mid-week apologetics booster (6-22-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Condemnation and Grace: Polygamy and Concubinage in the Old Testament – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/condemnation-grace-polygamy-concubinage-old-testament/
  2. The Gracious Heroism of Wonder Woman – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/the-gracious-heroism-of-wonder-woman/
  3. Why Katy Perry’s Rejection of Her Childhood Faith Should Concern Every Bible-Believing Christian Faithwire: http://www.faithwire.com/2017/06/16/why-katy-perrys-rejection-of-her-childhood-faith-should-concern-every-bible-believing-christian/
  4. Professor of New Testament, Craig Keener, explains his journey from atheism to Christianity. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/06/12/professor-of-new-testament-craig-keener-explains-his-journey-from-atheism-to-christianity/
  5. How Can I Respectfully Explain Why I Chose Jesus? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH4quiqAyz0&feature=youtu.be
  6. What Does the Bible Teach about the Cannabis Plant? – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/bible-teach-cannabis-plant/
  7. Cats big and small – creation.com: http://creation.com/cats-big-and-small
  8. How can a loving God send someone to hell?: https://www.gotquestions.org/loving-God-send-someone-hell.html
  9. How Does Growing Apostasy Prove That Christians Are Getting Closer to the Truth? – Michael Brown: https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2017/06/19/how-does-growing-apostasy-prove-that-christians-are-getting-closer-to-the-truth-n2342898
  10. Three Good Reasons to Celebrate Your Christian Worldview – Cross Examined : http://crossexamined.org/three-good-reasons-celebrate-christian-worldview/
  11. Don’t Stop Speaking the Truth in Love | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/dont-stop-speaking-truth-love#
  12. Our Faith is Historically Verifiable Or Its Nothing Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/our-faith-is-historically-verifiable-or-its-nothing/
  13. Roundworm DNA System Plans Ahead | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10008/
  14. Physicist Michael Strauss discusses Christianity and science at Stanford University | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2014/10/18/physicist-michael-strauss-discusses-christianity-and-science-at-stanford-university-5/
  15. J.P. Moreland: The Relevance of Rational Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/j-p-moreland-and-the-revelance-of-rational-apologetics-2/
  16. Alberta Christian school worried school division could ban Bible verses: http://www.humboldtjournal.ca/news/local-news/alberta-christian-school-worried-school-division-could-ban-bible-verses-1.20589159
  17. A Christian Rebuttal to Kaimatai, an Atheist Christian Apologists: https://sjthomason.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/a-christian-rebuttal-to-kaimatai-an-atheist/
  18. Cherry-Picked Age for Key Evolutionary Fossil | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10030
  19. An Atheist Feminist Converts to Christianity, Nicole Cliffe. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2017/06/06/an-atheist-feminist-converts-to-christianity-nicole-cliffe/
  20. Are You an Evangelist? : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1252-are-you-an-evangelist
  21. How Old Is the Earth? : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/7-how-old-is-the-earth

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-15-2017)

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Why are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People? | The Stream: https://stream.org/atheists-generally-smarter-religious-people/
  2. Can a scientist believe in the resurrection? Three hypotheses. – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/can-scientist-believe-resurrection-three-hypotheses/
  3. An Argument for Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jesus Is Jehovah | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/an-argument-for-jehovah-s-witnesses-jesus-is-jehovah#.WTqNe2grKUk
  4. Being Tactical with Jehovah’s Witnesses | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/articles/being-tactical-with-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses#.WTqLoGjyuUk
  5. Ready for the Knock on Your Door | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/publications/solid-ground-july-2016-ready-for-the-knock-on-your-door#.WTqPFWgrKUl
  6. Five Apologetic Topics Every Christian Should Learn About | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/five-apologetic-topics-every-christian-should-learn-about/
  7. Democrat Bernie Sanders proposes rule barring Christians from political office | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/09/democrat-bernie-sanders-proposes-rule-barring-christians-from-political-office/
  8. On the (Evolutionary) Road to Morocco? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/evolutionary-road-morocco/
  9. Why Naturalism is Simply Unbelievable | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/12/why-naturalism-is-simply-unbelievable.html
  10. Cancer Research Confirms the Curse | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10018
  11. Has the New Testament been corrupted? | carm: https://carm.org/new-testament-corrupted
  12. The Reliability of the Bible – 4 Quick Thoughts | ReasonableTheology.org: http://reasonabletheology.org/reliability-bible-4-quick-thoughts/
  13. When Youth Pastors Ought to Feel Responsible | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/when-youth-pastors-ought-to-feel-responsible/
  14. Two More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/two-more-ways-learning-to-defend-your.html
  15. What Ought We Make of the Word Proof? Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.: https://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/04/02/what-ought-we-make-of-the-word-proof/
  16. Foliage in fast forward – creation.com: http://creation.com/foliage-in-fast-forward
  17. What does Oneness Pentecostal teach? | carm: https://carm.org/religious-movements/oneness-pentecostal/what-does-oneness-pentecostal-teach
  18. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: Islam’s Claims of Biblical Corruption Actually Impeach the Qur’an: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/islams-claims-of-biblical-corruption.html
  19. Why Would a Good God Allow Natural Evil? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-would-a-good-god-allow-natural-evil/
  20. Quantum Mechanics and other articles: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101463920939&ca=7afd91f0-5277-4f3b-9b0f-bd5fa97a06d1

He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:13-22

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-8-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 7 ways to live out the gospel in a post-truth, post-fact culture – ChristianWeek: http://www.christianweek.org/7-ways-live-gospel-post-truth-post-fact-culture/
  2. Millennial Skepticism and Despair | Reasonable Faith: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/millenial-scepticism-and-despair
  3. Chicxulub Crater Theory Mostly Smoke | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10015
  4. DNA Science Disproves Human Evolution | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10016
  5. The Relationship Between Evangelism and Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/the-relationship-between-evangelism-and-apologetics/
  6. Communicating Biblical Worldview to Millennials and iGens: Taste and See Apologetics – drcone.com: http://www.drcone.com/2017/04/20/communicating-biblical-worldview-millennials-igens-taste-see-apologetics/
  7. Is God Really Forgiving If He Required Payment for Sins through Jesus? (Video) | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/god-really-forgiving-if-he-required-payment-sins-through-jesus-video#.WTLfnWjyuUk
  8. Why Should I Believe Christianity? – a review – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/is-christianity-true/why-believe-christianity-review
  9. Should we expect to know what Gods reason is for allowing evil and suffering? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/12/11/should-we-expect-to-know-what-gods-reason-is-for-allowing-evil-and-suffering/
  10. William Lane Craig lectures on radical skepticism and the historical Jesus | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/03/william-lane-craig-lectures-on-radical-skepticism-and-the-historical-jesus-3/
  11. WORKS OF 20TH CENTURY APOLOGISTS: Resources for Study: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2015/11/works-of-20th-century-apologiststhat.html
  12. How Critics of Christianity Often Distort the Story of Galileo: http://1peter315.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-atheists-distort-story-of-galileo.html
  13. Is Science Opposed to Faith in God? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/is-science-opposed-to-faith-in-god/
  14. Progressive Christianity is as Much of a Threat to Your Kids Faith as Atheism: http://christianmomthoughts.com/progressive-christianity-is-as-much-of-a-threat-to-your-kids-faith-as-atheism/
  15. Three M’s That Naturalism Can’t Provide | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-ms-that-naturalism-cant-provide/
  16. How to Encourage Intellectual Christians in the Evangelical Church Reflections: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/how-to-encourage-intellectual-christians-in-the-evangelical-church/amp/
  17. Everyone Has Faith – Apologetics Canada: https://www.apologeticscanada.com/2015/03/23/everyone-has-faith/
  18. Islam and Christianity not comparable: Column: http://amp.usatoday.com/story/24847699/
  19. Physicist Michael Strauss discusses Christianity and science at Stanford University | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/06/04/physicist-michael-strauss-discusses-christianity-and-science-at-stanford-university-8/
  20. Debunking ‘Bible Secrets’ Television Shows: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2013/11/debunking-bible-secrets-television-shows.html
  21. You Need to Know Why Young People Leave Church Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/you-need-to-know-why-young-people-leave-church/
  22. Understanding Islam – New York Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/understanding-islam/
  23. Why Would God Create Mosquitoes?: http://www.reasons.org/articles/why-would-god-create-mosquitoes
  24. Terrorism: Western Values Are Christian Values: http://www.christianpost.com/amp/terrorism-western-values-are-christian-values-186851/
  25. What does it mean to say the New Testament is Historically Reliable? | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/what-does-it-mean-to-say-the-new-testament-is-historically-reliable-2/

“O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel– not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Proverbs 31:2-5

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-1-2017)

Good morning friends,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your weekly links:

  1. William Murray, Son of the Founder of American Atheists, Converts to Christianity | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/william-murray-son-of-the-founder-of-american-atheists-converts-to-christianity/
  2. Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation | carm: https://carm.org/logical-fallacies-or-fallacies-argumentation
  3. Chris Pratt Just Took a Very Public Stand for the Bible: http://conservativetribune.com/chris-pratt-just-took-public-stand/
  4. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/oxford-atheism-to-jesus/
  5. William Lane Craigs intellectually dishonest attack on biblical creationists – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/william-lane-craig-vs-creation
  6. The Core Reason Your Kids Might Leave the Faith | The Stream: https://stream.org/core-reason-kids-leave-faith/
  7. Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/zeitgeist-debunked-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-pagan-gods/
  8. America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations – William Joseph Federer – Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=BtGzlMatpUUC&lpg=PA170&ots=-faMKViJX_&pg=PA164#v=onepage&q&f=false
  9. Transgenderism: Undoing Gods Design | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/simon-turpin/2017/05/29/transgenderism-undoing-gods-design/
  10. Why Certainty Isnt Necessary for Belief in God Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-certainty-isnt-necessary-for-belief-in-god/
  11. The Single Most Damaging Statement to the Christian Faith |: https://beardeddisciple.com/2017/02/07/the-single-most-damaging-statement-to-the-christian-faith/
  12. Three Things First Responders Can Teach Christians About Engaging Culture | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-things-first-responders-can-teach-christians-about-engaging-culture/
  13. Are People Who Believe in Minds Simply Ignorant of the Science? | Apologetics.com: http://apologetics.com/blog/jwallace/are-people-who-believe-in-minds-simply-ignorant-of-the-science/
  14. What is Ramadan? Why should Christians care?: http://bpnews.net/48947/what-is-ramadan-why-should-christians-care
  15. How To Handle Online Disagreements | PlainSimpleFaith.com: http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2017/05/disagreements/
  16. 5 Ways to Share Christ with Ease and Impact (Greg Koukl) 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/5-ways-to-share-christ-with-ease-and-impact-greg-koukl/
  17. The Most Reluctant Convert in all of England: Why Former Atheist C.S. Lewis Became a Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/the-most-reluctant-convert-in-all-of-england-why-former-atheist-c-s-lewis-became-a-christian/
  18. Do These Bible Verses Show You Can Lose Your Salvation? – Come Reason Ministries: http://www.comereason.org/bible-verses-on-salvation.asp
  19. Do I Need Scientific, Forensic Evidence to Prove Christianity Is True? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/do-i-need-scientific-forensic-evidence-to-prove-christianity-is-true/
  20. 32% of People Killed in Assisted Suicides Were Actually Euthanized Against Their Will | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/30/32-of-people-killed-in-assisted-suicides-were-actually-euthanized-against-their-will/
  21. Evidence of biblical inspiration | carm: https://carm.org/evidence-biblical-inspiration
  22. 30 Things You Can Do This Summer to Deepen Your Kids Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/30-things-you-can-do-this-summer-to-deepen-your-kids-faith/
  23. Research by Barna and Summit: Postmodernism and Secularism Influence Todays Christians – Summit Ministries: https://www.summit.org/resources/articles/research-barna-summit-postmodernism-secularism-influence-todays-christians/
  24. Robert Gagnon debates gay activist Jayne Ozanne on Bible vs homosexuality | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/05/31/robert-gagnon-debates-gay-activist-jayne-ozanne-on-bible-vs-homosexuality-4/

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Blessings to you all

5 Ways to Share Christ with Ease and Impact (Greg Koukl)

I received this email from Greg Koukl this morning as an STR Digest.  It contains some really good fundamentals and I simply had to share it.  Since there was no link in the email, the only way I could think of sharing it was on this blog, so here it is:

Let’s face it. Talking to others about controversial things isn’t easy—and issues like God and Jesus and the Bible and morality and sin and salvation and Heaven and Hell are about as controversial as they come.

I know the concern. You don’t want to get in over your head. You don’t want to come across odd. And you don’t want to get into a fight. I share these same sentiments with you, and these are all noble concerns…unless they secure our silence. If they keep us on the bench, they’ve gotten the best of us, and that’s not good.

Over time I’ve discovered some ways to make the task less troublesome, though. I’ve worked out a few principles I think will make a tough job easier, and I’d like to pass them on to you. The first one is the most important, and you’ve probably heard it from me before, but it bears repeating.

Ask Questions. Lots of them. Your first step in any encounter should be to gather as much information as possible. It’s hard to know how to proceed—or even if to proceed—unless you first get the lay of the land. You need “intel,” so to speak, and friendly queries get it for you.

When you need to buy some time to catch your wits, ask a question. When you face a challenge you’re not sure how to deal with, ask a question. When the conversation bogs down and you think it best to move in a new direction, ask a question. Whenever you’re in doubt about how to move forward, ask a question.

Slow Down and Simplify. On a flight back from the midwest I listened while a Christian brother in the row directly behind me vigorously shared his faith with passengers on either side. I was glad for the effort (my wife and I both were praying for him), and he made some fine points, but his conversation ranged from young-earth creationism to Armageddon. That’s a lot to have to swallow to get to Jesus.

Remember, your goal is to put a stone in his shoe, not a boulder. If controversial issues don’t come up, don’t bring them up. Major in the majors. Don’t try to move too quickly or cover too much ground when tackling tough topics. Take complex concerns step by step and piece by piece. Break them into smaller parts and try to make headway on only one part at a time.

Contextualize. I always look for ways to frame my points in terms of the other person’s interests, discipline, or profession. For example, once when an attorney asked me why he needed Jesus, I used a courtroom scene to make my point. This move made the point more persuasive because he saw it in light of things he already knew or procedures he was already familiar with.

Contextualizing your points by tying your comments or explanations to relevant parts of the other person’s world establishes common ground—and is an important tactical skill of an effective ambassador.

Be Nice. Solomon reminds us of something we already know, but still need to be prodded on…often: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Later he adds, “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (16:21). Obvious stuff, but easily overlooked. Start out brash and thrashing about, and things will turn sour in the end. Start sweet, though, and you’ll probably end sweet.

Do everything you can, then, to help friends feel comfortable with the process. Don’t get mad. Don’t show frustration. Don’t look annoyed. Keep your cool. The more collected you are, the more confident you’ll appear and the more persuasive you’ll sound.

Trust God.  No matter how clever you sound, everything you say will turn to dust if God’s Spirit is not in it. No matter how poorly you think you’ve acquitted yourself, even the most meager effort can turn to gold if God decides to move. Never presume on God either way. Be faithful in the moment, then let God do His part—which is all the rest. I’m not saying you need to “tune in” to the Spirit. Encounters don’t usually work that way. Rather, simply do what you can, then trust in God’s sovereign control.

The very first time I ever shared Christ was less than 24 hours after I’d committed my life to Him. It was a long conversation, I felt entirely inept (I was), my close friends were fuming, and I thought it was a complete wash. It wasn’t. Four years later, out of the blue, I discovered what God had been doing that afternoon, and it was something I never would have guessed. It happens all the time.

And because God is at work in the hearts and minds of people you meet, you need to be ready.

Here is a link to donate to Stand To Reason: https://store.str.org/donate.asp

I would also highly recommend getting both the STR App and the STR Quick Reference app for your smart phone.  You can listen to all sorts of great material and even download the podcasts for “off-line” listening.  Enjoy!

 

Summary of Apologetics Class Schedule and Topics for 2016-2017

Date Section Topic / Other Notes
8/7/2016 Intro / Case for Apologetics (Steve Teaching) Introduction
Section: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
8/14/2016 DVD – Does Truth Exist (part 1)? Lesson 1 – The Road Runner Tactic
8/21/2016 DVD – Does Truth Exist (part 2)? Lesson 1 – The Road Runner Tactic
8/28/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 1)? Lesson 2 – Does God Exist (part 1)?
9/4/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 2)? Lesson 2 – Does God Exist (part 2)?
9/11/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 3)? Lesson 3 – Divine Design
9/18/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 4)? Lesson 4 – Origin of Life
9/25/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 5)? Lesson 5 – Evolution (part 1)
10/2/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 6)? Lesson 5 – Evolution (part 2) – Steve out – Hawaii
10/9/2016 DVD – Does God Exist (part 7)? Lesson 6 – The Moral Argument – Steve out – Hawaii
10/16/2016 DVD – Are Miracles Possible? Lesson 7 – Are Miracles Possible?
10/23/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 1)? Lesson 8 – Do We Have An Accurate Copy?
10/30/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 2)? Lesson 9 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth (part 1)?
11/6/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 3)? Lesson 9 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth (part 2)?
11/13/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 4)? Lesson 10 – Did the New Testament Writers Tell the Truth?
11/20/2016 DVD – Is the New Testament True (part 5)? Lesson 11 – Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible?
11/27/2016 DVD – Conclusion Lesson 12 – So What if it’s True?
Section: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – End
12/4/2016 Is God Unloving for Sending People to Hell (Steve teaching)
Section: Tactics – Greg Koukl
12/11/2016 DVD – Tactics (part 1)
12/18/2016 DVD – Tactics (part 2)
12/25/2016 Christmas – no class
1/1/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 3)
1/8/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 4)
1/15/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 5)
1/22/2017 DVD – Tactics (part 6)
Section: Tactics – Greg Koukl – End
1/29/2017 The Atheist Delusion Movie Living Waters – Ray Comfort
2/5/2017 Logical Fallacies  (Steve Teaching)
2/12/2017 Abortion The 180 Movie (Living Waters), S.L.E.D. Test (Stand to Reason Quick ReferenceApp)
2/19/2017 Tapestry of New Testament History (Steve Teaching) Undesigned Coincidences
2/26/2017 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Dr. David Menton lecture)
3/5/2017 Darwin’s Dilemma (Discovery Institute)
3/12/2017 If God Exists, Why Does He Allow Evil (Frank Turek)
3/19/2017 Is the Bible Full of Contradictions? Tim Barnett
Section: The Resurrection and the person of Jesus
3/26/2017 Evidence for the Resurrection – 12 minimal facts and theories Dr. Craig Hazen
4/2/2017 Things Which Ought to be better known about the resurrection Dr. Peter J. Williams
4/9/2017 Mystery Religions and dying and rising gods in the ancient near east Sean McDowell
4/16/2017 The Case for Christ (documentary) Lee Strobel
Section: The Resurrection and the person of Jesus – End
Section: Young Earth Creationists
4/23/2017 Was Darwin Right? (Young Earth Creationist view) Dr. Terry Mortenson
4/30/2017 Astronomy Reveals Creation Dr. Jason Lisle
5/7/2017 Why Genesis Matters Dr. Jason Lisle
5/14/2017 Ultimate Proof of Creation Dr. Jason Lisle
Section: Young Earth Creationists – End
5/21/2017 Are You Saved? James MacDonald

It’s been a great year.  There are 3 topics I’m trying to decide between for tomorrow.  I think it’ll be a game-time decision, but prepared well for 2 of them (with notes) and I have the 3rd with me – video, but no notes:

  1. Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
  2. Hell’s Best Kept Secret – Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron
  3. America’s Godly Heritage – David Barton

After tomorrow, the class breaks for 2 months (June and July), then we will resume in August.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-25-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Teaching Series on Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM – This page has 6 embedded youtube videos: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/teaching-series-on-why-the-resurrection-of-jesus-matters/
  2. Apologetic Engagement-Fish or Cut Bait – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/apologetic-engagement/
  3. Are Objective Moral Truths Merely a Matter of Cultural Agreement? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-objective-moral-truths-merely-a-matter-of-cultural-agreement/
  4. Defending the Age of Accountability | SOTERIOLOGY 101: https://soteriology101.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/defending-the-age-of-accountability/
  5. What Happens to Our Pets When They Die?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-happens-to-pets-when-they-die
  6. ACLU and Planned Parenthood Fighting for Teens to Get Secret Abortions Without Their Parents Knowing | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/18/aclu-and-planned-parenthood-fighting-for-teens-to-get-secret-abortions-without-their-parents-knowing/
  7. Atheist Astrophysicist Explains Her Journey To Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheist-astrophysicist-explains-her-journey-to-jesus/
  8. Modalism | carm: https://carm.org/modalism
  9. Creation Clips – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/creation-videos?fileID=YddmGJofbL0
  10. Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know | ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/303966-leading-millennials-core-issues-need-know.html
  11. Six Enemies of Apologetic Engagement – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/six-enemies-of-apologetic-engagement
  12. Are Christians Intolerant Haters? The Charges are Not New – Michael J. Kruger: http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/michael-j-kruger/are-christians-intolerant-haters-the-charges-are-not-new.html
  13. Four Iowa Planned Parenthood Locations Closing After State Cuts Funding to Abortion Facilities | Christian News Network: http://christiannews.net/2017/05/22/four-iowa-planned-parenthood-locations-closing-after-state-cuts-funding-to-abortion-facilities/
  14. Case-Making 101: How does the Bible compare to other ancient documents? Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-how-does-the-bible-compare-to-other-ancient-documents/
  15. Who Has the Burden of Proof When Discussing God? | Strange Notions: http://strangenotions.com/who-has-the-burden-of-proof-when-discussing-god/
  16. Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: True for You, but Not For Me? by Brett Kunkle: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/05/video-true-for-you-but-not-for-me-by.html
  17. Pro-Abortion Students at Catholic Notre Dame Walk Out of Pro-Life VP Mike Pences Commence Speech | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/22/pro-abortion-students-at-catholic-notre-dame-walk-out-of-pro-life-vp-mike-pences-commence-speech/
  18. Is Right and Wrong Simply a Matter of Human Flourishing? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-right-and-wrong-simply-a-matter-of-human-flourishing/
  19. Four Things We Wont Need in Heaven (But Ought to Pursue Here on Earth) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/four-things-we-wont-need-in-heaven-but-ought-to-pursue-here-on-earth/
  20. How to Become a True Student and a Better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/how-to-become-a-true-student-and-a-better-apologist/
  21. Nature & Scripture: Argument for the Early Dating of Christian Theology and Christian Writings: http://natureandscripture.blogspot.com/2017/05/argument-for-early-dating-of-christian.html
  22. The Trinity is Not A Problem, Its A Solution | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-trinity-is-not-a-problem-its-a-solution/
  23. Why I Wish Christians Would Argue MORE (No, Seriously) ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/301281-wish-christians-argue-no-seriously-trevin-wax.html
  24. The Empty Tomb | The John 10:10 Project: http://thejohn1010project.com/the-empty-tomb.html
  25. Matthew 7:1-6 Why the Confusion About Judging? | Dr. Mike Spaulding: http://www.drmikespaulding.com/?p=1993
  26. Apologetics Mission Trips – Brett Kunkle | Stand To Reason – Opening monologue is pretty powerful: http://subsplash.com/standtoreason/v/5nfgovh
  27. Pastor James MacDonald – Are You Saved? – Very convicting sermon, which I like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVRUTknpA7Q
  28. What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson. – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-best-evidence-for-intelligent-design-interview-with-brian-johnson

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest– I would flee far away and stay in the desert; “Selah” Psalms 55:4-7

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-18-2017)

Good morning brothers and sisters,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your links:

  1. 4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/4-ways-become-better-listener-better-apologist/
  2. Faith Under Fire: Christian Ethics in the Workplace, Part 2 | RZIM: http://ca.rzim.org/let-my-people-think-broadcasts/faith-under-fire-christian-ethics-in-the-workplace-part-2/
  3. Why We Need a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith (Video): http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-we-need-a-more-reasonable-evidential-christian-faith-video/
  4. The Stream:
    1. The Tip of the Transgender Spear in Virginia | The Stream: https://stream.org/the-tip-of-the-transgender-spear-in-virginia/
    2. Ellen DeGeneres Needs a Lesson About Diversity and Tolerance | The Stream: https://stream.org/donald-trump-teach-ellen-degeneres-diversity-tolerance/
    3. An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus | The Stream: https://stream.org/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/
    4. Rage at Rubio’s Bible Tweets: More Evidence of Troubling Bias Against Christians: https://stream.org/rubio-bible-tweets/
  5. 110M-year-old dinosaur discovered with skin and soft tissue (not a Christian article, but again, does not make sense given the supposed ages): http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/
  6. From New Age Blogger To Christian: When I Encountered Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/new-age-blogger-christian-when-i-encountered-jesus/
  7. When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack Christianity | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/when-the-case-for-god-is-strong-skeptics-attack-christianity/
  8. Watch “Basic Differences Between Islam and Christianity.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/N6dkexljCiU
  9. Watch “How To Better Apply Apologetics When Talking to Non-Believers” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iArt_fe-EmM
  10. Watch “How Atheists Steal Science From God | Frank Turek, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gurMfV5Pmus
  11. Does Belief In God Encourage Criminal Behavior? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/does-belief-in-god-encourage-criminal-behavior/
  12. Lesbian bishop in Sweden calls for church to remove crosses and install Muslim prayer space: https://carm.org/lesbian-bishop-calls-for-church-to-remove-crosses-install-muslim-prayer-space
  13. Nabeel Qureshi – Author of the book ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’, regarding his battle with stomach cancer:
    1. Torn Emotions: A Visit With Nabeel Qureshi | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/torn-emotions-a-visit-with-nabeel-qureshi/
    2. Watch “Vlog 29 – Renewed Hope, Mark 7, and More Chemo” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pG2C_Gbzx_s

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/14/2017

This was our last week in the series on young earth creation featuring Dr. Jason Lisle.  This week the topic was The Ultimate Proof of Creation (Presuppositional Apologetics).  Here is the video:

 

Here are the fill in the blank notes, with the link to the answers below:

Ultimate Proof of Creation-Presuppositional Apologetics (Dr. Jason Lisle)

  1. People are not always convinced by a good argument, but people are often convinced by a bad argument – that’s what logical fallacies are, bad arguments that people find convincing.
  2. There is a difference between proof and persuasion.
  3. It’s not our job to persuade people, our job is to give a d____________.
  4. Evidence commonly used to confirm creation:
    1. Information Science / Genetics:
      1. “There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter… When its progress along the chain of transmission events is traced backward, every piece of information leads to a mental source, the mind of the sender” – Dr. Werner Gitt
      2. The fact that we have information in our DNA tells us that DNA could not have come about by a r__________, c_____________ process.
  • “All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it.” – Dr. Lee Spetner
  1. Mutations may increase survival value under certain circumstances, but they don’t add new information to the genome.
  1. Biblical Timescale:
    1. Carbon-14 in Diamonds – All the C-14 on the entire earth would be gone (would’ve decayed into Nitrogen) in 1 million years.
    2. Comets – Comets are made of ice. Every time they pass near the sun, some of this ice is blasted away and the comet loses mass.  A comet could orbit for a maximum of about ___,___ years before it completely runs out of material.
  2. For every one of these lines of evidence that we can come up with, the evolutionist can come up with a “r________ d_________”.
    1. Comets – perhaps there is a vast reservoir of comets beyond the visible solar system: an “Oort cloud”. Comets are occasionally dislodged from this cloud and thrown into the inner solar system.  There’s no observational evidence of this Oort cloud.
  3. Creationists and Evolutionists all have the same facts. Why then do we draw such different conclusions about the past?  The answer is we have a different s______ p_______ (world view).
  4. Your world view is like a set of mental glasses you wear through which you see everything.
  5. Your world view is all of your most basic beliefs about reality, which we call presuppositions
  6. Presuppositions that everyone has:
    1. Your senses are basically reliable
    2. Your memory is reliable
    3. The existence of the Laws of Logic
  7. Creationists and evolutionists have different presuppositions – different rules for i_____________ the evidence.
  8. The battle isn’t really about evidence, it’s about how evidence ought to be interpreted. We have different standards by which we interpret the evidence.
  9. Ultimate Standard: Creationist: the Bible, Evolutionist: Naturalism or Empiricism
  10. Evidence by itself will not resolve a worldview conflict, because your worldview tells you what to m________ of the evidence.
  11. Told story about a man who was convinced he’s dead… (I guess dead men do bleed J)
  12. A philosophically astute person will not be persuaded by mere evidence.
  13. There is no n__________ ground (Mat. 12:30; James 4:4). Can’t take Bible out of discussion.
  14. The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy – Since the Bible indicates that there is no “neutral”, the claim of neutrality is itself unbiblical. Neutrality is non-neutral, and therefore self-refuting.
  15. Ultimate Authority:
    1. Only the Bible provides the preconditions for the intelligibility of man’s experience and reasoning.
    2. If the Bible were not true, it be impossible to prove anything.
  16. We rely on the following preconditions, which are all grounded in God’s Word:
    1. Laws of L_________ – correct standard of reason (why in a ‘chance universe’)?
    2. U_________ of Nature – Gravity, etc. (God upholds the universe in a consistent fashion)
    3. Absolute M____________ – Why ought we (should we) behave in a certain way?
  17. Evolutionist do believe in these things, but in their worldview, no rational foundation for these
  18. Relativism – All things are relative. There are no absolutes.  The statement that “there are no absolutes” is an absolute statement, so if it’s true, it’s false, therefore, it’s false.
  19. Empiricism – the belief that all truth claims are proved by empirical observation. How do you know that the statement itself is true?  Did you prove that by empirical observation?
  20. Unbelievers will stand on Christian presuppositions when it s__________ them. He is standing on Christian ground.  He either needs to get saved or stop trespassing!
  21. Debate on the existence of air: the critics of air must use air in order to make a case against it.
  22. Likewise, the critic of the Bible must use biblical presuppositions in order to argue against it.
  23. Absolute Morality – if God created us, He has the right to set the rules. If we are just ‘re-arranged p________ s_________’, why not do what we want?
  24. The moment the moral relativist says, “You can’t go around telling people what not to do”, what are they doing? Going around telling other people what not to do, which is self-refuting.
  25. Ask a moral relativist, ‘How do you decide “right” from “wrong”?’ Apart from the biblical God, morality can only be r__________.  Yet people can’t live that way.
  26. Possible Responses:
    1. “Morality is what brings the most h__________ to the most people”. But in an evolutionary universe, why should I be concerned about the happiness of others (if they’re just ‘re-arranged pond scum)?
    2. “The moral code is simply electrical impulses in the brain.” Why should I follow it?
    3. “Laws of morality are conventions adopted for the good of s______.” In an evolutionary worldview, we’re just animals. The word ‘benefit’ assumes a standard of goodness…
    4. “People can adopt their own moral code.” If you can, so can I and you might not like some of my moral codes – I might want to shoot you.
    5. You wouldn’t punish vinegar for reacting with baking soda – that’s just what it does. You wouldn’t punish the Lion for killing the antelope – animals kill animals…
  27. Laws of Logic – these are r_______________ of the way God thinks, and the way He expects us to think. These stem from God’s nature.  God is logical. (2 Timothy 2:13; Colossians 2:3)
  28. Laws of Logic are immaterial, universal, invariant, abstract, contingent on the biblical God
  29. N___________ – the belief that nature is all that there is. The naturalist attempts to use logic and reason to support his position.  But logic is not part of nature.  The fact that he’s able to make an argument at all proves he’s wrong.
  30. I’m not saying you have to profess a belief in God to use laws of logic, but you do need the biblical God to have laws of logic. No other worldview can account for them.
  31. Possible Responses:
    1. “Laws of logic are material. They are chemical reactions in the brain.”  If material, they’re not laws.  They can’t be u____________ if they don’t extend beyond your brain.
    2. “Laws of logic are descriptions of how the brain thinks.” If this were true, you could never violate one.
    3. “Laws of logic are conventions.” But some cultures have different conventions (e.g. driving on left-side of the road or the right side of the road).
    4. “They are a property of the universe.” But the universe c___________ with time, so we wouldn’t expect them to be invariant.
    5. “We use them because they work.” But that’s not my question. My question is ‘how can you account for them in an evolutionary worldview?’
  32. “Don’t Answer, Answer” Strategy:
    1. The Bible itself provides a strategy for d__________ the Christian Faith.
    2. This is the biblical way to refute anti-Christian presuppositions.
    3. Proverbs 26:4-5 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
    4. Do not embrace the “fool’s” pr________________. (Proverbs 26:4)
    5. Show where the “fool’s” presuppositions would go if taken to their conclusion (Proverbs 26:5)
    6. Never “put on the suit”, but always “r_______________ it back to him”.
  33. Richard Dawkins – here is a man that is convinced that his purpose in life is to convince people that there is no purpose in life. You see the inconsistency there?
  34. Secular worldviews always blow themselves up.
  35. Any argument against Christianity presupposes Christianity is true.
  36. It’s not our job to open people’s h____________ – that’s the Holy Spirit’s prerogative, it’s our job to close their mouths. – Dr. Greg Bahnsen
  37. Who can contend with the Almighty?

Here is a link to the answers.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-11-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 74% Of Doctors Believe In Miracles, 55% Have Seen Them | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/74-of-doctors-believe-in-miracles-55-have-seen-them/
  2. How Can Students Stand Strong for Their Faith in College? – Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry: http://crossexamined.org/how-can-students-stand-strong-for-their-faith-in-college/
  3. MTV Star Catelynn Lowell: Why is It Illegal to Destroy an Eagle Egg But Not Abort a Baby? http://www.lifenews.com/2014/05/05/mtv-star-catelynn-lowell-why-is-it-illegal-to-destroy-an-eagle-egg-but-not-abort-a-baby/
  4. Public School Shuts Down Bible Club — Todd Starnes: https://www.toddstarnes.com/column/public-school-shuts-down-bible-club
  5. Is The Bible Full Of Contradictions? 6 Quick Responses | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/is-the-bible-full-of-contradictions-6-quick-responses/
  6. “No Uterus, No Opinion” – Can Men Have a Say on Abortion? http://www.lifenews.com/2012/06/05/no-uterus-no-opinion-can-men-have-a-say-on-abortion/
  7. Responses that Stimulate Conversation: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/08/responses-that-stimulate-conversation.html
  8. The Three R’s of Salvation: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/the-three-rs-of-salvation-23599/
  9. Jesus Vs Muhammad: Their Views About Women | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-muhammad-their-views-about-women/
  10. Climate Change / Global Warming:
    1. Scientists Found a Totally Unexpected Source of Climate Cooling: http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/08/scientists-found-a-totally-unexpected-source-of-climate-cooling/
    2. Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/#5f37283d4c7c
    3. Why You Don’t Believe In Facts, And How To Fix It – you may find this very challenging, but I include it to be ‘fair and balanced’.  Apparently, the author has not read the study referred to above: https://lisacharlotterost.github.io/2017/05/07/why-do-we-not-believe-in-facts/
  11. Why Your Children Do NOT Need Apologetics: Correcting Misconceptions – Mama Bear Apologetics: http://mamabearapologetics.com/children-do-need-apologetics/
  12. Postmodernism and the Paradox of Tolerance – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/postmodernism-paradox-tolerance/
  13. Three Things You’ll Have to Say to the World to Live a Surrendered, Godly Life | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-things-youll-have-to-say-to-the-world-to-live-a-surrendered-godly-life/
  14. The Folly of Answering Distracting Atheistic Arguments: http://www.equip.org/article/folly-answering-distracting-atheistic-arguments/
  15. About Those Crusades: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/02/about-those-crusades.html
  16. How To Be Someone People Love To Talk To (not a Christian article, but good none-the-less): http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/02/love-to-talk/

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs – Romans 11:26-28

Blessings

Apologetics class 5/7/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today:

Why Genesis Matters – Dr. Jason Lisle

 

Here are the notes and discussion questions:

  1. Evolution is m______ ideas about how l_____ could come about apart from _________
  2. Jesus quoted from G_______ about as much as all the other b_____ of the B_____ combined
  3. Evolution is not the cause of all problems in society, s______ is the cause, because e_______ gives people a seemingly r________ foundation for their s_____.
  4. Genesis was not written as a metaphor, parable or poetry, it was written as l________ h______.
  5. A lot of people want to embrace the morality the Bible teaches, but r______ the h_______ it teaches.
  6. It used to be that we used a h_________ to h_______ sections of the Bible we liked, but now in far too many churches, we use a b_____ o_______ marker to b________ o______ the sections we don’t like.
  7. God never gave us a l______ i______ v_____ on Scripture.
  8. We don’t just want them to be c__________, we want them to be C______.
  9. Context of passage determines what the word ‘day’ means, e.g. evening, morning, number, day.
  10. God’s powerful enough that He could’ve created the u_______ in an i________; He really had to s_______ Himself down.
  11. There is an astronomical basis for d____, m________ and y_______, but not for w_______
  12. 6 days (of creation) is an i____________ issue, but not a s_________ issue.
  13. The Bible says that it was by man that d_____ came into the world, but evolution teaches that it was by d_______ that man came into the world.
  14. Either the bulk of fossils were deposited in a w____-w____ f_____, or they were deposited n_________ over millions of years.
  15. If “the flood” was just a l_____ flood, then God has broken His promise (re. the rainbow) thousands of times, because there have been many l_____ floods since the flood occurred.
  16. If you understand c______, then the Gospel message just makes s______.

Discussion Questions

 

  1. For all of this Christian influence in our nation, why are we rapidly becoming a pagan nation?
  2. What is your ultimate standard?
  3. How does what you believe about the past influence your worldview today?
  4. Why is it significant that we find Carbon 14 (C-14) in diamonds?
  5. How are laws that protect the weak from being harmed by the strong “anti-evolutionary”?
  6. How is evolution like termites?
  7. How does a literal Genesis make it possible for Jesus to be our Kinsman Redeemer?
  8. If God didn’t get the details right in Genesis, how can we be sure He got the details right on how to inherit eternal life?
  9. What does it mean that 1,000 years is like a day?
  10. Where do we get our pattern for a week?
  11. Why does the death of plants not count as death occurring before sin?
  12. If the flood was just local, why didn’t Noah just move?

 

 

mid-week apologetics booster (5-4-2017)

Good morning y’all,

Well, I guess I’m being influenced by the family guests I have in from Arkansas J  We’ve been taking a whirlwind tour of Arizona, hiking on South Mountain, going to Sedona, Slide Rock, Jerome and eating at Rustler’s Roost so far!  Tomorrow, we’re heading up to Prescott to go canoeing on Watson lake and possibly to walk around Lynx lake.  On the way out, they’re going to visit the Grand Canyon on their own.  As I see all of these sights along with them and see their delight in our beautiful state, I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul told us so long ago:

What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  Romans 1:19-20

When people ask for evidence for God, we can immediately point them to the creation.  God is the best explanation for the beauty and design we see in nature.  And because of this, we praise His name:

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.  Revelation 4:11

Here are your weekly links:

  1. The Art of Raising Kids Who Will Not Bow to the Idol of Science: http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-art-of-raising-kids-who-will-not-bow-to-the-idol-of-science/
  2. Explaining Hell to Our Children | Desiring God: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/explaining-hell-to-our-children
  3. In America, Does More Education Equal Less Religion? http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/
  4. 3 ways Christians can stand up to free-speech bullies who want to shut us up: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/3-ways-Christians-can-stand-up-to-free-speech-bullies-who-want-to-shut-us-up
  5. At the Harvest Crusade, you can volunteer (June 11th) I think I’m going to sign up to be a decision follow-up worker – This is a ten-minute friend to those who make a profession of faith, praying for and encouraging them in their walk with Christ: https://harvestamerica.com/serve
  6. 6 Big Reasons Why Islam Is False | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/6-big-reasons-why-islam-is-false/
  7. Cain’s Wife—Who Was She? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/cains-wife-who-was-she/
  8. Persuasion versus Argument in Apologetics | Apologetics for the Church: https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/persuasion-versus-argument-in-apologetics/
  9. How To Combat The Apologetic Apathy In The Church – Free Thinking Ministries: http://freethinkingministries.com/how-to-combat-the-apologetic-apathy-in-the-church/
  10. Bible reading not allowed before class, professor (Northern Arizona University) tells student | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/05/01/bible-reading-not-allowed-before-class-professor-tells-student.html
  11. James Warner Wallace on asking a simple question: “Why are you a Christian?” | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/james-warner-wallace-on-asking-a-simple-question-why-are-you-a-christian/
  12. Atheists May Not Believe In God, But They Still Live in His World: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/atheists-may-not-believe-in-god-but-they-still-live-in-his-world
  13. All of Us Ought to Agree on the Fallen Nature of Humans: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/all-of-us-ought-to-agree-on-the-fallen-nature-of-humans/

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Blessings to y’all

Apologetics class 4/30/2017

Here is the video we watched in our series on young earth creation:

Dr. Jason Lisle – Astronomy Reveals Creation

 

Here are the notes for this video:

How the Secrets of the Cosmos Confirms the Bible (5 Categories)

  1. Glory of God is revealed in the heavens (Ps. 19:1-3). The s_______ and b_________ of the cosmos are consistent with the mind of God – not chance
    1. Moon
    2. Saturn
    3. The Sun and other stars
    4. Star Clusters
    5. Nebulae (Nebula)
    6. Galaxies
  2. Basics of Astronomy – whenever s__________ e___________ of the day have disagreed, the Bible has always been right
    1. The S______________ Earth
    2. Earth is s__________ in space
    3. E_____________ of the universe
    4. Conservation of e___________ and mass
    5. Uncountable Stars
  3. Age of the Universe – Many lines of evidence confirm that the universe is t________ of years old
    1. Scripture teaches a “young” universe (6 o___________ days, ~6,000 years ago)
    2. Excess internal heat of planets
    3. Earth’s m______________ field decaying (losing strength)
    4. Other planet’s magnetic fields (Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, etc.)
    5. Recession of the moon (1½“ per year)
    6. Comets are made of icy material which can last no longer than ____,_____ years
    7. Spiral G____________ Winding
    8. Blue stars expend their fuel quickly. They cannot last b___________ of years
  4. Earth’s Uniqueness – Science c______ that the earth is unique among the worlds of the cosmos
    1. The moon – a “magnificent desolation” but not designed for life.
    2. Other planets – they declare God’s glory, but they are not designed for l_________
    3. What about Extra-Terrestrial Life? Theological issues inherent in this question.
      1. The Fermi Paradox: “Where are they?”
  5. Starlight (Distant) – the Bible is right about starlight. Distant starlight is not a problem for a young universe.
    1. Light from distant galaxies is thought to take billions of years to reach earth
    2. Light year is a unit of d_________, not t_______. A light year is about 6 trillion miles.
    3. Many of the proposed solutions simply cannot work:
      1. “The distances are not real”
      2. “The speed of light was much faster in the past”
  • “The light was created ‘in transit’”. Light ‘in transit’ requires God to create f____________ images and ‘movies.  Example – Supernova 1987A.  If light-in-transit idea is true, then none of these things have ever actually existed.
  1. “Gravitational Time Dilation” – Dr. Russ Humphreys
  1. Lisle thinks the correct solution is: the o______-w______ speed of light. How do you measure this?  Very difficult to synchronize two distant clocks:
    1. Apparently, it is impossible to synchronize c__________ (exactly) without knowing the one-way speed of light
    2. And it is impossible to measure the one-way speed of light without synchronized clocks.
  • The one-way speed of light is a ‘convention’ – it’s not something we m________, it is something we c___________.
  1. Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) – using this convention, light takes no time at all to get from distant galaxies to here.

 

Apologetics Class 4-23-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Link to answers

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

Good morning,

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

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

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

Blessings to you all!

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

Good morning all,

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

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

Jesus made that clear when He said:

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning beloved of God,

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Have a blessed week!

Apologetics Class and the bias of the publicly funded media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection:

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

Tim Barnett – is the Bible Full of Contradictions:

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

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

Hello Friends,

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all!

Apologetics Class (4/2/2017)

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

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

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

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

Non-Christian Accounts of how Christianity Began

(Dr. Peter J. Williams)

Cornelius Tacitus

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

Pliny the Younger

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

Josephus

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

 

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

Christian Accounts

Bias does not mean that something should not be c____________.

1 Corinthians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

Galatians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

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

Discussion Questions

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

 

Why is Christianity true over and above all other religions?

If someone asked you why you think Christianity is true as opposed to all the other religions, what would you have to say?  Could you defend your belief?  Why couldn’t Judaism, Islam, Mormonism and other religions be true?  How do you know Christianity is true and the others are not?

I’ve given some thought to this question recently…  For me, it all starts with Jesus.  According to the apostle Paul, writing in 55 AD (~25 years after the resurrection) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, if Christ was not raised, then Christianity is useless and of no value (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).  Of course, if Christ did predict and accomplish His resurrection, then that would validate His claim to be who He said He was.  So, I have to ask…  Who would’ve been in the best position to know the facts about Jesus?  There are 3 groups that were closest to the events:

  1. The Jews – they were the ones opposing Jesus at that time. Many passages affirm this.  The phrase “the Jews” appears 127 times in the New Testament.  In many of these verses where the Jews seem to be in opposition to Jesus are in the gospel of John.  Here are the verses in John where it seems that the Jews are in opposition to Jesus:2:18, 2:20, 5:10, 5:16, 5:18, 6:41, 7:1, 8:48, 8:52, 8:57, 9:22, 10:31, 10:33, 11:8, 18:14, 18:28, 18:31, 18:36, 19:7, 19:12, 19:21, 20:19
  2. The Disciples of Christ (of which most were Jews as well). Not only was Jesus thoroughly Jewish, but so were His disciples.
  3. The Romans – they were the occupying force in Palestine during the time of Jesus.

Many religions have something to say about Jesus.  For example:

  1. Judaism says that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that his disciples stole the body.
  2. Islam says he was a prophet, but not the Son of God and was not crucified, that Allah put a substitute on the cross, but instead took Jesus directly to heaven.
  3. Mormonism says that he was the spirit brother of Lucifer

So, if I’m going to pay attention to any historical source, I would be wise to consider those who were closest to the events.  It seems to me that the disciples were closest to the events of Jesus since they lived and walked with Him for 3 years, directly experiencing His miracles, teaching and post-resurrection appearances.  The Jews were also very close to Jesus and they acknowledged some of the key facts in the story – namely that He was a miracle worker, that He was crucified and that His tomb was empty Sunday morning.  John 12:10-11 tells us that “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.”  Acts 6:7 tells us “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”  Since the faith increased in Jerusalem, which was the center of Judaism, we can assume those priests being spoken of were Jewish.  So, the biblical record is clear that even though the Jewish leadership in large part rejected Jesus, many Jews did actually believe in Him.

So, in relation to the religions that had something to say about Jesus, I would not trust Islam, since it does not record eyewitness testimony about Jesus, but rather personal revelation written down more than 500 years after the events.  Nor would I trust Mormonism, since it’s writings come ~1800 years after the events.  The New Testament writings are the most credible source of information about Jesus.  We have excellent historical evidence that the resurrection is the best hypothesis to account for the known facts about Jesus.  Here are the facts:

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

Here is a chart that shows theories that attempt to explain these facts:

So, you can see that the only theory that accounts for all the known historical evidence is either that Jesus was an Alien or that He was bodily resurrected.

As good historians, we must go with the theory that accounts for all the facts, therefore, the most likely explanation is what the New Testament reports – that Jesus was resurrected bodily.  Therefore, Christianity is true, beyond a reasonable doubt and anything that contradicts it is false.

mid-week apologetics booster (3-30-2017)

Good morning friends,

Once again, I had the awesome privilege of serving in AWANA (3rd – 6th grade) last night.  Our Pastor had come to AWANA last week to talk about what a pastor is.  He described that pastor means shepherd and that Jesus is described in Scripture as being the Good Shepherd.  Later in the evening, one of the clubbers asked a really good question.  The question was, ‘If God is a Shepherd, then why does he allow bad people who hurt and kill others?’  It’s hard to give a quick answer to a question like that in a minute during AWANA handbook time, so we decided to show this excellent little ~2 minute video to the clubbers at the start of Counsel Time last night:

This really hit home with the clubbers!  They were able to summarize the message of the video and make additional comments on the topic.  In fact it was so popular, many of them wanted to watch it again!  But when we told them it would take away from their game time, they opted not to 🙂  It was such a blessing to see these precious young clubbers excited and interacting with this topic, thinking deeply about their faith!  We also had a great sword drill during Counsel Time, focusing on God’s faithfulness (e.g. 2 Thess. 3:3).  I pray this prayer for them:

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. ”  Numbers 6:24-26

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 apologetics arguments Christians should avoid: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-apologetics-arguments-Christians-should-avoid
  2. Watch “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” on YouTube – this is really good – 4 ½ minutes – cartoon video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZ1l7faKSw
  3. Spiritual Inventory Questionnaire – I ran into this while searching for some spiritual inventory questions.  It is REALLY extensive (10 pages long), but seems to be really good – note: it is a PDF file: http://www.bethanychurch.com/home/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/1_Personal-Spiritual-Inventory.pdf
  4. Sanctuary Cities in the Bible: https://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/sanctuary-cities-in-the-bible/
  5. CE 5: You’re Only Christian Because You Were Born in the West – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/ce-5-youre-only-christian-because-you-were-born-in-the-west-2/
  6. Watch “Tim Keller on evangelism in the 21st century” on YouTube (first step is let ‘em know you go to church): https://youtu.be/DHQBoLo31Ns
  7. The Jihadi Who Turned to Jesus: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/world/middleeast/the-jihadi-who-turned-to-jesus.html
  8. Is Christianity Jewish?  Dr. Michael Brown:
    1. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 1/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kjkm6XS149s
    2. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 2/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cwDWnXdyV9U
  9. Was Jesus’ Death & Resurrection Copied From Krishna? | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/was-jesus-death-resurrection-copied-from-krishna/
  10. Top 10 Lies Christians Believe: http://www.unsealed.org/2016/05/top-10-lies-christians-believe.html
  11. Christianity is rejected because of dislike rather than rational reasons | Real Life Apologetics: https://reallifeapologetics.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/is-the-rejection-of-christianity-an-emotional-or-a-rational-decision/
  12. The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians | PragerU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytdMUddGe-U
  13. Tell Someone | Harvest Online Courses – free course with video teaching on evangelism sent to your inbox: https://tellsomeone.harvest.org/register/tell-someone/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=harvestamerica&utm_campaign=tellsomeonecourse&hs_fb_account_id=22405970&hs_fb_campaign_id=6052164846641&hs_fb_adset_id=6053392481041&hs_fb_ad_id=6070678863441&hs_parent_creative_id=6070679192041&source
  14. C. Boycott Over Bathroom Bill Fails Magnificently: https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/03/22/this-just-in-boycott-of-n-c-over-bathroom-bill-dies-with-a-whimper/
  15. How Christianity Led to the Rise of Modern Science: http://www.equip.org/article/christianity-led-rise-modern-science/
  16. Stop Using the Term “Fetus”: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/stop-using-the-term-fetus/

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12

Blessing to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (3-23-2017)

Good morning friends,

I sincerely hope you’re enjoying your week!  I was blessed again to be a Community Judge at a homeschool speech and debate tournament – the Camelback Classic!  What an event and what an encouragement to see these young people so proficiently able to defend the faith and to speak intelligently about current events!  I was judge for 2 different events:

Apologetics – Semi Final Round – Saturday morning.  Here are the questions that I judged:

  1. What does it mean that Jesus Christ is the Mediator?  Why does this matter?
  2. What does John 1:1-3 mean when it says that Jesus is the Word?  Why does this matter?
  3. How would you respond to the common observation: “Jesus was a good man and a good teacher, but certainly not the Son of God”?
  4. What does it mean to call Jesus Christ the Lamb of God?  Why does this matter?
  5. Is the Resurrection essential to the Christian faith?
  6. Compare and contrast the origins of the Quran and the origins of the Bible?
  7. Are Mormons Christians?
  8. What are unique features of Christianity that set it apart from all other religions of the world?

Extemporaneous (Current Events) – Friday morning.  Here were the questions that I judged:

  1. What will be President Obama’s legacy?
  2. Is ‘Alt Right’ the new face of American Conservatism?
  3. Will conservative Republican congressmen scuttle the repeal of Obamacare?
  4. Will punishing the media backfire on President Trump?
  5. Was it wrong for Attorney General Sessions to ask all of the federal district attorneys to resign?
  6. Will President Trump’s affinity for Russian President Putin last?
  7. Will the “Resistance” topple President Trump?

I was greatly encouraged to watch them “make the case”.  My thought was, could any adults get up and give extemporaneous talks on any of these topics?  Maybe, but it would certainly be a challenge.  If you want to be encouraged about the next generation of Christians being raised up, I would highly recommend that you volunteer to be a community judge.  The local events occur in November (Cactus Clash) and March (Camelback Classic).

Here are your weekly links:

  1. The Source of Our Fear When It Comes to Evangelism: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-source-of-our-fear-when-it-comes-to-evangelism/
  2. Carbon-14, Radiometric Dating and Index Fossils: http://creationstudies.org/articles/science/geology/196-radiometric-dating-and-fossils
  3. Three Things The Gospel Authors Would Have Never Invented About Jesus – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/three-things-the-gospel-authors-would-have-never-invented-about-jesus-4/
  4. Watch “G.O.S.P.E.L. – Propaganda (Full Video)” on YouTube this is a “rap” presentation of the Gospel: https://youtu.be/jyYFxp7apl4
  5. Reasons To Believe : 12 Evidences for the Resurrection of Jesus, Part 1: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/12-evidences-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus–part-1
  6. This Will Help Quiet Pro-Lifers Speak Up | Jim Daly: http://jimdaly.focusonthefamily.com/will-help-quiet-pro-lifers-speak/
  7. Did Jesus & His Disciples Speak Greek? | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/did-jesus-his-disciples-speak-greek/
  8. Patrick: Reclaiming the Great Missionary: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/st.-patrick-reclaiming-the-great-missionary
  9. Answering another abortion argument: http://creation.com/abortion-answer
  10. Bible Contradictions:
    1. HOW TO ANSWER ALLEGED BIBLE DISCREPANCIES AND CONTRADICTIONS: http://christianapologeticstraining.com/how-to-answer-alleged-bible-discrepancies-and-contradictions
    2. Are There Any Errors in the Bible? http://normangeisler.com/are-there-any-errors-in-the-bible/
    3. Watch “Is the Bible Full of Contradictions?” on YouTube – Tim Barnett – we watched this video in our apologetics class Sunday: https://youtu.be/YQgR3BrBhss
  11. This is the ‘Single Greatest Contributor’ to Millennials Abandoning Faith According to New Book – Faithwire: http://www.faithwire.com/2017/03/09/author-reveals-the-single-greatest-contributor-he-says-has-led-so-many-millennials-to-abandon-faith/
  12. Why Apologists are Not Reaching Pop Culture – Free Thinking Ministries: http://freethinkingministries.com/why-apologists-are-not-reaching-pop-culture/
  13. CNN religion quiz needs to take Christianity seriously | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/19/cnn-religion-quiz-needs-to-take-christianity-seriously.html
  14. Here we go again: Will someone please explain Christianity to the Associated Press? — GetReligion: https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2017/3/20/here-we-go-again-will-someone-please-explain-christianity-to-the-associated-press
  15. How to Unmask a Hardened Skeptic: http://www.blogos.org/compellingtruth/skeptic-scoffer.php
  16. Disney:
    1. A Beast of a Decision? Should Christians Watch Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/should-christians-watch-disneys-beauty-and-beast/
    2. Is It Time to Kiss Disney Goodbye? https://answersingenesis.org/family/homosexuality/time-to-kiss-disney-goodbye/
  17. Romans 1:16:
    1. What does it mean to not be ashamed of the Gospel (Romans 1:16)? https://www.gotquestions.org/not-ashamed-Gospel.html
    2. The Power of God for Salvation | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/power-god-salvation/
    3. Romans – Wayne Barber/Part 5 | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/bible/bible-studies/romans/romans-wayne-barberpart-5/
    4. Watch “I Am Not Ashamed of the TRUE Gospel. (Paul Washer)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vwpm1G5pVho
    5. Six Signs That You May Be Ashamed of the Gospel: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/six-signs-you-may-be-ashamed-of-the-gospel/
  18. Watch “An Atheist’s Conversion” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/h4j7FBYXQKs
  19. Watch “Living Waters University, Kevin” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4Uftyxz0SWk
  20. Watch “I’m A Christian, But I Don’t Read My Bible” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jvBmRGD8FuI
  21. Watch “I’ve Kinda Given Up On God” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jPNslXAxAvI
  22. Watch “Ricky Gervais & God’s Existence” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/EM-53Bq_U6M
  23. Watch “Ten of the Top Scientific Facts in the Bible” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/t2sMJMXDiH4
  24. 17 States Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortions. Does Yours? | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/03/17/17-states-force-taxpayers-to-fund-abortions-does-yours/
  25. Watch “Nabeel Qureshi // Why I stopped believing Islam is a religion of peace” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2htOWOF4gqs
  26. Watch “Shabir Ally & Dr.Nabeel Qureshi – What is GOD really like? part 1 of 2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dghjlgnZzuY
  27. Ten quick responses to atheist claims | Christian News on Christian Today: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/ten.quick.responses.to.atheist.claims/41439.htm
  28. Don’t All Religions Basically Say the Same Thing? (Quick Video) – Alisa Childers: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/dont-all-religions-basically-say-the-same-thing-quick-video
  29. Let’s Make Jesus Less … Offensive! | The Stream (Satire): https://stream.org/make-jesus-less-offensive/
  30. Remember Those Exciting “Earth-Like” Planets of the TRAPPIST-1 System? The Honeymoon Is Over | Evolution News: https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/03/remember-those-exciting-earth-like-planets-of-the-trappist-1-system-the-honeymoon-is-over/
  31. The Shack Author Rejects Biblical Substitutionary Atonement: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=703
  32. Frank Turek podcast and a guy calls and asking about predestination at about 34 minutes into the show. Frank gives interesting analogy about God’s foreknowledge and man’s free will: http://subspla.sh/ohvtxka

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  Galatians 1:6-8

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-16-2017)

Good morning friends,

I was reminded again last night of the importance of heeding the words of 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 3, Colossians 4:5-6 & 2 Timothy 24-26 – being ready to give an answer.  Our AWANA Truth & Training leader gave our 3rd to 6th grade clubbers a chance to ask questions about the Bible and their faith last night during counsel time.  What a great session it was.  Once we got them started, the questions were non-stop and we had to cut it off at the end due to running out of time.  Here were some of the questions asked by these young, precious ones:

  1. Who made God?  How could He just always be there?
  2. Why did God make hell?
  3. Why did God create the first people if He knew they were going to sin?
  4. Why did God put the tree in the garden if He knew they were going to eat from it?
  5. Why did God make Satan?
  6. Why doesn’t God (Jesus) come back to earth to prove to everyone that He exists?
  7. How do we know Angels and Devils exist?
  8. (the answer to the prior question prompted this one) How do we know the Bible is true?
  9. Why did God love Satan more than any other angel?
  10. Why did God make people if He knew they were going to be evil and bad like stealing things and killing?

It was a 20 minute session and, wow, were the clubbers engaged and loving it… Unfortunately, I don’t have the time (or the memory) to remember all the answers the leaders gave, but it was a great session – they asked tough questions – deep questions.  We even had one of the 4th grade clubbers answering one of the questions and she was right on target!

I pray to God that this session was meaningful for these clubbers.  It is so important that kids at this age know that they are welcome to ask questions and that it is OK to have questions and even some doubts.  And it is extremely important that we adults have done what Peter has stated (as a command for all believers) “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you”.  That means you can’t be “winging it” at the time you’re asked.  That command implies that you have (already) been preparing yourself through study prior to the child asking the question.  I truly believe that the parents are the number 1 apologists in our culture.  We need to be ready when the question is asked.  Being ready can consist of having answer ready “off the top of your head” or knowing about a resource that you can get to that explains the answer.

Because this is such an important command, I continue to bombard you with these articles and videos each week.  I pray that you find something useful here, coming just at the right time!

  1. When the emotions are gone, what’s left? Engaging the mind as well as the heart is vital: http://creation.com/emotion-gone
  2. Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? – This is a very good (and very long) article that gives comprehensive, Biblically based answers to this issue – excellent!  http://creation.com/why-death-suffering
  3. The Absence Of A Papacy In Early Responses To Christianity: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-absence-of-papacy-in-early.html
  4. Indulgences – CHRISTIAN HISTORY TODAY (March 15th) – “My guess is that if Pope Leo X knew what he would set off by allowing the sales of indulgences on March 15, 1517, he’d re-think that one. The building of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican had gone way over budget (it would be almost 80 years until it would be completed) and the Pope’s financial adviser suggested the idea of buying an indulgence would help get a repentant sinner out of purgatory sooner and it was a “win-win”. Then a regional indulgences salesman stopped by the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany and ran into a priest named Martin Luther who decided he’d read about the sale of indulgences in the Bible and found no basis for it. The rest, as we like to say, was history.
  5. Questioning Jesus’ Existence: http://breakpoint.org/2017/03/questioning-jesus-existence/
  6. Staying Outside The Shack | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/staying-outside-the-shack/
  7. Parents, Hollywood wants to brainwash your kids. Don’t let them: http://www.theblaze.com/podcasts/matt-walsh-parents-hollywood-wants-to-brainwash-your-kids-dont-let-them/
  8. Does James 1:5 teach about praying for a testimony? http://www.mrm.org/james-15-testimony
  9. Celebrating gender confusion: http://creation.com/celebrating-gender-confusion
  10. Convergent evolution of crocodile and dolphin skull shapes | Uncommon Descent: http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/convergent-evolution-of-crocodile-and-dolphin-skull-shapes/
  11. A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely-Tuned Cosmos (with Dr. Luke Barnes) – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/a-fortunate-universe-life-in-a-finely-tuned-cosmos-with-dr-luke-barnes/
  12. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith | Crossexamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith/
  13. Every American Needs Know Qur’an (Bill Federer) | Video | C-SPAN.org: https://www.c-span.org/video/?314071-10/every-american-needs-know-quran
  14. Watch “How to Listen to the Lord (Mark 4:21-34)” on YouTube (this is a John MacArthur sermon I watched on Sunday since I couldn’t go to church because I was sick): https://youtu.be/RFzGD7S-w3g
  15. DOES GOD REALLY HATE ESAU? http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/05/25/does-god-really-hate-esau/
  16. Why did the early church decide to indoctrinate a canon of New Testament books in the first place? https://www.josh.org/early-church-decide-indoctrinate-canon-new-testament-books-first-place/
  17. Will We Ever Colonize Mars? http://www.icr.org/article/9900
  18. Greg Koukl Stand to Reason podcast – at about 26:30 into the show, an atheist calls in (he calls himself the “Street Epistemologist”).  They are talking about the difference between mind and brain and whether there is a “non-physical realm”.  It is quite a long call (and very cordial, not adversarial at all): http://subspla.sh/0376859
  19. What You Can Learn From the Pilgrims (Bill Federer): http://subspla.sh/7277698
  20. Watch “Wretched: Nothing made everything.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sK2yNkTuJkY
  21. 3 Horrific Consequences When a Nation Rejects God — Charisma News: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/63453-3-horrific-consequences-when-a-nation-rejects-god
  22. Q&A with Sam Allberry: Same-Sex Attraction, Synod Remarks, and Why The Gospel Is Truly Good News For All | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/qa-with-sam-allberry-same-sex-attraction-synod-remarks/
  23. Planned Parenthood abortion quotas: https://m.facebook.com/video_redirect/?src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent.fphx1-2.fna.fbcdn.net%2Fv%2Ft42.1790-4%2F16616327_245823025863146_1673784158666620928_n.mp4%3Fefg%3DeyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9%26oh%3D6e69f150dc01e34d1c5525689be4b732%26oe%3D58CABADF&source=misc&id=10154959592988728&refid=52&__tn__=F
  24. Here’s 5 things to say when discussing Planned Parenthood: http://www.liveactionnews.org/heres-5-things-to-say-when-discussing-planned-parenthood/
  25. Watch “Hollywood and God” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Fohrk2jt0LA
  26. Watch “Mark Spence & Shaw the atheist” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dfsS3BB5C-I
  27. Book of Job: https://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Job.html
  28. Cannabis boosts risk of stroke and heart attack, independent of tobacco, new study finds: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/09/cannabis-boosts-risk-stroke-heart-attack-independent-tobacco/

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. ” Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear ; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see ; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. “Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. “Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”  2 Kings 19:14-19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-9-2017)

Good morning brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope this morning finds you content in where God has you, knowing that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).  Here are some things I ran into this week as I’ve been recovering from mononucleosis (I just got the results of the blood test yesterday):

  1. Watch “DEBATE: Was Jesus Raised from the Dead?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IW9w6c2RWmA
  2. Answering a Common Question: “I want to learn more about apologetics. How do I get started?” – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/answering-a-common-question-i-want-to-learn-more-about-apologetics-how-do-i-get-started/
  3. In Indiana, State Senate Affirms Teaching Evidence For and Against Evolution: http://evolutionnews.org/2017/03/in_indiana_stat/
  4. Darwin’s impact-the bloodstained legacy of evolution: http://creation.com/charles-darwins-impact-the-bloodstained-legacy-of-evolution
  5. Former Planned Parenthood director: Why I’m now pro-life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc9VTnJBg1M
  6. Planned Parenthood executive responds to Trump’s offer: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5351320587001
  7. New study: first life pushed back earlier, leaving less time for naturalist magic: https://winteryknight.com/2017/03/04/new-study-first-life-pushed-back-earlier-leaving-less-time-for-naturalism-to-work-magic/
  8. The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ – And How We Should Respond – Christians must answer with wisdom to match gay activists’ strategic savvy: https://stream.org/beastly-beauty-disney-gay-moment/
  9. Watch “Kennedy Classics – Liar, Lunatic or LORD?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YEHMLF6-zPs
  10. A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon – Canon Fodder: https://michaeljkruger.com/a-curious-clue-about-the-origins-of-the-new-testament-canon/
  11. America’s Godly Heritage (David Barton):
    1. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 1 – David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pme3o0WimkU
    2. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 2 Barton .flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PEvwu7hRiWg
    3. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 3 Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oL4jplZ_PoA
    4. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 4 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LiudwVNTUWA
    5. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 5 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6zo5L4f57H4
    6. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 6 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tTLOrHgANtI
  12. The Truth About America’s History: http://www.cfaith.com/index.php/blog/22-articles/christian-living/21392-the-truth-about-americas-history
  13. Watch “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (lyrics & chord) Chris Rice” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ax_NMWLEb6U
  14. Watch “ARE YOU TOLERANT? (QUIZ)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Rt8bJyiUAhY
  15. Watch “Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  16. Watch “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus – Nabeel Qureshi” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/NoJvNFrUZz4
  17. Watch “Kennedy Classics – George Washington: Christian or Deist?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3hs98lLmt-U

I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

 

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

I’ve been sick the last few days, that’s why I’m a day late today.  Here are your weekly links:

  1. Don’t Expect Your Kids to Care What the Bible Says Unless You’ve Given Them Reason to Believe It’s True: http://christianmomthoughts.com/dont-expect-your-kids-to-care-what-the-bible-says-unless-youve-given-them-reason-to-believe-its-true/
  2. The Need for Apologetics in the Local Church – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/the-need-for-apologetics-in-the-local-church/
  3. Christ Journey Church Apologetics Series – Pastor’s introduction, “This series is designed to help believers think and to help thinkers believe.” – interview with John Lennox, PhD: https://youtu.be/KFLIyX-J_-E
  4. Watch “The Gospel Message (HD)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/n1Ex2FpwqvI
  5. Watch “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus | Nabeel Qureshi Testimony” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/HVBiELaxzAs
  6. Watch “Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zF5bPI92-5o
  7. The Three D’s of Tolerance | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-three-ds-of-tolerance/
  8. The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/religion-cause-war
  9. Discovery of 7 Earth-Sized Planets | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/extrasolar-planets/7-earth-sized-planets-trappist-1/
  10. 3 Textual Variants Every Christian Should Know About – Alisa Childers: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/3-textual-variants-every-christian-should-know-about
  11. How Abortion Led an Atheist Feminist Professor, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, to Christianity. | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/how-abortion-led-an-atheist-feminist-professor-elizabeth-fox-genovese-to-christianity/
  12. 10 Signs You Might be Rejecting Biblical Authority Without Realizing It: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/10-signs-you-might-be-rejecting-biblical-authority-without-realizing-it
  13. Testimonies from ex-Roman Catholic Priests | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://www.carm.org/testimonies-ex-roman-catholic-priests
  14. Watch “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (Session 2) – Norman Geisler, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/FNsdkBK4iO8
  15. You Don’t Need to Believe in God to Know What’s Right and Wrong, But… | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/you-dont-need-believe-god-know-whats-right-and-wrong#.WLYoP8tlDqA
  16. Tucker vs. Bill Nye the Science Guy on Climate Change ~9 min video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN5L2q6hfWo

After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”  2 Sam 12:15-23

Blessings to you all

This Past Sunday’s Apologetics Class – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

This past Sunday in our apologetics class, which has students from 7th grade through to adult, we watched the excellent video “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” featuring Answers In Genesis teacher Dr. David Menton.  This was an amazing 1 hour video that covers the many miracles involved in the conception and birth of a child.

Here are the notes for the video.  I passed out a version to the class that had fill-in the blanks, but here is the version with the answers:

Notes for Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Dr. David Menton

Intelligent Design in the process of conception and birth of a child

He is a former professor at Washington University School of Medicine, and has a PhD, Cell Biology from Brown University, and a BS, Biology and Chemistry, Minnesota State University.

credentials

  1. Psalm 139:13-16 – indeed we are knit, we are woven as the LORD tells us in this verse.
  2. A person, biblically, is someone who is known to God – someone who has a soul.
  3. As the baby is developing in the womb, God is “looking on”.
  4. The eggs leave the ovaries and enter the oviduct every 28 days an egg will be released from the ovary, one month from one ovary, the next month from the other ovary – this is a miracle.
  5. A baby girl, as soon as she comes out of the womb, she has approximately 400,000 eggs ready to go, and no more are made – the new born girl has all the eggs she’s ever going to have.
  6. The scar left behind from this corpus luteum (if fertilization doesn’t occur) is so large you can see it with the naked eye. One scar is created each month (assuming no fertilization).  This is the one scar on our body that gets totally removed.  This is a miracle, the hand of God.
  7. In the case of evolution, if you can’t get the egg down the oviduct, you’re not going to get a second chance to get it down the oviduct. Talk about irreducible complexity!
  8. Cilia – there are trillions of them in the oviduct which move the egg, but they can’t just move back and forth, they have to move like a “wave” in the crowd at a sporting event.
  9. With 30 hours, the first cell division occurs.
  10. The fertilization process is itself incredible. It is important that only 1 sperm fertilize the egg.  There are 3 barriers the sperm has to get through: The cumulus, The shell (zona pellucida), The membrane
  11. When God created the stars, He didn’t have to argue with them!
  12. You’ve probably met a clone in your life (an identical twin), but when God makes a clone, it works!
  13. 5-6 days after fertilization, the blastocyst implants into the wall of the uterus (miracle).
  14. The whole placenta is one cell – the biggest cell in the body. Placenta is called “Super-organ”.
  15. The mother and the baby’s blood never mix.
  16. Alcohol will go across from mother’s blood to baby’s blood “passively”.
  17. The placenta is part of the baby, not part of the mother, but it is not in the baby’s body.
  18. Special jelly that exists nowhere in the body so that when the baby is doing somersaults the blood vessels won’t kink or crimp.
  19. When the placenta “disconnects” during birth, there are 20 blood vessels inside the uterus that spray blood at approximately a ½ quart per minute. This is the biggest wound any human being gets and lives to tell the story.  Little sphincter on mother’s side crimps end of the open vessels.
  20. Haeckel’s Recapitulation – the drawings he made were completely falsified.
  21. “Folds” in the neck of the embryo are not gills and are not used for breathing.
  22. Analogy to someone who built a boat in the basement of their house and couldn’t get it out of the door. Same with baby in the uterus.  Bones in the pelvis widen so head can fit.
  23. Tail bone (coccyx) is not left over from our evolutionary history. Many muscles connected to it.
  24. The birth of every baby is a miracle!
  25. The placenta was doing everything (liver, lungs, intestinal tract, etc.), but after the baby is born all those seems need to be ready to perform their functions.

mid-week apologetics booster (2-23-2017)

Good morning beloved saints!

You and I have been given the awesome privilege of being an ambassador for the King of kings and Lord of lords.  How’s that going for you?  Here is some material that may help you in living out your calling:

  1. Jesus: history or myth? https://georgesjournal.net/2017/02/19/jesus-history-or-myth/
  2. Are You a Christian? | John Ankerberg Show – John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/apologetics-2/are-you-a-christian/
  3. Is Jesus God? https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/jesus-is-god/is-jesus-god/
  4. 3 Reasons Why You Need Apologetics: https://cccdiscover.com/3-reasons-why-you-need-apologetics/
  5. Clarifying Objections against Bible Reliability: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2017/01/clarifying-objections-against-bible.html
  6. Q&A: Are There Transitional Intermediates in the Fossil Record? http://www.reasons.org/articles/q-a-are-there-transitional-intermediates-in-the-fossil-record
  7. Top Ten Convincing Reasons to Believe That Jesus Factually Rose From The Dead!
    1. Part 1: http://chaseathompson.com/2016/05/28/top-ten-convincing-reasons-to-believe-that-jesus-factually-rose-from-the-dead-and-why-that-makes-a-difference-for-you/
    2. Part 2: http://chaseathompson.com/2016/06/01/top-ten-convincing-reasons-to-believe-that-jesus-factually-rose-from-the-dead-part-2-6-10/
  8. “Christ Is The Lord”: Popular Anti-Christian Blogger, The Raving Atheist, Converts To Christianity: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2017/02/16/christ-is-the-lord-popular-anti-christian-blogger-the-raving-atheist-converts-to-christianity/
  9. Do Animals Display Morality? Animals appear to show morality in their behavior. Is this the source of human morality? http://www.reasonablefaith.org/Do-Animals-Display-Morality
  10. Jonathan Sarfati – Does our DNA show that we came from apes? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzmOu1YdFkg
  11. The Radical Conversion Of Jesus’ Brother James | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/radical-conversion-jesus-brother-james/
  12. America’s Changing Religious Landscape: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/
  13. Same-sex attracted church leader addresses the Church of England – but his message may surprise you: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Same-sex-attracted-church-leader-addresses-the-Church-of-England-but-his-message-may-surprise-you
  14. Shame on the Silent Christian Leaders Who Refuse to Stand Against Government Tyranny | The Stream: https://stream.org/shame-silent-christian-leaders-refuse-stand-government-tyranny/
  15. What is a good process for preparing a sermon? https://www.gotquestions.org/preparing-a-sermon.html
  16. 9 Truths About Sex and Marriage From the First Two Chapters of Genesis | The Stream: https://stream.org/9-truths-sex-marriage-genesis-1-2/

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned — for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:7-17

Blessings

Apologetics Class Teaching on the Tapestry of New Testament History – Undesigned Coincidences

What follows is the content a Power Point that I will be using to teach today at my Church’s youth and adult apologetics class at 9 AM:

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Scared, aren’t you?  We’re going to try something a little different here today – I hope this works out like I think it will.

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We’re going to start off with a little exercise – a test if you like – to see if we can remember the details of an event that I’m sure we’re all very familiar with.

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It is very important that as you work on this, you work completely independently.  Don’t collaborate, look at each other’s answers or talk to yourself out loud as you do this…  I want to make sure that your work is original – not because I’m trying to test your ability, but just because I want to know what you specifically remember about this event.  The “test” has one question, and here it is (remember, don’t answer out loud):

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Pens down!!!! OK, so, how did you?  Was that difficult?  Let’s go around the room and you can each tell me what facts you included about 9-11-2001 (write the facts on the board).  [Take note of how (hopefully) each person reported different things in the account depending on what they remembered and their individual perspectives.]  Even though the details varied, we all agreed on the big event – that the planes hit the buildings.  If you had just one person write the account, you’d invariably miss some of those details…  But with the multiple independent accounts, just like there’s 4 Gospels, you get a much richer picture of the historicity of what happened on 9/11 and likewise, with the historicity of the events surrounding Jesus.  Everybody agreed upon the big picture, but they differed on the minor details.  We all agreed that each account is an eyewitness account and its an independent eyewitness account.  There’s no way to contrive 4 fictional accounts and have them agree on so much (as the Gospels agree on)!  If they’re true though, it makes sense.

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That exercise will hopefully help drive home the point of this message today, which is the Tapestry of New Testament history – How “undesigned coincidences” point to the historicity of the New Testament accounts.  This is a fascinating area of study and one that rarely gets talked about in Apologetics, but never-the-less, these “undesigned coincidences” that we’re going to be talking about today, show beyond any reasonable doubt that the new testament authors were actually telling the truth – that they really were recording eyewitness testimony of historical events that actually happened.

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As usual, when examining these objections, we want to first take a look at what the skeptics are saying…  Here are a few of them.  First, Sir Ian McKellen of Lord of the Rings fame says, “I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying, ‘This is fiction’.”

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And of course, our old friend, Richard Dawkins says, “The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality.  It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality.  As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture”.

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Blogger J.M. Green of the “Debunking Christianity” blog says “Claiming the Bible is true because it mentions some historical people and places is like saying that Sherlock Holmes stores are true because they contain descriptions of Victorian London.”,  So, these skeptics, and many others want you to believe that the Bible and specifically the Gospels are nothing more than fiction – something like a historical novel.

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I would like to start by reading a passage to you from the Gospel of Luke …

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This is a wonderful passage from a historian’s perspective because it puts “historical crosshairs” in the biblical text.  By historical crosshairs, I mean that Luke here references real historical figures and their timeframes.  He’s nailing down so many different things historically in this passage.  It is highly unlikely that this writing could be fiction – kind of like a historical novel – because it contains too many historically confirmed characters (give handout). The New Testament writers would have blown their credibility with their contemporary audiences by implicating real people in a fictional story, especially people of great notoriety and power. There is no way the New Testament writers could have gotten away with writing outright lies about Pilate, Caiaphas, Festus, Felix, and the entire Herodian bloodline. Somebody would have exposed them for falsely implicating these people in events that never occurred. The New Testament writers knew this, and would not have included so many prominent real people in a fictional story that was intended to deceive. Again, the best explanation is that the New Testament writers accurately recorded what they saw.

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He’s talking about the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry.  We know from history that the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar is 26 A.D. (he began a co-regency with Augustus Caesar in the year of 12 A.D.)  So you take 12 and you add 14 and a bit to it and you’re into the year 26.  And about a year later than that, Jesus begins his public ministry.  What is the first miracle worked by Jesus in His public ministry?

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It’s in Cana of Galillee…  It’s where He turns water into wine.  Luke doesn’t report this miracle, but John does.

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And right after that, He goes to Jerusalem and He cleans out the Temple for the first time.  Some of the people who’s tables He’s overturning are not happy with Him and they ask Him, “By what authority do you do this?” and He says “Destroy this temple and I’ll raise it up in 3 days”.  That’s probably as much of it as most of us remember.

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But there’s a peculiar finishing line…  In John 2:20, the Jews say to Him “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  So, there’s just this strange detail (46 years to build the temple) stuck in there.  What does that mean? Turns out that in the year 18 B.C., Herod the Great began building the Temple.  So, using the Jewish method of reckoning (they count a year even if it is not complete), 46 years means 45 + something, and we move 45 years forward, we find that we’re in the year 27, which is 1 year after the year 26, which is the year that is the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.  So these 2 verses (from Luke and John) which have nothing else in common, both nail down, with a chronological specificity, that’s really quite remarkable, exactly the right time periods for the beginning of John the Baptist’s and of Jesus’ ministries.

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So, this is one example of what is called an undesigned coincidence… An undesigned coincidence (so-named by J.J. Blunt from his book and first discovered by William Paley) occurs when one account of an event leaves out a bit of information which is filled in, often quite incidentally, by a different account, which helps to answer some natural questions raised by the first.

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JJ Blunt was a Cambridge Professor and a Pastor, who had a kind of detectives eye…  When he looked at the New Testament documents, particularly the Gospels and Acts, he could see that the New Testament documents were true just by reading and comparing them.

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Frank Turek refers to this subject as “Elaborate Testimony” or “Interlocking Puzzle Pieces”.  This refers to evidence that is lying just below the surface of the New Testament narrative.  It is an elaborate series of interlocking puzzle pieces that reveal that the New Testament documents contain independent eyewitness testimony of actual historical events

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This material is so compelling, and yet, so few people know about it, that we really need to highlight it and that’s why I felt it was important to focus on this for one week.  Believe me this is so extensive and in-depth, we could go on about this for a month!

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Now let’s cover another example of one of these “undesigned coincidences”.  It’s one of those things where you see a puzzling statement and you go, “Hmmm, that’s puzzling, That doesn’t make any sense… I wonder why that’s in there?”  Or, it raises a question and then you read another Gospel and it gives you the answer.

slide22

Let’s take a look at Jesus before Pilate – In Luke chapter 23, the Jews accuse Jesus before Pilate.  They say “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

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And Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “You have said so.”

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Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man” Now, let’s assume, for the sake of argument that you only had Luke’s account of this incident – Now if this account is not puzzling to you, it should be…  The Jews say Jesus is basically guilty of sedition for claiming to be a king.  Pilate says “Are you the King of the Jews” and Jesus basically says Yes. (He says, you’ve said so – He didn’t try to defend Himself).  Then Pilate said “He’s not guilty!”  Wait a minute!  How could he be not guilty???  He just admitted what Pilate asked Him and what the Jews accused Him of!  It’s puzzling if you just read Luke

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But, if you go over to John…  You see that there’s a missing puzzle piece that solves what Luke says.  Here’s John’s account (starting in verse 33):  Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?“ …  Then if you skip down to verse 36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world….”  Aha!! – now you can see why Pilate (at least temporarily) let Jesus go and said “I find no guilt in this man”.

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He did so because Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world”, so He’s not claiming to be in some way trying to overthrow Caesar.  That was really the charge that the Jews were trying to bring up – or trying to get Pilate to believe anyway, in hopes that Pilate would do away with him. When Pilate sees he’s saying, “My Kingdom is not of this world”, he’s probably thinking, “He might be a loony or something, but he’s no threat to Caesar! Hey Jews, I find no guilt in him!” But you only get that by reading John!

slide27

So John helps verify, or fill in details that are missing in Luke. He fills in a question that reading just Luke’s account may raise. Now, I say this is “inadvertent” because, its not like John is trying to give a different account than Luke, or that he’s trying to solve what Luke says – he just gives more detail, he just gives a little more of the narrative that actually occurred. Perhaps John actually saw the incident, it doesn’t say he was in the room, but who knows? Maybe he was close enough to see what was going on, or maybe Jesus later told him.

slide28

It’s worthy to note here that John is different than what are called the Synoptics, Matthew Mark and Luke, John appears to have inside information. He’s traveling with Jesus and appears to have a lot of private conversations that the rest of them don’t have, such as the woman at the well, or with Pilate or with the disciples in the upper room, with Nicodemus, they’re more private conversations.  And remember … John is an eyewitness, Luke is not –

slide29

Luke is creating an orderly account. And by the way, he may be creating an orderly account because perhaps the other accounts were not in chronological order. For example, Matthew is more thematic than chronological.  Even though Luke is not an eyewitness himself, he is interviewing eyewitnesses. So he leaves out the details maybe he didn’t know about. John fills these details in so, just reading these two you ought to walk away saying, “they’re witnessing the same event, but one is giving more detail than the other.”

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After you go through these elaborate testimonies, these interlocking puzzle pieces you realize that it would take more faith to believe that these accounts were contrived, than to believe that you actually have four independent eyewitness accounts of the same events and that’s why you get different details.

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Let’s do another one here. It involves Herod Antipas – he’s the son of Herod the Great. After Herod the Great died in 4 BC his kingdom got divided up and Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, got a portion of the kingdom. This Herod that you read of in the New Testament is the Herod that beheaded John the Baptist and also tried Christ.

slide32

Now, when you read the Gospel of Matthew, you have a puzzle arise, when he talks about Herod. Here’s what Matthew says in Matthew chapter 14 verses 1 & 2 about Herod:

slide33

At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants “this is John the Baptist”, (referring to Jesus), “he has been raised from the dead, That is why these miraculous powers are in him.” Now, here’s the question, how would Matthew know what Herod had said to his servants?  Matthew is not in the room when Herod speaks to his servants! You say, well, maybe God told him. Well, yeah, you could say that. You could say this is revelation directly from God, but you don’t need to even go there …

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Because, if you compare Matthew’s account with Luke’s account, you’ll see that, in an unrelated story, there is a detail in Luke that helps us solve the puzzle that Matthew leaves. Here’s what it says in Luke 8:1: “and the twelve were with Jesus, “

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“and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, out of who had come seven demons, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for him from their substance.” There it is!  Just a passing detail! You can see here how it is possible that Matthew knew what Herod said to his servants, because one of his the women traveling with Jesus, is married to Herod’s steward (Chuza). Do you think maybe a little pillow talk may have ensued?

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Herod’s steward Chuza is saying to Joanna, (whisper)this is what Herod is saying about Jesus. He thinks he’s John the Baptist – just resurrected.” That’s why Matthew knows it, because Matthew is following Him around too. The twelve were with Him, as this passage says! This is so inadvertent. It’s such a passing detail! It’s not like Luke says explicitly, “Here’s how Matthew knew what Herod said to his servants about Jesus.” He just mentions that Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward is one of the ones following Jesus and this Chuza guy is one of Herod’s steward. So here, Luke helps solve Matthew.

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Here’s another one – a puzzling question that arises in Luke. Here’s what it says in Luke chapter 9: “And they kept silent and told no one in those days that any thing of what they had seen.” So, what’s the context of this…

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Peter James and John had just seen Jesus transfigured along with Elijah and Moses. And it says, “and they kept silent, and told no one in those days anything off what they had seen.” (Luke 9:36) So, what’s the puzzle (Again, assuming you only had Luke)? Why would they keep silent about this amazing event? They just seen the Transfiguration! Why would they not have told everybody? But, they kept silent, so Luke kind of leaves a puzzle.

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But you go over to Mark, and here’s what Mark account says, “As they were coming down the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man rose from the dead.“ Mark 9:9. Aha! Now you can see why Luke says they told no one. Mark gives us the command not to tell anyone, but he doesn’t say whether they obeyed it. Luke records their obedience to the command, but he doesn’t tell us what the command was, so Mark gives us what Jesus told them not to do. And Luke records that they obeyed what Jesus said! But, both accounts together give you a more complete picture. The puzzle raised by Luke, is solved by simply reading Mark

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Now, let’s take a look at a puzzle that is raised by Matthew. Matthew records Jesus pronouncing the following judgments. This is in Matthew 11:21 (ESV). He says, “woe to you Chorazin, woe to you Bethsaida, for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Here’s the puzzle: what mighty works had been done in Bethsaida? Matthew doesn’t record Jesus doing any! It’s kind of a puzzle. Well, in order to answer this one, we’ve got to another puzzle before we answer this one.  So, let’s move over to John for a second, then will come back to Matthew.

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John leaves a puzzle as well, because at the feeding of the 5000, John records Jesus asking Philip in John 6:5, “where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?” Now here’s the puzzle: why is Jesus asking Philip, a relatively minor character, where to get a lot of money and food , instead of asking a leader, such as Peter or John or perhaps even Judas, because Judas was the keeper of the money, right? I mean, it just seems odd that he would ask Philip. Well, John leaves a puzzle, but Luke solves it.

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And here’s how Luke solves it – inadvertently by the way. Luke, and only Luke, mentions that Bethsaida was the location of the feeding of the 5000. In a passing comment in Luke 9:10, he writes that Bethsaida is the location of the feeding of the 5000. Now in other contexts in John chapters 1 and 12, John records that Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee. Yet, in John chapter 6, where the feeding of the 5,000 is recorded, Jesus asked Philip where to get food. So, John and Luke interlock to help us solve the puzzle.  Philip is from Bethsaida. He would know where to get food and money because he’s in his hometown! Now, we wouldn’t know that from John alone. John tells us “the who”, while Luke tells us “the where”, thus the accounts are complementary here. These are passing details. John never says that Jesus asked Philip because Philip was from Bethsaida, because he never even says that they’re in Bethsaida! So Luke solves John.

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Matthew leaves a puzzle in his account of Jesus being beat by the Roman guards (this is chapter 26 from verse 57-67). After Jesus basically declares that he is the Messiah, it says (v65) “the high priest tore his clothes and said he has spoken blasphemy, why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy, what do you think?” And they answered, “He’s worthy of death!”

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Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists. Others said to Him, “prophesy to us Christ! Who hit You?”

As an aside…  Imagine this… The Creator of the universe putting on human flesh, coming here to earth, living a perfect sinless life in order to save the very people who are beating and spitting on Him! Amazing love…

Now back to the puzzle, why are they asking, “who hit you?” He can see them right in front of him, can’t he? Matthew kind of leaves a puzzle. Why would they be asking him to prophesy? He’s looking at them as they’re hitting him! Well, in order to solve the puzzle, you need to go over to Luke.

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Here’s Luke’s account (Luke 22:63-65): “Now the men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and demanded, ‘Prophesy, who hit You’? And they said many other insulting things to Him.” So in Luke’s account, he gives the detail that Matthew doesn’t give. What’s the detail? That he was blindfolded! That’s why they were asking, who hit you? You don’t get that just from Matthew’s account. This is just kind of inadvertent, it doesn’t appear to be contrived, that Luke would solve a puzzle that Matthew leaves. So here we have another internal, undersigned coincidence, or interlocking puzzle piece.

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Now we’re going to look at some interlocking puzzle pieces from non Christian writers, these are called extra-biblical writers – writers such as Josephus, Tacitus and Sutoneous.

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If you go to Matthew, he says this: Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus were in Egypt, to avoid Herod (the homicidal maniac), who is trying to kill the babies in Palestine. Then Matthew says that Joseph had a dream in Egypt, to return to Israel with Mary and the Child Jesus. But when Joseph heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.

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Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth , this is in Matthew chapter 2. Now here’s the puzzle piece. Why is Archelaus so scary? Why would Joseph want to avoid Archelaus ? Matthew doesn’t explain! He doesn’t even say who Archelaus is! He just says, when Joseph heard that Archelaus was reigning there, he was afraid, so he went north, he went up to Galilee. Galilee is north of Jerusalem. He didn’t go to the Jerusalem area, he went to Galilee. Well, who can actually tell us why Archelaus is so scary?

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Josephus, the Jewish historian, who lived from about 37ad – 100 ad. He tells us that

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Archelaus was one of the sons of Herod the great (older brother of Herod Antipas), and that Archelaus got a piece of Herod’s Kingdom, which happened to include Jerusalem. And even before he’s completely installed by Cesar, he decides to assert his authority. There’s a disturbance at the temple.

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Archelaus orders Roman troops into the temple, and he actually slaughters 3000 Jews. Passover was cancelled because of what Archelaus had done!

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So, imagine, Joseph is on the road from Egypt back up toward Israel, and there are Jews, who were at the Passover, returning to their homes maybe in Egypt, and they’re coming down from Israel, and

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Joseph says, why are you guys coming down from Passover? Why aren’t you still at Passover? We can imagine them saying, haven’t you heard? Archelaus ordered troops into the temple, and 3000 of our brethren have been killed! Passover has been cancelled! So, Joseph is thinking to himself, I left Israel to escape a homicidal maniac! I’m not going to go back there to another homicidal maniac the son of the first homicidal maniac, I’m going to go to another district, where he’s not in charge.

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So he goes to Galilee. Now, Matthew doesn’t give you all this detail, he just tells you the truth, that Archelaus was someone to be avoided, and that Joseph was afraid of him! Josephus gives us the detail! Josephus is writing probably 40 years after Matthew. How could Matthew control with a Jewish historian writes 40 years later? Mathews dead! He can’t! That’s why this is an undesigned coincidence. That’s why this is an interlocking puzzle piece. This elaborate testimony can’t be explained by some sort of contrivance. So Josephus comes in and actually verifies what Matthew is saying.

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And how about Jesus going to the temple at 12 years old? Luke says, every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was 12 years old, they went up to the feast according to the custom. Now, here’s the question: why did his parents go without him, and then bring Jesus when he was 12? Why didn’t they bring Jesus when he was 10 or 11? Well, I think Josephus has the answer again. Josephus says this: in the 10th year of Archelaus government both his brother and the principal men of Judea and Samaria, not being able to bear his barbarous and tyrannical usage of them, they accused Archelaus before Caesar.

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Caesar, upon hearing what certain accusers of his had to say, and what reply Archelaus could make, banished Archelaus to Vienna, a city of Gaul. Gaul is present day France. So, the reason His parents are bringing Jesus to the temple when he is 12, is because that’s the year that Archelaus is no longer in charge. That’s what it appears to be anyway, we are reading between the lines here. Again, this is from Josephus, 30 years after Luke is writing! How could Luke control what Josephus says 30-40 years later? He can’t!

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So we’ve got Josephus not only verifying Matthew with regards to Archelaus – he solves a puzzle in Luke as well, it seems, as to why Jesus’s parents would wait until he was 12 to bring him to the temple. That’s the first year Archelaus  is not in power. They’ve been avoiding Archelaus for Jesus’s first 12 years, now Archelaus is deposed by Caesar, so, hey, now we can bring Jesus to the temple this year.

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Now how about another undersigned coincidence. Why did Claudius order the Jews out of Rome? In Acts 18, of course written by Luke, it says after these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth and he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. So there is this kind of parenthetical comment, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. That’s why Aquila and Priscilla where in Corinth, because they had been basically booted out of Rome by Claudius. The puzzle is this: who’s Claudius and why did he command and all the Jews to leave Rome? In other words, Luke doesn’t tell you who Claudius is or why he commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.

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But Suetonius, a Roman historian, writing about the 12 Caesars, (you know there were 12 Caesars, he did biographies of them) – he’s writing about 117 AD. Luke is writing about 60 AD (the book of Acts), no later than 62 AD. So writing 50 something years later, along comes the Roman historian Suetonius, and

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in the section on Claudius, Suetonius writes this: “the Jews at Rome had caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, so, Claudius expelled them from the city.” What? That’s why Luke parenthetically notes that Priscilla and Aquila were in Corinth because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart Rome. Now why do you think you would have commanded the Jews to depart Rome? Maybe the Jews were not happy that the Christians we’re claiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah! And so there was a disturbance there. You know there was a disturbance wherever Paul went, particularly when he went into the synagogue. The Jews didn’t like what he was saying. They may have tried to beat him… Or they may have tried to kick him out… There was a disturbance. Claudius said get these people out of my city! By the way, we know that there was a church there (in Rome). That’s why Paul wrote the book of Romans!

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He’s writing to the church at Rome! And, non Christian writers will tell you that Christianity spread rapidly as far as Rome. Why? Because there is a resurrection! So, now you have another outside source , Suetonius, who affirms Luke when he gives us the explanation as to why Luke would say that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome. Amazing – these are eyewitness details that are not contrived, as if the writers were writing fiction.

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How about another external elaborate testimony? The question is, did Herod really kill John the Baptist? Now, which Herod? Herod Antipas, another son of Herod the Great, who beheaded John the Baptist and he also tried Christ. Whenever you see Christ is on trial, before Herod, this is the Herod – Herod Antipas. Here’s what Mark says about Herod beheading John the Baptist: the king, Herod Antipas, was greatly distressed. Because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her, so he immediately sent an executioner.  By the way, who’s “her”?  We’ve got to set the context here. Do you remember that Herod’s wife Herodias used to be married to Herod’s step brother, and he, Herod Antipas, got Herod’s step brother’s wife to marry him and John the Baptist said, this is an illegitimate marriage, you shouldn’t be doing this.

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And so, when, her daughter, Salome, danced for Herod Antipas, he said, “Wow, that’s very pleasing to me, I’ll give you up to half of my kingdom, what do you want?” So her mother said tell Herod that you want the head of John the Baptist on a platter. And here’s where we pick it up in chapter 6 of Mark. Herod was greatly distressed because she said give me John’s head on a platter, but because of his oaths & his dinner guests he did not want to refuse her so he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John head.  And the executioner went and beheaded John in brought back his head on a platter and he presented it to the girl and she gave it to her mother. Now, Mark does not say who the girl was. Who does? Josephus does! So, here, we have an event that is in the New Testament that Josephus says actually occurred and he actually gives us the name of the girl who danced, the daughter of Herodias, Herod’s illicit wife. In fact, Josephus also confirms that this actually occurred, 40 years later in antiquities, the 18th book. It says “now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God and that, very justly, as a punishment against what he did against John, called the Baptist, for Herod killed him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue both as to righteousness to one another and to piety toward God and so to come to baptism.” So here’s Josephus, again, writing 40 or so years after Mark telling us that Herod killed John the Baptist. The woman who was the daughter of his wife, whose name was Salome.   And that he was judged because of this and that John was a good man, and actually got the Jews to live a more virtuous life, and actually baptized them. All this comes all from Josephus! Now, how could Mark, or Luke, or Matthew, (who tell us to same story basically that Herod executed John the Baptist), could they get Josephus to confirm what they said, when Josephus lived long after they died? They couldn’t! That’s why these are undesigned coincidences, uncontrived!

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How about the Bible, in its discussion of money? Do you remember when Jesus was about to be trapped? By the Pharisees, and they come to him and asked, should we pay taxes to Caesar? By the way, there was a dual taxation in that culture. There was taxation from the Romans, and also taxation from the Jews, for the temple tax. So there’s a double taxation going on. In the New Testament writers know about this! How would they know about this? Unless they were there, or had access to eyewitness testimonies. How would you know there was a double taxation system? There was also a dual system of justice. Remember, Jesus is tried twice. He’s tried by the Jews and the Romans. How would they know that? If they’re just making all this up? It seems to take more faith to believe that all this was just invented, when they got it all right, there is a dual taxation system, there is a dual system of justice.

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Anyway, the Pharisees say to him, should we pay taxes to Caesar? They’re trying to trap him, and he says “show me a denarius. Whose image and description does it have?” And they said, Caesar’s, and he said to them, “then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” And if you look at archaeology, you can see these coins have been discovered. And on the denarius, it had a picture of “Augustus Tiberius Caesar”, and it said, “Son of the divine Augustus”. Now of course, that’s blasphemy to the Jews, that a man is divine? You shall have no other gods before me Exodus 20:3 says, one of the ten commandments, so that would’ve been blasphemous,

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but you find these coins, and yes, Caesar’s image is on the coin, and so Jesus, brilliantly, says, “well give to Caesar what is Caesar’s then”. This is Caesar’s coin, not gods.

By the way, Caesars image was on the coin as archeology reveals, but whose image is on you? God’s image! So, give to God what is God’s. Are you truly giving to God you? That’s really what we’re here to do, to know God and to make Him known! Are you an ambassador for the God who created you? Give to God what is God’s!

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Also, Josephus confirms that Matthew is correct about the temple tax, because in Matthew 17, Peter is asked if Jesus pays the two drachma tax, the temple tax. Well, Josephus tells us in antiquities 18, that every Jew paid the two drachma tax each year as an offering to God. That’s about 2 days wages.

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And the coin that Peter found in the fish is called a stator. A stator coin is worth about four drachma. So when Jesus says to Peter, throw your hook in the water, the fish you pull out we’ll have a coin in there and it will pay the temple tax for me and you, four drachma, they actually have found these coins. They’re called stator coins, so archaeology confirms the coin Peter found in the fish mouth.

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Also, Tacitus another secular writer, a Roman senator and historian, actually confirmed that a denarius was a day’s wages, which is what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 20. Tacitus actually points out that denarius was a day’s wage in one of his works called annals. So now you have not only Josephus and Suetonius confirming Matthew Mark and Luke, now you have Tacitus telling us that something is right in Matthew regarding the use of money,

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so the Bible is on the money! I’m telling you, there’s too many details like this for this to be invented friends! this is a witness detail.

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That was a lot we covered and I guarantee you – there is at least 10 times as much information out there on this subject.  We’ve reviewed examples of both internal and external “undesigned coincidences”.  When you look at all these undesigned coincidences, these interlocking puzzle pieces, they present a very compelling argument that the writers of the Gospels and Acts really were recording independent eyewitness testimony of actual, historical events.  I think the conclusion is unavoidable – they were telling the truth!