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.
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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

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?

Apologetics Class 4/29/2018

Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection

Tomorrow in our apologetics class (Lord willing) I will be having the students watch the excellent lecture by Dr. Craig Hazen on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, which includes a discussion of 12 facts agreed upon by scholars, both liberal and conservative.  He then evaluates those 12 known facts against 13 theories about what happened to determine each theory’s explanatory power (which of the 12 facts it doesn’t account for).  The only 2 theories that account for all 12 known facts are:

  1. Jesus was an alien
  2. Jesus was bodily resurrected

Great video, great analysis!  Here’s the video:

 

Here is the note taking form, along with the chart showing the 13 theories which attempt to explain the 12 known facts:

Notes for “Evidence for the Resurrection” by Craig Hazen

(Professor of Comparative Religion and Christian Apologetics at Biola University)

  1. Outline for talk at U.C.L.A. Jesus was:
    1. A___________ at point A
    2. D___________ at point B
    3. Alive a_______ at point C
  2. Student said, “You’re making it sound like its true true! You’re making it sound like I can k__________ i___ to be true.”
  3. Pudd’nhead Wilson (Mark Twain book): “Faith is believin’ what ya know a______ so
  4. This idea that Christianity is t___________ sets it apart in dramatic fashion from the other great world religious traditions.
  5. University of Miami talk – “if I’m going to address the topic of science and religion, it would probably be very helpful if I perform a miracle” – he proceeded to raise his arm and challenged his audience to explain what just happened. Someone shouted, “You did it!” (I am not my b________)
  6. There’s something more to life than the stuff of the p______________ world.
  7. We’ve got “the goods” on this – you are well within your e____________ rights to say “I know the resurrection happened”.
  8. One of the strangest passages in all of religious literature: 1 C____________ 15:12-17
  9. He (Jesus) doesn’t just live in my heart, He lives in His body, which came back from the grave on the 3rd day, exactly as the S____________ declare!
  10. Scholars confirm, Jesus was indeed a real historical figure and He died by Roman crucifixion in 1st century J___________.
  11. Same scholars (except for the conservatives), regarding the resurrection, based on the same body of evidence, said, “Well, who can possibly know what h_____________ so long ago?”
  12. This is not about evidence – this is about people’s w________ v_______ – these people were not open to the idea of a miracle.

12 Minimal Facts about the Resurrection of Jesus That Most Scholars Agree On

  1. Jesus died by cr_______________
  2. He was b_____________
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to d____________ and lose hope, believing that his life was ended
  4. The tomb was discovered to be e____________ just a few days later
  5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal a___________________ of the risen Jesus
  6. The disciples were tr_______________ from doubters who were afraid to identify themselves with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection
  7. This message (the resurrection) was the center of pr_____________ in the early church
  8. This message was especially proclaimed in J_____________, where Jesus died and was buried shortly before
  9. As a result of this preaching the church was b____________ and grew
  10. S_______________ became the primary day of worship
  11. J____________, who had been a skeptic, was converted to the faith when he also believed he saw the resurrected Jesus
  12. A few years later, P________ was also converted by an experience which he, likewise, believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus

Discussion Questions

  1. Would an unbiased observer conclude that the best explanation for the facts about Jesus is that He was raised from the dead? Why or why not? (there are no unbiased observers – most people have an anti-supernatural bias) – John 12:37 says “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him”
  2. If there was so much evidence for the resurrection, then why didn’t the Jewish leaders believe? (John 12:42-23 – they loved praise from men more than praise from God) – also, the Bible says that “it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him (Pilate)” (Matt 27:18; Mark 15:10)
  3. Why is it considered a piece of evidence that the disciples believed they saw Jesus risen from the dead? (Liars make poor martyrs. No one dies for a known lie.  The disciples were in a position to know whether their beliefs were true or false).

Here is the chart

Apologetics Class 4/22/2018

Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible / Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?

Tomorrow, we’re planning to watch 2 videos.  First is lesson 11 of the DVD series

and a second video “The Bible’s Reliability & Accuracy”:

Here is the note taking form I will be handing out with the discussion questions for each video:

Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible (4/22/2018)

    1. Who is Jesus? S. Lewis “I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’  That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would rather be lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of hell…You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.” (Mere Christianity p. 55-56)
      1. Liar – that doesn’t make any sense – if He was a liar, He died for a lie that He knew was a lie
      2. Lunatic – No, He made the clearest, greatest moral teachings ever made.
      3. Legend – the evidence we’ve seen so far in this class makes this unreasonable
      4. Lord – This is the only other option left.
    2. Jesus is God, and whatever God teaches is true!
    3. Jesus claimed to be God and He predicted it and proved it by accomplishing His own resurrection from the dead.
    4. What did Jesus teach about the Bible (the Old Testament):
      1. It is divinely authoritative (Mt 4:4, 7, 10) – when talking with Satan
      2. It is imperishable (Mt. 5:17-18)
      3. It is infallible (Jn. 10:35) – the Scripture can’t be broken
      4. It is inerrant (without error) Mt. 22:29
      5. It is historically reliable – Noah and Jonah really occurred – (Mt. 12:40, Mt. 24:37-38)
      6. It is scientifically accurate – although it’s not a scientific text book (Mt. 19:4-5) – God created them male and female.
      7. It has ultimate supremacy (Mt. 15:3,6) – you nullify the word of God in favor of your traditions.
    5. Christ affirmed (vs. critics denied):
      1. Daniel was a prophet
      2. God created Adam and Eve
      3. Jonah was swallowed by a fish
      4. World was drowned in a flood
      5. One prophet wrote Isaiah (critics say it was written by 3 Isaiahs)
    6. Jesus affirmed:
      1. Beginning at Moses…, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27)
      2. The Scriptures testify of Me (John 5:39)
      3. From Abel to Zechariah… (Mt. 23:35)
      4. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets… (Mt 5:17-18)
      5. “It is written” – The authority of the Old Testament is cited that way 92 times in the NT
    7. Jesus promised the New Testament (John 14, 16)
      1. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach the apostles “all things” and lead them into “all truth”. (see John 14:26) – By the way that verse has the Trinity in it. Also see John 16:13.
    8. Canon – standard or measuring rod.
      1. Bruce Metzger (Princeton University) – “The Canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books.”
      2. He’s saying that what should be in the Bible is not determined by us, it is discovered by us. What should be in the Bible are the books that God inspired and we need to discover what those books are.
      3. The church didn’t decide what would be in Bible, we discovered what the inspired books are. And they had some criteria to do so.
    9. What books should be in the New Testament (how did the church discover the canon) – they used these criteria:
      1. Was it written by a prophet of God (or somebody that knew a prophet of God and was confirmed by that prophet)?
      2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God or someone who was confirmed as an eyewitness (e.g. Paul confirmed Luke)? Paul quotes Luke as Scripture.  (this is how we know Muhammad was not a prophet of God – when he was asked to do a miracle, he declined saying that he doesn’t do miracles – he just writes a book.  The miracles attributed to Muhammad came much later and they were not written or observed by eyewitnesses.  They’re written in the Hadith, which are later writings of the traditions about Muhammad).  On the other hand the New Testament writers did miracles.
      3. Was the writing accepted by the people of God? Here is confirmation of the authorship and authority of these documents:
        1. 25 of 27 books quoted as authoritative by 110 A.D. They only don’t quote 2nd John and Jude.
        2. Gospels and Acts are cited during the lives of the Apostles
        3. Quoted as authoritative and unique
        4. They’re collected early in one volume
        5. Publically read & expounded upon it.
        6. Commentaries written
        7. Opponents of the early church admitted Gospels written by disciples
        8. No other “gospels” were treated this way. Da Vinci code – what about the other “gospels”?
          1. They are all forgeries
          2. Written well into the 2nd century
          3. You write something steals someone else’s name that has authority and puts their name on it. They put the names of eyewitnesses (Apostle).  Would not accept “the Gospel of Ed”.
          4. Back handed complement that they’re putting the Apostle’s names on them. It admits that the Church would only take as authoritative something that came from an Apostle.
          5. Gospel of Thomas
            1. Forgery written 100 years after the NT Gospels
            2. Help of Thomas contains blended saying from the 4 NT Gospels; the sayings are in Syriac and originated in 175 A.D. The language wasn’t even available in the 1st
            3. Females are not worthy of life. Must become men to be saved.
          6. Gospel of Peter
            1. Forgery found in a 9th century monk’s coffin in Egypt in 1880.
            2. Could be forgery ancient church historians warned was attributed to Peter.
            3. It’s Anti-Semitic, so it is not written by a 1st century Jew
            4. The author is ignorant of first century practices and rulers (anachronisms).
            5. Has embellished resurrection account with a talking cross and Jesus’ head stretching to the clouds. Cool, but not true.  The real Gospel writers report this like they’re just news reporters.  They were not writing theology, they were writing history.  They unpack all the theological implications of the resurrection in the epistles.
          7. Gospel of Judas
            1. Forgery, cited by Irenaeus (2nd century Bishop) as fictitious.
            2. Does not teach monotheism
            3. Says that humans are divine.
            4. Judas was a hero
            5. Salvation is by special knowledge (Gnosticism)
            6. New insights about the relationship between Judas and Jesus. Analogy with Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth.
        9. On Internet prevalent idea that the New Testament documents were copied from Pagan resurrection myths. “Not everything you read on the internet is true”.
          1. Resurrection myths came after Christianity, not before (earliest 2nd century A.D.)
          2. Copying was the other way around.
          3. Osiris – was not a resurrected figure (zombie in the underworld) – predates Christ, but no parallel.
          4. Just because you have parallels doesn’t mean there’s borrowing going on
          5. NT writers make historical claims – were not writing mythology like resurrection myths.
          6. Theory can’t explain:
            1. Numerous eyewitness details in the NT
            2. Embarrassing details of disciples and Jesus
            3. Martyrdom of the disciples
            4. Growth of the Church (especially in Jerusalem)
            5. Why non-Christian writers tell same story
            6. Jewish, not pagans were the founders of Christianity
    10. Conclusion is that your NT is the one Jesus promised.

Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?

      1. More than ½ of all college professors believe the Bible is a b________ of f__________.
      2. 60%-80% of American College students walk away from their f__________________.
      3. The heart cannot exalt in what the mind r_______________.
      4. There are ~24,000 hand-wr___________ c_________ of the 27 books of the New Testament.
      5. The oldest complete N_____ T_____________ is less than 300 years from the or___________s. (Codex Sinaiticus)
      6. The New Testament has 40 lines of textual corruption with an ac____________ of 99.5%.
      7. There are as many as 400,000 te__________ va________s across the New Testament.
      8. Most of the variants consist of sp______________, gr____________ and other scribal errors and less than 1% of those variants affect the m_____________g of the text.
      9. Not one Christian teaching or belief is d__________ on or ch____________ by any variant.
      10. The C___________ is the list of books considered to be Scripture.
      11. The C___________ consists of works that:
        1. Were from tr_________________ sources.
        2. Were consistent with Ap______________ Te_____________.
      12. An early canon that was discovered ~150 years before the Council of Nicaea was the M_______________ fragment (170AD).
      13. 6 lines of testimony that the Bible is historically reliable (Frank Turek):
        1. E_____________________ (most written before 70AD)
        2. E_____________________ (140 confirmed historical details in Acts and John)
        3. E_____________________ (Details in the text that the writers wouldn’t have made up)
        4. E_____________________ (Died as martyrs-by recanting could’ve saved themselves)
        5. E_____________________ (Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in NT)
        6. E_____________________ (Non-Christian sources within 150 yrs of Jesus’ life)
      14. The crucial gap is not the gap between the time of the ev________ and t_____; the crucial gap is the gap between the ev______ and the events d________ by that evidence…. Good ev_______ doesn’t become bad evidence simply because of the la______ of time… We have better sources for the life of J________ of N__________ than we do for most of the major figures of Antiquity. (William Lane Craig)
      15. John’s “Chain of Custody” consists of à (Papias, Ignatius and Polycarp) à (Irenaeus) à (Hippolytus) – J. Warner Wallace
      16. The 1st council that af__________ the C___________ is the Council of Laodicea in 363 AD.
      17. When you take the book of Daniel, written late 500’s (BC) and you put it “pro-forma” onto Al________ the Gr_______ in the 300’s before Christ, you see specific prophecy centuries before hand…No ancient document – NONE – has the kind of doc__________y sup_______t that the Bible has. (Ravi Zacharias).
      18. The Bible was written th______________ men, by G________. (Mark Spence)
      19. Man was the in__________ used by God to convey His th_______ in the Bible. (Mark Spence)
      20. The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that, ultimately, it has o____ A________ – God. (Mark Spence)
      21. Modern science was birthed in the 17th century because of a belief in an unchanging God of or___________, pu________ and cons__________y. (Mark Spence)
      22. Skepticism is the hallmark of university education today. (Ravi Zacharias)
      23. I saw him take out a Bible and I thought, “Alright, another op________ to take down a Christian!” (Nabeel Qureshi, author of “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity”)
      24. The people who wrote the New Testament were the di_______, and they were multi-lingual – they could understand Aramaic, they could understand Greek, they could hear in one and write in another without losing the m__________ whatsoever. (Nabeel Qureshi)
      25. The corroboration test: there are 9 n___-C________ sources that mention Jesus within 150 years of His death. Jesus has 4 times as many h________ sources that speak of Him than T________ C__________, the Roman Emperor at the time.
      26. The Bible is not just a book, it is a lo_____ le_______ that God wrote to touch the hearts of people here so that they can know Him.
      27. Why in the world should you believe the Bible:
        1. It’s R____________________
        2. It has E__________________
        3. It’s been P________________
        4. It points to T______________

Discussion Questions (part 1)

      1. S. Lewis claims that there are 3 possibilities regarding the identity of Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic. Why are Liar and Lunatic implausible?
      2. Jesus affirmed as true many of the most disputed passages of the Old Testament (Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, Daniel, etc.) What is the significance of this for Christian apologetics?
      3. Jesus certainly affirmed the Old Testament. Where did He promise the New Testament?
      4. Why were the Gospels of Peter, Thomas and Judas never included in the New Testament?
      5. Skeptics like to claim that the resurrection of Christ was not an actual historical event, but was instead copied from pagan resurrection myths. Why is this claim not plausible?
      6. In light of all the evidence we’ve discussed in this class, who has to have more faith – the Christian or the non-Christian? Why?  Explain your answer.

Discussion Questions (part 2)

      1. What is currently the oldest fragment of a New Testament text and what does it contain? What is the estimated dating of this fragment and how close is that to the writing of it?
      2. How does the New Testament compare to other literary works from antiquity in terms of “Number of Copies” and “Years from Original”?
      3. What is the discipline of Textual Criticism and why is it important in helping to establish biblical reliability?
      4. How can we “know” anything that was written 2,000 years ago?
      5. What is the “Chain of Custody” that J. Warner Wallace describes and why is it relevant to the historical reliability of the New Testament?
      6. How can we trust the Bible when it was written by men?

Apologetics Class 4/15/2018

Atheist Role-play Brett Kunkle

Yesterday in our apologetics class, we watched a video where Brett Kunkle transformed himself into a character he calls Pagan Bob, who is an atheist.  Here’s the video:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before hand, including discussion questions at the bottom:

Brett Kunkle Atheist Role-Play (4-15-2018)

  1. “Pagan Bob” – a “fr_______________” atheist (not a serial killer J)
  2. Christians say: “How can you prove that God d_________ exist? – you can’t prove a n_______.”
    1. Bob’s answer: You don’t need to go looking for a “square circle” or a “married bachelor”
  3. Bob: Christian conception of God is a logical c_____________________ – 3 beings in 1 being
  4. Bob: you don’t need to go search every square inch of planet earth to say there are no u______
  5. Bob: there’s no e______________________ for God
  6. Bob’s question to the audience: Why do you believe in God?

Audience Responses

  1. First lady (2nd row) – Good and evil? Murder/child abuse, asked where morals come from.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  2. 2nd lady –lying in bed, heard audible voice that said “go ask Sue why she believes in Jesus”
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  3. 3rd young man – address issue of morality, does not help from an evolutionary standpoint.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  4. 4th lady (white hair) – Jesus Christ is historical figure & resurrection historically validated.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  5. 5th young man – 2nd law of thermodynamics – entropy, evolution contradicts this.
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  6. 6th middle aged man – belief in God a “spiritual thing”. Body is too complex if by chance (DNA).
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  7. 7th young man – referred to history, Roman persecution of history. Do you believe in Satan?
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________
  8. 8th young man – loves the tool of reason and logic. Talked about evolution from single cell organisms. Would a system evolve that had no need for the organism to survive?
    Bob’s response:_________________________________________________________________
    Your response: _________________________________________________________________

Debrief Session

  1. Grade yourself:
    1. 1 ———————————————————————————————————10
      Owned by Pagan Bob                               Owned Pagan Bob
    2. 1 ———————————————————————————————————10
      We hated Pagan Bob     Pagan Bob experienced love & grace
  2. We want to present the truth not only p____________, but with love, grace and c____________
  3. I’m ok with you failing “i___ h________”, but I don’t want us to fail “o____ t_________”.
  4. Think about this question as you share w/ atheist/skeptic: Why are you a Christian?
    1. Not enough to say “that’s what I was r_____________ in”
    2. Not enough to say “that’s my surrounding culture”
    3. Not enough to say “because the Bible t____________ me so”
    4. Not enough to say “I’ve e_______________ God”
    5. The reason why you should be a Christian and an atheist should be a Christian and a Muslim should be a Christian is b______________ it is t_________! John 17:3
  5. How do we show that Christianity is the truth about reality? Not only do we have our personal experience, we have evidence and reasons.  Difference between k____________ and s________
  6. Biblical mandate: 1 Peter 3:15 “…always be ready to make a defense (apologia)…”
  7. 4 key questions for you to answer:
    1. T___________ exists & is knowable (objective truth)
    2. God exists (if God exists, this changes everything)
    3. God a__________ (Miracles)
    4. God s__________ (the Bible)
  8. Don’t be discouraged by failure here, but let the Holy Spirit m_________________ you to action (2 Tim. 2:15).

Discussion Questions

  1. What responses did the audience not give to Bob that they should’ve given?
  2. What questions did the audience not ask that they should’ve asked Bob?
  3. What answers did the audience give that were wrong, or not helpful? Maybe even bizarre?
  4. Were there any responses that were good, even in part?
  5. Pagan Bob made some statements that could’ve been challenged. What are some examples?
  6. When Brett said we want to present the truth with love, grace and compassion, can you think of a verse that supports this?

Apologetics Class 4/8/2018

On Sunday’s Apologetics class, I was unable to lead due to a weekend “go live” at work, but there was a guest facilitator.  Here was the video the class watched:

 

Here are the notes that were handed out:

Truth and Tolerance – Peter Kreeft

Introduction

  • Truth is “hard” Tolerance is “nice”
  • In today’s society truth is relative
  • “Dictatorship of Relativism”
  • Democracy needs truth
  • Tolerance without truth is not tolerance
  • Brave New World book
  • From the time of Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes we have known how to define truth
  • Modern man is a teenager
  • The reason to be open-minded is to know truth
  • If reason cannot find the truth
  • Freud said “our brains are at the service of our desires”
  • Civilization is based on “Let us reason together”
  • If there is no truth, then we will just fight
  • Truth is needed for civilization to exist
  • “There is an objective truth” is a humble position

If there is no truth, then only three ways:

Emotional force

Physical force

Totalitarianism (Democracy -> Soft totalitarianism (Democracy In America book)

Let’s define Truth.  What is truth?

-Truth is telling it like it is.

It’s true that I wasn’t born on Mars

-Common sense

-Naive

-Universally known

-Feelings are subjective

-Hard, impersonable, non-negotiable

-God is an artist.  Man’s art is copying God’s creation.

  • Common sense
  • Role of faith, we believe what we are told
  • We don’t repeat experiments
  • Religious faith in God
  • Philosophy (We are all philosophers)
  • Science/scientific method (for understanding the physical universe)

 

Truth in Western Civilization –   Greeks – “alitheia” = not forgetting

Romans – “Veritas” = rightness in thinking

Jews – “emet” = trustworthiness

Tolerance

Old meaning:  tolerate evil things, but not all, eg.  Not murder

Judgmental

Pragmatic, tolerate the lesser evil, eg. War

 

New meaning:  Tolerate everything.

Being non-judgmental (Didn’t Jesus say “Judge not”)

Judge sin not sinners

Good scientists judges ideas

Good politician judges ideas

You are your actions

Homosexuality

Hate the sin, love the sinner

Transgenderism

When we condemn the sin, we are not condemning the sinners

Moral relativism in our society is mainly in one are – SEX

The sexual revolution is a philosophy

Something you do

Moral relativism -> Intolerance (doesn’t include itself)

Only with moral absolutes can there be tolerance

Like the Gnostics (we know better, and the physical world is an illusion, doesn’t matter what you do with your body)

This has overcome the motherhood instinct

Abortion is accepted

Divorce is accepted and prevalent in our society

50 % divorce rate

No society can last with family life de-valued

The Jews, Confucians, Romans, Islam valued the family

So the sexual revolution affects everybody

Moral relativism

Absolutizes the relative, eg.  The Inquisition

Or Relativize the absolutes is worse

Without an Absolute/God, nothing is left (“Whatever!”)

CS Lewis’s the Abolition of Man says

Relativism changes your nature

Your heart is ripped out, humanity is abolished

Apologetics Class 4/1/2018

Yesterday in my apologetics class, for Easter Sunday, we watched 2 videos.  First was a short animated video from Impact 360 institute “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?”:

Then we watched Tim Barnett of Stand To Reason, speaking on the topic of “Did Jesus Really Rise?”:

 

Here is the note-taking form I handed out for these videos along with discussion questions and the end:

Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? (Easter Sunday 4/1/2018)

Short Animated video about evidence for the resurrection

  1. What’s the difference between Jesus rising from the dead and all those other fairy tales?
  2. My belief in the resurrection of Jesus is r_________, it’s based on h__________ f_______.
  3. Here are the facts:
    1. Jesus d_______ by crucifixion: Did Jesus really exist? Yes, even skeptical atheist Scholars agree that Jesus existed.
    2. His disciples were c___________ that he rose from the dead and a___________________ to them.
    3. P__________ became a Christian.
    4. J___________ became a Christian.
    5. The tomb was e_____________.
  4. These facts demand an explanation, otherwise you have a big hole in human history.
  5. Skeptical explanations:
    1. They all l__________. It was the most monumental prank ever perpetrated.
  1. That’s the conspiracy theory. The problem is it doesn’t explain the facts. How could they overpower the Roman guards, rollaway a 2-ton stone, and why would they lie? People don’t willingly die for known lie.
    1. The disciples thought they saw Jesus.
  1. The h_______________ theory also lacks explanatory power. 500 Witnesses saw Jesus at the same time, and the disciples touched him. Hallucinations don’t occur in groups. This Theory does not explain the empty tomb.
    1. Did people did people stay dead. Rising from the dead would be a supernatural event. Science has proven that M____________ don’t happen.
  1. Science has not disproven miracles. Science deals exclusively with natural phenomena. A miracle, by definition, is not a n_____________ phenomenon. It’s s_________natural, which is outside the boundary of science.

 

Tim Barnett Speaks About Evidence for the Resurrection

  1. What if the bones of Jesus were discovered tomorrow (with absolute proof)? Would you walk away from the faith?
  2. Faith in a dead Jesus is absolutely w_______________. That’s not Tim Barnett’s opinion, it is what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15!
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20: if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile in you’re still in your sins. There’s no h__________!
  4. If Christ has not been raised:
    1. Preaching is in vain.
    2. Faith is useless.
    3. We are liars.
    4. We are still in sin.
    5. Former believers have perished.
    6. We should be pitied by the world.
  5. The resurrection is the linchpin of Christianity. It is the most c__________ d_______________.
  6. We have a way of testing Christianity.
  7. If Christ has not been raised, Christianity is false, he is either:
    1. L___________.
    2. L___________.
    3. L___________.
    4. L___________.
  8. Other religions use internal experience as their test.
    1. M__________s point to a burning in the bosom.
    2. M__________s point to the literary excellence of the Qur’an.
  9. The Christian test is external evidence.
  10. If you want to start on a truth quest, start with Christianity.
  11. Evidence, establish the facts.
  12. Explanation, Explain the facts.
  13. Three lines three lines of evidence.
    1. The c__________ produced a dead body.
    2. The t__________ contained no body.
    3. People s____________ and t_____________ somebody.
  14. Gary Habermas read ~3500 scholarly papers (liberal and conservative) and compiled the facts that they all agreed on – these are called the “Minimal Facts” (12 of them)

The Cross Produced a Dead Body

  1. People could not survive a Roman crucifixion.
  2. The flogging itself could kill someone.
  3. The convicted person would eventually die through asphyxiation.
  4. Crucifixion was so horrible, that the word ex______________ came from it, which means (in Latin) out of the cross.
  5. This is attested by both biblical and non-biblical sources (e.g. J_____________, T__________, Pliny the Younger)
  6. Jesus’s crucifixion is one of the most certain facts of history.
  7. If you want to prove a resurrection, the person has to be d___________

The Tomb Contained No Body

  1. The J_______________ Factor: Jesus was crucified and buried in Jerusalem, and the disciples proclaimed is resurrection In Jerusalem. How can Christianity get started, if the body is still in the tomb?
  2. The enemies implicitly confirm that the body is gone. Their explanation was that the disciples s______________ the body.
  3. If student claims “my dog ate my homework”, this implicitly confirms that their backpack does not contain their homework. In the same way if people claim that the disciples stole the body, this implicitly confirms and e______________ t_______________.
  4. In the 1st century Jewish culture, a w_____________’s testimony was not highly regarded (e.g. Talmud, Josephus). But the women, were the first ones to report the empty tomb. If you’re making up a story, you don’t have women as your chief witnesses! This is the principle of embarrassment.
  5. In 1968, construction workers stumbled upon a crucified individual who was buried in an ossuary, which confirmed that this was a common practice. Also the person’s legs were b_______________, confirming that part of the story as well.

The People Saw & Touched Somebody

 

  1. Oral c____________ dates back to within months of the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. It describes six appearances of Jesus.
  2. During the life of Jesus, his half-brother James did not believe his message. But after the resurrection, James became a key figure in the Jerusalem c___________ and a believer in Jesus.
  3. Paul did not believe in Jesus until Jesus appeared to him. He was actually an e_____________ of Christianity.

 

What Are the Explanations Given by Skeptics for these Facts?

  1. Jesus wasn’t really dead (the s_____________ theory).  Here are the responses to this:
    1. You’d have to believe that this half dead Jesus revived in the coolness of the tomb, rolled the 2-ton stone out of the way, beat off all the guards and appeared to his disciples. They would respond “you’re in desperate need of medical attention!” If the Roman guards did not do their job making sure that you stayed in the tomb, they were the next ones to be put on the cross.
  2. The disciples stole the b_______________.  Here are the responses to this:
    1. We have good evidence that the tomb really was empty.
    2. The disciples were willing to die for this belief.
    3. Liars make poor martyrs.
    4. Paul and James would not have been convinced by a lie, since they were not predisposed to believe in Jesus.
  3. H________________ Theory.  Here are the responses to this:
    1. Paul and James wouldn’t have hallucinated seeing Christ.
    2. There’s no such thing as a mass hallucination. _______ (number) people saw the same thing. They ate with this hallucination, they touched this hallucination.
  4. The best explanation is that Jesus actually r_________ from the dead.
  5. Some people say that s_____________ has demonstrated that miracles are not possible. But they would be inaccurate.
  6. Science looks at the natural world, but what we are studying is not natural, it is supernatural-something beyond nature!
  7. Only two possible responses:
    1. For u_________________, believe the works. John 10:38. Jesus doesn’t tell us to take a blind leap of faith. It is active trust based on evidence.
    2. For b_________________, this information should compel us to fall on our faces in reverent worship. John 11:25-26. Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. But how do I know that he died for my sins (that’s logical/spiritual)? The resurrection is proof of purchase!

 

Discussion Questions

  1. According to Tim Barnett, what is the most commonly held objection to the resurrection? Why does that objection fail?
  2. If someone asked you to provide evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, what would you say?
  3. Why is Jesus called “the Lamb of God”?
  4. What is the “Jerusalem Factor”? Why does that matter?
  5. What is the most crucial doctrine of Christianity, according to Tim Barnett?
  6. What is C.S. Lewis’s “trilemma”?
  7. Name a non-Christian source from the 1st century that corroborates Jesus’s death on the cross.

 

Apologetics Class 3/25/2018

Yesterday in my apologetics class, with it being Palm Sunday, we watched a video lecture on the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the Old Testament prophecy He fulfilled in doing that.  Here is the video:

 

Here is the note-taking form I passed out before the video, with discussion questions we covered afterward:

Daniel’s Prophecy of Palm Sunday (Andrew Russell) 3/25/2018

John 12:12-19; Daniel 9:24-27 (the “backbone” of biblical prophecy)

  1. Jesus’ tr____________ e_________ is mentioned in all 4 gospels – John’s account is the briefest.
  2. John 11:35 – Lazarus died – Jesus wept about this because:
    1. He was filled with grace, mercy and compassion – grieving for those who were hurting.
    2. Because of what sin has done to mankind and what He was going to do about it.
  3. The original creation was perfect: __________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________________
  4. The fall of man occurred in an instant. World is now g_________________ (Romans 8:22)
  5. God had a plan to r___________________ mankind which would take thousands of years.
  6. “The time has come” (Mark 1:15) – all history has been moving towards this moment.
  7. Christ makes it clear that the kingdom is not p_______________, but is within you (Luke 17:21).
  8. 2 things capture the “heart” of this thronged assembly:
    1. Christ has won the v_______________ – His will has been done.
    2. The wedding feast of the Lamb – we’re not just invited to wedding, we’re the b_______!
  9. The proclamation of the good news (Mark 1:15) includes a call to r__________________. Radical change in heart, resulting in a radical change in a person’s l___________.
  10. The coming of the King is the best news. Change is possible because the King has come.
  11. What to do when another believer acts in a discouraging or sinful way:
    1. Don’t allow a person/relationship to d__________ you from your relationship with God.
    2. Forgive them and refuse to harbor any r____________________ towards them
    3. Draw comfort from the H__________ S________________.
  12. We don’t offer people a “system”, we point them to the R________________. He is the hope!
  13. During Passover in Jesus’ time, there were 250,000 lambs slain in Jerusalem. During this time, the population swelled to about 2 million people in (not even) a square m___________.
  14. The 1st promise of Messiah was Genesis 3:15. Israel’s job was to w___________ for the Messiah
  15. God told the Jews that the Messiah would be:
    1. A J______ from the tribe of Judah
    2. From the lineage of King D___________
    3. Born of a v______________, conceived by the Holy Spirit
    4. A worker of s__________, wonders & miracles (sight to the blind, hearing for deaf, etc.)
    5. D______________ would be no match for Him
    6. Bring f________________ of sins and salvation to the world
  16. The above description narrows down the field of possible candidates for Messiah.
  17. God actually predicted the e__________ d______ that the Messiah would make Himself known.
  18. Zachariah 9:9 predicted that he would come on a donkey’s colt.
  19. Daniel 9 is the most i______________ piece of prophecy in the entire Old Testament
  20. Jesus says this is the key – Bible scholars say this is the b________________ of biblical prophecy.
  21. Daniel 9:24-27 – the “70 W___________ of Daniel” (given by angel Gabriel [v.21])
  22. This prophecy is talking about J__________ C___________ – the Messiah:
    1. To make an end for s________
    2. To make reconciliation for i_________________
    3. To bring everlasting r_________________
    4. To seal up the vision and the prophecy
    5. To a_______________ the most holy
  23. These 70 weeks refer to 70 “weeks” (7’s) of years – 70 weeks of years = _______ years
  24. God wanted Israel to know the exact day that the Messiah would come – wasn’t a mystery
  25. 69 weeks (_______ years) after this decree to restore/rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will come.
  26. From a book called “The Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson
  27. Jewish calendar has 360 days in it (vs. 365 days in Gregorian calendar), so 173,880 days after the decree was the time the Messiah would come.
  28. The decree was given to restore/rebuild Jerusalem was given in Neh. 2:1-8 (March 14,444BC)
  29. 173,880 days later is April 6th, 32 A.D., which was P_____ S_________ (5 days before Passover)
  30. There are 116 days for leap years that have to be subtracted. So considering the leap year days, the prophecy is fulfilled exactly.
  31. In Daniel 9:26, there are 3 specific prophecies:
    1. The Messiah will be “c__________ o_________” (executed) for us
    2. The people of the prince – Rome to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Temple (70AD)
    3. Jews s___________ to the 4 corners of the earth (until 1948, when Israel is established)
  32. The 70th week (Daniel 9:27). The gap of time between the 69th week and the 70th week is what is known as “The Church Age”. This will end with the r______ of the church before the tribulation.
  33. The 70th week of Daniel is the great t______________ – the start is the coming of the anti-Christ
  34. Israel, who rejected the t_____ Messiah, will buy in whole-heartedly to this f________ Messiah.
  35. The world will be “great” for 3½ years at which time the anti-Christ will stand up and proclaim himself to be G_____ and that is the abomination that Jesus was talking about (Matthew 24:15)
  36. After that, all hell breaks loose on earth which is described the judgments in Revelation.
  37. Picking up the palm branches is a symbol of victory. H______ means “save now” / “please save”
  38. Maccabean revolt – after Judas Maccabees defeated Greeks, they were waving palm branches
  39. The people were not looking for s______ deliverance, they were looking for political deliverance
  40. Jesus wept over the city – “…You did not know the time of your v______________” (Luke 19:44)
  41. Jesus says because they missed the day, there would be b__________. (Luke 19:42; Rom. 11:25)
  42. There is a day of visitation for each & every one of us – 2 options, a_______ or r_________
  43. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not h______________ your hearts…” Hebrews 3:15
  44. He becomes Lord of all your life (your schedule). End times – are we ready for Him?

Discussion Questions

  1. In what way is Daniel’s prophecy (and Jesus’ fulfillment of it) evidence that the Bible is divinely inspired?
  2. What are some other important Old Testament prophecies of Messiah?
  3. What are your views about the rapture and end times? On what Scripture do you base these views?

Apologetics Class 3/18/2018

Today in our class we watched J. Warner Wallace speak about the case for the resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of a Cold Case homicide detective:

 

Before the video started, I read Matthew 28:1-10:

1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, ” Do not be afraid ; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead ; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ” Do not be afraid ; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before the video:

J. Warner Wallace – the Resurrection 3/18/2018

  1. What is r_________________ (not what’s possible), this is the judicial standard.
  2. Presuppositional bias, you tend to see things through the lens of your presuppositions.
  3. Although archaeological evidence exists to support the locations of the New Testament, it doesn’t mean that the miracles are true. It could be mythology set in a historical setting.
  4. The most singularly important piece of evidence in the Christian worldview is the r___________
  5. Gary Habermas surveyed the writings of 3400 scholars and came up with a list of m_____________ f__________ agreed by all of them regarding the resurrection.
  6. Here are the minimal facts according to J. Warner Wallace:
    1. Jesus was c___________ and b______________
    2. The tomb was e_______________ and no one ever produced his body.
    3. The disciples b__________________ they saw the risen Jesus.
    4. The disciples were tr______________ following their alleged Resurrection observations.
  7. Explanatory possibilities-the first six of the following are possible, but not reasonable:
    1. They were w____________:
      1. From Luke 22, “His sweat became like drops of blood”, this is a scientific condition known as psychogenic hematidrosis. This condition is most often seen in death row inmates.
      2. We have a tendency to underestimate what He endured, because Renaissance paintings don’t show Him as bloodied.
      3. John 19:34, “bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” Pericardial Effusion produces blood in a fluid that looks like water. The other possibility is Pleural Effusion.
    2. They were l_____________: Conspiracies take 5 things to work:
      1. A small number of conspirators.
      2. A short conspiracy time span.
      3. Excellent communication.
      4. Strong familial relationships.
      5. Little or no pressure to confess
      6. On the contrary, the disciples:
        1. Had to hold the conspiracy for about 60 years
        2. Were separated by 1000’s of miles
        3. Were men from all walks of life
        4. Never recanted their testimony
      7. 1st person who saw Jesus was a woman (not be trusted in 1st century society).
    3. They were d________________:
      1. Paul and James, as skeptics, would not have wanted to see Jesus alive
      2. No one has group dreams or group hallucinations
      3. There’s still an empty tomb
    4. They were f_________________:
      1. If you want to be successful conning someone you have to know more about the topic than the person you are trying to con.
      2. After His resurrection, He appeared miraculously, Luke 24:36.
      3. He performed miraculously, John 21:6, Acts 1:3.
      4. He ascended miraculously, Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9.
    5. They were i_________________:
      1. Mary couldn’t influence others.
      2. Peter was seldom alone. Would Mary and the women then lie in retrospect?
      3. Paul didn’t wish it was true.
      4. Resurrection appearances are from multiple eye-witnesses w/extensive detail.
      5. If you run back to the tomb, and the tomb is empty, you don’t have an imaginary vision problem, you have a conspiracy.
      6. The tomb was empty and no one ever produced his body.
    6. They were d______________________:
      1. We know these are early accounts, and have been attested repeatedly by the “chain of custody”.
    7. They were a__________________ (the Christian explanation):
      1. Jesus was crucified and buried.
      2. The tomb was empty and no one ever produced His body.
      3. The disciples believed they saw the risen Jesus.
      4. Disciples were transformed following their alleged resurrection observations.
  8. Every single one of these 7 explanations above have s______________ and w_______________
  9. Weakness of Christian explanation is that it requires a resurrection, a belief in the supernatural.
  10. Are supernatural events possible? The evidence regarding these events was:
    1. Timely
    2. Quoted
    3. Verified
    4. Described
    5. Transmitted
    6. Attested
  11. Atheists begin with conclusion that supernaturalism is not possible. That is circular reasoning.
  12. There are only one of two possibilities about what happened to Jesus.
    1. Jesus rose from the dead: Only one barricade to overcome, anti-supernatural bias. I’m the reason that barricade is there, I won’t consider supernatural explanations!
    2. Jesus did not rise from the dead: Many barricades to overcome as listed above.
  13. Do your part to make c___ for the resurrection, & let God do His part to convince the individual.
  14. Not like game of tennis, like game of baseball. Just get up to bat & advance runner to next base.
  15. You are f__________ and o______________ to God when you get your butt up off the bench and get in the batter’s box. That’s it! If you “make contact” great.
  16. The writers of scripture claimed to be eyewitnesses, Luke 1:1, 2 Peter 1:16, 1 John 1:1-3
  17. I’m not a case maker to win an argument, I’m a case maker to be able to pull down the barriers between you and the G_______________
  18. You may not consider yourself to be an evangelist, but none of you gets out of the responsibility to be a case maker. If you are a Christian, you are a case maker according to 1 Peter 3:15.
  19. The first decision you made was for Christ, the second decision you need to make is to become A Christian Case Maker.
  20. It easy to call yourself a Christian, but it’s hard to d______________ what you believe.

Discussion Questions

What were the main points J. Warner Wallace was trying to make in this video?

Apologetics Class 3/11/2018

Today in our apologetics class, Lord willing, I will be showing the following video lecture by Abdu Murray titled “Does Prayer Really Help?”

Below is the note-taking form with discussion questions I will hand out to the class:

Does Prayer Really Help?  Abdu Murray – 3/11/2018

Abdu Murray’s Testimony

  1. I thought I_________ was true, and that if it was true, you should believe it too.
  2. Relativism – “what’s true for you is true for you, what’s true for me is true for me” – Nonsense.
  3. He used to ask people, “Why are you a Christian?” Most common response, “I don’t know…”  Another common response was, “Its tradition.”  If its tradition, how do you k______ it’s t_____?
  4. Most Christians had no response to the objections Abdu would raise.
  5. Dave and Pete came to his apartment at university every Thursday to share their f___.  He grew to love Dave and Pete, because they wanted me in heaven, and he wanted them in heaven.
  6. Abdu, looking for contradiction in the Bible, comes across Luke 3:7-8 (John the Baptist):
    … do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.”
    He was saying, you’re relying on your t_________ (children of Abraham) to save you, but t___________ doesn’t save, truth saves.  Abdu realized that John the Baptist was agreeing with him, and those words applied to him as well – he was in love with tradition and not with truth.
  7. Apologetics is about p_______________ – why the Christian faith is true.  It was the B___________ that got Abdu thinking about all this in the first place.
  8. May you never speak with lofty a_______________ and a closed Bible.  Use that Word of God!
  9. There are plenty of things you can lose if you’re a Muslim and you become a Christian.
  10. He began to see the beauty of the Gospel and that God is a t_____ God, when all of that became real to him, not just intellectually, but also in his spirit/heart, he gave his life to the Lord.

Does Prayer Really Help?

  1. He studied different religious systems, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, Confucianism, Etc.
  2. He’s convinced that the Christian worldview is u______________ t_________. It teaches us who God is, and who we are in relation to God. It conforms to reality.
  3. Does prayer help? Depends on what you mean by prayer & depends on what you mean by help.
  4. George Carlin made some very serious challenges against the Christian faith.
  5. Carlin prayed to God, and got what he wanted half the time, so did an experiment. He prayed to Joe Pesci instead. The results were the same. Therefore, he concludes, maybe there is no God?
  6. Carlin says, when you don’t get what you want, you say “it wasn’t part of the divine plan”. That’s a c_________ o__________. You’re just “talking to the wall”.
  7. In your darkest times, you may think I’ve been praying the same thing for 15 years and nothing has changed. Am I just talking to nobody? Is anybody l____________________?
  8. George Carlin presents a caricature of prayer-he only has it half right. So, only having it half right, he gets it all wrong. God is not a “Divine v______________ m______________”.
  9. The common misconception of prayer: it is the avenue through which we ask God for “stuff”.
  10. Matthew 6:7-13 (The Lord’s Prayer). Unfortunate name for it-isn’t the prayer the Lord actually prayed, because the prayer requests forgiveness. Yet we know that He needed no forgiveness.
  11. Don’t babble & don’t pray a “f______________”. God wants your heart, speak from your heart!
  12. 2 examples of short, simple prayers: 1) tax collector: “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:9-14). 2) The father who prayed, “I believe, help me with my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
  13. If the Lord already knows what you need, then w_________ a_________ Him?
  14. Prayer not just about asking for a bunch of things, but asking for our needs, based on God’s w__
  15. Plenty of things we want, but only a f______ things we need. We have way more than we need!
  16. He wants to change what we think we need to c______________ us so that we seek Him.
  17. Familiarity breeds contempt. The more you h_______ something, the less important it is to you.
  18. Abdu comes from a worldview where it is considered blasphemy to call God your Father.
  19. It is it is Christianity alone that allows you to call the One who created the universe “D_______”. It isn’t just D_________, or father, but His very name is holy.
  20. It is only the Christian faith that allows for God to be father, and yet majestic, at the same time.
  21. You begin to see who you are through prayer. You are a c___________ of the k__________!
  22. The primacy is for God’s will to be done. But God gives us our needs every day. It’s God’s basic will that you have your n________ m_____. He wants to give you more, but that’s his basic will.
  23. What needs? Food & clothing – yes, but the very next words are forgive us our debts. Our most fundamental need isn’t food, but to be forgiven. We’re in desperate need of daily f___________
  24. Every other worldview says we can f__ ourselves. Malcolm Muggeridge said that the doctrine of original sin is the most hotly-contested doctrine of all, yet it has the most evidence in its favor.
  25. If you want evidence that humans are in need of a Savior, just turn on the news for 5 minutes.
  26. If I could put your t____________ for the last 24 hours on screen for everyone, how many of you would say, “oh no problem!” or how many of you would run out of this room screaming?
  27. Jesus does not tell you what you want to hear. He says, “out of the heart comes evil thoughts, adulteries” (Matt. 15:19). i.e. you’re evil, come follow Me! That’s a terrible recruiting poster. He’s not telling you what you w________ to hear, He’s telling you what you n________ to hear.
  28. Story about woman whose only son was murdered-ended up inviting that murderer to live next to her. He was so impacted by her example of forgiveness, that he gave his life to the Lord.
  29. Your job in prayer is not to get s_________ from God, it’s to get in c________________ with God. He wants to give you character, and not stuff. He wants to change the world through you.
  30. Prayer is not about conforming God’s will to your will, it is about conforming your will to God’s will. If this is what you mean by prayer, it a______________ w_____________!
  31. Example from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (…there was given me a t____________ in my flesh…)
  32. Idols will eat you alive, what you need is contentment!
  33. The best thing you can get from God this side of heaven is c_______________.  What a gift!
  34. Matt Chandler w/ brain cancer – “I now get to live the faith I preach”.
  35. Have I been treating prayer as my A___ machine?  Or have I been seeking God’s will for my life?
  36. What God wants you have more than anything is to be l___________ His Son!

Discussion Questions

  1. What was the main point made by George Carlin related to prayer?
  2. Does unanswered prayer mean that God does not exist or Christianity is not true?
  3. What request that you’ve been praying to God for a long time about, where you’ve not received an answer yet?  Have you wondered why there is no answer?  Is it according to God’s will?
  4. What other Scriptures tell us about prayer?  What are great examples of prayer in the Bible? (Philippians 4:6-7; Luke 18:1-8 [the persistent widow]; Luke 18:9-14 [the Pharisee & tax collector]; Psalms 55:22; Psalms 139:13-16,23-24; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 119:11; Psalms 51:1-17; Revelation 4:11)
  5. According to Abdu Murray, does prayer work?  What about according to you?

 

 

Apologetics Class 3/4/2018

Today, we watched an hour long lecture from Greg Koukl titled “Never Read a Bible Verse”.  Here is the video:

Here is the note taking form with discussion questions I handed out before the video:

“Never Read a Bible Verse” – Greg Koukl (3-4-2018)

  1. Greg Koukl says, “When I was going to school at UCLA, I thought I was too s______ to become a Christian. I thought Christianity was for people who were, I’m ashamed to say it, d________ or u____________.”
  2. I’m really talking to followers of Christ, so I hope you brought your Bible.
  3. If I could give one talk, or impart one skill to a group of Christians it would be this teaching.
  4. Some of you are going to get mad at me, because I’m going to talk about a m____________ almost every single Christian makes when reading the Bible to understand what it m_________.
  5. Sometimes we seize on promises from the Old Testament and claim them as promises for ourselves, but they weren’t m_____________ to be taken that way.
  6. A young lady’s favorite verse was E______________ 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” She thought that this was a promise that applied directly to her.
  7. In 1551, French printer Robert Stefani’s added v_________ n_____________ to the Bible.
  8. The passage applies to us when understood in context, but the verse does not directly apply to us when taken in i_________________, out of context.
  9. When you face opposition on campus, is this God’s instruction for you … that you’re supposed to stay silent and He will fight for you? Read Matthew 10, that isn’t what he told the disciples!
  10. Chapter divisions are also a____________________, and were not part of the original.
  11. First problem: treating your Bible as if the verses s___________-a______________.
  12. Second problem: called the “j________ Bible verse”. Reading surreptitiously, waiting for a verse to jump out – indicating that the Holy Spirit is talking to you specifically about your situation.
  13. Example given was an adulterous woman who found the verse that says, “put on the new man”, and believed that it confirmed her decision to leave her husband and go with her boyfriend.
  14. This does not refer to reading Scripture, seeing something applies to your c_____________. E.g. Eph. 5:25, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church & gave himself up for her.”
  15. What is being talked about is when we isolate certain verses and get d________________ meanings from them than what was originally i_________________ by the author.
  16. People say, “the Lord gave me this verse.” People normally say that when it is something that wouldn’t naturally a___________ to their life.
  17. The person is saying, “this verse is true for me, but not necessarily true for you.” That is like r_________. Once we approach the Bible that way, we destroy the original meaning of the text.
  18. There is no biblical justification for finding p_________, p________________ messages in texts originally intended by God to mean something else. A text can never mean what it never meant.
  19. With the exception of P_____________, you can’t get the meaning of verses by reading them on their own. You have to get the meaning from the larger context.
  20. Four Biblical arguments Greg provides to bolster his claims:
    1. The Bible teaches that there are no p_____________ i_____________, 2 Peter 1:20-21
    2. The Bible teaches that S______________ is i______________, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    3. The Bible teaches we are to be diligent & study to get the c______ meaning, 2 Tim. 2:15
    4. The Bible teaches we must guard correct meaning from being t_____________ or d_________________, Jude 3
  21. The scripture never even teaches this approach (getting your personal interpretation). You don’t see the d__________________ doing this.
  22. Rule: Never Read a Bible Verse. Never read only a single Bible verse – read a p_______________ or more to be confident that you’re getting the correct meaning, the correct flow of thought.
  23. Here are some verses that have been understood and used inappropriately:
    1. John 12:32 – if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself. Often used by worship leaders. But Jesus is talking about being c__________________.
    2. Proverbs 23:7 – as a man thinks in his heart so he is. Often used to demonstrate if you have a p___________ m______________ a______________ you’ll succeed.
    3. Sometimes by reading a passage, you can see what it does not mean.
    4. John 20:29 – I will not believe unless I put my finger in the hole. Blessed are those who did not see, and yet believe. This is commonly understood to mean that Jesus is commending a kind of b__________ f____________. In the very next verse, John gives the reason that he wrote this gospel.
    5. John 8:32 – you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The context is John 8:31-36. Jesus is not just talking about any truth, but the truth that He provides. He needs talking about providing freedom f_________ s_______.
    6. Jeremiah 29:11 (the most frequently abused verse in the Bible) – For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. When you read the New Testament, do you see a promised life of welfare and prosperity or rather calamity? Where do we get the idea, then, that God has promised welfare and not calamity for Christians? The context of Jeremiah 29:11 is Jeremiah 29:10-14. This promise is for a very s___________ g_________ of p____________, the Jews who are in captivity in Babylon.
  24. Our understanding of God’s word is foundational for our Christian lives. This is the Book that tells us about reality. This is the Book that tells us how to live. It’s critical that we u________________ it a____________________.
  25. If it is not being u__________________ in the sense that He gave it, it is not His word.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the “jumping Bible verse” approach to reading Scripture? Why is it wrong?
  2. How then should we approach the practice of Bible verse memorization? Is there anything wrong with memorizing just a single verse?
  3. How can we “speak up” when we hear someone quoting a verse out of context or in an inappropriate way?
  4. How can we “speak up” when someone is apparently using the “jumping Bible verse” approach?
  5. In which part of the Bible can verses typically be understood in isolation?
  6. What is the some of the ways to determine the meaning of a passage in its context?
  7. What’s the difference between receiving a “private, personal interpretation” of a passage and experiencing conviction or encouragement that occurs when a passage applies to your situation?
  8. Do you take exception with Greg on any of the “correct interpretations” he provides?

 

 

Apologetics Class 2/25/2018

Today in the Apologetics Class, Lord willing, we will be watching the video Sharing Your Faith- Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional (Amy Orr-Ewing of RZIM Trust is the speaker):

Here is the note-taking page I handed out before the class:

Sharing Your Faith – Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional – Amy Orr-Ewing RZIM Trust, February 25th 2018

  1. A_______________ comes from Greek word “Apologia”, 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared …”
  2. Describes what a defense lawyer would do in a court – give a reasoned, persuasive d_________
  3. Why is it unusual for us to feel unembarrassed, naturally to talk about Jesus?
  4. Sometimes there is an “inner cringe” at the fear and a______________ of evangelism

2 “Motions” that happen in evangelism at our work places:

  1. The P____________ Effect – be ready, so that when opportunity comes, you’re able to take it. You’re pulled into conversation about your faith.  4 characteristics of the kind of person:
    1. Spend time with the Lord in p_______. “Coincidences” happen a lot to those who pray
    2. Something different about them – their lives call forth questions. They r______ Christ.
    3. People for whom “everything is on the altar” for the Lord-completely on f____ for Him.
    4. People who are in c_____________ with other believers, where the quality of Christian love in that community speaks to their work colleagues.
  2. The P____________ Effect – being pro-active. We are to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).  We worry about seeming “weird”, we worry about being o_______________. Few ideas about how we can be pro-active in sharing our faith:
    1. Pray daily for o_______________ and breakthroughs. We should have a mentality of expectation that God has put is in our workplace (or school) and wants us to be there and wants us to speak for Him.  Sometimes, we’ll sow seeds that others will reap.
    2. Ask people q______________. Sometimes we feel afraid of evangelism because we think, “I don’t know all the answers” and “I don’t know what I should say”.  In the Gospels Jesus asked 1___ questions. Everyone can ask questions.
      1. Questions can help “i____________” apathetic people (John 1:38)
      2. Questions can help get a friend really t____________. Thinking is not the enemy of evangelism (Luke 18:19 – “Why do you call Me good?”)
  • Questions can bring the f______ to J_________ in a conversation. We want people to encounter the person of Christ, to introduce Jesus into the situation.
  1. A question can “r______” an i_______. Especially in “tense” situations – sensitive topics.  Jesus did this in Matthew 22:15-22.  Lady on train in Britain asked, “What would it take for you to believe in God?”
  2. A question can demonstrate e______. John 11:34 – “Where have you laid him?”
  3. A question can reveal m___________ (John 5:6 – “Do you want to get well?”).
  • A question can open up frank discussions about b________ to belief (John 8:46)
  • A conversation needs questions-just talking/p____________ won’t work.

Conversations I’ve Had at Work and How They Got Started

Sharing Christ with my boss over lunch

  1. We were alone together in the company cafeteria eating lunch
  2. V. was on talking about a church shooting in N.C. (shooter in Bible study prior)
  3. He characterized it as “he was sitting there listening to and reading the Word of God and yet he still did that”. This led to an extended conversation (~ 1 hour), & sharing the Gospel with him

Another conversation with Boss at end of the day

  1. Conversation about weekend-I was preparing for class I teach at church & other church activities
  2. His comment was, “Wow, that’s a lot of religion!” Then he admitted, “I’m not religious…“
  3. This led to a 5 minute conversation about our respective spiritual histories

Conversation with an Associate at Work Before We Were Leaving for the Day

  1. Talking about what we were doing this weekend – she was going to see a movie
  2. Talked about “Silence” – Liam Neeson – missionary in Japan & missionaries killed by drowning.
  3. Then I asked her if she’d ever seen the Passion of the Christ
  4. Led to a conversation about why Jesus had to die on the cross.

Conversation with an Agnostic Former Youth Pastor

  1. Conversation about football-mentioned having season tickets interfered w/ church activities
  2. Led to him sharing why he became an agnostic due to the “problem of evil”
  3. I was able to share a response to his objections and he later attended a Bible study with me

Conversation with Atheist in Lunch Line at Work Cafeteria

  1. I can’t remember exactly what started the conversation
  2. He was bringing up all these objections about Christianity (in a rapid fire fashion)
  3. Suggested we go out to lunch. He sent calendar invite and we went to Espo’s
  4. 1 hour talk about Christianity-I shared testimony & answered his questions about the faith.

Conversation with an Agnostic at Work

  1. We were making small talk at my desk.
  2. The topic came up about feeling old and things that make you feel/look older
  3. This led to a ½ conversation walking around the lake (at work) talking about Christianity

Other conversations

  1. With an ex-Catholic while on a business trip to San Antonio
  2. With a Mormon (LDS) who sat next to my cube
  3. With a Chinese lady while on a business trip to Germany
  4. With an British work associate on a trip to Manchester
  5. With a Muslim who mentioned his Friday weekly prayers
  6. With a Hindu couple from work whom my wife is watching their middle school child
  7. A Hindu couple over lunch at Aunt Chilada’s
  8. With Hindu lady asking her about Karma/Reincarnation– led to talk about faith
  9. Several Roman Catholics while serving at St. Vincent de Paul with them
  10. A Chinese atheist and a Malaysian Roman Catholic while on business trip in Australia
  11. With German guy who didn’t want to become Christian b/c he’d have to give up beer!

You can read more about these at: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/category/conversation/

 

Apologetics Class 2/18/2018

Sunday in our Apologetics class, I personally delivered a “book review” of the first 3 chapters of the book:

Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science, by John C. Lennox

The teaching lasted about an hour, with a 10-15 minute discussion afterwards.  I recorded myself and overlaid the slides I used into the following YouTube video.  Initially (for the 1st 4 slides) I forgot to turn on the recorder, so there is no sound until slide 5.  Also, in order to hear any of the comments made by the class, you’ll likely need to turn up the volume to the max.  At the end of the video, there is one class member, who holds the young earth view, that asks me a question about the Sabbath day.  Also, there is one class member, who holds the ancient earth view, that asks several questions throughout the presentation and talks extensively at the end during the discussion time.  It was a good class on an important topic.

The class consisted of a total of 11 people – 5 adults, 5 youth (highschool or middleschool) and 1 college-aged person.  Here is the video of slides with audio of me speaking in the background:

 

Here was the note-taking form I passed out before the presentation started:

7 Days That Divide the World – Dr. John C Lennox (2/18/2018)

  1. Intro:
    1. I’ve not made up my mind on this issue yet
    2. Need to be willing to look at b__________ sides (Prov. 18:17)
    3. Danger of “S_______-M_______” arguments
  2. Chapter 1: But Does It Move? A Lesson From History
    1. 16th Century controversy – Copernicus. The e__________ moves, and not the s______
    2. “Fixed earth” and “moving sun” fit well with the Bible (1 Chron. 16:30; Ps. 93:1-2; Ps. 104:5; 1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 19:4,6; Eccl. 1:5)
    3. Reformers Calvin and Luther were “fixed earthers”
    4. G__________ challenged Aristotelian view of fixed earth – attacked by academia/church
    5. Took many years to establish h__________ view (the view of fixed sun/moving earth)
    6. Now we comfortably accept the heliocentric view
  3. Chapter 2: But Does It Move? A Lesson From Scripture
    1. Controversy with Galileo was about B_____________ interpretation
    2. How did the author i_____________ it to be taken?
    3. We must consider the n______________ understanding of a passage
    4. The meaning of word ‘l______________’ – natural or customary meaning, not mystical/allegorical
    5. Can be more than 1 “natural meaning” of word or phrase
    6. Examples: car “flying” down the road, Jesus is the door, “God said…”.
    7. Literal vs. Literal_______
    8. Christians eventually accepted the “new interpretation” of moving earth
    9. Cannot keep Scripture and Science separate – Bible/Science address some same things
    10. God started s__________ – told Adam to name animals – “t__________________y”
    11. Bible uses phenomenological language — the language of appearance.
    12. Message of Augustine – if my views on something not fundamental to the gospel, on which equally convinced Christians disagree, attract ridicule and therefore disincline my hearers to listen to anything I have to say about the Christian message, then I should be prepared to entertain the possibility that it might be my interpretation that is at fault.
    13. The Galileo incident teaches us that we should be h___________ enough to distinguish between what the Bible says and our interpretations of it. The biblical text might just be more s_____________________ than we first imagined
    14. 2 e____________ to be avoided. The first is the danger of tying interpretation of Scripture too closely to the s______________ of the day. The opposite danger is to i____________ science.
  4. Chapter 3: But Is It Old? The Days of Creation
    1. Christians divided into two main groups. 1: days of Genesis are the 24-hour days of 1 earth week-universe is around 6,000 years old. 2: those who believe that the universe is a__________________.
    2. Reformers L___________ and C_________________ held the 24-hour view
    3. Some of early church f__________________ held to “day-age/epoch” view.
    4. 3 main views of Genesis days: The 24-hour view is that the days are 24-hour days, of one Earth week, about 6,000 years ago. The “d____ a_______” view is that the days are in chronological order, each representing a time of unspecified length. The “framework view” says that the days exhibit a logical order, rather than a chronological order.
    5. We should try to read Genesis 1 as if we had never read it before
    6. Outline of first section of Genesis:
      1. Statement regarding the creation of the heavens and the earth: 1: 1—2
      2. Six days of God’s creation and organizational activity, culminating in the creation of human beings in his image: 1:3-2:1
      3. The seventh day, day of God’s rest—Sabbath: 2:2-3
    7. Correlation with Exodus 20:11.
    8. M____________ and uses of the word “day” in the early chapters of Genesis are many.
    9. Insertion of the “d___________ article” in days 1-5, vs. day 6-7
    10. Lennox thesis that:
      1. Initial creation took place before day 1
      2. Days of creation could be 7 c_____________ 24 hour days separated by l_________ or indeterminate periods of time.
    11. Problematic 4th day – Sun, Moon, Stars created – were they “revealed” from behind clouds or “appointed”?
    12. Cannot determine truth by appealing to how many people held this interpretation, and for how long. Have to ask why they understood it this way.

     

    Discussion Questions

    1. What points is Dr. Lennox missing about the debate?

Apologetics Class 2/11/2018

Yesterday, we watched 2 videos from Dr. Hugh Ross:

 

Here is the notes page that was passed out to follow along:

Long Creation Days Apologetics Class Lesson – 11 February, 2018 – Kevin Bronson

Creation Miracles – Hugh Ross Lecture

How do we reconcile Genesis 1 with findings of Natural Science?

Genesis 1:1 No Hebrew word for “universe”.  Old Testament uses “heavens and earth”

Space-time did not exist until Genesis 1.

Space-time theorem (Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity).  If space-time had a beginning, then there must be an outside Agent that created space-time/everything.

Genesis 1:2 Frame of reference changes to surface of the waters

Job 37:9.  Thick clouds, dark earth.  Ps 104 waters over the earth. Global sea.

Yom, Hebrew, no word for age for epoch.

Creation Day One: Light gets through the atmosphere

Creation Day Two: Water above and below.  Water cycle begins.  Job 37

Creation Day Three: Land forms.  Plate tectonics.  Plants appear

Creation Day Four: More atmospheric clearing.  Moon, sun and stars visible.  Oxygenation by plants.

Creation Day Five: Small seas animals appear.  Cambrian explosion.

Creation Day Six:

Creation of birds and mammals.  Soulish creatures.

Long legged mammals – easy to tame

Long legged mammals – hard to tame

Urbanization increases à Atheism increases

God creates human beings.  The only spiritual beings

Who Was Adam – Human Origins by Hugh Ross

The fossil tree is more of a bush, not a tree

Bipedal primates go back 6 million years.

New bipedal specie discovered every year.

Who is Homo sapiens?

Who is Homo sapiens Neanderthal?

We have Mitochondrial DNA (Maternal line) of Nean.  11 specimens, from Spain to the Caucus, 150,000 to 35,000 ya. Not evolving, nor related to humans.

Human Mit DNS back 40,000 years.  Not evolving.

Y chromosome (nucleic DNA from fathers) from humans.  No evolution.

In comparing Great ape Y chromosomes: Mountain gorilla different from orangutans

Not evolving and not related to humans.

Bible and natural science record says no new species appearing since humans appeared.

Insects

Soulish creatures (Job 39 nephesh created to relate to us/benefit

Humans

Abraham 4000 ya.

Genesis 11:  Peleg when earth was divided

Bering Straight grain C14 age 12-13,00o y.a.

30,000 ya Noah

50,000 ya Adam

Big Bang of Antropology

Jewelry with Homo sapiens 40,000 ya –  None with Neanderthal, no clothing

Tools with Neandethal – primitive

Cave art in France and Spain – 33,00 ya

Mitochondrial DNA Eve – 150,000 ya, divide by 3 to account for male contributions = 50,000 ya

Y chromosome – male line – 42 to 50,000 ya

References

Hugh Ross.

Creation and Time

Who Was Adam?

Navigating Genesis

Origins of Life

Why the Universe is the Way it Is.

Improbable Life

Gerald Schroeder.  Genesis and the Big Bang.

Alan Hayward.  Creation and Evolution.

 

Apologetics Class 2/4/2018

Tomorrow in the Apologetics class, I plan to show the following videos:

 

Then this Living Waters video of the Way of the Master TV episode on Atheism (please note – you can purchase this video online here):

 

 

 

Here is the note-taking form with discussion questions that I plan to hand out:

Apologetics @ Ohio State & Atheism (WotM) 2/4/2017

Give Me an Answer – Cliffe Knechtle at Ohio State (~17 minutes)

  1. God’s forgiveness and penalty for sin
    1. God only forgives us when we a________ for forgiveness.
    2. According to Christ, it’s God who we’ve sinned against. According to God, when I sin, what I owe him is my life-the wages of sin is death.
  2. God is selfish/jealous. Doesn’t God owe me something?
    1. God doesn’t owe us anything. God gave us g_______ of l_______, we messed it up.  God gave His only Son, Christ to bleed and die on a cross, so God has given Himself for us.  Question is, how are we going to r_______ to God’s g_______, love and generosity?
    2. If children are drugs, & I’m not jealous, something wrong with my love! If wife is committing adultery, and I experience no jealousy, then I don’t understand what love is.
  3. He’s so committed to us that he gives c_____________ to good people.
    1. God doesn’t give cancer to good people. You and I live in a cursed, messed up world, in Genesis 3, we read about a big fall (not stubbing toe).  Adam and Eve commit cosmic t_____________ against God. Book of Job…  Did Job sin?  Is that why he suffered?  No!  Job suffered because he was born into a cursed, unfair world.
  4. Job s______________ because God had a bet with Satan!
    1. Satan challenged integrity of Job’s faith. Satan’s point was, The only reason Job has faith in God is because he gets good things from Him and once He take those away, he’ll curse God to His face. Is Job’s faith based on based on having the good things in life?  Or is Job’s faith based on the character of God being good, in spite of the circumstances of life?  When the circumstances of life turn unfair and cruel, Job’s faith is so magnificent, because his faith not based on circumstances of life, it’s based on the character of God.
  5. When you say that every other religion is wrong, who are you to say that?
    1. Jesus Christ contradicts Buddha, Muhammad and the Avatars of Hinduism. The law of non-contradiction applies.  ‘A’ and ‘non-A’ cannot be both equally right in the same way at the same time.  Now, the question is, does the evidence support Jesus Christ as being reliable?  Or Siddhartha Gautama Buddha? Or Muhammad?  Or Shirley MacLaine? Or whoever you’re seriously considering?  Jesus lived a sinless life, He taught amazing ethical teachings (Robert Cole, Psychology Professor at Harvard University, points out ‘All the writings on ethics over the past 2,000 years are simply footnotes to the Sermon on the Mount). The evidence is, you can t________ C_________, because He’s credible.
  6. Your evidence is eyewitness accounts from a couple thousand years ago. Christians have a series of anecdotes, not hard evidence (e.g. videos) …how can you disclaim other evidence?
    1. New Testament documents more than anecdotal. NT has so much more m_________ e____________ than any other documents from antiquity. Over 5,000 vs. 20 for others.
    2. Belief with no evidence is blind gullibility. Faith had better be based on evidence.
    3. Used example of not giving wallet to street person, but give to friend. That’s faith/trust.
  7. A robot or machine can’t love. Love, in order to be real, has to be f___________.
  8. Why does God allow terrible things to happen?
    1. Genesis 3 – when we human beings r_______________ against God, He took a step back from planet earth and chaos filled the gap. We’re born into cursed world, not because God created it that way, but because we told God to “get lost”.
  9. The only way there can be a moral a_____________ is if there’s a God that created it.
  10. Do you think that the Nazi’s did wrong in gassing J_____? Student: “By my view of justice, of course”. Is there justice above cultural law?  Cliffe cites the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1949).

Way of the Master – Atheism Episode (~28 minutes)

  1. Atheism: the belief that there’s no God. Takes more f____ to be an atheist than believe in God.
  2. The Atheist’s nightmare – the b____________. Designed for our consumption:
    1. 3 ridges on the far side, 2 ridges on the close side, matches hand
    2. No slip surface with outward indicators of inward contents (green, yellow, brown)
    3. Tab at top like soda can, when you pull tab contents don’t squirt in your face
    4. Wrapper (skin) bio degradable and has perforations
    5. Banana is curved toward the face to make eating it easier.
  3. A building is absolute proof that there was a builder. Creation proof of C___________.
  4. Like a car, that was obviously d____________, our bodies were designed by a Creator.
  5. “There is no God” an absolute statement. I would have to have absolute k___________.
  6. “There is no gold in China” – I would have to know everything about China.
  7. “There is gold in China” – don’t need all knowledge about China, just a little.
  8. A_______ (absolutely sure there is no God) vs. A_________ (based on limited knowledge only)
  9. During discussion with atheist: 1) Changes m____, 2) Deliberate s______, 3) J_________ himself
  10. Ray asks atheist, “Do you know what God has done for you so you don’t have to go to Hell?”
  11. Atheist asks, “How good do you have to be…?” Ray answers, “You have to be p__________”.
  12. Principal: Swing (the conversation) from the i__________ to the c______________.
  13. An atheist may not want to believe in God, demanding absolute proof of His existence.
  14. The atheist is not your enemy, so don’t argue with him. Help him see he’s really agnostic
  15. Apologetics is like b____, God’s law is like the h_____. If no hook, fish swim away fat and happy.

Discussion Questions

  1. 1st video answered & didn’t avoid intellectual questions. 2nd video taught you shouldn’t dwell in the intellectual, but swing to the conscience.  Which is the better approach, more biblical? Why?
  2. Were any of the students in the 1st video humbly seeking the truth or really open to it?
  3. Do you think there were unbeliever’s questions avoided during the 3 conversations presented?
  4. How would you answer the woman near the end who said, “I believe everything on this earth was either accidental or created by man”?
  5. How would you answer the young man who asked, why you should believe in a book written by people thousands of years ago, who were superstitious?

Upcoming

  1. https://camelbackclassic2018.homeschooldebate.net/ (March 22-24) Apologetics Judges needed

Apologetics Class 1/28/2018

Although I’ve been having the Apologetics class at Church this year, I’ve not been posting the content.  This year, I’m not teaching, but rather showing videos and facilitating discussion afterwards.  Here are the videos from yesterday’s class:

First, “The Fine Tuning of the Universe”:

Second, “Evolution vs. God” movie:

Here is the note-taking form with discussion questions at the end:

Fine Tuning of the Universe and Evolution vs. God (1/28/2018)

The Fine Tuning of the Universe (Reasonable Faith)

  1. The fundamental c________ and quantities establish the structure and function of the universe.
  2. If any one of these numbers were altered, by even a hair’s breadth, no physical, interactive life of any kind could e___________ anywhere.
  3. Gravity – if the gravitational constant varied by just 1 in 1060 parts none of us would exist
  4. For comparison: # of cells in your body=1014, # of seconds ticked by so far = 1020
  5. Expansion rate of the universe – driven by c______________ constant. If it changed by 1 part in 10120 would cause the universe to expand too rapidly or too slowly. In either case, the universe would be “life prohibiting”.
  6. “Wherever physicists look, they see examples of fine tuning” – Sir Martin Rees
  7. “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the d______________ of l________” – Stephen Hawking
  8. “If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features are surprising and unlikely.” – David Deutsch
  9. Best explanation? The fine tuning is due to either:
    1. N______________: the universe MUST be life permitting. But there’s no reason or evidence to suggest that fine tuning is necessary.
    2. C___________: Did we just get really lucky? The probabilities involved are so ridiculously remote as to put the fine tuning well beyond the reach of chance.  So, they postulate a “Multiverse” (a universe generator).  But no scientific evidence for this.
    3. D_____________: Given the implausibility of necessity or chance, the best explanation for why the universe is fine-tuned is design.
  10. “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a s__________________ has monkeyed with physics … and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” – Fred Hoyle
  11. “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all … it seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the universe. The impression of d__________________ is overwhelming.” – Paul Davies

Evolution vs. God (Ray Comfort)

  1. A scientific method is based on “the collection of data through o_______________ and e____________________” – Science Daily
  2. Ray (Comfort) asks believers in evolution, “Can you think of any o___________ e_____________ for Darwinian evolution?”, but they respond with speculation about the distant past.
  3. Girl says monkeys are the only ones that have a 5th digit like us, but Ray responds that Koalas have a 5th digit as well.
  4. Ray asks, “Did we have l___________ or g__________ when we came out of the sea?”
  5. Believer in evolution says “Faith is something that-u___________-I have to believe it”. Ray asks, “Do you believe evolution?” Person responds yes.  Ray asks, “Is evolution a belief?”
  6. Believer in evolution cites f_____________ on the Galapagos Islands. Ray asks, “What do the finches become?”  Of course, the answer is still “finches”, still birds – no change of kinds.  Ray says, “That’s called ‘a________________’ – it’s not Darwinian evolution.
  7. Believer in evolution admits that he can’t think of any observable evidence for evolution. Ray asks, “Well, how do you know it’s t_________?”  He replies, “I’m not sure.”
  8. Ray says, “It’s [evolution] unobservable, because you need millions of years.”
  9. Ray asks if they think creation is “intelligently designed”. They say no.  So, he asks them to make a r_____________.
  10. Professor says, “Why do you think no one is teaching intelligent design at UCLA?” Ray replies, “Because you’re not a______________ to.”
  11. Relative morality: Ray asks professor, “Is rape wrong?” He replies, “It is wrong in our culture.” Ray challenges, “Is rape a___________ wrong?”
  12. Ray asks, “Who makes the r______________?” Professor replies, “We do.” Ray asks, “So, if Hitler made the rules and he had the majority…?”
  13. “I don’t believe in blaspheming, since I don’t believe in God. So, if you don’t believe in God, how can you blaspheme?” Ray replies, “Well, if I don’t believe in certain laws and still violate them, ignorance of the law is no e__________.  So, we’re still guilty even though we deny a law exists”
  14. Ray says, “Not believing in h________ doesn’t make it go away”.
  15. Ray says, “You know that creation is proof of a Creator…the reason you choose evolution is because it gets rid of m________________ accountability”.
  16. Ray asks, “How old are you?” She replies, “22. “ He says, “When are you going to die?” Her: “I have no idea.” Ray, “Well God knows exactly the moment of your d_____________. It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow.  I’m not using scare tactics, this is just straight reality.  150,000 people every 24 hours die, and all making plans for next week, no doubt.”

Discussion Questions

Fine Tuning

  1. What is the argument from the fine tuning of the universe?
  2. What are the 3 possible explanations for the fine tuning of the universe?
  3. If scientists acknowledge the “appearance” of design in the universe and life, why don’t they believe in a “Creator God”?
  4. What is the “multiverse”? Why has this theory been proposed?  Is it a scientific theory?

Evolution vs. God

  1. What did Ray Comfort mean when he asked people for observable evidence for Darwinian evolution? Were the people he interviewed able to provide any such observable evidence?
  2. What is the difference between adaptation and Darwinian evolution?
  3. Are finches on the Galapagos Islands a good example of Darwinian evolution? Why or why not?
  4. Are bacteria a good example of Darwinian evolution? Why or why not?
  5. In what way did the people interviewed exhibit blind faith?
  6. Why are universities and high schools prohibited from teaching intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinian evolution?
  7. What is the difference between absolute morality and relative morality?
  8. How many people die every day? Why is that important?

Apologetics Class 1/21/2018

In the Apologetics Class this week, we watched a short video containing snippets of the “Best Atheist Arguments”:

Then, after watching this, I played the video and stopped after each speaker’s snippet was complete and I asked the students to take 5 minutes on their own and fill out the form:

Best Atheist Arguments – Let’s Practice Our Responses!

  1. George Carlin Comedian
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Christopher Hitchens writer/critic:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Sam Harris Philosopher, neuroscientist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Rickard Dawkins Evolutionary Biologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Ricky Gervais actor/writer:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Neil D Tyson Astrophysicist, cosmologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Peter Atkins Chemist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Steven Weinberg Theoretical Physicist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Laurence Krauss Theoretical Physicist, cosmologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. Sean Carrol cosmologist, Physics professor:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. Matt Dillahunty Public speaker:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  12. Michael Shermer Science writer, historian of science:
    1. Boil down the objections: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. How would you answer? ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

It was a good and interactive class.  I prefaced this class in my introductory remarks by saying that I normally deliver content that builds up your faith and increases your confidence that Christianity is true.  This class was to be different in that you’ll need to put the skills and knowledge we’ve been learning all year into practice.  If we have the truth, we should be afraid to consider the “best arguments” from the other side.

Prior to the class, I wrote out my responses, some which involved showing videos:

Best Atheist Arguments – Let’s Practice Our Responses!

  • George Carlin Comedian
    1. Boil down the objections: thinks it’s not reasonable to believe in an invisible man in the sky. Religious people believe based on blind faith. Contradiction, God loves you and God sends you to hell for breaking his list.
    2. How would you answer? First off, God Is Not an Invisible Man in the Sky. He is not a man, nor is he in the sky. The Bible describes three levels of Heaven, the Earth’s atmosphere is the first level, the universe where the stars are is the second level, and Heaven itself is the third level. God resides in heaven, although he is omnipresent. Since he is spirit, he is not physically located anywhere in space, which means he is not in the sky. Religion has not convinced us that God exists. We are convinced by several lines of evidence:
  • The argument from the beginning of the universe
  • The argument from design
  • The argument from morality
  • The resurrection of Jesus

…to name a few. The Bible says that we are to believe that there’s a Creator based on the creation, see Romans 1:20.

Regarding the Ten Commandments, God has established these laws for our good. If we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. He created us, and knows what is best for us and how we ought to live.

It is true that God is watching us, he is omniscient, and that the wages of sin is death (eternally in hell), Romans 6:23, but God offers us a free pardon, the free gift of eternal life through faith in his son. God does not send you to Hell, in a sense you send yourself there, by refusing to receive the forgiveness that he freely offers us in His Son. CS Lewis famously said, there are only two kinds of people in the end, those who say to God, thy will be done, and those to whom God says, in the end, thy will be done. All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no hell. Hell is so horrific because God’s goodness is not present there, only his wrath. Most people do not understand that all good comes from God (James 1:17).

I then showed the following 2 videos to help respond to objections against hell:

 

  • Christopher Hitchens writer/critic:
    1. Boil down the objections: Miracles are not possible. If you think you’ve witnessed a miracle or if someone else has reported a miracle to you (2nd hand report), you or the other person, are most likely mistaken.
    2. How would you answer? What do you mean by “a miracle”?  Why do you think that miracles are not possible?  Have you investigated evidence for reports of miracles?  What about the resurrection of Jesus?
  • Sam Harris Philosopher, neuroscientist:
    1. Boil down the objections: God has much more to tend to (the entire universe) than one species of primate and what we do when they’re naked.
    2. How would you answer? What do you mean by God?  Have you studied the Christian view of God?
  • Rickard Dawkins Evolutionary Biologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: Faith means, belief in something without evidence, but that justifies anything.
    2. How would you answer? On what basis have you concluded that biblical faith is identified as belief without evidence?  If that were true, wouldn’t Jesus’ disciple’s faith been destroyed, since Jesus “showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive” (Acts 1:3)?  They didn’t have belief without evidence, and neither do we.  We have belief with the evidence of eyewitness testimony.  The biblical meaning of faith is not belief without evidence, but trust in Christ, based on what you know about Him.
  • Ricky Gervais actor/writer:
    1. Boil down the objections: The reason I don’t believe in God is the same reason you don’t believe in all the other gods.  It is child abuse to tell child, if they grow up gay, they’ll burn in hell.
    2. How would you answer? Have you investigated the evidence for all the other gods compared to the Christian God?  Could you name the best arguments for belief in the Christian God?  Is it your belief that most Christians tell their 5 yr old children that if they grow up gay, they’ll burn in hell?  I think that is a straw man argument.  However, why would it be “child abuse” to warn a child about hell?  If Christians believe in Jesus, when teaching children about what Jesus taught, why would we avoid His teaching on hell?  You say you have no problem with a person believing in God, if it makes them a better person or if they do good things because of it.  What about believing it because we have good evidence for the Christian God?
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist, cosmologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: The Bible’s description of the universe does not match with what we know from science (6 day creation, stars are points of light, stars can fall out of the sky, etc.)
    2. How would you answer? The Bible describes planets, stars, the sun, moon, a spherical earth that hangs on nothing in space.  It describes that the “life is in the blood”.  It describes the hydrological cycle.  The Bible gives a lot of accurate descriptions about our physical universe.  But that being said, the Bible is not a science text book.  When it speaks on matters related to science it is accurate, but we cannot expect to find exhaustive scientific information in it.Another point is that you need to understand the original language, since the Greek word for star would include anything that is a bright, luminous object in the night sky.  It would include planets, conjunction of planets, comets, supernovas or even a small moon.  So, especially with a comet, it would be reasonable to believe it could “fall from the sky”.  Also, this could represent things like nuclear bombs falling.  This is phenomenological language and language of symbolism particularly in Revelation.
  • Peter Atkins Chemist:
    1. Boil down the objections: Religions harms societies, by disfavoring evidence in favor of faith.  Religion is superstition and causes mass hysteria.
    2. How would you answer? Since I am a Christian, my answer will not address all religions, but only Christianity.  I reject your assertion that Christians disfavor evidence in favor of faith in all circumstances.  Even Jesus said to the Jews, “If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me. But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works themselves, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:37-38) What do you mean by harm?  In what specific ways is religion harming society?  (show video “What Good is Christianity?”)
  • Steven Weinberg Theoretical Physicist:
    1. Boil down the objections: People do awful things based on religious belief, therefore religion is a bad thing.  An early example, God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
    2. How would you answer? Many people do bad things based on atheistic belief as well.  By your standard, atheism is bad too.  “It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.” In the case of Abraham, did he actually do anything bad in the end?  Actually, you could make a case that, based on his faith in God, he knew he wasn’t going to actually kill Isaac.  The account tells us that when Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the sacrifice, Abraham responded that God would provide it Himself.  He also told the men that both he and Isaac would return, showing great faith. Abraham knew that God had promised that the world would be blessed through Isaac.  Hebrews tells us that Abraham figured that God could raise Abraham from the dead.  We can therefore make 3 points about this incident:
  1. First, Isaac was never actually sacrificed.
  2. Second, God’s purpose in this event was to test Abraham’s faith (Genesis 22:1)
  3. Last, Abraham passed the test with flying colors

 

  • Laurence Krauss Theoretical Physicist, cosmologist:
    1. Boil down the objections: Christians are atheists regarding all those other gods (Thor, Zeus, etc.), we atheists just believe in one less god than you.
    2. How would you answer? Show response from Andy Bannister – What’s the problem with the ‘One God Less’ argument? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rryz-eQB0tE )
  • Sean Carrol cosmologist, Physics professor:
    1. Boil down the objections: Religion thinks science has gotten everything wrong.  There is no spirit world (materialism).  People who experience miracles are mistaken.
    2. How would you answer?
  • Matt Dillahunty Public speaker:
    1. Boil down the objections: Science can provide all the answers.  Religious people don’t have real knowledge, rather they pretend to know.
    2. How would you answer?
  • Michael Shermer Science writer, historian of science:
    1. Boil down the objections: Christians are atheists regarding all those other gods (Thor, Zeus, etc.), we atheists just believe in one less god than you.
    2. How would you answer? Show response from Andy Bannister – What’s the problem with the ‘One God Less’ argument? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rryz-eQB0tE )

Apologetics Class 1/14/2018

Today in the Apologetics Class, we watched a video lecture by Dr. Jason Lisle on Evolution and Logical Fallacies:

Here was the note-taking form I handed out:

Evolution and Logical Fallacies – Dr. Jason Lisle (1-14-2018)

  1. The Christian has a moral obligation to be r__________, to think God’s thoughts after Him.
  2. Most Christians don’t know how to identify logical fallacies, and to point them out.
  3. It’s embarrassing when you hear someone advocating your position, but they do it p__________
  4. Logic, the study of the principles of correct and incorrect reasoning.
  5. Knowing logic will revolutionize the way that you d_____________ the faith.
  6. Proposition, a statement that a_________ or d_________ something and is either true or false.
  7. Argument, a group of prepositions where the truth or one is claimed to f_____ from the others.
  8. Although we’re to argue for the faith and contend for the faith, we’re not to be a_____________ or c______________.
  9. Deductive syllogism, where you have two premises and the conclusion.
  10. The claim being demonstrated is the conclusion.
  11. The other statements which provide support our premises.
  12. Logical fallacy, a common error in the c__________ of r____________________.
  13. A fallacy would be when the conclusion does not f_____________ from the premises.
  14. Whenever you have true premises and a false conclusion, it’s definitely a fallacy.
  15. Logical fallacies tend to be p_______________.
  16. An argument is it valid if the conclusion does follow from the premises.
  17. An argument is invalid if the conclusion does not follow from the premises.
  18. There are 2 ways that an argument can be bad:
    1. An e___________ in the chain of reasoning, a fallacy.
    2. A false p_____________.
  19. Even an invalid argument can, by a________________, have a true conclusion.
  20. Two kinds of logic’
    1. D___________ Argument, the conclusion is definitely true if the premises are true.
  1. It is either valid or invalid, sound or unsound
    1. I____________ argument, the conclusion is likely to be true if the premises are true.
  1. It is either strong or weak
  1. Informal Logical Fallacies (Ordinary Language) – 3 categories:
    1. Fallacies of A_____________ – Equivocation, Amphiboly, Accent, Division, Composition, Reification.  There is something unclear or vague in the argument.
    2. Fallacies of P______________ – Sweeping Generalization, Hasty Generalization, Bifurcation, Begging the Question, Question Begging Epithet, Complex Question, “No True Scotsman”, Special Pleading, False Analogy, False Cause, Slippery Slope.  The argument assumes something that is unwarranted.
    3. Fallacies of R_______________ – Genetic Fallacy, Abusive ad Hominem, Circumstantial ad Hominem, “Straw Man”, Irrelevant Thesis, Appeal to (Authority, Ignorance). Where the conclusion is not strongly related to the premises.
  2. Equivocation – the fallacy of sh_____ the meaning of a word within an argument (bait & switch)
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  3. Reification – attributing concrete (and often p_____________) characteristics to an abstraction.
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  4. Bifurcation – (false dilemma, “either-or fallacy”) – falsely assuming only ___ exclusive options
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  5. Begging the Question-(circular reasoning) the conclusion of an argument is incorporated into premises or a premise d________ on the conclusion. This fallacy is actually “valid”, but arbitrary.
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  6. Question-begging Epithet-using b____ language to support conclusion that is logically unproved
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  7. Complex Question-phrasing a question such that it a______________ the conclusion.
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  8. No True Scotsman-protecting claim from c__________-argument by defining term in biased way
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  9. Ad Hominem Fallacy-when an argument is directed against a p______ rather than their p_____
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  10. Irrelevant Thesis-when an argument proves a point that is n___ at i___________
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
    Fallacy of Irrelevant Thesis can be answered by this response: True, perhaps.  But i___________
  11. Straw-man-an argument against a mis____________ (rather than actual) of opponent’s position
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  12. Faulty Appeals-when person appeals to something/someone in way not relevant to the c______
    Examples:______________________________________________________________________
  13. Deductive logic: Propositional Logic: If-then, And, Or, Not
  14. Mixed hypothetical Syllogism (these are valid):
    1. if p then q, p, therefore q (affirming the antecedent)
    2. if p then q, ~q, therefore ~p (denying the consequent)
  15. Formal Fallacies (Mixed hypothetical Syllogisms which are invalid):
    1. If p then q, ~p, therefore ~q (denying the antecedent)
      Examples:________________________________________________________________
    2. If p then q, q, therefore p (affirming the consequent) – most common committed
      Examples:________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. Pointing out logical fallacies to evolutionists take the w____________ out of their sails.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you heard any of these logical fallacies committed? If so, where (e.g. TV, Political debates, during witnessing situations, etc.)?
  2. Have you tried to point out incorrect use of logic to another? What was their reaction?
  3. Have you, yourself, committed any of these fallacies?
  4. Do you agree that arguing in a way that commits fallacies is a bad thing?
  5. Which is the hardest fallacy to spot?
  6. How can you point out a fallacy, while still upholding the 2nd part of 1 Peter 3:15 (“with gentleness and respect”)?

 

 

Apologetics Class 1/7/2018

Today in the Apologetics class, we watched a video by Alan Shlemon called “Tactics for Defending the Faith”:

Here is the note-taking form I created and handed out:

Tactics for Defending the Faith – Alan Shlemon (1/7/2018)

  1. Conversation with a Hindu, who was a “religious pluralist” (believes that all religions are t____).
  2. What Alan didn’t do in that conversation:
    1. Didn’t tell him he was w__________
    2. Didn’t tell him religious pluralism was f_________
    3. Didn’t d___________ any aspect of his own Christian convictions
  3. Was able to convince him that he should a_____________ the idea of religious pluralism
  4. The only thing he did in that conversation was ask q_________________
  5. Learning how to use questions in order to make your case.
  6. We are all a______________________s for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  7. 3 characteristics every ambassador for Christ should have:
    1. K______________: an accurately informed mind
    2. W_____________ : an artful method
    3. C______________: an attractive manner
  8. If you learn tactics, you will be able to
    1. P_______________ the truth clearly and cleverly.
    2. Choreograph your i_________________.
    3. S_____________ an aggressive challenger in their tracks and turn the tables.
    4. Recognize someone’s b_______ t______________ for the purposes of guiding them to the truth, yet remaining g______________ and c_______________.
  9. Tactics should not be used as.
    1. T_______________.
    2. Empty rh_______________.
    3. Clever Pl____________.
    4. Attempts to belittle or h______________.
  10. These tactics are powerful and a__________________ quite easily.
  11. The goal is to guide people g___________ to the truth while remaining gracious and charitable.
  12. When I think about talking to non-believers about my Christian faith:
    1. I relish the encounter.
    2. I’m willing, but nervous, uncertain, or scared.
    3. I tried to avoid it.
  13. If you are a number two, what are some of the reasons?
    1. I’m not k______________________ enough.
    2. I’m afraid of r___________________.
    3. I might l__________ my job.
    4. Not enough t___________ to address what I really want to address.
    5. Concerned about physical th______________
  14. The Columbo tactic, at its very core is about using q______________ rather than st_____________ in order to be able to make your point, or to respond to an objection.
  15. What are some of Benefits of using questions in conversations?
    1. Questions are e_______________g.
    2. Questions allow you to have c___________________.
    3. Questions don’t paint people into a corner, making them feel trapped, but rather allow them to e________________ their opinion.
    4. You l_________________ a lot about the person you are talking to.
  16. There are 2 applications of the Columbo tactic.
    1. The first kind of question helps you g_______ information. “What do you mean by that?” This question tells you what a person thinks. Consider the following assertions:
  1. “All religions are basically the same”
  2. “The Bible isn’t reliable”
  • “I’m pro-choice”
  1. “Evolution is a well proven fact.”
  2. “Stem-cell research should be allowed”
    1. The 2nd Columbo question helps you r_____ the burden of p____.  “How did you come to that conclusion?”  Tells you why they think the way they do. Consider these statements:
  1. “The Bible has been translated and re-translated…”
  2. “Jesus taught reincarnation after travelling to India”
  • “The universe came into existence by itself”
  1. “The Bible is full of fables and myths”
  2. “Every living thing came from a single-celled life form”
  3. “Science has proven the Bible wrong”
  1. How do you define an a________?  A claim with evidence or reasons to back it up.  Like a house.
  2. Burden of proof: the responsibility someone has to give e___________ or reasons for their view.  Rule: whoever makes the cl___________ bears the burden of proof.
  3. The “Professor’s Ploy” – reverses the burden of proof back on you…
  4. Don’t Worry If You Don’t Know Where To Go Next (like if you meet an “expert”):
    1. Acknowledge their p__________________
    2. Ask if you can get b_____________ to them
    3. R_______________ the question (e.g. www.str.org)
    4. Get back to them: “I was th_______g about what you said and it occurred to me that…”
  5. “The more you sweat in tr____________________, the less you bleed in battle”
  6. Don’t be discouraged by “outward ap_________________”
  7. Don’t feel compelled to present the Gospel in e______________ conversation
  8. Make it a goal to “put a st____________ in their shoe”
  9. “God has not called me to be S__________. He called me to be F__________.”  – Mother Teresa

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the main reasons you don’t share your faith more often?
  2. What is the best way to start a spiritual conversation?
  3. How will using the tactical approach change your interactions with unbelievers?
  4. What are the 3 characteristics an ambassador for Christ should have? Why are they important?
  5. Are Tactics just clever ploys or tricks? Why or why not?
  6. Explain “reversing the burden of proof”. Why is it important that we do this?
  7. What objection have you heard against that Christian faith that you couldn’t answer? How could you apply a tactical approach to that challenge?
  8. Have you encountered an “expert” (e.g. evolution) where you couldn’t counter the argument?

Apologetics Class 12/31/2017

Today in the apologetics class, we watched “Lucy, She’s No Lady”:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Lucy, She’s No Lady! – Dr. David Menton

 

Dr. David Menton holds a PhD in biology from Brown University and served as an award-winning professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 34 years. He retired as an Associate Professor Emeritus and now serves with Answers in Genesis as a speaker, writer, and researcher.

  1. Current thinking is that Lucy is a m_______________.
  2. Lucy is of the species Australopithecus Afarensis, which means southern a_________.
  3. Evolution teaches that man came from ape like creatures. An ape is a monkey that doesn’t have a t______________.
  4. Evolution does not want Divine a__________________.
  5. Only 10% of people believe what we teach in our textbooks, but those 10% have a disproportionate i___________________ on our education and culture.
  6. Our very existence depends on a critical mutation r________________ system.
  7. A hominid is either a known a______________________ of man, or collateral relative of man, or man himself.
  8. Neanderthal man is simply Homo sapiens.
  9. 95% of all the fossils are m_____________ invertebrates.
  10. Three ways to make an “ape-man”:
    1. Apes found in the fossil record that have been up-scaled to man.
    2. Or humans found in the fossil record that have been downgraded to apes.
    3. Or there’s the true ape-man where the two are combined together and made into ape men, for example Piltdown Man.
  11. Lucy was discovered by Donald Johansen in Ethiopia in 1974. Fossil is about _____% complete.
  12. Skull does not look human:
    1. Sl____________ face.
    2. Brow ridges are e__________________.
    3. Very small cranial c_________________.
    4. Lacks nasal bones or a nasal spine.
  13. What excites evolutionists about Lucy?
    1. Has relatively small t____________________.
    2. Has thick e_______________ on the teeth. Humans normally have thicker e__________________ than apes.
  14. Dr. David Menton reviews misrepresentations in the mannequin of Lucy displayed in museums.
    1. Hand and fingers:_________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. Foot: ___________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    3. Knees: __________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
    4. Shoulders: _______________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
    5. Hips/Pelvis: ______________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________
  15. How we view our o________________ set our values.
  16. If A______________ is in your past, God is Authority- God sets the rules.
  17. If A___________ is in your past, relative morality – man sets the rules.

 

 

Apologetics Class 12/17/2017

This is the video we watched in the class today:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Jason Lisle (PhD Astrophysicist) – HIS Star (Matthew 2)

  1. The name B_______________ means House of Bread, which is fitting because Jesus is the bread of life.
  2. His birth in Bethlehem was prophesied in M_________ 5:2.
  3. Herod the Great was a very wicked, despicable, powerful man.
  4. The Magi arrived, the word Magi is where we get the word magic. They could be called magicians.
  5. They were s__________ and p___________ of the ancient world, from the east, probably Persia. Magi is the Persian word meaning priest.
  6. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many Magi visited Christ. Most people think 3 because of Christmas songs/cards. Rather, there were probably a large number of them (50). They even had their own personal army. Most likely they did not ride camels, because Persians were accomplished horsemen.
  7. It wasn’t the Jews who were looking for the K________ of the J_______, it was Gentiles from a very pagan area of the world.
  8. The Gospel of Matthew is full of judgement against Israel for rejecting their own M__________.
  9. God doesn’t grow 2 trees, he grows the one tree. If Jews are going to be saved it’s going to be through the c________________.
  10. These Magi apparently had knowledge of the Bible.
  11. D____________ was appointed chief of the Magi while Judah was exiled in Babylon.
  12. The Magi would have been looking for Christ to come based on Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks.
  13. Magi may have been looking for a star based on B____________’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17.
  14. It’s significant that he is born King of the Jews. People aren’t born kings. You might be born heir to the throne, but it’s not until you reach a certain age that you’re installed as king. Christ is different, Christ is born King of the Jews.
  15. Christ as a descendant of D___________, has a right to the throne. On the contrary, H____________ had no right to the throne.
  16. The Star must not have been really bright, otherwise Herod in the rest of the Jews would have k_____________ about it.
  17. “We have we have seen his star in the east.” That phrase is ambiguous. Does it mean we saw his star while we were in the east? Or does it mean we saw the star in the Eastern sky?
  18. The phrase “in the east” in the original language, means “at its r___________”. At this time in history, there was no word for East. It literally meant at its rising. Likewise with the word west, it meant at its setting.
  19. All natural objects rise in the east and set in the west.
  20. The Jews, who should’ve been ecstatic about the long awaited Messiah, were t_____________ by the Magi coming to ask about Him.
  21. The distance from Persia to Jerusalem is about 650 miles, which would’ve taken many months
  22. The Magi probably arrived about ___ year after Christ’s birth.
  23. We can assume Mary and Joseph were still p_________ at the time of the mandated sacrifice for their 1st born child, since they gave 2 turtle doves instead of a lamb.  This indicates the Magi had not yet come and given the gifts, which included g__________.
  24. It is interesting that they offered the same gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) that “subservient” states would present gifts to their “overlord” state.  That’s a way of saying, “We have our own king for our nation, but you are King of kings”.
  25. What is the star?  It doesn’t have to be a “star” in the modern astronomical sense.  The Greek word for star would include anything that is a b_________, luminous object in the night sky.  It would include planets, conjunction of planets, comets, supernovas or even a small moon.
  26. One of the more popular explanations is that the “star” was a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus.  There was one of these events in 3 B.C.
  27. Most scholars believe that Christ was born around ___ B.C.
  28. On June 17th 3 B.C. there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus.  This would’ve only happened for 1 night, but the Magi claimed to see the star 2 separate times.
  29. In order for the star to “appear stationary”, it has to move, because Bethlehem is on a rotating planet.
  30. There is no natural phenomenon that can remain suspended over a particular location on Earth.
  31. Hypothesis: the Christmas star was a s________________ manifestation of God’s power (a miracle).  This hypothesis solves these difficulties:
    1. It explains why the Magi went w__________ if the star was in the e____________
    2. It explains why they recognized it as HIS star (all natural objects rise in the east and set in the west, but this one object was rising in the west)
    3. It explains why only the Magi noticed it (because they were knowledgeable about the constellations of the night-time sky)
    4. It explains Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17
  32. A lot of people think that God created the universe and it runs like a clock and periodically intervenes with miracles.  But that’s not a biblical view.  The universe is not something that can operate i____________ from God.  The Bible says that God is constantly upholding the universe.
  33. Laws of nature are not a r_________ for God’s power – they are an e_________ of God’s power.
  34. Laws of nature are d____________ of the normal, consistent way that God upholds His creation.
  35. A supernatural action is when God does something in an unusual way.
  36. The atheist demands a miracle from God.  However, it is not a violation of the laws of nature that demonstrate God’s existence, it’s the laws of nature that demonstrate God’s existence.
  37. Genesis 8:22 – the basic c_________ of nature will be in the future as they have been in the past.
  38. Summary:
    1. Supernatural Light Source.
    2. Not very bright.
    3. Rises over Christ.
    4. Magi take many months to arrive.
    5. Rose in the west.
    6. Star reappears over Bethlehem.

Apologetics Class 12/10/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today – Peter J Williams on New Atheists & Old Testament (incl. The Canaanites):

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Dr. Peter J. Williams: New Atheists & Old Testament 12/10/2017

  1. Objection – God commands the destruction of the Canaanites in the Old Testament
  2. Is that your most difficult/important question?  If so, other ones can be dealt with too

Religion and violence

  1. Secularist conclusion: Religion causes violence – this is true in part
  2. Other things cause violence too: politics, leadership, thinking, etc.
  3. M__ & S_____ (atheists) responsible for more deaths (80-100 million) than all the religious wars
    1. Can people be held responsible for what is done in their name? Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Buddha, Jesus Christ
  4. Objections about violence in the Old Testament:
    1. General reporting of war and conflict
    2. Penalties in Old Testament laws.
    3. God tells his people to destroy the Canaanites.
  5. Atheist equate Old Testament violence with religious t______________ and g___________.

Morality and the nature of the universe

  1. Atheists and Christians disagree about the n______________ of the universe.
  2. God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, affected by Abraham’s view of the universe.
  3. What is the right thing to do? The right thing to do is what God c_______________.
  4. The character of God. God reveals himself as merciful. Old Testament gives record of His gracious actions. God has p_____________ c______________. Humans can trust Him.
  5. Think about these situations, do they bear guilt? A tiger kill someone? Someone who kills by accident? Someone who kills while mentally ill? Someone who sincerely believes he has authorization? Someone who actually has authorization?  9/11 executive authorization to shoot down planes? Not obviously wrong.

The Old Testament story of the destruction of the Canaanites

  1. The new atheists launch two simultaneous attacks on the Old Testament.
    1. It didn’t h_______________.
    2. It’s u____________.
  2. In order for an atheist to critique the m_____________ of a story in the Old Testament, they have to enter into that story.
  3. God is character in story-can’t say, I don’t believe in God, therefore d______ Him from the story.
  4. What you need to know about the Canaanites.
    1. They were punished for their wickedness, not for their race.
  1. Rahab and extended family were spared, Joshua 6:25.
  2. When Israel committed same sins as Canaanites, judged like the Canaanites.
    1. The people in the land knew what God could do and chose to resist.
    2. The Canaanites had s________________ their children, Deuteronomy 12:31.
  1. What you need to know about the Israelite Conquest.
    1. Israel had a unique position as God’s judicial r_________________.
    2. Accompanied by miracles as sign that it was not of human initiative.
    3. They could not they could not reasonably doubt God’s command.
    4. The punishment should be l_________________ by proportionality.
    5. Unparalleled restraint in ancient warfare.
    6. What if?
  1. Put an end to Canaanite child sacrifice.
  2. Over centuries might result in killing of fewer children.
  1. What you need to know about God.
    1. Merciful/gracious, slow to anger & abounding in love & faithfulness, Exodus 34:6.
    2. God delayed their p___________________ by hundreds of years:
  1. The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete, Genesis 15:16.
  2. In the story, God actually did most of the f__________________.
  1. Doesn’t the Bible Encourage people to kill others today?
    1. Absolutely not!
    2. No group has same judicial position as Israel had on Earth.
    3. God did not order their action privately, but with greatest show of signs and all history.
    4. Completely different from all modern wars.
    5. Readers know they’re reading about something unique.
  2. Dawkins says story of Joshua is morally indistinguishable from H______ or S_________ Hussein.
  3. Here are the differences.
    1. Specific guilt.
    2. Not indiscriminate.
    3. Concern for children.
    4. 400 year delay.
    5. Warning ignored.
    6. Warrant.
    7. God fights.
  4. Example of amputation by a s___________ versus an amputation as a part of a t_________ act.
  5. Which objection is being made?
    1. It was immoral for God to command the destruction of the Canaanites.
    2. It was immoral for the Israelites to obey such a command if it really was given in the way the Bible describes.
  6. Conclusion.
    1. Problem isn’t taken away.
    2. Not all questions are answered.
    3. But most difficult moral objection to Bible is shown not to be a conclusive d__________.
  7. Christ on the cross took our sins on Himself. What happened to the Canaanites becomes for us a picture of how a__________ s_______ is and how much Jesus Christ did on the cross.

 

Apologetics Class 12/3/2017

Here is the video we watched today in the apologetics class – Homosexuality with Compassion & Clarity – Sean McDowell:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Homosexuality- Compassion and Clarity – Sean McDowell

  1. “I can’t keep living because my life is a living Hell. I can’t die because I will go to Hell” – Christian Teen
  2. Questions for Thought:
    1. How would your l_______ change if you had same sex attraction?
    2. How would it affect your r____________?
    3. How would it affect your f____________?
    4. How would it affect your f____________?
  3. Aren’t all sins e___________?
  4. What bad impressions do Christians leave that prevent us from even being h____________?
  5. “Outsiders say our hostility toward gays – not just opposition to homosexual politics and behaviors, but disdain for gay i______________ – has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith” – David Kinnaman, author of “UnChristian”
  6. “We must obey God rather than men” – Acts 5:29
  7. All sins are not equal, but there is a sense in which sin is equal: any sin can eternally s_____________ us from a loving and Holy God.
  8. 5 General Biblical Truths:
    1. There is not a single passage in the OT or NT that s____________ homosexuality
    2. Until the middle of the 20th century, not a single Church leader a_____________ homosexuality
    3. Every regulation in the Bible assumes m__________-f___________ sex.
    4. Every P_____________ or wise saying in the Bible assumes heterosexuality
    5. The Ten Commandments assume h________________
  9. 3 Passages from the Bible that lay out God’s on marriage/sexuality:
    1. Genesis 2:24/Matthew 19:4-6
    2. Leviticus 18:22
    3. Romans 1:26-27
  10. How do we as a Church respond?
    1. Speak with t___________________
    2. Do not allow gay j___________ and comments
    3. Preach the Gospel: Change is P_____________
    4. Be prepared to s______________
  11. “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” 1 Peter 3:17

 

Apologetics Class 11/26/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today (part 2 from 1:01-1:45:40) – What Better Explains Reality: Atheism or Theism:

Here is the note-taking form I passed out:

What Better Explains Reality: Atheism or Theism (Part 2) 1:01-1:45:40

Frank’s Rebuttal

  1. Not God of the Gaps – we’re not arguing from what we don’t know, but what we do know.
  2. Difference between the G_____ C______ and Mount Rushmore. Wind, rain and erosion did not create the faces on Mount Rushmore. These faces required i________ cause, not natural cause.
  3. “Take out the garbage mom”, is positive, verifiable e____________ for an Intelligent Cause. You don’t just lack a natural explanation.
  4. “…Astronomical evidence leads to a Biblical view of the origin of the world… the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same.” Robert Jastro (from the book “God and the Astronomers”, page 14), NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space studies.
  5. “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of c____________ to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover… That there are, what I or anyone would call, supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”  Robert Jastro.
  6. Why couldn’t nature have created the universe? Because there was no nature! Nature is the e______________, so it can’t be the c____________. The cause must transcend the effect.
  7. That would be like saying, “if you just give me more time, I’ll find out that I gave birth to my own mother.” I wouldn’t be able to do that, because I’m the effect, not the cause!
  8. “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly s________n__________.” -Arthur Eddington.
  9. Can’t know whether something designed poorly or well, unless you know i________ of Designer.
  10. Bad design is not no design. Car not designed perfectly – doesn’t mean that it wasn’t designed.
  11. We live in a fallen world, so everything’s broken! Nothing’s going to work perfectly!
  12. Atheistic materialism is s____-d_________. If we are all just molecules in motion, we don’t really reason, we just react. Why should we believe any of our thoughts, including “atheism is true”?
  13. David said that societies decide morality. Which society? Mother Teresa’s, or Hitler’s?
  14. The question isn’t “how do we know morality?”, the question is “how do we know a moral law exists?” There must be a Moral Law G______________ e_____________ to ourselves.
  15. Is there a Being beyond world, Who created & sustains the world. Don’t need Bible to know it.
  16. If you claim that you need the Bible to know morality, then God was completely unjust for judging the entire generation of N__________. They didn’t have a Bible!
  17. To be an atheist, you have to give up c______________ s_______________.

 

David’s Rebuttal

  1. I’m a product of my parents. If my sister’s friend hadn’t called her that night, if my younger sister hadn’t gone with her that night … I wouldn’t be here.
  2. The universe looks ordered and designed because we’re here.
  3. Frank insists that the first cause argument is not an argument from i__________________.
  4. Evolution not about exploding in falling into place, it happens over a long, long period of time.
  5. It’s not a “defeat” to say that we’re all m____________ and e_______________.
  6. David refers to the Bible being i______________, because in Psalm ____ it says “…he who seizes your infant’s and dashes them against the rocks.”
  7. If morality is fluid, actually makes everything work, because it puts all the responsibility on us.
  8. David confirms that, in his view, the H______________ is just a matter of opinion. The Germans and the Nazis were simply doing what they thought was right.
  9. The idea of objective morality is extremely d________________.
  10. If you get two theologians in a room, and they disagree, they don’t try to work out their differences, instead they go off and create two different s__________s.
  11. Objective morality causes people to not take responsibility for their actions.
  12. The reality is, we’re all going to die. The reality is, morality is all r________________.
  13. David cites, “leaving a baby in an orphanage, rather than letting it be adopted by a g________ c________________”, as an example of something religious people do that is immoral.
  14. Religion makes you do immoral things because religion preaches objective morality, and takes the d________________ away from you.

Crossfire

  1. David: The hard answer is, they (the Nazi’s) thought they were doing objective good – they did!
  2. Frank: They may’ve thought they were doing good, but they weren’t according to a standard
  3. David: According to w___________ standard?
  4. Frank: The unchanging, objective, moral standard that is G______’s n_____________.
  5. David: They did it under the name of God!
  6. Frank: You don’t judge a philosophy or religion by it’s a___________. Jesus never said that we ought to kill the Jews, quite obviously – He was a J____ Himself – you should know that!  Because people have abused a religion doesn’t mean that the religion is f_________.
  7. David: That people have abused religion shows that morality is relative, if objective couldn’t.
  8. Frank: You’re confusing Sociology and Morality – Sociology is how people b__________, Morality is how they o_________ t___ We all ought to behave a certain way, but we fail to – by the way, that’s why we need a S___________.
  9. David: I’m saying there’s no objective evil!
  10. Frank: then what are you complaining about?
  11. David: Why does God need babies to have c_________________?
  12. Frank: God doesn’t need it, God might allow it! (showed 1 min 46 sec video)
  13. David: God’s the one who sends everyone to h________; Frank: No, you send yourself there.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why couldn’t “nature” have created the universe? Why must it be God?
  2. What is “Atheistic Materialism”? Why is it “self-defeating”?
  3. Can an atheist be a “good person” (relative to other humans)? Can an atheist justify morality?
  4. What is David’s point about leaving a baby in an orphanage vs. adoption by gay couple?
  5. Because of David’s relative view of morality, what does he conclude regarding the Holocaust?
  6. Do we need the Bible to know morality?
  7. David quotes Ps. 137 – does he have a good point, or is he misinterpreting the passage?
  8. David says “objective morality is extremely dangerous”, how would you respond?
  9. David lumps all religions together by citing the 9/11 terrorists believing what they were doing was objectively moral. Is that a fair point?

Apologetics Class 11/19/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today – Frank Turek vs. David Silverman Debate Part 1 – What better explains reality, theism or atheism?

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

What better explains reality, theism or atheism?

Frank Turek Opening Statement (C.R.I.M.E.S.)

  1. Cosmos
    1. The Big Bang represents the cr_______ e______, the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of space-time itself.” – Paul Davies, physicist – ASU.
    2. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is now no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” – Alexander Vilenkin, Tufts University.
    3. Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of n_________, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the right conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying, one might say s________________, plan.” – Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate.
    4. If the Universe had a begin______, then it must have had a Begin____.
    5. If this Being created s___, t___ & m_____, He must be spaceless, timeless & immaterial.
  2. Reason.
    1. With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any v_________ or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a m_________’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin.
  3. Information.
    1. Observation: Amoeba doesn’t say m_______ by God or made by natural forces on it!
    2. Science doesn’t say anything, sc______________ do.
    3. Messages only come from m______. Then, where does the message in DNA come from?
    4. In an amoeba, you have about a thousand volumes of an encyclopedia of i___________.
    5. Like believing L__________ of C___________ resulted from explosion in a printing shop.
  4. Morality.
    1. If no standard beyond us, only o_________ – no moral rights, & no objective moral laws.
    2. If God does not exist: The Nazis were not w______. Love is no better than rape. Blowing up innocent people watching a marathon is morally no different than feeding the poor. Religious Crusades are not wrong. Tolerance is no better than i_________. There are no human rights. We’re just overgrown g______, we’re no different from any other animal.
  5. Evil.
    1. Evil is actually an argument for God, objective evilàobjective goodà God.
    2. As an atheist my argument against God was that the Universe was seemed so c_______ and u__________. But how would I got this idea of a just and unjust? A man doesn’t call a line c___________ unless he has some idea of a s___________ line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”  – C.S. Lewis.
    3. In order to have shadows you have to have sunshine & you can’t have evil without good.
  6. Science.
    1. The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all c______________.” -Albert Einstein.
    2. We’re reasoning from e______ to c_________ to learn that God is immaterial, timeless, spaceless, rational, extremely intelligent, has purpose, morally perfect & personal.

David Silverman Opening Statement

  1. #1 reason that he gets is the “G______ of the G________”
  2. Central Idea: “I don’t know” = Proof of a god
  3. Not proof at all, rather an attempt to r__________.  Ignorance of fact is not evidence for fiction.
  4. Religion was started by the Neanderthals
  5. The space for God gets smaller and smaller as time goes on
  6. “God of gaps” exists (needed to explain) before the b_____________ of the universe
  7. “The tide goes in, the tide goes out.  You can’t e_____________ that.” – Bill O’Reilly
  8. First Cause – How did the u_____________ come to be?  I don’t know, therefore a god did it.
  9. Design Argument: Why does the universe l________ like this? I don’t know, so god did it!  The universe has about a trillion trillion stars, many with planets – 95% of the universe is either dark matter or dark energy (100% dead). The Earth is 15% h_________ by humans. It’s 75% water but only 3% of the water is d_______.  If you had the power to design a planet, you could do better.
  10. Moral Argument – Who invented objective immorality? Must be a god!
  11. Preference – Wouldn’t you prefer it if my god were r_______?  I_____________.
  12. But Then There’s Real (Atheistic) Learning
  13. First Cause – Don’t know, good ideas, based on discovery/research. “I don’t know” v___ a_____.
  14. Design: Physics yields everything-no e_________ of supernatural/intelligent design of Universe.
  15. Morality – There is no o_______________ morality. All morality is fluid which is why there is genocide, slavery, and incest portrayed positively in the Bible. Why is there no commandment against r__________, but there are four about obeying religion?
  16. God made man in his own image – proven wrong; evolution is a scientific f__________.
  17. God made the earth before l______, less than 10K years ago – proven wrong, over & over again.
  18. Theism NEVER admits it is wrong, even when proven beyond doubt. Atheism 100% track record.
  19. Theism’s art of lying: Evolution is “just a th_______”. Bible is “t_________ because it says so”.
  20. About 7% of the scientists in this country believe in a god, but not for scientific reasons.
  21. There are more d______________ in Christianity than there are sentences in the Bible

Discussion Questions

  1. What is a “God of the Gaps” argument? How would you reply to the charge that we Christians use “God of the Gaps” arguments to make our case?
  2. What is the difference between “proof” and “evidence”? Do we have proof of God’s existence?  Do we have evidence of God’s existence?
  3. Have you ever used “preference argument” in talking to non-believers? How did they respond?
  4. Explain the following arguments for the existence of God:
    1. Cosmological argument (First Cause)
    2. Teleological argument (Design)
    3. Moral argument
  5. How is it that Frank says that existence of evil is actually an argument for the existence of God?
  6. Did Bill O’Reilly give a good argument for the existence of God?
  7. How would you respond to David’s charge of no evidence of intelligent design in the universe?
  8. Has evolution been proven as a scientific fact? How would you respond?
  9. Do the universe, the solar system and earth look like they are designed for humans?
  10. Are genocide, slavery, and incest portrayed positively in the Bible? What about rape?

Apologetics Class 11/12/2017

Today in the Apologetics class, we continued our series on Islam by watching Nabeel Qureshi /David Wood – Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus series parts 3 & 4.

Part 3 was Different Approaches of Ministering to Muslims:

Part 4 was Answering Common Muslim Objections: The Bible Has Been Corrupted:

Here is the note-taking form I passed out during the class:

Nabeel Qureshi & David Wood – Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus Series

Different Approaches of Ministering to Muslims (21 minutes 19 seconds)

  1. Nabeel: evidence for Christianity was much s__________ than for Islam, or any other worldview.
  2. Nabeel was tired of Christians who didn’t have a_____________ or didn’t have a backbone.
  3. Nabeel said, “If you think that I need to believe the gospel to be s___________, which I thought was ridiculous, then you’d better come with reasons, because I have reasons why Islam is true.”
  4. David’s aggression wasn’t an angry or negative aggression, but more of an a________________.
  5. There are different approaches – you need to think about what kind of person you are…
    1. Aggressive? Like to argue? Use it – find Muslims who shared that kind of approach.
    2. If you are incredibly l_____________, then use that approach
    3. If you’re good at just walking up and talking to people, use that approach
    4. If you’re good at making v________, use that approach (or public debates with Muslims)
    5. Being active on s__________ m___________ (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
    6. Public speaking
    7. Writing and/or b________________
  6. What are your goals?
    1. Jihad or Sharia? Treatment of Christians or Jews under Islam… (refuting Islam as an ideology to improve these social issues)
    2. One of the biggest people groups (__.___ billion) who are unreached or under-reached
  7. Who has God made you to be?  Do that.  You have a unique p________________.  There is no c______________ approach, although relationships are important and preferred.
  8. H______________ and P______________ are important.
  9. Willingness to l____________ is important.
  10. You don’t have to be a scholar on Islam – the most important thing is that you know why you are a Christian and they need to be g__________ reasons and not b________ reasons.
  11. Know why you can t_______ Scripture – know the reason for the hope within you (1 Peter 3:15)
  12. If you say you believe in the Trinity, be able to explain what the Trinity is, otherwise you don’t actually believe it – you’re just parroting what you’re s____________ to b____________.
  13. You should come ready with an understanding of w______ you believe and w___ you believe it.

 

Common Muslim objection: The Bible has been corrupted (23 minutes 33 seconds)

  1. Muslims have had this drilled into their head at the Mosque, the Qur’an is been perfectly pr_____________, but the Bible has been c______________.
  2. Muslims must believe that all scripture is divinely inspired-including all scripture that has come b____________ the Qur’an. However, they don’t have to reconcile what the Bible says with the Qur’an, because they claim that it’s been corrupted, that it doesn’t say what it originally said.
  3. David: if you’re claiming it has been corrupted, w_____ was it corrupted and w___ corrupted it?
  4. David responds differently to same objection depending on worldview of person.
  5. Muslims who say the Bible has been corrupted have a p______________ on their hands, because their text says that our scriptures haven’t been corrupted.
  6. The Qur’an affirms the inspiration of the Torah & Gospels. It doesn’t just affirm the i__________ of the Torah and the Gospel, it also affirms the p______________ of the Torah and the Gospel.
  7. Qur’an 3:3-4 says Allah revealed the Torah and the Gospel as a gu____________ to mankind.
  8. Qur’an 7:157 – Jews & Christians in Muhammad’s day still reading the Torah and the Gospel.
  9. There are passages in the Quran that talk about no one being able to c_________ Allah’s words.
  10. Qur’an 5:43 says “Why are the Jews coming to you for judgment when they have the Torah?”
  11. In chapter 5:47 of the Qur’an, Allah says “Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed there in. If anyone fails to judge by what Allah has revealed they are no better than those that rebel.” This (people of the Gospel) is referring to C______________.
  12. If the Jews and Christians have corrupt scripture, then these passages make no sense.
  13. When Muhammad was having doubts about his revelations, Allah tells him that the Gospel and the Torah are au____________________ over him.
  14. David to Muslims: “If you’re saying my scripture is corrupted, why does your God say something very d___________________ in the book you claim to believe?”
  15. Nabeel: The Qur’an never actually says that the Bible has been corrupted. Once you’ve made an airtight case for a doctrine from the Bible, the only thing that remains for them to say is that the Bible has been corrupted.
  16. Within early Islamic history, it is recorded that all the Qur’ans were b___________ because they had differences in them. This is from Sahih Bukhari & is within 20 years of Muhammad’s death.
  17. When given e________________, a Muslim may deny it right at the moment, but later at home might be thinking about it.
  18. David’s approach:
    1. Here’s what Quran says about Bible. If my scriptures are corrupt, you’ve got a problem.
    2. Here’s history of Bible-no place in there to have the kind of corruption you’re describing.
    3. What’s the criteria of what counts as a corruption? If t_________ v___________s count as corruption, then guess what? There are textual variants in the text of the Qur’an!
  19. Muhammad’s own companions didn’t agree about ch______________ to be in the Qur’an.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was the Nabeel “tired of” as he talked to Christians?
  2. What are some of the approaches that you can use to reach out to Muslims?
  3. What are some important character traits you must develop to be successful at this endeavor?
  4. What are some of the most important things you must know to reach out to a Muslim?
  5. Muslims have had what “drilled into their heads” at the Mosque?
  6. What does the Qur’an say about the inspiration and preservation of the Bible?
  7. If the Bible is corrupted, what problem do Muslims have on their hands?
  8. Does the Qur’an say that the Bible is corrupted?
  9. What incident in the history of Islam shows that the Qur’an has been corrupted? Was this type of incident even possible with the Bible?

Apologetics Class 11/5/2017

Today in the Apologetics Class, we continued our mini-series on the reformation by watching Martin Luther the Man (part 4-5):

 

Here is the note-taking form I passed out at the beginning of the class:

Martin Luther (Part 2)

Excommunicated and on trial (19 minutes 44 seconds)

  1. Luther was a university professor and he was posting basically a proposal for a d__________.
  2. For several years after the posting of the 95 Theses, Luther was, publicly, very r___________________ toward the P________.
  3. When Luther started challenging Tetzel, Tetzel didn’t take it lying down. He accused Luther of heresy.
  4. Tetzel accused Luther of being a “Hus-ite” it was Jan Hus who challenged the Pope and was b_____________ at the s_____________ at the Council of Constance in 1450.
  5. The 95 theses reached the Pope in Rome he said, Luther is just a drunken German. He’ll think differently when he gets sober.
  6. In Heidelberg, in 1518 Luther was put on the biggest stage for the order of the Augustinian monks by his superior (Staupitz).
  7. In the Heidelberg disputation, Luther is espousing a theology of the c_________ that rejects w_______________ righteousness.
  8. The Heidelberg disputation of 1518 was in many ways even more significant than the 95 Theses of 1517.
  9. Pope Leo X appointed Prieres a Dominican monk to respond to Luther. The Dominicans in the Augustinians had a bit of a rivalry
  10. Pope Leo X demanded that Frederick the Wise, responsible for the University of Wittenberg, to deliver up Luther, that “child of the devil”.
  11. Luther wrote that he’d be happy to recant if they just tell me where I’m w______________.
  12. Luther had a debate, which in those days were very long, in this example, 18 days!
  13. Luther was coaxed into admitting that some of the doctrines of Hus, a heretic who had been burned at the stake by the Catholic Church 100 years earlier, should not have been condemned. Then the crowd started to shout, “Death to Luther, the S__________ H________!”
  14. After the debate, Johann Eck traveled to Rome to get a P___________ B________ declaring Luther a heretic. He was the first to start calling Lutherans Lutherans as a term of d____________-that they were following Luther, and not following the authority of the Pope.
  15. The Leipzig debate opened up the issue of authority.
  16. Luther sees the need for reform in the church, but he sees that this is not going to come from the hierarchy of the church.  Luther calls on the Christian nobility, asking the princes to intervene for the sake of the church-“if the Pope won’t do it, you princes do it.”
  17. In the year 1520, Luther wrote several treatises.
  18. A Papal Bull was called a bull because the Pope’s seal was attached to the document. In Latin, the seal was called Bulla.
  19. Luther was given a 60-day notice that he would be e____________________ from the church if he did not return to papal o_______________________.
  20. Luther publicly b_____________ the papal bull, along with the canon law of the Catholic Church.
  21. Luther believed that he too was going to be burned at the stake just like Jan Hus.
  22. The Diet, or assembly, of Worms was convened in 1521.
  23. Prior to the Diet of Worms, the Pope had Luther excommunicated for burning the papal bull.
  24. When Luther was summoned to appear before the Diet of Worms, Frederick the Wise, his elector was concerned about Luther’s safety traveling to and from the Diet of Worms, so he secured s__________ t____________ for Luther to and from the Diet of Worms.
  25. Luther was greeted as a h___________ by the Germans when he arrived at the Diet of Worms.
  26. Johann Eck, the prosecutor, pointed to a table of books and asked Luther are these yours? When Luther answered yes, the prosecutor asked him, “Will you know r__________ all that you have written?”  Luther asked to be able to think about it overnight.  The next day Luther said, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of S____________, or by clear reason, for I do not trust in the Pope or councils alone for it is known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves, I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my c____________ is captive to the w________ of G_______. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither s_______ nor r_________ to go against conscience. Here I s____________, I can do no other. May God help me!”

 

In hiding, and the emergence of the Lutheran Church (20 minutes 28 seconds)

  1. The Edict of Worms by Emperor Charles V says “for this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favor the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic.”
  2. The edict meant that Luther could be killed by a___________, anytime, anywhere, without any fear of r________________. But Luther had been kidnapped by people working for his prince, in order to protect him. They took Luther to the castle of Frederick the Wise – the Wartburg. Even Frederick the Wise didn’t know where he was.
  3. In 11 or 12 weeks, while in the castle, Luther translated the entire N_______ T_______________ from Greek into German.  In Luther’s day the only official Bible was the Latin Vulgate. To possess a Bible in any other language than Latin, Greek or Hebrew was punishable by d_____________.
  4. In 1517, 7 parents were burned at the stake for teaching their children The L__________’s P_____________ in English.
  5. Luther had found a way to escape his own fear and terror of God, in the word of God, and he wanted people to know that p______________ that he had found.
  6. Luther introduced the concept that people should be able to understand God’s word in their own l_____________ and not depend on hearing it i___________________ by the church.
  7. This work of translation was one of Luther’s greatest accomplishments. We would have heard of him even if he had done nothing in terms of the Reformation.
  8. Luther’s Reformation was always a conservative Reformation, k__________ as much as possible from the medieval Church. Only that which contradicts scripture should be surrendered.
  9. Luther didn’t I want a religious reform movement turned into a political or social revolution. Luther was trying to steer a middle course between all the contrasting extremes that were upsetting the whole program.
  10. In 1526 Luther was rebuilding the church.
  11. In late medieval worship service the congregation were regarded as s__________. They listened to the Liturgy of the mass, probably sung by a choir. But Luther wanted them to be a_________.
  12. In Luther’s liturgy, lay people would be receiving both of the elements in communion (b____________ and w____________) which was not the custom in the medieval Church.
  13. Luther was the author of the hymn, the great battle hymn of the Reformation, “A Mighty F________________ Is Our God”.
  14. Luther wrote the large and the small catechism. The large catechism was for pastors. The small catechism was written so that the head of the household could t___________ the truths of the scriptures to his c___________________.
  15. In 1529, the Roman Emperor Charles V, sent a letter to all the Lutheran princes Asking them to come back to the mother church “or else”.
  16. The Lutheran princes responded from Speyer in 1529, “we protest…” This is where the word P________________ comes from.
  17. There was a meeting of key Protestant leaders, Luther, Zwingli, and others at Marburg in 1529. In that meeting they agreed on everything except the L____ S_____. Zwingli trying to spiritualize it, Luther was immovable on point that the Lord’s Body and blood were present in communion.
  18. Charles V called for a diet at Augsburg in 1530 for the Lutheran prince’s to gather and defend their religious convictions.
  19. Luther was still under the Bull of the Pope and the ban of Charles V, and he had to stay 150 miles away from Augsburg. Luther did not attend but Melanchthon did on his behalf. Out of this came the Augsburg C_________________.
  20. To this day, the Augsburg Confession is the confession of the Lutheran church.
  21. Cornerstones of Lutheran Churches to this day, often have the letters U.A.C. engraved on them. This indicates that they adhere to the U_________________ Augsburg Confession.
  22. The Smalcaldic Confession became one of the key documents of the Lutheran theology.
  23. The Book of Concord is the final document which includes the Smalcaldic confession and forms the basis of Lutheranism.
  24. There was a Roman Catholic pharmacist present at Luther’s death who testified what happened there.  Luther had a massive heart attack in Eisleben (the town where he had been born) & his friend Justus Jonas asks him, while in the throes of agony, “Are you willing to stand on the confession of Christ which you have made?” He replied yes & kept quoting John 3:16 to himself.
  25. Martin Luther is important because he rediscovered the g_____________, the good news that God in Christ his reconciling the world to Himself. That rediscovery had tremendous consequences for both church and culture.

Discussion Questions

  1. What were some of the negative aspects of Luther’s views (not discussed in the video)?
  2. What was Luther’s purpose in posting the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church?
  3. Who was Jan Hus what happened to him?
  4. Why did Leo X excommunicate Luther from the Roman Catholic Church?
  5. What great hymn did Martin Luther write?
  6. When and where did Martin Luther translate the New Testament from Greek to German?
  7. Did Martin Luther want to start a new church?
  8. Who first called Lutherans Lutherans?
  9. Where did the word “Protestant” come from?
  10. How did Luther respond at the Diet of Worms when Johann Eck asked him to recant?
  11. What was the punishment during Luther’s day for possessing a Bible in any other language than Latin?
  12. Were there other reformers besides Luther?  Who are some?

 

Apologetics Class 10/29/2017

Today, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we started a 2 week mini series on Martin Luther.  We watched parts 1-3 of Martin Luther the Man:

 

 

Here is the note-taking form I handed out before the video:

Martin Luther

Part 1 His Early Life (13 minutes 17 seconds)

  1. The late medieval church was very powerful
  2. No social security in those days, your social security policy was your s________
  3. Luther’s dad wanted him to be a l___________
  4. Luther’s concept of God was influenced by the fact that his father was so strict and he wasn’t sure he l____________ his father at that point (after getting disciplined)
  5. Church’s slogan at that time – do what is i___ y________ and God will not refuse you grace.
  6. If you fail, confession – priest will give you something to do to satisfy the penalty (penance)
  7. If you don’t do enough penance to cover all the sin, the answer was time in p___________
  8. You’re the one earning the f____________, you’re the one paying the price
  9. When studying at university, he found a copy of the B_______________ in the library
  10. It was understood that laymen needed Church’s help to understand/interpret the Bible
  11. Several incidents in Luther’s life caused him to develop a fear of d_______________.
  12. July 2nd 1505, Luther caught in thunderstorm – he cries out “Saint Anne, help me and I will become a m________!”
  13. Shortly after that, Luther entered a very strict m______________ of the Observant Augustinians
  14. Decision to enter monastery motivated in part by what was going to happen after death
  15. Obsessed by g_________ and the f_________ of damnation, Luther was trying in vain to find assurance of his s_______________.

Part 2 – His Monk Life (15 minutes 56 seconds)

  1. He led a very strict, d_________________ life including self-flagellation
  2. He was very concerned about his salvation and didn’t find the s_________ he thought he would
  3. The more he tried to do things right and by the book, the more he realized he was falling s_____
  4. You had to name all sins – both sins you committed and righteous acts you failed to do – under the medieval system of confession and p____________
  5. Not every monk was a priest – he was a man has taken a vow of p_____________ and ch_______________, a priest was one who was trained to handle the sacraments
  6. Luther was ordained in 1507
  7. His greatest fear as a priest was: how could he possibly tr______________ the bread and the wine into the body and blood of Christ?
  8. He was a good monk – especially at m___________________, self-torture – trying to prove to God that you really, truly are sorry for your sins. He whipped himself, walked over stone floors on his knees, laid out in the snow without covering himself.
  9. Study of the scriptures made things worse, because he’s finding the r________________ of God
  10. He felt that God was a t_______________, demanding what could not be given
  11. In 1509, he earned his Bachelor of the Bible degree
  12. In the fall of 1510, he made a trip to R____________ to defend a dispute that arose within the Augustinian Hermits of Germany
  13. He was disappointed when he really saw what Rome was like.
  14. Luther came to his reformation breakthrough as a p________________, not as a single event.
  15. The L___________ V____________ was the official Bible of the Church – it was translated by St. Jerome in 380 AD
  16. Erasmus organized a newer new testament from the older Greek documents and Luther found that St. Jerome had m___________ the word ‘metanoia’ as ‘do penance’ instead of ‘repentance’
  17. Everything changed for Luther when he found out that it’s not about me c____________ up to God, but about God c_______________ to me.

Part 3 – Purgatory & Indulgences (12 minutes 42 seconds)

  1. Purgatory not defined until the Council of Lyon in 1274, but talked about since Augustine (around 4th century AD)
  2. When you went to confession, the priest absolved you, but that absolution only covered the g_____________ of your sins, it did not cover the p__________________ for your sins. You still had to work off the punishment – either in this life, or in Purgatory.
  3. The Pope at Luther’s time was Leo the 10th – needed money to build St. Peter’s Basilica
  4. Pope Leo the 10th instituted the sale of “i___________________”
  5. There was a special kind of indulgence called a Plenary Indulgence – time in Purgatory altogether taken care of.
  6. The “Treasury of Merit” was under the power of the Pope
  7. The indulgences would allow you to escape additional months, years in purgatory if you paid for the indulgence.
  8. To the common people they probably thought this was paying for the f________________ of s__________, but it was not.
  9. John Tetzel, a Dominican monk, was the chief salesman of indulgences in the territory next to Luther’s
  10. How do you get indulgences sold? You make promises, for example if your grandma Schmidt is suffering in purgatory she’ll be freed from her suffering
  11. The infamous phrase in the sales pitch was, “As soon as the c_____________ in the coffer rings, the s_____________ from Purgatory springs.
  12. Frederick the wise would not let Tetzel sell his indulgences in his territory. Frederick the wise had a collection of relics, which it was said that if you viewed all of the relics (and offer certain prayers) you could earn forgiveness, and you could get 2 million years off of your time in Purgatory!
  13. Some were even showing their indulgences to Luther asking for a s_______________ o________________. People were coming to him and saying I don’t need to go to confession and absolution because I have a “Plenary Indulgence”.
  14. Luther knew that people were being told that they had to pay for God’s m_________________.
  15. Luther drew up a set of theses on the p_______________ and efficacy of indulgences, ninety-five theses. He posted this list on the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31st, 1517
  16. People got a hold of those theses and translated them from Latin to German and they were being published widely on Gutenberg’s new printing press.
  17. Here are some of the theses:
    1. Luther’s theses started with these words: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said repent, he willed the entire life of believers to be one of r_______________________. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction as administered by the clergy.”
    2. Thesis 27: “They preach only h_______________ d_________________ who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.”
    3. Thesis 82: If the Pope could redeem souls from purgatory for the sake of money with which to build a church, why did he not free all the needy souls, for the sake of C_________________ l____________?
  18. When Luther posted the theses in 1517, he was still a good C__________________.
  19. Luther was aware there was something really r______________ in the church, and the pope had to do something about it. But Luther found that the pope was actually complicit in all of this.

Discussion Questions

 

  1. What incident in Luther’s life caused him to want to join a monastery?
  2. Why did Luther enter a monastery and become a monk?
  3. Did Martin Luther have assurance of salvation when he was a monk?
  4. What miracle is every priest expected to perform during the Lord’s Supper?
  5. What is the Latin Vulgate? Who was it translated by?
  6. What mistake was made in the translation of the New Testament in Mark 1:15 by St. Jerome?
  7. What is the doctrine of purgatory?
  8. When was the doctrine of purgatory defined?
  9. When you went to confession, in the Catholic Church, what occurred and what were the results?
  10. What is a Plenary Indulgence? What benefit did this Indulgence have for the believer?
  11. Who is John Tetzel? What was he famous for?
  12. When did Luther make his 95 Theses? Where did he post it?
  13. Did Luther want to leave the Catholic Church at the time when he posted his 95 Theses?

 

Apologetics Class 10/22/2017

Today we continued our series on Islam by watching Nabeel Qureshi /David Wood – (unofficial) Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus series parts 1 & 2:

 

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

Introducing the Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus Series

  1. We are benefitting from 16 years of the research, dialogue and experience of David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi – no need to “reinvent the wheel”.
  2. There’s no “learning everything in one sitting”, it is better to learn as you go along and respond to the situation you’re in (David Wood)
  3. Nabeel was a devout Muslim – he really believed Islam was the t______ r___________ and that Muhammed was the culmination of all the p____________.
  4. Nabeel’s first book was “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”. His second book was “No God but One: Allah or Jesus”.  Those are both well worthwhile to buy. Make sure to get the Audible versions.
  5. Nabeel’s pinned tweet:
  6. People desperately need to know this information that Nabeel is going to share.
  7. David was an a_____________ and became a Christian based on the e___________________

The Importance of Relationships in Religious Dialogue

  1. This is the best possible approach (building a f_______________) in reaching people.
  2. David and Nabeel met about 3 weeks before ___/______ happened.
  3. Devout Muslims in the West are taught not only, “this is how you’re supposed to be a good Muslim”, but also, “this is why you’re n________ supposed to be a Christian”
  4. Muslims believe that the Bible has been c_____________ – c______________ over time.
  5. The average Christian Nabeel met, when he questioned them about the integrity of the Bible, they would have nothing to give him, but now, in David, he’d met someone who could a_______________
  6. After Nabeel explained his beliefs, David asked him, if you’re w____________, would you want to know it?
  7. They would go to Nabeel’s house and write out their arguments point by point and compare.
  8. David was saying Jesus r__________ from the d__________ and Nabeel was saying He didn’t. David’s future wife was an agnostic who believed that both views could be right (if it’s true for you then it’s true…)
  9. Islam and Christianity are much closer to each other than other world views, but “the d________________ make a d______________”.
  10. Tons of things Islam and Christianity agree on, but 3 main things they don’t agree on:
    1. Jesus’ d_____________ on the cross
    2. Jesus’ r________________ from the dead
    3. That Jesus is G__________
  11. Since they don’t teach the same things on core doctrines, they can’t both be true.
  12. Only 3 possibilities:
    1. Islam is t________ and Christianity is f_________
    2. Christianity is t__________ and Islam is f____________
    3. Both of them are ________________
  13. If Christianity is wrong, then the earliest Christians got the c_______ m____________ about J______________ wrong – they got the peripheral details correct, but the core wrong.
  14. You need to have a “dialogue partner” when searching for t_____________, in context of relationship.
  15. Both Christian and the Muslim are thinking, “Maybe God put us together for a r___________…”
  16. You’re not loving them for the sake of c____________ them, because if that’s your motivation, then, when they say they’re not going to convert, you’re going to drop your love for them. That’s an ulterior motive – that’s not l___________.  You love them because they’re created in them i__________ of God.
  17. Christians said to David, stop spending time with this Muslim – he’s not going to convert, you’re w_______________ your t___________…
  18. Not everyone responds quickly like at a Billy Graham crusade… For Nabeel, it took _____ years, for Abdu Murray (another Muslim convert to Christianity) it took ______ years!

Discussion Questions

  1. Is it scary to engage in spiritual conversations with someone of a different belief system? Would you feel prepared to do this?  If not, why not?
  2. What are some of the unique challenges in discussing your faith with a Muslim?
  3. Why did Nabeel leave Islam and accept the Gospel? Why did David become a Christian?
  4. What good question did David ask Nabeel, that we could ask any non-believer?
  5. Are you prepared to answer the objection that the Bible has been changed and/or corrupted over time?
  6. Considering all the possible approaches for sharing your faith, which approach do David and Nabeel feel is the best approach? Why?  Are all of the other approaches without merit?
  7. What are the 3 main points (about Jesus) that Christianity and Islam do not agree on?
  8. Can Islam and Christianity both be true at the same time? What are your reasons for this view?
  9. In what way did Christians discourage David when he was spending all this time with Nabeel?
  10. Is spending great amounts of time (months or years) to witness to a non-believer, a waste of time? (Especially if you’re seeing no results and even outright refusals to convert to Christianity)
  11. Have you ever been guilty of getting to know someone solely as an evangelism target? If so, how did that work out for you?