Apologetics Class 8/27/2017

Today we continued our Mormonism series by watching Good News for LDS Part 2 (Chapters 8-12):

The First Vision:

The Occult:

The Translator:



Here is the note-taking form I handed out prior to starting the videos:

Good News for LDS Part 2 (Chapters 8-12) ~40 minutes

  1. The First Vision
    1. Joseph Smith recorded several different accounts of his first v_______. Some of these accounts have Jesus only, some have an angel, some have multiple angels, but the official version of the LDS church has God the Father and Jesus appearing to him.
    2. Since the official vision was before Smith’s official ordination to the priesthood, this would conflict with D&C84:21-22, which says without the authority of the priesthood, no man can see the Father and live.
    3. There are 9 varying accounts of the first vision. The first vision is considered the foundation and the cornerstone of the M___________ religion.
    4. Joseph was a ___ year old boy when he supposedly first had this visitation.
    5. He was known around the country as a fabricator of stories. Even his father-in-law thought so.
    6. In 1855 Brigham Young preached a sermon in which he denied that the Lord came to Joseph in the first vision, but was rather visited by an a____________.
  2. The Occult
    1. Joseph, his father and brother were actively involved in the o________ while living in NY
    2. Joseph found his seer stone while money digging. This seer stone was claimed to have been used by Joseph to translate the B_____ of M__________ from the golden plates.
    3. On March 15th 1842, Joseph Smith joined the Freemasons (believe Jesus is not divine)
    4. Joseph’s Mason membership affected the development of the temple ceremonies
    5. Nauvoo, Illinois temple architecture utilized masonic symbols
    6. The Jupiter Talisman – one of Joseph’s intimate p___________. Guaranteed the possessor the gain of riches, favor, power, love and peace and ability to influence female love.  This talisman was found is Joseph’s pocket the day he died in Carthage.
  3. The Translator
    1. The g______ p________ were not used during the translation of The Book of Mormon. Rather, it was translated by Joseph looking into a “peep stone” (seer stone) inside a hat.
    2. Oliver Cowdery was primary scribe for Joseph & 1 of “the 3 witnesses” listed in BoM
    3. Joseph Smith boasted that the BoM was the most a____________ book in existence.
    4. If this book was translated by the power of God, why thousands of corrections?
    5. The witnesses said that they never p_____________ saw or handled the golden plates.
    6. Paul warns of another gospel in Galatians 1:8 (even from an angel [e.g. Moroni]…)
    7. Kinderhook Plates – a trap set for Joseph, a hoax to expose him as a false pr_________.
  4. Lamanites and DNA
    1. Lamanites are described by Joseph Smith as ancestors of the ancient I_____________
    2. DNA testing of > 5000 Native Americans from 150 different tribes has been completed
    3. Not 1 person contained DNA that was of H______ descent, but rather A______ descent.
    4. In order to be a Mormon, one must trust in the “stories” of Joseph Smith
    5. The Book of A________ has been proven to be completely false. No Egyptologists agree with Joseph’s interpretation of the ancient scroll. Rather, it is a common f________ text.
  5. Conclusion – Jesus Christ vs. Joseph Smith
    1. Joseph claimed that there were many ancient c__________ in the Americas (38) – not one has ever been found.
    2. DNA evidence disproves his story about N________ A____________ origins
    3. He was a liar, a false prophet, a womanizer/adulterer, a fraud.
    4. Examine objectively the life of Joseph Smith and the teachings of the Book of Mormon over against the Jesus of the New Testament and the r____________ of the Bible
    5. The Mormons are good people and they’re worth the fight. We love them.
    6. There are no excuses at the final judgement
    7. All you have to do is believe in Christ.
    8. You must choose to follow J_______ or to follow J______ – you can’t do both. CHOOSE!

Discussion Questions

  1. How old was Joseph when he supposedly received his first vision?
  2. Were the accounts of Joseph’s vision always consistently told by him?
  3. What is a “peep stone” or “seer stone”? What did Joseph use it for?
  4. In what ways were Joseph and his father involved in the occult?
  5. Was Joseph ever in trouble with the law? Was he ever arrested?  How is this different from the apostles Peter, John and Paul being imprisoned in the book of Acts?
  6. How did Joseph’s membership in the Free Masons influence Mormon practices?
  7. How did Joseph supposedly “receive” the Book of Mormon?
  8. By what method did Joseph supposedly translate the Book of Mormon into English?
  9. What are the “Kinderhook Plates” and what do they tell us about the nature of Joseph Smith?
  10. How does DNA evidence contradict Joseph Smith’s story of Native American origins?
  11. What is the Book of Abraham? What is the story of that book’s origin? What does it tell us about the reliability of Joseph Smith as a translator of ancient languages?
  12. Why is Joseph Smith considered a liar, a false prophet?
  13. Why is Joseph Smith considered a womanizer and an adulterer?
  14. Why do we believe Mormon people are not evil enemies to be opposed?
  15. What were the 3 ungodly motivations that drove Joseph to perpetrate his lies?


mid-week apologetics booster (8-24-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. How Do We Help Kids Who Have Left the Faith?: http://crossexamined.org/how-do-we-help-kids-who-have-left-the-faith/
  2. Ancient Man – How Could Noah Have Built a Massive Ark? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/thinking-outside-the-box/ancient-man/
  3. 5 Common Answers to Kids’ Questions about God That Can Do More Harm than Good: http://christianmomthoughts.com/5-common-answers-to-kids-questions-about-god-that-can-do-more-harm-than-good/
  4. 6 Big Reasons Why Islam Is False | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/6-big-reasons-why-islam-is-false/
  5. Evidence For Resurrection Leads Distinguished Philosopher & Atheist John Montgomery To Faith | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/evidence-for-resurrection-leads-distinguished-philosopher-atheist-john-montgomery-to-faith/
  6. How to Recite the Gospel in 60 Seconds – New York Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/how-to-recite-the-gospel-in-60-seconds/
  7. Debating Atheists: Introduction (part 1/5) | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/debating-atheists-introduction-part-15/
  8. Can Jesus Really Be God If the Father Is Greater Than the Son? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjb19qq5heg
  9. The Witnesses of the Resurrection Compared to the Witnesses of the Golden Plates | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/the-witnesses-of-the-resurrection-compared-to-the-witnesses-of-the-golden-plates/
  10. William Lane Craig on Universal, Divine, Causal Determinism: http://evangelicalarminians.org/william-lane-craig-on-universal-divine-causal-determinism/
  11. Are the Galapagos finch beaks evidence of Darwinian evolution? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/08/19/are-the-galapagos-finch-beaks-evidence-of-darwinian-evolution-2/
  12. Ravi Zacharias – Jesus Among Other Gods (scroll down to see video – it is about 1/2 hour) – Sermon Videos: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0B109CNU
  13. What are the doctrines of Islam? | carm: https://carm.org/what-are-doctrines-islam
  14. Jesus vs. Osiris: Debunking The Alleged Parallels | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-osiris-debunking-the-alleged-parallels/
  15. Testing Hinduism | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2017/08/19/testing-hinduism/
  16. Do All Religions Offer a Piece of the Truth? – YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=AXSMr_CYAZk
  17. A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church | carm: https://carm.org/list-of-roman-catholic-false-teachings
  18. Did Jesus Commend Faith That Is Blind? | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/jesus-commend-faith-blind/
  19. The Best Question to Ask When Starting a Conversation About God | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-best-question-to-ask-when-starting-a-conversation-about-god/
  20. The earliest complete Koran manuscript in existence in museums today are hundreds of years after Muhammad died: http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-myths-koran-manuscripts.htm
  21. Did Humans Domesticate Ourselves? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2017/08/22/did-humans-domesticate-ourselves/
  22. Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? What Does the Science Say? – Alisa Childers: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/did-adam-and-eve-really-exist-what-does-the-science-say
  23. To Be Sure….God Loves Us: APOLOGETICS CONVERSION STORIES: Resources: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2016/01/conversion-stories-people-who-came-to.html
  24. Why Make the Case for Christianity, If God Is in Control? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-make-the-case-for-christianity-if-god-is-in-control/
  25. Unbelievable? Four Simple Principles to Determine Ancient Historical Reliability | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/unbelievable-four-simple-principles-to-determine-ancient-historical-reliability/
  26. Don’t Impose Your Beliefs on Others?: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/dont-impose-beliefs-others/

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Psalms 112:4

Blessings to you all

Should We Change Our Message Depending on Who We’re Talking To?

Paul did change his approach depending on who he was talking to. Classic case in point was Acts 17. In this single chapter, it illustrates the different approach Paul took in talking to both Jews vs. pagans & skeptics. In the beginning of the chapter he was talking to the Jews (and God-fearing Greeks). It says, “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.’” (Acts 17:2-3) Notice how he’s using the Scriptures, which they already know and respect, to reason with them and give evidence that Jesus had to suffer and rise again and that He is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. He didn’t have to convince them that God exists and is the Creator.

Conversely, in his discourse on the Areopagus to the Epicureans and Stoics (Acts 17:22-34). Notice the difference in the starting point of the message from when he spoke to the Jews. He was quite obviously “provoked” by the Athenian culture of idolatry (v. 16), which he didn’t have to deal with when talking with the Jews. So, he pointed out their sin (idolatry), but he used one of their “objects of worship” to open his talk (v.23), effectively building a bit of a bridge… later in the talk, he also quoted one of their poets (v.28). He drove home the point about “the God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth” (see v.24 and following) as Creator, contrasting the one true God with their “city full of idols” (v. 16). He ended up with Jesus & the resurrection (a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead) and repentance and judgement (Acts 17:30-31), but notice that during this whole conversation on the Areopagus, he didn’t use the Scriptures with them.

So, it is apparent from examining Paul’s approach in Acts 17 that it is legitimate to consider where your audience is at when determining how you will open the dialog. That doesn’t mean the message is different, it just means that the starting point is different. The ending point (Jesus, the resurrection, repentance, judgement, the gospel) should be the same.

Apologetics Class 8/20/2017

Today we are starting a 7-part series on Mormonism.  We’re starting the series by watching Good News for LDS Part 1 (Chapters 1-7):


Who Was Jesus:

Who is God:

Eternal Life:

Archaeological Evidence:

Prophecies and Revelations:

The Character of Joseph Smith:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before showing these videos:

Good News for LDS Part 1 (Chapters 1-7) ~37 ½ minutes

  1. Introduction
    1. Joseph Smith vs. Jesus Christ
    2. Was Joseph Smith a m____m_______ or a gifted pr________?
    3. Jesus Christ, the man who claimed to be God
    4. Did Jesus become a god, or has He always been God?
  2. Who is Jesus?
    1. Mormons say Jesus was the first spirit b_________ to our heavenly Father
    2. According to Mormonism, Jesus is the spirit brother of L__________ (S_____________)
    3. Christian view of Jesus – He was God in the fl_______, eternal, the uncreated Creator of all things (including angels, such as Satan).
  3. Who is God?
    1. According to Joseph Smith, the Father has a body of fl______ and b_____. (D&C 130:22)
    2. According to the Bible, God (the Father) is Spirit. (John 4:24)
    3. God is everlasting (Psalms 90:2)
    4. According to the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, God was once a m______.
    5. According to LDS teaching, there are many g________.
    6. According to 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, there is no God but one.
    7. Book of Abraham 2:24 has God telling Abraham to l_______, which contradicts Ex. 20:16
  4. How Do We Obtain Eternal Life?
    1. Christian view – belief in Christ as Savior and Lord guarantees eternal life (free g______).
    2. Mormon view – (D&C 76) 3 Kingdoms: Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial. You have to keep all the c________________, be baptized, etc…
    3. Christian view – all authority is in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18)
    4. Mormon view – Joseph Smith holds the keys to h___________.
    5. Christian view – we can know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13)
    6. Mormon view – they can’t be sure if they will make it into the celestial kingdom
  5. Archaeological Evidence:
    1. No book of Mormon location is k_________ with reference to modern topography (Professor Dee Green – BYU)
    2. Biblical archaeology can be studied – we know where biblical places are (e.g. Jerusalem)
  6. Joseph Smith – Prophecies and Revelations
    1. Inhabitants of the M__________ – look like Quakers
    2. City of New Jerusalem – to be built in Independence, M_____________
    3. David Patten Mission, but he died at the battle of cricket river in the fall of that year
    4. See Deut. 13:1-3, a warning against f____________ pr____________
    5. Biblical requirement for a prophet – 100% accuracy (Deut. 18:21-22)
    6. Joseph prophesied the coming of the L___, but Jesus said that’s impossible (Matt. 24:36)
  7. The Character of Joseph Smith
    1. He is portrayed by the LDS church as a virtuous family man who is persecuted for his beliefs, but prevails, due to his tremendous faith and his miraculous works.
    2. At the age of ___, Joseph claimed to have a vision of God the F______ and J__________.
    3. At age ___, Joseph was arrested in Bainbridge, NY for deception of Josiah Stole (a misdemeanor for his “glass looking”)
    4. Joseph Smith committed multiple a_________. 27 women were “sealed” to him. He revealed the doctrine of “plural marriage” in 1843 after being caught in an adulterous affair with Fanny Alger.  He married u______ girls & women who were already married.
    5. Warren Jeffs is in prison for the same behavior that Joseph practiced.
    6. The Bible condemns multiple wives. (Deut. 17:17, Mark 10:7-9, 1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6)

Discussion Questions

  1. Who is Joseph Smith?
  2. What does the LDS acronym stand for? What is the full name of the Mormon Church?
  3. How do the biblical and LDS views of Jesus differ?
  4. How do the biblical and LDS views of God differ?
  5. How do the biblical and LDS views of eternal life (as well as how one obtains it) differ?
  6. Is there any archeological evidence that the Book of Mormon is true? Is there any archeological evidence that the Bible is true?
  7. Has Joseph Smith met the biblical test for being a prophet of God? Where is that biblical test found?
  8. In what ways is the Joseph Smith portrayed by the LDS church different than the Joseph Smith of history?
  9. How would you answer the charge that men of God in the Old Testament had multiple wives, so this must be a practice approved by God?
  10. How would you answer the charge that several biblical authors were also sinners (e.g. David, Solomon, Abraham, Moses, etc.) like Joseph, so we can still believe Joseph’s writings?


Calvinism vs. Biblical Christianity

Consider for a moment the message of the Calvinist to the unbelieving world:

You can’t become a Christian unless you were chosen, and that happened before the beginning of the world – before you were created – and can’t be changed.  In fact you’re blind and can’t even see that you need a Savior.  So, you’re destined to eternal punishment.

Now, consider the message of Biblical Christianity to the unbelieving world:

  1. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
  2. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
  3. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:36
  4. 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. 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
  5. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23
  6. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
  7. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
  8. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20
  9. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. Acts 17:2-4
  10. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27
  11. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved –you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31
  12. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20
  13. Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 2 Chronicles 30:8
  14. 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. James 4:4
  15. yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:40
  16. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7
  17. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
  18. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
  19. See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:12-15
  20. Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. John 10:37-38
  21. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
  22. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
  23. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a
  24. Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32
  25. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
  26. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29

Let’s not make Christianity an exclusive club that you can’t get into.  Let’s make the offer open to everyone who will repent and believe in the Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  I would recommend 2 books:

  1. Chosen But Free – https://www.amazon.com/Chosen-But-Free-Norman-Geisler/dp/0764225219/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0
  2. Deconstructing Calvinism – https://www.amazon.com/Deconstructing-Calvinism-Revised-Hutson-Smelley/dp/1613799381/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

I would also highly recommend visiting the website http://evangelicalarminians.org/.

mid-week apologetics booster (8-17-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Dear College Freshman: 5 Ways to Stay Strong in the Lord: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/dear-college-freshman-5-ways-to-stay-strong-in-the-lord
  2. You are gods. What did Jesus mean?: http://reasonsforjesus.com/you-are-gods-what-did-jesus-mean/
  3. Former transgender: I bought into the lies of Satan | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/she-tried-to-change-her-gender-but-spiritial-awakening-brought-her-back-to
  4. Is Google right to say that sex differences don’t exist? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/08/12/is-google-right-to-say-that-sex-differences-dont-exist/
  5. William Lane Craig: We must distinguish between a childlike faith and a childish faith: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2017/08/william-lane-craig-we-must-distinguish-between-a-childlike-faith-and-a-childish-faith.html
  6. Comparison Grid of Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christianity | CARM: https://carm.org/comparison-grid
  7. Epic Failure: My Biggest Evangelism Mistake: http://crossexamined.org/epic-failure-my-biggest-evangelism-mistake/
  8. Time to Think: 14 Christian Apologetics Quotes: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2015/03/time-to-think-14-christian-apologetics-quotes.html
  9. Why Would a Good God Send People To Hell?: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/why-would-a-good-god-send-people-to-hell/
  10. Apologetics ABCs: First Understand, Then Answer | Bowman on Target: Rob Bowman’s Blog: https://robertbowman.net/2017/08/12/apologetics-abcs-first-understand-then-answer/
  11. Were New Testament Books Forged? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/were-new-testament-books-forged/
  12. Does God Whisper? Part 2 | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/publications/does-god-whisper-part-2#.WZGf4VGGOUk
  13. Was Jesus God?: http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/was_jesus_god.html
  14. DNA Evidence and Molecular Genetics Disprove the Book of Mormon: http://www.godandscience.org/cults/dna.html
  15. Denying Sola Scriptura: The Attempt to Neutralize the Bible – The American Vision: https://americanvision.org/1239/denying-sola-scriptura-attempt-neutralize-bible/
  16. What Does Mormonism Teach? | CARM: https://carm.org/teachings-of-mormonism
  17. Basic Hinduism | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2017/08/14/basic-hinduism/
  18. Are Christians Less Intelligent Than Atheists?: http://crossexamined.org/are-christians-less-intelligent-than-atheists-heres-what-all-those-studies-really-say/
  19. It Is What It Is! and It’s Not What Its Not! Answer to headline stating Discovery of 13 Million-Year-Old Ape Skull Shows What Human Ancestors May Have Looked Like.| Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2017/08/15/it-what-it-and-its-not-what-its-not/
  20. Interview With A Former Skeptic: 3 Important Lessons: http://crossexamined.org/interview-with-a-former-skeptic-3-important-lessons/
  21. Jesus: The Begotten of the Father: http://www.equip.org/article/jesus-the-begotten-of-the-father/
  22. What does it mean that Jesus is God’s only begotten son?: https://www.gotquestions.org/only-begotten-son.html
  23. Superior to Angels | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/superior-angels/

This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself ? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’ ?” John 8:22

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 8/13/2017

Today in the Apologetics Class, we watched Hell’s Best Kept Secret – Ray Comfort / Kirk Cameron:

Here is the note-taking form:

Hell’s Best Kept Secret (Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron)

  1. The “fall-away rate” – 80-90% of “decisions” fall away from their faith. In other words, there are 80-90 “backsliders” for every 100 decisions for Christ.
  2. The Church has strayed away from the b_______________ way of presenting the Gospel.
  3. Mark 10:17-22 – Jesus’ approach with the rich young ruler. He was using a principle that prepares the heart for g______________.  It shows people why they need the Savior.
  4. Psalm 19:7 – “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul…”
  5. Civil law example – someone paid $25,000 fine on your behalf… (doesn’t make sense)
  6. Telling a person precisely what they’ve done w_______ first, makes the good news make sense.
  7. Romans 3:19 – One function of God’s law: “…that every mouth may be st____________…”
  8. More about the law – Romans 3:20, 1 John 3:4, Romans 7:7, Galatians 3:24
  9. The law doesn’t help us, it just leaves us h_______________. The law doesn’t justify us, it just leaves us g______________ before a just and holy God.
  10. We are not saved by the law, we are saved by God’s grace, through faith.
  11. Modern evangelism tries to attract people to Jesus with the promise of “life e______________”.
  12. Modern Parable about 2 passengers on an airplane that are told to put on a parachute for different reasons – one to improve his flight, the other to prepare for a 25,000 foot jump.
  13. Modern Gospel says, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and He will give you “Love, Joy, Peace, Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness” (i.e. Jesus will “improve your flight”)
  14. The sinner responds and puts on the Savior in an ex___________ fashion and gets just what Jesus promised – trials, tribulation, persecution (other passengers mock him). He’s offended, disillusioned and bitter – he was promised Love, Joy, Peace, Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness
  15. Instead of telling sinners that Jesus “improves the flight”, we should be warning them that they’re going to have to j_____________ out of the plane. (Hebrews 9:27)
  16. When a sinner understands the horrific consequences of breaking God’s law, he will flee to the Savior solely to escape the w______________ to come.
  17. It’s not an issue of happiness, but of righteousness. It doesn’t matter how happy a person is or isn’t in their current lifestyle, without the righteousness of Christ, they’ll p____________ on the Day of Judgment. (Proverbs 11:4)
  18. If a person comes to God looking for peace and joy in their life, but they’re not broken in their heart, repentant over the fact that they’ve s______ against Almighty God, they won’t find peace with God! They won’t know the joy of the Lord – they’ll remain e________ of God in their mind.
  19. If we continue to give people a wrong reason to come to Christ, they’ll respond with the wrong motive – lacking r_________________.
  20. If you and I have put on the Lord Jesus Christ for the biblical motive to flee from the wrath that’s to come, when tribulation strikes (“flight” gets bumpy) we won’t get a_____________ with God or lose our joy or peace – why should we? We didn’t come to Jesus for a happy life-style, we came because we’d sinned against God and needed a Savior to save us from the wrath to come.
  21. If anything, tribulation drives a true Christian c______________ to the Savior.
  22. One of the functions of God’s law: it c_______________.
  23. Wooden table analogy, looks dust-free until the sunlight shines on it. Did the light create the dust?  No, the light merely ex_______________ the dust.  In the same way, when the light of God’s law shines upon a sinner’s heart, all that happens is that he sees himself in t___________.
  24. People can hardly name any of 10 c______________, but can name a lot of b________ brands.
  25. If someone does not know God’s law, they will not see their sin as being exceedingly sinful.
  26. Modern evangelism takes the good seed of the Gospel and casts it on the hard, unregenerate h_____________ of humanity.
  27. Biblical evangelism, without exception, is always “Law to the p______, Grace to the h________”
  28. With the law, He (Jesus) breaks the hard heart and with the Gospel, He heals the broken heart.
  29. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6b).
  30. What doctor would give a c_____ to a patient when the patient is not 1st convinced of his disease
  31. The disease is s__________, and the cure is the G________________.
  32. John 4 – the women at the well (they call it “the W____ of the M___________”). Jesus does this:
    1. Starts out with the n________________ conversation
    2. Then swings the conversation to the s_______________ realm
    3. Then, brings c_____________ of sin using the commandments
    4. Finally, reveals Himself as M_________________.
  33. Show a person they’re not a “g__________ p____________” by looking at the commandments (lying, stealing, adultery, etc.) and showing them they’ve not kept them perfectly.
  34. God is forgiving – try that in a court of law. Someone charged of murder says to judge, “because you’re a good man, and therefore, you’ll let me go…”  That wouldn’t be a good j_____________.
  35. If God is good, then by nature, He will make sure that j______________ is served and that people are punished for what they’ve done. If God gave you justice, you wouldn’t be headed for heaven but for h_________.
  36. We broke the law and Jesus paid our f____________ – it’s as simple as that.

Discussion Questions

  1. According to this video, what is a “biblical motive” for salvation?
  2. Modern evangelism attracts people by promising what unbiblical motive?
  3. What does the phrase “Law to the Proud, Grace to the Humble” mean? How would this work in an evangelistic encounter?
  4. Explain the parable told in this video about the 2 passengers on the plane and the parachute. What does it mean?
  5. Explain the analogy about a dusty table and the morning light. What truth is that trying to communicate?
  6. According to this video, what is the “Way of the Master” and what Scripture is it based on?
  7. What opportunities do you have for evangelism at your work, school, neighborhood, family or circle of friends and acquaintances?
  8. According to this video, what is “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”?

mid-week apologetics booster (8-10-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Why Don’t Chimps Smile? | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/10073
  2. This Week in History – Barbary Powers: http://links.emagnify.com/p/15GH5
  3. The Muratorian fragment, dated 170 A.D., affirms 22 out of 27 New Testament books | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/08/02/the-muratorian-fragment-dated-170-a-d-affirms-22-out-of-27-new-testament-books-3/
  4. Revisiting the Minimal Facts Argument: A Hypothetical Discussion Between a Skeptic and a Christian THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/revisiting-the-minimal-facts-argument-a-hypothetical-discussion-between-a-skeptic-and-a-christian/
  5. Cambrian Explosion – Evolutions Achilles Heels – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR-Qr587K04&feature=youtu.be
  6. The Real History of the New Testament Canon – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/the-real-history-of-the-new-testament-canon/
  7. Mormons Are Not Christians Because the Mormon Jesus Is Not the Christian Christ | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/mormons-are-not-christians-because-the-mormon-jesus-is-not-the-christian-christ/
  8. A.N. Wilson: Its time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was | London Evening Standard: https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/it-s-time-charles-darwin-was-exposed-for-the-fraud-he-was-a3604166.html
  9. How Atheism Fails To Explain A Beginning To The Universe | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheism-fails-explain-beginning-universe/
  10. What is the key to applying the Bible to my life?: https://www.gotquestions.org/applying-the-Bible.html
  11. Complex creation | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2017/08/09/complex-creation/
  12. Why Should We Practice Apologetics? | A Narrow-Minded Woman: http://narrowmindedwoman.com/why-should-we-practice-apologetics/

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation. ” Psalms 91:14-16

Blessings to you all,

Apologetics Class 8/6/2017

Today was the first day of the Apologetics class for the 2017/2018 year.  We started off this year by watching a video entitled Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace

  1. Warner Wallace was a committed a____________ until the age of 35 years old.
  2. I want to help you to process through evidential claims.
  3. There are some similarities between what we use to examine cold cases and what we use to examine the Christian worldview:
    1. Event in the distant p___________
    2. No living e__________________
    3. Little or no forensic e_____________
    4. Cases must be built on convincing c_________________ evidence
  4. Important to understand the difference between “what’s p____________” and “what’s a r_____________________” inference from circumstantial case.
  5. Eyewitness testimony is considered “direct evidence”
  6. Circumstantial evidence is “indirect evidence”
  7. It’s not “beyond a possible doubt”, we’re asking people to make a decision “beyond a reasonable doubt”
  8. Judges tell jurors all the time that they are not to consider “circumstantial evidence” as less v________d than “direct evidence”.
  9. Reason why circumstantial case better than a direct case: witnesses want to l______ sometimes
  10. Circumstantial evidence does not intentionally lie to you.
  11. Christianity built on direct evidence – how do we test the witnesses? 4 categories
    1. Were the witnesses even th________ to begin with?
    2. Are the witnesses supported ex______________?
    3. Have they been h___________ and accurate in the past?
    4. Do the witnesses have an ulterior m______________?
  12. If they pass in these 4 categories, we’re to consider them reliable. Can we assess the apostles in the same way?
  13. Were they p___________? If someone’s not there, they can’t be your suspect (or your witness)
    1. Destruction of t___________ in 70 AD is not included in the book of Acts
    2. Siege of J_____________ 69 AD is not included in the book of Acts
    3. P_________ Martyred (64-67 AD) is not included in the book of Acts (P_________ too)
    4. J___________ Martyred (61 AD) is not included in the book of Acts
    5. Most important players in book of Acts – author doesn’t say anything about their deaths
    6. Luke writes Acts 60 AD, Luke writes the Gospel of Luke (53 AD)
    7. Paul quotes Luke’s Gospel in several places
    8. Mark writes Gospel (45-50 AD)
  14. Were they v__________________ (corroborated)?
    1. Outside sources – Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, etc.
    2. Internal evidence
    3. Archeology
  15. Were they h______________?
    1. If your story is changing over time, there’s a good chance I shouldn’t trust you.
    2. Chain of custody (of evidence over time) – Polaroid (snapshot) of evidence at various points in time. You can verify that it didn’t change.
    3. John –>Ignatius, Papias, Polycarp –> Irenaeus –> Hippolytus
    4. Paul –> Linus –> Clement –> Evaristus –> Alexander –> Sixtus –> Telesphorus –> Pius –> Justin Martyr –> Tatian
    5. Peter –> Mark –> Anianus –> Avillus –> Kedron –> Primus –> Justus –> Pantaenus –> Clement –> Origen –> Pamphilus –> Eusebius
    6. 3 different locations (Rome, Ephesus, North Africa) – couldn’t coordinate w/each other
    7. If you lost all the o_________ d____________ from the biblical authors and all you had were other non-biblical writings from the 1st century chain of custody, what would you know about Jesus? He Was Born of a Virgin, Worked Miracles, Preached Sermons, Claimed to be God, Worshipped as God, Crucified and Buried, Rose from the Dead, Ascended into Heaven, Through Whom in Faith Alone you are Saved.
  16. Were they b_____________? Bias is driven by motive.  There are only 3 motives behind any homicide or behind anything you’ve done wrong in your life: 1. Financial G________, 2. Sexual L________, 3. Pursuit of P___________.
    1. The 12 apostles suffered and died for what they saw and reported
    2. No 1st century evidence that any of 12 are reported to have recanted their testimony.
    3. All died without financial success
    4. The vast majority died alone
    5. All were persecuted for their position
    6. Matthew, didn’t start off with bias, he ended up with a conviction based on observation
  17. Can we t___________ what the scriptures say? The Gospel Accounts Are Reliable:
    1. T_______________? The Gospel Writers Were Present
    2. V_______________? The Gospel Writers Were Corroborated
    3. A_______________? The Gospels Were Accurately Delivered
    4. A_______________? The Gospel Writers Had No Ulterior Motive
  18. You’re trying to discover whether something supernatural exists – you don’t begin that investigation by r________________ the supernatural.
  19. If you’re a “1 decision Christian” (decided to trust Christ), why haven’t you taken the additional step to learn this so that your Christianity won’t be “a_______________”?

Discussion Questions


  1. How are Cold Case Homicide investigations similar to investigating the evidence for Christianity?
  2. Why should we think that the Gospel writers were early enough to be eyewitnesses? Why is that important?
  3. What is the “Chain of Custody” and how is this relevant to the Bible?
  4. How would the different locations of John, Peter and Paul (thousands of miles apart) lend credence to the reliability of their individual writings?
  5. Did a church council in 363 AD determine which books were in the Bible?
  6. By what 3 motives could we evaluate eyewitnesses (including the biblical authors) to see if they might be lying?
  7. Why is the distinction between what’s “possible” and “reasonable” so important in determining the truth in evidential cases?

mid-week apologetics booster (8-3-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. A Look at Jesus View of Scripture THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/a-look-at-jesus-view-of-scripture/
  2. Science @ The John Ankerberg Show: No Creation Errors: http://jasscience.blogspot.com/2017/07/no-creation-errors.html
  3. New study: rising oxygen levels rejected as explanation of Cambrian explosion | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/07/28/new-study-rising-oxygen-levels-rejected-as-explanation-of-cambrian-explosion-2/
  4. Are You Suffering From Apologetic Burnout? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/are-you-suffering-from-apologetic-burnout-3/
  5. Why Apologetics is Essential to Being a Pastor – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2016/02/19/why-apologetics-is-essential-to-being-a-pastor/
  6. Christianity: It’s Either Objectively True or Objectively False | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/christianity-it-s-either-objectively-true-or-objectively-false#.WXz68Xqp7qC
  7. CMI: Teaching creationism is child abuse? (Part 1) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSFGGqX8zvU&feature=youtu.be
  8. Profound Problems with Religious Pluralism: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/profound-problems-with-religious-pluralism
  9. Bible Reliability: M-A-P-S to Guide You through Bible Reliability – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/bible-reliability-m-a-p-s-to-guide-you-through-bible-reliability/
  10. Why I Know the Story of Jesus Wasn’t Changed Over Time | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-i-know-the-story-of-jesus-wasnt-changed-over-time/
  11. We Can Corroborate the Gospels without Verifying Every Detail | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/we-can-corroborate-the-gospels-without-verifying-every-detail/
  12. Is the Bible Reliable?: https://www.gty.org/library/topical-series-library/65/is-the-bible-reliable
  13. A Deeper Look at If the Bible Is Reliable: https://www.exploregod.com/is-the-bible-reliable-paper
  14. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels-free-bible-insert/
  15. Refuting Evolution 2 chapter 11: Argument: Evolution of sex – creation.com: http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-2-chapter-11-argument-evolution-of-sex
  16. 15 Questions for Evolutionists — #8 How did sex originate? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu0IK-EB5F4&feature=youtu.be
  17. Can evolution be observed – creation.com: http://creation.com/can-evolution-be-observed
  18. FACE the Facts about Evolution – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/face-the-facts-about-evolution/
  19. The Deity of Jesus – A strong argument for the deity of Christ is the fact that many of the names, titles, and attributes ascribed to Yahweh are also ascribed to Jesus Christ.: https://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/deityofJesus.shtml
  20. Does Scripture Declare the Deity of Jesus Christ? | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/jesus/deity/does-scripture-declare-the-deity-of-jesus-christ/
  21. Supposed Bible Contradictions: Scripture Index | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/scripture-index/
  22. Hell on Trial by John Blanchard: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hell-trial/
  23. Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended? (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/can-the-existence-and-nature-of-hell-be-defended-free-bible-insert/
  24. How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? – Apologetics Canada: https://www.apologeticscanada.com/2015/09/08/how-can-a-loving-god-send-people-to-hell/
  25. Do New DNA Discoveries Really Disprove the Bible? | The Stream: https://stream.org/new-dna-discoveries-really-disprove-bible/
  26. Apologetics Press – God and Capital Punishment: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5415
  27. J.D. Wofford Ministries: Where do Apologetics and Evangelism meet?: http://christianthoughts91.blogspot.com/2017/07/where-do-apologetics-and-evangelism-meet.html
  28. Reasons To Believe : Logic as an Intellectual Navigation System, Part 1: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/logic-as-an-intellectual-navigation-system–part-1
  29. Were the Early Christians Really Persecuted? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/were-the-early-christians-really-persecuted/

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6