mid-week apologetics booster (5-31-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Dr. Michael Brown shares Jesus with Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem and is Detained for Hours by the Police as Men Spit on the Name of Jesus. My Day in Jerusalem | The Stream: https://stream.org/detained-hours-police-men-spit-name-jesus-day-jerusalem/
  2. Illinois High School Prohibits Valedictorian From Mentioning Jesus in Graduation Speech | Christian News Network: https://christiannews.net/2018/05/22/illinois-high-school-prohibits-valedictorian-from-mentioning-jesus-in-graduation-speech/
  3. Six Apologetic Topics Every Christian Should Learn About THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/six-apologetic-topics-every-christian-should-learn-about/
  4. Is There a First-Century Fragment of Marks Gospel? Apparently Not Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/is-there-a-first-century-fragment-of-marks-gospel-apparently-not/
  5. Clearing the Fog: Christianity Doesn’t Need Evidence Because Faith is Blind. | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/clearing-the-fog/
  6. Do we have the right Bible? George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2018/05/23/do-we-have-the-right-bible/
  7. Why Did God Sacrifice God? An Explanation of Jesus Atonement Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2018/05/21/why-did-god-sacrifice-god-an-explanation-of-jesus-atonement/
  8. An Unexpected Benefit of Apologetics Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/02/07/an-unexpected-benefit-of-apologetics/
  9. Did John Calvin teach double predestination? Yes, he absolutely did.: https://runningawayfrommychurch.com/calvinist-double-predestination-reformed-churches/
  10. How Skeptics Use a Partial Truth to Tell a Complete Lie | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/how-skeptics-use-a-partial-truth-to-tell-a-complete-lie/
  11. New study: switching male and female marriage roles makes both sexes unhappy | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/05/25/new-study-switching-male-and-female-marriage-roles-makes-both-sexes-unhappy-2/
  12. In six days? | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2018/05/25/in-six-days-2/
  13. If God Made the Universe Then Who Made God? Rob Lundberg Apologetics.Com: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/05/23/if-god-made-the-universe-then-who-made-god-2/
  14. Former False Prophet Andy Poland Talks about Mormonism and Feelings – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBda3vWOBsU&feature=youtu.be&t=1s
  15. America’s Godly Heritage 1 – David Barton – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pme3o0WimkU&list=PL9A8002C80FA935C5&index=1
  16. Is There Any Evidence for Jesus Outside the Bible? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-there-any-evidence-for-jesus-outside-the-bible/
  17. Witnessing Tips: Apologetics, Truth, and Humility – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/articles/witnessing-tips-apologetics-truth-and-humility/
  18. Why Christianity is the Worldview that Best Supports Science | Don Johnson Evangelistic Ministries: http://donjohnsonministries.org/why-christianity-is-the-worldview-that-best-supports-science/
  19. Good News For LDS – 12 part video giving evidence that Mormonism is false: http://www.goodnewsforlds.com/video.html
  20. Does the Doctrine of Hell Make God Unjust? | The Cripplegate: http://thecripplegate.com/does-the-doctrine-of-hell-make-god-unjust/
  21. The Seeing Eye: The Eye Is a Living Camera, | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/eyes/the-seeing-eye/
  22. European Christians no longer align with Christian faith: http://mobile.wnd.com/2018/05/european-christians-no-longer-align-with-christian-faith/

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25

Blessings to you all

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Apologetics Class 5/27/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 5-6

Today in my Apologetics Class, we covered chapters 5 and 6 from the excellent book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.  Again this week, we both listened to the Tactics audio book (from Audible) and I displayed the Kindle book on the screen using read.amazon.com.  Below is the note-taking form I handed out to the class so they could follow along and fill in the blanks:

Tactics Book Part 2: Chapters 5-6 (5/27/2018)

Chapter 5 (1:59:55 – 2:32) Using Columbo to Lead the Way

  1. We ask leading questions, which take the other person in the direction we want to go
  2. With each leading question, you accomplish 2 things. Every time you ask a question and get a favorable response, the person is telling you:
    1. He u________________ the point you’re making
    2. He a___________ with the point you’re making, at least provisionally
  3. We want to win someone to our point of view – not force our opinions, but rather p__________
  4. Your leading questions will be used to:
    1. I___________ – to indirectly explain your own ideas
    2. P___________ – to indirectly advance your own ideas
    3. S_____ up the t___________ – Set up the “terms of the conversation” to put you in a more beneficial position for your next move.
    4. R____________ – Defeat what you think is a bad argument or a flawed point of view
  5. “The Q_____________” – you will eventually be asked this question (in some form): “You’re saying that people who don’t believe just like you are going to Hell?
  6. You have to know w______ Jesus is the only way before it is helpful to tell people that he is the only way.
  7. The Jewish attorney who didn’t understand why he needed Jesus. Greg asked 2 questions:
    1. Do you think people who commit m________ c__________ ought to be punished?
    2. Have you ever committed any moral crimes?
    3. That puts us in a tight spot, doesn’t it? Do you know what I call that? Bad news!
    4. This is where Jesus come in. We both know we’re guilty, that’s the problem.  So God offers a solution: a p___________, free of charge.  But c______________ is on His terms, not ours.  Jesus is God’s means of pardon.  He personally paid the penalty in our place.  He took the rap for our crimes.  No one else did that.  Only Jesus.  Now we have a choice to make.  Either we take the pardon and go f__________, or we turn it down and p__________ for our crimes ourselves.
  8. “Tell them something they know” – these are the most powerful and persuasive questions.
  9. Shannon, an American college student living in Europe, although she’d been raised in a Christian home and had a strong relationship with the Lord, was perplexed by the idea that others were l___________ apart from trust in C_____________. Greg used questions to remind her of what she already knew and to “connect the dots” for her.
  10. If religion, or sincerity, or ‘doing our best’ cannot save you and me, then how can any of those things save someone else? Either Jesus rescues us by taking the p______________ for our sin on Himself, or we are not saved and we have to pay for our own crimes.  It’s no more complicated than that.
  11. The “P__________-A______________ T_____________ Trick” – when someone asks for your personal views about a controversial issue, preface your remarks with a question that sets the stage – in your favor – for your response. Say, “You know, this is actually a very personal question you’re asking.  I don’t mind answering, but before I do, I want to know if it’s safe to offer my views.  So let me ask you a question: Do you consider yourself a tolerant person or an intolerant person on issues like this?  Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going to judge me for my point of view?  Do you respect diverse points of view, or do you condemn others for convictions that differ from your own?”  Now when you give your point of view, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to call you intolerant or judgmental without looking guilty too.
  12. Everyone thinks his own beliefs are c_____________. If people didn’t think their beliefs were true, they wouldn’t believe them.  They’d believe something else and think that was true.
  13. If you’re labeled intolerant…”Why is it when I think I’m right, I’m intolerant, but when you think you’re right, you’re just right? What am I missing?”
  14. Example of a student / professor conversation in “Icons of Evolution”:
    1. Teacher: Okay, let’s start today’s lesson with a quick review. Yesterday I talked about homology [how different organisms show remarkable similarity in the structure of some of their body parts]. H__________________ features, such as the vertebrate limbs shown in your textbook, provide us with some of our best evidence that living things have evolved from common ancestors.
    2. Student (raising hand): I know you went over this yesterday, but I’m still confused. How do we know whether features are homologous?
    3. Teacher: Well, if you look at vertebrate limbs, you can see that even though they’re adapted to perform different functions, their bone patterns are structurally similar.
    4. Student: But you told us yesterday that even though an o_______________ eye is structurally similar to a human eye, the two are not homologous.
    5. Teacher: That’s correct. Octopus and human eyes are not homologous because their common ancestor did not have such an eye.
    6. Student: So regardless of similarity, features are not homologous unless they are inherited from a common a_________________?
    7. Teacher: Yes, now you’re catching on.
    8. Student (looking puzzled): Well, actually, I’m still confused. You say homologous features provide some of our best evidence for common ancestry. But before we can tell whether features are homologous, we have to know whether they came from a common ancestor.
    9. Teacher: That’s right.
    10. Student (scratching head): I must be missing something. It sounds as though you’re saying that we know features are derived from a common ancestor because they’re derived from a common ancestor. Isn’t that c______________ r_______________?
  15. When professor says “science has proven that miracles don’t happen”, you could ask “Professor, would you please explain to me exactly how the methods of science have disproved the possibility of s_______________ e_______________?”
  16. Pay close attention to the answer to the question, “How did you come to that conclusion?” then, ask yourself if the person’s conclusion is j_______________ by the evidence he gives.
  17. You can use the leading questions to:
    1. C_____________ a point
    2. C_____________ new information
    3. Expose a w________________
  18. Remember, as an ambassador for Christ, you don’t have to hit a h________ r_______ in every conversation. You don’t even have to get on base…sometimes just getting up to bat will do.
  19. Point out weaknesses in a view, but don’t be pushy, condescending, or smug (offensive).
  20. Soften or cushion your approach by using “H_________ you c_________________” to preface your question.

Chapter 6: Perfecting Columbo (2:32:01-3:02:02)

  1. In any encounter, there are 2 different times when the pressure is off (and these are perfect times to focus on improving your technique):
    1. Before the conversation begins
    2. After it’s over
  2. There are 3 specific things you can do to ready yourself to respond:
    1. You can a_____________ beforehand what might come up
    2. You can r_____________ afterward what took place
    3. You can p____________ the r_______________ you think of during these reflective moments so you will be prepared for the next opportunity.
  3. After each encounter you have, immediately reflect on how you could’ve done better.
  4. 3 Skills of an Ambassador:
    1. K__________________ – an accurately informed mind
    2. W_________________ – an artful method
    3. C__________________ – an attractive manner
  5. When you’re alone in the car, you can listen to talk radio (or a debate) and then pause it or turn down the volume and try to respond to the challenger yourself. This places you in an actual dialogue in a way that is completely safe.
  6. Even people who don’t usually like taking tests don’t mind them at all when they know the answers to the questions.
  7. There are 2 things that will help generate the c_________________ you’ll need to face a challenging situation:
    1. P_______________ – being prepared will give you confidence
    2. A______________ – eventually, you must actually engage. Interacting with others face-to-face is the most effective way to improve your abilities as an ambassador.
  8. Objection: “I just don’t believe any unwanted children should be allowed to come into the world”. Answer: Not wanting to bring unwanted children into the world may be a legitimate reason for birth control, but it has nothing to do with abortion. When a woman is pregnant, the child is a__________ “in the w___________”, so to speak.  The human being already exists; he or she is just hidden from view inside the mother’s womb. This woman’s response assumed that before making the journey down the birth canal, the baby simply does not exist.
  9. Objection: “People t________ the B__________ all the time to make it say whatever they want”. Answer: People do twist Bible verses all the time.  It is one of my own chief complaints.  The student’s point wasn’t really that some people twist the Bible.  His complaint was that I was twisting the Bible.  Yet he hadn’t demonstrated this.
  10. Once you see how unprepared people are to answer for their own views, you’ll be tempted to use your tactics like a c___________. Don’t give in to that urge.  As a general rule, go out of your way to establish common ground.  Whenever possible, affirm points of agreement.
  11. When someone uses the Columbo Tactic against you:
    1. You have no obligation to cooperate with anyone trying to set you up with leading questions. Simply refuse to answer them, but do so in a cordial way.
    2. “My sense is that you want to explain your point by using questions … I’d rather you just state your view directly”
  12. When a question is not a question: What gives you the right to say someone else’s religion is wrong? This is not really a question – there’s no curiosity at all.  It is a statement disguised as a question.  Response: your question is confusing… Do you really want to talk about rights?  Do you really want to know what my credentials are or what authority I have to speak on these things?
  13. The most important thing to remember about these questions is that behind them lurk strong opinions that are open to challenge if they can be flushed into the open.
  14. 2 Approaches of Columbo:
    1. B__________________ approach (like Lieutenant Columbo) – meant to p_____________, win the person.
    2. C__________________, aggressive (like a lawyer) – meant to r__________________, target is the audience.
  15. Sheepish in Seattle:
    1. Statement: Some religion beliefs seem foolish. Objection: That’s oppressive, not letting people believe what they want to believe!
    2. Response: Do you think I’m wrong then? … If you don’t think I’m wrong, then why are you correcting me?  And if you do think I’m wrong, then why were you oppressing me?
    3. Objection: All religions are basically the same. Response: Really?  In what way? Then, consider this: Either Jesus is Messiah or He isn’t, right? If He isn’t Messiah, then the Christians are wrong and the Jews are right.  If He is Messiah, then the Jews are wrong and the Christians are right. …  Under no circumstances can they both be basically the same, can they?
    4. Objection: No one can ever know the truth about religion. Response: Why would you believe a thing like that?
    5. Objection: The Bible has been changed and translated so many times over the centuries you can’t trust it. Response: Even if the Bible vanished from the face of the Earth, knowledge of God could still be possible, at least in principle…How do you know the Bible’s been changed?  Have you actually studied the transmission of the ancient docs?

Discussion Questions

  1. There are 2 “modes” of Columbo, (1) to persuade and (2) to refute. What is the benefit of each approach?  What situations might you use each one?
  2. What is the “Passive-Aggressive Tolerance Trick”? How does this help us in this modern, tolerant and politically correct environment?
  3. What are 3 uses of asking leading questions?
  4. How can you defend yourself when Columbo is used against you?

 

mid-week apologetics booster (5-24-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Unacceptable Answers for Your Thinking Teens: http://www.lifeinprogressministries.org/unacceptable-answers-for-your-thinking-teens/
  2. Five Steps to Help Your Child Remain a Christian Into Adulthood | Beyond Teachable Moments: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/five-steps-to-help-your-child-remain-a-christian-into-adulthood/
  3. Teaching Apologetics at Home: Yes, You Can! Thinking Christian: http://www.thinkingchristian.net/friday-parent-focus/2013/06/teaching-apologetics-at-home/
  4. 5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Apologetics To Your Children – The Musings of Mum: http://www.themusingsofmum.com/why-teach-apologetics/
  5. The Necessity of Apologetics: A Plan to Implement | Crossings Ministries: https://gocrossings.org/resources/necessity-apologetics-plan-implement/
  6. How Were People Saved Before Christ? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/how-were-old-testament-saints-saved/
  7. The Rosetta Stone, SETI, and the Existence of God | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/the-rosetta-stone-seti-and-existence-of.html
  8. How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians Today? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today
  9. Does the church do a good job of equipping Christians to talk to non-Christians? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2014/10/19/does-the-church-do-a-good-job-of-equipping-christians-to-talk-to-non-christians-2/
  10. How Do Palestinian Names Lend Credence to the Gospels? | Tough Questions Answered: https://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2014/10/20/how-do-palestinian-names-lend-credence-to-the-gospels/
  11. A Clean Conscience and a Well-Oiled Shield | Blog & Mablog: https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/a-clean-conscience-and-a-well-oiled-shield.html
  12. Weather Channel Founder Blasts Climate Change: http://www.icr.org/article/8382/
  13. A Case Study of a Christian Turned Atheist: http://christianmomthoughts.com/a-case-study-of-a-christian-turned-atheist/
  14. Possible Worlds: Is Christianity a Psychological Crutch?: https://www.randyeverist.com/2013/10/is-christianity-psychological-crutch.html
  15. How to Share Your Faith at Work: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-share-your-faith-at-work/
  16. Academic, activist or apatheist: What kind of unbeliever are you? – Religion News Service: https://religionnews.com/2014/06/09/academic-activist-apatheist-kind-unbeliever/
  17. Hinduism overview: http://www.worldviewu.org/hinduism/?rq=Hinduism
  18. A Look at Common Questions About Doing Apologetics on College Campuses THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/a-look-at-common-questions-about-doing-apologetics-on-college-campuses/
  19. C.S. Lewis and the Art of Disagreement | Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Educating for Liberty: https://home.isi.org/cs-lewis-and-art-disagreement
  20. Answering an Objection to Apologetics: Doesn’t Faith Come from Hearing the Word of God? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/answering-an-objection-to-apologetics-doesnt-faith-come-from-hearing-the-word-of-god/
  21. Three Things The Gospel Authors Would Have Never Invented About Jesus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/three-things-the-gospel-authors-would-have-never-invented-about-jesus-5/
  22. Every Book of the Bible in One Word: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/every-book-of-the-bible-in-one-word/
  23. Christianity Through Roman Eyes: What Does a Pagan Roman Letter from 111 A.D. Tell Us About Early Christians? god from the machine: https://godfromthemachine.blog/2018/05/16/christianity-through-roman-eyes-what-does-a-pagan-roman-letter-from-111-a-d-tell-us-about-early-christians
  24. Why Jesus Is No Longer the Only Way for Many American Christians: https://www.christianpost.com/news/why-jesus-is-no-longer-only-way-for-many-american-christians-223601/
  25. Welcome to the Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution:
    1. Problem 1: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/01/the_top_ten_sci/
    2. Problem 2: Unguided Chemical Processes Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic Code | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/01/problem_2_ungui/
    3. Problem 4: Natural Selection Struggles to Fix Advantageous Traits in Populations | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/01/problem_4_natur/
    4. Problem 5: Abrupt Appearance of Species in the Fossil Record Does Not Support Darwinian Evolution | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/01/problem_5_abrup/
    5. Problem 6: Molecular Biology Has Failed to Yield a Grand : https://evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_6_molec/
    6. Problem 7: Convergent Evolution Challenges Darwinism and Destroys the Logic Behind Common Ancestry | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_7_conve/
    7. Problem 8: Differences Between Vertebrate Embryos Contradict the Predictions of Common Ancestry | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_8_diffe/
    8. Problem 9: Neo-Darwinism Struggles to Explain the Biogeographical Distribution of Many Species | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_9_neo-d/
    9. Problem 10: Neo-Darwinism’s Long History of Inaccurate Predictions about Junk Organs and Junk DNA | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_10_neo-/
  26. American Atheists Hide Behind the Fairy Tale of Evolution The American Vision: https://americanvision.org/11504/american-atheists-hide-behind-fairy-tale-evolution/
  27. Cross Encounters: Mall Evangelism: : http://www.crossencounters.us/2014/12/mall-evangelism-i-want-to-talk-about-god.html
  28. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9LKweRWpLk
  29. Dinosaur Questions and Answers – creation.com: https://creation.com/dinosaur-questions-and-answers
  30. Apologetics in Your Teaching: Four Ways You Can Aim Your People Higher Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2018/05/apologetics-teaching-aim-them-higher/
  31. Three ways to share the gospel in the midst of hostility: http://servantsofgrace.org/three-ways-to-share-the-gospel-in-the-midst-of-hostility/
  32. Is Your Modern Translation Corrupt? – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/articles/is-your-modern-translation-corrupt/

“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; John 16:5-9

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/20/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 3-4

Yesterday in my Apologetics Class, we covered chapters 3 and 4 from the excellent book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.  This was the first time I’ve attempted to deliver the information in a unique way – we both listened to the Tactics audio book (from Audible) and I displayed the Kindle book on the screen using read.amazon.com.  As the audio book was playing, I was at the computer (which was displayed on the screen in front of class) and was advancing to the next page of the Kindle book (in really large font) so that people could both read and listen at the same time.  Each chapter took approximately 1/2 hour, so doing 2 chapters was a perfect length of time.  It turned out to be something that was well received.  Below is the note-taking form I handed out to the class so they could follow along and fill in the blanks.

Chapter 3 Getting in the Driver’s Seat: The Columbo Tactic (56:56-1:30:44= ~33 min)

The 10-Second Window

  1. Scene 1 – You son announces at dinner party that belief in God is not r_______________:
  2. Scene 2 – At Bible study, “Who are we to say Christianity is b______________…?”:
  3. Scene 3 – On bus, someone notices your Bible, says it was “o_______ w__________ by m____”:
  4. Scene 4 – At car dealer, Wrong to f________ v______ on other people. Can’t legislate morality:
  5. The opportunity when someone says something is about 10 seconds before door closes.
  6. Questions you could ask in these 4 scenes:
    1. Challenge 1:___________________________________________________________
    2. Challenge 2: ___________________________________________________________
    3. Challenge 3: ___________________________________________________________
    4. Challenge 4: ___________________________________________________________
  7. Columbo Tactic – the key to this tactic is to go on the o____________ in an in___________ way by using carefully selected q_______________ to productively advance the conversation.
  8. Never make a statement, when a question will do that job.
  9. Being an asker allows you control of situations that statement-makers rarely achieve.
  10. 3 Applications of the Columbo Tactic:
    1. To G__________ I_________________ (What do you mean by that?)
    2. To R___________ the B____________ of P________________
    3. To L____________ the Conversation in a Specific D_______________
  11. Don’t be surprised when your question, “what do you mean by that?” is met with a b____ s____
  12. Be sure to pay attention to the response to your questions! If meaning unclear, follow-up.
  13. The charge that belief in God is irrational is common, but completely without b___________. I’m not going to let anyone who makes this assertion off easily.  I want to know specifically how theism is at odds with good thinking…believing in God is like believing in a_________.  The process is exactly the same.  You follow the evidence of what you can see to conclude the existence of something you cannot see.  The effect needs a cause a_____________ to explain it.
  14. Scene 2 person’s minimal theology (“The essence of Jesus’ teaching is love, not telling other people how to live or believe”) does not allow him to escape his own charge. That’s why I asked, “Isn’t telling people to love one another just another example of telling them how they should l________ and b_______________?”
  15. Challenge 3 (Bible only written by men) p___________ what it is attempting to p__________ and therefore is c_______________.
  16. Most people who believe in the authority of the Bible did not come to this conviction through a________________, but through e_____________. Hand out the Gospel of John and let Jesus s__________ for H_________________.
  17. Challenge 4 “It’s wrong to force your views on other people”, this person does not have any business participating in the l___________ process. That’s why he asked question, do you vote?
  18. Questions are:
    1. Excellent c____________ s___________, inviting others to participate in dialogue
    2. N_____________, protecting you from getting “preachy”
    3. A means to b_______ v___________________ t__________.
    4. Essential to keeping you in c______________ of the conversation.

Chapter 4: Columbo step 2 – The Burden of Proof (1:30:45 – 1:59:54=~29 min)

  1. Christians aren’t’ the only ones that need to a___________ for their b________________
  2. Many challenges to Christianity thrive on v_________ generalities and forceful s___________
  3. 2nd step of Columbo, is called “r_________ the b_____ of p___”. It’s the responsibility someone has to defend or give evidence for his view.  Whoever makes the claim bears the burden.
  4. An a_____________ is like a simple house, a roof supported by walls. The roof is the conclusion and the walls are the supporting ideas.  No one can live in a house without walls.
  5. There is a difference between giving an e________________ and giving e_________________ the explanation is true.
  6. Model question is “How Did You Come to That Conclusion?”
  7. The first Columbo question helps you know w_________ another person thinks. This 2nd question helps you know w_________ he thinks the way he does.
  8. Most critics are not prepared to defend their f_______________, don’t be surprised if you get a blank stare.
  9. Reject impulse to c_________________ ever assertion someone manufactures, steer burden of proof back.
  10. It’s not your job to d___________ their claim, it’s their job to d_______________ it.
  11. An a____________ e_______________ (e.g. “I can explain that”) is not a r_______________.
  12. Imagining what might have taken place may be a legitimate 1st step, it is not the last one though.
  13. 3 Questions you should always ask when someone offers an alternate explanation:
    1. Is it p___________? (Some options are completely unworkable after closer examination)
    2. Is it p___________? (Does it fit the facts?)
    3. Is it p___________? (Is it the best explanation, considering the competing options?)
  14. Did he give me an a_____________? Or just an o_______________?
  15. Just because it is possible to be mistaken about something that seems obvious doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to think we are. This is the sk___________ error, do not be taken in by it.
  16. The P________’s P____ –professor may attempt to reverse burden of proof if you challenge him
  17. Fundamental rule: Never make a f________ a___________ on a s___________ f__________ in an entrenched position.
  18. You don’t have to be the e_______ on every s_______. Keep burden of proof where it belongs.
  19. “Getting out of the hot seat”, ask probing c__________ q_________ and ask for r______. When all your questions have been answered, end conversation by saying “Let me t_______ about it”.
  20. When the pressure is off, do your h______________. Craft a response based on your research.
  21. It’s not retreat, it’s just a different type of engagement and it greatly reduces your stress.
  22. It’s not enough for someone to c__________ your view by simply telling a s___________.

Additional Information

  1. I would encourage you to listen to this book in your free time (I listen to it while driving)
  2. If you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android), you can download the free app – Audible. All you need is an Amazon account to login.  You can purchase this book on Audible ($11.99).  Note, if you sign up for a membership, you can get this book for free.
  3. You can also download the free Kindle app and purchase the Kindle book (Amazon) for $7.99.
  4. Our church has small Gospel of John booklets (the Story of God) that you can hand out.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-17-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Can death be abolished? – creation.com: https://creation.com/can-death-be-abolished
  2. Everyday Virtues of an Ambassador for Christ: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/09/everyday-virtues-of-ambassador-for.html
  3. The Juvenilization of American Christianity – What does juvenilized Christianity look like? The National Study of Youth and Religion calls it moralistic, therapeutic deism. In sharp contrast to other subjects they care about, American teenagers are amazingly inarticulate about their faith, probably because there is little content there. In short, juvenilized Christianity is self-centered, emotionally driven, and intellectually shallow.: http://www.equip.org/article/juvenilization-american-christianity/
  4. The Most Dangerous Belief a Christian Mom Can Have (Happy Mother’s Day!): http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-most-dangerous-belief-a-christian-mom-can-have-happy-mothers-day/
  5. About Those Crusades – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/02/about-those-crusades.html
  6. The Five Most Common Fallacies about the Life of Jesus: http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-five-most-common-fallacies-about.html
  7. Christianity without hell – examining 4 false ideas about hell: http://mbcpathway.com/2015/01/21/what-christianity-without-hell-looks-like/
  8. Six Signs That You May Be Ashamed of the Gospel THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/six-signs-you-may-be-ashamed-of-the-gospel/
  9. Rules to Evaluate Alleged Bible Contradictions and Difficulties (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/rules-to-evaluate-alleged-bible-contradictions-and-difficulties-free-bible-insert/
  10. How Not to Argue Like an Idiot: The 15 Most Common Logical Fallacies | Home: https://www.scribblepreach.com/single-post/2017/12/02/How-Not-to-Argue-Like-an-Idiot-The-15-Most-Common-Logical-Fallacies
  11. Mistakes Christians make when talking to Atheists | ifaithdefender: https://chanhearron.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/mistakes-christians-make-when-talking-to-atheists/
  12. One of the Clearest (and Earliest) Summaries of Early Christian Beliefs Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/one-of-the-clearest-and-earliest-summaries-of-early-christian-beliefs/
  13. Unacceptable Answers for Your Thinking Teens: http://www.lifeinprogressministries.org/unacceptable-answers-for-your-thinking-teens/
  14. A Brief Sample of Archaeology Corroborating the Claims of the New Testament | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/a-brief-sample-of-archaeology-corroborating-the-claims-of-the-new-testament/
  15. Answering Doubts conference videos – Nabeel Qureshi, Cameron McAllister, Alycia Wood: https://rzim.org/answering-doubts/
  16. 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer: http://christianmomthoughts.com/65-apologetics-questions-every-christian-parent-needs-to-learn-to-answer/
  17. FREE! Online BIBLE COMMENTARIES: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2014/11/new-testament-commentaries-available.html
  18. Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?: https://www.gotquestions.org/Abraham-Isaac.html
  19. Handling an Objection: We Can’t Trust Eyewitness Testimony! THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/handling-an-objection-we-cant-trust-eyewitness-testimony-4/
  20. Noah: Fact or fiction? | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2018/05/10/noah-fact-or-fiction/
  21. Is Christianity sexist? https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Is-Christianity-sexist-Paula-Gooder-Francesca-Stavrakopoulou
  22. Andy Stanley’s Modern Marcionism: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/05/andy-stanleys-modern-marcionism
  23. Going, Going . . . Gone – Why Are Young People Walking Away From Our Churches? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/going-going-gone/
  24. The Intellectual Persecution of the Church: http://credohouse.org/blog/the-intellectual-persecution-of-the-church
  25. A Case for the Bible 101: Manuscript Evidence Part 11 Are there errors in the manuscripts? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-the-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-11-are-there-errors-in-the-manuscripts/
  26. Can Christians claim to have the One, True God? Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2016/08/02/can-christians-claim-to-have-the-one-true-god/
  27. How to Share the Gospel Without Being a Jerk: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/nobody-likes-a-jerk
  28. No, Pastor Stanley, We Should Not Unhitch Ourselves from the Old Testament: https://stream.org/pastor-stanley-unhitch-old-testament/
  29. What Really Happened At The Council Of Nicaea | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/what-really-happened-at-the-council-of-nicea/

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/13/2018

What’s Down with Hell – James MacDonald

On Sunday in our Apologetics class, I plan to depart a bit from the Apologetics theme and show a sermon on the topic of Hell.  I believe that this is an important topic and that we don’t talk enough about this in the church.  This is one of my favorite preachers of the Word of God, James MacDonald

 

Here is the note-taking form (with discussion questions) that goes with the video:

What’s Down with Hell (James MacDonald) – 5/13/2018

  1. The story of the R________ M_______ and L_____________ – Luke 16:19-31
  2. What is Hell? That question cannot be answered as normal questions can be answered – there’s no reference point (except the word of God).
  3. Charles Hodge – Princeton Theological Seminary – said regarding hell, “It is a doctrine which revolts the heart. It is a doctrine which the heart struggles against and to which the heart submits only under the stress of authority.  The church believes the doctrine of hell because it must believe it or renounce faith in the Bible and give up all the hopes founded upon its promises”.
  4. Definition: Hell is a place of e________ t___________ for the impenitent (unrepentant people).
  5. This is not a church full of righteous people, this is a church full of forgiven people, who have the righteousness of Christ, and by His grace are being changed.
  6. Have you repented?
  7. It is not a word we should use flippantly – hell is not a laughing matter…
  8. Hell is so awful, that if you conceived even a fraction of it, you would not wish it on your worst enemy.
  9. Purpose: Hell is a place for G______ w____________ to be poured out on the impenitent.
  10. Wrath is God’s righteous response to sin.
  11. God has made Himself known in the universe in 3 ways (Titus 2:11):
    1. In C___________ (Ps. 19:1-3; Rom. 1:18-20)
    2. In C___________ (Rom. 2:14-15)
    3. In the G____________ of Jesus Christ
  12. Not “want to know and don’t hear”, but “don’t w__________ to know”.
  13. Terms describing the place:
    1. Sheol – describing the state of d______________
    2. Gehena – used 12 times in the New Testament. It is like a dump – put their garbage there and burned it (diseased animals, etc).
    3. Hades – Luke 16:23 – used 10 times in the New Testament. It is the t_______________ abode of the u______________ (impenitent) d__________, until the final judgement.  No one is technically in “hell” yet.
    4. Hell – Matthew 5:22, 29-30. Used 14 times in the New Testament. Summary term describing the final place of eternal torment for the impenitent.
    5. Second Death – a spiritual death (Rev. 20:14; 21:8). If you’re born o__________, you die t______, if you’re born t_____, you die o________.  What dies at the second death?
      1. O____________ dies (Hebrews 9:27)
      2. G____________ dies – God’s not reaching out to people in hell and trying to reform them.
      3. V____________ dies (Matt. 11:28-30; John 7:17)
    6. The Lake of Fire – Revelation 20:10,14-15. Hell will be fire from “shore to shore”.  “The safest road to hell is the gradual one…” – C.S. Lewis.  There is life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going it is not s________ to d______.
  14. Jesus talked more about h________, by far, than He talked about h_____________.
  15. Terms describing the punishment:
    1. F___________ – 27 times in the scripture. Is the fire in hell a literal fire?  “I see no reason to regard the fire as more literal than the worm” – Charles Hodge.  So many times flames are referenced – it’s the most common picture of hell.
    2. W__________ and g____________ of teeth (Matthew 8:11 and following) – describes the wicked and their vitriolic, violent hatred toward the righteous. If we picture people in hell as being repentant or regretful, that’s what the Scripture teaches.  The people in hell are not wishing they were in heaven, they’re shaking their fists at it.
    3. O_________ D___________ – intended to convey horror beyond imagination. Hell was originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matt 25:41).  No one is together in hell – everyone is completely isolated and alone in hell.  Daniel 12:2 describes it as “the shame of everlasting contempt”.
    4. D____________ – 18 times. (e.g. Matt. 7:13-14, 2 Thess. 1:9)  Every person born into this world has the Imago Dei (the image of God) – Genesis 1:26-27.  This separates us from the animals (mind, emotion and will).  In hell, the soul is abandoned by God to its own destruction.  Some wrongly teach “Anni______________sm” (the belief that hell is a place where you’re punished for a period of time, then you cease to exist).  Destruction does not mean “cease to exist” – a better word is “ruined”.  Example of fruit thrown off building.
  16. Modern objections to hell. Man has an amazing capacity to distort Scripture in the things that he wishes were not true:
    1. E_____________ – too long, therefore God is not just. How can a finite life of sin deserve infinite punishment?  Answer: The misnomer there is that people stop sinning in hell, which is not true.  Sin actually accelerates in hell.  People are not just punished in hell for the sins they’ve committed.  They’re also punished for the sinful nature that was not eradicated by the Gospel.  Example of a rabid dog – Pitbull.  This dog needs to be “put down”, hasn’t done anything wrong, but it will – its nature is corrupted.
    2. T_____________ – it’s too severe, therefore God is not merciful. Answer: God’s statement about the severity of sin is that 2,000 years ago, He sent His own Son and poured out His wrath upon Christ.  On Him, almighty judgment fell that would’ve sunk the world to Hell.
  17. Implications of hell:
    1. I must be s_________ of my salvation. If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  Admit that you’re a sinner, deserving of hell and expressing faith in the payment of Christ for your sin and for your forgiveness.
    2. I must be t____________ for my salvation.
    3. I must be at peace with i__________________.
    4. I must be b_________ in my w______________. This is not a day for subtlety, or silence.  We need to be loving, we need to be sensitive, but we need to be clear.  I need to have “the conversation”.  On this subject, I cannot be silent, but not obnoxious.

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you struggled with hell?
  2. Do you have any unanswered questions about hell?
  3. I would recommend a small book that has been very helpful to me: “23 Questions About Hell

mid-week apologetics booster (5-10-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 4 Things That Must Happen Before More Christian Parents Will Care About Questions of Faith and Science: http://christianmomthoughts.com/4-things-that-must-happen-before-more-christian-parents-will-care-about-questions-of-faith-and-science/
  2. Don’t Blow It at the Finish Line | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/dont-blow-it-at-the-finish-line/
  3. Can We Trade Sexual Morality for Church Growth?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/can-we-trade-sexual-morality-for-church-growth1/
  4. If Satan was a Professor – Frank highlights the morally vacuous courses at major universities. A new wave of identity politics is infecting higher education, playing directly into the hands of leftist administrators, professors, and students seeking to reach a new low in their victim olympics. The result is a disregard for personal responsibility or individual freedom. Don’t miss this podcast YOU NEED to know this.: https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+zjct6kw
  5. Risky Business College Shuts Down Professor over Speech on Science, Free Expression | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/05/risky-business-college-shuts-down-professor-over-speech-on-science-free-expression/
  6. What is Hate Speech and How Should We Respond? – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2018/05/03/what-is-hate-speech-and-how-should-we-respond/
  7. Anti-intellectualism In The Church – Cross Examined Podcast: https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+bbd6dea
  8. I’m At Home With Evidentialism Because the Evidence Brought Me Home | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/im-at-home-with-evidentialism-because-the-evidence-brought-me-home/
  9. Jesus Is A Myth, Just Like President Kennedy | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/jesus-is-a-myth-just-like-president-kennedy/
  10. Why Jesus? Part 1 | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/SolidGroundMay2018WhyJesus1
  11. No Real Jesus Without the Trinity: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2018/04/17/no-real-jesus-without-the-trinity/
  12. Hell and the Gospel | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/hell-and-the-gospel#.WuxlOIgvyUl
  13. Why Doesn’t God Reform People Rather Than Punish Them in Hell? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-doesnt-god-reform-people-rather-than-punish-them-in-hell/
  14. The F-E-A-T that Demonstrates the FACT of Resurrection – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/articles/the-f-e-a-t-that-demonstrates-the-fact-of-resurrection/
  15. Is God Good? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA
  16. How Can You Trust Christianity Is True If You Haven’t Examined All the Alternatives? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-can-you-trust-christianity-is-true-if-you-havent-examined-all-the-alternatives/
  17. With Mark Levin and David Berlinski Talk Evolution, Science, Progressivism | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/04/with-mark-levin-on-fox-news-david-berlinski-talks-evolution-science-progressivism/
  18. The Work of Textual Criticism – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/work-of-textual-criticism/
  19. A New Defense of the Historical Reliability of the Bible: https://www.christianpost.com/voice/defense-historical-reliability-of-the-bible.html
  20. An Investigation: What Makes the Bible Unique? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/investigation-bible-unique/
  21. Does Mark, the Earliest Gospel, Have a Divine Jesus? (Responding to Mustafa Akyol’s The Islamic Jesus) | god from the machine: https://godfromthemachine.blog/2018/05/03/does-mark-the-earliest-gospel-have-a-divine-jesus-responding-to-mustafa-akyols-the-islamic-jesus/
  22. Dr. Gary Habermas Confirms: Recent Tests on a Gospel of Mark Fragment Possibly Provides The Oldest New Testament Manuscript Evidence Available: http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/3744-dr-gary-habermas-confirms-recent-tests-on-a-gospel-of-mark-fragment-possibly-provides-the-oldest-new-testament-manuscript-evidence-available
  23. Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Ban All Abortions After an Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2018/05/04/iowa-governor-signs-bill-to-ban-all-abortions-after-an-unborn-babys-heartbeat-begins/
  24. What is the biggest challenge in talking to skeptics and people from other faiths about the Bible? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/what-is-the-biggest-challenge-in-talking-to-skeptics-and-people-from-other-faiths-about-the-bible/amp/
  25. Do You Love Wisdom? 5 Sources For Proper Thinking, Philosophy And Logic iApologia: http://iapologia.com/do-you-love-wisdom-5-sources-for-proper-thinking-philosophy-and-logic/
  26. C.S. Lewis and the Language of Apologetics – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/c-s-lewis-and-the-language-of-apologetics
  27. Ten Reasons We Fail to Share Our Faith (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/ten-reasons-we-fail-to-share-our-faith-free-bible-insert/
  28. The Good News for Christians From An Otherwise Bleak Pew Study – J. Warner Wallace: https://townhall.com/columnists/jwarnerwallace/2018/04/29/the-good-news-for-christians-from-an-otherwise-bleak-pew-study-n2475639
  29. WALSH: How To Kill A Church In Just A Few Easy Steps | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/30251/walsh-how-kill-church-just-few-easy-steps-matt-walsh
  30. Plate Tectonics After Fifty Years: http://www.icr.org/article/plate-tectonics-after-fifty-years/
  31. Fantastic Voyage: How Could Noah Care for the Animals? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/fantastic-voyage-how-could-noah-care-animals/
  32. Startling evidence for Noah’s Flood – creation.com: https://creation.com/startling-evidence-for-noahs-flood
  33. Is Christianity Just Wishful Thinking?: http://depthsofpentecost.com/2/post/2018/05/is-christianity-just-wishful-thinking.html
  34. David Attenborough: Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life: https://creation.com/attenborough-darwin-tree
  35. Existence of God: 31 Reasons To Believe In The God of the Bible: http://theolocast.org/blog/existence-of-god-31-reasons-to-believe-in-the-god-of-the-bible/

“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase. Proverbs 20:14

Blessings to you all

Trump’s Popularity Polls Climb as Christians Continue to Support Him…Why?

Good perspective on the Evangelical / Trump paradox…

Kingsjester's Blog

trump-national-day-of-prayer-2

May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease. – President Donald J. Trump,National Day of Prayer Proclamation, May 3, 2018

The Christian Post reports that

President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, expanding upon previous administrations’ faith-based initiatives.

At a National Day of Prayer event held at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday morning that featured speakers of diverse religious backgrounds, President Trump signed the executive order.

“The executive branch wants faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for grants, contracts, programs, and other Federal funding opportunities,” reads the order in part.

“The efforts of faith-based and community organizations are essential to revitalizing communities, and the Federal Government welcomes opportunities to partner…

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Cut to the Heart by an AWANA 5th Grader

This past Wednesday night was the closing ceremony and awards night for the 2017-2018 year of Awana. The theme was that of an awards ceremony.  The church was even set up with a red carpet and stars with the clubbers names on them:

We were all dressed up in gowns and suits (the Truth & Training leaders pictured below):

When we handed out the awards to the clubbers, we’d open the envelope as they do at the Oscars. It was an exciting night in a night full of a sense of accomplishment for a year of pouring our lives into these precious clubbers.

A few weeks earlier in our ministry leaders meeting, I revealed to the Elders, Pastors and other leaders of our Church that I would be stepping back from some ministry responsibilities after this semester ends at the end of May. I would no longer be facilitating the weekly Sunday morning Apologetics glass, and nor would I continue with my responsibilities as an Awana leader. Everyone seemed shocked. But I had resolved in my mind that I had too much on my plate and needed to step away from some of those responsibilities as I was getting a bit burned out. My devotional life was suffering, and most of my time throughout the weekday mornings, 2 hours a day, was spent researching and preparing material for the weekly Apologetics class. So I stand resolute in that decision – that I need to step away from that Apologetics class for next year.

However, last Wednesday night at the Awana awards ceremony, my heart was moved. One of the clubbers that I had spent significant amount of time with throughout the year, a fifth grade clubber who is extremely gifted in spiritual understanding and Bible memorization, the week before I given her a gift bag with several items in it (a jump rope, a little soft pink creature, some sparkly wristbands, and a cross necklace). I also gave her a card where I had written out a lengthy message to her expressing my great appreciation of how God was moving in her life, and how I really enjoyed the year teaching her about the Bible, about God, and having our little conversations every week.  In that message, I let her know that I would not be back next year.

So on the awards night, she gave me a card. After the awards ceremony, on our church patio, they had cookies and refreshments for all the parents and clubbers. So I went out there, and she and her Mom were the first people I ran into. I told her mother that she was a great pleasure to have in our club this year. I praised her front of her mother and I told her (the AWANA clubber) that I was really really going to miss her. But I promised to come back and visit at least one night next year and that if she wasn’t there that night, that I would come back another night.  That seemed to make her happy. Then she encouraged me to open her card. I’ll let the card speak for itself:

The Envelope

The Cover of the Card

The Content of the Card

After experiencing what I did on the Awana Awards night especially opening this card, I was thinking about it Wednesday night, and even dreaming about it throughout the night. I woke up thinking about it Thursday morning. I reread the card. This time it wasn’t almost crying, but it was really crying. I thought to myself, how selfish I you are. Why are you really stepping away from AWANA? At the end of the day, there are many reasons I could give, and one could consider them valid reasons. For one, I’m not a disciplinarian. We had a rough year this year. There were several 6th grade boys who were misbehaving – not paying attention and causing trouble. I let them discourage me. I started to feel like I was having no impact and that I was unable to relate to these kids. Yet I did enjoy spending the time with the clubbers who really were there and really were paying attention and really were getting something out of it. But I let the negative experiences overwhelm me to the point where I felt like I needed a break.

Thursday morning while I was taking my shower I was thinking, God please guide me. I was praying Psalm 23. Especially the part where it says “guide me in paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake”. I started to ask myself, is AWANA good, or is it bad? I don’t know where this line of questioning came from. Of course the answer was that AWANA is good. Then the verse popped into my mind, James 4:17. “Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins”. So I suddenly came to the realization that leaving AWANA, which I knew to be good, was purely selfish. And that it was sin, according to James 4:17, plain and simple.  I certainly understand that this verse could be used to compel me to do all sorts of things I’m not currently doing, but I really felt that the Holy Spirit was convicting me through this verse.

So I think that I’ve determined in my mind that I will continue to be in Awana leader this coming fall. The Holy Spirit really worked me over Wednesday and Thursday about this issue.  He reached me and melted my heart the loving words of one of His precious children.  Wow…

I praise the Lord that he is dealt with me and humbled his servant. May your name be praised Lord Jesus. Amen!

Apologetics Class 5/6/2018

Mining for God

Lord willing, tomorrow, in our Apologetics class, we will be watching and discussing the excellent film, “Mining for God”.  This can be purchased here:

http://www.miningforgod.com/

It is an hour long film and features many of the prominent names in apologetics today.  Here is the note-taking form (with discussion questions) that I will hand out to the students:

Mining for God – May 6th 2018

William Lane Craig, Nabeel Qureshi, Craig Hazen, Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, Lee Strobel, Alan Shlemon, Paul Copan, J. Warner Wallace, Mary Jo Sharp, John Stonestreet, Tim Keller, Donald Williams and others.

  1. Christianity as it’s presented in the m___________ is ridiculous.
  2. Sometimes we use the same v________________ but not the same d___________________
  3. The world’s view of Christ, Christianity and Christians all come from people that aren’t s_______
  4. What is Christianity?  Some answers given:
    1. G______________ people will go to heaven.
    2. Just a system to have p_____________ over people
    3. All religions are basically the s___________, we ought to just pick one that works for us.
  5. Western culture used to be Christian, and is therefore i_______________________
  6. Many people in America are cultural Christians or n__________ Christians, who are unchurched.  Not knowledgeable about the basics of the faith. You might call them “Christians in name only”.
  7. N__________________, a theory denying that an event or an object has a spiritual significance specifically, the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena.
  8. Naturalism deeply permeates Western culture.
  9. We are not animals, & we’re not God, we’re made in the i_____ of G___ and we act like animals.
  10. Is man, made in the image of God, qualitatively different from the other animals in creation?
  11. Either life is m_____________ or its not – if it’s not, the only way to say it’s not (that has real credibility) is the b____________ story.
  12. I refer to my body as a possession – what’s possessing it?  Me (my soul).
  13. This idea (that you can’t know anything except through science), can’t be known through science.  I have to arrive there philosophically.
  14. Modern science is permeated by assumptions which cannot themselves be scientifically p_____
  15. The C______________ A_________________:
    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore the universe has a cause.
  16. The universe cannot cause itself, so, its cause must be beyond the space-time universe.  Its cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused and p__________________
  17. We are in a universe that displays certain d______ f________, both in the galaxy and in biology.
  18. Nature can create patterns (e.g. ripples in sand), but if you’re walking down the beach and you see “John loves Mary” with a heart around it and an arrow through it, you would never say “the waves did that!”  Whenever we see information we know there’s i_________ behind it.  If that’s true, what about the vast storehouse of information in every one of the cells of your body?
  19. 2014 Gallup poll on human origins, 73% of Americans still believe in God (in some sense).
  20. R_________________: the doctrine that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture, society or historical context and are not absolute.
  21. Many people in modern culture take a sort of c______________ approach to religion (a little bit of this, a little bit of that).  The presupposition of this approach is that there is no objective truth in religion, but that it is just a “matter of taste”.
  22. Our culture doesn’t make distinction between o______ truth claims and s________ truth claims.
  23. Can be wrong about God’s existence, but my o_____ can’t change it. He either exists or doesn’t.
  24. They (religions) can’t all be right – either God is p__________ or i____________, either God has a Son or does not.  These are contradictory ideas and cannot both be true at the same time.
  25. Christianity is u_______________ and stands apart from the great world religious traditions.
  26. How do the different world religions handle the problem of pain, sin and a messed up world?
  27. Islam: if I’m more of a g__________ person than a b_______ person, I’ll end up in heaven.
  28. God could deal with this by eliminating all evil at midnight tonight, but if He did so, which one of us would be left at 1AM?
  29. The message of Christianity is “we all fall short” (Rom. 3:23), we could never lift ourselves up by our b_____________, we could never earn our way.  That’s the bad news, but the good news is that Jesus came to lay down His life as a ransom for us and our sins.  Jesus did for us what no other religious leader did (or claimed to do) – He made the p______________ in full.
  30. In order to accept the good news, you first have to accept the bad news.
  31. Christ offers us something that we wish we didn’t need, which is f__________ of sin.  Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit bringing conviction of sin, we’re not going to accept the d_______
  32. The Bible is the story of: C_____________, F________, R______________, R_______________
  33. What distinguishes Christianity: a test, by which we can know it is true – the r_______________
  34. Many historical events rest on 2 independent sources.  Bart Ehrman lists _____ ancient sources for the crucifixion of Jesus. This is the historical principal of “multiple a________________”.
  35. The M______________ F___________ Approach looks only at the facts that are:
    1. Supported by multiple ancient sources
    2. Agreed upon by the vast majority of scholars today
  36. Majority of scholars today think the tomb was empty, but h_____________ theory is a full tomb theory, not empty tomb theory. If disciples saw hallucination, should’ve been body in the tomb.
  37. If you look at the evidence, without precluding s____________________, the best explanation, by far, is the resurrection.
  38. This isn’t some “random dude”, in some miscellaneous place, that we’re saying rose from the dead. It’s someone who’s coming had been prepared for by providence and predicted by p___________________ for 2,000 years.
  39. If Jesus really did rise from the dead, that changes everything. There’s more to life than believing that we are just an a_______________________
  40. The only place where anything makes sense in this world is that place where the shadow of the c___________ falls on an e______ t______.  Stand there, and all questions become answerable.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Which came first (biblically)?  The chicken or the egg?
  2. Explain a feature of the Universe or of biology that demonstrates intentional design.
  3. What is the Cosmological Argument for God’s existence?  Are the first 2 premises sound?
  4. In what ways are humans different from the animals?
  5. What is the cafeteria approach to religion?  Why is this problematic? What presuppositions are evident in that approach to religion?
  6. In what ways does Christianity stand apart from other world religions?
  7. What is the bad news?  What is the good news?  Does the good news make sense w/o the bad?
  8. Why does the resurrection prove that God exists and that Christianity is true?

mid-week apologetics booster (5-3-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Dr. Walter Bradley lectures on scientific evidence the creation and design of the universe | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/27/dr-walter-bradley-lectures-on-scientific-evidence-the-creation-and-design-of-the-universe/
  2. Why I Try Not to Obsess Over the Genesis Debate | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/why-i-try-not-to-obsess-over-the-genesis-debate/
  3. No GQ, the Bible is not Racist, Sexist or Boring – J. Warner Wallace: https://townhall.com/columnists/jwarnerwallace/2018/04/25/no-gq-the-bible-is-not-racist-sexist-or-boring-n2474524
  4. Faithful Parenting in a Tech-Crazy World | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/faithful-parenting-in-a-tech-crazy-world/
  5. Five Challenges for Living Out the Life We Defend | Rob Lundberg Apologetics.Com: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/04/26/five-challenges-for-living-out-the-life-we-defend/
  6. Christians Face 2 Years in Prison for Evangelism in 8th India State to Pass ‘Anti-Conversion’ Law: https://www.christianpost.com/news/8th-state-india-anti-conversion-law-christians-face-2-years-prison-for-evangelism-223463/
  7. Arizona Passes Law to Protect Free Speech on Campus – while this may not directly be apologetics, it directly relates to our ability to discuss controversial topics on college campuses. This is really good news, with local relevance for those of us living in Arizona.: https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/04/27/arizona-passes-law-to-protect-free-speech-on-campus/
  8. The Golden Rule of Apologetics – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2018/04/27/the-golden-rule-of-apologetics/
  9. What Does Gospel Really Mean?: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/what-does-gospel-really-mean/
  10. Treat Evangelism and Apologetics Like a First Date – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/treat-evangelism-apologetics-like-first-date/
  11. What is the Church’s Greatest Problem? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGCjwAmeNkE
  12. Why the Gospels Were Written Much Earlier than We Thought – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/85175-2/
  13. Millennials Are Becoming Skeptics Over Old Testament Law | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/millennials-are-becoming-skeptics-over-old-testament-law/
  14. Overcoming (Muslim) Objections: The Bible Has Been Corrupted JOEL M. SETTECASE: https://settecase.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/overcoming-muslim-objections-the-bible-has-been-corrupted/
  15. Undesigned Coincidences and the Reliability of Scripture | Apologia Institute: https://apologiainstitute.com/undesigned-coincidences-and-the-reliability-of-scripture/
  16. Bible ‘Contradictions’ and the Goldilocks Principle | DavidVogel.net: https://davidvogel.net/2017/05/08/bible-contradictions-goldilocks-principle/
  17. Defending The Faith Like The Early Church | Theological Matters: https://theologicalmatters.com/2015/11/17/defending-the-faith-like-the-early-church/
  18. YAF’s ‘Comedy & Tragedy’ Survey Exposes Higher Education’s Obsession With Gender, Intersectionality – Young America’s Foundation: https://www.yaf.org/news/yafs-comedy-tragedy-survey-shows-higher-educations-obsession-gender-intersectionality/
  19. Factcheck.org Is Wrong. California’s LGBT Therapy Ban Could Ban Bibles: http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/30/factcheck-org-wrong-californias-lgbt-therapy-ban-ban-bibles/
  20. Why Faith in God Is Not Stupid: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/why-faith-in-god-is-not-stupid
  21. What is the Difference Between Evangelism and Apologetics? – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2017/02/28/difference-evangelism-apologetics/
  22. The Gospels Were Not Anonymous – Logic & Light: http://www.logicandlight.org/the-gospels-were-not-anonymous/

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men. Matthew 9:1-8

Blessings to you all