Apologetics Class 4-23-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Link to answers

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

Good morning,

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

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

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

Blessings to you all!

AWANA Hike Night – Significance of Mountains in the Gospels

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


Here is the same foothill from the street-view:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning all,

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

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

Jesus made that clear when He said:

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

AWANA Game on Miracles 4/12/2017

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning beloved of God,

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Have a blessed week!

Apologetics Class and the bias of the publicly funded media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection:

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

Tim Barnett – is the Bible Full of Contradictions:

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

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

Hello Friends,

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all!

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

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


Can anyone quote this verse from memory?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(end of presentation)


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

Apologetics Class (4/2/2017)

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

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

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

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

Non-Christian Accounts of how Christianity Began

(Dr. Peter J. Williams)

Cornelius Tacitus

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

Pliny the Younger

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

Josephus

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

 

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

Christian Accounts

Bias does not mean that something should not be c____________.

1 Corinthians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

Galatians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

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

Discussion Questions

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