  1. Truth about reality is knowable.
  2. The opposite of true is false.
  3. It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the:
    1. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument)
    2. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument / Anthropic Principle)
    3. Design of life (Teleological Argument)
    4. Moral Law (Moral Argument)
  4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
  5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as acts of God to confirm a word from God).
  6. The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced by:
    1. Early testimony
    2. Eyewitness testimony
    3. Un-invented (authentic) testimony
    4. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived
  7. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God
  8. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
    1. His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself;
    2. His sinless life and miraculous deeds;
    3. His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection.
  9. Therefore Jesus is God.
  10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
  11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
  12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).

And it goes about to prove each of these points in the chapters. Great book.

God’s Sovereignty – He can do whatever pleases him

I don’t understand the logic of those who reject Christianity because they think that God is not good, fair or just. Or that Christians are hypocrites. First of all, God (Jesus Christ) created the universe and and everything in it (John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1), and therefore, He has the right to do whatever He wants with and to His creation. Imagine that you created something – maybe a computer program (I am a programmer). Since you created it, you have the right to do whatever you want to it, including destroy it or parts of it. We as God’s creation do not have the right to question Him about how he is running His creation. How absurd is that? As Psalms 115:3 says “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him”. He can do whatever He wants and no matter what we think about it, that doesn’t change the fact that it is true. We either play by His rules or we lose the game. We can’t back out and refuse to play the game. By doing that, we automatically lose. The fact of the matter is: God exists. And furthermore, we are accountable to Him for our actions (Romans 14:12 – So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God). Don’t be foolish and reject God because you think He is not good or fair or just. From your limited human perspective, you can’t possibly know whether the ultimate effect of any particular situation is good until long afterward. Whether Christians are hypocritical, judgmental or otherwise not Christ-like, has no bearing on whether Christianity is true or not. Just evaluate the evidence. Look at the evidence for Christ and the historicity of the New Testament. Place your trust in Him – He is faithful. Romans 10 says “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. Do it today – don’t be foolish!

Being a Christian – according to Jesus

23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26 (NIV).

This is a passage that I keep going back to and meditating on. What did the Lord really mean when He said these words? Was He speaking to anyone that wanted to be a Christian? Was he saying that these are the requirements to be a true believer? I think modern Christianity has lost the concept of self denial… It seems to be more about self-fulfillment in many cases. God is just used as a means to earthly success – sort of a genie. But God is holy and He sacrificed everything for us. He calls us to be holy by His power (not by our own). And He calls us to give up everything for him. This is only possible because we “remain in the Vine”. Remember, no branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine. We must remain plugged into Christ. He is the power source. Not for self fulfillment, but for self denial and avoidance of worldliness. 1 John 2:15-17 says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world: the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, the boasting of what he has and does, comes not from the Father, but from the world. The world and it’s desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Worldliness is the opposite of denial of self. Being in love with the things of the world is in direct opposition with being in love with the things of God. See James 4:4: “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”  So, I think this is probably the main struggle for Christians and maybe a stumbling block for seekers, the call to deny your self, to avoid worldliness.  This characteristic is what should make us Christians stand out in an unbelieving world.  The way we live our lives should be different than those of non-believers.  As Jesus said in the sermon on the mount “Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” and “Do not even pagans do that?”  We, as a body of believers, are simultaneously called to “let our light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” AND to “be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men…when you give to the needy, do not announce it…so that your giving may be in secret…when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites…go into your room, close the door and pray”.  This is difficult to accomplish, but as Jesus said “What is impossible with men is possible with God”.  We must pray to the Lord to have the power to fulfill His purposes and to glorify and praise Him (Isaiah 43:7; 43:21).  Not to make ourselves feel better and stroke our egos, but so that the lost of this world would find true life in Him.  “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”