Mid-week apologetics booster (10-30-2014)

Here are some items for you to read and watch:

  1. Halloween:
    1. Is Halloween Pagan in Origin? (hint – actually, no…): http://www.celebratingholidays.com/?page_id=9762
    2. Concerning Halloween: http://americanvision.org/3671/concerning-halloween/
    3. Finding The ‘Hallow’ in Halloween: http://www.empiresandmangers.blogspot.com/2014/10/finding-hallow-in-halloween.html
  2. “Why Would a God of Love Send Someone to Hell?” by Living Waters (2 min 33 seconds video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjtOsmv1zvk&list=UUmrVJGUS1u5-Hsm_BFS_1YA&index=606
  3. Two Men Are Seated On a Plane… Good analogy about passengers on a plane told to put on a parachute (4 min 8 seconds video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqgWEf4xVOg&feature=share&list=UUmrVJGUS1u5-Hsm_BFS_1YA&index=20
  4. God’s Crime Scene 3 – Objective vs. Subjective Truth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezMQx8rYC4c&feature=share
  5. Why apologetics is critical for youth ministry: http://rebootchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-apologetics-is-critical-for-youth.html
  6. Know What You Believe. Know Why You Believe It. (This 16 year old is right on track!): http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/11/know-what-you-believe-know-why-you-believe-it/#.VFIqbBaiviD
  7. The Way of the Master TV program (30 minutes videos) – these are great:
    1. “The Greatest Gamble”: http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib/programs/sublib/The+Way+of+the+Master/ec/t1MWFuMjrhwCKJ4AjMRlehAyVOSKggXg
    2. “The Conscience”:  http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib/programs/sublib/The+Way+of+the+Master/ec/d5ZXRtMzpdbMBM-qJsmNT-keF7sPp06n
  8. Weather Channel Founder Blasts ‘Climate Change’: http://www.icr.org/article/8382/
  9. Throwing Darwin a Curve – This is fascinating… this article analyzes all that goes into a baseball pitcher throwing a pitch!  http://www.icr.org/article/8366/
  10. Is Christianity a Psychological Crutch? http://www.randyeverist.com/2013/10/is-christianity-psychological-crutch.html
  11. Faith: Ground It, Move It or Lose It.  This article includes a 12:49 video of a 16 year old Katie Perry…  Here is a snippet: Raised in a Christian home, Katy [Perry] wrote and sang Christian and gospel music. Katy’s parents are pastors at a Pentecostal church… [during the interview] Her mood turns somber as she reveals, “I’m really afraid of death, actually”, along with a fear of being old and alone….In 2013, Katy Perry denounced Christianity, along with all other religions, though adopting a vaguely eastern sort of Deism (belief in a nondescript, uninvolved higher power). When asked about a rumor that she had vowed celibacy for a year, Katy retorted, “…please. Celibacy for a whole year, I’d rather die.” Apparently she lost her fear of death, a fear that actually might have done her an eternity of good. I don’t mean to pick on Katy Perry. Her journey out of the faith is not particularly extraordinary. In fact, it’s the same kind of thing that happens to a lot of people who are not firmly grounded in their faith. She hadn’t developed an anchor. I’m guessing Katy’s faith was her parents’ faith, not her own, and when she fell away from her parents, she fell away from their faith. Without the influence of a Christian family or church family, what she was told to believe at home was exchanged for the new and relevant influences of the secular music industry and culture that now surrounds her.http://godneighbor.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/faith-ground-it-move-it-or-lose-it/
  12. You Can’t Argue Someone Into the Kingdom. Really? http://1peter315.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/you-cant-argue-someone-into-the-kingdom-really/
  13. Faith Has Its Reasons. By R.C. Sproul: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/faith-has-its-reasons/
  14. Dealing with apparent failure in apologetics: http://www.mhmcintyre.us/dealing-apparent-failure-apologetics/
  15. The 3 A’s of Apologetics – Always Answer Anyone: http://blogs.christianpost.com/dear-ephesus/the-3-as-of-apologetics-18687/
  16. Why We Have Different Bible Translations: http://reasonabletheology.org/why-we-have-different-bible-translations/
  17. Did the Apostles Really Die as Martyrs for their Faith? By Sean McDowell:   http://magazine.biola.edu/article/13-fall/did-the-apostles-really-die-as-martyrs-for-their-f/
  18. The Strange Dichotomy of the Anti-Christian Christian: http://faithactually.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-strange-dichotomy-of-anti-christian_22.html
  19. A (Poor) Mary Apologetic: http://rebootchristianity.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-poor-mary-apologetic.html
  20. Ratio Christi Student Grant Willey: Critical Thinking about “Traditional” vs. “New”: http://ratiochristi.org/blog/post/ratio-christi-student-grant-willey-critical-thinking-about-traditional-vs/3281?tab=all_blogs_tab#.VFIuAxaiviC

Have a great week!

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mid-week apologetics booster (10-23-2014)

Here are some items for you to read and watch:

  1. This 11 minute video called “The Gospel Message” was good:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Ex2FpwqvI
  2. Could the Church of the Future Be Constituted by the Atheists of Today? | Pastor Brian Chilton: http://pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/could-the-church-of-the-future-be-constituted-by-the-atheists-of-today/Here is a quote from this:  One of the amazing things about God is how God is able to transform a person from one pathway to a completely different pathway…a better pathway.  I recently spoke to an individual who told me of an inspirational pastor.  This pastor was originally from California and was actively involved in gangs.  However, the one-day pastor would have an experience with God through Jesus Christ and would experience a complete turn-around.  The individual now ministers in West Virginia and has adopted children born in tough circumstances to give them a better life.  This should not be surprising, because God has an amazing capacity of turning something good out of something bad.
  3. Tim Keller Answers Oxford’s Questions ~44 minutes (the quality is a little lacking on this, but there is good content):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_evDnWpkG9Y
  4. Christian Apologist Josh McDowell: 3 Cultural Changes That Create the ‘Perfect Storm’ Against the Church – unfortunately, this site has annoying ads with sound (http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-apologist-josh-mcdowell-3-cultural-changes-that-create-the-perfect-storm-against-the-church-106496/):
    1. In 1991, 51 percent of evangelical young adults said there is no truth apart from their own views. Today, that number is 91 percent
    2. The respected apologist also says the Internet’s “exploding information” plays a major factor in challenging the way young people view culture, the church and their moral views.
    3. In the same manner, McDowell emphasized that young people are increasingly becoming addicted to pornography, adding that it is the greatest threat to the body of Christ in 2,000 years.
  5. How Do Palestinian Names Lend Credence to the Gospels? This talks about how the personal names used in the New Testament match up with the common names of that place and time, whereas the names from the apocryphal gospels do not:  http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2014/10/20/how-do-palestinian-names-lend-credence-to-the-gospels/
  6. Analogy of the Trinity – the analogy is a music chord: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-favorite-analogy-of-trinity.html
  7. Is Jesus Really God (~9 minute video): http://www.exploregod.com/is-jesus-god-video
  8. What Makes Christianity Different? As the famous atheist-turned-Christian C. S. Lewis once stated: “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”  http://www.exploregod.com/what-makes-christianity-different-from-other-religions
  9. Three Steps to the Cross. Here is a snippet:  First, I begin by trying to establish a reasonable case for God’s existence. Do not be burdened with proving God exists. All you must do is open the door for the possibility of His existence. Most people already have this door open and you can then move onto the next step. However, if you find someone who is completely closed off to even the possibility of God’s existence, take him to the beginning. Ask him how he thinks life came to be. Ask him why there is something rather than nothing. As he doesn’t believe in God, he will likely give you some naturalistic answer involving evolution and billions of years. At this point, don’t argue about evolution. Instead, ask him what there was in the beginning. Ask him if the universe has always existed, or if it came to exist out of nothing. Ask him for his evidence. He may throw out some scientific theories such as an eternal universe or dark matter. Likely you will find that he is not an expert in this field, but is forced to believe this way because of his prior assumption that God does not exist:http://relationalapologetics.org/2014/01/30/three-steps-to-the-cross/
  10. Clip from God’s Not Dead movie (~20 minutes).  College freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton, finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson. Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals:  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204299814246695&set=vb.1569009806&type=2&theater
  11. Where Do I Begin Evangelism With A Nonbeliever? ~3 minute video interview with Brett Kunkle of Stand To Reason on “The One-Minute Apologist”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRB90aSkzoo&feature=share
  12. Does the church do a good job of equipping Christians to talk to non-Christians? Based on the example given in the article (which I hope is not typical), the answer is no.  http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/does-the-church-do-a-good-job-of-equipping-christians-to-talk-to-non-christians-2/
  13. 2 VERY convicting videos from Paul Washer (both are over 1 hour, but well worth watching):
    1. What is the Gospel?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT0w4w4qI3s
      1. Here is a quote from this video: I am particularly burdened for the young people that are here . Many of you who are older, you know what it’s like to follow Christ. You know what it’s like to pay dearly for your faith. You know what it’s like to suffer. You would rather die than deny Jesus Christ, or live in a way that contradicts His word. But young people, listen to me. Many of you were raised here. Many of you were born in the West. And you need to be very, very, careful! This Christianity is not a cultural thing! This Christianity is not just something that should be a small part of your life! It is not something that you do on Sunday! Christianity is not about you living in the world 6 days a week, and then coming to church. Christianity is not about you being just like the world all the time and then coming to church on Sunday! If that is your Christianity, then you have no Christianity! You are not Christian!
    2. We Have Forgotten that the Way is Narrow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_hGBFVzYZ4
      1. Here is a quote from this video:  I hear people say, “Well, you don’t know what’s in my heart.” But the Bible says we don’t have to know what’s in your heart. It comes out of your mouth. That’s why in judgment day it says they will be judged for their words, because all the words come forth out of their heart. “You can’t judge a book by its cover, pastor!” Jesus didn’t say that! He said just the opposite. Jesus said you can judge a book by its cover. You will know them by their fruits! “Well, I may not live like a Christian, but in my heart I love…” Do you know what the heart is? The heart in Scripture represents the very core essence of a human being. It is what a human being really is. When a man dies, he’s not there anymore. The body just seems to turn to clay. It’s an inanimate thing. The moment that man breathes his last, [he’s gone]… The heart is a representation of the centrality of everything you are! So this is what you’re telling me when you say I may not look like a Christian but in my heart, I love Jesus. What you’re saying is, “Jesus Christ has changed the entire core of my being, and the entire core of my being is dedicated to and in love with Jesus Christ, but it’s not going to affect any other part of my life!” Does that sound right to you?

Have a great week!

mid-week Apologetics booster (10-16-2014)

I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

  1. The thought occurred to me while reading Job 38 this week that in this passage of the LORD speaking to Job, you could substitute any skeptic/atheist in place of the name Job.  For example:  Then the LORD answered [Richard Dawkins] out of the storm. He said:  “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” Job 38:1-5
  2. Fair Mormon is a Mormon site meant to answer all the challenges being raised against Mormonism.  This is an article/site debunking some of the information on Fair Mormon:  http://cesletter.com/debunking-fairmormon/witnesses.html#summary There is a ton more on this page, but even this summary is compelling enough:

    Despite FAIR’s rebuttal to the Witnesses section of the CES Letter, major concerns regarding the credibility of the Book of Mormon Witnesses remain.  For instance, all 11 witnesses to the Book of Mormon shared a common worldview of second sight, magic, and treasure digging. All of the living Book of Mormon witnesses, except Oliver Cowdery, later accepted James Strang’s prophetic claim of being Joseph’s true successor and joined his church. All witnesses except Martin Harris were related to Joseph Smith or David Whitmer. Oliver Cowdery exhibited behavior that calls his credibility into question, such as attempting to use a divining rod for translating the a portion of the Book of Mormon (a fact which Joseph Smith later attempted to cover up by changing the wording from the Book of Commandments). Oliver was once excommunicated from the Church for, among other things, “falsely insinuating that [Joseph Smith] was guilty of adultery” and for “dishonestly retaining notes after they had been paid.” A letter written by Sidney Rigdon and signed by 84 members of the Church wrote that Olivery Cowder and David Whimer (among others) cheated and defrauded the saints out of their property “by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent.”  Martin Harris can be regarded generally as a gullible and superstitious person. He joined at least five churches before joining Mormonism and joined many more, including James Strang’s sect, after Joseph’s death. At various times throughout his life, he stated that he had conversed with Jesus (who had taken the form of a deer), that he saw the devil with his four feet and donkey head, that he had chipped off a chunk of a stone box that would mysteriously move beneath the ground to avoid capture, and that a creature appeared on his chest which no one else could see.  Martin Harris also gave conflicting accounts of his experiences with the golden plates. He recounted on multiple occasions, for example, that he didn’t see the plates with his naked eye but rather with his spiritual eye. Moreover, Joseph Smith himself once wrote of Martin that he “gave loose to all kinds of abominations, lying, cheating, swindling, and all kinds of debauchery.”  David Whitmer likewise suffers from credibility problems. For example, after leaving the LDS Church, he testified that God spoke to him, just as God had spoken to the three Book of Mormon Witnesses, telling him to separate himself from the LDS church. Further, David Whitmer, as with Martin Harris, gave contradictory accounts of the events giving rise to his Book of Mormon testimony. For example, he once recounted that the angel who showed him the plates “had no appearance or shape” and that he saw the angel with “impressions.” In a separate account, he wrote that he and the other witnesses had experienced the angelic visitation “while we were yet in the Spirit.” Finally, David Whitmer was also included in Sidney Rigdon’s letter, described above, stating that David Whitmer had cheated and defrauded the saints out of their property “by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent.”  Given these facts, one cannot help but seriously question the credibility of the Book of Mormon witnesses.

  3. When we fail to answer someone’s questions and objections, we become just one more reason for them to disbelieve. – Walter Martin
  4. The Rosetta Stone, SETI, and the Existence of God: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/the-rosetta-stone-seti-and-existence-of.html
  5. City of Houston Demands Pastors Turn over Sermons (Yes, the MAYOR actually wants to inspect sermons.): http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/10/city-houston-demands-pastors-turn-sermons/
  6. Skeptics must provide more than alternative theories to the Resurrection; they must provide first-century evidence for those theories.  – Gary Habermas (quoted in, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist)
  7. Handling an Objection: “I love the moral teachings of Jesus but I don’t think He is divine.” Here is a quote from this article “First, since the person already admires the teachings of Jesus, I point to the blind spot in their thinking. First, it is not the moral teachings of Jesus that is the message. Rather, Jesus is the message!”  http://chab123.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/handling-an-objection-i-love-the-moral-teachings-of-jesus-but-i-dont-think-he-is-divine/
  8. Like it or not, Every Christian is an Apologist: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/like-it-or-not-we-are-all-apologists/
  9. Do We Really Need to Teach Our Kids Apologetics When God is in Control Anyway?  http://christianmomthoughts.com/do-we-really-need-to-teach-our-kids-apologetics-when-god-is-in-control-anyway/
  10. Police Officer Sued For Pitching Christianity to Reckless Driver Instead of Issuing Ticket: http://allchristiannews.com/draft1/#.VDqC1PV-bDc.facebook

 

Have a blessed week!

mid-week apologetics booster (10-9-2014)

Hope you’re having a blessed week!  Here are some items for you to read and or watch/listen:

  1. 7 Tips on Engaging Skeptics Like Paul Did in Athens (in 3 parts):
    1. http://www.apologeticsguy.com/2013/05/acts-17-bible-study-apostle-paul-athens-1/
    2. http://www.apologeticsguy.com/2013/06/acts-17-bible-study-apostle-paul-athens-2/
    3. http://www.apologeticsguy.com/2013/07/acts-17-bible-study-apostle-paul-athens-3/
  2. Here is a snippet from Greg Koukl on the logical fallacy of the “Complex Question” (e.g. “have you stopped beating your wife?”) from his Stand To Reason radio program.  I made it into a 9 minute 30 second youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW04uJdmm7g&feature=share
  3. This is an in depth article refuting the central thesis of the book by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage’s “The Great Apostasy: Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History”.  That book attempts to make a case that the Church of Jesus Christ apostatized shortly after the apostolic age.  The case is made, even from Mormon sources, that there is no reason for the “restoration” (which is what the LDS church claims to be), if the Church was never completely gone from the earth in the first place.  I think the author does a good job of dissecting the arguments in the book point by point:  http://souldevice.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/was-there-a-great-apostasy/
  4. Here is a snippet from a book I’m reading “O God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality” by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett:
    elephantstory
  5. Thank you to a friend for passing this along:  http://calvarychapelahwatukee.com/bible/contending-faith
  6. How Evidence Helps Doubters Become Devotees: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-evidence-help-doubters-become-devotees/

I hope these help encourage, enable and equip you to defend and contend for the faith (Jude 3, 1 Peter 3:15)!